M2: All Not Right in the World; What Do Leonardo Da Vinci, Steve McQueen, Judy Garland, Franz Kafka and Ludwig Van Beethoven Have in Common? They Are, or Were, All Lefthanders. and Tomorrow They Could Have Joined the One in Ten People Celebrating LeftHander Day, Reports DIANE PARKES

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Byline: DIANE PARKES

FOR Chris Kostrze-bski's family, being left-handed was seen as a problem - so much so that she was the first generation not to be forced into becoming right-handed.

'I have a Polish surname and I understand that it was seen as something very negative in Poland,' she says, 'so they tended to force left-handed people to use their right hands. I was the first whowas brought up here and was allowed to grow up left-handed.'

Chris, of Handsworth Wood, says she did need to adapt in many ways to a right-handed world. She has invested in a pair of left-handed dressmaking scissors but otherwise manages.

'I had left-handed nibs in school and my writing was not the most legible,' says the 48year-old researcher for IMI.

'I use a computer mouse with my right hand and when I eat I use the knife in my right hand. But when it comes to dessert I suddenly swap the spoon into my left hand.'

Chris joined the Left-Handers Club and is fascinated by the differences found in people who use their left or right hands as the dominant side.

'If you read up on it you find out that people who are lefthanded have faced all kinds of problems and are often viewed as a bit weird and wonderful,' she says.

Solihull business consultant Richard Brennan is also interested in the research which has been carried out into lefthanders. He even does a little bit of unofficial research himself.

'I have noticed that more consultants are left-handed than right, I would say about 60-40,' says 51-year-old Richard.

'I don't know why that is but one theory is that the left side of the body is linked to the right side of the mind and that is the creative side.

Being at school in the 50s meant that Richard wasamong the first wave of children who were encouraged to develop their talents as a left-hander. But it did have its problems.

'I had an older sister and she had it knocked out of her,' he says. 'That was about five years before me and it had changed by then. But we were still writing with ink then and it did mean my writing was messy.

'I also like to blame the fact I am awful at golf on the fact I am left-handed, although I do have left-handed golf clubs. …