Don’t think about it!


I’m kind of embarrassed to mention it, but when I first got a motorbike, I had real issues turning right. I know. Ridiculous isn’t it.




That’s actually a thing. Thinking too much about it. It was like a conversation in my head…


Right turn coming up. Are you in the right gear?

Let me check. Erm no. Unwind with the right hand. Squeeze with the left hand, kick down with the left foot. And again. Oh bollocks, that’s neutral. Kick back up again. Wind back on with the right hand. Sorted. Right gear. Oh my, that turn is getting closer.

Have you indicated?

I’m on it. Oops, that’s the horn. Why do they put indicators and horn so close? Anyway, done. Indicating.

Right. Time to turn. Remember, steer left to go right unless you’re going below a certain speed. In which case, steer right. Got it?

Yes, ‘cause that makes loads of sense! How do I know if I’m going slow enough to turn the right way. Sod it, I’ll try steering right. Oops. Best steer left. Oh and lean. Ooh, maybe not that far.

You seem uneasy. You’re a bit unsteady. You’re probably going too slow. Or too fast. Try more revs. Or try braking. Remember, if you’re going too straight, brake with your right foot, too tight brake with your right hand.

Aaargh. I can’t cope. Can I just go straight on instead?

No. That’s a bus queue.


You get the picture. Too much thinking.


Anyway, to the tenuous magic connection (There always has to be one. This is a magic blog afterall)


You see, I’ve got a great fondness for guessing what card someone is thinking of. It’s a great trick. But in my early days of trying it, it was a similar minefield to the right turn issue.


You know, when people think of a card, they usually go for a high one or a red one. Or sometimes, they try and catch me out. Go on. Think of a card.

Have they nodded straight away? Did they go for my bluff and choose a low black to catch me out? Oh. They paused. Must be high and red. Or maybe it’s a double bluff. Oh my. Or perhaps a treble bluff. Fish some more..

So, can you picture it in your head?

They paused! It’s not a picture card! Or maybe it is and they’re just a bit slow. Or pished. They are sitting next to 8 empty Magners bottles. Oh. This is hard. Keep fishing.

Think of the colour.

Yay! Definitely spotted a hesitation there. It must be black. I think. Yep. Fairly certain it’s black. Now, did I reckon it was a picture after all that…


See. Kind of like turning right. The more you think about it, the harder it gets.


So, what to do about it…


Well, option 1 is to give up. There are always ways around. 3 left turns equals a right for example. And I do know lots of other tricks. It is a bit defeatist though.


Option 2 is to just practice loads. Practice so much you can do it without thinking about it. Motivational quote alert…

So I did. Apologies if you live on Sunlea or Seacroft Avenue. That was me doing about 100 clockwise laps. So many that I stopped even thinking about turning right. I’d just turn right. Not quite sure how – I’d just do it.


Same with the card trick. I just tried it over and over again until I could do it without even thinking about it. Again, not quite sure how. It just became kind of instinctive.


So there you have it. The moral of the tale is “practice until you can’t get it wrong”


Footnote. Overthinking returns occasionally. Apologies to the wedding guest last weekend. I should have known it was the three of hearts not the three of diamonds. Still kicking myself for that. Overthinking. Also apologies to that bus queue in North Shields the other day. Probably deserve at least three points for that. Sorry.


(also, prize if you can work out the significance of the picture. Comment below if you’ve got it…)