I've trimmed the fingernails on my left hand and not the right, out of an understanding that that's what ukulele players do. Well, 'trimmed' makes it sound like I've given myself a caring manicure. I bite my nails off, rather than using nail-clippers or scissors or suchlike. Anyway, I'm still having fun with the ukulele, and I wanted appropriate fingernails.
However, it's got me thinking about whether it will get in the way of the other things I do with my fingers. What's the optimum length for othello-disc-flipping fingernails, for example? I flip with my right hand and I think that you need medium-length nails for perfect flippery - no nails at all and it's hard to pick up the disc, big long nails and it's hard to hold on to it. This is probably why very few othello players have long fingernails. That or the fact that 99% of othello players are men.
As for memorising, I think, although I haven't really tested out the theory, that long or short fingernails shouldn't make a difference with the way I look through packs of cards now. Very long nails might get in the way, but I'm not planning to grow them to excessive lengths.
And what if I learn to make Fingermouse-style finger-puppets? That's on my list of things to do, and I think long nails would definitely get in the way there. It's a complicated business, being a polymath. The kind of polymath who's not particularly good at anything, of course.
In other, less finger-related news, Prince Charles is coming to my workplace tomorrow. Just a flying visit - according to his website he's also got other appointments in Nottingham and Mansfield in the course of the day, and I doubt he'll have the time in his schedule to find my desk and tell me he's a big fan of my TV appearances. In fact, he's scheduled to be in my building for ten minutes, according to the announcement on the company intranet, in which time he'll come in the main reception, be shown the 'heritage area' and leave by the exit on the far end of the big head office. He'll have to run. And the tour of the company heritage will have to be limited to one of the less overweight directors gasping "That's a bust of Jesse Boot! Right, come on, let's go!" as they run along after him.
Call me a socialist radical if you like, but I don't really see the point of Royal Visits.