The footballer James Milner has a reputation for being rather drab and dull. Indeed there is a spoof Twitter account called Boring James Milner which covers that ground. Milner has taken that in good spirits and often Tweets playing up to that image. One recent example featured Milner and a referee tying their shoelaces during a match with the legend ‘Double knot races are never boring! #roundthebunnyear #hooploopandswoop’. This interested me because that is just how I was taught to tie my shoelaces. I’m autistic and my motor skills aren’t brilliant. I learned to tie my shoelaces when I was fairly old, still at primary school, with the help of a book. The bunny loop method was how I learned and to this very day my shoelaces are uniformly loopy, much like myself.
I am famously clumsy. It is, I’m told, genetic but I tend to take it to the nth degree. It takes me a few gos with elastic bands and I tend to drop books on a regular basis. That’s an occupational hazard. I pick them up again, though, just about every time. That’s before I go into the adventures I have with pastry. Going to the football can be fun too including the time at Ross County when I fell into the aisle when Hibs scored and when I sat down at Kilmarnock only to cowp hot Vimto over my hand. It’s all about the motor skills. Plus I bump into people with considerable frequency. As a person who doesn’t really like touching other people, trust me, it isn’t deliberate. I walk through busy places thinking a few steps ahead, finding gaps, actively trying to avoid other people. Sometimes that goes awry. Other people just go everywhere.
Some shoelaces can be better than others. I normally wear Skechers, currently one of three pairs – a tweedy colour, a brown pair and another which is blue – and Skechers’ laces tend to be quite thin and need re-tied quite frequently. Coupled with my fumbly fingers, that tends to make life interesting too. But I haven’t yet had to rely on slip-on shoes or worse going barefoot. Bunny ears still win. James Milner says so and he might win the Champions League on Saturday.