CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Sue Limb: On the other hand...

PUBLISHED: 10:11 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:24 17 March 2014

I’ve been plagued with indecision all my life...

I’ve been plagued with indecision all my life...


When Sue Limb was 12, she could have run away to sea and become a Pirate of the Caribbean, though she feared a tricorn hat and a parrot would pass unnoticed in Stroud

I was going to write about how indecisive I am, but now I’m not so sure. Thank God I’m not God. Creation would never have got off the ground. ‘Let there be Light! - No, wait! Maybe that’s not such a good idea...’ Imagine the design stage of the Garden of Eden. ‘I’m torn between a Mediterranean garrigue and a heritage meadow.’ I wouldn’t have been able to make up my mind to smite anyone, either. Even the Emperor Nero played a mean fiddle.

I’ve been plagued with indecision all my life. You know that very early stage when a foetus isn’t yet male or female, but could go either way? I can clearly remember thinking, ‘Shall I have a moustache and a deep voice and be interested in cricket? Or shall I be a boy instead?’

Of course, I’m not indecisive about absolutely everything. If it came to a choice between having my fingernails pulled out by a medieval torturer, or sitting by the fire playing Scrabble, I know which I’d choose. Unless Daniel Craig was playing the torturer, and a very good local anaesthetic was available.

If ever there was a line of work where indecision is a fatal flaw, it’s politics. And yet somehow I found myself as the Green Party candidate for the Cotswolds in the European Elections of 1989. There were several public meetings where all the candidates would set out their stalls. I remember hearing the Tory candidate talking about a market economy and thinking, ‘Yes! Right!’ Then I heard the Labour chap give an impassioned speech about social justice and thought, ‘Yes! Right!’ It was easy to agree with the Lib Dems of course as they change their minds all the time.

Perhaps indecision is the unfortunate side effect of a tolerant, liberal attitude. But maybe it’s the sign of a deep instinctive cowardice: the bedrock of my character. What if, God forbid, I commit myself to a decision and make a mistake? Like the time I invited some vegetarians over for dinner and decided, instead of the culinary safety of pasta, to make deep fried chickpea patties for the first time. The fat was a bit too hot and after the initial explosion, once the smoke had cleared, I discovered that instead of offering nourishment to my friends, I had somehow Artexed the ceiling.

Indecision does offer some pleasures, though. Through its hesitations we can glimpse parallel lives we might have had. When I was 12 I could easily have run away to sea, disguised as a boy, and become a Pirate of the Caribbean. Perhaps it’s not too late even now to acquire the glamorous accessories. Though I fear a tricorn hat and a parrot would pass unnoticed in Stroud.

I don’t think I’d have got very far as an indecisive pirate. ‘Pieces of eight! Or nine, or whatever! Avast behind!’ (At least I’ve achieved that.) But maybe it’s not too late to plan an adventurous retirement. Shall I take to bungee jumping? Or go down the Miss Marple route, sleuthing away over my knitting in a tearoom in Chipping Sodbury?

But wait! the whole problem with indecision is this awful polarity, this relentless either or. Why not try a different approach and, instead of hesitating between opposites, try reconciling both choices in an imaginative synthesis? Yes! Yes! By George, I’ve got it!

So if, at some future date, you happen to catch sight of an elderly lady wearing a tweed suit and bungee-jumping whilst knitting a baby-pink matinee jacket, you’ll know I’ve cracked it.


This article is from the March 2014 issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Sue Limb, follow her on Twitter: @Sue_Limb


More from Out & about


Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search