On my afternoon walk I suddenly remembered what a dismal failure I've always been as a whistler. Ordinary folk may not be virtuosos, but they can get out a simple 3-tone sequence. My wife told me that, when she was growing up, her family had one of these as a kind of shiboleth, to attract one-another's attention. But when I try to whistle, while some sort of sound will emerge, it's always been a hit-or-miss affair. As a child, I remember this as a mark of shame. Since then I haven't thought much about it. But on my walk this came to mind again and it riled me. How come I'm such an inept whistler? Is it something physical about the shape of the mouth, lack of coordination, shyness or what?
I spent the next 15 minutes trying to improve my whistling - out in the fields, where only the birds could hear me (I could imagine them cocking their heads in derision). Surely, at the age of 55, I could finally master the art?
The result? The same! I'm just the same lousy whistler as I've always been.