Thursday, June 14, 2007

Language Missus!
Aside

At 3.15pm I got a phone call from my driving instructor’s wife to say Pete was sorry but he would be about 10 minutes late. I really appreciated them letting me know as waiting increases my nerviness. The weather was glowering when we set off on the twisty- turny road to Bridgwater and by the time we hit the motorway the visibility had worsened, the rush hour had started and it was raining hard.

I’m beginning to get the hang of roundabouts; using mirrors signalling and getting in the right lane. Pete asked if I was sure I wanted to do the motorway and I said yes, crossing everything in sight – metaphorically. Added confidence has changed my attitude: whereas before it would have been’
“Excuse me everybody – do you mind if I join you? Thank you ever so much.”

Pete told me to get my speed up and wham bam it was-

“Hi boys! I’m coming in! Make way!

The Focus is very nippy and much more responsive than old Bluebell. We were doing about 65mph in the slow lane with a white van some way in front.

Pat “I’m quite happy here, doing this speed.”

Pete “You could over-take him.”

Pat –looking in mirror “But there’s loads of cars in the middle lane.

Pete “Just signal your intention and they’ll make way.”

I started signalling but couldn’t gauge whether the cars coming up were going to hover or not, so bottled out. Still signalling, when it was clear, I started to come out and right behind me a sports cat was practically on top of me.

Pat “SHIT!”

In a nanosecond I was back in the slow lane – heart pumping and shame-faced.

Pat “I’m terribly sorry! He came out of nowhere. I’m so sorry for swearing.”

Pete “He was going too fast. I would have said the same thing.”

Twice after that I managed successful over -takings and noticed at one time I was doing 75 mph. (Heaven knows what everybody else were doing) I’ll have to watch that.

I asked Pete if he had been frightened and he said not really. Did he think the other driver had been and he thought yes but he was going too fast. Off the motorway at last, we drove through Taunton and homeward bound on the A 39, I looked forward to a glass of wine when I got home. Then we got grid-locked; a car had come off the road – into the trees and there were police, a crane and ambulances. By the time we got home we were half an hour late but Pete thought it was worth it to have done all we had done and I agreed. He said I was much more relaxed and I think I have to watch I don’t get too relaxed.

Next week manoeuvring. Lovely!

36 comments:

kenju said...

LOL, Pat - and you are telling ME to slow down???


Actually, you are right. I was thinking about it this morning. If I had been walking more slowly, I wouldn't have rammed my hand into the door jamb!

Z said...

You have to keep alert on a motorway, but once you're used to it, it increases confidence I think.

Mind you, I hate motorways in the rain. Spray from lorries hits you, whatever lane you're in.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like you are doing fabulously Pat. And I love your DI...He really is wonderful....I learned to drive in High School, I was among the first Girls Class in that High School, and I think learning that way has stood me in good stead...BUT we never got on Highways and such....And the "lessons" were pretty short---Still, that was a wonderful way to learn.

I hope you never have to drive here in Los Angeles, Pat...the drivers here are the most agressive of anywhere I've ever driven, and very selfish AND competitive...It truly takes Courage...!(LOL)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Pete “Just signal your intention and they’ll make way.”

Ohhh boy, I wish that worked here.

Good to see you regaining your confidence, Pat xx

PI said...

Touche Judy - but you know it ;makes sense:)

Z: it was a good experience but not one I'm dying to repeat in a hurry!

Naomi: it's funny how the rules have changed since I learned with the design of cars etc. Driving round where I live is comparitively easy, apart from the narrow lanes. And mostly people are polite apart from the odd elderly lady who uses bad language:)

Kim Ayres said...

Good lord Pat. Such language! You'll be writing another Blunt Cogs script soon...

PI said...

GG : it does sound optimistic even for here.thanks GG - it's a great feeling.

Kim: I just don't know where it came from.

R. Sherman said...

Speed limits are not limits at all -- "limits" being such an ugly word. Rather they are suggestions, advice.

I learned as much when I blew past a Navajo tribal policeman while driving 95 mph in Arizona and he just watched me go.

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: I should think that's your quota of luck for 2007. Be careful!

belle said...

Signal and they give way does usually work ... I once lost power in the fast lane of the M5 (I think) in (and this tells how long ago) an Allegro. All 3 lanes were solid but I indicated and miraculously all the traffic disappeared and I got to the hard shoulder safely and with ease. I think drivers are more aware than sometimes they get credit for.

Now I would have had the kettle on for you, PI, as agreed but you may have noticed that I was otherwise engaged this afternoon - in the CT scanner of Glasgow Royal Infirmary .... I had scones, cream and jam all ready, too!!

PI said...

Belle all the best with your knee. Unfortunately we only managed 12 miles on the M5 so were some little way short of Scotland but I'll take a rain check on the goodiea if that's OK:)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Hold it a minute: Did you mean 75 Mph or 75 Kph? 75 MPH is above every speed limit we got in the USA.

PI said...

Hoss: ours is 70 mph. Unwittingly I was 5 miles over the speed limit but I quickly decelerated when I noticed.
90% of the traffic were faster than me.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I Google mapped Bridgewater to see your route to Taunton. You went quite a long way.

I love the names round your area: Otterhampton, Fiddlington, Horsey. Hee!

PI said...

Sam: we must have done at lest 75 miles. I should have measured it. I was driving non stop- except for the accident- for two and a half hours.

TLP said...

Good job! My twin granddaughters are 16 and will soon be getting their "real" licenses. Pray for us all.

PI said...

TLP:I will. And do thou likewise - one grandson is being taught by his father!

apprentice said...

Oh well done, that's another scary place I hate, especially traffic merging from the right.

The rug is beautiful.

PI said...

Thank you Anna. Traffic merging from anywhere. The right would be abroad wouldn't it ? And i ain't driving there!

kenju said...

Michele told me to come back, Pat. Happy weekend to you!

PI said...

Hi Judy I suppose everybody has said arnica to you? Hope all is getting better.

Dewey said...

Michele says hi!

I don't think I'll ever get used to roundabouts. My town only has one (phew!) and maybe if it had more, I'd be used to them. But it always seems like everyone is going to smash into everyone else.

I'm intrigued by your "about" section saying that you and your TL were separated for 30 years! That sounds like quite a story.

PI said...

Welcome Dewey! People tend to get confused at first. I have two types of post:-
1 which is headed 'Story continued' which is my life story and-
2 'Asides' which are chat about anything that strikes my fancy, in the present.

David said...

congrats on your driving lessons, I am not sure I could do that now, would probably rather ride a horse.

PI said...

Thanks David! Riding a horse takes lots of courage. I don't think could do that now.

Bob-kat said...

Hi Pat. It sounds like you're making great progress. I hate motorway driving myself. Everyone drives far too fast, they hog the middle lane, they cut in far too closely adn follow too closely too trying to bully me out of the way, and I'm no shrinking violet!

Just remember to be progressive in your driving like it sounds you are and you will be fine :) Manouvering is great fun, adn if you can master it you will be better than most male drivers LOL!

Michele sent me to say hi!

PI said...

Bob-kat: those are encouraging and inspiring words. I'll try to live up to them.

Moogie said...

Wow...you are really doing great. Driving in bad weather is very hard, but when you are more comfortable, it won't be quite as bad. It sounds like you are getting used to the motorway. I am really enjoying your posts about your lessons. I find myself cheering you on!

You GO girl!

Michael Manning said...

Here from Michele and enjoyed your Post!

PI said...

Thanks Moogie! Only two more to go.

Welcome Michael and thank you.

kenju said...

Arnica? What's that?

Michele sent me here again, Pat!

PI said...

Judy : arnica is a wonderful remedy for bruising, sprains etc. I can't believe you don't have it in the USA. You can take it by mouth or apply it locally. All my friends swear by it.

Nikki-ann said...

Our nearest motorway is over an hour away so I get nervous on them too. I like to stay in the "slow-lane" if I can, but sometimes overtaking is nessesary! Good luck with your driving, sounds like you're doing great!

PI said...

/thanks Nikki-ann!

craziequeen said...

I never used to drive on motorways and they scared me stupid - now I live near the M4/M5 interchange - add in the M32 and the M48 and it's a case of using the motorway to get pretty much anywhere...

Michele sent me to see how your driving lesson went....

cq

PI said...

Wow CQ! Talk about being thrown in at the deep end.