Friday, June 08, 2007

MIRROR MIRROR!

Aside

I was dreading this week’s driving lesson because we were driving into the county town with traffic, roundabouts and pedestrian crossings – all bad enough but I would be driving the Focus which is larger than I’m used to and has a very sloping wind screen which makes one feel the car is in charge of you rather than the other way round.

For days before, I was adjusting seats and mirrors and practising turning the car round. I had a rather close encounter with the gate which was already on its last legs (not a word to Bessie!) but happily the car was unblemished. The lesson was at 1pm, lunch time so I just had a mug of milky coffee and three chocolate fingers. A hot fragrant bath soothed my jagged nerves and I took two Quiet Life, which is OK as long as you aren’t pregnant. I’m not.

I was going to drink camomile tea but feared that, plus Quiet Life might be too sedating. The gloomy grey start had given way to a lovely sunny day so it was sun-glasses rather than wipers. I was afraid my sandals might catch on the pedals so wore my French Aigle boots. A crisp cotton shirt, indigo jeans and I was ready to go.

During the two hours of non stop driving I found, after a while that I could talk at the same time but never took my eyes off the road. I collected one toot at a roundabout but my driving instructor said I was justified in moving then as I had time. I still find the mirror, mirror, signal etc takes getting used to and apparently I don’t have to go from fourth to second via third gear I can go from fourth to second.

Another hurdle over.

DI Well that went well!

P Thank you.

DI Were you nervous?

P I was at first but then I enjoyed it.

DI I enjoyed it too Pat. What shall we do next week?

P I don’t know. You decide.

DI Shall we go on the motor way?

P I’m game.

DI Where shall we go?

P Scotland?

DI I’ll bring sandwiches.

…..

Past Imperfect story continued on Monday DV.

41 comments:

AndrewM said...

Well done.

They've changed all the rules now, I found out as I'm teching my son to drive. You don't change down when you approach a junction and you don't indicate when overtaking parked cars - very odd.

granny p said...

So that was the bath with the rose petals. Do you think your teacher would take me out in Beloved's truck?
See you in Scotland. (Or not.)

sablonneuse said...

You certainly prepared well for the lesson but seems like it was worth it. I've always driven without shoes but vaguely remember someone saying it was illegal. Could you ask your driving instructor for me next time you see him please?

Kim Ayres said...

If you're coming up the M6, turn left the moment you get across the border and stay on the A75 for about 50 miles. Then you can pop in for a cup of tea.


An option for getting used to the length and width of your car is to get a few large cardboard boxes and take them to a large unused carpark or something, then place them 18 inches wider than the car apart, and practice driving through them. You can also use them to reverse up to, seeing how close you can get without hitting them.

PI said...

andrewm: that's brave of you both. I didn't teach my sons to drive - except by example. But I remember chaperoning #1son through France when he was a learner. Vividly!

Penny: the very same. I'm sure he'd love to. Wa hae!

Sablonneuse: I'll try to remember:)

Kim: what no chocolate cake? I'll start saving our cardboard boxes.

Kanani said...

Roundabouts!

Oh, those scare me. But mainly because we have so few of them here. I think I've driven 3, and there's one that I always try to avoid.

kenju said...

I hope you soon be whizzing down the highways and byways!

Michele sent me today.

rashbre said...

It'll come good. When I learned I remember thinking, if so many other people can do this then I jolly well should be able to as well.

I recently helped someone practicing as a learner. The most exciting part was when the car rturned to its home and the unexpected last moment acceleration. I suggested I may handle the final parking.

Probably adrenaline.

Sorry my comment box didnt seem to work earlier!

Best,
rashbre

PI said...

Kanani: there are some which are just impossible unless you are used to driving in Rome or Paris- in other words drive as if you are the only person on the road.

Me too Judy!

Yes Rashbre I think it's all in the mind.

Carmi said...

You've reminded me why I prefer to drive two-wheeled vehicles instead of the four-wheeled kind. I drive because I have to, but I pedal because I want to.

Our daughter rode a two-wheeler without training wheels for the first time last night. I can't help but think that there's a connection to your experience here.

Best of luck out on the road, Pat. I'll be thinking of you! Safe journey...

Leigh said...

Driving is fun!

Michele sent me to say hi!

PI said...

carmi: I wish I had my daddy watching over me. I'm sure he is but up on high. Thank you carmi.

Leigh: no why do I think you are quite young?

Kim Ayres said...

For you, Pat, of course there will be chocolate cake

PI said...

kim: yummy yummy!

Tanya (for GreenStone Media) said...

Congrats on your lesson... It reminds me of my motorcycle course a couple of years ago. Very nerve-wracking!

Happy Friday... Michele sent me today!

PI said...

Thank you Tanya. I'm rather glad it isn't a motor cycle!

Moogie said...

Wonderful Pat! It sounds like you are doing fabulous. Before you know it, you will be a pro. You won't have to even think about using the mirrors, or signals..or even shifting. It will be as natural as eating. You can do it!!!!! I'm proud of you.

PI said...

Thank you Moogie for those encouraging words.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Wow! All you need are sandwiches to get to Scotland? The British Isles are getting smaller and smaller. I thought it would take sandwiches plus two or three haggises (haggi?).

PI said...

Hoss: on second thoughts - as it is a 2 hour lesson - maybe we were being a tad ambitious.

Keith said...

I thought L drivers weren't allowed on motorways? Have they changed that rule also?

(My copy of "The Highway Code" is so old this it is handwritten with a quill on papyrus, and driving a chariot at more that 10 lph [Leagues per hour] is a crucifying offence!)

PI said...

Keith: great you can comment again. I
am not having driving lessons as such - just refreshers, as I am out of practice and under confident. I think most people over a certain age would benefit from doing the same, if only to learn how to cope with some of the present day road hogs.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Your preparation did you well. Many drivers-to-be should follow you methods.

Michele sent me here.

PI said...

thanks Jean-Luc!

belle said...

I use Rescue Remedy as well! Combined with camomile tea and Quiet Life, you are right, it would probably send you to sleep!

If you are relaxed enough for the motorway next week .... keep on the M6 to the end (when its called the M74) slip on to the M73, take J2a then right, right, left, right and you'll be here - in time for tea?

PI said...

Thanks Belle. That sounds easy enough. If I'm not there by four - start without me. Why did I think you lived in Wales?

Tiffany said...

Glad your lesson went well. Michele says hi :)

Leigh said...

oh yes I'm only 20 I like to think I'm older in soul though

FOUR DINNERS said...

who tooted you??? I'll ave em

utenzi said...

I doubt I'd pass the driving lesson. There's just something about driving on "the other" side of the road that I just know I'd find quite unnerving, Pat. I really don't know if I'd ever get used to it. I'm quite impressed with people that can go with ease from one country's standards, to another's.

Have a great time on your trip to Scotland should it materialize.

Michele sent me over the pond to see you.

PI said...

Hi Utenzi! The Scotland thing is a joke which seems to have grown legs:)

Sim said...

If you pick up a haggis, I have a fine recipe for whisky sauce I can send on....

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Pat...Michele sent me back today to say "Hello"!
I thought Scotland was a serious desination...Isn't there a way to get to Scotland by car? Oh No, I think I mean Wales....Well, I'm not sure that's right either...lol!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Pat...I swear I left a comment here yesterday...And I said what a nice man your Drivers Training guy is...Did it just not appear??? OY! This is the second place that something like this has happened...Makes me wonder what is going on in Blogger....Grrrrr.
Do let me know if you get the comment I just left---From Michele's...!

PI said...

Thanks sim! This whole Scotland thing is getting out of hand.

Naomi You can drive to Scotland from here but it would take about nine hours and my lesson is two hours. I was having a joke and my instructor went along with it:)
Hope you got my comment about your missing comment. Crazy!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Yes, just saw that comment. It's really weird. I don't know why that would happen, but it is the second time it's happened to me in the last week...Blogger----UGH! Thanks for letting me know...It is very discouraging to think you've left a commemt but it doesn't get there...! Oh well....what to do.

PI said...

Naomi: please don't let it stop you commenting. It happens to us all from time to time. i don't know why. I hate it when i have typed a long screed on someones blog and it disappear before one's eyes/ Maddening!

belle said...

me live in Wales ... no idea what could have made you think that ... honestly!

I find Blogger comments disappear too ... but not usually on this site. Tried Blogger myself but strange happenings were part of why I went to the opposition - it was easy to export the whole archive etc ... and no Google to contend with!

p.s. am impressed with how many comments on this post - my max is about 6!!

PI said...

Belle: I didn't realise one had a choice but am inclined to stick with the devil you know and I do google a lot. I am lucky to have such friendly commenters.

Nea said...

Oooo a trip to Scotland, can I come too? I promise not to eat all the sandwiches and you can keep the haggis for yourself however many legs it's grown.

I think you are very brave and you have inspired me to have a go at driving our big car. I did it yesterday and all went well even though changing down from 3 to 2 was awkward. I even managed to park in our drive way without hitting anything. The driveway is very broard, more like an empty field than a driveway really, but there were two other cars there and I didn't hit either of them and I stopped before we got to the house.

PI said...

Nea: yes you can come. We'll share the driving. Glad to have been of service:)
Exits singing 'Bonny Strathyre'