Doing what Maddie said.
I had found a delightful primary school for the boys. It was a Church of England school next to the
It was quite clear that William was not going to be my instructor. He would lean out of the car apologising to all and sundry whilst I quietly fumed. Hard up as we were, we decided that six professional lessons should do the trick. Our car was now an old Wolseley – with a running board and I was to learn on a Mini. The instructor was a pleasant young man and told me I must not attempt to drive our car until I had passed the test as the controls were different. This meant I was expected to pass with six lessons and no practice.
Actually I found the lessons the most exciting thing that I had done in ages and would lie in bed at night going through all the motions. By now we all had our own bedrooms; it lessened the squabbles between the boys and as William was a lark to my owl it made sense. Once when my old nursing friend Annie was staying she was shocked when William threw my nightie down the stairs so I wouldn’t disturb him when I went to bed. I suppose we were a bit odd.
After my first lesson the instructor said, with a hint of surprise,
‘You’re not bad. When you got in the car I thought you were going to find it difficult.’
That taught me such a lot about body language so I practised giving off the right vibes and by the time I took my test that examiner had to believe I was totally confident, assured and safe. It worked and I passed first time. That’s six lessons and no practice. Oh had I said that already?
The same day one of the boys had a hospital appointment so I decided to drive them in the Wolseley. Not a brilliant idea – I still had to get used to the different controls. On the way to the hospital – the very hospital which is now cited, to my horror, as the worst in
We had a nasty turning right out of the road into the oncoming traffic and the only way to do it safely was to inch out. Every morning this woman with her hair scraped back in a steel grey bun, would cycle towards me and just as she had passed would hiss
‘You’re well out!’
It drove me nuts because she always managed to say it when it was too late for her to hear my valid explanation. One day I was so cross I yelled
‘Silly old cow!’
Naturally then for years the boys would say
‘Oh look Mummy! It’s the silly old cow.’
Now I was mobile the world seemed an exciting place with endless possibilities. At last I could think about getting a job but until both boys were at school it had to fit in with the couple of hours I was free each day. Where to start?