….which is what I felt this morning when I woke up at 6.oo a.m. No, it was not the prospect of the A-Z blog challenge which terrified me so much. It was the fact that I had a driving test in four hours time! Now, I know that many people do driving tests everyday and they survive them, but I’m different. I’m in a rare class of particularly terrified individuals, who would do anything ….anything at all… rather than drive. In fact, I’ve been so successful at avoiding driving, that I’ve reached the age of 48…ha, hum…with my L plates firmly intact.
Many moons ago, I had an interview for a job. It was going really well. In fact, I knew I had it in the bag.. and then came the dreaded question, ‘And finally, can you drive??’ I bluffed it. ‘Not at the moment,’ …but… I lied, ‘I am confident that by the time the position is open, I will be able to.’ I sort of meant it. A lot could happen in three months. I got the job, but the driving eluded me.
Twenty three years on, and I am still on the beginner slopes. I have had a lot of provisional licenses.. and wasted them. Years passed, and babies born to friends of mine are now driving around in their own cars like real grown ups and I am still a ‘learner.’
As of last Autumn, I could, kind of, drive forwards, but.. backward driving a.k.a ‘reversing’ completely mystified me. Anyway, I began to take proper lessons with a lovely lady called Lisa from Killarney, who I cannot speak highly enough of. Check her out at Lisa`s School of Motoring (ADI Lisa is an angel. She is calm, funny and endlessly patient. When I get things wrong, she says, ‘Oh, you little minx,’ and we laugh and try again …and again…and again. This lady has always been able to drive, but she understands people like me.
A happy time we had of it, me and Lisa, but all good things end, and last month the call from the RSA came. DRIVING TEST APRIL 1ST-. I went through my usual gulp, sweat, panic routine and attempted to cancel it straight away. Too much reality here, I thought. I need lots more lessons with Lisa.
But no, it had to be done, and we steeled ourselves for it. Yesterday I felt like death warmed up. Ill, pale and sick. Today, I managed stoic and philosophical. Ger, my beloved, accompanied me to the test office and we sat in silence for half an hour. When my name was called, it was a relief. It started with questions about box junctions and such like, which I answered in a pathetically small voice. I was doing OK until it got to the two second rule. I’m sure all you proper drivers know it…’only a fool ignores the two second rule,’ and it confirmed for me what a fool I must be, because I didn’t know it.
From there, we proceeded to the car. It was going OK until we did the reverse around a corner thing. Then it went wrong, so wrong in fact that I ended up on the wrong side of the road. I looked at her, and she looked at me and suggested that we abandon the manoeuvre. Then she asked me if I’d like to take a few moments to compose myself and I knew it was all over. ‘No bother,’ I said. ‘We’ll keep going.’ On we drove to Lidl’s roundabout and despite all Lisa’s good instruction I managed to get in the wrong lane. At that point, it felt like a farce. We drove back to the test centre without incident and I followed her in to get my results, like a lamb to the slaughter. Already, I had begun to talk it up to myself. I’ll chalk it up to experience, I said. I’ll blog about it. When is a failure not a failure? It’s all down to ‘Attitude.’ You’ve got to ,’Accentuate the Positive. Then she said to me, ‘Congratulations, you’ve passed your test!!!’