Saturday, 29 March 2008

Life In The Very Slow Lane.........

I’ve been out on a few practice runs in the car, trying to acclimatise myself to solo driving. So far I’m happy to report that I’ve not hit anything, but have managed to reduce my personal stress quotient from Level 1 (white knuckled, jaw clenching terror) down to Level 2 (deeply concentrated anxiety.)…. So that’s something I suppose.

Today I filled up with petrol. A completely unremarkable, everyday (“quotidian” even) thing to all you experienced motorists, but another first for me. Walking into the shop afterwards to pay, and casually saying “Number 6 please”, was one of those little events that make you feel strangely grown up and sensible. No matter how old you already are. I was suddenly so full of manly confidence I could even have asked the woman for condoms! .....Had I needed any of course.

Things I have learned about driving so far…..

1) Aren’t the roads nice and quiet at 6:00am. If only they were like this all the time!

2) I am already beginning so develop “Motorists Gripe”. A syndrome that causes suffers to mutter darkly under their breath about speed humps and so called “safety cameras”.

3) I am rubbish at parking…. No, really Rubbish.

In my defence though, the clutch on this car is very different to the one I learnt in, and the engine, although small, seems much revvy-er (is that a word?). And it helps not a bit of course, that my house is on the apex of a sharp bend, on a steep hill, where everyone parks nose to tail in the street. My close quarters manoeuvring is not anywhere near smooth yet, and nestling neatly up to the kerb, in a tight space, without all manner of unseemly shunting and swearing, is completely beyond me.

Yesterday, as I made my final approach checks, I spotted my neighbour coming out of his house, so I’m ashamed to say I that drove to the end of the road, and went to the shop, buying a paper and a can of coke I didn’t need, in the hopes that he was going out, and would create a bigger gap in which I could safely abandon it. Fortunately he was, he did, and I could.

After I got indoors I gave myself a stern lecture of course, as this is clearly a ridiculous way to carry on. .........

Next time I’ll just get the paper.

1 comment:

Petunia's Gardener said...

Even some of us somewhat experienced drivers just might drive around the block hoping for a good space and no audience! Love this post. Gives us an appreciation for what might be more old hat now.