I'm not gonna lie to you.
The truth is I am not a very good driver.
I didn't even make any attempt whatsoever to learn to drive until I was 26, (not so uncommon here with the extortionate pricing and terrifically fabulous public transport systems, in fact lots of people never ever learn to drive).
I was not a fast learner. Throw some organic chemistry my way and I can figure that stuff out no problem, clutch control? Reversing around a corner? Not so much.
It took 20 months and 4 test attempts (one of which I kept a secret from everybody because I couldn't bear to confess I had failed again!) before I actually finally passed. At which point I was convinced I would remain in learner status forever. One of my tests I actually managed to fail whilst pulling out of the test centre in minute 1 of my test (not as easy as it sounds you know), apparently it is dangerous to set off on a road without indicating first. What's the big deal? Nobody got injured.
I stopped keeping track at 40 lessons when it just became too soul destroying to keep tally any longer, which sadly was only about 5 months into my driving tuition marathon. At £18 a lesson it takes no Einstein to figure out I spent literally thousands of pounds learning to drive.
My driving instructor was even a guest at our wedding. How many people can claim such a thing? But it is the sad truth. I spent so much time with the lovely Jo that around the time we got married she and I were firm friends. She probably knew more about me than most of my close friends and of course she was more than happy to attend considering I was probably her main source of income at that point in her career.
It really should come as no surprise that right after I finally passed my driving test my instructor got herself a brand new car and expanded her business to employ 2 more people. I'm telling you, I totally funded her expansion plans with my incapability to master the skill of driving. I hope she is appreciative.
In the time since I passed my test and could legally drive. I have had numerous incidents with posts in car parks, all of which have been yellow and have resulted in me having to scrub the evidence off the car before Rob saw it. Once I even did this kneeling on the pavement in the rain whilst 8 months pregnant.
Now though it is a different story altogether, if I hit a post I leave the paint on my car. My car is 11 years old. Streaks of yellow paint are the least of my cars problems. Plus I like to think it adds a little dash of character.
I once had the misfortune of a bus not seeing me overtaking and pulling out into the side of my car, leaving just a couple of scratches. I was pregnant with Eli at the time and bus drivers happen to be notoriously grumpy and rude and the outburst from that rather antisocial one sent me over a hormonally charged edge to crying wreck-dom.
I have been known to stop at traffic lights on green. Initially it only happened when I was pregnant but it would seem the brain decay has worsened of late because I caught myself doing so a few weeks ago and pregnancy was definitely not responsible.
Today though I rear ended a car on the way home from the supermarket. The first accident involving another car that was 100% my fault. He braked. I slammed on my brakes. My brakes did not engage, not even a tiny bit. Resulting in me bashing right into his cars backside. So I guess officially it was my brakes fault not mine. I wish that made me feel better.
Miraculously no damage occurred to either vehicle which leads me to suspect my car has super powers of some kind because at 11 years old plain good luck is the only thing holding the pieces of the car together. But she will not die. She is a fighter.
Ironically the car I hit turned out to be a driving instructor teaching a (most like terrified now) pupil to drive. I can only hope the victim of my failing brakes turns out a better driver than me.
And lets face it that really wouldn't be a terribly difficult accomplishment to achieve.
Monday, 10 November 2008
I'm not gonna lie to you.