Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Beep beep beep beep yeah


Only 13 days remaining till my driving test. I have now entered the 'final phase' of the seemingly interminable driving lessons I have been taking forever and ever and ever. I am too old to be going through this and I wish I had galvanised myself to do it sooner. But I didn't, so there you are.

Today was spent around the avenues and alleyways of Wood Green, turning the car around, reverse parking, reversing around corners and emergency stopping for two hours. Followed by a quick tour under the bonnet (Missus)

I don't particularly like my instructor, who is a singularly homourless man, and not best suited to the rigours of pedagogy, I feel. Shit, he can drive though, so that makes it all right, I guess.

The test itself is a blank book, and it is down to me to write the story. I seek alternative endings (jeez, my hat is raised to that guy - kids, wife, fly agaric, driving...), but know that I am likely to be propelled down the predictable soap slopes, most proly (as I am taking the test at Wood Green) with the 'Christ, didn't I see that coming?' ending.

But one can dream. I have sought advice, have travelled through despair, elation, anger and hope to where I am now, which is a state of reasonable competence and confidence. This will again evolve, without a shadow, to not much less than mild terror as the big day approaches.

It's a funny thing, driving. Even the pathetic little Micra I sit in on my lessons pits the equivalent punch of Tel Aviv's soi-disant nuclear arsenal (compared to, er, Tehran's - for example) against the fastest Allez (with a fully doped Spanish or Italian or French or American rider, making the most of his erythropoietin and banana with energy bar) but I don't get the same rush behind the wheel as I do when I am on two wheels, with the wind whizzing past my ears and the tarmac blur beneath me. And when I look around at the other folks who are negotiating the currents of London traffic, I figure (without wishing to be too derogatory) that it can't be that hard to master the art of driving.

If only there were some other reward at the end of it all...

9 comments:

EP said...

Good luck! I think the best advice anyone gave me was to remember that the instructor was not looking for a good driver but a safe one. Erm, I failed my test twice mind...

I estimate I've driven something like a quarter of a million miles in the last 10 years. Suspect I wouldn't pass my test if I were to take it tomorrow.

BTW - driving in London is NOT fun. Driving most places these days is not fun. But fun can still be had on a Summer's day with a nice bit of twisty coast road or summat. It's the sense of freedom that comes with having a car that's the real payback. Although even that I guess is diluted in London when public transport is so plentiful and in many cases I suspect you can make quicker time on your bike. I would think living almost anywere else in the UK you would have got around to driving sooner.

Myeral said...

Thanks. Deference has also been recommended - in that instructors are suspicious of over-confidence. But, as one of the links shows, Wood Green has the lowest pass rate of anywhere in the country. My instructor reckons this is because all the local scallies have worked out that it's cheaper to keep taking your test than it is to take driving lessons. He might have a point!

Cars here are a liability, you're right. Not least with finding somewhere to park the bloody things. Every time we go out in the car with the kids, the biggest stress is finding a parking space.

Tad said...

Good luck with the test Al.Why not try it in sunny Oswestry as statistically you're twice as likely to pass.The only hazards wandering the streets are livestock and village idiots.

Myeral said...

Cheers Tad. I did think of that, though the major challenge would be telling the difference between the two, I reckon.

Once (if!) I fail the first time, I think I'll move to Stornoway, which would probably be cheaper than taking more lessons.

PELE said...

Yes, Good luck my fellow learner driver. I think for the effort (or lack of me being asked to get off my arse and book 20 more lessons!) you've taken into getting to this stage alone you should pass and that bottle of Remy (rather than 12 yr Balvenie) is well deserved. However, obviously you posted the comment about the "fastest Allez" as a red rag to me the bull! I would just point out that there is no need for a Mauritian to use performance enhancing drugs to beat any piddly Micra in a straight line race and infact it was recently our French colonial neighbours (La Reunion) cyclist that tested postive for methylprednisolone in a recent race meet in Mauritius. Anyway my point is that us Mauritians are clean for speed!!

Myeral said...

You and your red rags! Never mind the methylprednisolone, stick a couple of nutmegs in your Foskas, mate!

marie said...

you'll manage, don't worry! To me you're a hero just to be able to go and take the lessons! What a bore! I just can't do it! i've spent 2000euros so far, 60hours driving around in bloody St Girons and on the mountains roads and i'm useless! Everybody's taking the piss : " alors,ce permis? " " Buy a Ligier!"...and still..
Bonne chance!

Myeral said...

ligier? gitanes!

Lutch said...

Yet another round of good lucks and tips and advice from all those Stirling Moss mates who have got mileage under their belts. As ever one of my 2 New Years resolutions is to book up a block of driving lessons, that is if the fags don't kill me first (which is my other). The only problem is that my instructor has had problems with his grapes so will be out of comission for a month (I know I'm finding excuses not to book lessons). Anyway I sooooooo want you to pass so I can glug some of your refined cognac! Also if you do pass dy'a reckon you could give me a lift to IKEA, I need to purchase a computer table!