So, just in time for the end of oil, I have at last joined the driving classes. Yesterday was a very fraught one as I waited for the time to tick down to 3 o'clock and the start of my second test. I performed terribly, I thought, stalling the car 3 times and even trying to move off in 2nd gear, so that the examiner had to remind me to change down! I felt that I had done much worse than on the first attempt, was incredibly nervous and convinced that I would fail. But, the examiner uttered the following words as we pulled into the test centre:
"Alan. That's a pass."
"Are you serious?"
Thankfully he was, and he handed me the necessary paperwork and took away my provisional licence. It was actually the same examiner who tested me the first time, and he went through the same 'relaxation' routine again, asking me what I did for a living. Maybe it was because I told him I worked for the government as opposed to Channel 4, which disposed him more kindly towards me. Or maybe it was because there were several lunatics on the test course and I successfully managed to avoid death or serious injury. Without a word of a lie, as I waited at a junction in one of the quieter back streets of Wood Green, a vehicle passed that was clocking easily 50, maybe even 60, miles an hour. Who knows? In any case, the parts of the test I was worried about all went smoothly - most notably the reverse parking - and those I had no concerns about - such as hill starts - went badly wrong.
After it was all over, I felt as if I had been put through the wringer and had all of the emotional energy squeezed out of me. But for now, pending some insurance shenanigans, I can get behind the wheel and contribute to the great carbon emission competition.