Have a Driving lesson/drive Chris home from the pub – Challenge No 15

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So, this may come as a surprise to some of you but I actually have passed my driving test and possess a full, clean licence (others will just be wondering….HOW 😉).  If you knew me when I was a driver, between the ages of 19-24, then it would be in Chris’ car ( which he used to lend me) and was very similar to the one below.  The only happy memory of driving I have was in this car, going to college with the window down, Tears for Fears blaring on the cassette and beating everyone off the lights.  

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The other, more numerous, memories are not so great, not feeling in control, nervousness every time I got in the car, flooding the engine, driving AND reversing over the front spoiler…I could go on!! My excuses were that my mum and my mother-in-law did not drive and, being ‘old school’ my Dad was not that helpful…no extra practice in his car and then refusing to get in a car with me as driver, even after I passed ( I guess he had his reasons) , not having my own car…..again,  I could go on.  Basically though I was not a good driver.  I remember clearly the day I ‘stopped’ driving; I had just had Matt and was off to visit a friend and within minutes the car broke down in the middle of Hartnup Street in Maidstone, where we lived, and some kind passers by pushed me off the road to safety. I felt so vulnerable and that was it – no more driving!!

I wont lie, I have tried having lessons once since then, very unsuccessfully, but felt that I owe it to Chris (who has been absolutely brilliant about my non driving status, as have my children) to try again, especially now we live more rural and it’s a 40 minute walk home from the pub.  So this is how my  50@50 Challenge came about; firstly to have a driving lesson with the aim then of driving Chris home from the pub.  I rang Julie, a local driving instructor and she has been brilliant…so calm, reassuring and she had me off through Tenterden on my first lesson, then through the outskirts of Ashford and she built up my confidence.  

http://tenterdendriving.co.uk

I then was put on our car’s insurance (not the Jag…and how ironic…the price went down by adding me…I am still chuckling over this).  I summoned the courage, which equates to Chris telling me I had to, and drove into the village, phew we made it.  Then, finally came the evening when Chris had 4 pints and it was my moment of truth.  He did an unusual amount of talking on the way home and my face shows I think how much I have to concentrate and how nervous I still am.  But,  we did it🚙🚙🚙. If it had not been for these 50@50 challenges, and casually reading how you are more likely to be successful at tasks if your age ends in a 9, I know I would never have even attempted driving again.  

 

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Am I ready for other passengers – No

Do I enjoy it – No

Will I go further than the village – Probably not

Am I going to keep trying – Yes (if Chris wants me to)

Am I pleased I tried – I AM THRILLED!!!!

 

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7 thoughts on “Have a Driving lesson/drive Chris home from the pub – Challenge No 15

  1. Well done, so brave of you. I remember how I felt when I first passed and I had many ‘incidents’ which stressed me, but with time it became easier and less stressful. As my dad said to me ‘now you have passed your test, you will start to learn how to drive’ and it is very true. It just takes time and experience for it to get more comfortable and it is so worth it for the independence it gives you. Well done for getting back in the driver’s seat, don’t give up!! 😀Xx

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  2. Fabulous Claire!! Mum was very similar to you, she only stared driving after an enormous break (caused by similar reasons as your own) after Dad died and she realised how limited the three of us would be. She got her first little car, which she still has today!! Her Nissan Micra, automatic has done her proud, as has she!!!

    Well done to you, it’s never easy coming back to something we’ve previously found hard xxx

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