I like to drive. Being a lazy, broke and inept teenager I didn’t come to driving until quite late in life. To be precise it was when we bought our first car together, after we got married, that I decided I might not get good usage out of it if I couldn’t actually drive. So my wife was forced to endure a nerve- racking, teeth-grating, eyes-tight-shut year of me learning to drive. (Her eyes closed – not mine.)
I managed to pass my test first time and was soon careering round London like Mr Toad – windows down, music on, rev hard at the lights. I really didn’t know why I hadn’t done this sooner. True I did have one or two minor dings in the first few years, but nothing a few days of rejigging the sub frame, replacing the bonnet, wings, bumper, headlights and a paint job couldn’t fix. (You should have seen the other – brand new BMW – car).
To date I have been given one speeding ticket by a humourless traffic policeman just because I was doing over 90mph, the injustice of it! Well I did think so at the time, after all, I was in a hurry to get home for tea. He excelled himself by managing to spell the make of the car wrong on the ticket, even though it is written on the car in big shiny letters that he could have copied.
The other offence was having my photo taken as I rushed from meeting to meeting. This was resolved in the peculiarly British way of sending me a court summons, and then sending a letter telling me I could avoid getting a conviction if I paid to go on a ‘speed awareness’ course for a day. They really should do this for other offences – shoplifting awareness training, not punching people practise etc. I took the latter option and was treated to a day of being told that driving fast was dangerous by two retired ex-policemen. To be fair, I did stick to the speed limit on the way home from the course so it had some impact.
My biggest grumble about driving is that I always seem to miss the announcement that tells me when it is going to be National Drive Like A Dick Day. Consequently I am unprepared for people driving at a nice safe 5mph below the speed limit, coming to a complete standstill before making any sort of turn at any junction, not using their indicators (it’s none of my business where they’re going right!), going the wrong way round a roundabout (seriously, all the other traffic came to a standstill as we watched this death defying feat)
Now I have actually put this in writing I realise that the reason I miss the announcements is because National DLAD Day is pretty much every day round here. I may have to just give up and join in.
Anyway, last year my chickens came home to roost. My eldest son was learning to drive, and as I wasn’t working I became the main passenger/instructor/idiot that doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I spent many happy months being driven in a haphazard fashion around the local countryside giving , largely ignored, advice.
The test is now passed, and a happy eldest son has several months of being able to get himself from place to place without having to ask me for lifts, arrange times around what I am doing or wait for buses (no trains here since the winter storms washed away our tracks.) He is largely happy, and I am just a little bit sad as my first born, who will always be a baby to me, starts to become an independent adult.
The picture at the top is the car I was pulled over in, I cannot imagine what it was that drew attention to me!