Driving Me Mad

Well, the time has finally come. After a very long time (like 17 years) I’m finally going to start driving again.

I’ve booked a double driving lesson with the AA for the week after next (earliest they could do).

I’ve never owned a car, and haven’t driven one since about 1987. Living in London for the past 19 years, I’ve not really needed a car, and parking, insurance etc would have cost a packet anyway.

My main problem now is that I find the prospect of a) driving and b) driving in London to be very scary. Steering a ton of metal going at 30mph near to other people and vehicles just seems a damned dangerous thing to do to me. I know thousands of people do it everyday, and that I’ll probably pick it back up quite quickly but I’m still quite frightened.

The reason that I’m going back on the road is that we’ve sold our flat (subject to contract), and Vic and I fancy doing a bit of a UK tour before and after Glastonbury, and we’ll need a vehicle to do that. We both like the idea of buying a campervan of some description, as we can live in that as well, saving hotel bills without risking a drenching by camping.

What sort of campervan? Well, though it’d be nice to have a 70’s VW Kombi thing they tend to be a bit pricey for a decent one, and they’re generally petrol engined, and we’ve been advised to go for diesel. Vic fancies a Winnebago but they’re a little out of our price range (yes, even the ones on Ebay so we’re more likely to go for something smaller

But I have to learn to drive again first. Fairly quickly too, I guess.

2 thoughts on “Driving Me Mad”

  1. Hey – if you master the roads here – in my experience the roads everywhere else in the world are a doddle – even if you have to drive on the “wrong” side of the road.

    Reminds me of a story I have told several times elsewhere:

    I moved to London in 1989 – and I didn’t have a driving licence – but I did drive, and I owned a car. I met my wife-to-be in 1990 and we got married in 1991 – but in 1990 I met her parents for the first time – and her father asked me about whether I could drive. I told him that I could – but I didn’t have a licence – so he told me that in order for me to take her hand in marriage I had to pass my test before the wedding day (July 1991). He said that he didn’t want his daughter to have tp schlep around the buses and tubes with me after I was married. I told him that I would pass my test. And I was determined to do so. I was living in Clapham at the time – so a few days later (in May that year) I walked into the local British School of Motoring (BSM) shop in Clapham (or Streatham – I can’t remember where now) and told them of my predicament – and told them that I just *had* to pass my test before July. The lady at the counter took one look at me and said “no problem – I’ve got just the man for you” – referring to an instructor. It turned out that the instructor was an old Indian guy – who had a manner and temperament just like my Dad! And I was a bit pissed off at that. I had around 3 lessons per week – and in the fist few lessons he really took it out on me big time every time I did something that he considered wrong – which pissed me off no end.

    Anyway – to cut a long story short – I passed first time a few weeks later – and he was so overjoyed on the day of my test – he gave me a big hug – and I hugged him back so gratefully. For I would never have been allowed to take my wife’s hand in marriage had I not passed!

    Hope you don’t have the same sort of pressure!

  2. Fortunately not that kind of pressure!

    I was taught to drive by an ex-policeman who my Dad knew. He was a very good instructor as far as I remember. That was 19 years ago now though…..

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