January 14th, 2008
Categories: General

Behind The Wheel

 

So, on Saturday, I had my first driving lesson. I’ll be honest, I was excited, but horrendously nervous. My workmate didn’t do anything to alleviate those fears by saying “You do realise you’re commanding a dangerous weapon.”.

Thanks.

Nevertheless, 10:30 arrived and I was picked up in a Volkswagen Golf Diesel to be driven to the first place to learn, which I assumed was a car park.

Oh no, I was wrong.

I was thrown in directly onto a road! Admiteddly it was a quiet road – the promenade in Colwyn Bay, and it was relatively quiet. Once we went through the controls and what they do, I was off. Just straight up and down the prom.

I know it probably shouldn’t be the first thought to go through my head when I was driving for the first time, but I couldn’t help but notice it was actually a really beautiful morning. I don’t know what was different, but it seemed like that. You know like you go somewhere with a girlfriend/boyfriend that you always go and it seems different? Kind of like that. My second thought was worse than my first: A Gran Tourismo track around here would be ace!

A couple of times up and down the prom, which really gained my confience. I only stalled the car twice on the straight and narrow, and  I’m good at changing gear, I mean, seriously good. Ducks take to water with less enthusiasm and regularity than I did to changing gears.

We then went onto the next lesson, which was left turns (which are easier than right turns – took me a little while to work out why). This is where I began to struggle. At the moment, I’m rubbish at turning corners, and also pulling upto a junction. I put myself in completely the wrong place on the road when turning corners, and I seem to pull up a lot further away from the junction than I should. Stopping at a junction seems to scare me, and one time whilst stopping, I pulled out two quickly, stalled and rolled into the road I was going to pull into: pretty much the worst place to stall. After a couple of attempts to get it going, I limped uselessly to the side of the road.  It was a scary moment.

The second scary moment was again, pulling up to a junction. I completely missed a car that was coming towards us. It seemingly appeared out of nowhere. I was stationary, and just about to go when I saw it. I wasn’t in any danger, just angry with myself at not seeing it.

Final scary moment was again going around the same course as I did last time. I bumped into a mate of mine as well driving (well, not literally bumped). He shook me up by honking me.

Thanks mate.

The hour was up and it was time to call it a day. People say to me “once you have one lesson, that’s it, you want more and more and more, and you’ll love it!”. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t grinning like a loon after the lesson, and I was a little weak in the knees. However, one thought did cross my mind as I waved goodbye to the instructor.

I want to go again. Now.

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