A while back I got a car. This is my car:
I first took a driving test in 1993. Yikes! My mum crashed her car (with me in it) the previous day. I should have cancelled my test but didn’t, which, considering I’d spent the previous evening in hospital, was really, really stupid. Needless to say I failed (rather miserably) and then I gave up driving as couldn’t afford any more lessons. There was no need, I told myself, cars were expensive, other people drove, my work was easier to get to by trains and tubes.
But I always wanted to be The Jayne That Drives! I could see myself being the Jayne that drives – she zips around in classic cars with picnic baskets in the boot and goes on day trips to the beach. The Jayne that drives is a confident, go-getter sort of person, someone who makes things happen. The Jayne that doesn’t drive isn’t any of these things.
A conversational door closes when you don’t drive. It is hard to join in with talk on cars – petrol, makes, driving, distances. It depends whether you are someone who notices such things, but I am, and while it didn’t bother me at first, slowly I felt the distance lengthen.
Then I became the Jayne That Drives and the distance disappeared as if it was never there. My first foray was to the supermarket and coffee shop – I swung my car keys and bought my take-out coffee and suddenly felt part of something new. It felt good.
So far I have made only short forays, and have grinned with each new accomplishment. I parked in a car park! I found my windscreen-wipers! I put petrol in! I drove the cats to the vet! I made up a very silly driving song! (‘This is the driving song / You can sing along / But you can’t because you’re a cat / And that’s the end of that!’)
Tonight I’m off to see a friend and it will be the longest car journey yet. (Ten whole miles!) I have no sat-nav (or map) so have printed out large text directions to glance at if stuck. Although all will be fine, today has been spent needlessly worrying along the lines of:
1. Being in the wrong lane and ending up on the M25
2. Not being able to get off the M25 and ending up in a giant circle vortex
3. Getting totally lost
4. Breaking down
5. Not being able to change lanes on the A10
6. Changing lanes badly thus causing an accident
7. Not being able to see due to Sweat of Fear
8. Driving back in the dark
9. Missing the turn for A10 and getting stuck on the roundabout
10. Drivers beeping at me and road raging
That’s about it so far. Give me another hour and I’ll prob be able to write ten more!
When did you start driving? Where did you go on your first journey?
Update: Did the journey! All went very well. Yeay!