Edinburgh BEWARE as after five years I have gotten back behind the wheel of a car. Yes, I am once again learning to drive. At ages 23 it seems preposterous that I cannot legally drive a car and believe me I am ashamed to admit this dirty little secret. Not only is driving a useful skill in day to day life it is also a pretty essential skill in my chosen profession hence my current employment predicament.
It's not that I never wanted to drive it's just that my driving career has been somewhat like my love life, abysmally unfortunate. On my 17th birthday I got the ultimate gift, a car. That ancient silver Fiat Cinquecento seemed like the most incredible car in the world to my young eyes, it had a tape player and everything. My biggest obstacle was that I wasn't a very good driver, I was quite nervy and dangerously cautious however after almost a year's worth of lessons plus some help from my very patient Grandfather I was ready to sit my test.
My test was two days before my 18th birthday, and four days before I made the big move up to Aberdeen for University. I imagined I would be making that move in my own car as a driver, how very wrong I was. I knew within 5 minutes I had failed, I was driving like a blind person, yet I soldiered on. I hit the kerb on my reverse park and another driver screamed obscenities at me through the open window yet I kept going. I was even made to do an emergency stop! Obviously I failed, and badly.
I had a lot going on though so with a heavy heart I said goodbye to my friends, my family and my Fiat and moved up North for years of cramming and cavorting at Aberdeen University. I came home for the holidays however and thought that the summer between first and second year would be the perfect opportunity for me to pass my test, I had taken approximately 36 lessons after all. But then, disaster struck...
One balmy summer evening I was watching Big Brother when I heard an almighty crash. My mum ran outside convinced that somebody was trying to steal our wheelie bin, in actual fact what greeted us was car carnage. In my very narrow street, lined down both sides with parked cars, a man had fallen ill behind the wheel and crashed his way up my street. Miraculously nobody was injured however seven cars were written off and one of them was my Cinquecento.
It has taken me this long to get back behind the wheel, not because I am scarred by my past experiences mainly just because I am lazy and I hate it when I am not good at things. However yesterday's lesson went surprisingly well, nobody was injured and I actually remembered what to do. Maybe driving a car is just like riding a bike, you never forget how. Although I am not a great cyclist either.