Thursday, 23 May 2013

Wonderful Things

Lots of wonderful things happened today!  First, and probably the most wonderful ... We have internet!!!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!  Second, we have a heater that works!

Third, *drum roll please* ... MJ had his very first driving lesson!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am amazed, proud, relieved and a list of many other feelings at the outcome of said driving lesson. He went really well :-))) Not that I ever doubted him,  I have been concerned that I might not be the best person to teach MJ, as I did not want to traumatise him! You see, I can be a little impatient ...

I suppose having had so many other successes today, helped to put me in the right frame of mind.

Since we both lived through the experience and are looking forward to another lesson, it has made me recall my first driving lesson ... *fade to castle in the distance shrouded in fog*

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, when things were very different in the land of learning to drive; a young girl walked into the RTA and asked for a Learners Permit, which was handed over to her after filling in an application. I don't recall having to sit any sort of test. I did say a long, long, time ago!

And off I went home, to start hounding my Dad to teach me to drive. Mum didn't drive so I only had one parent to pester. After many weeks of pestering, Dad finally relented.

"Meet me out the front Saturday morning at 8am." I suppose he thought he was safe, as I usually never even saw Saturday morning!

However, when something is important enough, even to a teenager, we all can find it in ourselves to do something that no teenager has done before! Saturday morning came and there I was, out the front at 8am.

My Dad was a practical man, and so began my very first driving lesson; in the Valiant. Similar to the one in the photo below.

I learnt how to check and top up the water and oil, I learnt how to change a tyre, I even learnt to put petrol in the car (he drove to the petrol station), and then, I learnt how to wash the car, while he went inside and read the paper. End of lesson. Yes, by learnt I mean, I was the one doing all of the tasks, on my own!

After proving my dedication, next week, my actual driving lessons started.  After propping me up on many pillows because the bench seat in the Valiant was stuck in one position, and I could otherwise not reach the pedals, Dad took me to the local Industrial Estate and let me take the wheel.

I drove around and around and around and around (well, you get it) the same block for what seemed like hours (probably half an hour as I am certain that would have been all Dad could have tolerated), with him the whole time reminding me there were two other gears that I had not yet used!

The Valiant was a manual, "three on the tree" they used to call a three gear column shift. So to avoid having to use the clutch (as I kept getting in trouble for "riding" it) I stayed in first gear the whole time.

Finally, Dad had had enough and we went home. He drove that leg. I felt so proud I had not smashed the car! He made me promise "IF" we did it again, that I would at least try 2nd gear. Lol.

I don't recall if I had many more lessons with Dad, probably a couple, but I do know, he was the one who taught me how to drive. I got my confidence slowly, and was able to learn at my own pace and the lessons in car maintenance stood me in good stead for many years of driving.  He would often show me how to change a fuse, or a headlight bulb (again, it was a long time ago) and of course windscreen wipers.

I went on to have lessons with a driving school and a couple of other older friends and eventually got my licence (on my second go).

I will also teach MJ the things I can about car maintenance, as who knows, one day, he may just have to help me change a tyre!

So my Happy Ending will be that MJ learns at his own pace and gets the confidence he needs to be a capable and sensible driver.

Mind you, the sensible he may not inherit from me, but THAT, is another story my friends!

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