Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘l plates’

Driving Passed!

I should have been out meeting clients, persuading them to take out advertising and how it is the best thing for them.  I should have been updating the web site and adding items to the online calendar but instead of which I have been sitting looking at the computer flitting through different windows in a very manly way.  Not able to concentrate on any one program.  I have read a few e-mails and then re-read them as I did not take in what they were saying first time.

My stomach has been turning somersaults as I wait for the phone to ring, but it has taken such an eternity to ring.    I have made so many cups of tea and then not drunk them as I watch the phone, checking it can still receive calls, checking I have turned it up as loud as possible just in case I put it down somewhere I cannot quite reach when it does call.  The longer the phone call doesn’t come the worse I feel.  Negativity begins to attack the edges of my reason, maybe it will be bad news, maybe it didn’t go the way I wanted. What if….

The phone did try and ring but I answered before any noise came out.  Breathless with excitement, daring not to sound over enthusiastic especially if the news was not good.  Eventually No 1 Son managed one word.


I remember the excitement Sexy Sporty Dad and I had as we watched the then 9 month old No 1 Son take his first unbelievable steps and the freedom suddenly that entered his world.  That was nearly 17 years ago.  Now I have to ring Sexy Sporty Dad and tell him I have just had a call from the happiest boy on this planet.

No 1 Son has passed his driving test.

He will go on and take his AS levels in just a few weeks from now and then hopefully on to A2.  No exam he will take will give him the freedom that he will now have open to him.  He will be able to get himself to work, another pass he has just heard about.   He will be working at a restaurant occasionally when they have functions through the summer which will bring him some long overdue cash;  I wonder if I will see back any of the money I spent on  those driving lessons.  He will be able to drive himself to rugby training and home without one of us turning out on a cold winter’s night.   He may even be able to drop a girl-friend home if one ever appears on the horizon.  I am not sure my car will have the pulling power to get the girl but at least he will be able to drive her on their date.

I can see battles ahead over the use of my car, the cost of petrol and the mess inside but tonight we will celebrate and savour every moment with him.

I guess I need to calm down, finish my cup of cool tea and get back to work.  My stomach is still a flutter but with butterflies for the future not knots about the present.   I feel lightheaded with emotion and the realisation that the tiny remembered creature learning to walk is, in just a blink of an eye, now nearly a grown man driving on the streets of this country.    Where did that time go?

Keys to freedom

Keys to freedom

A special thanks to his lovely driving instructor Andy (Andy’s School of Motoring  01747 824460) who has sat beside him, guided him, advised him and got him this far.  Now he is on his own and will learn, like we all have through experience.

As if waiting on his news was not bad enough.  He has now arrived home and my car has been taken out for a spin.   Am I going to feel this nervous every time he goes out?


Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy


Learning to Lose Control

I am sure it was not that long ago I was struggling with the complexities of pregnancy, birth and sudden motherhood. An alien inside me was making me feel unwell and unable to depend on my usual choice of medication.  It was growing independently of me yet deep within my burgeoning belly. Organised and planned as I was, it was this independent entity who chose to come into the world 10 days early with no adherement to my carefully orchestrated birth plan.  Gone were all my plans and routines, my social life curtailed once and for all as this tiny blob of humanity took over my whole world.

Following his arrival there were only a fleetingly short few months where this wonderful creation and I were so entirely wrapped up with each other to the exclusion of the rest of the world. He was so dependent upon me for everything.  A tiny cry amid the cacophony of daily sounds to tell me he was hungry, craved cuddles or needed a nappy change.  I could tell them all, instinctively I could sense his every requirement.    This miracle of mine would stay where I laid him, the soft gurgle of his baby’s giggle would be my answer to the myriad of questions I would ask him, his young awe filled eyes would wander the room lighting up as they caught my reflected gaze.

No 1 Son grew up and has just recently had his 17th birthday.  He is never where I last saw him, the monosyllabic answers lack any mirth and the only gaze in my direction is followed by the exasperated glance heavenward.    Although still  my baby but we now had to find him a suitable birthday present.

A little bit of digging around and mixing together gave us the perfect shoe box of goodies.   We filled it with his provisional driving licence which I had managed to apply for online, a copy of the new insurance documentation allowing him to drive our car, a copy of the Highway Code changed and much updated from my ancient copy, a set of L plates and a gift voucher for 6 hours of driving lessons.  After that he would have to pay for his lessons himself.

The plates were attached instantly, and the eagerness untamed until he was permitted to drive.  Any driver will know it is not just a question of leaping in the car and going.  There are gears to get to grips with, the clutch to contemplate and the speedy reactions from the accelerator.  Decisions to be made as to when to use the brake pedal on the floor or the one beside you; why on earth do you need both.   Why on earth does Sexy Sporty Dad use kangaroo petrol in the car, because the vehicle jumps and stalls when you try to move away? And the road; full of other cars, pedestrians, lorries, bikes, parked cars, roundabouts and traffic lights.  How is anyone supposed to cope with all of those without multi-tasking?

No longer that tiny dependent baby, 17 year olds have an inherent inner belief, they are invincible, and they do know it all.   They learn through the osmosis of their friends.  Only a fellow 17 year old has the ability to interpret the correct grunt, the angle of the slumped shoulder or the glazed gaze.  Only another 17 year old has the right to impart his complete repertoire of experience in a ritual of nods, mumbles and snorts.  What do mine and Sexy Sporty Dad’s nearly 60 years experience of driving count; after all we learnt to drive before the wheel was even invented.

So my incredibly brave husband ventured out amid furious protests and drove the car to a thankfully deserted industrial estate where he was persuaded to vacate the driving seat.  No 1 Son took control of the car and spent a few hours kangarooing round the local roads.

The following night was my turn to be the willing passenger allowing him to drive me around town.  I still unable to quite relinquish my control totally retraced the route to the once again deserted industrial estate and left the safe security of the driving seat.   Sliding myself sluggishly into the passenger side, I pulled the seatbelt slowly across my trembling torso, holding my breath long enough to allow my shaky hands to plug it in.   We, and I use the word deliberately,  were ready and raring to go!

Into first gear we pulled away gently without jumping or stalling, the car speeded up fractionally and was moved to second gear.   My breath held; I could hear my heart pounding as I realised we were coming to a junction. My brain screamed slow down as I glanced at the speedometer, there must be a mistake we were nearly doing 12 miles an hour – reminder to oneself – get it checked out.   Even the feeling of slowing was not strong enough for my body not to brace its self and my right leg to force the imaginary brake pedal nearly through the floor.   We came to a stop.

We checked both ways for any other soul who might be drifting along these dark desultory drives before pulling out of the junction smooth and slickly.   Ignoring my consider learning to lose controlsqueaky advice to do a few more turns of the empty roads No 1 Son took me on a tour of the town.   He dipped his lights at the appropriate times not blinding the oncoming drivers.  He waited patiently as the red traffic light gave me a moment’s breathing space.  He allowed the other driver who had now idea which way he was coming off the roundabout to make his choice before following him round to our exit.   We made it home to the waiting arms of the rest of the family and the place I am in most control.

In the month he has been learning to drive I have been coerced into allowing him to drive me regularly interspersed with the lessons from the expert.  I have even permitted him to transport the whole family together; although Sexy Sporty Dad being so much calmer and relaxed is the passenger while I protect the unconcerned two in the back.  The roads round the Peak District during our Christmas holiday, so narrow with stone walls either side or deep ravines over the edge of the ditches provided a challenge for me in letting go, while the parking in the supermarket car park will forever be too much for my control to relinquish.  I don’t even like doing that!  In fact not even Sexy Sporty Dad parks safely enough for me.

So if you happen to be out and about and encounter the big red L emblazoned on the car in front or behind, spare a thought for the passenger;  it just could be me surrendering my authority.



Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy










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