Lovely weekend visit from Emma. Much wine, wii, and, sadly, whinge from the smaller members of the family.
I am now half way through completing challenge No. 15 by taking Rhys and Emma to Haile’s farm for fruit picking. Black currents for Emma, rasps for everyone. Oh and a poke around the farm shop revealed my favourite chunky oatcakes, never before seen south of the border, venison sausages and meringues. Oh happy Sunday.
Only half way through the challenge though, next year I’ll complete it by taking Meredith too.
A book that scares me is tricky, I don’t tend to feel afraid while reading. Lots of books on health and disease make me feel very nervous but not actually afraid.
I’ve decided on the Official Highway Code. An odd choice perhaps – the book itself is not scary – it hasn’t got claws and teeth like the aggressive text book in Harry Potter – and its content is dull. But the weight of responsibility on drivers and cyclists and other road users to use the information correctly is enormous and the penalties of going wrong are frankly terrifying.
I think this picture says it all – this is Rhys in the carpark, on his way to his speech therapy group, after I drove there.
I think being able to put No. 33 in italics is possibly the hardest and most life changing thing in my whole Mission so I’m thrilled.The only reason it’s taken some time to write this update is that I’ve had a very busy week with little time for navel gazing.
The AA have kindly set up a charitable fund called Drive Confident in which they give two free lessons to help people tackle their driving woes and get back onto the road. I applied for Drive Confident after I wrote my blog post. I had to list a few things that really worried me – there wasn’t a tick box for “the whole shebang” – and the AA called me up a few days later to ask when I’d like my lessons.
I had my session with the AA’s lovely Roxanne on Saturday and to my surprise I was off and driving without any major issue. She took me around and around and around the major roundabout that I was worried about and gave me some parking practice.
I realised that, while I’ve got a long way to go in feeling comfortable driving, I don’t feel like a beginner either and we spent the lessons chatting as I drove rather than me having to concentrate on every single movement.
At the end of the lesson, Roxanne said that I was pretty much fine – I need practice to get my gear changes smoother and I need to watch out for my left side as I’m not so spatially aware of it as I might be. But she had no major concerns and my observation is good.
That afternoon I drove us back from Rhys’s dance class and was amazed to find that our car was nicer and easier to drive than the Ford I had practiced in.
On Monday I drove the kids and some friends to Evesham Country Park and tackled another minor fear too – setting up the car to be a seven-seater. Turns out the seats pop up almost like magic. Who knew?
And on Tuesday I drove Rhys to his speech therapy group. I didn’t get my driving sorted in time for his first session so we had a four-bus trip and oh the second session’s journey was much shorter and didn’t require me to be a pack horse.
I think I’m going to have a parking lesson in our own car with Roxanne and I still have a long way to go before I can really scratch No. 33 out completely and feel like a good driver. But still, I am a driver.