A bit of an adventure

a bit of an adventure

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I only learnt to drive when I was pregnant with The Big One, so I’ve only been driving for nine years. I had no interest when I was younger and really only decided to take lessons because I didn’t fancy lugging a pram around public transport. I failed my first test because, amongst other things, being nine month pregnant isn’t really the ideal time to try and reverse park. I could barely turn around and missed the space completely. When I did pass (second time around) I wasn’t that keen on the whole thing. I’d often get myself into parking spaces I couldn’t get out of without tears, and I hated feeling I was lost. I used to plan my route for about an hour before I had to leave, counting up all the traffic lights and hill starts that I’d have to get through before I reached where I needed to be. I never thought I would ever be able to just jump into a car and drive without fretting about it.

It turns out all I needed was ‘a bit of an adventure’. Six months after I passed my test, my family were rightly sick of my nervous driving and it was decided that we were all going into London for the day and that I would be one of the drivers. I could follow my step dad and I would be fine. And I was. Never mind the fact that my step dad drove through the city like he’d been doing it all his life (oh, hang on… he has…) and the fact that there is one roundabout near Marble Arch that I *swear* has at least thirteen lanes of traffic… I did it. I drove to the city, inside the city and back again. And it was a bit of an adventure.

I’m ok with driving now, but the odd ‘adventure’ still shakes me up. Recently the preschooler and the baby were with me when I burst a tyre on a pothole. We were basically in the middle of nowhere, miles from anyone that could help, and -eeeek!- without breakdown cover. I know, I know.

“What are we doing Mummy?”

“We’re having a bit of an adventure!”

I was so so lucky that the first person I flagged down was a kindly gent who changed my wheel for me. More than that, he made sure I watched what he was doing and basically taught me what my family had been trying to teach me for years. He changed my wheel, lectured me a little and left me with a strong warning not to drive over 50 mph all the way home.

So, off we went. Leg two of the ‘adventure’. Stuck to the slow lane of the M25, terrified.

“Why are all the lorries beeping at us Mummy?”

“Because they’re having an adventure too!”

These days I’m not so keen on going on bits of adventures. I want breakdown cover, thank you very much. I want to know how to change a wheel myself. I want to know where I’m going, and I have to admit that I still like to count up traffic light stops and steep hill starts. I like to be prepared…


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