Learning to drive – lesson #6

Right on cue, my stomach started churning last night.  I’d had a terrible week at work, and the last thing I needed was a stressful start to the weekend.  My friend suggested that I cancel my driving lessons for the weekend, but I refused to as I want to get to lesson #10 as soon as I could. Why 10? Simply for the fact that it is halfway to 20.

On my 1st lesson, I told my instructor that I couldn’t wait to get to lesson #6.  Somehow when you’re re-learning, lesson #6 seems to far into the future and you expect a certain level of skill at that point which isn’t present in lesson #1.

My instructor Ally arrived 10 minutes earlier today for my 9am lesson.  Lucky for him, I had been since 6am.  This time, I made sure I had my seatbelt on before I drove off.   He seemed to be in good form despite having started work at 7.30am with an absolute beginner, and a cup of coffee. 

Today was all about 3rd exits at roundabouts.  The first time I got on the roundabout, he pulled the steering to the left as  I was too close to the edge of the roundabout.  I guess I was still warming up.  Indicate right before getting onto the roundabout, change gears quickly, indicate left after exit number two, check left mirror to see if the coast is clear and exit the roundabout.  He had a surprise up his sleeve.  The route I took had a smaller roundabout  within 2 minutes of exiting the 1st one.  The small roundabout is a tight one, and I had to be extra careful with steering control. 

We drove through housing estates with cars parked on either side.  I was keen not to repeat last week’s mistake and took it very slow and avoided crashing into the back of parked cars (not that I crashed last week, but I had a close call).

Ally told me to ‘follow the road’ and I did as I was told as I kept to my left and manoeuvred around a bend.  I realised then how easy it would have been to drive straight onto a road ahead as there was a hidden junction.  He told me that one of his students did exactly that, drove straight through instead of around the bend and there was an oncoming car from the opposite direction on the left during a test and the examiner had to hit the brakes on the dual control, and took control of the steering wheel.  The poor student failed.  It was a route that they’ve been on a hundred times, but she must have been stressed and nervous during the test. 

The good news today was that I didn’t cut out once.  I’ll probably more than make up for it tomorrow.

I haven’t booked a test yet.  I’ll wait until I get to lesson #20 before I decide.   I want to be comfortable behind the wheels.  I want to be able to drive and manoeuver the car.  Oh, and also to not cut out and avoid crashing.  These are my primary objectives.  I’m sure I’ll add more to list as I go along. 

Lesson #7 tomorrow.   I think Ally’s going to test if I still remember what I learned today.   I can’t wait to get to lesson #13.


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