Sunday, March 8, 2009


Yesterday I drove to the art gallery and today I drove from the art gallery all the way home. Actually, that's not quite accurate. Yesterday I drove to the road out the front of the national library, because I was frightened of parking at the gallery, so the husband took over and did the last few hundred yards. Given the horrendous amount of traffic and random small children dashing about the place yesterday I felt I had made the right decision (even if for bad reasons).

The Noodle was most patient and sat in the back quietly, and only made one adverse comment (in which he assumed that I had crushed and killed an innocent bird, rather than asking him if he would like a bird as a pet. Well.)

We are all alive, and I have stopped shaking and I only stalled once (yesterday) and yah boo sucks to the woman behind me who beeped when I was slow taking off at the lights. It Does Not Help.

I think it won't be long until I have all my competencies ticked off (provided I practice my parking more). But my driving instructor makes me feel nervous. He puts his foot on the clutch without telling me, and then I get panicky about starting off because I think the damn clutch is stuck. I asked him, quite nicely, not to, but he can't help himself it seems.

Oh well. I suppose I'll be done with it all soon. Then I can go to the art gallery any damn time I feel like, without it taking an hour and a half to get back home.

(Oh, and we went to see the Degas exhibition. Or Ned Degus, Super Painter, as we like to call him.)


Lippy said...

Pen, I think we're actually twins, separated at birth. I've been writing a post - in my head - about driving, for the last few months. I've had my licence for not quite 3 years, getting it at age 40 after moving to Brisbane after 20 years of "are you joking I live in innercity Sydney and can walk everywhere", or at the very least what are taxis and public transport for? And NOT loving it, the driving that is. So. Yet another point of connection.
Oh, and just read my first Sebastian Barry novel and loved it . . . Have you read him? Great iv on the RN Book Show with him recently. Ooooops, squiggly baby, gotta go.

Penthe said...

Yes, I do quite wish we had managed to meet before I left Brisbane.

I can't imagine ever loving driving, but I can imagine gritting my teeth and managing it in order to avoid the Canberra bus system. (System, she says, with some asperity). It's taken me too many years to get over the inner-city tram system in Melbourne.

No, no Sebastian Barry yet. But I am at a reading loose end, so shall repair to the bookshop.

kazari said...

Driving instructors make me nervous, generally. But maybe because I had one who went to grab the gear stick, and got my knee instead.
I think he was more shocked than me!

Courtney said...

Well done indeed!! I'm so proud of you. My 'driving by forty' goal has rather faded. Fifty maybe?

Smith said... offers Florida online defensive driving courses at

Penthe said...

The people of Florida are safe from my driving, whether it's defensive or not. Unless I buy a rather larger than usual vehicle.

Anonymous said...

I've been driving since I was 15 (that was the legal age in NZ in 1982 - and a full license too - none of this provisional stuff) but I still despise driving in Melbourne.

Canberra is one of the easiest cities I've ever had to drive around. The traffic just seems to flow, and there was always a park for a big old Kingswood.

Good luck with the lessons!