Tales from the Ward: Chapter 33
I always remember the day I took my driving test 30 odd years ago, not just because it was Guy Fawkes night (November 5 for non-Brits where the 1605 foiled plot to blow up the House of Lords by Guy Fawkes and others is celebrated with fireworks and bonfires – the Great Gunpowder Plot)
But also that I got my licence at all after driving through a light turning red on the way back to the test centre.
No written exams then, new drivers, just a few questions out the Highway Code, a mandatory hill start and a reversing round the corner (who does that?)
And while I’m on the subject of who can do what these days while driving, I can remember simultaneously smoking a fag and navigating myself around London using a hand-held A-Z book with no problem.
GPS my arse…
Anyway, someone from the Great Ship social services has deemed I qualify for an electric wheelchair and I’ve received a letter summonsing me to the Test Centre.
After a very quick indoor lesson – press this to go – I’m sent out. My wheels have a top speed of 4mph so you’d think there’d be no danger of an accident. They weren’t expecting the old guy bent over with two sticks walking very slowly past the exit.
The joist-like steering is hyper-sensitive and it takes a few corners to get used to the handling.
But another few corners later and #LewisHamilton would be proud. I’m out onto the mean streets of somewhere by the sea, past the chippie and the Wedding dress shop and we’re going so slow I can inhale the Monday morning brew at the coffee shop and smell last night’s lemon chicken from Proud Hong Kong Chinese takeaway.
I have a tense few moments before I know if I’ve passed. The answer’s a resounding Yes. First time again.
Only a two month wait before it can be delivered.
Just in time for Christmas.
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