Friday, 14 February 2014

The Car, learning to Drive

Well the motorbike was a very useful part of life, and did many miles, too many really, I was very restless and keen to explore the four counties, and I did, I also made my way back to my old community for weekends of looking after friends' gardens, including JM's, and volunteer and church work and time with friends.

I did want to have a car and drive, it would be better in bad weather, but there was no rush once I was on the road on the bike, and on the bike I learned road skills, which would help with my driving.
I had had trouble learning to drive because I was too nervous, not of the road or the car, but of the instuctors, this again was probably the result of years of childhood where I was taught by beatings.

Anyway, one day, when I had had the bike for some time, my landlord asked if I would be interested in his old car £200, he said, well yes, it was the car I dreamed of, a Peugeot 205, which shows how small my dreams were! But I liked the shape of those cars and knew they were reliable.

So, when he got his new car a Peugeot 406 Estate, ideal for carrying wood, he not only sold me the old car and helped me with the paperwork, but he also taught me to drive it, and I wasn't scared of him, I had lived with him for nearly two years and knew he was harmless, he had adult daughters of his own, and treated us women with respect and bemusement.
He would sit in the passenger seat as I drove this car round and round the ring roads and roundabouts, and did three point turns and reverse parks all over the new and deserted housing estate, sometimes he would tell me stories of his past and his wife, who had died a few years previously, and sometimes he would reassuringly doze as I drove, the thing was, this was great, because this was my car and I knew it and was in control of it, it is different from driving an instructor's care and them being in control.

Anyway, JM came out with me in the car one time, she said that me and the car were like a team, we knew each other. She paid for me to have two lessons before my test, so that an instructor could pick up on any faults, and I did that, and then passed my test.
My old landlord grinned when we got back to the test centre where he was waiting and he said
'I'll drive us home so you can stay on cloud 9'.

I didn't care what cloud 9 was because I was tired.

JM and FM hugged and congratulated me when I went to see them, and I amused JM's niece and nephew when I went to do my work for them, I did a day a week for them at the time, but I phoned and left a message to say I would be in, and typical autistic, forgot to say I had passed my test, because I had no idea it was supposed to matter, so when I got there in my car, they congratulated me, and the niece said 'you didn't tell us in the call, I was hanging on the phone waiting to hear about the test!', but her partner looked at the 'P' plates I had put on the car as the 272 was such a fast and dangerous road, and he said 'someone has 'P'd on your car!'.

Sadly because of what the Diocese did that caused me to lose my car and leave Jersey, I have neither car nor licence, the licence was either stolen on the streets or taken by police, and being a channel islands licence by then, it could not be replaced by the DVLA if it was missing, especially not as I have been homeless so long and not willing to put myself at risk by giving Jersey authorities details, and my name having changed, basically I lost my licence without having done anything to merit it.
So all that wonderful memory but nothing to show for it.
Public transport remains difficult for me, but I have no choice.

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