I am being allowed out. In the car. Driving.
It has been more than a year since I sat behind the wheel of a car. Officially I have been added to the insurance policy as a driver and we have received a refund of part of the annual premium paid … because I was added. It can only be based on one fact. I am a woman driver. Happy days. Feminism has found its way into the vehicle insurance sector. With the refund, I am going to order a pair of shoes online that scream: female, woman, I am in the driver’s seat.
My UK driving licence entitles me to drag a caravan across the country, ride a moped and drive a large car. I can almost drive a tractor, a lorry and ride a motorbike. I will settle on our little blue car. Part of the adventure is learning how to navigate London’s roads even in lockdown. I am likely to drive over a roundabout and not around it, turn left or right into a designated bus lane, not see the small side-plate size road signs telling me what not to do and get the traffic lights all wrong.
The solution for Husband to ensure I never drive again is/was 2 prong: (1) for the last 10 months, he has prepared me for UK roads by explaining in detail while he has been driving, all the hazards and perils of the roads. His aim was to scare me so that I never get behind the wheel – that failed; (2) when I am behind the wheel this weekend (Note: this will be my one-a-day outing), with Ivy in the back and Husband (aka Peanut Gallery) in the navigation seat, he is going to fume, shout, scream more than “bollocks” at me and generally look like someone who is in a great degree of pain. For this, I would give it a close to fail but not a succeed.
So, while I look forward to driving, I am not looking forward to Peanut Gallery who insists on accompanying me. I do not think Ivy needs to be exposed to seeing her favourite human, Peanut Gallery, contort and shout in horror, only to see me stop the car abruptly in the road, get out, slam the door and walk home. No. That would not be good for her wellbeing and sense of home harmony. (Note to self: I must not wear slippers on the Big Drive Day. Must wear trainers and brush hair.)
You may ask if Peanut Gallery has an archive of bad experiences with me driving. To answer that, I need to say that Peanut Gallery did crash a car once. It was so bad that the car was destroyed and he ended-up in hospital. That has not happened to me. Let’s say his would be in the class of a Major Event. My mishaps are Minor Events. I may go over roundabouts, hug pavements, touch bumpers and pick-up speed on motorway flats, but I am quite a safe driver when I am concentrating.
I urge you to watch BBC on the weekend while you may be wondering how to inject disinfectant or maximise sun exposure. I can see a Major Incident being reported in South West London, under the headlines: “Blue car confiscated as Peanuts & Slippers fly. Black dog distraught and needs counselling. Couple and dog to be locked behind home door for extended lockdown while driving each other bonkers.”