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About me

Car talk

Twenty years ago yesterday, I passed my practical driving test. It was not my first attempt: I had more than 100 lessons over a period of more than a year, and still failed on my first go. Spatial awareness and physical co-ordination have never been my strengths, so the ultimate success is probably more surprising than the initial failure.

Since then, I’ve owned two cars.

For the first six-and-a-half years of my driving ‘career’, I drove a Vauxhall Astra which used to be my mum’s. It served me well, but I decided that the time had come to replace it when fumes started leaking into the passenger cabin.

For the last thirteen-and-a-half years, I’ve driven a Toyota Aygo, which I still think of as my ‘new’ car. I’m still surprised by how fuel efficient it is in comparison to the old car, and how small its petrol tank is.

In the twenty years I’ve held a licence, I’ve been caught committing exactly one motoring offence: I drove through a red light. The circumstances were unusual: I was in a queue of traffic, and thought I had passed the light. In fact, the law is clear that no axle may pass the stop line once the light has changed to red, so my rear wheels saw me break the law. I should have known better.

I’ve never driven in another country, except for the Republic of Ireland, where I drove earlier this year.

From this history, you might surmise that I’m no great fan of driving: you’d be right. I’m glad that I learned to drive: it’s a skill I use at least monthly, and which makes my life easier. It’s a means to an end, but not an activity I derive pleasure from. If my car were magically made self-driving tomorrow, I’d have no qualms about giving driving up.

Roll on the future.

The image at the top of this post was generated by Midjourney.

This post was filed under: Post-a-day 2023, , .

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