I failed my driving test today. It must be 25 years since I last failed my driving test, after 40 lessons. That time I failed because I drove down the Mad Mile in West Wickham, panicked at the roundabout at the end of it and tried to go round it at 60 mph, at which point the examiner got scared and stomped on the brakes. I’m sure I could have made it, so you have to blame dual control cars for me not passing first time.
This time I failed because I drove at 30mph,but on a residential street, where the speed limit is 20. The examiner asked me quite pointedly how fast I was going, and I told him 29, thinking this was a check to see if I could instantly verify my speed without looking at the speedo, and not a veiled hint that I was going too fast.
So that was consistent with my first failure. As with my first failure, we still did the rest of the test, so I might have passed, or at least I know I probably will next time. My parallel parking in an unfamiliar vehicle is a bit off, my backing round a corner is similarly marginal, and I got confused when he asked me to turn left a few times, but it was annoyingly close. Still, I have faith that in three weeks time I’ll make it.
Other annoying things: somehow I got the time confused and thought it was at 1:30 instead of 1. So I arrived at the test centre in a great panic, having been driven there 10 mph over the limit by an Uber driver. And I should have known the speed limit, but there were no signs anywhere. That’s odd, because Americans love roadsigns for everything else. They have signs to tell you there’s a stop sign up ahead, for example. There are random "Twenty is plenty" signs on the road in some places, but they look like the amateur work of a neighbourhood association and not an instruction. But I got it wrong, so that’s too bad. If they could have sold me an hour’s instruction before the test, I probably could have aced it, but that was not to be today.
Today was aggravating for all sorts of reasons. I had a long meeting this morning where I seemed to get responsibility for everything, and then blamed for bad news or told that I didn’t know what I was talking about, which was a bit hard to bear. Once or twice would have been enough, but seven times on seven different projects in one hour suggests somebody else should have been involved too. I’ll get over it, but it was not a time of great joy for me.
Although, if I think about it, nothing annoying happened after I returned from my driving test, so that is something. The clocks went back yesterday so it seemed very dark at five today, until I realised I’m being dim. Dim as the sky.
And my parents flew back to England. Dear old, still yet to be Brexited, England. I’m hoping they’ll be back soon and be able to see my house after it’s been renovated, or see me with a shiny new driving license. Onwards and upwards…