Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Me vs The Tank

Yeah I know. Another learning to drive post. How terribly boring for the rest of you but this is definitely something that I need to document because I'm assured that there will be a day, one day, when driving apparently comes "naturally" to me and I will forget all about how it felt like I was in the cockpit of a flying saucer and couldn't remember how to push the pedals.

If you didn't read my first post about re-learning to drive then please go and read it to find out why I'm re-learning to drive and how alien it has been to me.

But the one thing that I forgot to mention in my last post is that the reason for the sudden rush with my lessons has been that there is a deadline zooming up to me.

My sister and family go away on holiday for 2 weeks towards the end of July. I offered to stay in the house and look after Rowan and Rosie (and Blinky obviously) so that they didn't have to spend a small fortune on kennel fees.

All good but for one small fact.

Although it's only a mile and a half walk into work which I'm more than capable of doing, I would need to go home at lunchtimes to let the dogs out/make sure they're doing ok and I wouldn't be able to do that if I was reliant on just my feet. I would need to drive my sister's car to and from work each day.

So lessons were a must because I had a deadline ahead of me. As you may have guessed from my last post, I'm pretty nervous about being in a car again after so many years. So imagine how much more scared I was knowing that I was working up to be driving this car...

...why yes, my sister drives a tank to work.

This weekend my sister finally plucked up the courage to take me out in it so I can get a feel for driving it before I have to do it on my own. It's very brave of her because she's pretty much a bit of a control freak and what could be more scary than giving literal control of your car to someone who basically can't drive? So she really deserves a round of applause.

We went to Tesco early on Sunday morning to have a little pootle round the car park when it was empty.

And you know what?

Tank driving is easy!

Want to know why?

The Tank is an Automatic.

Most of my current stress when driving revolves around stopping and starting the changing up and down from 1st into 2nd gear. As I said before, actual driving I can do. You get in an automatic and all of that is taken care of for you. No need to worry, you can just concentrate on not crashing into everything around you and just drive. It was amazing! It was freedom and it was a confidence boost. We both felt comfortable enough for me to leave the confines of the car park and go out on to the actual road and drive about, and then confident enough to get onto the dual carriageway - although, bless her, she'd only let me do 60mph.

It was brilliant and amazing and I loved it.

We'll talk about parking The Tank another time I think.

I spent an hour in The Tank and was feeling good and no longer nervous at the prospect of driving it.

I then had a 2 hour driving lesson and pretty soon after getting into the car realised that driving The Tank meant that I'd pushed all the information I had in my brain about doing the gears and stopping and starting out into thin air, resulting in me stalling the car three times when I haven't stalled it at all before.



  1. The tank I borrowed for Norbury was an automatic and I still can't decide if I like them or not. On the one hand: yay, no gears! On the other hand: it is *very* hard to remember not to use your left foot. I got flustered, braked with the same force I'd usually apply on the clutch and did the most tremendous emergency stop. I now have to remove my left shoe when driving it so that I don't the same thing again.

  2. I am in awe of anyone who can drive AT ALL, I have never driven and am never likely to which is probably best for everyone involved!

    Maria xxx

  3. For people like you and me automatic is the way forward. If I ever get another car and if I have enough money this is what I'll be buying. It just takes the pressure off. There is too much to focus on with

  4. I've never driven an automatic, not sure I'd want to. I'd get paranoid that I was forgetting something and probably shove it into park whilst driving down the road.


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