Driving Mr. Murphy

In typical style I am postponing important decisions. Not for any valid reason – it’s more to do with some irrational fear of failure. If I don’t try, then I can’t fail. Now logic would respond that if I don’t try then I’ve already failed – it’s just unofficial. But logic can be overrated.

I am, of course,  talking  about driving lessons.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 42 years old. In my time on this planet thus far, I have only ever sat behind the wheel of a car that had its engine switched on, on one solitary occasion. That was about 6 years ago in rural Nova Scotia in Canada. The screams of terror from my designated driver friend, still sometimes cause me to jolt awake at night.

Actually that last sentence is nonsense. But that  incident is indeed my only driving experience.

As a teenager in Limerick my means of transport were bicycle for short journeys, and hitchhiking when I needed to travel further afield. Hitching gets bad press these days, and there is no denying that there is a possibility you may meet an axe-wielding maniac, when you stick your thumb out at the side of the road and show a shapely ankle in an attempt to lure a driver to stop. Having a cardboard sign displaying your intended destination was another handy tool to assist in getting a lift.

I never encountered a psychopath when hitching though Most people were friendly and just looking for some company on the road. The strangest hitching experiences weren’t even that weird – a middle aged French woman gave a friend and I a lift somewhere near Bordeaux in the south of France in the mid-90s. She was very pleasant at first but after about half an hour stopped the card suddenly and screamed at us to get out.

The other strange occurrence was going from Dublin to Limerick when a hearse stopped for me. In the back was an occupied coffin. The body was being transported from Dingle to Dublin for cremation. The driver was a native Irish speaker, and very friendly he was too. I felt a little rude not acknowledging the body so I glanced over my shoulder at random points, so as to include the corpse in the conversation.

In the fifteen years I spent in Amsterdam a car would in fact have been a handicap – public transport is amazingly efficient and well run and regular. Owning a car would mean sourcing a parking space, and these are like gold dust. Cycling was a much easier means of movement.

Now I am back in Ireland I need a car for mobility purposes. I don’t know how long I want to stay in the city centre of Dublin. If I ever move to a more isolated area having a reliable means of regular transport will become more of a priority.

When I came back to Ireland, I rejected an interview for a seemingly interesting job between Cork and Limerick. The only way I could get to work on time each day wold have been to live in the actual village where the job was located. Irish village life has its own unique appeal (utter lack of privacy not being one of them) but as I was only fresh off the boat, I decided that it was perhaps unwise to take that chance immediately.

Driving is becoming a necessity.

Having received my provisional license some weeks ago, a set of driving lessons has finally been booked.

A driving test is still a good way off but weekly lessons for the next month or so will hopefully teach me the very basics which will be a good launch pad for my future career as a Formula One driver.

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