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October 11, 2012 / angelavbolton

Driving Ambition ~ Second Lesson

Robert & Angela, Continental Wireless Inc. Christmas Party, San Diego, California (c. 1996/97)

I’ve had my second driving lesson, with instructor Louise Kavanagh. The first one took place in the car park of Crumlin Shopping Centre, just stopping, starting, jamming on the brakes and cutting out (once) but no bunny-hopping, and we didn’t leave the carpark. Was expecting more of the same and indeed Louise did get me to drive around the car park a few times before deciding I was driving to Dun Laoghaire.

You’re kidding, I said. No, she said, go out here, turn left, watch that cyclist… I cut out at the exit of the centre so the white van behind me reversed up and swerved past me to get out on the road. Louise is unflappable ~ obviously well used to this carry on ~ and her calm demeanour (and the fact that she’s got the same pedals on her side…) transmits to me. She’s not sitting with her teeth clenched, or at least not visibly.

But of course we didn’t get a smooth ride: just as we left the shopping center a very casual cyclist broke the lights twice right in front of us, and the fact that I don’t know the area at all and had to be directed by Louise was a bit daunting. However, I managed not to mash him (even though I felt he might have deserved it…) and before too long we were in Rialto and I started to breathe again. At least I had cycled around there, though at one point I had to take a right turn because that was the lane we were in.

At last we get close to more familiar roads: Blackrock, Monkstown, then Dun Laoghaire – and road works at Tivoli Road: Louise starts laughing, there’s men in orange jackets waving us on, smoke coming from machines, diversion signs, I’m swearing, chaos. We finally got up York Road, through Monkstown Farm towards Kill Avenue. I pulled into the car park of the Holy Family Church, announcing my intention of lunching at Baker’s Corner and calming my nerves with a glass of wine. As Louise had an appointment she couldn’t join me – a pity, because she’s great company.

I told one of my colleagues, a professional driver here at Fanagans, about my drive to Dun Laoghaire and of course he said that was the way to do it (in other words, Louise was right to throw me in at the deep end. These drivers all stick together). I asked if he had any tips? ‘Yes, don’t eat yellow snow and never wear brown laces in black shoes’. Thanks Aido.

All in all, probably the best fun I’ve had in weeks. Thanks Louise.

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