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Ooof, my wrists are sore. All this restructuring stuff takes it out of a person. Still, here I am in the warm and dry with a kitten at the end of a ribbon and Thomas Voeckler's dangling tongue on the telly. So it's not all bad. Speaking of which, I was trying to explain the appeal of the Tour de France to my nearest and dearest, and it does have an appeal beyond the obvious*; it's long, terrifying huge, and full of bewildering and ever-shifting rules and regulations. In its cruel and arbitrary nature it mirrors life itself.

Speaking of life itself, has anyone round here learned how to drive in later life? Is it impossible? If things go ill in the next few weeks, I may need to.

Oh, and also -- tenovertwelvers. I forgot that I forgot to include my compilation in the mix:

The rain fell slantwise
The rain fell slantwise
The electrodrizzle compilation

My mind was on a rainy spring in a west-country seaside town, and being the only elecrogoth on the pier. Rain in your fringe and cheap black dye leaking out of your trousers. Ah, memories. Bang up to date on the youtubes, though -- go under the cut for a hypnotic fan video to Crystal Castle's Birds

Best start thinking about the summer compilation soon, I guess. Any suggestions for compilation themes? My brain is quite fried for the thinking at the moment, when I'm not actively awash with adrenalin. Then I snap into focus so fast I overshoot. Flashbacks to all the people who've ever told me: you do your best work when you're under pressure. Gah.

*The three Ls -- legs, landscape and lycra.


( 21 worms — Feed the birds )
6th Jul, 2011 19:46 (UTC)
George learnt to drive in later life (she's my touchstone for that, too)
6th Jul, 2011 20:10 (UTC)
she did, didn't she
Hmmm, and to commute, too
12th Jul, 2011 21:13 (UTC)
Re: she did, didn't she
Gearorge says, and told me to tell you (let's see if I can remember it all) -

(1) her car (wot she still has) is perfect for learning in and is available to be borrowed for that purpose should you wish - you just have to get insurance for it (which she says as an older driver will be trivial money)

(2) she found that being taught was useful but not as useful as just going out to practice with a friend beside you who would not tell you what to do all the time. She was great with any instructor because she just did what they said, and wasn't learning how to make her own decisions. So, although tuition was useful to tell her how to drive a car, much more time practising without the instructor there was the thing that she should have been spending more time on.

(3) if you can ride a bicycle in traffic, you already know a lot of the road-sense anyway. [this last obvs. isn't relevant to me]

6th Jul, 2011 19:48 (UTC)
Speaking of life itself, has anyone round here learned how to drive in later life?

Hey, I'm about to start learning - v scared. But inspired by Googe Bird aka Deb Googe from MBV who was approaching 40 when she learnt and then became a cabbie for a bit. Also my great aunty Edna learnt when she was in her 60s!
6th Jul, 2011 20:08 (UTC)
and I wish you good luck and goodspeed
6th Jul, 2011 20:16 (UTC)
R's friend Matt is learning now, at the age of 42 or so. Seems to be working.
6th Jul, 2011 20:31 (UTC)
well, there's hope, then....
6th Jul, 2011 20:54 (UTC)
I learned to drive young, but saw plenty of bods at work taking lessons, everyone gets there at their own pace, whatever the age. I vaguely recall at school the average number of lessons needed to pass was 30.

It's tiresome though, and slow. People seem to drop out from the (perfectly normal) length of time it can take and how boring and expensive it gets.

For the older bod, who (lets face it) has plenty of better things to be doing with their time I'd recommend a crash (!) course if monetarily possible, where instead of doing 1 lesson per week over 30 weeks, book a week or 2 off and do one of those intensive courses. No time to forget between lessons and you get drilled to it quicker.

7th Jul, 2011 06:09 (UTC)
The expense is also concerning me greatly, of course...

Edited at 2011-07-07 06:10 (UTC)
7th Jul, 2011 07:12 (UTC)
To be honest, dropping out does seem to boil down to money in the end.
At school, passing the test was something that HAD to be done, socially compulsory, and from my family's point of view - compulsory also, and like most of my peers, it was paid for by our families until we passed. Some passed first time after 30 lessons, others (like me) took 20 lessons, failed, took another 10, passed. (And then saved up to buy a moped not a car!)

"Grown up" students (that I've observed) are stuck from a combo of having to pay out of their own budgets and possibly unrealistic expectations. Thus they set aside a wodge of cash to pay for a set (and insufficient) number of lessons and when they fail after that set number (and failing first time is common and perfectly normal) they give up, or it sort of falls by the wayside (mostly from the unexpected extra expense.)

Expect it to be more expensive than you'd hoped, expect to possibly fail first time, and try to keep regular lessons after the first fail until you pass. People often go very sporadic after the first fail, and if you're not driving regularly, you'll hemmorage confidence.

Finally, when you've lived for so long without a car, it's harder to work up the enthusiasm to pay all that cash, so a fail can make people think - "sod, I've no time or money left - fuck it all!"

When you're a kid, it feels like you can't possibly survive unless you pass.

In truth, I've had jobs that I got precisely because no one else could commute to them, not necessarily far away, but difficult to get to. It did open doors for me. I hate driving, I find it boring and annoying, but damn it comes in very handy, I'd hate to give up my car, even now I'm in London and will be commuting on foot from September.

Edited at 2011-07-07 07:14 (UTC)
7th Jul, 2011 07:21 (UTC)
Well, in theory at least the redundancy package would pay for the driving lessons while the insurance took care of the mortgage -- if things go that way -- however there's a another possibility based around a pay rise but having to learn how to drive. I did the maths last night and it hangs together, just ...

... oh and I'd better go back in the moodgym, too. I have masses of car-based trauma to get through on the way.

6th Jul, 2011 20:57 (UTC)
I passed my test not so very long ago. You can do it.
7th Jul, 2011 07:22 (UTC)
... and sympathies
Thanks, it's really helpful to know others have managed :)
7th Jul, 2011 17:33 (UTC)
All the best with it.
7th Jul, 2011 08:04 (UTC)
My partnaar barnacle passed his test shortly before his 30th birthday. Is that late enough in life to serve as an example?
8th Jul, 2011 07:04 (UTC)
He's a leetle bit younger than I am but yes that is an example!
7th Jul, 2011 08:10 (UTC)
Almost everyone who sticks with it passes eventually. There is an intellectual element that you'll have no problem with but basically it is a reflex based skill. As with all such skills practice makes perfect. You do need some lessons to get started and to prepare you for the test but you can save a lot of money by just driving with husband/friends in the passenger seat.
7th Jul, 2011 09:48 (UTC)
I second this and all that Moto says above. You do need to keep on practicing - a crash course could embed it thoroughly to start with but even then you'd need to keep practicing to make sure it sticks for the future. I only got properly comfortable with driving after commuting in a car in the US but even before that it was a usful skill to be able to have.

After passing you might find it useful to join a car club and use that car to drive to work a few times even if you don't have to?
8th Jul, 2011 07:10 (UTC)
There are pool cars at work (and a couple of pool bikes!) but yes my level of usage is more likely to make me a car clubber -- that or I'll have to schedule in driving practice

Even if I never hit the comfortable phase, it'll still be useful, yes
7th Jul, 2011 12:08 (UTC)
Timely question as it happens
Chat to you soon.
8th Jul, 2011 07:12 (UTC)
Re: Timely question as it happens
( 21 worms — Feed the birds )