Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Baby, you can drive my car
Lynn puts her foot down
Yesterday, Mick, Krissy, myself and Lynn took our first driving lesson - remember, we are all blind and partially sighted, so for us, all in our 30s and 40s, this was a very big deal.
The lesson took place at an airfield somewhere in Northamptonshire, a place called Brackley, and run by a company called Driving Ambition (www.driving-ambition.info). We divvied ourselves into two dual control cars. Mine and Lynn's driver was Ian, and with Lynn behind the wheel, they set off learning the gears, clutch and steering. They then moved on to slow practice runs around the airfield and the last half hour was spent riding around the perimeter, getting up to speeds of 50mph. Lynn had a massive smile on her face throughout, and was a careful, methodical driver. Ian guided her steering vocally and, despite her lack of sight, I didn't feel as if we were in dangerous hands once. Given a full deck of sight, I'm sure we be driving carefully and safely all over the place.
Whereas I just wanted to do a Schumacher. We got up to speeds of 60mph. While I was happy to get as much speed out of the car as I could given the pot-holey state of the road. Our instructor would, I think, have preferred me to have taken things more relaxed, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wasn't going to waste it on the niceties of polite, considerate driving when the chance tot take the Playstation rally game into a real car (a nice little Honda).
This is an experience I would recommend to any blindo who hasn't driven, and isn't likely to, legally anyway.
Another experience I would recommend is a trip to the Great Nepalese restaurant, at the side of Euston Station, which is where we rounded off our very tiring and exhilarating day.
A fantastic way for Michael to celebrate his 40th.
Book: Saturday - Ian McEwan
Music: Sparks - Hello Young Lovers