I first got my Learners Licence when I was 16, the legal age here is 15 and 9 months, I knew some people that got it the very first day they could because they were that keen to drive. I was less keen and never really felt the same desire to drive as my classmates. It was more my parents pushing me to get it rather than me wanting to that finally made me do it. Learning to drive was less than fun, the first vehicle that I started in was my Dad’s ute and I found it far too stressful and didn’t try again for ages.
A little while later I started learning in our old red Holden Gemini, we had bought it one day when we were actually out looking for a new ute. One place we went to that was advertising a ute for sale also had their son’s Gemini for sale and my Dad loved it so much he bought it. It was a teenaged boys dream, my Dad wasn’t exactly the target demographic for the lowered car with dark tinted windows and a redback spider gear knob.
Eventually I started practising in my parents new car, they thought it would be more respectable to do the test in it than the old Gemini plus it had power steering and was somewhat easier to drive.
And that is how I came to get my “red P’s” in the summer of 2000/2001. I had a deadline from my parents, they needed a driver to the AC/DC concert in February of 2001 and expected me to get my licence so that I could do so, seriously, that happened.
After that I inherited the Gemini which went on a lot of adventures with me. I’m surprised it didn’t end up worse off given it had a tendency to overheat and I drove it in some conditions it probably shouldn’t have been driven in. One day it died for good. I could have repaired it but it was more money than it was worth and more money than I had so I let the wreckers take it away and investigated buying a new car!
I hated my new car, it was an automatic and a lot bigger than my little Gemini and I decided I wasn’t going to drive it and then if I wasn’t going to drive it why bother having a licence? So I let my licence expire and didn’t renew it for nearly 10 years.
I currently live in an area that only this week had a local set of shops open and it’s either a 30 min walk to the next shops or working around the less than awesome bus timetables to get anywhere so about a week ago I got my Learner’s again (I got it originally 2 years ago but let it expire without doing much driving) and am pretty determined to get it converted to at least my P’s, but hopefully a full licence. Hopefully this desire outweighs my laziness.
I went for my first drive yesterday and it went ok! Considering in the last 10+ years I’d only done a little drive once before it’s pretty amazing how quickly you remember how to do everything. There are obviously things I need to work on (like checking for cyclists when crossing cycle paths. No I didn’t do that yesterday, eek! Fortunately there were no cyclists) but I think it’s something I can do and maybe in the next year or so I will be saying I went for my first drive solo.