Hello my dear Bloggeroos.
Once again I have been trawling the old memory banks to find a suitable tale to entertain you with today.
Growing up, I was always a late developer.
Don't ask me why, but it wasn't until I reached my thirties that I decided that I ought to learn to drive.
In 1988, I 'phoned round a few Driving Instructors. In those days, this wasn't an easy task. Everyone wanted to learn to drive, and there was even a 4 month waiting list to take the Driving Test.
I eventually found this guy who could fit me in and set up some lessons. Before I started, I had never had a lesson in my life. I wasn't too nervous, although I was very cautious.
What a rubbish instructor this bloke turned out to be. He wasn't at all patient and I felt he rushed me to try new skills before I was ready. By my fourth lesson, I was a quivering wreck.
I decided to cancel my lessons and try to find someone who would better suit my driving skills or lack thereof.
A few weeks later I bumped into an old friend. She had recently passed her test.
I asked her if she'd had a good instructor. She told me that Liam had taught her and that he had returned from America the previous year, and had trained to become a Driving Instructor to supplement his earnings from his singing.
(For those of you who don't know, a little back story here...........Liam was eventually my life partner from 2001 until his death in November 2008. We had first met as teenagers, and were friends for 30 years, before we decided we quite fancied each other, and might make a great couple!)
So, anyway, I 'phoned him and he said that he could fit me in. He was a wonderful instructor. Some instructors teach you just enough to pass a Driving Test. Not Liam - he taught me to become a good, courteous, safe driver. He also took his time to show his pupils how to check the oil, top up the radiator, and change a wheel.
After about four lessons, I became ill and had to have an operation. I was advised not to take up driving again for 3 months.
The day of my first lesson after my op, I asked my son to look outside the house to see if Liam had turned up yet.
Ali didn't want to and said,
"Mum, can't you look? I've not seen him for years - I was at school when you had the other lessons. I can't remember what he looks like."
I replied, "Oh for goodness sake! He'll have a car with L plates on, he's got thinning hair and he's got a beard."
Ali looked out the front window, "There IS a car out there with L-plates on, but the bloke hasn't got a beard."
I went out to Liam and got in the car.
LIAM: "How are you now, OK?".
ME: "I'm fine thanks. What are we doing today?"
He turned to look at me, watching for my reaction as I hated reversing,
LIAM:"We'll do reversing round a corner, and I want to go over observation with you."
ME: "I'm good at observation. For instance, didn't you have a beard?"
LIAM: "Yes I did. I shaved it off 'cos of the hot weather."
(I thought to myself, 'What's he talking about, it's February. Has he been on holiday?')
LIAM: "Errrr, 1983, six years ago."
I didn't argue when he wanted to go over 'observation' at the end of my lesson!