Our grand-daughter Katie telephones us this morning - she has passed her driving test at the first attempt. Congratulations we say, we are so proud of you.
We have been
on tenterhooks since breakfast time, knowing that she was starting her test at 8.10 a.m. It was kind, indeed, of her to find time to put us out of our misery. Isn't it funny, the way we get so involved in our grandchildren's triumphs and disasters? Fortunately
there are many more of the former than the latter or we would be nervous wrecks.
Driving tests have changed since I took my (three!) tests. Apparently the first questions they ask are about the car, like how
do you turn the windscreen wipers on and how do you top up the oil? What a good thing I am not taking my test today. I still don't know how to switch the fog lights on - or off, for that matter, which is more of a problem in many ways as from time to time
they just seem to switch themselves on and I have to face the fury of fellow drivers who are being blinded by them. As for topping up the oil, well, I have Mr B and - as he is fond of saying - why have a dog and bark yourself?
I read the other day that they are thinking of removing the requirement to carry out a three point turn - or "turn in the road" to give it its correct title. This seems to me to be a retrograde step, mainly because it is the only manouevre which I can
carry out expertly. Though I say it myself, I am a whizz at three point turns. This is undoubtedly due to the number of times I find myself taking the wrong turning to get wherever I want to go - and, no, I can't even blame the sat nav, only the one in my
head that thinks it knows where it is going but is so often mistaken.
As part of her test, Katie had to execute parallel parking which would have been my downfall if I had been her. Fortunately I am not her
and she passed with flying colours, parallel parking and all. Of the four people taking their driving tests at the same time this morning only one passed. "I did feel sorry for them," says Katie, before adding, honestly, "But I was so pleased with myself!"
And rightly so, my lovely.
Now all the family is putting in requests for a visit, given that she will be able to arrive under her own steam and not wait for The Parents to be free to take her. It is likely
that the Middle of the Darling Daughters will be able to play the trump card, because next week the Twins are due to be born. There is no way Katie's Grandad and I can compete with such a Major Attraction, but I'm sure we will see her one day soon, turning
up outside our house in style.
Mr B and I search the shelves in WHSmith for a "Well done on passing your driving test" card but, unlike Katie, we fail miserably. It's always a problem in the month of December,
I find, when every shop selling cards lines shelf after shelf with season's greetings. Heaven help you if you are looking for an In Sympathy card, or a Good Luck card, or a Passed Your Driving Test card. Such "ordinary" events are consigned to a few meagre
shelves and you have to search them out. We had to make do with a card which read "So proud of you" on the front. I would have drawn a car on the front but, as you can tell, I am not too good on wheels.
we made our way through the town, an enormous lorry arrived in the precinct, laden with not one but four tall Christmas trees. Yes, Christmas has arrived in Worthing. The ice rink is installed in The Steyne and we even have a Christmas Market this year for
the very first time. I would like to have stopped to take a photograph of the Christmas tree lorry but Mr B would not have been amused, particularly as it was starting to rain and we were on our way to Marks and Spencer's for a coffee and a sandwich.
When we retraced our steps, duly refreshed, the Christmas tree was in position, straight, tall and Altogether Rather Majestic, even without any lights or other decorations. I wonder where the other three trees
have ended up? I shall have to go on a Tree Hunt. Which is a bit like a Bear Hunt, but not so dangerous.
Of the Christmas tree lorry there was no sign. Such a shame I missed the going of it.
Now, that would have involved some three point turn.