I had promised myself that I would be sitting in the car 15 minutes before my instructor arrived so that I could settle my nerves, put the L plates on (straight), and put the new insurance disc on the windshield which adds me to the policy as a named driver.
I switched off my mobile phone, popped it into the glovebox, and pretended to casually read the Rules of the Road as I glanced incessantly in the rear view mirror for Liam Barry of Orwell Driving School to arrive.
I liked him before he even got out of his car. Visually, Liam reminds me of one of my favourite childhood TV characters O’Brien (Eugene Lambert), and in the best possible way.
I was tempted to ask him whether we could just sit in the car and chat for the first lesson, so I wouldn’t have to drive at all, but apparently that’s not how it works. My first date nerves wore off quickly and within minutes, after dutifully checking that all my documentation was in order, I was driving carefully and proudly around Terenure and Rathfarnham.
The most important aspect for me is that the hour flew, and I loved it. I’m ready to keep trying. It’s about twenty years since I first drove, and stopped, and started, and stopped again.
My aim in the Somedayers project is not to stop again. Catherine Cleary of The Irish Times is a great mentor, and the support network by email from the other participants is beyond all my expectations. I must also say hi and thanks to Emma in Dublin City Council’s Motor Tax Office in Clondalkin, another voice of support and fun over the phone.
My upper arms are aching, so I’ll sign off for now. I must have been clenching the steering wheel tighter than I thought, but it didn’t feel like that at the time.
Continued good luck fellow Somedayers, look out for us in The Irish Times Magazine on Saturday 12th January.