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"Here in my car", said 80s pop hero Gary Numan, "I feel safest of all". He obviously never shared the same stretch of road as me, then. Automotive tales of mirth and woe, please.

(, Thu 22 Apr 2010, 12:34)
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Roundabouts - don'cha just luvvem?
One day when I was learning to drive, back in sixth form, my dad came to pick me up from school in his mustard-yellow Mercedes 123T estate car. (It was a good 10 years old then - we weren't poshos.) It was winter and there was snow on the ground.

He handed me the keys and said "right, you're driving". So I took my place in the driver's seat and gingerly pulled out, not wanting to stall or bunny-hop my way to embarrassment, since all my school pals were staring at us. I was one of the youngest in my year, so most of them had already passed their driving tests and were heading to their cars (mostly old Minis, Austin 1100s, Maxis and Allegros and the like).

Most of the route back was along dual carriageway, but I had to get through urban streets and traffic lights to get to the main junction, then take the third exit off a large roundabout to get onto it. One of those big roundabouts with a large grassy traffic island in the middle of it.

The kind of grassy island where, when you oversteer in your inexperience, end up in the middle of it, and then stall, you are stuck there, glowing red with shame and frustration, while your friends drive round and round, pointing, laughing and jeering at you, and your dad tries very hard to stay composed and not laugh along or shout at you, but doesn't quite manage either.

The kind of grassy island where, when there's snow on the ground, your tyre-tracks are frozen as a memorial to your mistake for weeks on end until they finally thaw and disappear.

The next time my dad picked me up from school for a driving lesson, he came arrived in my mum's Mini.
(, Thu 22 Apr 2010, 13:03, 1 reply)
I used to have one of the saloons of those barges
but the 300T is still my favourite
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 11:21, closed)

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