26 March 2011

Happy Dance

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Thank you for all the well-wishes and for following for what feels like a never ending tale of getting my UK Driver's License. What great troupers you are! 

For a quick recap, it is a three step process which takes at least 6 months to complete. International drivers have one year from arrival date to complete the steps successfully to be 'legal'. Only 44% of applicants pass each year (I've also heard 33%). Let's just call them the lottery winners. 


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Without a UK Driver's License after the year is up, they will impound your car in the rain at night leaving you and your kids in their pjs on the side of the road - possibly miles (or kilometers) away from home - if pulled over by the police. That visualization was all I needed to get the ball rolling. Big, heavy, spiky ball.

Yesterday I took the last step of driving with Mr Tester Man. Waiting to meet him, I did a big sigh of relief when I saw he looked like a kind, grandfatherly-type (who surely doesn't fail those who try really, really hard). Scratched record sound in the background, I was then horrified when he opened his mouth in the thickest Scottish accent ever. Ever. 

Even my accompanying driving instructor thought 'Uh oh' - he told me later. 


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Ironically during my driving lessons, I had mentioned every single potential catastrophe to my instructor that I could imagine. He had assured me I would be able to understand my Mr Tester Man (and a flock of pelicans were very unlikely to fly into my car during my test). His mantra was, 'Don't worry, Laura. Don't panic. You'll do fine'. But you know what he was really thinking.... (psycho)...


Flowers growing in the road
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Back to the test - with Mr (Scottish) Tester Man repeating everything twice and a quick game of charades for clarification, I did all my turns and maneuvers 'good enough' to pass. After successfully completing my 3 Point Turn, a little 'Yippee!' escaped my lips. He chuckled a Scottish chuckle. 


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Definitely not a walk in the park, I received multiple check marks for insufficient mirror use. But I haven't met a person yet who hasn't been checked for that one repeatedly. Like Nadia Comaneci, is it possible to get a 'Perfect 10' on the practical driving test? 

With marbles in his mouth, I had to ask Mr Tester Man to repeat what he said, because it sorta sounded like he said I passed. Or at least that's what I'm going with :) 


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So Nervous Nellie can now drive legally throughout Europe and The Commonwealth. (Except for India - they don't have reciprocity since their driving is of a 'different standard'.) 


The Commonwealth
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You know you have good friends when they greet you with wine and cake to either drown your sorrows or celebrate. They admitted that 'really, the day could have gone either way'.


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So happy to put my book, notes, and CD-ROMs in the closet for my husband to use. Now I need to take care of duties that have taken the back burner. 

Like calling the chimney sweep to clean our old Victorian chimney. I so love that. So English. 

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands...
{clap, clap}

The Backstories: 

40 comments:

Laura said...

Yay! Well done... Would you say it's harder driving in the UK? I was amazed to find that you can just hop in a manual out here and drive on the roads, even if you have never driven before... no test nothing... just as long as you have a license. I do see a lot of pranged cars out here though... it seems the norm rather than the exception. I'll be driving back in Blighty, so I'll have to get my English head on! Lx

Kym Hamer said...

Well done you...I didn't have to face this, having come from a fellow Commonwealth nation (Australia), but I haven't driven a manual since I learnt to drive 24 years ago so it's been auto transmissions all the way for me!

Kevin and Julie's Blog said...

Yay congrats! I could not drive here, its crazyness!!!

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Congratulations! I would hate to have to resit my driving test, well done on getting yours!

Jane said...

Woo hoo! Go Nervous Nellie! post of the week, Hands down. I am *so* delighted for you, Sweetheart. Woo hoo! Happy dance in faraway Hobart. J x

topchelseagirl said...

Yay, well done! x

Frau S said...

Yay! Congratulations!!!

ann said...

I cannot possibly imagine learning how to drive in the UK. And while the Tube scares the be jebbers out of me, I still don't think I could drive in England. What a grand adventure your are having. Love the VW photo. Good luck. cheers. ann

Beth said...

No stopping you now Laura! Go girl!
Congratulations.
x

Katherina said...

I'm so happy for you, congrats!! :)

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Congrats on gaining your Uk driving Licence, something I am grateful we do not have to do as Brits in Italy is take a test.

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

FABULOUS, Laura. you deserve lots of cake after that adventure. and how cool that you are easily collecting a ton of excellent material for your future career in standup? WELL DONE!

michele

Emily said...

Wahoooo! {Clap, clap!} Congratulations!

Munir said...

Congratulations and hugs. Good job. I know it is not easy in England to get a drivers license. I lived there for two years and my husband for seven years.
The pictures are pretty and funny.
Enjoy you victory - celebrate :)

Taylor Made said...

Good for you sounds like a grueling exercise all round. Happy driving.

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Here from FTLOB and happy to meet you,
<3, New Follower

Get a dose of laughgter at A Taste of T

Slidecutter said...

If only that same regimentation was enforced here in the U.S. regarding obtaining a driver's license, an awful lot of people might not be behind the wheel of a car. While it might have been a daunting task for you in obtaining your U.K. certification, I applaud your determination and success!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, I plan on stopping by and enjoying yours often.

Have a lovely week-end,

Patty

Robynne's Nest said...

Woo hoo! now you can join all the other crazy driver's (including me) on the road. I would be interested to know...do the instructors teach you to indicate as it seems to me that very few 'locals' actually do it...they just seem to weave in and out of the traffic as they do in Europe (especially Italy). Love the photos...hope you did tighten your bra strap...wouldn't want any diversions! Robx

WinnibriggsHouse said...

Fantastic...though I am not sure why you want to get out on our loony roads! Congratulations, go celebrate, you deserve it.
Jenny x
PS I never learned to drive DH says I am conserving posterity...Have no idea what he means, just 'cos I reversed our first car into a flooded ditch!!!

Kate and Russ said...

YAY!! I'm clapping my hands! I will have to stifle a laugh if my instructor is the Scottish one. Ay yi yi!

Jen of Country Weekend said...

Holy cow, what a process. Love your pictures and story, especially the Scottish tester. Congratulations and have fun!

Erin S. said...

Way to go!!

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you passed. Thanks for stopping by my blog. HPS!

Raine and Sage said...

*huge round of applause*
Congratulations Laura - what a relief!!

Privet and Holly said...

Hooray! My goodness,
who knew??? I'm so
happy for you ~ WHAT
a relief! Have a BIG
glass of prosecco and
celebrate!!
xx Suzanne

Life in the Country Lane said...

Congratulations, well done, Yay!!, whoop whoop!!! You deserve a treat. What a relief this must be.
Rebecca x

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Wonderful! You must be so relieved and happy. What an ordeal.

BonjourRomance said...

Congratulations. ANother big milestone over. I am in the process in France right now...
Good weekend,
Mimi

Kathy said...

Congratulations! I love the pictures that go with this post, and you are such a natural story-teller. Hope you have many fun road trips to come! :-)

Sue Jack said...

Congrats on passing that silly ol' test, Sweetie! I'm so happy for you! But I do have to say....it sure made for some wonderful posts!! :) So it all wasn't so bad in the end...

Have a wonderful week, Laura...

Sue

Hines-Sight said...

Congrats!!!! You find the best photos. I love the cheerleader, and the first one is really neat.

birdie blue said...

well done, you! love the way you wrote your story. i'm going to add you to my side-bar, so i don't miss a thing.

xo
~molly

Terri Morse said...

You go girl! After what you had to go through to get that license, you deserve it. I laughed out loud when I saw the road sign. Congratulations and thanks for the smiles. Have a great day. Terri

Meera @ firstsense said...

Yippeeee, congratulations missy!! HAPPY DANCE!

Loved reading the post, that patchwork beetle is COOL!

Meera xx

elisa rathje said...

hurrah! that's a huge accomplishment. i'm on the same road, i've been driving on my canadian license on narrow country roads at incredible speeds (when pushed) and i'm nervous about this process! i must hurry up, actually. 6 months you say?!
x

Marie said...

Excellent! congratulations and what a good story :) I loved it - especially the happy end I guess!
Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog since we are at it ;)

American in Bath said...

Well done. It's unheard of to pass on your first try especially if you are an American. You're going to love the chimney sweep. There is one round here who wears a chimney sweep hat. Though ours just doesn't use the internet. When he needed to know a part number, he made me google for him. Twas very funny. And ask that he remove any nests and check that the bird guard is still atop your chimney.

Ada said...

Congratulations! I was never brave enough to attempt driving in the UK. Well done you!

SarahB said...

yeah!!! CONGRATS!!! Im here from FTLOB!!

Buttercup and Bee said...

Well done you! As a native here I found learning to drive terrifying My legs shook so much I could hardly control the pedals and I vowed that I would never do it again! A promise that I stuck to for 20 years until I took my motorbike test (on the same day as my son!)and that well and truely cured me I will NEVER EVER do it again EVER! I would never dream of taking a test abroad if I couldnt drive on my UK licence I just wouldn,t drive