Louisa’s Diary – Day Five

Going into day 5 and my attempt at the test I would say I’ve probably got a 10 percent chance of success. To have any prospect at all really is a miracle considering where I started on Monday morning. Unlike most candidates I won’t be gutted with a fail. It will be a triumph to have got this far at all. I just don’t want to let myself down, or disappoint Pete. Thankfully he prefers not to come on the test itself, so when I do disgrace myself at least I won’t be seeing his face in the rearview mirror at the time.

Making an early start to get the maximum extra practice in, the morning goes well and I am driving like a pro, or at least someone who might just make it through the test. Sadly the nerves kick in when we arrive at the test centre and my brain turns to mush. What previously felt safe and under control becomes a blur carrying me along with it in terror. My cool head is a distant memory as all around me people are behaving badly and hooting each other. Not me at least. My shaky start becomes a shaky middle and I finally seal my fate on the biggest roundabout King’s Lynn has to torture me with. Everything seems like it is going at breakneck speed and I miss my turn off. Trying to be clever I stay on to have another run at it, but am now so disorientated by speeding around the centre I get confused by a rogue traffic light. I stop and stall and in pure panic some little part of my brain tells me to put the hazard lights on. Once I finally recover from the stall there’s no brain telling me to turn it off again. Just an irate examiner. I have no idea how long it was on before she pointed it out or how I finally made it off the roundabout and safely back to the test centre but the “I’m sorry you haven’t passed” came as no surprise at all. I wouldn’t have passed me.

During instructor feedback, Pete is a star. I know I’ve not done him or myself proud but he still finds a bright side. I am the only person ever to fail by driving around the roundabout with the hazards on. We talk about how it was looking v unlikely that I should actually take the test on Monday and touch and go at points during the week so we agree that getting this far is success in itself. And it is. I even remembered that this particular examiner likes people to visibly check for trains on the level crossing even when it’s open. I can confirm that there were no trains but if there were I’m sure I would have put the hazards on before running for my life.

I was always going to be happy to go home safe enough to practice in a regular car without dual controls and I’ve made it. Thanks to Pete. I couldn’t have done it without him. And I managed not to break his car. Success!