Day 4, the final full day, means completing the aspects I’m still not sure about and getting on to a practice test. Shortness of time means that we combine the two – roundabouts and dual carriageways then the inclusion of these two horrors under test conditions. As usual, Pete is right. I’m a lot happier about what is going on with the roundabouts once my brain is trained to their peculiar ways. Dual carriageways are also not too bad once you’re on them. It’s the getting on I’m not thrilled by. Even as a passenger I get a shudder of fear hurtling down the slip road.
The mock test was a revelation. With Pete sitting there with his clipboard instead of providing helpful hints I fall to pieces in the most ridiculous situations. Stalling unnecessarily when there was no pressure at all and messing up my gears. Of course I fail. But not by too much, so this is actually really good news. Roundabouts and the dual carriageway were fine with nothing really dangerous. Lots of silly minor things I shouldn’t have done but my downfall was gears and stopping on a road marking that said “keep clear”. I’ll be keeping well clear of that one in future, so tonight I have to give myself a real talking to about gear changes. I think I can get to grips with the slippery devils, but I have been relying on Pete nagging me every time a change is necessary and now I need to pull my socks up and focus.
At the end of the day pep talk, Pete says: “of course you know what the good news is about that roundabout?”. Its imminent destruction is too much to hope for, so I’m mystified. The good news is that it is very close to my guesthouse, so Pete suggests I pay it a familiarisation visit on foot. Strange as the suggestion is, I would never ignore the advice of my guardian angel – yes, Pete, I will also be checking out skid pans in London for practice in slippery conditions.
So off I go for a gentle stroll round the roundabout. My observation post gains me some very odd looks. I must look like a trainspotter on her holidays or a large suicidal lemming in a stripy cardigan. I wonder how many crashes I could cause if I whipped out a clipboard and started taking notes? However I do get a good chance to see how people decide when it is safe to emerge. I plan to report back to Pete on the shocking lack of lane discipline.