Day 2 starts outside the guesthouse without the usual ritual of being driven by the instructor to a safe location. We’re just hitting the road straightaway so it really is time to discover whether yesterday was just a fluke. Soon I am in the swing of it and trying not to wince and ease off the accelerator even when the light is green when suddenly a car decides it would be a good moment to turn right across the road in front of me. Thankfully I prove that I can indeed do an emergency stop. After we do some seriously fast driving – up to 50mph – on main roads with roundabouts, 30 feels fine in town. Pete’s cunning plan works. Then we take it really slow to learn the manoeuvres.
This I love. Nice quiet roads for turning round and reversing. Even turning in roads on a hill and reversing round corners up a slope. It’s like synchronised swimming for cars and it’s all fine by me. Very happy about going backwards as there is no expectation to go fast. It’s all wonderfully under control and the physical dyslexia I feared would strike has been held at bay by crystal clear instructions and the reassuring certainty that turning left is still turning left even when you are going backwards.
Pete’s end of day two talk has only one real pointer and it is, predictably, speed. How I long for the stuff of TV safety campaigns – “just don’t do it kids, it’s not worth it”. However this talk is about the need to go faster when the road allows it and to be able to get away faster at junctions. Logically I understand that although I feel safer and more in control going slow, it will not actually be safer if everyone behind me has to slow down too. That night in the B&B I give myself a good talking to. I will be brave and fearless. I don’t want my gutlessness to hold me back. I also want to make Pete happy – that level of confidence in the face of a shaky reality deserves reward.