For most, driving is second nature. You’ve probably done it since you were 17 years old. For others, like me, it’s been put off for environmental, health or financial reasons. Well, I thought that it was time this old dog learned a new trick…

“1966,” he observed, somewhere between chuckle and utter amazement.

Indeed, my birth date gave it away. I’m fast-approaching FIFTY later this year.

My driving instructor sat looking at my battered paper licence, one of those green provisional ones they issued last century. And it was, dated 1998.

The worst of it was that a previous provisional had expired some time before that. I just never got round to lessons. I was busy. I was in the Navy. I worked in London, blah blah.

Since then it’s been too easy to walk and cycle around Crewe, even further afield to towns and villages in Cheshire. The buses and especially trains are also quick and easy. Sometimes!

However, with the milestone birthday on the horizon, and with plans afoot to do a few things, I’ve finally taken the plunge.

“So when did you last have a lesson,” he asked with a concerned look creeping across his face. His rather swish new Renault was suddenly under threat.

“Ooh, about 1985,” I replied rather proudly.

Then it struck me. Over thirty years since I’d taken the controls. I’ve ridden some dangerous roads on two wheels, sat as a passenger regularly, often watching friends drive. But thirty years!.

I’ll be honest; I was petrified. The years of life experience counted for nowt. I suspect that teenagers get started with a mixture of excitement, expectation and impatience. “So when can I put in for my test,” I’m sure some of the cockier 17-year-old lads ask after their first outing.

I listened, asked a few questions and crawled along a few Crewe streets in first gear. Mirrors were checked, indicators flicked and nobody was injured!

So the first lesson went well. My instructor even praised me. I actually enjoyed it after the first daunting few moments going solo.

Maybe there’s life in the old dog yet…

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