My return to work has left me resentful of public transport. Without a car, I’m somewhat dependent on it. The last time I was in work, we lived in the city centre, which meant it was a 20 minute bus journey from the bus stop 10 minutes walk from my house. The current commute, including creche drop off on the way, is a 20 minute walk, creche, 10 minute walk, 20 minute bus journey – and inevitably the waiting times between the buses. The journey home can take more than an hour in the evenings, which isn’t ideal when you’re already working past the closing time of creche and are depending on help to collect small man in the evenings. So, I decided this wasn’t for me, and after putting it off and allowing my back to rule the roost, I went for automatic driving lessons.
They’ve been going well. John, my instructor in his lovely red Ford Focus, has been very patient and calm, and hasn’t needed to use his brake very much at all. I’ve discovered that roundabouts really aren’t as scary as I thought they were, and have even managed to drive on a dual carriageway without dying, or feeling like I was going to die at any minute. We’re doing the test routes around Cork on Saturdays, and I’m actually feeling confident with it now. Reversing and parking are still my two nemeses but we’ll get there. Practice makes perfect and all.
He’s even told me I’m ready to apply for my test, that by the time the waiting list gets to me (currently around 4 months), I’ll be well able for it. Who’d have thought?
So, I may have gone a bit mad and bought a car. I need to get all the practice I can get in, and having spent many an evening typing in details into various insurance search engines, I decided to go for it. Said insurance companies were quoting me on average around 2300 euros up to a staggering 6500 (the car isn’t worth that). Finally, I went with Liberty Insurance who were the most competitive, with just over 1700 euros. It still makes me wince, but apparently isn’t a bad quote for a first time driver with a provisional licence. It will go down, that’s all I keep telling myself.
I found a gorgeous little Hyundai i10 Automatic, in silver, at a bargain price and decided to go for it. Taking the safe option of getting a mechanic to check it out, it was done and dusted in a matter of days and I’ve now become a proper car-owning grownup. A lifetime of hating traffic and lamenting car insurance prices lies ahead, but now I’m sensing freedom and a hopeful goodbye sooner rather than later to Bus Eireann and it’s ridiculous timetabling.
Now all that’s left to do is pass my test….
Wish me luck!
Follow my adventures and updates on Facebook