I’ve been driving my little silver Hyundai for a year now. I love it, driving has opened up my world to so much more freedom. It makes getting from A to B with a toddler much easier, especially for spur of the moment jaunts. However, it being a year since I bought the car, it means it’s a year since I insured it. And so, the great saga of car insurance renewal began. It’s a tale of the ages, of mysterious numbers being pulled from the deep, legends of people turning mythical purple colours from blood pressure spikes upon hearing the price they’re being quoted. And so, I’ve got a tale to add to the bunch, but mine is a tale of victory, of slaying the dragon. In as much as a learner driver with only a years experience can slay.
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.
I didn’t learn to drive when everyone else I knew did – most of the girls in my year by sixth year had their car/the car they shared with a sister or other family member, some even so skilled they’d gotten rid of their L plates and were happily scooting around at weekends, heading off gallivanting to nowhere in particular. I spent many an evening the summer after my Leaving Cert driving around Waterford and south Kilkenny, for no reason rather than just something to do, somewhere to be, blasting out Rascal Flatts “Life is a Highway”. Soon after, I moved to Cork city, and the need to drive vanished. It became something other friends who didn’t live in the city did, sure it was small enough to walk everywhere and I was now blessed with the presence of regular public transport. It is amazing how grateful for crappy public transport a rural upbringing can make you.
Six years, three house moves, numerous job changes and a toddler later, I am a defeated woman. It is time, nay, TIME for me to get my ass into gear (not literally) and get behind the wheel. (more…)
Years behind everyone else, I finally got my provisional licence (on the second attempt) at the age of 23. With one kiddo, and a growing hatred for the wonderful timekeeping of Irish public transport (I’m looking at you,215), the appeal to be independent of bus timetables and attempts to fit buggies onto cramped buses was growing rapidly. Unfortunately, so was my fear of the road. (more…)
I tend to like September. It always signalled to me the start of something new. It’s when I started each school year, when I moved to Cork, started my degree. It also helps that there is a healthy dose of birthday cake in the middle of the month, as my dad, brother and I all have our birthdays within five days of each other, in the next week. (more…)
Five years after most other people my age, I’m going to put on my big girl boots and answer a few inane questions in order to put myself behind the wheel of a “coffin on tyres” to attempt to master the one way systems and roundabouts of Cork city. I am terrified. I’ve a fear of the road as it is (not without reason) and my opinion on the driving standard of 90% of the drivers in Cork isn’t the most positive one around. But Bus Eireann isn’t the most buggy friendly entity in the world and has a habit of not showing up on time, so I think it may be about time to get over the fear and do it anyway. (more…)