I had my ninth driving lesson on the last day of October, and didn't do ANY driving during the next five months! First, I had to save money for Christmas presents (which took weeks, because I only have €100/week for everything, and I couldn't exactly afford to buy petrol, if I wanted to save any of it..) Then, there was icy weather, and icy roads, and after no driving at all, Esmeralda's battery died.. I wanted to get a jump start either very late at night or very early in the morning, because I didn't want to start driving again in daytime traffic, after such a long break, but that wasn't an option, apparently.
Eventually, I bought a new battery (as the old one didn't really charge properly, after jump start and a long spin - driven by D), and I had the NCT booked for early April, so I drove to a Vevay Road petrol station, on the night before the NCT - my first time driving in over five months. It felt like starting from the scratch again, and although I got us there, I kinda felt like spaghetti, and D drove us to another petrol station (as the first place wasn't open at that time of the night), and back home. He drove us to the NCT centre and back, too.
I needed to get back to driving, but D is probably the most intimidating person on earth, to have as a passenger, so I went for a late night spin on my own, later in April, driving to the Tesco bottle bank first (practical, eh!), and then just south on N11, to Cullenmore, and back. I felt so much better, after that! It was a terribly foggy spin, too =D
I knew I'd have to drive to the NCT centre (Deansgrange), to show the new indicator bulb and get my cert, but I felt like I needed some more town traffic practice before that daytime driving, so, I went late night shopping in Dunnes Cornelscourt, on the last Friday in April. That was very useful as it was probably my first spin of proper town traffic, rather than getting out of Bray and to the country roads, a.s.a.p..
Here's an interesting bit; Whenever I park Esmeralda, I feel as if I'm parked totally arseways. But I'm not! It just always feels that way! Strange..
On Sunday morning, after my late night shopping spin on Friday, I drove to the NCT centre, parked Esmeralda, showed them that my side indicator bulb now works, got my cert, and drove home =D I was surprised that it took less than an hour. I left home at 8:05am, and I was back at 8:55am!
I had arranged to collect a coffee table from Ashford, on the following Monday morning, and I didn't feel nervous about driving anymore =) It was a beautiful morning, so after collecting the table, I decided to drive to Roundwood, stopped there to buy lunch at Centra, and drove on to Lough Tay, to have my lunch. Here's the first part of that spin; Bray - Ashford - Roundwood - Lough Tay
I thought about driving home, but the weather was still nice, I had plenty of petrol, and it had been ages since I'd been to Glencree, so I decided to drive there for a cappuccino =) Here's the second part of that spin; Lough Tay - Sally Gap - Glencree - Enniskerry - Bray
I was totally LOVING driving, that day, but coming back to Bray dampened the experience a little bit, because I was stuck behind some Dargle works vehicles, having to crawl and stop, crawl and stop, which made me stall all over the place, which pissed me off (as well as anyone behind me, I'm sure..) =/ Typical, though - Bray is always the dampener. I don't like this town.
On May Day, I went to Greystones LIDL. The first time I could ever actually take my time and see what they have! (*cough*, I may have taken a shopping trolley, and overdone it a bit.. *cough*) I very nearly scraped Esmeralda, reversing out of my parking spot, but I copped on in time.. Anyway, that was like the first time I didn't try to avoid any particular time of the day, I just went when I felt like it. I definitely need more practice before I'm ready for a driving test (and I've still a few mandatory lessons to take), but at least I'm not nervous about it anymore, and I'm mostly enjoying it.