The Driving Test

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.  ~Dave Barry,
“Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”

My father in law bought me a car when I was expecting my son, so I had to drive.  I had taken lessons before that and failed but as I had no real urgency to get a licence I did nothing about it.  However, there was a brand new Austin A40 car in the dealership just waiting for me to go and pick it up.  So I had a few lessons and applied for my licence.  The driving instructor was very strict making me reverse into tight spaces and around corners etc.  Reversing is still not my strong suit.

Austin A40

This photo sent to me by a friend. My A40 was white.

We were living just north of Glasgow at the time – 1962 – and so the test had to be taken in Glasgow.  By the time my appointment came I was about 8 months pregnant but didn’t want to go to the back of the queue again so I duly turned up for the test.  I wish I had had my camera with me when I saw the look on the tester’s face.


View of Glasgow via Wikipedia

We got into the car on a wet, windy Glasgow day.  At that time, many of the streets were cobbled and of course, slippery in the rain.   We did a couple of hill starts, drove around the streets, some parallel parking and driving through the centre of the town.  This was a bit hair raising as there were many policemen on point duty for some reason that day.  Although I was nervous I managed not to hit any of them.


More recent photo of cobblestone street

If I may say so I took the test with aplomb although the tester did say he thought we shouldn’t try sudden stops with a look at my advanced stage of pregnancy.

I don’t know who was the most pleased to get back to the testing office whereupon he pronounced that I had passed the test.  From the look on his face I think the tester.

Have you seen this?

“You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.” Author Unknown


17 responses to “The Driving Test

  1. Hilarious! Both my brother Barath, who is now in London and I have had a lot to do with Glasgow. Your post brought back a lot of memories for me. Thanks. My father taught me how to drive a Morris Minor, and the less said the better about the methods used!


  2. I remember my father trying to teach my mother how to drive on old stick shift Studebaker. They almost strangled each other to death.


    • My father never attempted to teach any of his daughters, ate husband didn’t teach either of his children. I think there would certainly have been blows exchanged!


  3. jacquelincangro

    Love that Dave Barry quote! I enjoyed reading his columns for the Miami Herald over the years.

    I would have loved to see the look on the tester’s face when he saw you coming.


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  5. I never learnt to drive, got lots of spatial perception problems, I’d be a terrible menace on the roads. I couldn’t even drive a pedal car as a kid!

    Can you imagine being allowed to take driving lessons when pregnant these days with all the nanny-state dumbing down of everything?

    Great post, Judith and thanks for the laugh with that old video, I certainly didn’t think I’d be watching Frank Spenser today! 🙂


  6. Thanks Val and that was followed by two more driving tests in two other countries. 🙂


  7. I only had to parallel park a car for my driver’s test. I guess the state trooper figured the school driver’s ed instructor bore enough torture from inexperienced drivers. My mom said dad gave her one driving lesson, and that was that, she never learned to drive.


    • Isn’t it amazing to think that so many women didn’t drive and how many still don’t.
      I gave a woman a lift from the supermarket the other day, it was raining, and she had always relied on her husband to drive her. Now he is dead and she walks to the supermarket and carries her shopping home.


  8. Brilliant! I was pregnant with my twins when I took my test too … You bring back memories for me. So, so funny! They must have felt for us and passed us so they wont have to see us do it again. 😆


  9. Checking back in to catch up after a lull on the comments front but hectic on the home front. 🙂


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