Tag Archives: driving

Car Troubles

When I was pregnant with my son, my Father in Law bought me a car.  This was way back in 1962 and I thought I was the ‘bee’s knees’.   The only set back was that I didn’t have a driving licence.

I have gone on and on about the three driving tests I took and this was the first.  I passed and I don’t know who was the most pleased to return to the driving centre, me or the tester.

Austin A40

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

Anyway, this was a 2-year-old Austin A40.  Thoroughly checked out and deemed suitable, particularly as it had been previously owned by the Sheriff of the county.  This was Scotland and they have different names for different positions.

Now fast forward two years.  My Father-in-Law decided to upgrade my car and purchased a brand new A40 for me.  How proud I was of that car.  Nobody in my family had ever owned a new car and I suppose I was a little above myself over this

The car ran beautifully (mostly) but on one memorable occasion driving to London to visit my parents – some 400 miles – the gas tank sprang a leak.  Apparently, a stone had been thrown up and caused a hole.  Well, it was late at night and of course no chance of getting it fixed so my husband had this great idea.  We were all, children included, given a pack of gum and told to chew it so that it could be made into a wad to seal the hole.  The children had never been given gum before and thought it was a great hoot.  The gum held until we arrived at my parents and the next day the hole was repaired.  Or maybe the gas tank was replaced it was a long time ago and that part of the story is lost in the mist of time.

Of rather more concern was the tendency to suddenly stop.  Not being mechanically minded then or even now, I didn’t know what caused this.  The garage told me that when it happened I should get out of the car and give a certain part of the engine (well, I am blonde so what do I know) a thump with the heel of my shoe and the airlock, blockage or whatever would move.  And it worked every time.

At that time in the winter months, my husband used to get the train to Edinburgh each morning, some 45 miles away.  I used to drive him to the station for an early morning train and most morning simply did so in my robe, with the children in their nightwear in the back of the car.

Alas, one cold, winter morning, almost before the sun was up, on the way back from the station the car stopped.  Well, here I was in a quandary.  I had to get out of the car to hit the thing and I was in my nightwear.  To make matters worse I had stopped outside the local Police Station and the shift changeover was happening.  I duly got out of the car to do my thing and was immediately surrounded by a group of policemen all offering to help.  I explained what had to be done and they duly did it for me.  Then I drove home but I imagine several of them dined out on the story of this young blonde in her nightie outside the police station.  And I was on first name terms with most of the local police force for the rest of the time that we lived there.

Shortly after that, the car was sold.

And I should like to thank my blogging buddy at counting ducks once again for the inspiration for today’s blog.

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”











Driving Test No 2

View of Montreal


During the original two years we lived in New Zealand, we were allowed to drive on our British licences.  But when we arrived in Montreal, we were told that we would have to obtain Quebec licences immediately.

So shortly after we arrived, my late husband told me that he had arranged for us to take our tests.  There were two other men transferred into the area by the company at the same time, so we all went off to the testing centre together.

Frank and Lise were from Paris, France; Alexandros and Maria were from Cuba, via Bogota and then there were us from New Zealand.

We duly arrived at the testing centre and were separated while we took a very cursory written test.  Then we were each called in turn to take our driving test.  The man who was to test me arrived and sheepishly herded me out of the door into the car.  He then looked at me with hung-over, bloodshot eyes and told me that he had very little sleep and was very tired and I added under my breath, ‘hungover’.


Cartoon from Flickr – raybreakstonewebcomic/3145700127/

We drove once around the block whereupon he asked me to pull over and promptly fell asleep in the passenger seat.  Well, what to do.  In a car in a strange land with a strange man asleep.  So I turned on the radio to some very quiet music and sat there for about 15 minutes.  I then gently woke him and he sheepishly told me to return to the testing centre.  On arriving there, he pronounced me safe to drive, took me inside the centre and signed a form whereupon I was the proud owner of a Quebec licence.

When I told the other members of the party – well out of earshot of anyone in the testing centre – about my tester they thought it a great laugh and very unfair.  They had all been put through the hoops to prove that they were competent drivers while I sailed through.

My late husband always said I was born under a lucky star and I guess in this instance he was correct.

© Carolyn Seelen | Dreamstime.com

© Carolyn Seelen | Dreamstime.com

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed by taking a nap.”
Judith Baxter