Friday, 15 July 2011

A Valuable Lesson

Enough said.
Learning to drive when you're twenty-three is a fairly humiliating experience all round. As Pimlico Chap pointed out the other day [not to be confused with Pimlico Guru - they don't get on. It's a smaller place than you'd think, London]: 'You have to learn to drive soon Kate, otherwise imagine it - you'll end up like one of those chavvy birds in council houses who are kept at home by their husbands because they can't go anywhere by themselves.' An odd and terrifying thought - but compelling.

So I took my Theory Test (again - turns out these things expire) and acquired a driving instructor (again - as above). And what an instructor old Baz turned out to be.

Driving in London is terrifying enough let me tell you, without the addition of a libidinous middle-aged sleazeball beside you providing a running commentary about 'the women' and his astonishing hit rate with them.

'Wow Baz, amazing,' I'd contribute, at half-hour intervals.

And, while I don't think I'm a bad driver (not in comparison with the others in Central London anyway), it is pretty off-putting when the man responsible for your safety spends half of your 90-minute slot playing Angry Birds in the passenger seat, and the other half expletively wondering how you managed to get lost / kill that granny.

He also seems to have some offensively strong addictions.

Baz: Let's stop for coffee then.

Kate in the Countryside: No thanks.

B: I'll buy you one.

KitC: No thanks.

B: Oh go on, we've been going for ages. O look - there's a Starbucks!

(KitC silent)

B (leaping from car): I need to smoke OK!

So I follow him across to Starbs where he makes an extended charade of his generosity in buying me my own personal latte. I am grateful. Or I would be - except I don't really want one. I want to learn to drive. I have friends for the latte thing.

Baz engages in some prolonged banterous repartee with the Starbucks ladies. I can't tell if this is for my benefit or theirs. No one seems to be enjoying it much. Except Baz.

As we leave, Baz explains. 'Those girls! What are they like?! They think I have so many girlfriends! (Modestly) Yes - I know. And I tell them "No girls, I'm a driving instructor" but they just won't believe me!'

Conversation like that money just can't buy. Oh wait.


  1. dear me, perhaps a course of lessons with mother KITC is in order? bloodshed at dawn....

  2. It's OK I helped one of mine unload and put up a christmas - and then he said I was unteachable!!