Thursday, 15 December 2005

"Drive" - Cars, 1984

First of all... Wendy, I'm doing all right, and thanks for your concern! I must admit that I'm recovering a little slowly from this respiratory crud, but I am feeling better.

Better enough, actually, to warrant tonight's Lord Celery entry.

I've done something over the past two days that's a first for me. I'd never driven all by myself into Oxford before. But now I have! Yesterday and today, we had some special events involving work at several different hotels in the Oxford area. It was obvious to me that it would be much easier for me to manage if I drove into the city and then drove myself from place to place, rather than relying upon a taxi or a lift from somebody else. So I did.

Now to my American friends, that may not sound like much of a triumph. But Oxford's streets are narrow -- sometimes only one lane (so that cars have to take turns going through) -- traffic can be dreadful, and I swear that road markings in and around Oxford have to be some of the worst and most misleading in the developed world! And, don't forget that I'm in a right-hand-drive car on the left side of the road! Complicated combination.

Anyway, I was a brave girl. I'm patting myself on a back a little tonight. And I thought I would share that with all of Lord Celery's readers!

Whew....ok....now it's time to put my feet up. I'm a little bit tired from all that bravery!

Janet

6 Comments:

At 16 December, 2005 03:11 , Blogger gnightgirl said...

You GO, girl!

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've just, in the last year or so, begun to conquer driving downtown Chicago. So far, only with a navigator in the passenger seat, barking orders...so essentially, I've learned nothing, you are WAY ahead of me!

Congratulations. I wish I could send you a medal!

 
At 16 December, 2005 04:23 , Blogger Andrew said...

Good for you. I recall, many, many years ago, trying to find my way out of Oxford by car. Quite harrowing, it was. Still, the buildings are nice to look at while you go round in circles. :-)

 
At 16 December, 2005 09:58 , Blogger Janet said...

Thanks to you BOTH for your kind words!

Gnightgirl: I completely understand! I've never driven in downtown Chicago but certainly have in downtown Houston. I think I've lost my strong city-driving nerves that I had when I lived in Houston. Every time I go back to Houston (for business or vacation), I feel like I need a tranquilizer before I attempt it again. Keep up the good work, though, as it sounds like you're getting there!

Andrew: We got "stuck" in the Oxford city centre when I first moved here. John didn't know Oxford at all...and trying to follow the one-way system (AND given the number of streets closed to cars), we thought we were in a "Twilight Zone" episode. But you're right about the views. I can't believe that I get to work in such a beautiful city. It's like being in the midst of a museum.



Janet

 
At 17 December, 2005 03:14 , Anonymous Howard said...

> Anyway, I was a brave girl. I'm patting myself on a back a little tonight.

And so you should! Well done, Janet!

I can't remember - have you done the Brit driving test, or are you still driving on your US state one? I know that Americans find the UK test quite strict and pedantic, but it has the benefit of rigorously preparing you for most kinds of driving conditions here, including the tortuous lanes of a medieval street plan! Also - and this is important - here, because almost everyone else has been through the same strict driving education, you are less likely to be a victim of an incompetent driver. And, despite the fact that the density of cars per mile of available road is many times greater here than that that of the States, the actual accident and mortality rate here is much smaller, despite the often difficult driving conditions. I say all this because I know many of our American friends feel exasperated that, despite having driven for years, they are made to feel babies at the wheel again when they try for a licence here. For myself, I would obviously far sooner have an exasperated American friend, than an injured one.

It's great to have you back from Canada, Janet! And important events are looming for you are on the close horizon!

Howard

 
At 17 December, 2005 03:28 , Anonymous Howard said...

> I can't believe that I get to work in such a beautiful city. It's like being in the midst of a museum.

Oh Janet! I would hate to sound as if I were bragging, but I was so incredibly fortunate enough to be able to go to Oxford University. An incandescently beautiful place!

 
At 17 December, 2005 21:31 , Blogger Janet said...

Hi Howard!

To answer your question, I took MANY MANY lessons from BSM, and I'm one of those Americans who was incredibly exasperated by feeling like a beginner driver again. But I kept on trying, and believe it or not I passed the driving test in early-September 2004 on my very first attempt...in Banbury! It was one of the proudest moments of my life, and I'm not sure my US friends realized the extent of my triumph!

And you DON'T sound like you're bragging at ALL when you say you went to universary in Oxford! I'm impressed...and I KNOW others will be also...and LUCKY YOU! It's truly a beautiful, haunting place!

Thanks for the kind words, Howard -- ALWAYS appreciated!

Janet

 

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