Nikki's Driving Journal
Well I just found this board so thought I would start a journal to look back on.
I'm Nikki (26, 27 on Saturday) married for nearly 5 years to Mark (41) neither of us drive which is a pain when we need to go shopping or want to go out somewhere, I wanted to learn to drive at 17 but always put it off and here I am 10 years later...I guess it's now or never!
I applied online for my provisional llicence on Friday 1st May and arranged a driving instructor, he said to text him when my licence arrived and he would contact me to book in properly. Well my licence arrived on Friday 8th May, 1 week after applying even with a bank holiday weekend!!! What service!
So I text my DI to let him know that my licence had arrived, I expected a call back on the Monday to book in, No I get a call straight back 5.30pm on Friday saying he had a cancellation at 6.pm and was I ready??!! NO WAY !! I was so scared but thought I better go and get started.
First lesson was 2 hours and was GREAT!! A long time was spent explaining how everything in the car works and what would be covered in the lessons. We went up to a quiet car park so that I could have a go at driving the car. We did some starting and stopping and some right and left turns. I found the steering pretty hard, I was ok turning the corner, but not fast enough straightening up so we ended up on the grass verge a few times lol. I'm a bit worried about that but I'm sure it will come *fingers crossed* At one point the DI asked me to drive to the back of the car park in between 2 parked cars and then stop at the back and that went fine, there was a man sat in one of the cars who looked a little worried lol.
We ran through the cockpit drill and I'm pretty confident that I can remember that for lesson 2 without any help, so at least something has sunk in.
I couldn't have a lesson last week as the DI was on holiday. Over the weekend after my 1st lesson I had a look on the DSA website to see how long the waiting list was for theory tests (DI told me practical tests in my town are about 6 weeks wait) and found that there was a test available for Thursday 14th May, so I though what the heck and booked it! (I'd been practising with books and discs even before applying for my licence) So I went on Thursday and PASSED!! I scored 50/50 on the questions but only scraped the hazard awareness with 48...I knew this was a problem from using the disc I have a habit of clicking too early (too scared to click more times as I was worried about scoring nothing for cheating!). Well a pass is a pass I'm just glad I don't have to do that again and can concentrate on the driving.
So lesson 2 is today 1600-1800. I'm a bit nervous but excited all the same. Will update later after the lesson.
Wednesday 8th July
I think things are coming together! My normal driving is going ok although I still struggle with roundabouts, I seem to misjudge when I can go and when I should stop and wait. I need to work on this a lot before test. 2 weeks today!
Today we started on reverse round corner. It went ok I think. The first time I turned too soon so had to adjust the steering a bit but the 2nd one went fine. We will practice this more next lesson.
My TIR went ok except for rolling forwards a little when changing to reverse. Luckily I was far enough from the kerb that I didn't touch it lol.
We spent a while working on bay parking which seems to be fine IF I take my time over it. The first few I was rushing not pausing regularly to check position and ended up over the lines. When I slowed down it actually went fine.
We also went out on A38 again, it's very busy at 5pm lol. I did some overtaking and managed to stay at 70mph so that was good.
Mainly I need to work on this roundabout thing and really get to grips with when is best for me to move. Other than that I'm not too nervous about test day...just hoping I pass as I can't wait to have the freedom of my own car
Next Lesson Friday 10th July
Friday 10th July
Wow! The perfect lesson! We did a bit of everything today. Quite a long drive just practising different types of road, roundabouts, traffic lights etc. Even dual carriageway was fine today.
Practised TIR & RRC and both were fine. Also did my first emergency stop which DI said was good
My DI Has a notepad which he writes notes about anything I do wrong during the lesson to explain later to me. Tpday his paper was totally blank for the first time I am so happy. If I can keep driving like this I'm sure I can pass this I was even better with roundabouts today, still need to practise more and get confident wth them.
Got my show me/ tell me question sheet today so I'll try to learn those over the weekend.
Next lesson Tuesday 14th July
Tuesday 14th July
Today we started on parralel parking. We started by going just round one car. It wasn't really as hard as I thought it was going to be. I just need to remember to pause and carry out regular observations. I'm sure it will be fine, we're going to practice this more on tomorrows lesson.
At the beginning of the lesson DI was saying that I was driving really badly, for the first 10 minutes he had to keep prompting me for mirror checks and signals. I was blaming the fact that it was early but that doesn't fill me with confidence for test day as I have 09.17 lol.
We practised RRC which Steve said was the highlight of the lesson. He took me to some test corners and to some really hard corners and I managed all of them unprompted. This is my fave manouvre at the moment so I'm praying for a nice one on test day lol.
Next Lesson Wednesday 15th july
Wednesday 15th July
Today we carried on with PP and did a few in between 2 cars. I can do this, however I find it really hard to judge my correct turning point if the front car is facing towards me..... hoping to practice this much more over the next few days, even if its in my own car just for confidence.
My TIR was fine, I'm happy with this (even with an audience now lol) We also did a RRC again on a hill! It went fine and DI said he was impressed
We went on to practice bay parking which we havent done for a few lessons but I have used in my own car, including a pretty impressive park in Asda carpark on Monday, however, today I just could not get it right. I was struggling to find the right start point and then was dry steering which meant my position was wrong We will spend time practising this next lesson and hopefully I'll have chance to go somewhere in my car and try to get to grips with it again.
My general driving is ok, the only thing that lets me down still is roundabouts. I'm still a bit hit and miss with them. I tend to give way to waaaaay too many people when I could actually slot in and go myself. I need to definitely get out and build my confidence with them in my car.
Next lesson is Monday 20th July. That will be my mock test day. Today is the last date that I could postpone my test so I guess I will just have to go for it! I've had 34 hours of lessons and a fair amount of private practice plus I still have 4 hours of lesson time left plus an hour or so on test day before the test. I've never been more scared about anything in my life and I'm getting a bit sick of people validating my feelings without actually asking if I have a specific problem with something. If one more person says oh you'll sail through it I will slap them! My dh is the worst however he doesn't know when test date is so I can't blame him he doesn't realise how close it is. I feel like the pressure is more because everyone expects me to pass and only now I am starting to think that isn't going to happen. I really hope I can hold it together on test day because I don't want to go through this rollercoaster again, it's all I think about all day and I'm dreaming about it every night, I just want it over now I think.
Monday 20th July
Mock test did not go well. I got 4 serious for pulling onto a dual carriageway without looking over my shoulder, pulling off from an emergency stop without checking over shoulder, pulling out in front of someone at a roundabout & failing to stop when a car came near me when I was doing RRC.
My DI gave me a really hard rrc, uphill round a corner is not a good thing to do lol. I cocked it up big time and gave up in the end not quite straight and miles from the kerb because I just couldn't sort it out. My PP went badly as well and I ended up straight but far from the kerb. DI said it would just pass as a car could still pass by me but it's not how I wanted it to be.
I also got 17 minors for various things some I don't understand lol. I came home in a real state and thinking it's not worth me turning up on Wednesday as I'm going to definitely fail anyway.
Next lesson is tomorrow, not quite sure how much we can put right in 1 lesson but here goes.
Tuesday 21st July
Well anyone would think yesterday never happened! Just proves it was all just nerves. We went onto A38 and A5 with no problems at all. A lot of general driving without issue. PP went fine. Bay park was ok though I talked myself into problems in the middle but managed to work it out. We didn't do TIR but I'm quite happy with this anyway. We went to a few test corners to do RRC which I did with ease then returned to the hilly one which I couldn't do yesterday and I was absolutely fine. Did it twice with no worries!
I just really hope now that I can keep my nerves in check tomorrow and that the test goes quickly and easily!
DI says its just under 40 minutes including the show me/ tell me questions. Surely I can manage 30 mins of good driving.. Please please let me pass I want this so much!
Wednesday 22nd July
Well all I can say is I passed! 6 Minors so not too bad
I got bay park which I'm ok with and RRC on the exact corner which I practised on in my lesson before test. General drive was good all on roads which I've used a lot in lessons and in private practice.
I was soooo happy when the examiner said I'd passed, I could hardly believe it. My DI is a total star and got a huge hug for his effort lol.
I drove about a lot yesterday but always with someone (not a driver always e.g my DH - doesnt drive, and my 12 year old brother lol) but I was happier having someone there for moral support. First drive alone was this morning to work and was a bit scary but I made it and parked ok in the office carpark. Now the first one's out the way it's just about practise and gaining experience I guess.
Will update this diary again soon when I get my pass plus sorted.