Until this weekend, my family have been under the impression that I have absolutely no idea how to drive a car, and in fact I have never once at behind the wheel. They have believed that I have no concept of bite points, clutch control or smooth gear changes, and that the idea of reverse parking was alien to me.
In fact, I'm a pretty good driver.
The news has come as quite a shock, but a good one, I think.
Sometime ago, hidden in the archives of this blog is a post where I spoke about my drive to, er..., drive!
So I applied for my provisional license and booked my first lesson the day it arrived with a female instructor (after hearing quite a few horror stories about male instructors). I'm sure the majority are excellent but being of a nervous disposition I decided a women might be better.
Then I kept quiet and only discussed my lessons with a couple of close friends. To my family I said nothing. Even IJ didn't know where I would sneak off to while she was at school. Concerned that my desire to learn to drive would be met with a lot of some unnecessary negativity that I knew would put me off and leave me feeling frustrated and annoyed because I am very capable, I have continued with my lessons in secret.
And it has not been an easy secret to keep. Twice my parents have driven past me. I have also been learning in their neighbourhood just 200 yards from their front door! I have criticised my mother's driving, quite justifiably, on several occasions especially as she mounts the pavement ever time she drives out of our road (it's a difficult up hill start followed by a tight bend, easy when you know how!). Another time I pointed out that she was cruising along in neutral. Thankfully on all these occasions she seemed to have any idea where my sudden knowledge of driving and the Highway Code had come from, and thankfully they didn't ask. They probably thought I was being deliberately annoying, which is actually a little bit true.
So at the weekend I told me parents (an the rest of my family) that I have now had 13 lessons and every week I drive round for an hour with my instructor in a Mini Cooper, occasionally travelling at 60 mph. I can reverse park (but it takes a while) and I am confident on busy roads in heavy traffic. In my excitement, I have bored them slightly with the details of every lesson while they have been recovering from the shock.
I haven't told them that I have stalled at a major junction and stopped the traffic completely, that I've managed to put the car into reverse travelling at 40 mph, and that if it was not for dual control heaven knows where I would be today.
They don't need to know that.
So now they know I'm driving and it's okay. Sometimes it's best just to get on with things and tell people later when you have proof you can do it. Sometimes we are a lot more capable than other people think we are.
Who knows what my next shock announcement will be. There will definitely be one, I'm certain of that.
In other news: Our friend Lu had a baby boy!
The British Mummy Bloggers carnival is up over at Family Friendly Working.