Chit-chat and Sharpie Sunday entwined

I thought this post would be a chit-chat and a Sunday Sharpie entwined. Enjoy the read. 🙂

My eyes

I had an appointment at my opticians for another eye test, after finding I could not quite read a full number plate at 20 meters, when I had my assessment with a new driving school I plan to have further lessons with.
Now those who will have followed this blog for some time, will know I had one back in March, in preparation before first starting my driving lessons, as I knew I needed reaction type glasses to help reduce glare and sunlight. This was so I hoped to avoid buying glasses twice in one year, by getting it sorted now, instead of when my test was due. But by the looks of it, I have not managed to avoid this, after discovering I could not quite read a car number plate at 20 meters.
It was only a slight difference I was having, hence this either being missed some how, or my eyes had changed again, slightly. I was finding Q looked like an O for example and what ever was the last three letters on back of a car I failed to read at my assessment. So I needed to check this out, as I did not want to fail my driving test before I even started.
When it came to my eye test, they found there was no change; I met the standard without glasses for driving and with the test with my glasses that was ok too and so I should be able to read a number plate at 20 meters. (I did mention though while looking at the letters with my glasses that although I knew it was an F, the F only looked like one stick sticking out and F was not clear.) After discussing how this 20 meter test was done, it was suggested  the instructor next time does it the proper way as it would be done at an actual driving test, in case any factors affected me reading the number plate how he did it, like glare for example. (Although I did not feel I had any glare.) If I was to find there were still problems, then to come back.


I could not resist and I did start my new course with Stonebridge. Like any course, the more you put in and the more you get out. This course will not be completed as quickly as my courses elsewhere, as I can see there is a lot of work going into this, before I start each of my assignments, to help me do my best and prepare for each assignment.
It’s early days, but I like what I see and I have a lot of enthusiasm brewing and coming out for this course. I am going to be studying on average 10 hours a week, over 5 days, but I am going to have to make sure I do not get too carried away at any point and take my breaks.

My other remaining course I have with BSY where I am near towards the end of, when I last talked about it in a post, I got wrong with how many posts there were left to do. I was thinking there were only 5 lessons in this one, but there were 6. Lesson 4 which I not long received, I received a ‘High Merit” for that one and same again for Lesson 5. By the time this goes to air, I will probably already be working on the final one.

New things

My above course is another new thing for this year of many, but the other new experience that has been challenging, is learning to drive. Finding the manual too stressful as you know and my confidence knocked at the end, I was still not one to give up on driving regardless how I felt. The change is just that it will be in an automatic car instead, as revealed earlier.
This post, “How to deal with starting new things,” over at “Minding Anxiety,” has been an inspiration, by finding the positives out of something new, which in this case, is learning to drive for this sharpie inspired drawing.

sharpie drawing showing my benefits of driving a car


I decided to continue with my LinkedIn profile and put it on air, since this post; “Chit chat: Has anyone found LinkedIn useful?” where I asked for your opinions on it. Thank you for your input in how you found it. I am obviously not going to be sharing my link here to LinkedIn, with my profile having nothing to do with my blog. See what happens down the line, as to whether I discover new opportunities and I will update it accordingly while continuing to work on the path I have currently chosen.


The path could change

I am enjoying the different learning experiences I have had this year, from mental health courses to driving. I look forward to taking my theory test soon, so I can inform my new instructor of a new driving school the outcome and then also what I choose to do as I learn in an automatic car. This plan still staying the same; I want to do ‘Pass Express’ with them, as I know being in a car more than once a week will be so much better.
I am also starting a new course to learn new things about running a pet-sitting business, but this path could change. Yes, I know I would still like to do this, but giving a date to when I start I cannot give yet as passing my driving test is coming first over any thing and I want to complete my pet sitting course too, because of any new things I may learn from it. I want to be prepared the best I can. But this path could change.
Why? you ask. A few things possibly.
It depends how long to me passing my driving test, then also how long this course could take me. I expect that it could take me till Christmas to finish this, which if that is the case, then my pet sitting business will be on hold till next year. But depending on the work I put into this course, I may find it could be next year before I finish. I certainly don’t want to rush this course and I want to enjoy it, regardless I want to do something different that gives me something to look forward to in my life. But also, when I do buy a car next year, which the plan is to start looking from next May hopefully, then when I have a car, it will open new doors I am hoping and I may look further afield to live and work, so hence my path could change.
The next question you will probably be thinking then is, will won’t you be wasting money on this course if you don’t pursue your dream?
Well no, because I will still enjoy the learning experience and this experience will always be there to start this dream elsewhere if I wanted. I feel I just have options to play with and so my eyes will be looking and I will be doing some thinking with whatever may catch my eye while I learn with this pet-sitting course. If there was a chance I could live somewhere new, with a job to afford to live there and see me do, then I would move there. The pet sitting idea could then be started there, if that was what I wanted to still pursue.

Driving lesson update

Yesterday was my first lesson in an automatic car. But this lesson was actually an assessment, so he could see what I was like driving, once we went over the formalities of how the car worked.
This assessment was for an hour, starting at a quiet place with him not seeing me drive before. Then after doing some driving, we chatted about what I already know, so he knows what practical experiences I have had and how I feel about them. We then drove around through some of those situations so he could assess me some more, heading back towards my area. But before doing that, I learnt how to do a three-point turn. He looked surprised that I had not been taught how to reverse, in the lessons I had so far with the other instructor.
The instructor also used his hands to signal left and right turns, as he said the instructions and at times typed his right leg, which helped me to understand I could take my foot off the brake pedal at that point.
Back across from where I live, another new thing I had a go with not doing it already, was parking in a parking bay. Then it was end of my lesson and he told me how he thought I had done and we chatted about it. He then gave me his suggestion on what he thought I ought to do and that was to consider an intensive course. He reckoned that 20 hours of intensive driving would be what I only needed, to be ready to pass my driving test. He said there are certain things I need to adjust when driving, like breaking a bit earlier one example he told me, but other than that, he said, you drive better than you probably think you do. I told him I am my most worst critic.

As I have a theory test already booked, he said to wait and see how I get on with that before contacting him about booking lessons, which I already said I think it’s time I try something different and go intensive now. Then either way, whether I pass theory or not, contact him and let him know what I want to do and then he would get me booked in.
There would be about a 4 week waiting list, but I was told not to worry about the gap because I’d find it’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget.
But if you did, it does not matter as it can be shown again and you would soon pick it up.
If I did not feel ready to take my test after 20 hours of intensive lessons, then he said the driving test date could be changed.
If I pass my theory test, then the theory they would offer would be deducted off. But if I wasn’t to pass my theory, then I would be able to take up their offer of theory in my intensive lessons.

Although I had anxiety in yesterdays lesson, I could see the positive benefits of driving an automatic, than a manual car. I could see that there would be less distraction for me, with no clutch or gears to play about with and because of that, concentrating better on the road. I noticed, regardless of my anxiety, that at times, I felt laid back in the car, in a way.
I noticed how driving this car was a little different to the other I drove, it felt a bit more touch sensitive, in a way. This was explained that this may be down to this car being newer than the other I had driven.

I now when the time comes to get in contact with this driving instructor and school for my automatic lessons, I will look forward to having my driving lessons again.

How quick did you take to automatic car lessons?

I am trying not to think about Monday evening much, when I have my first automatic driving lesson, since quitting manual lessons. If I do, anxiety creeps in. I am trying to remind myself with positive thoughts of the following:

  • I have a new instructor
  • I am with a new driving school
  • It’s an automatic, not a manual
  • I will enjoy it
  • I will find it easier
  • There is no gears or clutch to worry about
  • So it will be bloody better

As I say, my anxiety creeps in and positive thoughts I am struggling with to try to ease my nerves. So lets hope on the day, I will be much better and back to the beaming smile of accomplishment.

A question for my readers who drive automatic.

How did you get on and did it take long to feel confident driving an automatic car?

Do share any other experiences you can give.

Thank you in advance. 🙂

The effects from my last manual driving lesson

As you know from this post; I am having no more manual driving lessons, that I am having no more manual driving lessons. As you know, the last lesson I felt I had made two steps back, I had anxiety at a level that was not good and not helped by instructor in what he did on one occasion towards the end, that he did once before in another lesson; pulling me over when I did not hear him say pull over and instead thinking he wanted me to do  left turn.
But there was another effect I had from the lesson, that I did not mention in that post, until now.
I am still struggling with keeping my voice. I am assumed this was through anxiety, but I wasn’t sure. But after seeing how I was over the next few days and then looking it up, I see it is. I felt embarrassed by this, but I see from reading it up that I don’t need to be embarrassed. This is a new thing for me where stress has affected my voice and I am still struggling with it as this post goes to air.

I still feel a little down and I have a little anxiety still, especially as I know I will be having my first automatic driving lesson sooner than expected. But I am still determined to drive and if that means driving in an automatic, then so be it. I don’t care. I can see me getting on with it well, when anxiety settles, because of no clutch and gears to worry about. They were a distraction. I have tried my best with a manual, but it is not for me, so bring on automatic.

Thank you for your lovely support, when I announced I was quitting manual for automatic driving lessons and how it affected me, while trying to learn in a manual car. It is very much appreciated.

I am having no more manual driving lessons

Yesterday was my 12th driving lesson which was a little bit mixed in how I responded to driving, as I seemed to have taken a few steps back, which something I felt, but also my instructor mentioned.
Being a new situation, I stalled a few times, which my instructor said was all normal. But the stalling was avoidable because I was in the wrong gear needed at that time. I thought I was having trouble with both the clutch and gears again, until the instructor said it was because I was in the wrong gear. So just when I think I have got the knack, I haven’t.

Now I can understand when the instructor needs to grab the steering wheel at certain times if I am putting us in danger some how. That I accept. But once again, the steering wheel was grabbed and I wondered at that point it was happening as in what I am doing wrong now. I heard him wrong again, as I thought I was going to be doing a left turn ahead. I did not hear him say pull over.
This situation does not help me when I am anxious, (which when I said I did not hear him say that and was preparing a left turn ahead, he did apologise for that.)
I nearly broke down in tears, which I bet he noticed because I could feel my chin quivering. I was already sore from the sharp brake before that he had to do, but when it happened for this situation, it stung even more and I am feeling it.
This has not been the first time in a lesson he has wanted me to pull over before and grab the steering wheel to do it, because I did not hear him, instead preparing to do my turn I thought I heard.
Although I was partly upbeat when I left, by night-time I cried big time, to an extent I have not done before.
This morning I am still feeling low and, tearful and I contacted him to tell him I would not be having more lessons, so to refund what I paid in advance accordingly. I will still though be interested in taking my theory test and so I will look out for the appropriate email for that.

I have contacted this morning via email, one of the driving schools I contacted before regarding automatic driving lessons. I wish I never took my name off this one some weeks ago, along with another. I am hoping they will put my name back down back on their driving school list.

Driving lesson update

Today was driving around to use the skills I had already, as well as going somewhere new where it meant I had to go even faster.
Over the next few weeks, my instructor said we will carry on doing something like this, so that it hopefully improves my confidence and I feel less anxious about it. Also driving like this, we see where also I may need to improve and there are a few of those, but as my instructor had mentioned, it is all normal and it will improve on each lesson.

I am also being booked for my theory test and when he gets some dates for those, he will let me know, so that a date can be chosen.

A short post, but that’s about it for now. 🙂