Hi and a big huzzah!

Finally passed that bloody test today. Glen, the examiner, was desperate for me to pass, I think if I’d have failed it this time he would have driven for me next go. He was telling me to relax, not panic, then when things got dodgy he was saying ‘not your fault, you’re in your lane, that was his fault’, telling me not to go to pieces as I’d not failed yet, etc.

Bless him, he really did want me to pass.

I had a few moments, pinched some of an oncoming lane for a turn when, strictly speaking, I didn’t need to, went into some situations a little too fast, and felt I was overcautious in others, but my new best-mate Glen said it was good enough. I came away with eight minor driver faults, and one of them was for taking a shunt on my reverse manoeuvre (I’d left it a bit tight and thought it was better to take a shunt, and the consequent driver fault, rather than possibly fail the test there and then).

I have been saying, since my last test, that I can pass it now, that I should get it this time. When I knew I’d only failed on missing a gear and pulling over on a single yellow line, I thought ‘I can do this’.

Which is all good and well until you get back in the cab. You’ve already failed eight times, an infinity of variables await you and everything is riding on the next fifty minutes as you pull out of the (infeasibly tight) corner from the test centre onto the road.

Huge gulp, massive deep breath, chi focused, and off we go.

God it is horrible. The fatalist in me is saying ‘you are never going to pass this’ while I’m so desperate to pass it. You just have to brace yourself for failure whilst trying your damnedest not to. It is truly horrible. The money you are throwing out the window, the doubt that you will ever pass and the knowledge that you’ve invested too much to be able to quit. You have to keep on trying until you pass, be it nine or ninety tests.

Then when he told me I’d passed…, really there are no words. The emotional overload of joy that is primarily inexpressible relief, it feels like this:, sort of.

Bloody hell, I’m glad that’s over.

I felt like my hands were shaking, though they weren’t, and I thought I might need surgery to remove the grin.

Sent my license off today to have the three penalty points stuck on it (couldn’t send it away before as you have to present your license to take the test) when it gets back I send it off again (with my pass certificate) and when that returns I can start looking for work.

Which reminds me, I’ll have to get a really good photocopy of my pass certificate in case they keep the original when they upgrade my  license. I think I’ll frame my certificates for in my computer room. Sad, I know, but no one else need see them, and the amount of commitment and anxiety that has gone in to achieving them, well, they will make me happy to see them there.

So, a mere £5,615 and thirteen tests later, I am a qualified articulated lorry driver. Bargain.

There’s other stuff afoot, but quite frankly I don’t care. ("If you could squeeze ‘rats ass’ into that sentence it would be perfect." To quote Niles from Frasier)

Happy/ relieved Bucky.



PS I forgot to mention, when I told Wendy she was obviously delighted, but then admitted she had thought I was never going to pass! There’s supportiveness. She didn’t think I could do it, but encouraged me each time I failed and voiced no dissent when I then put us in another £283 of debt on the credit card by booking another test. If she had put us five grand+ in debt for something I thought she clearly couldn’t do, I don’t know if I’d have been able to do the same.

Done now, thankfully.