Thanks to Derek’s patience I’ve finally passed my test!

They might be celebrating at the moment, but the real world beckons.

Arty graduates must be taught business skills too – Lesley Keating

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Keep calm folks, but I’m pleased to say I’ve finally passed my driving test.

Yes, yours truly will soon be cruising a street near you in her very own passion wagon.

Let’s just say never use herbal remedies to calm the nerves. Or if you do, don’t down the whole bottle!

I’m still quite shocked that I passed. I was beginning to feel like one of those ‘undriveables’ in the TV programme who can’t pass a test.

It’s 18 months ago since I started learning and I’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of pounds in my quest to get that important certificate.

I really thought I would have it in the bag within six months. But my first instructor dumped me after one particularly fraught lesson.

We were sitting at a junction for ages waiting to pull out on to a busy dual carriageway.

I thought I had enough time to make a break for it. Cue cars swerving everywhere, horns blasting and said instructor practically wetting himself and shouting expletives at me.

I kind of lost my nerve for a while after that. But I’m not a quitter and eventually I found a lovely instructor by the name of Derek who has the patience of a saint.

I’ve had quite a few tests. My first test failure was an accumulation of errors, while the second was for not looking into the blind spot after an emergency stop and stopping at a green light that nearly caused the vehicle behind to hit my bumper.

The third? Well, we won’t talk about that one!

And the fourth? Let’s just say never use herbal remedies to calm the nerves. Or if you do, don’t down the whole bottle!

As you can see, trying to pass my test has been eventful to say the least.

So when the examiner finally uttered the words ‘Ashley, I’m pleased to say you have passed your driving test’, the relief of not ever having to go through it again was overwhelming.

I thanked him, trying not to celebrate until he had finished filling out the pass certificate in case he changed his mind.

Honestly, it’s one of the proudest moments of my life. A big thank-you to Derek and those who encouraged and believed in me. Now I can’t wait to get out and about.