I’m a little behind with the photo a day posts. Behind because I had an absolute calamity of an evening yesterday. Well, some would call it calamity, others would call it a typical Gemma drama.
A bit of background…
I’ve not got the best track record when it comes to driving. Please see evidential photographic proof:
Forgive the pixelated nature of this photograph. This is me in 2007 after putting my beloved Mx5 into a bush. At the time I was a radio presenter and columnist in the local paper and this pic was on the paper’s website. They printed it on the front page if I remember rightly. The shame.
The Mx5 didn’t get written off but it did require an extended stay in the car hospital. I was given a Ford Focus as a courtesy car. I’d had it about a week when I swung it into the drive post and had to pay £200 for a new bumper. I think I reversed it into a bollard too but I can’t quite remember.
Fast forward a few years and my beloved husband parted with his hard earned cash for a beautiful sleek, black BMW 3 series. It was much more expensive than other models we had looked at but this one had cup holders. I mean CUP HOLDERS! I was excited by these more than anything else on the car. They blend sleekly, stylishly and discreetly into the dashboard when not in use. I didn’t care what horse power it was (I mean, what the hell does that mean anyway? It’s as powerful as 2 horses? 3 horses? What?! I just don’t get it!) or how many miles to the gallon it did or how fast it went from 0-60, it had spring loaded cup holders for heaven’s sake and I was in love with it!
However, a part of me was wary. Shaun knew about my car in ditch/bush episode but I wasn’t sure he knew about my other prangs and bangs;
- like the time I reversed into a tree and took my wing mirror off
- or the time I drove straight into the side of an old man
- or the time I failed my test for almost pulling in front of a HGV
- or the time I took the bend from the M61 onto the M65 too fast and did a 360 degree turn in the middle lane of the M65 motorway in a branded car
- or the time(s) I have locked my keys in the car (I estimate this number to be at least 7 times since I passed my test in 2001).
- Thanks for the reminders lovely readers – there was the TWO times I crashed into the front of my own house. I forgot about those. But that was AFTER I met Shaun, the above is before we got together!
So I felt very anxious about being the main driver on a lovely luxurious vehicle that was essentially being entrusted to me.
I was right to be anxious. This time last year when I had just returned to work after maternity leave I was a mess. Blake wasn’t sleeping through, I was still breastfeeding and it was wrecking my head trying to get back into a business-like routine after an 11 month break. I’d spent the best part of a year attending Mummy clubs, eating cheese and nurturing a rapidly growing human. I wasn’t ready for deadlines, targets and clients.
I’d only been back about a fortnight when one particular morning, in the absolute madness to get out of the house, get my son to the childminder’s and into work on time, I crashed the car. Straight into a lamp post. I was attempting to park up and just swerved straight into the solid concrete street light. I have no idea why. I could see it plain as day but in my panic I aimed right at it. Absolutely un-fecking-believable.
Shaun was angry but not surprised. He decided we wouldn’t bother repairing the smashed up bumper complete with metal prongs angrily poking through it, because and I quote “Yer a f***ing dick. And you’ll only probably do it again!”.
So for the last year, our once much loved car has been a bit of a mess. Tired and sad looking, it’s been neglected. Even the cup holders had lost their sparkle.
Fast forward to the end of October 2012, just three short weeks ago. Shaun decided that I had completed a full year of automobile probation and with no bangs, prangs or scratches caused by my fair hands it was time to restore our trusty Beemer to it’s former glory. Off it went to D.Melling and Sons on a kind of auto spa break. It was booked in for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. (An MOT, service, valet and full new bumper). A week later we picked up our trusty car and fell in love with it all over again. It gleamed. It shined. It no longer stank of off-milk and wet dog. I even drove through my village with my sunglasses on, windows down and a seriously out of date Hed Kandi CD blaring out the speakers thinking I was cool. All previous words Shaun and I had exchanged and thoughts of selling and trading it in for a piece of crap I could wreck disappeared.
My disaster started when I jumped on the wrong train home, got delayed by half an hour and was frantic about getting to Blake in time. I rushed off the train, ran to my car and in my stress and panic I didn’t spot it. The lamp post. The very same one from twelve months ago. The very same f**king lamp post I crashed into AGAIN damaging our brand new fortnight-old bumper and my ego in the process.
I shit myself all the way home, rang Stewart from D Melling & Sons to see if there was a way I could repair it without Shaun finding out then decided that honesty was going to be the best policy. I cried when I told an incredulous Shaun who looked at me with a mixture of disbelief, pity and hatred and then cried some more as I researched driving refresher lessons for dickheads like me. I also got laughed at by my husband as I logged onto the dyspraxia website with tears rolling down my face, hysterically pointing at all the symptoms shouting “That’s ME!!! I’ve got f***ing dyspraxia!!!”.
I haven’t got dyspraxia. I’m just an idiot.
So this is my photo a day. My man made catastrophe, made by me and my ridiculous inability to drive.
Maureen from Driving School ain’t got nothing on me!