Skip to main content

Making a New Life

Today I really feel like I'm settling in to life in London. I applied for a drivers license, found out my fee status for university in the fall and am finally getting my food processor. It's real, it's official. We live in London. We are Londoners, now. Well, maybe let's not go that far, so soon.

I'm terrified about the driving license. My beloved 1996 Toyota Corolla is a manual car (I miss you, little car!), I've been driving for over 10 years and I drive on both sides of the road - though not generally in the same trip - but I'm still shaking in my boots. Not so much that I'd have an accident or do something terrible during the exam, but more that I'll be watching all these little teenagers triumphantly waving their "pass" papers and I'll be slumped in the corner with a "fail" for some silly mistake.

In fact, what's really getting my blood pressure up is the "show me/tell me" section of the exam. Apparently the examiner will ask two of these questions, such as, "show me how you'd check the oil level" and "tell me how you'd check that the steering is working." Oil level - check. Provided it's in the same spot as my Corolla! I feel pretty confident that I could find it, just generally, but under pressure, who knows what I could do. Also, tell you how I know the steering is working? Well either the car turns when I turn the wheel or I sit there helplessly flailing while the car continues to sail on. I guess that's when the emergency stop comes in?

Anyhow, I know I shouldn't be stressing about this, because my dad did a great job teaching me the basics of cars, because I have taken car of a 15-year-old car for many years and mainly because I don't even have the provisional license yet and I'm going to take lessons, so it's really not an issue yet. As my mother would say in an exasperated voice, "Really, Sinead, cross that bridge when you come to it." Hopefully, I manage to cross it on the right side of the road, with appropriate mirror checking and within the speed limit.

As I walked back from picking up my new and sure to be delightful food processor a woman asked me for directions to Harrods. Balancing my enormous box on one knee and hanging on to another bag with one hand, I was fairly clear that I had absolutely no idea how to get her there, but she produced a map of London nonetheless. After pointing out where we were on the map (I was confident on that much), I told her to "walk straight, then turn right and it should be on your left. The poor woman is probably still wandering around Kensington, hours later. I'm not quite a Londoner, yet.

Now, my first official act as an almost Londoner: Go searching for all my best food processor/hand blender recipes. Yum.