Long story short... I passed!
Well obviously I can't just leave it at that but I am very happy that I passed and very happy that it is over! Here is a bit more about getting a license in the UK for those of you who do not know how difficult it is.
The day started at 8:00am instead of 9:00am so that I could get a bit more time before my test. I went out for an hour by myself with the head honcho and practiced my bay parking and roundabouts. We also threw in a couple emergency stops but they said since I was taking my test in an automatic they have never known somebody to be asked to do one when not in a manual.
We then went back to the B & B, Andy and I had breakfast and then I was off with my instructor and London Boy. I drove from Blackpool to Preston (around 30 or so minutes) and drove around some of the possible routes I might be taken on.
Then... it was London Boys turn for a awhile. He did not get any better overnight!
I took over driving around 45 minutes before my test and we made our way to the test center. The examiner came in and called my name. I showed him my Provisional License, the paper counterpart and my Theory Pass Certificate.
We went outside and he had me read a license plate from pretty far off. You then get asked two Show Me Tell Me questions. Mine were:
1) Tell me, How would you check your brakes prior to the start of your journey?
2) Show me, How would you check your indicators are working correctly?
I answered both of them correctly and I was told to get into the vehicle, make myself comfortable and set off when ready.
I was SO nervous!!
Everything was going fine and then around 10 or so minutes into the drive the road took a sharp turn to the right but there was also a street going straight and for whatever reason I followed the street straight. He pointed out that the road actually turned to the right and that I should have followed it but it was okay to continue going straight and to turn to the right at the end of the road.
I was mortified that I had already messed up! I laughed and asked him if I could get away with it by saying I was taking him the scenic route and that he might like this way better and take his future drivers this way instead now. He laughed back and from them on we just carried on a conversation with each other. We talked about the differences between the US and the UK driving tests, why I was living in the England, football, etc...
My first manoeuvre was a reverse around the corner. I did not hit the curb (thank goodness) but I was a bit too far away from it to be honest.
We drove around for a little bit more and then I could tell where we were (from the previous driving practice that day) and knew we were heading back to the test center. Now this made me WAY nervous because I knew he had only asked me to do one manoeuvre and I had been told by my instructor earlier that if you only do one they usually have you come back to the test center and bay park as the second. I was horrified by this thought because bay parking is my worst manoeuvre and I did not want to fail after everything seemed to be going okay. Thankfully as we drove up to the center he pointed out that the parking area was too crowded and asked me to drive ahead on the road and we would just do a turn in the road. YES!!!! The turn in the road is my favorite and the road was way big enough so I knew I was good on this last bit.
We pulled up just shy of the entrance into the test center and he told me to secure the car and make myself comfortable. He then said that he was going to pass me and I actually gave a squeal of excitement! He told me I had only made 3 faults and pointed them out:
1) Road Markings: For not following the road when it went around to the right
2) Positioning: From a stop light I had pulled into a two lane road but stayed in the right hand lane for a bit too long before moving over to the left.
3) Reverse Around The Corner / Control: I was a bit too far from the curb.
All I can say is *whew* I am so glad it is over!
London Boy drove us back to Blackpool and the whole time I thought I was going to die and never get to use my UK License!
When I got back to the B & B Andy of course congratulated me and then pointed out that there were still tickets for the Hull v Everton Carling Cup match. See... we really wanted to go to this match but with it being in Hull and my Practical would have been on Thursday and we thought I needed a good rest the night before. But now that my test is over and done with... lets go!
So I quickly changed into my Everton kit and away we went. Blackpool and Hull are around 138 miles from each other. The drive was wonderful, we got to go through some beautiful countryside. Unfortunately my camera had a dead battery and I only had my iPhone, as good as a phone it is... the camera is not so great but here is a picture from the impromptu road trip.
We made it to Hull at around 7:10pm and kick off was at 7:45pm. We bought a ticket at the turnstile and made our way to our seats. The match was fantastic and Everton won 4-0!
So... I got my UK License and got to see Everton win 4-0... What a great day!!
Forecast: Partly Sunny
Sunrise: 6:58 AM
Sunset: 7:06 PM
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