Blog: How lessons drove me to despair

First published in Latest Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

I got the shock of my life the other day when I spotted my daughter at the wheel of a car. Obviously, I knew she was having driving lessons, but she’s usually picked up and dropped off at school, so to see her motoring down the street was very odd. It seems like only yesterday that I was lurching along as a learner in my dad’s Mini Cooper estate.

The father-daughter/teacher-pupil relationship was not made in heaven. With a very short fuse, my dad would seethe when I ground the gears or scraped the pavement, and explode when I made the same error repeatedly. Very few of my friends had driving-school lessons: most of us were taught by our parents. Quite a few people, who had driven throughout their childhood on the family farm, passed just days after their 17th birthday.

My dad would insist I drove with him the 40 miles to his office. The heavy commuter traffic offered good experience, but by the time we returned he would be red in the face from shouting and I would be in a terrible mood.

I still recall where I went wrong – I was terrified of roundabouts and would want to change to a lower gear about half a mile beforehand, I hated being in a middle lane surrounded by other traffic where I couldn’t easily pull over if need be, and my heart would race on hill starts.

One journey, to a nearby village, involved a hill start on a crossroads with a gradient like the North Face of the Eiger. I once had a Porsche behind and prayed as I loosened my grip on the hand brake and stuck my foot hard down on the accelerator. I sped off like an F1 driver, sending gravel everywhere.

To help out with the stressful lessons, my dad’s friend kindly offered to take me. He was calm and humorous and would have made a great driving instructor. I failed my first test, messing up parking in reverse and roundabouts among other things. My emergency stop was a disaster, with tins of cat food flying forward from the back seat.

The second went like a dream – I was in a stationary queue of traffic for most of it.

Thinking back, my dad and friends were brave people. I don’t think my nerves could stand a trip with my daughter, or indeed any learner, however good they are. I’ll chance it when she’s held a full licence for a couple of years.

Comments (40)

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11:27am Tue 3 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

It might sound like a load of this but I can't take this, I don't want any of this, I don't do this, I don't need or covet or care about any of this. If this is all there is, please keep all of this. I'm not allowed any of this. I don't expect this and even I couldn't get away with pulling off any of this because one thing in all of this I don't ever want is this so you can do whatever you want with this.
It might sound like a load of this but I can't take this, I don't want any of this, I don't do this, I don't need or covet or care about any of this. If this is all there is, please keep all of this. I'm not allowed any of this. I don't expect this and even I couldn't get away with pulling off any of this because one thing in all of this I don't ever want is this so you can do whatever you want with this. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:38am Tue 3 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You must be full of this if you think there is any meaning or value in any of this.
You must be full of this if you think there is any meaning or value in any of this. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:47am Tue 3 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You are not having any of this and you don't seem to get this.
You are not having any of this and you don't seem to get this. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:48am Tue 3 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You won't get this either.
You won't get this either. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Tue 3 Sep 13

gjmrover57 says...

Are you for real? Seek some professional help.
I dont get you either.
Are you for real? Seek some professional help. I dont get you either. gjmrover57
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Of course, you don't get me. It's not exactly news to me you know. You are only human. I love your heart. I love to feel each feeling in your heart and I get all the feeling in your heart.


What you get, is a birth and a death and some entertainment while I love all the beautiful feeling in your heart. Of course, you don't get me. You might feel incredibly thankful for no reason and a love that is uncontrolled, but you're quite right, you don't get me.
Of course, you don't get me. It's not exactly news to me you know. You are only human. I love your heart. I love to feel each feeling in your heart and I get all the feeling in your heart. What you get, is a birth and a death and some entertainment while I love all the beautiful feeling in your heart. Of course, you don't get me. You might feel incredibly thankful for no reason and a love that is uncontrolled, but you're quite right, you don't get me. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Even if you were a professional, you still wouldn't get me.
Even if you were a professional, you still wouldn't get me. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You have to be paid to respond to me, and I can take advantage of that.
You have to be paid to respond to me, and I can take advantage of that. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

It's also obvious from your column Helen, you never learnt to drive. Your not mechanically sympathetic enough.
It's also obvious from your column Helen, you never learnt to drive. Your not mechanically sympathetic enough. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I would be surprised Helen, if you have ever actually touched a full driving licence, never mind held on to a full one.
I would be surprised Helen, if you have ever actually touched a full driving licence, never mind held on to a full one. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

gjmrover57 wrote:
Are you for real? Seek some professional help. I dont get you either.
For all it's worth gymrover57, I just bought 5000 texts for a fiver, which is ten for a penny when I wen't to school or I'm not real. Currently having no one to have text with of an evening, you could say, "I NEED A PROFESSIONALS HELP" with that side of things I suppose.
[quote][p][bold]gjmrover57[/bold] wrote: Are you for real? Seek some professional help. I dont get you either.[/p][/quote]For all it's worth gymrover57, I just bought 5000 texts for a fiver, which is ten for a penny when I wen't to school or I'm not real. Currently having no one to have text with of an evening, you could say, "I NEED A PROFESSIONALS HELP" with that side of things I suppose. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You download all your hurt and I upload all my joy.
You download all your hurt and I upload all my joy. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You download me with any confusions or any hates or any sorrows, and I will upload you with Knowledge and Clarity and Love. I can do you for free.
You download me with any confusions or any hates or any sorrows, and I will upload you with Knowledge and Clarity and Love. I can do you for free. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Any despairs ?
Any despairs ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You give me what drives you to despair, and I will give you your fulfillment.
You give me what drives you to despair, and I will give you your fulfillment. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I can do this for anyone for free. You give to me all the struggle and the suffering you may have inherited. All the stains, as much as you can. Angers hates, fears, doubts and I will give you back your joy, your peace, your contentment.
I can do this for anyone for free. You give to me all the struggle and the suffering you may have inherited. All the stains, as much as you can. Angers hates, fears, doubts and I will give you back your joy, your peace, your contentment. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

If you give me your Love, if you give me your Devotion........ What I will give to you in return, cannot even be described by a professional.
If you give me your Love, if you give me your Devotion........ What I will give to you in return, cannot even be described by a professional. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

DO YOU GET THAT GYMROVER57 ?
DO YOU GET THAT GYMROVER57 ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Do you get me ?
Do you get me ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:04am Fri 6 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

If you give me your fear, you won't be afraid anymore and you won't want to hurt anyone.
If you give me your fear, you won't be afraid anymore and you won't want to hurt anyone. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:18am Fri 6 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I can help professionals as well as people who write for closure and those who publish on the internet to cause someone some hurt.
I can help professionals as well as people who write for closure and those who publish on the internet to cause someone some hurt. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Mon 9 Sep 13

gjmrover57 says...

You a godamn,cottonpicking full on basketcase.Who do you think you are with your pompous drivel?You are a poor mans Hannibal Lecter. Youve got me quaking in my boots. ....................
..How am i going to sleep at night, 5000 texts??? What ?? Why am I bothering to even respond to such inane gobbledygook?
You a godamn,cottonpicking full on basketcase.Who do you think you are with your pompous drivel?You are a poor mans Hannibal Lecter. Youve got me quaking in my boots. .................... ..How am i going to sleep at night, 5000 texts??? What ?? Why am I bothering to even respond to such inane gobbledygook? gjmrover57
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

gjmrover57 wrote:
You a godamn,cottonpicking full on basketcase.Who do you think you are with your pompous drivel?You are a poor mans Hannibal Lecter. Youve got me quaking in my boots. .................... ..How am i going to sleep at night, 5000 texts??? What ?? Why am I bothering to even respond to such inane gobbledygook?
You are asking me Why ?........... because I know what you need from now on that's why. You are asking me what ?....... because I know what, how, where, you will be having it and getting it and when you will be taking it or dictating it. Whether you are upset or sleepless or not, my insane gobbleygloop is the only thing in your world promising to be upsetting.
[quote][p][bold]gjmrover57[/bold] wrote: You a godamn,cottonpicking full on basketcase.Who do you think you are with your pompous drivel?You are a poor mans Hannibal Lecter. Youve got me quaking in my boots. .................... ..How am i going to sleep at night, 5000 texts??? What ?? Why am I bothering to even respond to such inane gobbledygook?[/p][/quote]You are asking me Why ?........... because I know what you need from now on that's why. You are asking me what ?....... because I know what, how, where, you will be having it and getting it and when you will be taking it or dictating it. Whether you are upset or sleepless or not, my insane gobbleygloop is the only thing in your world promising to be upsetting. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You need having from now on.
You need having from now on. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I'm hungry.....
I'm hungry..... Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Well hungry.
Well hungry. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

......funny how it so doesn't hurt when I eat you.
......funny how it so doesn't hurt when I eat you. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:41am Wed 11 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Do you like responding to me ?
Do you like responding to me ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You are my Soulmate. I don't need dishwashers. Even if you are toying with some idea of a relationship, the happy relationship you are in or not in, cannot alter the status of My Soulmate Jean.... so..... ?
You are my Soulmate. I don't need dishwashers. Even if you are toying with some idea of a relationship, the happy relationship you are in or not in, cannot alter the status of My Soulmate Jean.... so..... ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

........You are My Soulmate, there is no option to it now or ever. And writing stories and painting pictures about the future, won't change or even affect your Soulmate status.
........You are My Soulmate, there is no option to it now or ever. And writing stories and painting pictures about the future, won't change or even affect your Soulmate status. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

You are my Soulmate and anything of the past, the present and the future, will not dare to change it.
You are my Soulmate and anything of the past, the present and the future, will not dare to change it. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

SOULMATE - I don't know what definitions you have in your dictionary for a soulmate but a SOULMATE is the one who puts his claim on your soul. What this quite simply means in your case, is that your soul is now part of me and it is no longer any part of you. This means nothing, no embodied entity in creation, not even one other being, can ever do you and undo you like I can do you and undo you. Nobody can ever promise you, move you, or ever upset you, like the owner of your soul can promise you, move you, and upset you.


As a SOULMATE I can be flexible with you. I own your soul and you have no means or way to escape. The captivity I give to you makes you happy and any ideas about freedom from me is a misery. You can be the furthest from me or you can be near me but there is no escape you can ever make from me as the owner of your soul and just knowing that is liberation and happiness. How bad and good you are, what you are, as well as when you are and when you are not depends on the one who is your Soulmate or the one who is the Master and Lord of your soul. The one who is the true owner and refuge of your soul is the only one who can liberate you.
SOULMATE - I don't know what definitions you have in your dictionary for a soulmate but a SOULMATE is the one who puts his claim on your soul. What this quite simply means in your case, is that your soul is now part of me and it is no longer any part of you. This means nothing, no embodied entity in creation, not even one other being, can ever do you and undo you like I can do you and undo you. Nobody can ever promise you, move you, or ever upset you, like the owner of your soul can promise you, move you, and upset you. As a SOULMATE I can be flexible with you. I own your soul and you have no means or way to escape. The captivity I give to you makes you happy and any ideas about freedom from me is a misery. You can be the furthest from me or you can be near me but there is no escape you can ever make from me as the owner of your soul and just knowing that is liberation and happiness. How bad and good you are, what you are, as well as when you are and when you are not depends on the one who is your Soulmate or the one who is the Master and Lord of your soul. The one who is the true owner and refuge of your soul is the only one who can liberate you. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

As a soulmate, I am not limited to just you when you are not there but you are tied to me when I am there just as much as when I am not there.
As a soulmate, I am not limited to just you when you are not there but you are tied to me when I am there just as much as when I am not there. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Thu 12 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Any idea that we are equal, is delusional.
Any idea that we are equal, is delusional. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

10:05am Fri 13 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Just let me know when you're coming for quick sex.
Just let me know when you're coming for quick sex. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

10:11am Fri 13 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

As your Soulmate, there is unlikely to be anyone else who will be able to help you with that like I can really help you with that.
As your Soulmate, there is unlikely to be anyone else who will be able to help you with that like I can really help you with that. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

10:12am Fri 13 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I know exactly, what you're waiting for.
I know exactly, what you're waiting for. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Fri 13 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I don't know why I love you, even so flippin much.
I don't know why I love you, even so flippin much. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Sat 14 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Are you sure you didn't write that story to - get a free stalker and impress all your girlfriends, or do you harbour a secretly wish to be stalked ?
Are you sure you didn't write that story to - get a free stalker and impress all your girlfriends, or do you harbour a secretly wish to be stalked ? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Mon 16 Sep 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I have to leave you now.
I have to leave you now. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

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