Last June, I wrote about Bernie.

She’s a nice person but a bit on the weird side.  Whenever I spoke to her, I always felt I was entering a parallel universe.

Mine is a world of peace and quiet; of birdsong and the wind blowing in the trees.

Hers is a world of police raids, the sound of breaking glass and looking up the paper to see how her son did in his last court appearance.

The two worlds rarely overlap.  Thank God.

One of the things about Bernie, was that she couldn’t drive.  She hadn’t the faintest idea how to control a car.  But that didn’t stop her.

She used to arrive here and park her car in the middle of the lane.  She wasn’t sure how to pull into one side, and as for the idea of driving in through an open gate……!!  So I used to have to go out and park her car for her every time she arrived.  And when she was leaving, I’d have to drive the car out onto the lane again, as she was afraid of hitting the gate posts.

One time, she decided to park further up the lane.  I think she was getting a bit embarrassed at asking me to park the car all the time.  Of course, when she did park up there, she took a chunk out of the car by hitting a wall.  This wasn’t noticeable, as there were chunks missing all around the car – a great testament to her driving skills.

When the time came for her to leave, she just drove into a neighbours garden.  I don’t know why she did that, and she probably doesn’t either.  But this left her with a problem.  You see, Bernie couldn’t reverse.  She had never reversed a car in her life and didn’t know how to.  So she called up to the neighbour’s door, and asked him very politely if he could possibly reverse her car out of his garden!  I would love to have seen his face…

Bernie has been driving for the last ten or so years on a provisional licence.  She has done the test on numerous occasions and was laughed out of it each time.  When the government decided to clamp down on this business of endlessly issuing provisional licences, the first person I thought of was Bernie.

I met her yesterday.  She was outside the local shop, still behind the wheel of her car.  I went over to say hello.  After the usual pleasantries, she proudly announced that she had passed her test!  I thought she was having me on, but she then proceeded to reverse very smartly into a very narrow entranceway, turn the car and then park perfectly at the kerb.  I know people who have been driving for years, who couldn’t manoeuvre as smartly as that.

I felt myself entering that parallel universe again.

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Miracles do happen — 8 Comments

  1. See, so you can teach an old dog new tricks. Way to go Bernie! Although, I do know similar drivers, except they have full licenses, courtesy of the license amnesty we had years ago.

  2. Ah some people are just nervous doing there test and some just need longer to get the hang of it, really people should have to get a number of lessons from an accredited instuctor before they are let out on the road.

  3. Bernie’s problem was that she wasn’t nervous enough. It just never occurred to her that she couldn’t drive, and it always baffled her.

    A lot of our road problems would be solved if some drivers were a little more nervous..!

  4. Well, if Bernie can do it, maybe I should too… I’ve been putting off my driving test too long and one day, they’ll get me.

    Get me a doughnut, I hope. It is Cavan after all, and it’s just a tractor…

    Congratulate Bernie and your neighbour’s garden on my behalf!

  5. I have an aunt like Bernie. During chit chat, at a recent family do, one of her sons commented his mother had more provisionals than the IRA.

  6. Parallel Parking Universe, Aye? Hmmm…Sounds like her car was equipped with a Microsoft parking aid. No, if that were the case, then it would have paused halfway through the procedure and asked her to press ‘F8’ to proceed. 🙂

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