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After 18 years, jumping in a car and driving again

is messing with my head and my heart.

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Beach  Male  Dorset
30-Jul-2019 19:04 Message #4746969
It isn’t an experiment I imagine many folk will have pursued or experienced, (unless they were a lifer finally let out of prison), but driving again for the first time since 2001, (when the twin towers collapsed), is proving to be a wondrous though poignant experience.

Roads are way, way busier, laws, rules and regulations are way more difficult to ignore … though cars, themselves, seem a lot safer than nearly 20 years ago.

I’ve had the vehicle 7 days, (though only driven about 40 miles), enjoyed two visits to the recycling centre tip loaded with household and garden junk and experienced a Sunday drive to Dorchester car boot and a couple of visits to Jackie's, (my ex) and the family home.

OK. So what’s the problem?

The problem is … all of a sudden, in owning a car again, the 15 mile radius of the Truman Show style dome I’ve been happily, purposely, living in and under these last 18 years, (with the original aim of simplifying my life), has evaporated and, following some little planned excursion, (to the tip, Jackie’s or whatever), I return, or head towards, home in my new car / time machine, finding myself experiencing some perplexing wave of nostalgia … or is it a longing … or is it a regret?

Having completed whatever little chore I may have just done, I sit in this shiny clean smelling box realising … I could go anywhere … I could see anyone … I could … (pause)

Yes. I could see anyone.

I could see Susanah. (Susanah represents my last relationship – till a career opportunity took her 200 miles North).

I could see Jane. Jane adored me, (and I her), but she was the widow too immersed in grief to be able to accommodate ‘love story’ at the time. And, for a man who had traded cars for electric bikes, any long distance relationship would never have happened. Not back then anyway.

I could see Ali. My bestest female friend, again, now living a long way away ... or I could drive up to Porteshead to collect a garage full of my most precious possesions that have been lying there in storage for nearly two decades.

So … after every little excursion outwards, I find myself setting home … and always, as I put key in ignition, I ponder, I quiz myself and think … “Shouldn’t I be doing more with this machine? Shouldn’t I be exploiting the spatial potential of letting this vehicle open up my world?”

But after 18 years, (and now being 62), I’m not even sure what that really means.

I feel like some institutionalised animal, perhaps a Sea World Orca or maybe a former orphaned Cheetah. An animal released into the wild again but unsure what actually lies beyond the cage it has been living in for so many years.

And yes. The Jane relationship prospect keeps calling and calling and calling me.

Maybe, the fact that, thanks to this machine, I may hold the, gossamer thin, prospect of rekindling that special relationship … well … it, kind of scares and tugs at my heart.

Though I hear you responding, "Jeez, Beach. It's just a car and you're overthinking stuff again!" lol :-)
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
30-Jul-2019 19:46 Message #4746970
or, you could come and see us lot, one by one. Now that would be a voyage of discovery!
Beach  Male  Dorset
30-Jul-2019 19:54 Message #4746974
OH MY, Minnie.

Just imagine! lol :-)
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham
31-Jul-2019 00:05 Message #4747004
Makes a change from being told: "On yer bike !"
Cassis  Female  Cambridgeshire
31-Jul-2019 01:37 Message #4747008
That was an interesting contemplation, Beach.
It's like you have a new toy but not sure how to exploit its many people are with the internet and smart phones.
For myself, I hate driving; well, it's not driving I dislike so much as the traffic and conditions (speaking as one who has been living amidst major roadworks for the last 2 years!) I love road trips on big open highways like in USA and Australia. Maybe you should set your horizons wider? And why go back in love; why not forward?
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
31-Jul-2019 12:16 Message #4747050
I'm like Cassis I like drivin , but not on our overcrowded and angry roads, have you been on motorways yet? I think you're getting confused about the difference between could and ought, could is a possiblilty, ought is a guilt trip, often a self impossed one.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire
31-Jul-2019 20:29 Message #4747104
Must be very exciting to resume driving, after such a long break

Driving can be real fun.
Hey Beach, if you drive really fast now, you can win points!
Beach  Male  Dorset
31-Jul-2019 21:04 Message #4747126
Got a choice of several electric bikes, Warmundeft, with each one built / designed for a particular task!

Thanks for the compliment, Cassis.

I'm not sure I want to complicate life by adding more potential female prospects to the situation although with your moving forward suggestion, I'd add that I do still flirt with the girl I bump into in Morrisons or the town on Market days. ;-) She's a slightlyy different case and with her shy demeanour and physical looks, she excites me in ways I'd rather not go into here.

And now I've got the car, I could actually return the visits I've had from a geeky, techy, networky female computer expert who has been popping in to see how my life size 3D printed intelligent robot has been developing. she's a bit loopy but has curves to stop traffic! :-)

Hi Hen,

Well no. I have little desire or intention to venture onto a motorway although, with that said, I think there is a bit of motorway between me and Jane with her being down near the Tamar river in Devon. (That route has such good roads though I wouldn't think it would be a problem).

Hi NotHermit,

It must be nice for you to see how a real troll operates.

You'll need to up your game now.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire
31-Jul-2019 23:06 Message #4747161
Hi Beach,
Does that T-shirt still exist?
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire
31-Jul-2019 23:33 Message #4747168
Beach 30-Jul-2019 19:04

Miss Piggy quote: Pretentious? Moi?
Beach  Male  Dorset
31-Jul-2019 23:39 Message #4747169
Ha Ha. Dumb and Dumber together again.

“Doas that T Shart Stall exast?”

The laboured drawl of an uneducated (Derby) man.
Beach  Male  Dorset
31-Jul-2019 23:52 Message #4747171
... but I didn't use the word, ought, did I, Hen?

Or, rather, I did use the word could, didn't I? Which is a positive word, (by comparison), and yes, full of possibilities as you have said. :-)
persona_non_grata  Male  North London
1-Aug-2019 10:24 Message #4747193
I was a driving instructor and it was surprising how many (mostly) women passed their test but then had no car to drive as hubby would usually insist on doing the driving. I know several who never drove until circumstances changed which could be many years later. They hadn't your previous experience Beach so after a few years they were back to square one and roads had become busier and even regulations changed. They had to be taught all over again.
Beach  Male  Dorset
1-Aug-2019 14:33 Message #4747222
That's fascinating, PNG though your explanation does explain why women may have gained less driving experience back then. I'm sure things are a little bit different today though. :-)

My experience didn't stop me nudging a street bollard hard enough to freeze my tailgate / hatch door shut yesterday. (While parking). I had to pop round friend John's garage for him to tease the catch mechanism, (and solenoid), back into action where the modest impact had pushed something or other in by a couple of millimeters.

Other than that, I am really enjoying my '2nd life' driving experience.

The car will come into play proper, (as was the primaray purpose of having to buy it), when I begin looking after dimentia suffering father a couple of times a week 20 miles North of here. And with Uncle Norms funeral next week, including a mass the night before and loudspeakers in the church yard outside to accomodate 100s of people, I'm suddenly becoming aware that the car has materialised just in time.

I didn't think I wanted a car and, well ... I didn't but, if anything, at least it'll transport me back into the 21st century again! :-)

Victoriana11  Female  Buckinghamshire
1-Aug-2019 14:41 Message #4747223
Beachy, why did you take the stuff to the recycling- you should have taken it to the CB sale. Your rubbish could well be another chaps needs/wants & you could have made a few pennies too. ..... lol..... I am always amazed at what people buy. I am even especially amazed at what 'I' buy too......more lol. Whatever you have , someone will always want, Believeme, I have had over 45 years experience and was in at the start.

V x
Beach  Male  Dorset
1-Aug-2019 15:01 Message #4747225
Ha ha. I often go up the tip with my ex, Jackie and EVERY single time she says, "Oooh Chris. I'd love to work here ... and I'd even do it for free!"

Yes, V. I am thinking about car booting over the next few weeks. (I have tons of computers and computer related peripherals and gadgets, LCD monitors, stands, other hardware / software to dispose of so, yes, I will be doing one soon.)

Actually, much of the stuff I took up the tip this week was either vegetation, wood, rubble or metalwork so I don't think there was much 'of worth' to dispose of ... but yes, you've inspired and reminded me that I really should start tackling the silicone valley that I have just sitting in my workshop and out houses! :-)

As to car boots in general.

Did I mention that last Sunday I bought an amazing retro, collectable PINO robot from 2001. (Paid £4 but it is worth nearer £80) ... and I bought a beautiful, beautiful HERBERT JOHNSON (Bond Street), Warwick style bowler hat just perfect to complete my Alex LaFarge Clockwork Orange style Droog look for our Autumn fair and our New Years Eve fancy dress celebrations ... with Bridport often being in the top 5 places to see the New Year in ... according to The Guardian. (Or was it The Independent?)

I'll leave that last comment loaded and ambiguous just to annoy a particular pedant on here who will already be falling over himself to ask for references, sources or proof of such a statement! Ha ha :-)

He won't be getting one ...
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
1-Aug-2019 19:03 Message #4747238
When I had a break from driving for a few years I booked myself a few lessons to get used to it again. My then partner refused to put me on the insurance for his car and wouldn't be driven by me or anyone else.
Beach  Male  Dorset
2-Aug-2019 09:10 Message #4747279
Talking of insurance, Hen. I was surprised to realise that my insurance cover also allows me to drive anyone else's car, which is a bit of a bonus. Something, I'd obviously not been able to do prior.
persona_non_grata  Male  North London
2-Aug-2019 10:36 Message #4747280
Beach. I often drive other cars on a similar policy but you have to check the clauses. The insurance cover is usually very limited and may not cover third party damage and the driven car must already be insured by someone else (usually the owner).
It’s really an emergency cover but very useful.
Beach  Male  Dorset
2-Aug-2019 14:18 Message #4747292
Ah ... OK, PNG. Thanks for the heads up.

I wouldn't have considered the proviso of such a, limited use, possibility in a million years so I'm grateful to be enlightened about such things. :-)
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
2-Aug-2019 18:45 Message #4747314
Its a handy thing to have as you can share driving with someone in their car, or if the driver feels unwell or something, but not all FC policies include it these days, some specifically exclude it to lower premiums, so watch out next year when you renew.
Beach  Male  Dorset
4-Aug-2019 14:27 Message #4747477
Yep. The insurance thing is sketchy to say the least.

When I was looking online using the Confused Meerkat Go Compare websites, I noticed they all offered me excellent rates first time around although I also saw a limited offer or time based quote tag on all the quotes which I just dismissed as pushy marketing prompts to get me to sign up hastily.

BUT those cynical sites later made me regret taking my time because, 24 or 48 hrs hence, ALL of the previous quotes from ALL online sources had evaporated ... to be replaced with quotes at least 10% and sometimes 20% more.

I thought that was a poor show. :-(
fosy  Male  Leicestershire
4-Aug-2019 18:45 Message #4747493
beach and everyone,

"The optimum time to buy is 21 days before the new policy starts (which will be at renewal for most) – too early, or too late and the price shoots up. For a typical policy that would cost £1,156 on renewal day, it's £589 three weeks earlier. "
this is from the "other" mse.

in may i tried this for myself and sure enough the cheapest quotes were at 21 days...either side of that and the premiums went up.
Beach  Male  Dorset
4-Aug-2019 21:12 Message #4747509
Thanks Fosy ... but that sounds like the insurance companies are running a sort of cartel ... with them all conspiring to screw over their customers.

Train ticket sales are similar, aren't they? Book on the day and pay an absolute fortune or book in advance and pay a fair amount. (Actually, like my motoring history, it is, probably, 19 years since I've been on a train also.)

And I've never been in a jet.

Unadventurous Beach :-)
fosy  Male  Leicestershire
4-Aug-2019 22:29 Message #4747515
"but that sounds like the insurance companies are running a sort of cartel "
no surprise there then !

as we know, allegedly, premiums are based on risk, and the insurance companies see "last minute lenny" as an unorganised higher risk individual unlike a well organised well planned person who,s driving might reflect a similar attitude on the road.

you can read up on it on moneysavingexpert.

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