Nicola Hamilton02 October 2013

Top Gear learns to drive: midweek on the intensive course

TG's staffer is in the middle of her intensive course: how's she getting along?

Just a quick update from me:

Jim and I did a spot of sight-seeing today. After two days of cowering around the Top Gear office in the White City area, he decided it was time I braved the city proper.

So off we pottered into London Town, over Tower Bridge and beyond, dodging London Buses and bewildering suicidal motorcycle couriers. Three hours of driving a day has been quite gruelling, but the change of scenery helped to grab my attention again back from the brink of tedium today. 

Jim seemed quite relaxed as I gave the Queen's digs a quick nod at Buckingham Palace, and as we sailed down Pall Mall the atmosphere was so chilled I could have broken into song. It gets better: today I even joined a dual carriageway without making odious noises. Things are seriously improving. My name is Nicola, and Jim might just make a driver of me yet.

So far - I think - the intensive course is going well for me, but then again I do have some training and experience from years ago. It helps. The turn in the road - for example - came back to me in an instant and I've refined and cleaned up the rest of the manoeuvres after a few refreshers from Jim. I'm not sure it would all be so easy if it weren't for all those lessons so many years ago. It's quite a lot of information to take in.

But there is definite improvement. I'm feeling quite confident after three days back on the road, if not a little tired. The pressure isn't letting up though: I have a mock test with another instructor on Friday. I wonder if I will be so jovial when I have a complete stranger in the hot seat?

Oh - and the big one is on Monday.

To read Nicola's earlier updates - and more from the world of learner drivers - click here

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