Tuesday, September 04, 2012

driving licence

hi there

i mentioned in the last post that the family fun day had a display and presentation from the traffic department, but more or less left it at that. well, that's because there are so many pictures and stories from it that, with my editorial hat on, it seems to warrant its own post.

it famously took me five attempts and just about all of the patience of my dear friend Allan to get my driving licence (or "license" for our American friends). i was quite keen, then, to see how the boys handled learning the rules of the road, in particular with regards to the satisfaction of the traffic officers.

a major gripe in this country tends to be how long it takes to go and book a driving test. James and William had no such issues at all, i am happy to day. they simply went up to the gazebo, handed over their names and were promptly given both helmets and their choice of vehicle.

after that, it was off out on to the open roads (kind of) to display how they had paid attention to the officer and were thus obeying the laws of the road. there was, as it turned out, some rather mixed fortunes in this regard.

the officer explained that you must come to a stop at zebra crossings and stop signs in order to let pedestrians and other vehicles pass. James apparently considers this one to be the best of all traffic rules.

James interpreted the above rule as being that one had to stop at zebra crossings and stop signs until someone had actually passed. James was reasonably patient in this regard, as long as you define "reasonably" as ten or so seconds. after that, he was shouting for Mummy to get a move on and cross over the road so he could carry on driving!

sticking to the left hand side of the road was another important lesson, as too was the fact that you should only pass a vehicle to the right of them. James adopted this one with relative ease. William? not so much.

whereas James went round and round obeying all the rules, William kind of just went wherever it was that amused him to go, and was sure he would be getting their by any means available. i would like to think that i take James' considered, slow and steady approach to driving, but certain members of my family have pointed out that William's vast talent for crashing vehicles into less than obvious obstacles is something that he seems to have got from his Daddy.

as for James' admirable slow, steady and obey the rules approach, William kind of indulged this for a little while but soon, and rather visibly, got bored with it.

James does liken his younger brother to a velociraptor. why? small, fast, can be deadly and most importantly tends to learn very, very quickly. whereas William was entertained enough following James around for a lap or two, he soon worked out that it would be even more entertaining if he simply just built up a bit of speed, crashed in to James and knocked him out of the way!

any chance at all of this being limited to one, isolated incident was gone forever when William worked out that if one of the children fell off their vehicle of choice then a traffic officer would come rushing to the scene to investigate. this pleased William a great deal, and meant that James was to get involved in a good deal more accidents for the remainder of the day.

i do rather like this next picture. the traffic officer, bless him, did his best to explain to William that accidents are unfortunate incidents and ones that you should try to avoid having, not actively go about creating. full credit to William for looking like he is listening and taking on board what the officer is saying, but i am sure you can guess what happened as soon as James was back on the bike!

at the end of their session, the boys were congratulated for their excellent efforts and both awarded their (OK, in fairness "mini") driving licences. yes, that's right - on the first attempt and despite being involved in shall we say several accidents. i guess the testing criteria has got just a touch easier since i went and did my licence!

well, as i'd like to hope you have worked out, the above all rounded out a most wonderful day out! many thanks indeed to the traffic department and everyone else who made the day fantastic!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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