Follow the reluctant adventures in the life of a Welsh astrophysicist sent around the world for some reason, wherein I photograph potatoes and destroy galaxies in the name of science. And don't forget about my website,

Monday 21 February 2011

Some more words

Perhaps the previous post require more exposition for random visitors. Perhaps it doesn't, but it's damned hell going to have some anyway.

I passed my driving test on the 5th go, which makes it considerably more difficult than a PhD viva (which I got on the 1st go). It's also vastly more expensive. Passing a viva costs £162 to print out 3 hardback copies of the thesis, but they've paid you £37k by that point anyway. Passing a driving test on the 5th go costs £515 plus ~£400 for lessons to take the bloomin' tests in the first place, and no-one has paid you anything. Booo.

The lesson from this is to never, ever learn to drive. Get a doctorate instead. It's much easier and comes with a salary.

Despite shaking so much you could use my legs to break through reinforced concrete I managed to get away with only 2 minor faults. The only nearly serious thing the examiner thought I did was be too close to the center of the road while waiting at a junction. My instructor disagreed, which goes to show the test is, as I've previously postulated*, not entirely subjective.

*That would be a good name for a band...

I spent most of the test convinced I'd failed. First my parallel park seemed to leave me about 16 miles away from the kerb, but in fact it didn't. Then I thought I found myself waiting for a life-age of the Earth at every junction and thought I would surely accumulate so many undue hesitation's that I'd rival Clement Freud on Just a Minute. But the bit where I gained deep and unyielding conviction that I'd failed occurred at a roundabout, where I had to go round twice because I missed an exit.

There ain't nothing wrong with this, except that the examiner flicked the indicator back up to make sure I had a right signal on. I was told that if they touch the wheel, that's it. It seems there's a handy loophole in this one : the indicator stick isn't actually part of the wheel.

Ironically, it didn't ever occur to me that the one nearly-serious thing I did would be any kind of fault whatsoever. Ordinarily this would leave me to become so bitter and twisted with annoyance that I'd compose a sonnet to the evils of over-zealous examiners. Something like :

There once was a driving examiner,
Who couldn't rhyme anything with examiner.
So he decided one day,
To give up poet-ray...
And that was the end of the examiner.


See. That's what would have happened if I'd failed. I'd destroy this blog with Vogon level poetry. Instead, I shall have to pronounce by examiner the Nicest Man in the World and award him some sort of shiny medal. Now I just have to worry about passing the test again in a foreign country...

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