EEK! Yesterday I drove me Topsy for the first time - a very brave Roger sat in with me, and we crawled along in first gear for a few minutes ... finding second gear turned out to be not quite as easy as I thought, and finding 3rd was just as traumatic ... but 4th was ok, I think I'd started to get the hang of it by then!
SO, after a quick detour to drop off a friend I set off towards Keith Bingham's vw emporium in Thornaby, in a 32 year old vwehicle, with my L plates on, so apologies to anyone who was stuck behind me! By now I'd got the hang of going up through the gears, but going down through the gears was proving to be different gravy entirely, 4th to 3rd is fine, and 2nd to 1st is fine, but as yet I can't for the life of me get it from 3rd to 2nd, so at every junction I was having to come to a complete stop from 3rd and then going up from 1st! But all the folk on the roads seemed to have patience, and most folk smiled and waited for me to sort me little self out whenever I stalled it (which was a few times!) and didn't seem to mind too much that I wasn't going particularly quickly on some of the back roads ... Roger did get a bit concerned a few times, but as I said, a near crash or nearly going off the road doesn't count!! However, she's not been on two wheels on any corners yet so I've yet to push her to the limits of her capabilities! (hopefully I'll never have her on two wheels - that's more Roger's style!)
ANYWAY, I loved driving Topsy, it's quite strange being such a new driver who's learned in a nice friendly modern car to driving the idiosyncratic quirky Topsy, but the feeling is great, the steering is good, the view is fantastic, in fact it's just as hard but even better than I thought it would be - me little dream was a good one and I'm so pleased I've got her, but I will be going somewhere quiet to practise that gear thing, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually ....
(The vw emporium was excellent, and thanks must be said to the guy who owns it, Keith, he talked me through exactly how to put seat belts in, and he managed to find me the two hammock bunks I need for the pop top roof, so this week I'll start drilling me van