Saturday 10 December 2016

Driving Miss Daisy ... or maybe Miss Eleanor

Eleanor Goggin

Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30

I'm becoming one of those old drivers that brings out the worst in people. I have short legs so I have to sit near the wheel but now because I imagine I need my eyes tested again, I have my head quite near the windscreen. Things are getting a bit blurry. Get the picture? Add a dog standing between the driver and passenger seat and it's a pathetic sight. Little old lady crawling away. There are little instances emerging everyday where I'm succumbing to age.

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I don't overtake any more. I tend to nestle in behind people. And then the stream of slow drivers increases and I'm still at the back. Humming away and smoking fags, sometimes shouting at the radio like my mother used to do.

In a shopping centre I'll wait til I find a spot for two cars and my son attacks me for not staying within the designated spot. I normally end up at an angle taking up two spaces.

I just don't care much any more. Why don't they have special spaces for older people who are spatially challenged like they do for mother and toddlers. Big ones.

Big roundabouts do my head in. The ones that allow you to have a few different lane options if you stick with the broken line. I jam on the brakes. My son says I behave as if I've just landed from a different planet when I'm on a big roundabout. I'm ok on the small ones. For the time being.

When I was young I was like a rally driver. Dublin to Cork on the old road in record time. Passing everything. Actually in hindsight a very dangerous driver. I loved my car. A Renault 4.

So much so that I gave it a name and put stickers across the bonnet to spell out RANDY. My mother had a conniption. It would appear I was damaging the family name. I had to park it outside the house two doors down.

Better to disgrace the elderly neighbours who lived there than us. It did cross my mind to get stick-on letters for the back of my car now saying 'Forgive me I'm old'. What a turn around?

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