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Well...

Okay, two things for today, almost a year after my last update.
1) We went to see Fascinating Aida at Cheltenham Town hall.
2) I drove home.

1) is, on the surface, the more interesting thing. Fascinating Aida are brilliant. If they tour anywhere near you, go see them. They are a three piece female trio, who do things ranging from cabaret to close harmony Bulgarian singing, via monologues and some quite emotional ballads. Just as an example, they have a song about a certain hobby and another about OFSTED, both of which had the audience crying with laughter.
GO SEE THEM!

2) I drove us home from Cheltenham, in my new car. It's a 2.2 litre 54 plate Peugeot 407, with most, if not all of the cool things in it - Multichanger CD, Built in Satnav, ability to add MP3 players, heated leather electric seats, windscreen wipers that will turn on automatically in the rain, and stuff like that. And it was actually quite reasonable to insure for a big engine car - we used Admiral's Multicar option to get a really awesome deal on the 407 and the Megane, and discovered that adding me to Caroline's car as a named driver actually lowered her insurance by £70, capping out at under £700 for the us both insured on both cars, fully comprehensive with £100 voluntary excess, instead of just under £500 for just Caroline in hers.
This is all quite groovy, and means I now have a nice car, and got a pretty good deal on my insurance.
All I need now is to pass my driving test.
Yes. I don't drive. I've held a provisional licence for ten years, and not actually done my test. Or had a driving lesson.
So we got back to the NCP after seeing Fascinating Aida, and attached the L plates. Caroline drove us over to North place car park (all of 300 yards), and we swapped out. I wanted to start over there because this was my first time behind the wheel of a car on a public road, and it would in a reasonably powerful car (the Megane's only an 1.8) that I've never driven before, and I wanted a nice big open space just to take it for a test drive and get my sightlines in.
So there was about five minutes of driving circuits and loops, and testing brakes and stuff, and then I headed for the exit. And drove onto a real road. At the wheel of a tonne and a bit of metal.
We headed out along one of the back streets, even though we knew that the road was closed about a mile or so along. And so I got to negotiate keeping far enough right (I keep drifting left. Especially if someone comes the other way. Even on their side of the road), mini roundabouts, traffic lights, parked cars and even a turn in the road (for a big car, its turning circle is very small) on some semi-deserted back streets in the dark, in the rain, in Cheltenham.
And then I got to negotiate dual carriageways. And country backroads with reasonably tight S-bends. And variable speed limits.
And nobody died.
The only issue came when I got home and tried to pull onto our drive. The drive is raised concrete slope down to the house. It's about a two foot drop to the left onto next door's drive, and eight inches or so down to the garden on the right. I misjudged a little, and dropped the front wheel off the right to the garden, grounded slightly and panicked. I added a little too much power, and headed down our drive to the gates behind which the Morghuns' trailer sits. I got it back under control, and stopped before the gates, with all four wheels back on the drive. But I had still panicked and managed to hit brake and accelerator at once - thankfully, it's also an automatic, so the brake disengages the gearing.
But still, nobody died, and no damage done. I think that's a win.
I am going to get up a little more confidence in the 407, then start driving the Megane - it's manual, and that I have driven before but only on site at Locko, so I know I can drive it but I've never been over about 20 in it, and that's barely second.
For my next trick - driving in daylight. :)

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