An Adventure

May 2013

Ever watched “Up”?
Well this is our adventure: two years, two fifty-somethings, never-done-anything-like-this-before, we surprised our family and got on a plane…. To Bermuda.

I will tell you more about us as we get further in, if its important, but mostly this is my grown-up scrapbook (remember all those camping trips when your parents made you keep scrapbooks of your holiday while it rained outside and you even glued in the French crisp packets?) OK, no glue and no crisp packets.

May 1st
Window seat for flight with amazing cloud formations as we came down to land. Bermuda looks very small such that I am impressed the pilot could even find it in the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

May 2nd
My body clock is four hours out so woke at 4am with energy that seems to have dissipated without any apparent achievements beyond getting dressed. Today is househunting day.

May 3rd
This is the slowest fast food ever:
KFC Bermuda.
And we now have 3 bank managers

May 4th
Explored the home furnishing possibilities in Hamilton shops.
Some very costly, wood more so than metal.

May 5th
Fruit muffin and banana feels like a healthy breakfast, but suspect the calories are hiding and will jump out as soon as I have swallowed them.
I ventured into the hotel pool, perhaps should have waited till the sun has warmed the water, but refreshing swim and made me feel good. But must work on those thighs, they have grown somewhat since I last saw them stomping along beneath a swimming costume. I would like to call it lymphoedema but it is more accurately described as fat.
So this afternoon I have started my adventure into study….. If you haven’t worked it out that it is creative writing by now then I am clearly not doing very well.
Robert suggested a walk, but neither of us seem to have gelled to the idea and we remain firmly seated in front of computer and iPad. It is Sunday, and even in Bermuda Sunday feels like Sunday.

May 6th
I am proud holder of a Bermuda Learners Permit with a lesson booked for Wednesday. I actually passed the theory test. When I can drive and we have the car it will all begin to feel less strange.

May 7th
Just two things to do today: inventory for flat and collect bank cards.

May 8th
Well of course the bank cards weren’t ready – this is Bermuda so what did I expect .
Today has been like a mountain, I had a driving lesson. Conclusion? Needs more practice. 30 years of UK driving has not prepared me for Bermuda.
The list of things I did wrong runs into double figures:
Speeding
Not coming to proper stop at stop signs
Stopping when it wasn’t a stop junction
Stopping too far forward at junctions
Going left when told to go straight on
Turning into wrong lane of oncoming traffic ( it was an odd junction)
Speeding again.
Etc.

And that was all after numerous attempts to reverse in zigzag and parallel park.

After all that I am not sure I want to drive at all.

Then I had a funny email from the bank:
” good day Mrs Law, we have in our possession your husband and your debit cards for collection from ….”
Sounded like they had taken him hostage.

So right now I am waiting for happy hour and free wine from the hotel.

May 21st

Yes a long gap, and lots has happened in that time, not least that I passed a driving test – never ever again.
There are three parts to it,
1. Drive forwards through a zig zag section marked with poles and bollards and yellow lines, stop at far end then “in your own time” which means not more then three minutes, reverse throu the same section, not touching either pole or line and stop beside examiner when finished.
2. Parallel parking – There’s apparently a fail safe way of doing it, if you only obey the rules…. For one who hates rules and rebels everyday that’s hard….
It’s all to do with positioning and turning the wheel, turning it to full lock, noe of this nanny pamby half hearted quarter turn, full lock and keep going slowly even though it feels as if you are at right angles to the impossibly small space.
2. The road test – they only take you on this if you pass parts one and two, so at last there is some relief half way through. Do not relax though, there won’t be many road signs and the instructor will speak rarely if at all. If he says nothing keep going straight on. So you can imagine the horrible feeling that prickled all over me when I turned right at a roundabout the approach to which he had been impassively silent…. And the even worse feeling as he said “did I tell you to make a right?” I heard myself respond (Oh Katie, surely you know it’s a rhetorical question) “No, but …” (For heavens sake you do not argue, years of driving with my husband have taught me that) The sentence dried up even as I thought it and was replaced with “sorry” and a certainty that I would be retaking this test next month. But somehow, somehow, I managed to pass, with the only two negatives being “that roundabout” and “you don’t need to give way at City Hall” (as if I knew where that even was).
I was ecstatic, jelly-like and nauseated, all at once.
A Bermuda Driving Licence, let me tell you, is something to be admired, and I will keep mine forever … Actually only for ten years, but by then, who knows.

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