Failure is on the road to success
When I taught circus to young disaffected people during my years as a teacher I used juggling as a means of teaching some key life skills. Developing a good attitude to failure was and is a really important key life skill. Learning to accept that you are bound to drop a great deal before you can start to keep the beanbags in the air is a great way to develop a positive attitude to failure in the bigger things of life. It is a shame that I am still very bad at learning my own lessons. Perhaps you can guess what is coming. I made three small but important mistakes during my driving test today and am now reeling with the ignominy of failure. And other painful things happened today.
Just before the test on the way to the station a pigeon committed suicide on the windscreen of the vehicle I was sitting the test in. If you have ever killed something on the road, you will understand something of what this did to me. It was definitely an omen. Not that I believe in them. Not really. But it certainly unnerved me. I had no idea it was about to happen. It came from the side and even if I had seen it coming I couldn’t have done anything about it. I was under the speed limit at the time. For ages one of the poor victim’s feathers was stuck in the windscreen wiper. I had decided if it was still there by the time I reached the test station I would remove and keep it as a memento. A memento mori. But the feather blew off after about five minutes, only leaving me with the memory.
That was not an auspicious start. I managed to calm myself for the first part of the test - the difficult part with the reversing a trailer into a bay and the uncoupling (easy-ish) and the coupling (hard without a reversing camera). I felt that I had done well up to then. I then took the rig onto the road and it went well until very early on I slowed behind a cyclist on a double white line up a hill. Instead of passing him when convenient by crossing the double white lines, for some stupid reason I stuck behind him all the way up the hill. Wrong. From that point on despite focusing on the road I had that first fault going round in my head and made two others. I took the wrong lane round a roundabout and on another occasion I didn’t cancel my indicators.
So that’s that. The next available test is July and until then I have to be think about the train weight of my lorry and trailer. It's not supposed to be more than 8.25 tons. I think the new lorry weight is now 6.25 tons so that allows me no more than 2 tons on the trailer until I have passed the test. Something has to come off it or I have to do what I have been doing unwittingly for the last 10 years and chance it. What would you do? What I shall do is to think about it for the next few days. I’m not working again until the end of next week.
The previous few days have not been good either. In fact I have to say I’ve had a really difficult time behind the scenes recently what with one thing and another and I’m feeling very low as a result. Not that I’m complaining about my lot. I am very healthy, love my work, gain real satisfaction from it but for a while now I’ve had the feeling I’ve gone up a cul de sac with my lorry and trailer and there’s no turning round.
I’ve made some cracking mistakes, some of which I’m not going into and I shall have to accept the consequences. As you do. And as I will.
And while all that’s going on, I shall take a break from writing this blog, but I shall write again when I feel the time is right and in the meantime, nevertheless, all the best from a road near you,