Posted by / Category London /

I am a city girl. This means that I don’t really like driving –I usually take the Tube. However, due to the location of secondary schools in London, I now have to drive twice a day all the way to Hammersmith. I hope that it will get better as I am getting to know other Mums and we will share the school run, but it will take time. This means that I am spending at least two hours a day in my car. Not nice.

Anyone who has ever lived in London will understand why I don’t want my 11-year-old daughter to take the District Line on her own. For starters, as soon as it starts raining it is suspended. We might consider the Piccadilly line in a few months –much more reliable- but we are not there yet.
To make matters even worse, we have changed car –something to do with hubby changing job. So, before you judge me to harshly, let me recap the facts:
       I am used to driving small cars, manual gearboxes, on the right (i.e. the French way);
       The car I used to drive in London was automatic;
       Now I have to drive a HUGE Chelsea tractor, manual gearbox  (but I need to change the gears with my left hand), on the left.
No wonder I am confused. I could probably start an international driving school just based on my experiences over the last years (well, we would of course skip the parking bit –I can’t park unless the street is empty).
Apart from the fact that I feel like I have been promoted to being a tank driver, I am struggling to understand why the street are so narrow in London and the cars so wide.
So, in short, if you see a slow car followed by a line of vehicles, it is probably me. You see, you are never too careful. I am monitoring the school run by the number of honking drivers I get. Only 3 yesterday, I am getting better. I am amazed by the number of accidents the drivers have to prevent from happening in London, on a daily basis. Cyclists are ignoring red lights over here. They overtake you on all sides, even on the left when you have clearly indicated that you actually were turning left. And the white van with a copy of the Sun behind the windscreen…Well, be careful: they can do a U-turn without any warning and they don’t hear anything because they have their iPod on.
I thought I was not confident enough behind the wheel, but after what happened yesterday I think I am fine. Let me explain: a lorry driver started honking because he had seen some leg and apparently he was finding it hilarious (maybe he doesn’t get it at home?). I went ballistic and put the car in front of him, started driving really slowly to annoy him, and at a green light I prevented him from moving ahead, and left in time for the light to turn red and stop him a bit longer.
I know it is bad but it felt good.
Beware, all of you: DO NOT MESS WITH A YUMMY MUMMY.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London