Thanks to everyone who has sent me positive messages – lots from other woman drivers, but an equal number from the boys.
I can’t play the bassoon. If I said I wanted to, I’m sure there would be some surprise from those who know I don’t have a musical bone in my body, but I dare say people would nod and reckon with some lessons and a practice, it might be possible. What I wouldn’t expect them to say is “Oh my wife can’t play the bassoon, and my previous assistant couldn’t. It seems to be something women can’t do.” Yet, insert the word ‘park’ and that was exactly what my boss said to me when I’d first learned to drive and said I wasn’t good at parking.
Admittedly this was more years ago than I’d like to admit, but things haven’t changed. When I told a male friend I was starting a Woman Driver Blog, he said "Oh, are you going to write about how you kerb alloy wheels?" After eight years and 86 hours of great drama, The Sopranos ends with five minutes of the otherwise smart Meadow failing to park her Lexus. Tamara Ecclestone hasn’t helped the cause by installing a turntable in her driveway so she doesn’t have to turn her Ferrari around.
OK some women can’t park, it doesn’t mean they are not capable of it, just that they haven’t learned to do it. You can get a driving licence without ever parking between two cars; it’s not in the test, so it’s not usually in the lessons. It’s not hard-wired into anyone, but men learn; women are expected somehow not to. I’d approached my boss, hoping for help, but didn’t get it. Luckily my boyfriend at the time showed me and I was grateful.
My friend Diana could place her 1955 Oldsmobile in a space with two inches either end, and told me her secret: pull up beside the car in front of the space with the mid-point of your car level with its rear bumper. Turn the wheel hard to get your car moving into the space until your rear lamp is level with that of the car behind you. Straighten up. Once you’re in, turn the wheel in towards the pavement to get the nose in. Stop.
So if you’re fretting about your alloy wheels, show your partner how to park the car. If you can’t park. Try this and practice.
Never let people tell you women can’t do anything that doesn’t involve the use of a penis rather than simply ownership of one.
Rap stars and American footballers rejoice! Bentley has made an SUV just for you and revealed it at Geneva. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against great big blingy SUVs, but they have their place. Some cars should not be SUVs: Porsches (Cayenne) Minis (Countryman) and Bentleys. Bentleys should be elegant and stylish. I don’t want to see Darcey Bussell in overalls. Mind you, the ability to make money doesn’t generally go with exquisite taste. You just have to go to any celebrity car website to imagine dealers wishing they could pretend they were out as certain customers stroll up with a wallet groaning with cash. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is a favourite with rappers who can’t wait to fit wheels like dustbin lids. People tend to duck if a Cadillac Escalade with darkened windows crawls by in case of gunfire. The executives at Mercedes who killed off the Maybach were probably relieved to shake off some of the more embarrassing buyers on to Veyron. But the Hummer is gone and Bentley is not proud. It will probably sell like hot cakes.
This blog is by a woman driver, for everyone to read