On Wednesday morning the alarm clock went off early. This time not because I didn't want to sleep all day, but because I was actually off to work! It was only going to be a short trip, but still: work is work and I really wanted to get back to it.
I arrived early and was met by another driver who would show me the way. I know hardly anything road-wise here in Northern Ireland. I am always happy I find my sister's home! So, not having to do everything on my own is good.
I would drive the same bus (ie the mini bus) I had driven during my test-drive and soon we were out the gates and heading to the school to pick up the children. They had a school trip to a local fun farm in the area.
Once we were there, I was given the chance to drive the big proper coach. It was a bit tricky getting it out of the parking lot (narrow and high tree/hedge), but with some assistance from the other driver, I got out eventually. Getting on to the road was again quite tricky. I immediately noticed the coach was very different to drive than all the coaches and buses I had ever driven. But with some care I managed it.
And then... there was a mishap. I had not kept enough distance between the coach and a parked car and I just scraped past it. Literally! Mirror and bumper of the car were gone/loose and there were large marks on the coach. A ton of bricks was dropped in my stomach.
After it had been resolved (insurance details and such), I sat in the passenger seat and we drove back. For the time being there is no way I will be driving a large coach. Mini bus it is. Just to get used to it.
I know how to drive a coach. I know how wide they are, how they turn. I know how much space I have between me and the door. When I sit on the left side of the coach. It is so different when you sit on the right side of the coach. My spatial awareness is completely gone and that's when mistakes will be made.
Let's hope that everything from now on goes well and I might be able to soon get on a proper bus again!