|1999: my first party as a busdriver, complete with duck|
A clever idea from my dad and in January 1998, I took my first lesson in driving a bus. I payed for my lessons, which were expensive, with my commission from my work on the train and after a year and on my second try, I finally made it! I had my license and could now drive a bus. My mum (I have got good parents don't I?) then told me to go and find a job as a busdriver. I phoned around and there were a few companies that I wouldn't mind trying, but in the end I ended up with the company that offered me an interview only a few days later. A test drive a few days after that and I had a job. Albeit a part time one.
|2003: a hands-on work course|
Those first three months were not good. Lamp post, mirror, cars, sign posts. You name it, I hit it! Until my boss warned me that if there was going to be more damages done, my contract would not be renewed at the end of the six months! I certainly cleaned up my act after that. Only hitting and totalling a car a few days later. But that wasn't my fault. He had run a red light! My contract was renewed and I kept driving. And driving and driving.
|2004: in the Channel Tunnel|
I met so many other busdrivers, all with their own (tall) tales to tell. The passengers were usually good fun too. After all, I drove a coach which meant most people who came on board were going to somewhere good. I started off with the school runs. Then the school trips. Adult day trips. After a course on how and what and where I was allowed to do minor trips abroad. And on and on I went. A London trip? Mara will do it. Ireland? Mara! Italy? Ask Mara. I met so many people and saw so many things and enjoyed almost every single thing about it.
|2007: me and Charlie Chaplin in Waterville, Ireland|
Sometime in 2004 or 2005 the itch returned. The whisper in my head: something else, something else, something else. I wanted to move again. Canada this time. A whole new experience, a whole new country. Alas, Canada didn't want me. Not enough money (ie, none at all, I was actually waaaay below the line) and not enough education meant that Canada would be very hard to move to. But, I took it one problem at a time. Money first. I stopped spending it. No more holidays. Got rid of the car. Just get rid of that debt. Once I had, it was savings time. So, again no holidays, still no car and still no spending.
|2008: can't remember where this was|
I finally got the money bit sorted and had in the mean time found out that Canada would allow me in. But in a different job than I wanted. I wasn't going to be a busdriver in Canada, I had to be a receptionist. A job I had had aeons ago and from which I had been fired because my English was too good. Did I really want to do that job again? Was I willing to change 'careers' again?
To be continued tomorrow...