Friday, 18 May 2018

Day two

Castle Ward
The night before my first day at work, I had been relaxed and fine. Needless to say that the night before my second day I was not. I was very much more nervous, even though I knew I could drive the mini bus fine and I would drive one again that day. I am like that. The nerves can get to me slightly. Especially since I would have to find my own way to the school we were picking up.

But I got there in good time (very good indeed) and then had to wait for the other driver to arrive. He did in the end and he gave me a cursory idea of what route we would be taking. Me not knowing much and not really knowing where we were going. Of course I lost him at the first roundabout and I only saw glimpses of him in the far distance afterwards. 

A lovely gnarled tree
With the help of a phone (a passenger, don't worry) and my short glimpse of an online map the day before, we got to our destination. About a minute after the other driver, so not too bad. Especially since I think everybody is driving like lunatics! In Norway I am used to driving 60 or 70 km/hour on smaller roads. Here in Northern Ireland (and the rest of the UK actually) they are allowed to go close to 100! That is 60 miles an hour. Madness I say!

Anyway, the children and teachers got off and after a few minutes I decided to go and explore myself. One good thing about the job as a coach driver: you get to go places and see things! And this time it was a National Trust property called Castle Ward. For those of you who watch Game of Thrones, several scenes were filmed on the property! 

The original Castle Ward, used in Games of Thrones
The weather again was absolutely glorious, in fact better than the day before. I wandered about here and there, got a cup of tea, wandered around some more, enjoyed the sunshine and the quietness. Listened to the birds, watched the scenery and generally had a lovely day as well. On our return trip I managed to keep view of the coach and we arrived together back at school. Of course, the route back was the same, so even if I had lost him again....

On my return to the depot, we took some time going over a lot of things. A driver's handbook, a contract to sign and several tips and hints about how to make my working day even better and safer (for both me and the passengers). 

A visitor during my tea break.
That was not all though: I was also told I was set up for another trip. With the mini bus again (no complaints there). On Saturday morning I have to get up early. As in ridiculously early (4.30am), because I have to pick up my passengers at 7am in Belfast. From there we will head to Ireland, which means: international!! I just got the details an hour ago and have looked it all up, written everything down and the only thing left to do now is getting my brand new satnav to work and an early night! 

In the laundry room
Mini it may be, but the job certainly isn't!


  1. Mara I'm sorry about yesterday's mishap but I can guarantee you had I been driving on the left side of the road neither the bus or the car would have been recognizable. I say well done and would not at all be upset by the mini bus assignments. Hugs madi and mom

  2. Here in the states our freeways are 65 but most people drive 80. I don't but I do drive 74 miles per hour. Of course side streets are often around 45 or 50. Well you weren't late at all. Glad you got that worked out. Oh my, are you going to miss the Royal Wedding on Saturday?

  3. Second day sounds a big success. Look forward to hearing how your 'international' trip goes.

    1. It was a success, even if I did loose my lead driver...

  4. Hari OM
    Well that's it - you've landed!!! I have been back in the UK four years and I still can't handle the crazy high speed limits on these small roads. Motorways are one thing, but most of our roads here are just not built for such speeds. You go the pace you can handle. Your passengers will certainly thank you for it!!! Happy travels tomorrow. LOVE your tree shots. YAM xx

    1. In all the years I drove through Ireland I never got used to the speeds. I kept to what I felt comfortable with and I never had any complaints.

  5. Pleased your second day went better than day one for you. Lovely photos of day two visit.

    1. It was an absolute glorious day, so very lucky with the photos.


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