Congratulations Melissa

I’ve just heard that my niece Melissa has passed her driving test. Not bad for someone who last month celebrated her 16th birthday. But as she lives in Florida they allow that sort of thing.

Melissa and CharlieBy way of congratulating her, I’ll quickly remind her that she had the fluffiest, most sticky-up baby hair I’ve ever seen, she spent her first Christmas Day sucking on the crinkly ear of a toy elephant, and did the most amazing display of milk vomiting I’ve ever seen (and boy, did I move fast). It seems like only yesterday I could pick her up and stick her head in the dustbin or a bush… in fact I still can, as last time I was in Florida I picked her up and stuck her in a shopping trolley outside Target.

How did the years go so fast? On my desk here I have a picture of Melissa aged one with my dad… and she’s wearing ickle pink dungerees. But now she can drive a car, and we’re not talking about something made by Fisher-Price.

Congratulations string-bean. And sorry for embarrassing you, but you really did have fluffy sticky-up hair. Just be thankful I haven’t scanned in a photo. Hey, that’s a thought…


  1. YAY I can drive! Next time you come over me and Lauren can go to McDonalds just the two of us.. and maybe Tom.
    Test was easy! I never even left the car park and didn’t go anywhere near any other moving vehicles. Stupid really. But the instructor said I was very impressive.. i’m not sure why becuase I still did have some points taken off.
    And thanks for sharing all of your little memories of silly little me. But you know you only remember them because I was the most adorable cutest thing in the whole world.. still am actually 🙂 hehe.
    Love you! As embarrassing as you may be.

  2. Stuart,

    I should point out that there is a little more to it.
    Firstly, you have to take a highway code test at the driving centre to obtain your learners permit ( what we would call a provisional license ).
    You need to hold this license for a minimum of 1 calendar year before you are allowed to take the test and you also have to have a parent verify that you have a minimum of 50 hours of driving experience including 10 hours in the dark, all completed with a driver over the age of 21 on board.

    Also, unlike the UK, learners in the US are allowed on the Interstates so a few days ago, we went and played on the motorway.

    So not quite a scary as the not leaving the car park sounds. They assume you can actually drive. What they really want to see is if you can do some tight manouvering under a bit of pressure.

    Driving examiners are exactly the same in the US as the UK…. stoney faced with no sense of humour… although she did have the merest hint of a smile when she told Melissa she had passed.


  3. Stu, some of the women who drive round Surrey in unnecessarily large four-wheel-drive suburban Shermans demonstrate all the skills of people who have never left a car park, yet they’re in charge of vehicles that could lay waste an entire bus queue. Personally I’d take my chances in Florida.

    Melissa drove us all from the supermarket and she’s an excellent driver, despite her father’s best attempts to irritate her 😉

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