Nettie recalls the many forms of transport she has driven in her long life: bicycle, horse and cart, motor bike, motor scooter, motor bike and side car, and car – “I even drove a USA air force jeep with the lads from the air base during the war”.
Unlike many of her friends who were driving before the test Nettie actually passed hers in her fifties and bought a car so that she could take her mother, and various elderly relatives, neighbours and friends for trips to the seaside, attractions and sometimes “just for a ride round”.
In her ninetieth year Nettie sold the car feeling she was no longer safe to drive. It was a great loss of independence.
But today all the family have assembled to see Nettie’s latest vehicle – a shiny silver mobility scooter. Niece Anne has helped source it and has organised insurance and wet weather gear. No stopping Nettie now as she able to visit friends in the village, drive to the bowls club and to the pensioners lunch in the pub. The excitement is the same as with the original test in her 50s.
Nettie has a test drive. Everything works – indicators, lights, brakes, horn – toot-toot, toot-toot! “Aunt Nettie is just like Mr Toad” says grandson Oliver. “We-hey” chortles Nettie “They better all get out of the way – Here comes Nettie!”. “OMG” thinks Anne “what have we let ourselves in for?”