A clue that things were not going so well was when I was banned from using the manual car on my second lesson after a near miss with the only pole in a large car park (metal pole, not someone of Polish origin). Things have progressed in a happier and less remedial way since I've been in the automatic, but there are still a few issues, the main ones being that I have no idea which way is left and which way is right and that I am also a bit simple. Examples ahead to prove my point:
Difficulty with left and right:
Driving instructor: "OK, go left."
Me: "Which left?"
Driving instructor: "LEFT"
Driving instructor: "Oh, OK, right's fine too. Now go straight on."
Me: "Which road is straight on?"
And so on. The woman has the patience of a saint.
The most problematic issue caused by this is my tendency to mistake the accelerator pedal for the brake and vice versa. She thinks I've only done this once (last lesson, when I very nearly crashed into a traffic light - the woman not only has the patience of a saint but balls of steel too), but actually I've done it several times with less dramatic consequences. Every time I've taken a corner too fast? Foot on wrong pedal. Every time I've slowed down on a dual carriageway? Wrong pedal. Whoever invented cars should not have put them so close together in my opinion.
Being a bit simple:
Driving instructor: "Excellent. now, if you could just move out of the cycle lane..."
Me: "Am I in a cycle lane?"
Well. For a start I assumed that the lines that marked out the cycle lane were just there to show that you had a nice bit of extra room, should you be a bit of a rubbish driver. Disappointing. Secondly, I had noticed the picture of a cycle painted onto the road something like this:
But, umm, I had just assumed that those nice people at Cheshire County Council had just taken it upon themselves to jazz up the roads a bit by painting pictures of things that could be on them in a jaunty fashion, and maybe a bit further up the road there might be a picture of a lorry or a car or a motorbike or something. Yes. I'm going to need at least another year of lessons and some very good car insurance I think.