Yesterday myself and 5 of my lovely friends and Keith Lemon went off to Bovington Camp to take part in Marie Curie Cancer Care's Ladies Driving Challenge. To say we were excited is a understatment! But as we listened to a talk beforehand it suddenly dawned on me that I actually had to DRIVE vehicles such as Fire Engines and HGV's ... er is this a good time to mention that it took me 6 times to pass my driving test and I was 20 and I'm still a nervous driver 12 years later!?
All the women were separated into groups and sent off to various zones (there were 7 zones) we were sent to the cherry picker first. A crane that takes you up really high in the air! But the guys there said it was a slow area and would take 1.5 hours to do the whole group. As we were a team of 6 (and Keith) we decided to give this a miss and sneakily (sorry) as the HGV people hadn't arrived yet we queue jumped! So we started with the HGV's well you might aswell ease yourself in with something .... GIGANTIC!!! I took the course slow and steady ( which was a bit of a theme through the day) and then er ... stalled it on arrival at the finish! I've never driven anything bigger than my ickle Fiesta!! The next zone had a bin lorry (from Poole Borough Council and boy was this clean and bang tidy) and 2 double decker buses - I won't name names but one of my friends was desperate to drive a double decker and another said she imagined what it would be like to have passengers as she drove around! Oddness! I drove the well-kept bin lorry - I was a bit disappointed it was an automatic ... I've never pressed a button to drive before!
As the Fire Engines and Police car queues were massive we decided to go over to the 4x4 area and I'm really pleased we did. This area was deserted! And even though there were 6 of us (Keith watch as a bystander silly moo was neither a "lady" for the Ladies Challenge nor did he bring both his paper and card driving licence. Dingbat!) there were enough vehicles that we all just got in and went crazy! I really enjoyed the off roading. Splashing in puddles and driving fast over bumps and lumps! Pure adrenaline thrill!
This was the same senerio once we got over to the WWII area where there were jeeps and trucks to drive. It amused me that there were no keys and you had to start it by flicking a swith and standing on a button! The really old stick shift gears were crazy! I really couldn't get the grip of these and as I came hurttling round a corner I didn't expect to see a truck half up the hill!! The lovely Jayne had stalled up the hill! We stopped and waited and then when she was far enough away I drove like a bat out of hell in screaming first gear to make it up the top!!! LOVED IT!!!
Full of energy and stories we made our way back over to the Fire Engines and Police Cars ... sadly the queue hadn't got any smaller! Nightmare we spent most of the last hour standing around. I think I literally got out of the Police car with 2 minutes to spare before the 1pm cut off! I enjoyed driving the Fire Engine until a certain someone JAYNE over took me! Sirens blaring! Which was a bit of a theme as she did the same in the Police Car ... although I was being a bit of a Sunday driver, after being told to go as fast as I like .. I look down to see the speedo saying 65!!!
Huge thank you to the guys who organised the event and to the lovely people we met who gave up their time and vehicles for the Ladies to drive!
We had such a great day! I really enjoyed it and best of all as a Team we have raised £858 for Marie Curie! Thanks to everyone who has donated we are still taking donations via Just Giving - www.justgiving.com/Charlie-Giltrow1 Thank you to the rest of the Team - Heather, Jayne, Emma, Nicola and Liz - now whats the next challenge!
(You can see more pictures of our exploits and Keith on my instagram page)