It took me a while after I quit to really get the driving thing. I wasn't used to using my car much. But now, I just love it.
Last night, for example, Mr SM and I were meeting some old friends in a restaurant in Covent Garden.
In the bad old days this would have meant either struggling with a long tube journey in rush hour, or a very expensive taxi ride.
Coming home would have been even more tricky, as with all the theatres emptying out, a black cab would have been hard to find, Uber would be on triple time, and the tube filled with (other) drunks.
But last night all I had to do was walk outside my front door and jump in my car. Stuck some good music on, set the SatNav, and off we went.
And I've discovered that as practically no-one drives into the West End, you can always find somewhere to park. For free.
Then there's parties. Remember that awful moment when you realised that you just had to put the drink down and go home?
Often it would involve tracking down the host to find a mini cab number, waiting for said cab, trying to look sober(ish) so they won't refuse to take you, having to drive round and round to find a cashpoint while making inane conversation about the vagaries of the British climate, when all you want to do is go to sleep (pass out).
Plus, you become super popular with all your (drunk) friends as you can drive them back too.
You also have the joy of playing the go-on-please-stop-me-and-breathalyse-me game whenever you pass a police car. It gives me a frisson every time.
(See my post: Fear of Cashiers and Police Cars).
Out of town parties are even more smug making. While all your friends are spending fortunes on hotels, and taxis to and from said hotels to party venue, so long as you're not more than two hours away you can just drive there....and drive back.
Ok, you might not get huge amounts of sleep, but at least you wake up in your own (free) bed, without a hangover. What's not to like?
So, all in all, I'm totally in love with my car.
I took #2 and five of his friends to Kidzania at Westfield Shopping Centre to celebrate his birthday, and the last day of the school holidays.
The boys - aged ten - were all completely hyped up, and when we arrived they jumped out of the car in a flash, and headed off.
I chased after them, yelling, in a totally un-repsonsible-adult way, and only realised once I'd dropped them off at Kidzania that I had NO IDEA where I'd parked my car, in a car park with literally thousands of spaces.
Instead of having a couple of hours to shop while the boys went crazy in Kidzania, I spent the whole time wandering round the car park trying to find my vehicle.
Which just goes to show - even sober people can be total pillocks from time to time.
Love SM x