3rd and final instalment of the Driving Licence Saga
My helter-skelter, roller-coaster, running around in ever-decreasing circles appears to be over, and European roads will remain forever safe from my motorised exploits. Last ditch efforts, clutching at straws, all to no avail. My eye consultant’s secretary will be spared any further phone calls from me, and will no doubt be relieved to be rid of me.
You can’t say I didn’t try. Tripping over tangles of red tape has never been my favourite pastime, but on this occasion it seems I’m well and truly trapped. The Swiss Traffic people say they want their form signed by a Swiss eye doctor. My Swiss ophthalmologist says he will only confirm results of tests he has carried out himself. Understandable. So even if my consultant here in England does finally understand what it’s all about and sign the form, it apparently won’t be acceptable.
“Go to Switzerland and get your eyes tested,” sounds plausible, but there’s nobody to look after my mother while I’m away. And time ticks on. I’ve reached the deadline. “Take an English driving test and get a British licence.” But I learnt to drive 30-odd years ago. I’ve only ever driven on the right-hand side of the road and everything here is the wrong way round. It wouldn’t be easy at my age. (Yes, I admit it – at my age!)
Cousins, lovely people I was looking forward to seeing, arrived yesterday and found me breathing fire and smoke and turning the air around me blue. Today I am calm and have resigned myself to the inevitable. My mother, tongue in cheek and her eyes twinkling, suggests I find myself a toy boy husband to chauffeur us both around, but weighing the pros and cons of that solution, I am not convinced it’s the way to go.
When Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, he suddenly noticed a ram caught in a thicket, which made a handy substitute (tough on the ram, I’ve always thought). My cousin yesterday gave me a sheep* as a present: is this a sign?
My only hope is that the Swiss authorities will agree to keep my licence open until such time as I’m able to return home, and have my eyes tested by my Swiss ophthalmologist, as prescribed by the Swiss regulations. If it then transpires that my vision is inadequate, I’ll bow out gracefully. However, I don’t hold out much hope of that inflexible Helvetian bureaucracy bending.
Life goes on. I’ve encountered some lovely people during this time who have been sympathetic, kind and helpful: bless them. And I’m thankful for my improved sight.
*I have a collection of sheep at home, and they are slowly catching up with me here, too. See my post Two Hundred and Counting