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A key moment


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

I WAS never a great one for tests. I always used to work them up so much in my head. I used to burst into tears before a spelling test in national school, and don’t even get me started on the times table tests on a Friday evening.
In secondary school things improved a little, but the Junior Cert did result in a mini meltdown... If only I knew then what I know now… that I would never use any mathematical theorems in my daily adult life.
By the time I got to college I was, ah, let’s say, a little more relaxed. I preferred to play the short game, starting study prep the night before. On one occasion myself and a college roomie were getting ready to pull an all-nighter study session and asked another housemate to pick us up some much-needed coffee. And fair play to her, she did pick us up a jar; sadly though, it was decaffeinated.
Tests these days haven’t been all smooth sailing either, and my prep has been just as lax, if I’m honest. The types of tests I now need to prepare for are of the mechanical nature: Getting Black Beauty ready for the NCT. After a third-time lucky last year, BB was injured just days after passing, and after a full year parked up, it was time again for her to be put through her paces.
Fair play to Geoff the mechanic, who had my ‘never say die’ chariot back in good nick after the hiatus, getting my beloved Cinders ready for the ‘the ball’. Mould free and shiny new, I was confident enough ahead of the recent NCT.
The night before the test I was too tired to deal with clearing out the motor ahead of the 9.05am booking in Westport.
Morning came, and I had a little sleep in for myself, so I was against the clock. Jack Frost had been around, and Black Beauty was well coated. To save a bit of time I decided to start the car and let it defrost while I made my lunch, and then rushed to clear it out of all belongings, including a blow up Santa in the boot. (I can explain.)
Finally on the road with 25 minutes to make the NCT, I glanced at my dash as I sped along to see if I needed ‘go juice’, only to see a notification, ‘Key not found’. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was driving to my NCT without the keys to my car.
How, you ask? Well you see, Black Beauty is very fancy, despite her rough exterior, amd she has ‘keyless ignition’. Once the key is anywhere inside the car, you can start the ignition. With all the jigs and the reels, including moving poor Santa as well as half my wardrobe from the seats and boot, I must have dropped my keys inside the house, along with all the contents. With the car already running as normal, I’d simply hopped in and began driving.
Thankfully I had happened to notice the subtle notification. Imagine explaining that one to the NCT inspector? ‘I’m here to have my car tested, but I don’t have the keys’.
A quick U turn and back to the house to grab the key (leaving the roomies scratching their heads at my near miss), and a swift take-two journey to Westport, and I made it.
And guess what? She only went and bloody passed. There’s life in the old horse yet.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.