Top tips for passing your driving test

Hi,

I haven’t written anything for quite sometime now because I’ve hit a bit of a wall with blogging, which I’m sure every person who owns a blog has had and I hope to get over it as soon as possible. (Praying to the blog gods)

One thing that has happened in the last month is that I passed my driving test after 13 months of learning! I found driving a struggle for the longest time, gears and clutch control caused such an issue, and don’t even get me started on roundabouts.

Once I was feeling pretty confident in the car, my instructor was encouraging me to book my test and at least try it out. If he hadn’t have, I would probably still be happy driving around avoiding the fact I had to pass a test and settled for being a learner driver for the rest of time.

I passed my test on the first attempt after hours of stress and anxiousness, (which is completely normal, by the way so don’t worry) with only four minors.

Before I took my test, I had been searching on Google and Youtube for tips on how to pass. There’s a tonne of articles and videos but I find that the majority are created by instructors and car insurance companies and not by the people who have recently taken the test.

So here are my top tips for passing your practical driving test:

Tips

  • DON’T TAKE YOUR TEST UNTIL YOU FEEL READY

This tip sounds the most simple, ridiculous advice because most people feel ready by the time they take their test, but if the date is approaching just a little too quickly and you still don’t feel confident in yourself, then please consider scheduling. If you get into the car on test day and you feel completely out of your comfort zone then the chances are you’re not going to be at your best. You can alter the date up to 3 working days before your test date free of charge.

  • READ AND WATCH AS MANY TIP VIDEOS AS POSSIBLE

On the run up to my test, I religiously watched videos on Youtube on every driving skill I could think of. Reasons for gaining minors? Maneuver run throughs? Mock tests? You name it, I’ve most likely watched it. I’ll add a few links below of the channels I found most useful:

Go2 Driving School

Ashley Neal

Purple Driving – Helen Adams

  • DO ALL THE LESSONS 

If you have the time/funds then try and get as many lessons on the week running up to your test as possible. You should also have at least one hour before test just to iron out all your nerves and do some last minute practising. I done about 8 hours on the week of my test and I honestly think it was one of the main reasons I passed.

  • GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP + EAT

This is just a basic self care tip but please, please, please try and get a decent amount of sleep and eat a hearty meal, no matter how sick you feel, on test day. Firstly, your brain needs it. Simple as. You’ll perform better. Secondly, there’s nothing worse than being distracted by a rumbling stomach and driving on little sleep is dangerous in the first place. Have a bath the night before and an early night to make sure you’re in top form.

  • PREPARE WHAT YOU NEED IN ADVANCE

For your test, you’ll need to present the DVLA centre with suitable ID and your theory test certificate. I had a wild goose chase around my house trying to find my certificate the night before my test and it gave me the worst panic when I couldn’t find it. Thankfully, my dad found it in the letter rack so all was fine but I wish I’d sorted it all earlier on in the week to save from the extra stress. Plus, if you have lost or misplaced your certificate you need to give time to order another copy.

  • TAKE IT EASY AND DON’T OVERTHINK THINGS

This is probably the most difficult tip to follow because you’ll undoubtedly be nervous. However, keeping your cool means you’re likely to make less mistakes. If you make a mistake during test, put it behind you and carry on as it might not be a failable fault. Don’t let it snowball either, if you keep thinking of the mistake you’ll lose concentration and probably make a mistake again.

So there’s my tips for your driving test. Most importantly, try to enjoy it and don’t overly stress. If you fail, it is not the end of the world and you can do it again and again if needs be.

From my experience, the real learning to drive begins when you pass and have to learn how to drive independently in your own car…it’s,well, an experience.

Finally, I hope you gained something from this post and good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

 

 

 

 

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Viking Digital Photography Masterclass with Elouisa Georgiou

Hello,

In a week full of firsts: England winning their first ever penalty shootout at a World Cup, the first ever successful double hand transplant in the UK and the first time Georgia had her heartbroken on national TV show, Love Island (we love you gal!). I attended my first ever blogging event!

With only starting my blog at the beginning of the year, I was absolutely overjoyed when I received an email inviting me to a bloggers event in Newcastle. Me? Little Nel? Getting an invite to mingle with other bloggers and learn useful tips? I’m there!

I’m not going to lie…I was bricking it. I spent the week running up to the event worrying about feeling the odd one out, panicking that no one would like me and the biggie, I knew no one on a personal/friendly level. However, when I arrived at the venue, I bumped into Ruby and Helena, who were more than lovely and allowed me to tag along with them.

The lovely team at Viking teamed up with professional photographer Elouisa Georgiou to create a Digital Photography Masterclass at The Botanist. A gorgeous venue, that was ideal for us bloggers who love a good picturesque environment! The masterclass was based around teaching us how to look more carefully at camera settings, lighting and the ways we can alter aspects of a set up to get the prime shot.

Firstly, as we all sat with complimentary prosecco in hand (massive brownie points to the genius behind the free booze), Elouisa talked us through some of the basics of manual photography, an area that was completely alien to me as I usually just stick my camera on auto and hope for the best. Talking about ISO, aperture and shutter speed, it allowed us to get a sense of how to change our settings depending on the light, the motion of the subject and shooting products in the foreground and background.

After the talk, we were encouraged to try some of the things we’d been taught for ourselves. Chatting to fellow bloggers Niamh, Rachael, and Cat, we soon found out that none of us really had any idea how to use our cameras or where to even begin.

The first task we had were flatlays. I think most bloggers dream of having dreamy flat lays of beautiful products and food but the reality is, it’s a faff if you don’t know what you’re doing and can’t get a nice result. Elouise really helped with understanding how to frame the photos and how to use my camera to increase the quality of the shot. I’ll definitely be giving flatlays for of a go with my newfound flatlaying confidence!

We also played about with bounce boards and prisms to manipulate light and eradicate shadows. I’d honestly never thought about adding different textures and light flares to my images to make them more interesting, but after having seeing some of the other bloggers photography with the use of prisms, I’ll be trying it out!

Once we’d had our fun, we all sat down for some delicious food and a cocktail on the house whilst our photos were being printed for Elouisa to judge. I loved hearing all the different conversations of how varied people’s lives are but we all found our way to blogging as a hobby and outlet.

Elouisa then chose her winner of the photography competition, it was time to say goodbye! We were all given a tips and tricks sheet running over everything that had been said so we could practise at home and we even got given a tripod as a pressie!

Thank you to Viking and Elouisa for the invite and being so welcoming.

I had the best night with lovely people in a gorgeous surrounding and learned so much about photography and camera settings that I hope and pray can help me improve my photos. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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Mannaza Korean BBQ, Newcastle

Hello, Hi, Welcome,

So this week on the blog I decided to try writing a little foodie post as I’m always looking for new and different eating experiences to test out. At the weekend, my friend and I decided we wanted to see if anywhere in the North-East offered a Korean BBQ dining experience as we had both  learned about Korean BBQ through tv shows and online videos.

If you don’t know what Korean BBQ is, it’s basically where you cook chosen meats on a grill which is placed on your table at the restaurant. It’s a little different than just sitting down for a regular meal and it’s a huge phenomenon in Korea for social meetings.

Upon our search, we found Mannaza, a Korean restaurant which provides the barbeque cooking style we so badly wanted to try. Located just next to Blackfriars, the restaurant is easy to find and as it’s close to The Gate, it’s only a short walk to bars and the cinema if you’re looking to add more to your night.

Inside, the restaurant is a nice size. Not too big, not too small and has a friendly, warming atmosphere. We booked our table because I was unsure just how popular a Saturday night could get at Mannaza and I’m glad we did as there was a handful of people waiting for a table and we walked straight in to our reserved table.

The menu is extensive! There’s pretty much something for everyone, from vegetarians to seafood-lovers (I even spied that they serve octopus). It’s pretty simple to decipher as they have a ‘Self-Grill’ column which lets you know what options you can choose for the Korean BBQ dining. If you fancy something from the menu but don’t feel like cooking it yourself, there is the choice to have it cooked by the chef so don’t fret if the idea of self-grill is a bit daunting!

We went for the set menu for 2, which included a starter of dumplings (which were already cooked for us and delicious), a tray of marinated raw chicken (Yangnyeomdak-Gui) and a tray of marinated raw beef slices (Bulgogi) to cook on the grill, a side of kimchi and a side of spinach alongside 2 portions of sticky rice. All together I think the food came to £28.00 which we thought was pretty reasonable for what you were given.

When it came to the time for us to grill our meats, we were a little hesitant on how long we had to cook the slices for and if there was a desired ‘look’ for the dish we were meant to be grilling without completely burning the living daylights out of it. The slices of meat are sliced thinly for quick cooking and I cook quite regularly so I shouldn’t have been so worried about poisoning the both of us but I really am not equipped with any BBQ knowledge.

We managed to get the hang of it after the first few tester bits of meat (we literally cooked on bit at a time just to see what would happen) and ended up throwing the remainder of the meat all on the grill. If not a tiny bit stressful, it provided a boat load of giggles and a lot of fun and the end food product was absolutely delicious and filling!

I noticed on the menu that they also serve Korean wines and Sake, but we just went for the typical Pinot Grigio and Merlot to calm our anxiety after the hilarious food encounter.

I would highly recommend this restaurant if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary to try out! The prices are reasonable, the staff were helpful and the experience was great. I’d like to take a bigger group of friends next time just to see how we all cope. We also didn’t give ourselves food poisoning, hurrah!

Have you tried Korean BBQ or had any other fun dining experiences?

I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you soon,

Chanel

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