Nycos: Driving with a purpose

I am not a huge fan of driving. I was a late learner. It took three different driving instructors to find one I was happy with. The driving theory and practical exams are the only exams I have ever failed in my entire life! (I passed second time on both. I was devastated.)

I particularly don’t enjoy driving in traffic. I find it quite stressful. Also, I seem to get irrational fears attached to driving: fear of getting lost, fear of being on a motorway and not knowing what to do. All silly. All overcomeable, by just doing the thing I am afraid of. Nevertheless, these silly fears did affect me: I didn’t drive much at all some years ago.

But when my daughter Aliyah – my first born – was a baby, I decided that I would start driving more often when the time came for her to start doing activities that I had to take her to. I did not want her to miss out cause of my silly fears.

And so it was. When she was old enough for ballet, and swimming, I started to learn to drive to Portobello: a ten minute drive to the sea side. When she started nursery, I started doing that run, and the more she grew, the more she did, and the more I drove.

I’d say I’m much more confident in my driving now than I was 10 years ago. I’ve over practiced several routes within the city, that I feel super comfortable driving. I’m even comfortable exploring new, unknown routes now, particularly with the help of my sat nav. The only thing I still have to master is driving on the motorway. But I’ll get there. I will.

One drive I find super tiring is the one I did today. It is a rush hour drive, to and from the other side of the city, through the city centre. It involves manoeuvring tram lines, cyclists, buses, and pedestrians, all rushing to get home. And also there’s the added variable of two gorgeous and very chatty little ladies (Aliyah and her friend Emili) and a young gentleman (Reuben, my three year old who tags along pretty much wherever I go, outside nursery hours). These lovelies may be talking, laughing, singing in the car, or doing all three at once. I have thought about it, and I think it is this plethora of stimuli that make this drive particularly tiring. Thanks to my lovely friends Steffi and Will, I only have to do this one bi-weekly, as we take it in turns.

The reason why I do this drive every second Thursday, is to get Aliyah and her friend Emili to their choir practice, run by NYCOS ( National Youth Choir of Scotland). And – oh my- is it worth it! They have been learning to sing and read music for 3 years, and they love it. They are now at the stage where they get handed a piece of music, and they just sing it from the notes they see. The sound that they make at their concerts is so beautiful, their word annunciation so precise. I am impressed, again and again, with the level of excellence NYCOS achieve with the young people they musically train!

What an opportunity, right? It’s well worth me getting out of my comfort zone, and driving till I’m zonked. And the truth is, I don’t mind driving, if I’m driving with a purpose.

If you live in Scotland, and you have a child who’s musical, I would highly recommend getting them involved in NYCOS. They train in singing and also musicianship. Read more about it here.