New Sample UK Driving Theory Test Questions

Just in case you haven’t attempted to answer all 9,742 UK Driving Theory Test questions (like I have), and are studying for the test, you might want to check these out.  Alternately, maybe you’ve experienced the massive thrill of actually passing your test, so perhaps you’d like to relive the sense of  triumph you may have felt on that day.  Perhaps you will leap out of your chair and do a victory lap around your office or home.  (It at home, watch out for the coffee table and all those sharp corners.  We at BPRB are not advocating any mishaps.)

Correct answers on Key at end.  (No cheating!)


1.  You are driving towards a tunnel when you realize your vehicle has been struck by a meteor.  Your vehicle is on fire and you are now in the tunnel.  There is a lorry ahead, overturned and blocking the exit to the other end of the tunnel.  In your rearview mirror appears a large truck towing a caravan filled with what could be explosive materials.  The truck is rapidly approaching and careening.   You should:

A)  Honk at the overturned lorry.

B) Slow your vehicle, turn on your dipped headlights, and wait patiently.

C) Quickly reverse into the truck and prevent it from entering the tunnel.  Leap from your vehicle, ignore flailing lorry driver and bound towards the emergency pedestrian exit.  Once outside the tunnel, make yourself a nice cup of tea.

D) Quickly exit vehicle and roll towards overturned lorry.  Drag lorry driver from lorry and proceed to emergency pedestrian exit unless engulfed in flame before reaching exit.  Once outside of tunnel, make a nice cup of tea for yourself and for the lorry driver.

E) Honk at the meteor.

2.  You suddenly find yourself transporting a bus of small children.   You have determined that the tyre tread is less than 1.66 mm and that the octane level of the bus’ petrol is less than regulation standards.   There is a light drizzle and fog with occasional hail and cyclone-level winds.  On your journey you will need to use your:

A)  Hand brake, dimmed headlights, an emergency safety triangle and spare tyres

B)  Mobile phone, sidelights, an emergency safety square and spare petrol

C) Spare petrol, dimmed headlights, a photo of William and Kate and road map

D) Spare tyres, anti-lock brakes, scones and road flares

E) Celine Dion CD, dimmed headlights, some fags and cigarette lighter

3.  While approaching a level crossing, you see the following sign:

You should:

A) Have stayed in bed

B) Proceed with caution and use your dimmed headlights

C) Honk and increase speed as much as possible through any intersections

D) Call your husband and ask him what to do

E) Exit on the left from where you had entered

(Photo credit: Science Photo Library)

4.  Which of the following are NOT allowed on the motorway?  (Select two answers)

A)  Oversized trucks hauling 2.5 tonnes of llama feed

B)  Trucks pulling caravans with a medium-sized stabilizer tow bar and red vinyl interiors

C)  Any vehicle equipped with a very loud stereo system and a copy of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

D) Females wearing merely platform heels and lingerie in January who are at risk of hypothermia

E)  Motorcyclists who have not updated their ROV or their CAT stickers within the last four months of their QUADER probationary period or have not achieved DITTA status

5. Elderly pedestrians are walking along the pavement wearing red reflective lights as earrings and lanyards. One pedestrian also carries a hemp tote bag with a decorative reflective yellow bird. This means:

A) That you should honk at the pedestrians

B) That there is a UK Burning Man called “Mildewy Man”

C) That the pedestrian with the tote bag is training for the Olympics and may attempt to hurdle your vehicle

D) That the pedestrians are on an organized walk and you cannot join them as you have not booked ahead

E) That hemp is a multi-faceted fabric appreciated by walkers, artists, and outdoor enthusiasts of many ages


1. B

2. A

3. E

4. B & D

5. D

To pass you must have answered all questions correctly without more than 2.5 seconds of hesitation. If you failed, sorry! Better luck next time!

Coupla Parks & a Priory

After almost a year here, I’ve learned two things:  in England, the weather can rotate through all four seasons in one day, so you’d better bring layers galore, and two, the countryside does bring a little bit a heaven to go with the little bit of hell you might have to endure with the weather, etc.  I can’t drive on the motorway yet so haven’t been able to go to the gajillion nearby gardens I’ve been dying to visit, but today, I’m afraid for C., he was cornered.

Now that the house is pretty much done, C. and I can have time together on weekends to do things as he’s not so busy with DIY, which = significantly less fantasizing about fleeing to South Carolina.  Last weekend we got to go see the X-Men movie (great, definitely worth paying the $ to see in the theater), and we visited a Priory close by.

Today we went to Groombridge Gardens in Tunbridge Wells (pics in separate post).   Last week I walked through two parks in London–Regent Park & Green Park–on my way back to Victoria Station.  It’s been a nice, green week despite the rain.  Or, maybe because of it.

Regent Park, Queen Mary’s Gardens

Green Park, London

Aylesford Priory, Kent

Aylesford Priory is just about a half hour from us, and it’s a great opportunity to see a thirteenth century site with some gorgeous grounds.  If you’re into quiet contemplative places, they have spots for folks to find a little peace, quiet and solitude.  Aylesford Priory was also a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, which is about a 45 minute car ride away.

Friar. And me.

Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

I finished Never Let Me Go (2005) a few nights ago, and was expecting to be hard hit.  A friend had said the ending would “Really f. me up,” which fueled a quick turn of the pages.  Strange impetus, right?

But I think I would have been riveted anyway.  The bizarre flatness of the narrator (Kathy) and the parceling out of small details about the predicament of Hailsham students (who attend a school that prepares them for a “unique” future) drive the novel, as well as the increasing ominous sense that something is wrong, despite such a controlled setting with near-constant predictability.

I wasn’t hard hit by the ending initially.  I’d been expecting at least a poor night’s sleep.  But after a trip to London that involved a somewhat bizarre class-related experience, I started thinking about Kathy’s voice again, and the final scene of the novel.

And now the impact has finally settled in.  Took me a few days, but I think I see what Ishiguro might be implying, especially in light of the themes in The Remains of the Day.  I have a feeling that the sense of being disturbed is just starting.

A NYT Book Review reveals that Ishiguro was born in post-Nagasaki Japan, and later worked (in England) with the homeless as a social worker for three years.  Finding this out, and that he was eventually disheartened by this work, gives Ishiguro further credibility for his rather bleak outlook on the plight of some individuals in society, as well as the poignant existential trouble he must have faced when working with some of the most vulnerable of all groups.

One of the issues Ishiguro raises is that of prescribed and ascribed meaning in our lives, especially the latter. Since humans are inherently meaning-making creatures, we will do so under any circumstances, as illustrated by his characters.  But does this meaning actually hold in the end?

In other words, aren’t we just deluding ourselves?

What makes this question all the more brutal (a term that seems unavoidable, also admitted by the Times reviewer) is that Ishiguro’s characters don’t descend into cynicism, bitterness or nihilism, at least not permanently.  A refusal to “go gently into that good night” might infuse the novel with some degree of fire and the spirit of human rebellion, but the seemingly polite acceptance of the students’ fate is the most horrific element of the novel.  One keeps expecting retaliation, and there are hints of this, but nothing on the scale to which one would expect.

“You poor creatures,” one guardian (a teacher/parent sort of role at Hailsham) says.  “You poor, poor creatures.”   Poor indeed.  But are our lives really so separate from the “creatures” of Hailsham?

(Spoiler alert–stop reading here if you intend to read the novel.)

The other question Ishiguro raises is “Can humans be so easily controlled?”  In Ishiguro’s dystopia, the answer is a resounding “Yes,” despite the lack of true humanity of Hailsham students.

What then, defines humans exactly?  Is it the existence of a soul?  The sense of choice?  The ability to love and to feel compassion? Are there those, in the real world, who exist simply for one purpose, to fulfill a certain role, who will die after having served that term?

Not only does Ishiguro imply that humans (or a human clone) can be easily controlled, but that those with full human desires might be born into a set fate which renders that sort of fullness and the dream of happiness delusional, and any sort of hope for dignity embarrassing and foolish.

So how many of us get to be fully human?  Is this right reserved for a select group?   What does it mean to be fully human, and what defines an absence of humanity?

I wonder how much Ishiguro’s experience of moving to England after the age of six influenced his sense of the class structure in England.   One can’t help but wonder too, if this isn’t what the novel is about, at least in part.  Yes, the questions about humanity are unavoidable, but given the British class issues in Remains of the Day, perhaps it’s the case that class and social hierarchy allow portals to such larger questions about humanity.

There have been times, like yesterday, in leafy Marylebone, when I feel like I am conversing with a differently-formed creature, a creature born on another planet with an entirely different view of the world, due to our class differences.

The solution to my current predicament was solved, in his mind, with a few swift measures, thereby rearranging all the players and all of my options.

“There,” he seemed to be saying, as if setting a throw cushion on a sofa, finishing the new arrangement of a living room.

In the world of the upper class, it’s true; things can be changed or manipulated.  In the world of the working class and the quickly-deteriorating middle class, there are usually zero options, or a few risky ones. One’s learning curve is how to choose the least worst path of action.

No one is literally in the same situation as the Hailsham students of Never Let Me Go, but Ishiguro’s metaphor did, in the end, f. me up.

Quotes by the British Husband

Since I have essentially no life right now besides vying for the World’s Worst Housewife title, I thought I’d garnish my role by posting some of my favorite quotes from C., a.k.a. the British Husband:

“I like my women like I like my coffee–earthy, full-bodied, and just slightly bitter.”

On Murphy the cat’s loss of his manlihood:
“Well he couldn’t carry on having testicles.”

In response to my concern about being alone and bored in the house with double chocolate cookies:
“Just have a nice cup of tea instead.”

On me inquiring about an open window during a cold, blustery rain storm:
“Well we should enjoy the elements!”  (Note verb.  No, really.  Note the verb.)

On me not using my fork and knife in the proper British way:
“We need to get you into finishing school…but maybe we’ll try a starting school first.”

“A bit fresh” & a few house pics

“A bit fresh.”  That’s how the weather might be described today.  I’ve never heard anyone actually admit that it’s cold here.

But c’mon.  We’re creatures who evolved from warm climes, aren’t we?    Wet cold will kill you.  Which is definitely how it feels today.

It’s mid-June and barely 50 degrees.  Wet.  So cold that I’ve been back from “the shops” as they say, for an hour, and am sitting here in my North Face hat, trying to get warm again.

Mid-June afternoon. Please send multiple parkas.

I think I might finally be getting something about British culture and weather, though.   In the US, wearing skimpy clothes in freezing cold weather is considered silly and unwise.  The precedent to getting sick, which is a waste.  But here, enduring the cold is a badge.  I’ve heard many boast about how little they need to wear in warmer places, while others are donning coats and hats.  C. firmly believes, too, that one should keep the house as cold as possible to avoid any sort of unhealthy familiarity with temperatures above about sixty.

I’ve also heard the phrase “feel the benefit.”  I.e. don’t wear your coat on the train, where it’s warmer.  If you do, you won’t “feel the benefit” when you get into the cold.

Call me a wimp.  Call me decadent, etc., but I don’t want to be cold, shivery, or sneezy.  I enjoy warmth and the sun, and am not afraid of admitting it.  I do, however, enjoy a non-wet cold.  Icy cold, and snow.  It’s sobering.  It wakes you up.  Of course snow is gorgeous too.  I can appreciate a nice, polar ten below day.  But not wet cold.  There’s something about it that instantly makes me feel like I’m going to die, which is perhaps a life-enhancing feature of the human brain, but might be best switched off in England.

What I have heard locals admit is that the weather can be “a bit fresh.”   This, to me, feels like saying that the Sahara is “a bit sandy.”   But this is the closest I’ve ever come to witnessing a weather complaint.

I’m trying to remember what it’s like in Virginia right now, 100 degrees and climbing, when one simply cannot do anything out of doors.  That’s a killer too.  I remember trying to take a walk on one of my last evenings there, and it was like trying to swim in a Jacuzzi wearing four wool sweaters.  Just awful.

I thought I’d also share a few pictures of my neighborhood.   Even the houses look like they could use some chicken soup today.

There’s often a wide variety in how people keep up with exteriors around here.  There are piles of empty glass beer bottles in the windows of the unpainted house.  Very ghosty.

Sometimes I struggle to keep my spirits up when it’s so dreary.  I miss trees, flowers, green.  On the other hand, we did get our carpet in, and it looks quite nice:

The lounge. We put new curtains up--pics coming....

So lounge=living room.  This space is considered quite large, even though it feels a bit small to me.  More pics to come.  Estate agent was supposed to take pics tomorrow for their website, but he had to reschedule, so our deadline for getting things tidy and clearing out massive piles of clutter has been moved up.  A blessing in that there’s no pressure now, but a curse in that I probably won’t get very much done with it today without the pressure.

Murphy is very excited about the carpet.  The ping-pong balls he loves glide across the floor now in the most enticing way, and usually by nighttime he’s ready to curl up with us on the duvet.  He always goes out when C. leaves before 6 in the morning, even when it’s cold and rainy.   He scratches at the door at very odd times, like the crack of dawn and 10:30 p.m., as if he has a scheduled appointment in the alley.  I don’t know how he stays warm, he’s so small, and always comes in wet.   Do British cats have oily fur, like ducks?

Murphy’s favorite spot is right on top of C.’s feet.  C. had originally banned Murphy from the bedroom, and then just from the bed, and then from his side, so of course that’s the one place he always targets.  How do they know these things?

The Old Lady of Soho

I’m always surprised that I am allowed entry in the über-trendy section of Soho where I’ve been temping. Everyone, and I mean, everyone, is under thirty, with most denizens between 22 and 26.  Of course all the kids are sporting the same 80’s fashion that I wore back in *cough* the 80’s, so I’ve been having this bizarre sense that I’m A) back in high school, B) just starting high school since everything’s so unfamiliar and new, and C) a neighborhood R.A. for adorable London kids.

They really are cute, though.  All angsty, navigating their very first jobs.  I wish I could take twenty pictures on my way to work, or when I dash into Mark & Spencer’s at lunch to wade through the labyrinthine queue.  I don’t think they’d appreciate being photographed by a random creaky lady with a probiotic smoothie and “stay full longer” M&S salad in her hands.  In the meantime, here are some things that you may recognize from the first time around that are ubiquitous in Soho right now.

#1:  New Wave asymmetrical haircuts. For girls, very androgynous.  For boys, big and moussey.

A lot of this

#2  Flats.  All colors.  Frankly I don’t understand how they walk for miles in them; they seem so flimsy.  But I guess that’s what I used to do too.

#3  Oxfords and skinny jeans.  Brown ones, for girls or for guys.  Lace-ups.  This seems to be the London uniform, the staple.  Brown lace-up oxfords with anything.   This guy (C. snapped pic from bus) sporting his own variation with striped trousers:

Am very curious about the hat, and the scarf tucked into the pants.  Not sure which part of C.’s bus route that was on, but it looks more like Piccadilly St. than Soho.

I used to have a white pair of oxfords that I loved, especially with my pants that got skinnier at the ankles.  (What were those called again?  Tapered…?)

#4:  Tights and leggings.  Oh boy.  Maybe 85-95% of females will be wearing black tights or leggings.  With brown loafers and maybe short jean shorts.  There’s that.  Or the skirty look. In any case, I feel the need to explain why I’ve wandered into their territory, as if I’m browsing in a Forever 21 store.

And it’s weird to be working at the same place as my husband, but my strategy is to kind of avoid him and now it seems fine.  The first few days we had lunch together, which felt like being at the “new kid table” in the school cafeteria.  Everyone eats their lunch at their computer, but I always want to go stretch my legs a bit after sitting still most of the morning. One of the guys that we’ve hung out with at an off-site work thing (back in the fall, spouses got to go) joked that instead of a helicopter parent, I’m a helicopter wife, making sure C. doesn’t need anything.  Which is kind of a perfect title since C. is surrounded by single twenty-something cuties all day, prancing around barefoot in breezy tunics and jeans.  Not to mention that he’s the guy who rescues their files, etc.  (Read: HERO.)

With my tendency to overthink things and then sleep on them and then run them through the mill maybe one or twelve more times, it’s actually kind of nice to be able to run things by C. about my first UK work experience.  Of course I’m self-conscious sometimes about being Too American.  At this company though (digital media), everyone’s just really young so it kind of seems like its own entity anyway.  The atmosphere is very “Hey, my parents are away this weekend–do you want to have some people over?”  The handful of over-thirties might serve a dual purpose of making sure everyone stays hydrated and no one burns anything.

I’m so glad for a bit of income, but the day is really, really long when commuting from Medway.  We get up before six, leave by 6:30, drive to C.’s mom’s to park in her drive, take the train (a mere 12 pounds instead of the whopping 32 it would cost from Medway) at about 7:45.   We get in to the London Charing Cross station at about 8:25, and walk to Soho.  Normally we’d leave work between 6 & 6:30, catch a train around 7 and get home about 8:30.  Today we got home later since  I had a Dr.’s appt. in London and took the wrong train around the District/Circle lines, backtracked, got off at another station and as a train was arriving that seemed like my train.  I’d hopped on, only to discover that was also the wrong direction.  It took me an hour to get to the Embankment stop, where I was meeting C.  Not such a nice journey.

Sometimes not easy to figure out on 3.5 hours’ sleep.

The day’s trek was starting to feel more like a pilgrimage.  I’m an insomniac and rarely fall asleep before two a.m., unless really heavily sedated.  So each night there’s the choice: do I want to feel drugged or frantic for sleep tomorrow morning?  Either way there’s rarely more than five hours when I have to get up early, and lately getting something like 3 hours of sleep is more common.

I’d been in a car, a train, and four Tube trains so far that day.  After Embankment, another train, another car trip, sunset, and then home.  Fifteen minutes of Zzzzzzzzzz on the couch and then, thinking that I was actually going to fall asleep at a decent hour, I get my second wind around 11:30.  Wide awake.  I realize that one of the guys at work has eyes just like an octopus–reclusive, deep-sea dwelling, intelligent. Plus he’s bald, so that helps the octopus look.  I wonder if he’d take it as a compliment. Probably not.

By now I’m really awake. So I might as well mention one last thing, which is that the other reason things have been feeling high schooley is that two of my friends from HS were just in town visiting their friend (who I knew then as well) N., who lives in London and works, get this, two blocks from where C. works.  Where I’m temping.  So we’re all in the same little section of the world, after all these years.  How weird is that. We got together for drinks last Friday and it was really great to go out, but strange in that I’ve been thinking about how people don’t really change very much.  How can it be that so much has happened–I’ve been through quite a few major events/life changes in the last twenty-five years–but there we were, having drinks and talking about how much we love Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns.”   (Very dark and quirky humor; you kind of have to be in the mood for it.)

So–once again, the question.  Is massive change possible, or are people’s lives fixed at a certain point?   I still feel like I have so far to go to even approach where I want to be, what I want to do.  But if people stay the same, is that realistic?  C. keeps saying that we’re not really on the same timeline as most other people, that we had other things to deal with in our twenties, and some of our thirties, and we’re sort of just now able to work on the house and home thing.

Who knows what will happen.  C. and I debate this daily, if not hourly–he thinks we can move; I say there’s no point in going through with it just to be in a *slightly* better neighborhood with less space in the actual house.  I’m a pessimist and he’s an optimist, which is supposedly a nice balance, but we do drive each other crazy with our different perspectives sometimes.  I don’t just “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”  I fantasize outrageously and imagine the apocalypse.  C. just functions and goes into hibernation mode when necessary.

The vibrancy of Soho and a cramped terraced house in what may be one of the most notorious sections of Medway.  Such different worlds.  When I’m in London I feel like a great pretender, glancing in bakery windows as if I’m just on my way home in the city.  On our block where we really live I’m usually frustrated without a clear plan to leave the house we intended to leave after six months, max.

For now we masquerade as a couple just welding our lives together, walking through Chinatown back to the Charing Cross station.

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