Friday, December 23, 2005

2 months on

I'm back folks!
Like getting out to work in the evening, it's just a matter of getting out the door. In the case of this blog it's just a matter of logging on. This is the first time I've managed it in two months and only because of a certain sister in law giving me grief about it.
So, what's been happening you may ask? Most days and weeks are just spent earning a crust. Nothing very eventful ever happens so rather than invent stuff for the sake of it I just don't bother.
On the home front my daughter has just broke up for Christmas. My second son has just started work on the checkout in Tesco's since he got sacked from his apprenticeship 6 months ago. My eldest is waiting to start a networking course in the New Year and is just dossing about. My Dads health continues on a stable level but he has lots of hospital appointments weekly and a few which involve a trek into Central London, but considering he was almost dead in April he's in great shape and is even doing a spot of work at 74 years of age! I've just got a couple of things to get to complete my Christmas Shopping and we'll be spending Christmas Day at Dean and Dianne's which is a nice change from the chaos that occurs in my house every year. It's a tradition in my family to do Chops and Chips on Christmas Eve. I've bought an industrial type chip fryer on ebay and am awaiting delivery, hopefully today or tomorrow otherwise I'll have to fry the chips in my wok and that is a right pain in the arse. Boxing day's are spent at my parents house and are usually a good crack. I have to make a couple of Spanish Omelettes as my contribution.
On the work front it's been pretty good in the evenings. I've been to Upminster, Purley, Kenley, Richmond, Twickenham, Harrow, Barnet and lot's of other out of the way places over the last few weeks.
I nearly had a punch-up with the resident beggar in the South Kensington area. He was walking down the line of traffic asking for money. When he reached me I told him to get lost. He called me a fat something or other and I drove off as I was carrying a passenger. When I dropped the passenger off I got the "red mist" and drove straight back to where he was. I jumped out of the cab and grabbed him and shoved him. He was as light as a feather and ended up on his arse about 6 feet away. I was just about to wade in when another cab driver stopped me advising me that if caught I could lose my cab drivers license so we ended up having a slagging match in front of a whole bunch of people and eventually I got a fare and had to drive away but it took me a while to settle down and I had to avoid the area for a couple of hours.
The cab continues to, in my opinion, deteriorate. The suspension is completely non-existent and it must be a really uncomfortable ride for my punters. There's a brand new TXII model with a much improved suspension and I might enquire about it in the New Year. I'm due a 63000 mile service anytime now and I know for a fact i'll need 2 tyres and rear brakes and also suspension bushes. Last month I contacted the finance company to see if I could return my cab but there was still around 2k owing on the finance so that was a non starter.
Tomorrow (or later today) will probably be it for a few days and I will be back at work on Tuesday evening.
So until then may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2006

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poor Dad

It's been all go these last few months at home and at work.
My dad's been in and out of hospital 3 times for various things which has involved daily visits to wherever he's been hospitalized. He just came home from another spell in hospital for an inflamed gall bladder but the doctors said it would be too risky to operate at this time so they sent him home after a course of antibiotics.
My cab drivers licence expired at the end of April and the Public Carriage office issue you with a cover note whilst the new one is being dealt with. This year I had to fill out a form for the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and when they complete their checks to make sure I'm a good citizen they then let me and the Carriage Office know and my new licence is issued and sent out to me. I am now on my 4th cover note. I had to go back to the PCO today for the latest one and they then had to ring the CRB to find out what the hold up was. The lovely girl at the PCO told me the CRB were in the final stages of whatever it is they do there and it should all be sorted pretty soon.
I got flashed by a speed camera on Fryent Way recently doing 42mph in a 30 mph zone. No excuse really and another 3 points on my license making six in all. Just another six to go and I will have earned myself a well earned rest from cab driving, and all other forms of driving for that matter.
I've gone from working nights to days and am now back on nights again. I ocassionally pop out for a few hours in the day but the second I get stuck in proper traffic I go home and return later on. I recently had my cab serviced and also had a propshaft fitted and an alternator, both of these under the warranty. Yesterday, while collecting my dad from hospital I reversed into a post in the hospital car park and dented the rear bumper. Now when I try and close the boot it catches on the bumper and I have to press down on a bit of plastic to close it. It doesn't look like much but will cost a good £300 to put right before my next annual overhaul.
I have also acquired a satnav. I've managed without one for fifteen years but have always felt one would come in handy as an a to z. I only use it when going into uncharted territory or to confirm what I already knew but wasn't 100% sure about. It wouldn't be wise to trust one of these gadgets completely as they are quite capable of sending you into a one way street the wrong way or over a traffic island blocking a right turn.
I was sitting on Paddington Station rank the other day and this guy walked up to me and asked for the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport. The way he said it was like it was a local job so I informed him it was an hour's drive and could come to about £90. He said "I know, don't you want to take me?". I did want the job and I took him straight away. I love those types of jobs but they only come along every so often.
I've been giving free lifts to people recently. Whilst out on errands or whatever, people come up to me at traffic lights, if they're going my way I take them as far as I can and don't charge them. I've also been giving money to the many resident beggars at London's main-line railway stations. I must be going soft. I hope people are as generous to me if I ever end up on Skid Row, and the way I feel somedays it could be in the not to distant future. Be Lucky.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Getting ready for the rush

The school holidays are finally over. My kids are back from the States and my daughter goes back to school in a few hours. The work from now till Christmas will be really busy and now is the time to get ahead of yourself. I had a moment of clarity whilst I was out working tonight and realised it's time to stop messing about and start working harder. Ever since I got my Green Badge I've never really made the most of it. I should be sitting pretty now with cash in the bank and a bright future ahead for me and the kids. Instead I scrimp and scrape, piss and moan and generally feel sorry for myself whilst everything collapses around me. My eldest son needs the fees for a course he wants to do and I can't even help him, that really makes me feel worthless. So I've made a decision to put that right starting right now and hopefully it will bear fruit over the coming weeks.
I have been working constantly since my last post and have had all sorts of types in the back of the cab. I did something tonight that I've never done and that is to broom a job because it was shit. Basically, it was lashing down with rain and this bloke and his bird wanted me to drive them round the corner. I had just waited half an hour on Victoria Station rank and I blew my top and told him to fuck off and walk and that he was a lazy git etc. He wasn't too impressed and I don't think I enhanced the reputation of the "Friendly London Cabby" too much either but it was all part of the transition I was going through tonight and out of it emerged the newer, better and stronger me!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Out for a spin

It's been a busy month but not workwise.
My dad was re-hospitalised for an eye operation and was moved down to St Thomas's in central London which meant daily visits for the family. It wasn't too bad for me as I work in town anyway.
Then we had some family visiting from Spain which meant trips too and from Heathrow to collect them and to provide a bit of entertainment for them.
I decided not to work last night as I was thoroughly fed up with it all so me and my second son took my oldest sons car for a little spin......up to Birmingham. It's only a Nissan Micra 1.1 but it cruised up the M1 at 70 mph. Being soccer anoraks, we went straight to the main football grounds in Birmingham such as West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Wolves. I never managed to get to Birmingham City as we went the wrong way. We had a nice Chinese meal as well and then came straight back to London.
I still have two kids away on holiday in the States and they get back on the 15th of August. It's been nice and peaceful here and so much easier to keep clean.
While my dad spent 8 days in hospital I started working days. Now I'm back on nights and picking up all the dregs. I'm still working on ComCab but not doing as much as I'd like. I haven't done any long jobs lately. The best two I can recall are a radio job from Chelsea to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore and some nutty bird doing a drug run from Victoria to Walthamstow via a dodgy address in Hackney. I thought I wasn't going to get paid at one point because she was whispering into her phone and looking really suspicious but it all turned out ok in the end.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

7-7 Bombings

Well I won't say I never expected it but not on such a big scale. Since the bombings last Thursday (7-7-05) I've been glued to the TV to see all the recovery work and to hear how the investigation is coming along. Each day a new bit of info is added to the puzzle and I don't think it will be too long before someone is caught for this. When you hear peoples stories and see that they're just normal people going about their everyday business you can't help but feel sorry for them and their families. And to think that 24 hours earlier London was celebrating winning the 2012 Olympics.
My daughter refuses to go to school by bus anymore and I can't say I blame her so I guess I'll have to take her from now on unless this is definitely sorted and someone is caught.
My eldest son and my daughter are now in San Diego, USA with their mother for the next five weeks so it's just me, my second son and our potty Jack Russell, Dude here till they return.
The day of the bombs was really busy workwise as people had no other option but to catch a cab home. These last two nights have been really quiet, well Friday more then Saturday and there's no prizes for guessing the topic of conversation amongst most people.
I'm trying to do as much work as possible on ComCab as it's better quality work and much safer. The average job goes about £20+.
There's lots of road closures around town at the moment. Some due to the bombs and some due to the VE Day celebrations so it's quite awkward to get around smoothly. In spite of all these things this is still the greatest city in the world in my humble opinion and I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Well Wishing

Good wishes go out to my mother-in-law Jan who is recovering in hospital after a serious operation, let's hope she's home really soon.
My dad's still getting better but I had to take him to Moorfields Eye Hospital last saturday as his left eye started giving him grief and the doctor said it was his iris that was stuck to another part of the eye, a common problem in someone who's run down after a long illness. They gave him some drops and it's nearly back to normal.
Two of my kids go to the States to see their mother again this week so it should be nice and quiet for a month without them around, not to mention 66% easier to keep the house clean and 66% less food to buy, also less washing, less electricity consumption, less shower gel the list is endless. If we could have our time over who the hell would want to have kids? Not me, it's just a total drain on my life!!
I've been fitted for ComCab now and I have done a few jobs on it. The first day (last Tuesday) I did a credit card ride out to Hatfield Peverel a few miles past Chelmsford and my luck has been in ever since as I have also done cash rides to Maidstone onto Sittingbourne (£140) and just this evening I took a squaddie back to his barracks in Aldershot via an old brass in Victoria, 45 Vincent Street in case you're interested. (£105, the journey, not the brass!! She was £60....according to the squaddie). He was telling me how he was on leave after a tour of duty in Iraq and that he was due to return there at 7am this morning, poor sod. After a nice ride out in to the sticks I like to put the radio on to pick up the local stations but my electric ariel is stuck on down so there hasn't been any of that this week, I must get it sorted soon.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dad's armchair occupied once again

My Dad came home from hospital on the 10th of June. He's doing really well all things considered but still has to build up the muscles in his legs after months of inactivity. It's great to see him back in his regular pew at home.
My cab went in for it's annual overhaul on the 8th of June and cost me double what it cost last year. £883 + £50 for 2 days cab rental.....bloody scandalous!!! I wouldn't mind but it drives worse than ever. The suspension on all these "new" taxis are absolutely crap and I often get complaints from passengers.
Today I left Radio Taxis Ltd after being on there a couple of years and have applied to go back on ComCab. I get fitted up next Tuesday morning.
I recently pulled on to the rank at Eurostar in Waterloo and a young French lady asked to be taken to the Ibis hotel. "Which one?" says I , "Oh the one in central London" she says. "Have you got the address?" says I, to which she produced a slip of paper saying Ibis London Thurrock. I said it was outside London and was an hours drive and would cost the best part of £70. She started cursing as she'd asked the people who booked it to put her in a hotel close to the centre. Anyway to cut a long story short off we go to Thurrock. It being outside my knowledge area I have to complete the journey with my Master Atlas of Greater London on my lap. The final twists and turns were quite awkward and just when I thought I should see the hotel at any moment I found myself on the ramp for the QEII Bridge or Dartford Crossing. It was too late to do anything at that point and I had to proceed onto the bridge, pay the £1 toll drive a mile further on the other side and come back through the Dartford tunnel paying another £1 toll that way. To add insult to injury as I got onto the bridge the Ibis suddenly came into view and she started getting all animated so I had to switch the meter off, which just so happened to have clicked onto £70, and forfeit at least a tenner. Still I got her there in the end and she was mighty peeved to say the least.
I picked a lady up in Queensway recently and she asked to be taken to Bell Street. Half way there she states that she hasn't got any money on her and would I like to be paid in kind!! Anybody who knows me....what do you think I did? I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Be Lucky

Friday, May 27, 2005

Dad Progressing

My Dad is doing really well since we brought him back from Spain last week. He's now ready to start physiotherapy. He hasn't used his legs since April the 1st but can already stand on them and march on the spot. Barring any major catastrophe he could be home much sooner than we ever though possible.
Knowing my dad is back and in good hands has given me an incentive to work harder. My annual overhaul is due on June the 8th so I have to earn bundles by then. I've been out every night for the last couple of weeks. I've had a couple of nice jobs out to the sticks recently. One out to a place called Bean in Kent, just passed Dartford (£60) and last night I had a nice ride out to South Ockenden in Essex and that went £63 but the lady gave me £75.
I'm just having a rest after all the days trekking to the hospital etc before I go out tonight.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Emergency Landing

Since my last post I have been and returned from Spain to see my Dad who remained in hospital in a precarious condition to say the least.
It was whilst I was over there that I convinced my Mum it would be better for everybody if we got him back over to England by air ambulance. After much persuading she finally agreed and it was with a great relief to all of us when he arrived back today with Mum to a hospital very near where they live. The journey was supposed to be straight forward but it developed into a major drama and the next bit I write has not been beefed up at all and any of my family will verify it.
The plan was for the medics to collect him from his hospital in southern Spain in an ambulance and take him to Alicante Airport where a fully kitted out Lear jet/ air ambulance freshly arrived from Belgium would fly him direct to RAF Northolt. The flight was uneventful and Mum said he received the best treatment and care possible. On the approach to Northolt the undercarriage was lowered but the indicator light failed to illuminate in the pilots cockpit. They tried three times to land but each time the light wouldn't go on. It was decided by the RAF personel to take no risks and they were then diverted to Stanstead airport where they are more geared up for emergencies. My Mum had to assume the brace position and all my Dad's tubes and drips were disconnected which resulted in him momentarily struggling to breathe and turn blue. The plane landed amidst a full emergency scenario with ambulances and fire tenders standing by. The landing gear held and a disaster was averted much to the relief of my Mum and Dad and all of us dotted around London who were being kept up to date by the guy co-ordinating the effort. Dad was transferred to another ambulance and they were escorted part of the way by Essex police. Once on the motorway the ambulance switched his blue's and two's on and got Dad to the hospital in Harrow in quick time. I was waiting there with one of my sisters and we were extra pleased to see both of them safe and well. Dad has now been settled-in in ITU and is very comfortable and now hopefully he can begin his long road to recovery.
I was quite worn out after the days drama so decided not to bother going to work. There's always tomorrow.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dad a real fighter

Dad has had to be sedated again as he is really struggling with the pneumonia he contracted last week. From being well on the road to recovery he is now in serious trouble again. My Mum is still making the daily 30 mile round trip each morning but it's too tiring for her to do it twice a day so she doesn't go to the evening visit.
I booked my overhaul and PCO inspection on Wednesday and the cab goes in on June the 6th and will be presented and hopefully passed on the 8th.
Work has been OK and there's plenty out there but you have to have your mind on it otherwise it's hard to concentrate for more than a couple of hours. Best job of the night was from the Business Design Centre in Islington to just off the Wandsworth Bridge Rd.....£27.
Popped in to Tesco to get the kids some delights as it was Friday night. I had to settle for a sandwich as I really have to watch my sugar intake now with my diabetes apparently getting worse.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Yesterday I went to the cinema with my brother and one of my brother in-laws. We went to the Watford Vue to watch "The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy" and in my humble opinion I thought it was absolute shite. I found it on a par with Monty Python and all the ridiculous things that used to pop up on that.
My Dad remains in hospital and has now had a tracheotomy to aid his breathing. I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but they seem to know what they're doing over there so I have to believe it will all turn out ok in the end.
I popped out to do a few hours work today and ended up doing fares to Heathrow and City Airports and a few jobs in between. The lady I took to Heathrow nearly gave birth to a kitten when I responded to her question of how much it would be. She tried to bullshit me that she'd paid much less previously but I knew it was impossible and told her so. The final fare was £55 which was £5 more than I'd quoted to her so she went off on one again at the airport. They told me about people like that at the Carriage Office and I certainly do pick them up from time to time but I'm always cool calm and collected, well, nearly always, so I don't get much grief.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Today is my sister Anna's 40th birthday so many happy returns and congratulations on reaching that nice round figure.
My dad remains in hospital in Spain. He's still breathing through a mask and has now been put into isolation because he's caught some sort of bug but I don't think it's anything as bad as the MRSA we have over here. I'll say one thing, he certainly a fighter. He's had four or five different things wrong with him and he's still in there punching. Go on Dad, we know you can make it all the way home!!!
I just had the cab serviced today. I like the garage that I'm at but the only complaint I have is that they just go ahead and do stuff without telling me they're doing it. One day they're going to do something major and I'm not going to be able to pay.It was just a routine service today which normally costs around £100 but the final bill was £205 because they said I needed suspension bushes and a new tyre. The next big expense will be the annual overhaul which is due on June the 6th.
Work has been ok recently and I'm now more or less back on evenings. As long as there's work out there it's ok and the rides are much longer than daytime rides.
I've had nothing out of the ordinary lately just your Claphams, Tootings, Docklands and stuff withing the six mile limit.
Chelsea are playing Liverpool tonight down at Stamford Bridge so it should get busy at around 10 O'Clock and thenthe rides should go here there and everywhere.Let's hope there's a roader in it for me tonight. Watch this space.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

22 Days

It's been 22 days since my Dad was admitted to a little-ish backwater town hospital in southern Spain. He went in after severe stomach pains revealed he had a perforated ulcer. He was operated on immediately. Other problems started developing soon after such as breathing difficulties resulting in the collapse of his right lung, abnormalities in his heart and severely high blood pressure. There's been some worrying times along the road to recovery, but all credit has to go to the Spanish doctors who , basically, saved my Dads life. On the 6th of April I flew out to Spain with my two brothers my sister and her daughter. Dad was out of it for just about all that time and only started slowly coming to on the day before we were due to leave. Todays message from one of my other sisters was quite favourable and it looks like he's slowly but surely on the mend, thank God. It will be a long slow road to recovery but thankfully he'll be with us for a good few years yet.
Did anyone watch the London Marathon on Sunday morning? When I saw Paula Radcliffe crouching down I thought she had cramp. It never occured to be she might be taking a leak. I'll never be able to drive past that spot without thinking of that. I heard on the radio that her wee was already being offered for sale on ebay. Apparently it had been mopped up by someone who just happened to have a Vileda Supercloth in their posession!! Sounds like a load of bollocks to me but you never know.
Since returning from Spain I've been grafting super hard to try and get ahead of myself so that I can go back out there to see my Dad whilst he's recovering. I've been working in two stints and doing OK.
My annual taxi overhaul is coming up in June and I have a 45000 mile service to get done before that so I need bundles of cash for all that. That's all for now.

Monday, April 04, 2005

R.I.P. Pope John Paul

Well it's been a month since my last post. What can happen in a whole month? My son got his first car. My other son got a verbal warning at work for not doing his job properly. My Dad is in hospital in Spain after being operated on for a perforated ulcer. Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer got sent off for having a punch up with eachother (they're both on the same team.) And I guess most importantly, The Pope died just yesterday. Throughout all that going on there's little old me grafting my bollocks off to try and earn a crust. I've been doing days for the best part of a month now but the days are starting to get longer and longer as I try and earn the same as nights. I must say though that I have been to Gatwick and Heathrow more times in this last month than the last few years on nights.More good news. Our meters are due for a tarrif increase over this next week so that should help a bit. My taxi license is up for renewal at a cost of £283 and they have included a disclosure form to be filled in where they want to know the minutest details like bank account numbers and how many hairs on my arse and general stuff like that. I think it's a bloody liberty personally but it's that or no license. The weather has finally broken and Spring is in the air. The crumpet is out in force, what joy!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


So much grief over a poxy blog. Right then, for all those of you who need to know what’s been happening in my world the last month, here goes. (Right Dianne???)
January was absolute crap. So much so that I fell behind with just about every bill I have. The red letters and the bank charges are pouring in by the cart load and I’ve seriously thought about taking a swan dive off of Waterloo Bridge or better still driving the cab with me in it off off Beachy Head. Being too much of a coward I decided it would be better all round if I worked my way out of the hole I’ve got myself in. Luckily February was a half decent month and my head is just about above water as we speak.
I've had a couple of punctures in the last month and repaired one and used the spare for the other. God knows what would have happened if I'd have got another flat out in the sticks somewhere but I got the spare fixed yesterday so I'm all legal again now.
I’ve decided to start working properly on the radio circuit I pay good money every month for and I’m now actually enjoying myself by not having to drive around looking for the work, instead it comes to me. I try and do three or four longish jobs on it per night and make the rest up with street work.I was sitting on Victoria cab rank earlier and I was in second spot. Two obviously very drunk looking guys walked up to the front cab and started telling him where they want to go. One of the blokes reached out for the door handle and started to open the door. Next thing, the cab roars away making the guy jump back startled. I thought to myself “What a wanker, I’m gonna get his job now and any flak that they feel like giving out”. They came over to me and one of them looked ready to chin me. They wanted the Queen’s Hotel in Crystal Palace. Although it’s south of the river it’s still a nice job and I accepted the fare then unlocked the doors. The guy who had looked ready for a fight went straight to sleep and I ended up having a really philosophical conversation with the other bloke who turned out to be Dutch and a thoroughly decent chap. You just can never tell!!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Four Seasons?

It's out there if you want it. That's one of my motto's about this job. Trouble is I can be too lazy for my own good at times. I am always chasing money and putting myself under pressure.
I'm sort of drifting towards day work at the moment. The secret is to get out of the front door and drive away. I picked this guy up yesterday in the Maida Vale area and he wanted to go to an address in Acton. He was on his phone the whole time and I got the impression he was a "Somebody". That's what I call passengers who may well be celebrities but I just don't know who or can't put a name to. He was one of these Italian/American singer types and from all the references he was making, I thought he may have been one of the Four Seasons, Franki Valli's band or similar. Any way I went home later and surfed the net but I'm still none the wiser today. But to go back to day work, I did ok in the four hours I was out, probably better than in the evening. I found I was busier rather than having to do time on the taxi ranks. So, I am off out now and I'll let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Poor Little Doggy

Poor Dude (My dog). It turns out his leg was fractured and they had to remove the ball from the top of the bone. Apparently they can get about just as well without it and there’s the added thing that they’ll never get arthritis in it. He spent a couple of days at the vets and was also neutered to add insult to injury and all that set me back a cool £1200. Thank God for Pet Plan Insurance. I’ve only made one payment so far and they’re already having to cough up so much, I bet they love me!
Work is gradually getting back to normal after the Christmas and New Year.
I got a letter just before Christmas from the City of London Police informing me that I had been caught by cameras doing 38mph in a 20mph zone on Tower Bridge. They even included 3 photos of my number plate, the cab entering the zone and one that clearly shows me at the wheel. Well it was news to me that there was a 20mph limit on the bridge so I guess you live and learn.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I guess I should start this blog with the Tsunami in The Indian Ocean.Unbelievable, is really all I can say. So much destruction and loss of life. So many children just washed away. Whole villages and communities gone forever. All I can say is if there is One, He sure does work in mysterious ways. Fair play to everyone who's contributed to the various appeals and raised so much money to help these people.
In the taxi trade the New Year if often reffered to as "The Kipper Season", probably because in the old days people had to economise due to the lack of work and feed their families with kippers. It generally doesn't affect me but I have to say that these last few days have been desperate and I may well hit Sainsbury's today for a few packs of the smelly fish for me and the kids!
I have to take my dog to the vet later as he's hurt his leg and is limping really badly. I need that like a hole in the head at the moment.