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.