Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Spaniards Inn

I got off to a good start tonight with a job from my road up to East Finchley. The guy had been playing tennis at the courts near my house and was weighed down with about four racquets and an enormous holdall. I tried to make small talk about tennis but I obviously didn’t know enough about the sport to hold my own so I decided to say no more. There was still a bit off daylight left as I came back through Hampstead Heath and I snapped this picture of the Spaniards Inn which is a very old and famous pub that goes back to the times of Dick Turpin.

The little building to the left was the toll keeper’s cottage and is a listed building, which cannot be demolished. The two-way road is so narrow here that during peak times the bottleneck causes horrendous tailbacks and is best avoided at all costs. I’ve passed this place a zillion times but only just noticed that the pub provides a “doggy wash” for, presumably, anyone who wants to wash the mud off their dog after a walk on the Heath.

My luck continued as I reached the roundabout after the Spaniards as I picked up a wealthy looking couple and took them to the Royal China restaurant in St. John’s Wood.

From there I started heading towards Paddington Station. It seemed that I was just missing out to the cab in front every time and I tried to hang back a bit to create my own luck. Sometimes it works and other times not. I made it to Paddington but couldn’t get on the back of the rank without fouling (I’ve already mentioned the cameras everywhere) so I thought I’d have more luck in Kensington. I cut through Hyde Park and clicked off a few more photos. Here’s one as I crossed the bridge over the Serpentine Lake.

The rank at South Kensington Station was also pretty full but I managed to squeeze onto the last spot. I waited a good twenty minutes there, took a few photos and then got a fare to, wait for it….drum roll… Sloane Avenue about a minutes drive away. I hate it when that happens. South Ken Station is on the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow Airport and people get the train most of the way home and take a cab from the rank then pull up outside their houses and it makes them look like they’ve splashed out on a cab to all the nosey neighbours. Or am I just being cynical?

South Kensington Rank

Next I headed over to Victoria. There was no sign of the regular beggar but instead there was another one I’d never seen before. I employed my evasion tactics with this guy and so did all the other cabbies and I took a snap of the guy as he contemplated his next move.

Another average job from Victoria and I really did start getting depressed. I love nothing better than a job I can get my teeth into and also because they pay better, but tonight was never gonna be my night so I struggled on as best I could doing whatever job was asked of me. Although short of my target I pulled in a respectable amount but it will mean a few hours during the day tomorrow (or later today)


wil said...

I had never heard of Dick Turpin before. Fascinating story.

Palace Fan thats a NEW Dad said...

Been to the Spainard a few times and always a "famous" face in there.

Sunday lunch is good when you can get a table. Great when the sun is out though because you can sit in the garden. Tip is to park on a side street and not the car park.