Sunday, July 30, 2006

Good And Bad Americans

I did two stints today, as I never went out on Friday night. The World Matchplay Darts semi-final was on TV and I stayed in to watch it with my son Michael.

I was out by 11am this morning after I dropped my son off at work and was in the work myself almost straight away. It wasn’t too hot today either so all in all it was quite a pleasant shift.

I was down by Buckingham Palace and Wellington Barracks and it was packed with tourists. Some sort of ceremonial was going on because the Coldstream Guards were doing their thing on their parade ground. I could hear the Sergeant Major screaming his head off at the soldiers while they were going through their disciplines. I snatched a picture but it doesn’t show too much.

Tourists at the Queen Victoria Memorial

Soldiers at Welligton Baracks

Before I write this next bit I just have to say how at least 50% if not more of my passengers are American. I’ve noticed that a lot of my posts contain accounts of journeys with Americans because they are always more vocal than everybody else, that’s all I’m gonna say.

So, I picked up this American from Paddington Station and he asked for a residence in Jermyn Street and he specifically said “the Regent Street end”. So off I went and all was fine until we hit solid traffic in…Regent Street. He decided to pipe up. “Wouldn’t it have been better to go down through Duke Street St James’s and avoid all this crap?” I replied with “ If you hadn’t of said for me to go to the Regent Street end that’s the way I would’ve taken you” “Oh so it’s my fault we’re stuck in traffic?” he snapped. “Well it ain’t mine mate,” I snapped back. It was at this point that he lost his cool and came back at me with “You guys are supposed to know all the short cuts and roads to avoid traffic. You know what? Fuck this shit, let me out I’ll walk, it’s quicker.” The fare was £10.80 and he handed over two £5 notes I never bothered to ask him for the rest. D’you see how a situation can develop out of nothing? I went his way and then he turned it all around to make it my fault. There sure are some highly-strung people out there.

About two hours ago I picked up three more Americans from Chelsea and they asked to go to Brixton. I asked them whereabouts in Brixton and they said St. Mathew’s Church and added, “We’re going to mass”. I knew they were joking because there is a club there in the crypt, which has live bands on every weekend. They then started asking me if Brixton was safe. I told them that Brixton was in some ways like Harlem NYC, but as long as they stayed together and didn’t venture in to the backwaters they’d be fine. This un-nerved them a bit and they wanted more information. “What do you mean like we might get attacked with knives or guns?” I shouldn’t really have said anything at all because it’s really not as bad as that but they were definitely in two minds whether to continue to their destination. Then one of them said, “you must think we’re a bunch of pussies the way we’re acting” to which I had a good laugh and told them they really would be fine. They asked if I would come back later and pick them up but I said I would be safely tucked up in my bed by then. When we got there the place was brightly lit and there were people of all descriptions strolling around the church grounds enjoying the cool evening breeze. They commented that it looked Ok and paid me off and gave me a £2 tip on top.

I picked up two Eastern European ladies from Edgware Road and took them to Kensington. One of them looked worried about something and they were whispering in their language. I can understand and get by with a few European languages such as Spanish, French and Italian but definitely not Bosnian or Serbian or whatever else they were talking. When we got to their destination one of them asked me how they would go about contacting the police. I told them to dial 999 or simply go into a police station. I asked one of them what was wrong and she said that they’d been walking in Oxford Street earlier in the day when a man had involved himself in their business and touched them up sexually. I told them they should have started screaming the place down but they didn’t look like they had it in them to do that. They still wanted to go and report it but I said it would be no use as the police would need lots of info (which they never had) to proceed with a line of inquiry. They paid me and walked away totally bewildered with the whole situation. I’m sure lots of big cities are the same but I can’t help thinking that London leads the way in the “sick people” stakes and is getting worse all the time. It might be a good idea for all ladies to carry some sort of anti-attack spray like mace or pepper spray when walking around town by themselves. Or better still don’t walk around and take a cab!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here it is.....finally

It seems to be a week for car trouble.
Firstly on Sunday just gone I was luckily coming to the end of my shift when my brake pedal went all floppy. When I tried to move off it felt like the brakes were on. I came to the conclusion, with my limited experience of cars and all things mechanical, that my brakes had seized up. What else could it be? I was in East Putney quite a few miles from home and I thought to myself “It’s 2am, I’ve earned my money, I just want to get home. Do I call the AA or do I welly the fuck out of the engine and get it home?” I did the latter and by the time I got home the wheel hubs were all but glowing red. The smell of burning brake shoes was unbelievable. I pulled a hubcap off (which was soft and bendy by this time) and threw a bit of my Evian water on the wheel and it hissed like when you test an iron before ironing a shirt. There was no more to be done that night and I went to bed. In the morning I did the same and wellied it all the way to my cab garage. No one suspected anything when I rolled on to the forecourt and the cab stopped without me applying the brakes. I saw Jim the genial Irishman and told him I had a problem with the brakes (an understatement!!) and could someone check them for me. He got in the cab to move it and when it didn’t move and a puzzled look came over his face I lost control and burst out laughing as I often do when giving the game away. He got out and said something along the lines of “what the fucks happened here then?” and went round to one of the front wheels to touch them. When he felt the heat that was coming off them I cracked up again and I think he knew it was a bit more major than just a “problem with the brakes” he called over to one of the mechanics and said “get the marshmallows out” while warming his hands on the heat that was coming off the wheel. With the fun over it was discovered that the master cylinder had seized and a new one would have to be ordered. They gave me a loaner cab and told me to come back before close of business.

The Loaner

I left the garage and went to work. After two jobs I got a call from my son saying that my in-laws had had a spot of bother with their car and could I go to their aid. When I found them in Hampstead their two offside tyres were flat. Apparently my father in law had been distracted and hit a traffic island, the two tyres burst on impact. To cut a long story short we put the spare on one and left the front of the car jacked up while we took the two wheels to Kwikfit in Cricklewood to be replaced at a cost of £200, that is a lot of money for two tyres.

In-laws Car

Father in law supervising

I dropped them back and put the two wheels back on for them and although I was smothered in shit and grease I went back to work but couldn’t really get into it so went back to the garage to wait for my cab. When I finally got out to work there was a funny squeaking noise coming from the wheels plus a loud screech when braking. If Waterloo bridge had had direct access to the river I would have drove the cab and myself into the River Thames, that’s how pissed off I was. I rang my brother in law (Supermechanic) for advice. He said the best thing to do was to drive it on a motorway with the handbrake fully up. I drove straight over to the Westway and belted along at top speed with the hand brake on. I went up and down it about four times until finally it seemed the problem was OK. The new brakes smelt terrible but I think that finally solved the problem. It only squeaked a few times tonight and nowhere near as loud as yesterday.

As I was finishing my shift tonight my brother Johnny rang for advice on jump-starting a friends car. He said he had the leads on the right way but there was a massive spark coming from the battery when he tried to connect the final lead. He was trying to do it whilst on the phone to me and as the sparks flew I heard him scream like an old tart a few times. I thought he must have had the leads on the wrong terminals but he assured me he never. I told him to be more assertive when connecting the final lead and eventually he got it on and the car started.

My shift tonight was really busy again. Nothing spectacular to report. One of the jobs that stood out was when I picked up an American Mother and Son from the Raft at Victoria and took them to Chiswick. On the way the mother said to me “this is gonna sound stupid but do you know if there’s anywhere in London where we can get a Burrito?” I said there was nothing stupid about that and that there was a Mexican place right next to where they were going to which the son shouted out “Alright!!” the way that the yanks do. We were chatting away famously and I was pointing out places of interest along the way and generally being my usual helpful self. As we approached their destination I started to inform them that the restaurant would come into view in a few seconds. I swear I could hear the son licking his lips in anticipation at the feast he was about to experience. As we passed the restaurant my heart sank, as it was no longer a Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant but a French Est Est Est. Well, the son’s face was a picture of despair and the mother started consoling him. Can food mean that much to some people? I guess it can. Anyway, I informed them that further down the road they would find many more places to eat and probably even another Mexican or three but their bubble had been burst and they didn’t sound so sure of me anymore. Waddyagonna do?

I stopped for a Kebab Kid tonight, as I hadn’t had one for ages. They always make their own chips there but had a sign up saying something like “The season for homemade chips is over for now and we are using frozen chips. Please accept our apologies for this” That’s bullshit. If you can get potatoes in the shops you can make homemade chips. Next they’ll be using ready-made Doner Kebab meat like all the inferior Kebab shops and the institution we all know and love will be gone forever. The above phrase “Can food mean that much to some people? I guess it can.” makes a bit more sense now.

One of the last jobs I did tonight was a couple I picked up in Kings Road. They were both drunk as skunks and could hardly string two words together. “Quizarow” is where they wanted to go. “Never heard of it,” says me, berating myself for having stopped to pick them up. “Quizarow” the chap said again and then added “Over Chelsea Bridge”. The penny dropped. He wanted Queenstown Road. They spent the entire journey talking to each other in a unique drunken language that only they could understand. When I got to Queenstown Rd I slowed down so as not to fly past their house and they managed to tell me when to stop at the right place. The next few minutes would have been comical if I was in a good mood and not in a hurry to get home. The fare was £9.60 and because I have a sign that says “£5 Notes and £1 Coins Always Needed Thanks” in my partition window they decided to try and get the exact money for me. They took forever. At one point I told them to just give me a £10 note and I would give them change but they insisted on getting the right money. They finally gave me the right money and started getting out of the cab. The lady mustn’t have secured her handbag because I heard the crash of money hitting the road and the pavement followed by her shouting “Fuck Fuck Fuck” over and over. They left the back door open as they scuttled about picking up the fallen money so I jumped out and slammed it shut making a mental note(for the thousandth time) to avoid drunks in future.

One of my favourite bridges across the Thames is Albert Bridge. It crosses from Chelsea to Battersea and is probably the one I cross the most in a shift. There is a 2 ton weight limit on it and a few years ago they tried to stop cabs using it as they said they weighed more than 2 tons. That attempt was thwarted by our trade organizations but I've heard it may be happening again. The newer TXI's and II's are probably heavier than the Fairways that I'm driving at present and may get banned first. (Before any London Cabbies pipe up I heard it in the cab garage so it's probably bollocks)

Sunburst over Albert Bridge

Albert Bridge

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Down on the farm

It was a hot shift tonight.
Still with no aircon in my cab the thing was to try and drive as fast as possible to get the air flowing in through all the windows but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Another minus point about the particular cab I’m driving is that although the heat is turned off at the source I still get blasts of hot air rushing in from somewhere under the dashboard. It’s more than likely the heat from the engine finding it’s way through all the nooks and crannies of these poorly manufactured vehicles. Another problem that had me stumped until last night was a clunking noise coming from somewhere at the front of the cab. Whilst driving over the many speed bumps around town I would hear a secondary noise. I thought the shocks had gone again (which incidentally have been working great and together with the welded wings now give a half decent ride). When I got home I got a spotlight out and went to look under the cab when I noticed the bonnet was unlocked. The security catch was the only thing keeping it from flying fully up at speed. I pushed the bonnet down and pulled it upwards again and it opened immediately. The catch must be knackered. I put some WD40 on it but it’s still no good. I drove the whole shift tonight with the bonnet rattling and clunking but as it wasn’t a busted shock or worse I wasn’t overly concerned. I’ll be going to the garage tomorrow to get it sorted.

A couple of guys flagged me down in Bishopsgate and wanted Metropolis, a table-dancing bar in Bethnal Green. They were completely rat-arsed and started messing about in the cab almost straight away. We stopped for one of them to get some money and the other one remained in the cab and took the opportunity to introduce himself. He said he was Lou from New York and shook my hand with one of those exaggerated strong handshakes that some men feel they must do. He then started talking about wishing he’d been accepted in the US Marines but had been rejected on account of a busted knee. He was very bitter about it and felt he should be out in Iraq “kicking some ass” as he put it. The other guy came back and it turned out he was Australian. The conversation carried on about Iraq and ended up about WWII and how both of their Grandfathers had fought in that war. They got quite heated about it and finally asked me who I would want to go in to battle with if it all kicked off again. Jokingly I said the yanks as they have all the hardware. The Aussie never took it well at all and turned on me quite strongly. Lou had to drag him away as I’m sure he wanted to attack me. What a dickhead!!

The last job of the night saw me at Victoria Station. No brooming tonight you’ll all be glad to hear. A couple of tanned babes walked up to me and in a broad Cockney accent one of them asked me how much the fare would be to Hornsey and then on to Tottenham, she never said where in Tottenham otherwise I might well have broomed it or over quoted the price just to scare them off. I hate quoting prices as I often get it horribly wrong. So I quoted a price and off we went. I heard one of them on the phone telling someone how they had asked a Gatwick Airport cabbie how much he would charge them to take them home. Apparently he had quoted £110. From Gatwick to where they were going £110 is a good price but they obviously thought otherwise and took the Gatwick Express to Victoria and ended up with me. I dropped the first girl of in Hornsey and continued towards Tottenham. After about a mile from Hornsey she started directing me down all these back streets that I’ve never been down before. After a multitude of lefts and rights we enter a housing estate that somehow looks familiar. It had an creepy aura about it and I knew I didn’t want to be there any longer than I had to be. I said to her “What’s this place called?” “What this estate? Oh it’s the Broadwater Farm” Although I'd never been here before I still knew it.
There had been riots on this estate in 1985 and a police officer had been hacked to death. I know it happened 21 years ago but I remember the night well as it was well publicized and reported on the news and I remember reading about it in “The Sun” for the next few days. She went on to say it’s a much safer place nowadays and has been exstensively cleaned up and modernised. She paid me, gave me a five pounds tip and I got the hell out of there as fast as possible.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is it safe to post?

Was my anonymous poster more than a little pissed off at me? Personally I think it was disproportionate to the offence but I admit to my wrongdoing wholeheartedly. I can’t say for sure it won’t happen again as things like this have to be done from time to time but I won’t mention it on this blog again unless I need to wind somebody up.

So what’s been happening in this last week? I’ve only had one day off and that was last Monday when my brother Joe came round and we watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I really enjoyed the film and Jim Carey was excellent in a straight role. As for Kate Winslet, I’d like to marry her, she’s gorgeous.

My son entered and won a darts competition earlier this evening. He's been getting better and better over the last few months. He even managed a maximum score of 180, his first infront of an audience. He texted me while I was at work to tell me about the maximum and I told him he was a lege(nd) and that I was proud of him.

My daughter has been doing work experience at a clothes store in north London and I have been getting up after only a few hours sleep to drive her there. Most days I turn around and come back home and dive straight back into my still warm bed but on a couple of occasions a hand has been waved at me and I have taken the job. The best of the lot was last Tuesday when a guy flagged me down at Brent Cross and asked to go all the way to Westminster, a £25 ride. When I got into town it was buzzing and I just carried on working until about 4pm. I had a day’s money by then but still went home and came out later for another shift. Greedy? No, just skint!!

My satnav has started playing up in the last few weeks. It seems to take ages to lock on to satellites and even when it does it loses the signal intermittently. Another thing it does is un-mutes itself so that the voice starts blurting out the directions so that all and sundry in the back can hear, causing heads to turn. I want to buy a Tom Tom 700 in the next few weeks. It has maps of the whole of Europe included on an onboard hard drive, which will be handy when I go to Spain for a week in September. I plan to hire a car and drive around a fair bit so the new gadget will be invaluable.

My Satnav

Do any of you cabbies out there hate it when a person starts directing you to somewhere you know well? As far as central London goes I would say I pretty much know every street name bar only a few. The worst ones to remember are Mews. There are loads of them all over the place and they often have two, three and even four parts such as Belgrave Mews North, South, East and West and they’re not always in the obvious locations. A lady got in and asked for Devonshire Mews West. I happen to know this one well as Barbara Windsor lives there. This lady I picked up earlier started off from Victoria railway station and started directing me from the word go. I said I knew Devonshire Mews West pretty well but that never stopped her piping up with “take the next left please driver” and "straight on here driver” and all the other turns I had to make to arrive at her destination. I suppose I should be glad she was going the way she wanted to go but I couldn’t help getting riled all the same.

Tonight, being Friday night was busy and eventful as are most Fridays. I can’t help noticing that people seem to be getting drunk quicker these days and by 8 and 9pm I was already having to avoid picking these people up, not all of them just the ones that couldn’t stand by themselves. A respectable looking bloke once flagged me down in Piccadilly and when I stopped he retreated into a doorway and emerged dragging a very drunk male over towards my cab. As he got to the cab I locked the doors and said “where are you going?” to which he replied “not me, him. He’s going to Gants Hill” Not in my cab he wasn’t as I sped off and did a quick right turn into Duke Street St. James’s. I’ve had these jobs before and the longer the drive the worse it is as they have had a good half an hour or more to become semi-comatose. It’s always impossible to wake these people up and as for females they are the worst ones altogether. I only ever got in the back of the cab once to wake a drunk lady up and she started screaming because she must have thought I was going to assault her or something. The next time it happened I had to call the police to wake the woman up but waited half an hour for them to arrive. Who needs that sort of grief? I wonder if Anonymous has any views on that.

One of the last jobs I did tonight was a bunch of young 20 something’s with various drop offs in south London. When the penultimate one got out the last one said “back to Fulham mate”. He was really drunk and almost incoherent but managed to ask if any of the others had given me any money for their ride. I thought to myself “here we go, this one hasn’t got enough money on him” It was going to be a £30 ride all told and I was gearing myself up for some sort of action. He started babbling “bloody women” and tutting over and over and I was getting the hump with him. All I was concerned about was if I was going to get my money at the end of the ride. As we passed a garage with a cash point I asked him if he needed to get any money out. He replied “don’t you worry about that mate you’ll get you’re money just get me home”. His destination turned out to be the Esso garage in Kings Road and he produced two crisp £20 notes and asked for £10 back and staggered into the garage. As I drove off I noticed something on the back shelf. I pulled over and got out for a closer inspection. It was some sort of bag with “First Aid” and a cross on it but it was damp and had all this white stuff all over it. It smelt like battery acid and started warming up my fingers. I kicked it under a car and got my water bottle out to wash my hands. God only know what that could have been.

Night Scene

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Camaraderie? What Camaraderie?

I started tonight’s shift with a “scream up” at another cab driver. He was on the point of the Paddington rank and I was behind him. As often happens a person will walk up to the front cab and ask for a price or a question in general. Whilst the front cab is dealing with the question other people will appear from the station, assume he’s taken and start getting into the cabs behind. A very pretty young Asian lady got into mine and was on the hurry up straight away. She was going to a party on a boat at Tower Pier and we only had 20 minutes to make the cross town journey (on a Saturday night!!) She also needed to stop and get some cash and please could I hurry. I couldn’t move because the guy in front was still dealing with the person at his window. Knowing the score I waited patiently but after a couple of minutes and some frothing at the mouth from my pretty Asian I tooted the horn. Another 30 seconds and I tooted the horn again. No sign of movement or even the prospective passenger getting in to his cab. I leant on the horn for about 10 seconds, no joy. Out of the cab I got doing a bit of frothing of my own. I knocked on the drivers window and spread my arms in that “come on man what’s happening” sort of way. He half lowered his window and said “What’s your problem mate?” “What’s my fucking problem? You’re holding everyone up you inconsiderate cunt (yes I did call him that) Why can’t you pull over there out of the way and negotiate with her. A few minutes is ok but you’ve been here nearly five and that’s not on mate, you’re taking the piss” He had his map book out so obviously it was a “roader” to somewhere nice and he was trying to negotiate a fair price but you have to consider who’s behind you and allow them to get out. I think my little outburst did the trick as he pulled off the rank and parked a little way up and continued to negotiate. He gave me a dirty look on my way past him and I almost gave him the finger but I thought my insult to him was enough for one day

A Rainy St Paul's Cathederal

It was sort of drizzling on and off all shift tonight, which made it really busy. I was driving along Kings Road when two guys and a girl flagged me down and asked to be taken to Tulse Hill. They were South African and Australian so I knew straight away there would be no tip. A few minutes into the ride and one of the guys asked if I had any music I could play. I put Virgin Radio on and they instantly recognised the song and started singing loudly to it. The song finished and the DJ announced “And now for something really special”. The opening few words “A long long time ago…” produced screams of delight from all three in the cab and they started singing the song word for word. I must admit I love that song too and was gently mouthing the words under my breath. “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” rang out from the partially opened windows as we drove through the streets of Brixton turning heads in our direction. They played the whole song which must have lasted a good eight or nine minutes and by the songs end my fares flopped down in their seat to catch their breath, it was almost as if they’d just had sex. As predicted, we arrived at their destination with £18.60 on the Hickory*, plenty of thanks and good wishes for the rest of my night but they took the £1.40 change from me with out batting an eyelid.

*Hickory Dickory Dock (from a children’s nursery rhyme) = Clock = meter.
Cockney Rhyming slang, it’s a London thing.

A Rainy Kilburn Lane @ 2am

Talking of tips AGAIN they generally add up to 10% of the nights takings, sometimes even more. Tonight for some reason they only added up to 3%, I wonder why.

The shift ended with another disagreement with a cab driver. I was probably out of order but sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. I was looking for a fare to take me towards home and drove onto Victoria rank with my doors locked and my light off. As the first in the queue approached me I shouted out “are you going north ?” They said they were going south and so did the next 2. The fourth passenger was going my way so I told him to jump in. The cabby that pulled up behind me and jumped out of his cab shouting “Oi what’s going on here, why are you fucking brooming those jobs” I said I wanted to go home to which he said “Then turn your fucking light out and go then, don’t come in here picking and choosing, you’re worse than the minicabs” He was bubbling. But as the saying goes, possession is nine tenths of the law. I had my job in the cab so I just leaned out and said to him “Be lucky mate” and drove off into the night.

A Rainy Carlton Vale, Kilburn @ 2am

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Right Hand

Over the last few days I’ve been a busy little boy. Sometimes there just ain’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to get done and the pressure builds up. Luckily it’s been pretty busy on the streets so with just a few extra hours per day I’ve managed to tip the scales in my direction.

I went over to my cab garage today to part with the weekly £180. I asked them what I always ask them every week. That is if they had a better cab for me yet. Jim, the genial Irishman said “I nearly had a lovely TXII for you with air conditioning and a six CD changer”. “Nearly?” says me, “nearly’s no good, what happened?” Apparently the guy using that particular cab was going to see his son in Australia and was going to spend six months out there, effectively forfeiting his cab to the next available bod, me! But it all fell through at the last minute for no given reason which means I have to continue with my shit-cart whilst indecisive Bill gets to keep the Rolls Royce of London Taxis until he makes his mind up. I wish Jim hadn’t told me now.

I have managed to injure my right hand twice in the last week. I do everything with my right hand and I mean everything so I can’t be going round getting injured or more than my hand will suffer. Firstly I was doing a spot of pearl diving as my old chef used to say, but to you and me let’s just call it the washing up. I was washing a pint glass with an England logo that my boys were particularly proud of when it cracked in my hand and the glass sank almost bone deep into my right index finger. I instinctively squeezed the finger with my other hand but I knew it was deep. I let go for a second and the blood started oozing out at a pretty fast rate. It probably could have done with a few stitches but I just held it tight until the blood coagulated. It popped open a few times that night as I forgot all about it and used my hand in the usual manner but eventually it stayed shut and now, about four days later it’s healing nicely. I took a pic of it but you can’t really see the cut in its full glory.

Poor Finger

The second injury was earlier on today. Again I was doing the washing up and as I was cleaning a fork one of the prongs managed to sink in behind the nail of the “bird” or middle finger. I’m telling you man it fucking hurt. About half the prong managed to stick in and as I held my hand downwards the fork was dangling from my finger. I had to pull it out and as I did the blood came with it. It still hurts and is throbbing now after my shift and I’ll probably lose the nail. I recently lost two nails on my right foot after having kicked a chair in anger at the kids several months ago. I’ve really got to sort my life out!!

I started work a few days ago and as I was driving down Maida Vale towards town I got hailed by someone who looked very familiar to me. As soon as she came to the window to tell me her destination I recognised her as one of my parents’ oldest friends which none of us have seen for at least ten years. I’d heard they’d moved to Spain and she confirmed it to me. She was just over doing a bit of shopping. In the space of time it took me to drive her the half mile to Crawford Street we exchanged as much news and gossip as possible before she got out. She offered me the five pounds fare but I refused to take it. Who knows if I’ll ever see her again…frail that life is. (For all family members racking their brains as to who it was, it was Cathy)

I had a little chuckle to myself tonight as I was hailed by four obviously drunk City workers. Three of them stayed across the road as the only female of the group raced over to hail me. She was standing next to some road works and there was very little room for her to get out of my way as I came bearing down upon her. She backed up as far as she could but instinctively tried to go back a bit further and proceeded to fall backwards against those red and white barriers perched on traffic cones which subsequently pulled down a whole row of barriers and cones.. There was nothing for her to hurt herself against and she fell flat on her back with her arms outstretched helplessly. What made me laugh was that the whole thing looked like it was in slow motion. The three guys collapsed in fits of laughter and were really no help to her at all but eventually helped her up. She soon recovered and they started singing loudly all the way to their destination. I rang my daughter on the way and told her to have a listen to the racket going on in the back of the cab and she had a good laugh.
I haven’t posted many photos lately as there just hasn’t been anything that’s taken my fancy but I did take a couple recently of a London sunset.

Sunset over Kilburn

Sunset over Paddington

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What a bunch of spastics.

In fact that is probably an insult to handicapped people so I take that back. What I'm reffering to is our national football team who last night went out of the World Cup quarter finals yet again. They did the hard bit and held Portugal to a draw with ten men but when it went to penalties they only managed to score one out of five. A few of the younger viewers at my house were reduced to tears but I have come to expect this sort of heartache so did the next best thing.....went out to work.

I only did 10 jobs tonight 5 good rides and 5 not so good rides.
As per usual after an England game the streets were crawling with drunks but add a defeat into the mix and those drunks want to take it out on someone.

I picked four drunk guys up in Piccadilly and took them down to Victoria and while I was stuck in the Piccadilly traffic they were shouting out of the windows at everybody. There were a few Portugese flags flying from cars and they got singled out with special abuse along the lines of "Ronaldo's dead" and "Cheating cunts".

Later I had another pair of sore guys who threw a bottle out of the window at no one in particular. It smashed on a parked car causing heads to turn.

I don't know why I bother going out after an England defeat because it's always the same. No wonder we get a bad reputation abroad.

The best job of the night took me up to Rayners Lane in north west London. These two had also watched the game but were a bit more graceful in defeat.