It’s been a hectic week. Lots of family stuff going on and trying to earn a living in between. I’ve managed to get out just about every day except Wednesday when a family gathering at a Chinese Buffet in Park Royal required me and the kids to attend.
I’ve been waiting for the call from my garage to tell me they have a newer cab for me. I was having a nap a few days ago and Jim, the genial Irishman, called and woke me to ask if I could bring the cab in early the next morning (Wednesday). Half asleep I said I’d be there. The next morning, thinking I’d be swapping cabs for a nice updated TXI or even a TXII, I cleaned out the cab and took off all my signs and personalised bits and pieces and even swept it out with a hand brush. I drove over to the garage in Kentish Town and as I drove up the narrow alleyway leading into the garage spotted several newer cabs and wondered which one would be mine. Jim was standing at the entrance talking to somebody and I asked him where he wanted it. He pointed to a guy standing further inside the garage. I drove it over to him and got out. The guy proceeded to stick advertising on the two sides of the cab. I had a funny feeling that’s the only reason that I was there. I went to find Jim to confirm if I was only there for advertising and he said I was. What a bummer. He’s been promising me a better cab for the last few months but says that drivers keep changing their minds and decide to keep their present cabs. He promised me yet again that he would get me one soon but I don’t hold out much hope of getting one this side of Christmas. I could move garages and get one elsewhere but I like my garage and know all the guys there so I’ll just have to be patient. While I was there I got one of the mechanics to fit a new indicator unit to the off side and also to adjust the kick down cable. I reported the accident I had with the Porsche but Jim said to wait and see if the other driver makes a claim. Once my advertising was done I drove home and got back into bed.
Today’s shift was done in two parts. Still trying to make up for what I never earned on my week off I had to get out early to make money to meet a payment that went out from my bank. It was pretty busy out there during the day and I only did a few hours before I had enough. I then went shopping and cooked us dinner (Spaghetti Bolognese and Turkey Escalope) and settled down to watch Tottenham Hotspur (My sons favourite team) beat Slavia Prague 1-0 in the Uefa Cup. I went straight out after the game and being a Thursday night and raining was extremely busy and profitable. Victoria Station was moving all night and I must have gone back there about eight times. I took fares to Dulwich, Clapham, The Oval, Brixton (there was a shooting there tonight in the McD’s) and much nearer to the station. One guy tried to jump in my cab ahead of the queue but I locked the doors and drove onto the rank. He held onto the door handle all the way and nearly started a fight with the couple that were next in line. He didn’t seem to understand the concept of queuing but when the whole line started shouting and abusing him he got the message and joined the line.
Another fare from Victoria only wanted to go local but only had a building name. He said it was near Vincent Square. I got him to Vincent Square and waited for further instructions. I had never heard of the building he wanted so he told me to drive around for a bit and maybe we’d find it. I said it was pointless doing that as it could be anywhere and wasn’t there anybody he could ring to find out the street. It was 2am and he didn’t want to ring the person, as it was late. I asked if when we got there that person would have to let him in to which he said yes!! “So ring him,” I said. Duh!! It turned out that I had been to this building on a few occasions but just never remembered the name.
The last job I picked up from Victoria was four South American guys who wanted the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square. On the way they asked where they could get a drink and some action, it was 2.30am. Although there are quite a few late night places around the ones with all the action are generally clubs. They checked in to the hotel and came back out and I drove them to the nearby Spearmint Rhino Gentleman’s Club in Tottenham Court Road but it wasn’t going to be open for much longer so I took them to the Blue Angel near Great Portland Street which stays open a little longer than the rest and would certainly meet their needs.
The rain was still cascading down as I pointed the cab northwest in the direction of home. I think I’m now back to normal and can even say that I’ve really enjoyed this week’s work………..did I really just say that?