Sunday, October 08, 2006

Short Shift

One good thing about this blog from a family point of view is that it keeps them informed where otherwise they wouldn’t get to hear things until much later in the week or month, such as the job my son recently got. I have to go out with him later today to buy him a pair of work boots with steel toecaps. He has quite big feet and will need at least a 13 or 14. I know of a place in Cricklewood that opens on Sundays but if anyone knows of any other places around town that sell work wear and safety boots please let me know asap.

About the getting out later and later thing, mentioned in my last post; tonight I never started until 10.45pm. I just got in 10 minutes ago at 4.20am. Not quite six hours but a good night all the same.

The first two jobs were £30+ jobs and made for a good start. The second one of those nearly never happened. A bunch of 5 kids flagged me down in St Johns Wood and usually I drive straight past kids. Tonight I pulled over, locked the doors and spoke to them. They were well mannered and well spoken and were going to various addresses in Hampstead and Golders Green, good affluent areas of town. They couldn’t have been more than twelve or thirteen and in fact I overheard one of them tell another he was just that, thirteen. The reason I don’t usually pick up kids is because I have had problems over the years whereby they direct me in to a housing estate and then all run off without paying. Probably a great laugh if you’re a kid but not so great if you’re the driver trying to earn a crust to feed his kids. These five were perfect passengers. I dropped one of them at a huge mansion in Sheldon Avenue, another two along the Finchley Road and the last two in Woodstock Avenue in Golders Green. They even gave me a £1 tip, at their age. There’s nothing that gives me greater pleasure than seeing kids with good manners, it costs nothing to be polite.

The work was plentiful and I was never empty for long. There was a function at the Royal Lancaster Hotel and the doorman was out in the road hailing anything and everything. I pulled in for him and he loaded two passengers, a couple, bound for Hounslow. They were loaded down with flowers and party stuff such as joke bowler hats and those things that uncoil when you blow in to them and make a noise. They were both in high spirits and the woman had a very infectious laugh. It wasn’t long before they had both windows open and were tooting at all the passers by who in turn would wave back at them. Amongst some of the stuff they had with them were little boxes of sugared almonds. I went to a wedding recently where they also had these so I guess they too must have been at a wedding. The lady offered me a sugared almond which I readily accepted, unbeknownst to her, they are one of my favourite sweets. Once there were no more passers by to entertain they both settled down for the trip out to Hounslow. As I got nearer I had to wake them as a day of drinking and eating must have finally caught up with them. The lady offered me one of the little boxes of almonds as she was getting out as she said she’d taken four or five off her table. Guess what I’m eating as I type this?

I stopped at the Shell garage in Battersea to put some diesel in and then made my way back into the fray to see what other nice jobs were available. The light was on at the Berkeley and the doorman was out in Knightsbridge waving me in. He ran back to the hotel while I turned in and pulled up on the drive. I put my meter on and waited. A nice job north would do me lovely. A guy came out smoking a ciggie and said “We won’t be long mate, we’re just having another drink. We’re going to Sydenham in South London”. “Like fuck you are” I said under my breath. As he returned to the bar for another drink I rolled off the drive and called it a night. The last place I wanted to go was Sydenham.


Jackie said...

Try Magnus in South End Green, Hampstead (I think thats the road, opp the train station!) they do big sizes in shoes and also work wear!
J xx

london_cabby said...

Thanks Jackie i'll give them a go.

jo said...

I love peladillas (sugared almonds) - must be something to do with our upbringing.

I agree, it's a really nice suprise when you meet kids with manners, our own children as you know have impeccable manners, heh,heh!!


John said...

When its busy one thing I hate is when you pull in for a punter and its all goodbye Mabel Good night paul Cheerio....See you on Thursday... No Monday..When its busy I just drive down the road to a choris of you B****x.
Just get in and tell me where you want to be

Cabbie X said...

Manners, like common sense, seems to become more rare with each passing day, I'm afraid. Bravo to your group!