Are you all ready for the next round of celebrations? Not me. I’m not a great lover of Christmas and even less for New Years celebrations. It’s an annual annoyance I have to put up with as I have others to consider. Were I a lonely old man (it’s looking extremely likely that I’ll end up that way) I would give it all a miss and head off somewhere to escape it all. Bah Humbug!!
Continuing on a downer, I frequently read the Wikipedia page on recent deaths. I may not look for a while, say a month or two then I’m checking every other day. Sometimes I’ll check and think “Fuck me, he’s died or she’s died” and if the reason for death is mentioned I’ll follow the link and spend quite a long time learning of the various ways that someone can die. All very morbid I know but it just goes to show that no-ones immortal. The three that stood out for me this month were Mike Dickin, a DJ that I’ve been listening to for as long as I can remember, Charlie Drake, an English comedian I grew up watching on TV, and lastly James Brown who I’m sure the whole world knew. When your time’s up there’s nothing you can do about it so it’s probably best to live each day like it’s your last. But therein lies another problem. To do that you need money and in this age of stress and debt and “not enough hours in the day” it’s not possible. What’s the answer? I’ve no idea. Try putting a few extra quid on the lottery.
I’m still getting requests to reveal my face completely. Why the hell would some people want to know what I look like? To those of you who have, during the course of your blogs, revealed your faces: do you get recognized? Do you like being recognized? Do you sometimes wish you hadn’t revealed your faces? I know I couldn’t stand the extra scrutiny and all the questions that would probably go with it. I suppose you’re either introvert, like me, or extrovert. Luckily living in a big city is a help. There are lots of London cabbies that look just like me and often people get in and ask if they’ve already been in my cab that day. Well sorry to disappoint but I’d rather stay faceless for a while longer.
In spite of being a humbug the 25th and the 26th were good days. Christmas Day was spent at home with the kids and their grandparents on their mother’s side (my ex-in-laws, who I get on great with). The 26th or Boxing Day was spent at my parents house in Harrow, North London with my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews brothers-in-law and sister-in-law and a few family friends. The total attendance at my parents’ modestly sized terraced house was 29 and a good day was had by all.
I was back at work the following day, the 27th. The sales start immediately after Christmas and you wonder where all the extra money comes from as the main shopping areas become swamped with bargain hunters. I was kept busy for ten hours solid and took plenty of money. The only sour note in the whole day was when I picked up a couple of dodgy looking blokes who were obviously on a drug run. I hate these jobs and if I get the opportunity to drive off after they’ve gone in to get the stuff I do. These two led me in to the Brunel Estate in Westbourne Park. One of them asked me to break a fifty to which I gave my rehearsed answer as it’s happened before. “Sorry mate I’ve just come out and I’ve only got a fiver”. Who starts work at 11pm? They were probably trying to launder a fake £50. It happened to me about 12 years ago and I changed it for them. I knew it was fake but didn’t want the confrontation but vowed never to do it again. I actually used the fake fifty in a post office to buy my road tax and got away with it so I never lost out. Who needs the hassle? Anyway, they both got out to go get the stuff and off I went nearly cracking my rear axle on the speed bumps on the way out.
Today’s shift was a little slower but I still managed to make the money I needed. I nearly lost my rag at a Polish bird who took me to Victoria Coach Station from Victoria Station (a few hundred yards!). I’d waited longer than usual on the rank and was already agitated as the beggar had caught me by surprise and tapped on my window, startling me. You’d think he would know me by now or maybe he never recognized the TXI. All the same he got told to “Fuck Off!!” and guess what he said to me? “Happy New Year brother!” I never felt bad as I’ve learned to isolate my emotions when it comes to beggars. Charity begins at home and I need all the charity I can get at the moment. So straight after that happened the Polish one gets in and says she’s in a hurry and she knows its only a short trip blah blah and I’m boiling up inside but decided to exercise a bit of restraint. By the way I couldn’t be 100% sure if she’s Polish but that’s what she sounded like.
The last job of the night took me out to White City so it was handy for my way home.
This cab has a radio/cassette and I’ve been playing a lot of my old tapes. I came across a Neil Young compilation I’d done a few years ago. I noticed I’d written “tape fucked” on the label but decided to put it in all the same. For about 15 minutes I heard all the classics such as Harvest Moon, Down By The River, Cinnamon Girl and Heart of Gold. It was while Southern Man was playing that it became evident why I had written that label as the tape warbled and whined and finally cut off. I must do a fresh tape for tomorrow.
That’s all for now folks. Have a Happy New Year.