Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year

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.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't realised Mike Dickin had died. I remember him from LBC, a station I still love to listen too!

Happy New Year and hope 2007 will be a prosperous one for you!

J xx

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that everything went off well, Happy New Year LC.
After reading your blog I went and checked it out myself and spent some time going through the lists, I was saddened to read that Alan Freeman and Nicky Clarke, some other famous English DJ's had also died. End of an era.

* Had to do this anonymously cos I cant remeber the login I used LOL
This is TraceyH

John said...

"Hello my darlins" With the Kiss curl on the front like Bill Haley who could forget Charlie Drake.
Thought he would have been well before your time.

Keith said...

Boy, you really are depressed, even if you don't know it. Following those deaths and letting little things that don't usually bother you, get you ratty.

I don't envy you your job, but it certainly fuels your journal with stories.

As for revealing your identity... Go with your innermost feelings. If you are uncomfortable with it, which you clearly are, then just don't. It won't make a ha'peth of difference to a great blog. KP.

L Tucker said...

Hi -- I'm sorry if this seems random; it's not a prank, I promise. I'm an American writer writing a book with Men's Health magazine, and I'm looking to interview a London cabbie about people fooling around in the back of taxis. Your blog is terrific -- if you wouldn't mind weighing in (anonymously, of course, unless you'd like me to mention the blog) with a few stories, I'd really appreciate it.

Please be in touch; I've spelled out my email address below. Happy New Year!

ltucker at gmail dot com

G.S. said...

Yes, that list of recent deaths can really suck you in. And now that I'm convinced I will probably die myself any day now, I'd better hurry up and wish you a Happy New Year, LC, before it's too late. And thanks for your insightful writing.

confus-a-nation said...

Such a cliche that you assume that anyone with a £50 note going to an estate is laundering money. Then, to follow that up with telling a begger to 'Fuck off' is par for the course in a trade that is essentially a license to print money. how much damage to your pocket would a couple of quid do? None i suspect.
Nice to see that racism hasnt been stamped out in the taxi trade (Assuming that anyone with a slight eastern european accent has to be Polish)Shocking.
I am surprised you let her in your cab!
All you've achieved with this blog is to re-iterate the stereotype of the greedy, racist, tax-dodging arrogant London cabbie that we have come to know and love

Anonymous said...

Wow! That last one was pretty potent eh LC? Just as well I know you better than c-a-n here. It's easy for him/her to see only what he/she wants to see, but the world is in a bad state my friend and LC is only stating a few sad home truths. As far as I can see, you are also tagging cab drivers with a varied list of adjectives!
Although I am not a religious person, this springs to mind a quote from the bible: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
Happy New Year to you all
Wicked witch

jo said...

How would CAN know that being a cabbie is a 'license to print money', do they know what you have to pay out and how many hours you have to work to get what you get??

Have they read the rest of your blog - I suspect not, because otherwise they would know that you visit Victoria Station (and resident beggar) several times a day and that said beggar is probably making a better living than you!!

Don't you just love people who condemn everyone else for a variety of prejudices and then finish off proving that they also have their prejudices.

Love big sis xx

Anonymous said...

Had to pipe in here, as I was forerly married to a cabbie myself, My brother is a cabbie and most of my close friends were until I moved to the States.
My ex would come home with all sorts of stories about almost or actually being ripped off by people, I cant count how many times he or one of his friends were led into an estate of some kind, only to either be 'held up' with a knife of some sort for all the money they had worked for including their float and also very expensive equipment. After a while, you start to think to yourself, that maybe going to esates ad stuff isnt worth it.
My Brother often tells me you never know who you have in the back of your cab...thats scary enough for me in this day ad age.
'License to print money' LOL I wish, maybe back in the old days but its not like that mow and I know how many long hours cabbies can work for just enough moey to ay the bills.
And lastly CAN, dont like the blog, dont fucking read it, simple as that. Be Lucky!
Oce again I have forgotten my log-in, this be TraceyH

Anonymous said...

think CAN may of started something here, how can you paint the london cab driver as "greedy, racist, tax-dodging arrogant London cabbie"(your words not mine), do you actually know any cab drivers? coming from a family of cab drivers, none of whome are paid up members of the bnp or nazi party, i can tell you that every cab driver in his time, wether right or wrong has broomed a job because "it did not feel right". and at the end of the day you have to look out for number one when in the cab, the drivers safety comes first.
i agree with traceyh if you dont like what lc has to say then dont read his blog.

jo said...

I thought I would have a look at CAN's blog - not much to say, such a wide and varied view of life (not) and no comments, because what they say is far more important than anything anyone else could ever say, ha, ha.

What a coward!!


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