We won the darts 12 – 2. I had a good game and checked out one particular game with a bullseye. It’s generally a good night out where I can unwind and forget about cab driving for the evening, have a few shandies and a bit of banter with the rest of the team.
Tuesday started with a bit of lunch with one of my cabby mates. We met down the Royal Oak Taxi Centre and were surprised to find that our old mate Johnny Anderson had recently taken the place over. Whilst talking to John I said I went there quite often and he said he hadn’t seen me there since he’s been the owner. I said I’d been there one day last week when there were “two tasty sorts behind the counter” and was going to add more when he said “yeh, those are my daughters” “Ooops! Sorry John” I added quickly. I then described how I’d lost a tenner in the change machine and his daughters had reimbursed me and he remembered the incident. Anyhow, we had a good meal down there and found the menu greatly improved. For all you Pie and Mash loving cabbies out there he gets the proper pies in complete with liquor every Thursday.
Once fed and watered I went straight to work. The first few jobs kept me in the St John’s Wood area and after four local jobs I got one over to York Way and from then on the work was steady most of the shift. As I knew I’d be out most of the day I decided to put £30 of diesel in the tank. There’s nothing worse than being on a quarter tank or less and then getting a nice long job somewhere. I should really fill up every day but I never do.
One job took me to the Royal Geographical Society. Whilst talking to the passengers to find out what goes on in there they said that explorers and travelers hold seminars in there to talk about their journeys. I thought it would be great to attend one especially if the explorer was someone like Sir Ranulph Feinnes although I would imagine his seminar days are way behind him now.
As the day became night the condition of some passengers changed. One guy I picked up in Queensway asked for Chelsea football ground. By the time I’d made a couple of turns he was spark out with his head to one side. Fifteen minutes later as I pulled up at the destination he was completely out of it. “Hello?” I shouted through the partition. No answer. “HELLO?” “WE’RE HERE” No answer. I hate these kind of fares. “HELLO….OI MATE WE’RE HERE” A slight flicker of something in his eyes. “Hello?” one last time, then…. “Hello” from him and after a few more words from me to maintain the initiative he finally hauls himself upright and realizes what he’s got to do next which is pay me £10.40. Out comes the £20 note, I can’t be arsed to give him all my change so I round it down to £10 and off he goes.
Wednesday started with lunch with my brother in law at the Plaza in Oxford Street. They have five or six food outlets in there and I opted for KFC because I wanted to try the new Honey BBQ Bites. I wasn’t too impressed with them but the Fully Loaded Meal I also had satisfied my appetite.
My first job was an elderly lady standing on Prince Albert Road on the North side of Regents Park. She wanted to go to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She asked me to go through the park. Is there any other way to go? I hate it when passengers state the obvious or when they ask you for a destination, you just drive away because you know it and then they start directing you after you’ve almost completed the journey. Sometimes I say nothing other times I let them know I don’t need directions. Anyhow, we’ve driven through the park and are know south bound on Portland Place. Half way down she says “Can we go back to where you picked me up?” “OK” says me U-turning. Not an unusual request, people change their minds all the time. “and can you go round the left side of the park this time and not the long way as you did before” (Hackles rising but I say nothing). I enter the park by Park Square West and by the time I reach York gate she’s changed her mind again. “Look, just go back to Haymarket and take Marylebone High Street will you” She was in danger of getting thrown out at this point. Why some people think they can talk down to you never ceases to amaze me. But again I say nothing and carry on. She’s obviously got something troubling her because she keeps tutting and wincing. The traffic was completely solid all the way there and I was half expecting her to change her mind again but she never did. The final approaches to Haymarket were a complete joke and the sound effects continued in the back of the cab. We eventually got there, she paid me and then walked off saying something under her breath. “And bollocks to you and all” I shouted causing hers and a few other heads to turn. I can do rude when it’s called for.
Funny enough a few jobs later I had a much younger version of the same with someone else treating me like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe but I never bit this time and she probably walked away from the cab feeling superior.
Time for a break or “nosebag” as we call it. I hadn’t been to Kolossi in Paddington for a while mainly because it’s difficult to park round there but I managed to get a spot outside the place and went in for one of their fanatastic kebabs and a natter with the owner.
I had a couple of nice £20+ rides after that and the final ride of the night started in Tooley Street and went to Waterloo and onto North Finchley.
Todays shift saw me start at the Royal Oak for breakfast and then work through until 23.30. I should have worked for a few more hours but I suddenly decided I’d had enough. I’m still well short on the cab rent and it looks like I’ll have to pay them on Monday when £800 will be due. I’ve never let it get to that amount and I’m sure the garage won’t be too happy about it but if I ain’t got it I ain’t got it. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are always good earning days so I should be sweet by Monday.