Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well done Mike!!

Since my last post I have managed to watch the final episode or season finale of Heroes and have also managed to cram in the whole first season of Jericho, which I found extremely moving and thought provoking. Anyone agree?

Also on the home front my son Michael and me entered an annual darts competition at our local social club. We both beat off stiff competition and met each other in the final, which my son won. Well done Mike. It was his first solo effort and it gave him a great lift after what has been a depressing few weeks of job hunting. Hopefully his high spirits will continue into the next few weeks and he manages to find himself a job.

I’m just about there with the cab rent (£800) and it should be paid by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

It has rained continuously here for the best part of the whole of last week. Fantastic for business but you have to put up with all the moans and complaints from the passengers.

The Chelsea Flower Show has been on this last week providing endless work well into the evening. I ranked up at the Bullring entrance on Thursday and managed to snag a job out to a hotel next to Windsor Castle.

I came out to work at 7.20 pm on Saturday evening and trapped immediately on Maida Vale. It went down to Victoria Embankment. From there I headed for Victoria Station and as I arrived I could see it was moving quick. The beggar had positioned himself at the head of the rank and was trying to ponce money off all the drivers as per usual but also as per usual he got SFA from me. A young Italian couple approached me with a bit of paper. I don’t know what it is about bits of paper that gets me all excited, probably the thought that I could be doing a job to somewhere remote and expensive. This piece of paper had the name of a hotel out in Woodford Bridge, a very nice ride. I tried to explain that it was far away and told them how much it would be. They ummed and ahhhd and eventually said yes. They’d booked a cheap weekend break on the Internet and hadn’t bothered to check how far from the center of London the hotel was, a common mistake some tourists make. To add insult to injury the nearest underground station was a fair old schlep from the hotel which didn’t please them none either.

Back in town the work was relentless for a Saturday night. A couple of lookers approached me on the South Kensington rank and asked how much to take them to Inferno’s in Clapham. I quoted “the best part of twenty quid” to which they said, “Could you call it fifteen because we’re lovely?” “Lovely don’t pay the bills” I retorted and got called a miserable old sod for my trouble.

Sunday was mega. By rights it should’ve been quiet as it was a bank holiday weekend but I suppose people were taking advantage that they never had work the next day and decided to go out instead. Clubs that would normally be closed were open and doing a roaring trade.

It was raining pretty hard as I made my way around Berkeley Square. As I exited onto Bruton Street I was flagged by a soaking wet member of staff from Griegs Grill in Bruton Place. She said she’d been standing there for ages waiting for a cab for a couple of Australian customers but cabs were a scarce commodity at that time. I said she’d be well tipped for her efforts and drove her back round to the restaurant. As she got out the customers were impatiently waiting for their cab and never even thanked her, let alone tip her, for what she just had to endure to get them the cab. I almost said something to them as I drove them to the Basil Hotel but thought better of it as it was none of my business. Needless to say I got SFA tip wise either but I’d already expected that.

I dropped them off and decided it was time for my favourite Chinese in Battersea. I haven’t been there for a few weeks so my mouth was watering at the thought of it. I rang my order through and was there in ten minutes. I noticed the jovial chef wasn’t there and hoped the food would still taste the same. It never and I was hugely disappointed. What must one chef do different to change the taste so much?

Today’s shift saw me do my first six jobs from Paddington. 1st job Paddington to Eden Park Hotel £5. 2nd job Paddington to Goldhurst Terrace £17. 3rd job Paddington to Talbot Road £6.20. 4th job. Paddington to The Landmark £8. 5th job Paddington to Crawford Street £7.20 and finally a decent 6th job from Paddington to the new Hilton Hotel at South Quay in the Docklands for £32.

A while later I dropped of at the Ibis Euston when a couple of guys got in and declared that they’d just been to Wembley to watch the football. Thinking they were supporters of the winning team I congratulated them only to be asked if I was taking the piss. All those midland accents sound the same to me so I countered with “you think you’ve got problems, I support Leeds”. They had a good laugh at that and by the time I dropped them at Leicester Square to drown their sorrows we were all best mates.

The shift finished with a flurry of 4 jobs starting with a Maida Vale to Westbourne Terrace, a Bayswater to Knightsbridge, a Knightsbridge to Barons Court Station and finally as I was heading home, a snogging pair of blokes from Bromptons (gay club) to Queens Park (no joke), which happens to be, a stone’s throw from home.
All in all, a good shift. Lets hope for more of the same over the coming days.
Check back soon.

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