It’s noticeably much more peaceful and quiet around here since my daughter went on holiday last week. No rows with her brother Michael. No “where’s this dad?” “where’s that dad?” “Can I have some credit for my phone?” “ Can you drop me to school?” I think I’m benefiting from the undisturbed sleep-in in the mornings as I go to work feeling completely relaxed and relatively stress-free. I think even the dog notices she’s not here as he spends more time pestering me to keep him entertained. She’ll be there for another few weeks so I’ll make the most of it while I can.
I attended one of my cabby mates’ 25th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. The weather stayed fine after all the rain we’ve had and there was plenty of food and drink for everyone. I spent a lot of the day standing and really felt it in my legs this morning.
London has been hosting several events in the last week that have caused roads to be closed causing major traffic problems. For the last few days the Tour de France has been preparing to start and there have been trials and the start of the race proper was today. (Can anybody tell me why the Tour de France is starting in London?) All the routes through the center of town have been seriously disrupted and some fares have gone double what they should have, some even treble. I did one job from Great Queen Street to Victoria Station, which would normally go a tenner, and at the drop off the fare was twenty-five pounds and the guy was squealing like a pig at the journeys end. It’s great if you haven’t got a conscience but unfortunately I have and often find myself knocking a few quid off.
I think it must be open season for kids to throw stuff at taxis. Another kid recently threw an apple at me but it bounced off the side of the cab. Whilst driving back to town through Barnes a few days ago I saw another boy getting ready to throw something at me but I slammed on the brakes and screamed at him and he ran into his house. Little buggers!!
The payments from my radio work have started to come through each week and it’s really helping me sort my finances out. The cab rent will be paid by Wednesday with only two weeks owing, which is good going for me. I’m compiling a list of problems that are actually now pissing me off and I am going to demand something is done. As I’ve said before I could change garages but I don’t want to and I can’t ask for another cab because they are reducing their fleet because of recent changes in the emissions laws which is causing the sale of the older cabs. It’s just a matter of putting aside some time so that it can be spent in a cramped office drinking lots of coffee and talking a lot of bollocks with similarly pissed off cabbies while the work on the cab is carried out.
A few days ago, I think it was Friday night, I picked up an extremely posh couple as they frantically waved me down in Piccadilly. “You’re like goldust tonight” the man said to me. Not really in a talkative mood (am I ever?) I mumbled something back and off we went towards Kensington. “Do you know we’ve been looking for a cab for the last twenty minutes?” the woman piped up. What could I say but “Oh yeah?” “Yes. We started off at the Embankment and eventually had to get a bus to here. I’ve never felt so humiliated in my life.” They looked ordinary enough to me; in fact I wouldn’t have given them a second glance so God knows why they’d feel humiliated to be riding on a bus. I suppose you’d have to be stuck-up to think that way in the first place. I nearly said something along the lines of “What, are buses not good enough for people like you?” but as ever I held my tongue and received a £2 tip for doing so. Sometimes you just have to keep schtumm!!
I’m counting down the days (63) until my own holiday on the 10th of September. I’m flying to Alicante where I will hire a car and drive to my parents’ flat in Torrevieja in southern Spain. I’ve even bought the Tom Tom map of Spain and Portugal so that I can use my satnav over there. Bring it on.