The points issue has yet to be resolved. Maybe the last three I received have got lost in the post, here’s hoping. Since then I have been driving around like a snail. It’s quite painful. It must be the same for everyone else. Night driving should be looked upon as completely different to day driving. No kids to run over, no elderly folks, not much of anything really just empty streets with cars all driving ridiculously slow for the road conditions. Sometimes I think it would be better if I did lose my licence permanently as I would then be forced into a complete career change whilst I’m still young enough.
After getting a new alternator fitted I still had one more bit of grief with the cab. The following day the battery still hadn’t charged fully so by the morning it went flat after only a few turns of the key. I boosted it with my son’s car and went to work and after a whole shift it still went flat the next day so after boosting it yet again I had to go back to the garage for a new battery. I drove over to the garage and just before arriving I stopped one street away, switched the engine off, flicked the fuel cut-off to “off” and turned the engine over a few times to run the battery down to the last bit of power in case they said there was nothing wrong with it. I over-did it and ended up stranded. I rang the garage up and one of the mechanics came out to me with a booster pack. A new battery was fitted and all has been well ever since. It’s so cold at the moment that any sub-standard battery will struggle to perform. I'm still having gearbox problems whereby the gearbox refuses to jump into second gear unless I’m flat out and now a new problem seems to be starting up where the power steering is misbehaving when cold. It’s never-ending with this cab yet I still persevere with it. Why?
It was noticeably quiet on the streets tonight. I started a bit late today on account seeing a mouse run behind the fridge. I ran upstairs and grabbed the dog, a Jack Russell, from my daughter’s room and placed him behind the fridge. The mouse saw him and made a dash for the kitchen door but the dog was too quick for it and soon had the mouse between his jaws, extinguishing its life in an instant.
My first job went from Paddington Station to Spencer Park in Wandsworth and on my way back over the bridge I trapped a job up to Kensington. Chris was also out tonight and we met up at the Piccolo in Mayfair for a bit of dinner, well, he had dinner and I only had a coffee as I’d eaten steak and kidney pie and mash at home before coming out to work. The rest of the shift wasn’t fantastic but there was a burst of activity from ten till twelve and then it died down again. I ranked at Victoria and the beggar was doing the rounds but no-one gave him anything. My job took me to Milner Square in Islington and from there I fuelled up at the BP (£1.06 per litre, scandalous!!) in Goodsway. I drove down the newly opened Pancras Road and ranked at Kings Cross where I got a fare to Bethnal Green, a stripper going to the Metropolis Club and then her friend went onto Hackney. I drove all the way back to Victoria without getting a fare and ended up at the back of a full taxi rank. It took ages to reach the head of the feeder rank and I was tempted to pull off and head for home but thought it better to wait a while longer. There was only one cab in front of me and he was approached by a dodgy looking character. After what looked like a refusal from the cab driver (a no-no on a rank unless you imediately pull off) the guy walked back to me. Now, if the front cab had driven off at this point then it would’ve been my job but he chose to sit there, which is looked on as an insult to the cabby behind..........me!! As the Prospective Passenger approached me I lowered the window down a few inches and said :
Me: If he ain’t doing it then neither am I.
PP: Why not?
Me: Because it’s his job and he shouldn’t be brooming stuff he doesn’t want.
PP: So what am I supposed to do?
Me: Go and tell him he has to do it. Where d’you want to go?
PP: Brixton (a crap area)
Me: Well it’s his job so he has to take you.
The guy walked back to the front cab, had a few more words with the driver and then the cab sped off leaving the guy with a vacant looked on his face and staring in my direction. Not being in the mood for any bullshit on this cold night I too drove off. As I looked in my rear view I could see the next few cabs pull off as well. I guess we all had the same gut-feeling that this guy was a wrongun. I wonder if he got home.
Having done about 30 minutes “bird” and ending up empty handed I decided to call it a night and drove the few miles home with my Hire light on but never managed to trap another job. I’ll have to get out much earlier tomorrow.