What does it mean when you have to force yourself to write this blog?
Maybe Roy of Irish Taxi is right when he says I should write less but more often.
Anyway seeing as I’ve managed to open up a Word document I might as well do a post as it’s been three weeks since I last did one.
I’ve been busy just working away. The cab rent, amazingly is up to date and the old finances are doing well. That’s all folks!!!!!
Wouldn’t it be great if I could just get away with a post like that?
The truth is I have been working hard….too hard. I feel drained and worn out and in need of a holiday. Roll on September.
Looking through my notes for the last three weeks there’s a few jobs that stand out for various reasons.
Thursday the 28th February I started my shift at 6.50pm and was going well until someone upset me. You might find this account trivial but it took me a while to compose myself. I stopped for a lady on the South Kensington Junction and she asked for Church Street.
Me: What Church Street? Edgware Road?
Me: Kensington Church Street?
Her: No it’s near here
Me: Old Church Street?
Her: Yes that’s it.
Off we go for the two minute trip. I turn into Old Church Street and there are roadworks and temporary traffic lights which I stop at. There are cars behind me now and the lights are about to change. She decides she’ll get out here. I reach up and stop the meter at £4.20. She hands over four coins. I tell her it’s four twenty.
Her: It was £4 when I looked
Me: Well it’s £4.20 now and the meter is on stop.
Her: But it was £4.20
The lights have changed and the traffic behind me is getting impatient. Horns are being honked. I feel the need to put this woman in her place.
Me: It’s £4.20. That’s what the meter says and that’s what you have to pay.
Her: Well, seeing as you’re going to be like that…
And she proceeds to count out the 20p in coppers. I say nothing and accept the shrapnel. She walks away from the cab and when she got about twenty feet away I shouted out: “Oi, you can stick this lot up your arse” and threw the coppers in her direction. They landed all around her as I drove off through the lights feeling immense satisfaction. Was that trivial of me? I don’t think so.
Sunday the 2nd of March was Mothers Day here in the UK and sons and daughters across the land, including me and my brothers and sisters, visited their mothers bearing gifts of some description or other.
Wednesday the 5th of March and I dropped off at Le Meridien in Piccadilly. An old codger cabbie in an old cart of a Fairway comes to my window and asks if I have a spare bulb for his “For Hire” sign as both bulbs have blown. He’d been driving around with one bulb for a few days. Surely that would be the time to buy another bulb wouldn’t it? No, much better to ponce one off a muggy cabby like me. He asked how much knowing full well I would say “don’t worry about it” and went back to fit the freebie. I hate spongers of any type.
Thursday the 13th of March I try a new Chinese Take Away in Denbigh Street, Victoria called Yum Yum. I order a Special Fried Rice and a Sweet and Sour King Prawn. £12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least a fiver more than all the other Chinese’s. It didn’t taste like it was worth a fiver more so I’ll put that one down to experience and avoid it in future.
Friday the 14th of March. I have to pay my cab rent and need a few quid to make up the money so I start work at 11am. I turn into Maida Vale and am flagged almost immediately by Jude Law. He wants the Wyndham’s theatre in the West End. The traffic is bollocks and I try three or four different routes before I give in to the London traffic. Jude settles in for the journey and spends the whole time on his phone talking to various people. He talks about work, his kids, his parents. I hear him mention his ex’s name. He seems oblivious to the traffic. I hear him say he has a rehearsal at 11.30 and think to myself “you’ve got Bob Hope and no hope of getting there for that time mate.”
We arrive at the theatre exactly 45 minutes after he’d gotten in to the taxi. He needs cash and goes to the cashpoint near the theatre. The people at the bus stop see him get out and instantly recognise him. They look at me with that “do you know who that is?” look on their faces but I give nothing away. He’s just another fare paying passenger to me. When he returns from the cashpoint the meter has clicked over to exactly £20. He looks up at the meter and gives me the exact money. I thank him and drive off.
Sunday the 16th of March I start work at 5pm. A nice job from Paddington to Tredegar Sq in East London gets the ball rolling. 7 hours later I’m on £176 and looking to complete "the bottle" (£200….don’t ask). I pick a guy up from Victoria who wants to catch a train from Marylebone Station. He spends the next few minutes on the phone checking train times. By the time we arrive he’s ascertained that he’s missed his last train and asks for and estimate to Bicester near Oxford. I ask how far it could be and he says no more than sixty miles. The tariff works out to £3 per mile on rate 3 but I don’t want to scare him off and say somewhere in the region of £150. He gives me the OK and off we go. I haven’t been on a motorway with the cab since I had the gearbox seen to. At seventy miles per hour a funny smell starts filtering through the nooks and crannies of the cab. The gearbox fluid must be seeping from the seal and is burning on the exhaust. I trust the cab to last the journey. The £150 mark is reached and passed. We’re still a good few miles away. The final meter reading is £196. I apologise and tell him it’s sometimes difficult to give an exact amout. He’s not bothered and gets the money from a cashpoint in Bicester town center. He pays me the exact amount. I’m ecstatic as I have earned much more than I expected. I put Toto on the ipod which is hooked up to the stereo and drive the sixty miles back to London.
Monday the 17th of March is St. Patricks Day. There are Irishmen and women everywhere. Most of them are wearing funny hats with Guinness symbols or Shamrocks or Harps. I’m flagged down by a group of them in Piccadilly. They want to go to Slough and ask for a price. I say between seventy and eighty pounds. One of them asks me to do it for seventy and I agree. We end up at the Shamrock pub in Langley, not quite Slough, but they pay me the seventy no problem and I’m happy with that. They bid me farewell and I drive back to town.
The Easter weekend is approaching and it should be a good earner.
I must remember to buy my kids their Easter Eggs tomorrow before they sell out.