Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Marching On Together?

Leeds United, my beloved football team, played the first leg of the play-offs last night and I stayed in to watch it. Apart from a few memorable moments in all the years of supporting them, it’s mainly just been misery and despair. We lost the home leg 2-1 and now need to beat Carlisle at their place on Thursday night. Glutton for punishment that I am, I will be staying in to watch that too. Because of the football I never played darts tonight. We needed to win our last game of the season to win the league. The Captain was texting me to try and get me to come there instead of watching the game but it was no contest. My two boys went as usual and managed to easily secure a 12-2 victory thus winning us the league and promotion to the first division. Leeds should take a leaf out of our book.

Since I posted last Wednesday I have carried working on relentlessly.
I met up with Chris the next day for a Cornish pasty and a coffee at Marylebone Station. He’d also bought me a blood pressure monitor and we sat in the back of my cab taking our blood pressure in turn. Mine was 144 over 92 and anyone who knows about blood pressure will know that’s a pretty high reading. I had to see the doc the next day and she put me on some different meds to try and bring it down. I always have a chuckle to myself when I’m in with her because you get no sympathy whatsoever from her. In fact she is totally devoid of any emotions and just wants you out of there asap.

I’m still getting attacked by anonymous commenters for the infamous “20p” incident in Old Church Street. Guys, or Gals for that matter, there’s no need to be so nasty. When I read those posts again they seem fair to me. But I suppose it takes all sorts to make a world doesn’t it?

The other night I was driving back towards town after a fare to Camberwell when a guy flagged me on the Vauxhall one-way. He had a bit of paper in his hand, which always gets me excited. He said he was completely lost and wanted a cab ride out to Weybridge.

Me: You know that’s a £70 to £80 fare mate?
Him: What?? It’s not far from here is it?
Me: Yeh it’s about £70 to £80 from here.
Him: Well I’ve got no other option at this time so let’s go for it.
Me: No problem mate that’ll be £80 up front and you’ll get any change that’s due.
Him: We’ll find a cash point when we get down there.
Me: There’s one just round the corner, I’ll take you there instead shall I?
Him: Whatever!

I’d anticipated a spot of bother but as it turned out he got the money and paid me upfront. I got the postcode off him and once in the vicinity I asked what we were looking for.

Him: The Moreland Lodge Hotel 46 Portsmouth Road KT11 1BW

was how he told me the address.
There wasn’t a hotel with that name at the address it was the Cobham Lodge Hotel, obviously a name-change had occurred at some recent point.

Me: Are you sure it hasn’t changed its name?
Him: No, mine charges £55 per night that one (the sign outside said) charges £77.

I drove up and down Portsmouth Road twice before I decided the Moreland Lodge never existed anymore. He had the phone number on the piece of paper, which I rang from my phone. “Hello, Cobham Lodge Hotel, may I help you?” Came the reply. Nuff said. £75 and a receipt and I’m homeward bound once again.

Friday and Saturday night were typical. Lots of people going out to clubs and bars. Lots of drunk people coming out of clubs and bars.
The Elton John song “Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting” sprung to mind as I pulled up in the traffic in Fulham Broadway at the same moment that a crowd of young men decided to start a mass brawl. I felt a bit too close for comfort as these guys were laying into each other with venom. One poor bloke was getting pummelled by two men. He received a punch in the face, which knocked him backwards, cracking his head on the pavement. As his head hit another guy booted him full in the face. I must admit it was quite sickening. My punter, who I was driving to Munster Road, was shitting himself and started panicking. A couple of those plastic-coppers came running towards the fracas and to give them due respect they steamed straight in and started separating everyone. Within seconds three police cars arrived from different directions with sirens wailing and the group of lads started dispersing in all directions. With the action at an end cars that had slowed to observe moved off and I was able to continue my journey to Munster Road.

As I said earlier, tonight’s shift was short on account of me having stayed in to watch the football. I got out at 10pm then had to return home as my daughter had no keys to get in. I still managed a respectable nights takings and finished the shift off with an Underground job from Holland Park Station to Greenford. It was only one pickup and drop and I was chatting to the guy about his job and he said he was waiting to be accepted as a train driver where he will earn 41k instead of the 22k he was presently earning to collect tickets, sweep the platforms and take loads of abuse from the general public.

Should be back to normal tonight.

Be Lucky.


steveg said...

Hiya Cabbie

I was there last night as, you know... very disappointing result, but we are at least still in it (you never expected it to be easy as a Leeds fan did you? :-) )

The crowd were immense - I have never felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up so much as the pre match rendition of MOT let rip

I can't get a ticket for Thursday, so, like you I will be static in front of a TV for the night - or even at the banqueting suite - free entry and all names taken who attend into a free draw for tickets for the final (if we get there) - food and drink available... Maybe worth a punt

best Wishes


mumof4 said...

My hubby is keeping his fingers crossed for Leeds on Thu too as if they do ok he is planning a trip back to UK for the next phase....and I might get some English food brought back so for once I'll be supporting them too!

london_cabby said...

Hi Steve
from what I saw on TV Carlisle seemed to want it just that bit more than us although Freedman and Becks were unlucky with a few attempts and also their goalie kept them in it. We don't play too badly away so I still think we can pull it off. Heres hoping.

mumof4: I heard that if we do make the final all the tickets have been pre-allocated so I hope hubby has business connections that will get him a ticket.

Best. LC

Keith said...

An unhelpful GP is never going to help. Like you, I am diabetic (type 2) and had ballistic blood pressure, now really good thanks to drugs. But, the bad thing - a scan just showed a "neoplasm" on my right kidney which I am being rescanned for more detail this week. Life for me is a bit scary right now. Look after yourself mate and get the right pills for your BP.

John said...

Your health is your wealth, its all you really have at the end of the day.
Take care of yourself and give those kids a few jobs to do.
If you were not there they would have to do house work themselves.

Martin, Leeds said...

Super Super Leeds super Leeds United!

steveg said...

Wemberlee, Wemberlee, We're the famous Leeds United and we're off to Wemberlee.... etc

How's about that then Cabby? Brilliant night eh? I was in the local pub as sadly I couldn't get a ticket - the place went mental after the second goal went in - what a night!

I shall be there next week - dahn in your patch - I have my ticket on order already as we speak.

So did you watch the game then? Where? At home? or at a bar with other Leeds fans? - I am still almost shaking with the emotion and enjoyment and pride that our team played so well.

As the pointer sisters said/sang "I'm so excited"


steveg said...

I need to ask you a favour LC

I am to be the designated driver for the lads in a minibus group down to Wembley next week - not a problem, have already booked parking at the stadium (or nearby anyway) but being a bunch of mean northerners! :-) we want to know of a pub and or somewhere to get something to eat at walking distance from the ground if it is not too cheeky of me to ask - can you recommend anywhere around there for us?

Cheers for any help you can give us - or not if you can't - no worries

Steve G

london_cabby said...

Hi all Leeds fans everywhere.
Fantastic win last night. You know nothing else but Leeds matters when you feel sick to the stomach before, during and long after the game. I'm going to try and get a pair of tickets for the final as I've read that they go on general sale on the 20th, that's obviously if there's any left. If not then Sky TV will have to do. I just hope the right team turn up on the day.

Steve: The stadium is not far from Wembley High Road and there are pubs and places to eat all along there. The Torch is a pub opposite Wembley Park Underground Station that also serves food but I would imagine it being rammed on the day. There other eateries on the station side so you should manage to get a bite somewhere I wouldn't bother eating at the stadium as you'll need a lottery win to fund it as I found out during the England - Switzerland game.
Have a great day and if I get tickets i'll let everyone know i'll be there.

Be Lucky.


Dmitri said...

Well done to Leeds! Great must-win at Carlisle! Hope the final will be a win as well. I think it will be, and I hope you are at Wembley LC!

steveg said...

Hey LC!

Just heard from a bunch of London based Leeds fans that you can actually go up to Wembley and buy a ticket direct from them - they are called "Club Wembley" and are in the "psh" seats and include some food I believe (not certain of this) but the cost is £84 - not too bad when you consider my ticket is not in as posh an area and cost £50.

But at least you would be at the game mate!


steveg said...

Oh and if you really want to go - Doncaster have LOADS of tickets left at more sensible prices - there are going to be literally thousands of Leeds in the Doncaster end, from the number I have seen and heard of buying in bulk from Donny

Just hoping to help you to the game LC! :-)


Dmitri said...

I walked all day with my Leeds shirt to give you lads my support, and I only found out about the result at 5:30, and I am feeling truely sad.

2008 Great Gifts said...

Leeds who??