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?
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.