So we have a new Mayor now and we’re all waiting to see how his policies may affect us in either a good or bad way. I voted for him as I’ve always voted for the Conservatives for good or bad and one policy I will be looking forward to seeing the Mayor implement is ridding the streets of the Bendy Bus. You only have to get stuck behind a couple of them in Oxford Street to know they’ve always been a bad idea on our narrow streets.
One commenter on the last post said, and I quote “you need to stop being so lazy, who goes to work and has a break straight away?” Now rather than attack him back I should probably take a few moments to explain my situation for anyone remotely interested. I live with my three kids. For reasons best known to me I get very little help in running this home so it is inevitably down to me to do everything. I cook, I clean, I vacuum, I take the rubbish out, I do the laundry, I do the shopping and basically do everything that needs doing. So most days I’ve already done a full days work before I have to go and do my shift in the cab. The reason I may go straight to the Royal Oak Taxi Centre is because I fancy something different from what my kids have had and they are geared up to provide me with that something. Also, if it’s already after 8pm then that is a good time to eat as the work dies down till 10pm. This job is not like a 9 to 5 job where you do 4 hours then have a meal break; it’s unique so that you can work when it’s busy and take a break during the quiet spells. Me, lazy? I don’t have the time to be lazy.
Leading on from above, I haven’t had a day off now for over two weeks. The cab has been paid along with various other monthly bills and a saying I find myself quoting to people when asked how I am or how work is is that “I’m running to stand still” (which also happens to be the title of one of my favourite U2 songs). London is still recovering from the Easter break, which seemed to have gone on for much longer than other years.
Since I resumed the medication for my various ailments there have been a couple of times when I’ve had to rush home as one of the side effects has kicked in causing me to “run for the bog” Not nice when you’re on the other side of town and can only use your own toilet. Still, it seems to have settled down now and isn’t as much of a concern.
Work has been pretty uneventful and looking through my notes reveals only a few talking points. Last Wednesday I took a guy from Oxford Street down to Clapham. He paid me off and I drove all the way to Victoria before getting my next ride. There was a problem with the trains and an old fella asked me how much to Gatwick Airport. I quoted him £90 and he nearly had a heart attack probably expecting to hear about £30. “Don’t act so surprised mate” I said to him “it’s a thirty-mile journey and it’s around £3 a mile” He thought about it for a moment then said “I’ll do it for eighty” like it was his decision. I then thought about it, weighed up my options, which weren’t that good and agreed. We chatted most of the way until I hit the M23 and arrived at a deserted North Terminal at around 2am. He handed over the agreed £80 and got out of the cab. I looked on the back seat and there was a pretty large bag sitting there. “Oi mate!!” I called out to him as he was walking away. “You’ve left a bag on the seat” “It was there when I got in” he replied. So he’d sat chatting to me all the way from Victoria with someone else’s bag sitting on the seat next to him. “I thought it was yours” he added. Why the hell would it be mine? It’s a pity the guy I’d picked up when Chris left his moneybag in the cab wasn’t as honest. I pulled over a few yards away and inspected the contents of the bag and found, amongst various items, a laptop. It looked like a nice one too. My son told me it was Israeli, I forget the name but it began with Lan… or something similar. Anyway, there were lots of forms of ID in the bag and I rang the guy the next day. I returned it to him at his place of work in the Regent’s Park area and he gave me a £40 reward, which exceeded my expectations.
Thursday the 1st of May was Election Day and I waited outside a polling station in Battersea Park while my passenger voted. He was talking to someone in the street and I felt I knew this person and I was wracking my brains to know where from. It eventually dawned on me who this person was. When my passenger returned I asked if he knew the person. I then asked if he was a barrister. He said yes to both questions and I knew it was the defence barrister from my two-week jury service stint. He’d worn a wig and gown in court so looked completely different in his tennis attire. My passenger asked if he was any good and I told him that we’d acquitted the defendant so he must have been.
That same shift I did two nice jobs out into the sticks. The first one was from Berkeley Square out to Rickmansworth. I came back in from there to do a few more jobs before ranking on the Hilton in Park Lane. Two blokes came out and asked for Potters Bar. I drove through Potters Bar and eventually dropped them in a place called Cuffley and went home from there.
Monday was Mayday Bank Holiday and the meter was on rate 3 all day. I started at 7pm and worked almost non-stop until 2am. I finished up with my first London Underground account job in three weeks, Waterloo to Rayners Lane.
Before I went to work yesterday I saw on the news that there was an incident in Kings Road, Chelsea and never thought anymore about it. Once at work a few jobs took me down to that area and there were police sirens and helicopters and all sorts of things going on. It turns out that there was an armed siege going on at a house in Markham Square which resulted in the shooting and killing of a gunman
The rest of the shift was pretty uneventful and I ended it with another Underground job from Morden Station in south west London to Mornington Crescent.