Monday, November 24, 2008

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

Hi all
I have cable TV at home and they offer On Demand programmes which I find suits me better as I can, after a hard nights graft, settle down with a nice cuppa and maybe a tray of donuts or, lately, a few pounds of roasted chestnuts, to watch a huge range of programmes which I can start when I’m ready to watch. So, flicking through the available programmes I came across one called Taxicab Confessions. It’s been on there for ages but I’ve never fancied watching it but the other night I gave it a go and was greatly entertained for the next few hours. For those of you who don’t know it’s a programme where up to 6 miniature cameras are attached to the inside of various cabs. In the two shows I saw the cabs were either NYC Yellow Cabs or Las Vegas cabs. I would imagine that there were lots of footage of uninteresting fares that ended up on the cutting room floor but the ones that made it to the screen were immensely entertaining and some of them actually quite raunchy with plenty of boobs being flashed and sexy goings-ons, well, going on. Similar things have happened in the back of my cab but the occurrences are very few and far between and those on TV seemed a lot more exciting.

The cold weather is well and truly upon us and we’ve had quite a few instances of snow up and down the country. I looked out of my bedroom window this morning and the cab was white but after a few hours it had all melted. The cold weather is great for finding out if your battery is any good. A couple of Sundays ago as I was starting work and making my way to Paddington I was flagged by a guy in Warrington Crescent who only wanted a jump start. Luckily I had leads with me as he never had any and I managed to get him going in a few minutes. My own taxi battery is probably in need of replacing because after a recent 3-day visit to Ipswich to see Jane it barely started so I may need to tell the guys at the garage tomorrow when I go there to pay the two weeks rent I now owe them.

It’s also a good thing that my heater works well as most people jumping in these days are relieved when that blast of warmth hits them. A few days ago I was driving up St James’s Street when a couple of guys came out of Just St James’s restaurant. They were both wearing army greatcoats and their bearskin headgear like the guys that stand watch at Buckingham and St James’s Palaces. I thought they may have been in fancy dress and asked if they were for real. They answered that they’d just finished guard duty and had popped in for a drink. I was inclined to believe them as army guys have a certain way about them and use a totally different language to everyone else like calling you “chap” instead of “mate”.

There’s a new shopping centre at Shepherds Bush called Westfield. It’s enormous. I popped in to check out the cab rank for the first time and after waiting 20 minutes without the rank having moved up once I pulled off completely disillusioned with the place. Apparently motorists have to pay to park there so I think most people will continue using Brent Cross for the meantime.

I’ve only got a few items of any interest to report since my last post. I had a “scream up” with another cabbie because he reckoned I knicked a job which should’ve gone to the rank. The incident happened on the north side of Sloane Square when I pulled in for a couple of old dears. They were going to Beaufort Street so I had to drive round the square back into Kings Road. As I got caught in traffic by the rank this jobsworth cabbie, who must have eyes like a hawk, got out of his cab and started piping up that I should’ve sent them across to the rank from the other side. Now, I’m all for cab etiquette but in this instance I disagreed so we had a bit of a slanging match whilst the bemused old dears just sat in the back taking it all in. By the way it was Friday night and buzzing everywhere so he really should get a life.

Later on in the shift I trapped a couple going to Southfields from Kensington High Street. They started kissing passionately and the girl decided to straddle the guy, I suppose for better access. I was trying to cop a look through the rear view when I belatedly noticed that some lights I was approaching had turned red. I slammed the brakes on and the two of them shot forward and ended up with a thud on the cab floor. I thought they may be hurt but I was also embarrassed at having slammed on the brakes so I made out I never heard anything. After a few minutes I heard them talking as if nothing had happened and they remained on the floor until we entered their area and I had to ask for directions. They never mentioned anything and neither did I.

So, as December approaches we’re starting to see the first signs of festive spirit with quite a few homes around town already putting up their exterior decorations. I was in Ipswich last week for the turning on of the Christmas light but they hadn’t even put a tree up. They had a nice roasted chestnut stall there though and I warmed myself up with a five quid bag and even ate the rest of Jane’s chestnuts. I love ‘em.

Take Care out there and watch out for black ice on the roads.


SkippyMom said...

We have yet to celebrate our Thanksgiving here in the US [it is Thursday] and as it signals the start of our holiday season we were surprised how many people already had their homes decked out in lights already! 'Tis beautiful and the chestnuts are making my mouth water. Yum!

Nicey said...

Nice story re the couple, yeah the parties have started for me in London have a party every week from now until in Xmas and will be spunking it up on you guys to get me about ...
Take care


Terry said...

I hope there was'nt cabs on the feed situated on the North side LC?

That would be taking the proverbial and a half.

If only the South side rank had cabs on it then I can see no harm in stopping where you did in light of the them being elderly.


Grace said...

Hi London Cabby,

I enjoy your blog immensely. By the way, if you like reality TV in cabs, google "Haitian V taxicab confessions." There are the most hilarious scenes imaginable.

Keep up the good work.

Joe said...


We just bought the V+ box for a 75 quid one-off! It's like Sky+, and great for any stuff you can't get on-demand. You need one in your life.


"They started kissing passionately and the girl decided to straddle the guy, I suppose for better access. I was trying to cop a look through the rear view when I belatedly noticed that some lights I was approaching had turned red. I slammed the brakes on and the two of them shot forward and ended up with a thud on the cab floor."


Anonymous said...

Taking the job from the north side of the square leaves a question, would you like it if it was done to you? Would you react to the person who had taken the job? For the answer look within....

Anonymous said...

slone sq , your aving a larf stealing the bread out of your brothers mouths , i just hope you can sleep at night & i also hope you went into the back of your sherbert & made sure there was no harry munk hanging around x x x

Anonymous said...

Well what can i say, But the low drone of silverchris lowering the tone as usual,Brothers my arse its dog eat dog out there, Survival of the fittest,Good on yer M8 I'd do exactly the same.

Anonymous said...

P.s Yeah look within
Look within your wallet at the end of the night,Some old codger sitting on the sloane sq rank that should have retired long before the poor two old girls, Who's aid you came to, Who just wants to sit around looking for something to Whinge about.

Anonymous said...

Not guilty

Anonymous said...

Def not guilty ! Sloane sq full of Yellow badges on the nick anyway!

mumof4 said...

Oh yes, those 'Taxicab Confessions' (especially the Vegas ones) can be good viewing when there is nothing else on.!!

John said...

The International magic studio in London hold a convention at this time of year,It is a fantastic event with Christmas lights, jellied ells and hot roasting chestnuts.Plus loads of magic.

Anonymous said...

Get yourself a dreambox then all your cable channels will be open for free, a dm500 clone will cost you around 50 notes ;-)

Dave Driver said...

Sounds like you were far enough away from the rank not to have to send the old dears over there. I bet they loved the charm of being fought over by two drivers!
Make sure all is clear before looking in the rear view hehe!
Thanks for your story and yes watch out for any sort of ice.

Nick said...

Hey London Cabby!

Trying to contact you by email. Please can you email me back:

Love to talk to you about your writings for our new upcoming newsletter.



Anonymous said...

hi lc,
any chance of an update before xmas?? (or should i say xmas eve lol)
luv D.xx