Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy New Year

Hi folks

Happy New Year to everyone and here's hoping it's a goodun.

We just celebrated my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary this weekend and family from all over England and Scotland converged on a community centre in Kingsbury, North London to pay their respects. It was organised by my sisters and we all had our part to play by either making some of the food, organising the decoration of the hall or compiling some sort of video tribute to the last 50 years. I think everyone who attended would say it went extremely well and also what a crying shame it was at the amount of food wastage there was at the end. It was also the first chance my girlfriend has had to meet the whole family. She was extremely nervous and apprehensive but needn’t have been as she was warmly welcomed by everyone.

On the work front it has been a very trying time as London tries to get back to normal after Christmas. Some days have been soul destroying as we’ve been driving round aimlessly on empty streets unable to get on already overfilled ranks. These last few days have seen a slight recovery and hopefully a partial return to busier times. There’s definitely an air of doom and gloom everywhere and that could be a major factor why people are not going out and spending their money.

So while the slump goes on there are still bills to be met and the taxi rental to be paid to my new garage weekly. After a month of driving around in my nice shiny new TX4 it is now starting to loosen up and wear in a bit. A few weeks ago it developed a knocking sound when the steering was turned right. Then the knocking got worse to the point where it was either to the left or to the right. I asked at the garage and they told me it would probably be something they couldn’t touch because it would invalidate the warranty so inevitably it started giving me the hump (aka pissing me off)!! I went to the garage on Thursday and demanded they have a look and as it turned out the nuts and bolts on the two rear trailing arms (any ideas??) had worked loose and a quick few turns with a spanner sorted that problem out. I’ve really taken to the cab in a big way and love everything about it especially, trivially too, the auxiliary wire that connects my iPod to the stereo. I’m in a Bon Jovi phase at the moment and recently bought their whole back catalogue and transferred it to the iPod. So I’m enjoying my quiet evenings on the taxi ranks of London with the sound of Bon Jovi blasting out to anyone who cares to listen. Current favourite track is “It’s my life” from the “Crush” album.

The cold and wet weather has probably also contributed to keeping all the troublemakers indoors as I don’t seem to have many stories to tell you since the last post. I did have a few near misses with drunk girls almost getting sick in my brand new cab and me almost losing my cool and throwing them out but it all came to nothing in the end. A few times I’ve been approached on taxi ranks and asked to take a dodgy looking someone to a far away place but I’ve always insisted on payment in full upfront (something I would never have done a few years ago) and the ones who refused to pay upfront remained where they were. I did let my cool persona slip a few weeks back when I was blatantly cut up in Earls Court Road by a bus. This prompted me to overtake him and slam my brakes on in front of him, probably scaring the passengers witless. As I slammed them on he went back round me and did the same to me until we met at the lights at Cromwell Road and exchanged pleasantries with a few hand gestures thrown in for good measure. Silly boys stuff really, not to mention downright irresponsible but we have to make our own amusement in these quiet times ;o)

I’ve applied to re-join Radio Taxis and have been given a date for the installation of the equipment for one day this week. Hopefully I’ll become a proper “radio man” and work it properly. In recent years I’ve always started off enthusiastically but the novelty soon wears off and I become too choosy in regards to the destinations of the jobs. Then I become disillusioned and eventually get the equipment stripped out. I know there’s a credit crunch on but there will hopefully still be work on there and I’ll also be able to do credit cards again which have sometimes proved to be quite lucrative. Watch this space as they say.

Take Care