I've been working steadily away since last post and making just enough to survive. (I'm bleating again).
I had a puncture on thursday after picking up a nail on my drive. I'd been repairing my sons car with his grandad and we must've tipped out some nails and tacks from the tool box and caused one to give me a flat later in the evening. I changed it easy enough and noticed that the wheel braces supplied with the TX4's are made of much sturdier stuff than their predecesors so there was none of that "bending when stood on" crap. Of course I then had to get the spare replaced as it wouldn't do to have a puncture somewhere out in the wilds. I had to collect my dad from Hammersmith hospital and take him home to Harrow so took the opportunity to visit the garage nearby. The brand new Dunlop I'd put on was swiftly removed and spirited away and replaced by an inferior remould. The front brake pads were also replaced and the rear ones tightened up a notch. I was ready to roll. Whilst heading back towards my neck of the woods I heard a clicking noise. I thought I may have picked up a stone in the new tread so pulled over to check and found nothing untoward. By the time I got home the noise was making me ill. I shouldv'e simply turned round and gone back but I didn't. I got home had a nap and forgot about it. About 7.30 I went to work and the noise was still there. I started getting ill again and rang the owner on his mobile. He was 6 pints into a night out in Dunstable and was surprised I had his mobile. (He'd rung me once on it and I'd stored it in the memory). He suggested I call the emergency number they'd provided me with on a little blue card. I found it in my wallet and called and the only viable option I had was to drive back to north west London to meet with a mechanic who was on call that night. So, off I went again and telephoned him just before I arrived. By this time the clicking had almost stopped and I thought of times in the past when serious problems had righted themselves once the garage was on its way out. The Polish mechanic met me at the garage and started trying to find the source of the clicking. Each time he tried something I had to take it for a spin, returning to where he was waiting, shaking my head. He jacked the cab up and spun the front nearside wheel and there was a grating noise. "that does'nt sound right" he said. "No shit" thought I. The long and short of it is that the tyre was too wide and was rubbing on a pipe. Apparently there are different taxi tyres for different vehicles. So he put the right one on, I bunged him a fiver and went on my merry way.
Once in town the work was excellent. There was (I think its still on now also) a srtike on the trains from Liverpool Street Station so it was no surprise that whilst waiting on the rank at Waterloo, a face appeared at my window asking for a quote to Billericay. I just blurted out £80 from the top of my head and he gave his girlfriend an almighy snog and £80 and put her in the cab. Once I had a chance to compose myself I put the destination in the satnav and could see that the price would be around £110 but I thought to myself I would play it by ear. If she moaned about it at the other end then I'd accept the £80. The job ended at £112 and after a bit of rummaging she produced the full amount much to my delight and had to ring Chris to gloat a little. The term GBX was mentioned again.
I am now a "Twitterer". I got myself an iphone and have subscibed to Twitter and regularly recieve Tweets from lots of other cabbies. It's helpfull to see where the work is and also traffic problems around town and also provides a bit of banter to liven up the shift. You can follow me on http://twitter.com/TheLondoncabby.
So, now off to a BBQ at my parents and I will be out working and Tweeting tonight.