Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Compliments Of The Season To You All.

Hi folks

Thought I’d get a quick post in before the festivities commence.

As you may or may not know I have been working days in order to have some sort of normal relationship with my partner, Jane. It takes twice as long to earn the money I need but means I get to spend the evenings with her watching TV and canoodling and what not. Last Friday she was set to visit her family in Suffolk when it started snowing quite heavily. She got into a panic about the thought of possibly getting stuck in her car overnight, as has happened to quite a few motorists recently. I decided I’d go with her just in case and return the next day on the train. The snow stopped as soon as it started but I went anyway and we had a nice time that evening taking in a movie (Unstoppable with Denzel…..very entertaining indeed) at the local multiplex. I returned on the train the following day but was only able to travel to Stratford as Liverpool Street Station was closed. I took the tube to St Johns Wood and as I exited the station I walked into a blizzard. Luckily I had all the right winter clothing on and the half hour walk to mine was quite enjoyable. The snow settled and is only just melting now 5 days later.

The upshot of this tale is that since then I have returned to working evenings / nights and I forgot how many arseholes are out there. Last night I saw a guy flagging me down in the distance and I prepared to stop but as I got nearer I saw his plastered girlfriend sitting unladylike on the wet pavement so I drove on by, as had many other cabs I’m sure. The pissed off guy threw what I could only assume was a stone which cracked off one of my nearside windows but failing to break the glass. I never bothered stopping but put a tweet out warning my colleagues.

On a more pleasant note I picked three guys up in town and dropped them off at various destinations including Clapham, Wandsworth and finally Roehampton. The last guy started chatting to me about where he used to live in Pimlico and it turns out he knows all my old pals from the neighbourhood. I used to live there until 1976 then moved away but continued seeing my pals at school and for a short few years after. Then, as often happens, we drifted apart but I recently met up with a few of them after tracing them on Friends Reunited. Anyhow, we had a great half hour reminiscing about the old days and then parted company in Roehampton to promises of meeting up one day in the neighbourhood pub The Pride of Pimlico. I doubt it will happen but who knows?

The work was a bit thin on the ground last night when I ventured onto the rank at Victoria Station. A young lady came out asking if I’d take her out to Romford and how much would it be. I told her about £70 to which she said that’s how much she had on her so I said that would be enough. We set off and I started messing about with my satnav. Seeing me do this she offered her postcode. I entered it and found that it was the far side of Romford; in fact it was Harold Hill and would probably be more money. It was a nice clear run up the A12 and I was there in about 35 minutes. As I was doing the last few lefts and rights to her road a deer crossed my path, which surprised and startled me. The girl in the back said it had probably wandered out of the nearby park. The fare hit £83 as I arrived at hers and I prepared to get the £70 we agreed but she gave me the full amount, which gave me my target for the night. The drive home was uneventful but I was tweeting and checking in on Facebook the whole way

I have now been driving my new TX4 for a few weeks. Overall it’s a great cab, as any new vehicle should be but there are two faults starting to niggle me and will need attention in the New Year. One is that the rear off side door doesn’t lock. I’ve had this problem with other cabs and it isn’t a big job but it will need to go to M&O (main dealers) to get put right. As will the second problem, which is that the right channel on the stereo isn’t working. Not a big deal to some people but being brand new it should work. It’s also supposed to be a DAB radio but I can’t seem to get it to scan for stations (it’s a JVC) so FM has to suffice.

Well, I’ve just been down to my local Sainsbury’s to get part of the shopping for Christmas. There’s stuff everywhere and I have little or no space to store anything. Luckily it’s colder outside than my fridge and it’s likely to remain so for a few days so I can store stuff out there with out anything spoiling.

All that remains is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year 2011.

Take care out there and wrap up warm.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Arise The Shard

We've had a right old time here in London. What with the cold weather, tuition fee protests and Charles and Camilla being set upon by a bunch of yobs in Regent Street its a small wonder anyone wants to come here at all.
I drove round Parliament Square the day after the protests and was disgusted at the damage I witnessed. All the traditional type phoneboxes were devoid of any panes of glass. All the lower windows of the treasury were boarded up. There was grafitti everywhere and once again poor old Winston Churchill had been defaced. Absolute animals!!

London and Europe's soon to be tallest building is coming along nicely.

The Shard Of Glass as it will be known has yet to top out but is already taller than the previous tallest building at Canada Square in Canary Wharf, East London. Check out Shard London Bridge on Wikipedia.

Well I'm sitting on the rank at the Cumberland Hotel typing this and the Twitter cabbies are saying this is the busiest week before Christmas. I've done 2 jobs in 3 hours so where's all the work?

I am now driving a brand new 60 plate TX4 Elegance. A very nice cab. One complaint......the right chanel on the stereo isn't working so i'll have to have a word when I go up to pay later on. I also can't get the DAB to work so any ideas welcome. Its a JVC fitted to all new cabs and it doesn't seem to scan for stations.

Finally at the front of the queue so should be away soon.
Regents Park Mosque. Oh well.

Check soon for more rivetting posts.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Brrrrrrr!!!!!!! It's Cold

Hi folks

These last few weeks have seen the return (with a vengeance) of the cold and icy weather that winter brings with it. We woke to snow just before the weekend and as usual London ground to a halt. It didn't really affect Central London too much as the gritter lorries had been out and done a good job but the side roads were treacherous every where and anywhere with a slight incline was a no-go area as it's very easy to get stuck.

The cab I am at present using has what I would describe as a crappy heater. The guv'nor at the garage told me that the thermostat had been removed as the previous driver had complained about it being too hot in the summer. Hello!! Its now winter!! Why couldn't he have put it back? The result is that the temperature gauge barely rises resulting in luke warm air at best. Ever the DIY enthusiast, I found a suitable piece of board and wedged it between the radiator and another smaller rad, probably the oil cooler, and low and behold I have heat!! It certainly makes all the difference and my passengers are kept warm and happy to boot!

I will nowadays be found using the rank at St John's Wood Station. Gone are the days of sitting on South Kensington as that whole area is a nightmare during the day. From SJWR (as I call it in my notes) I have gotten jobs all over the place and it's much easier to get from A to B from there.

I picked up a lady yesterday who asked to be taken to York Gate, Regents Park where I would have to wait for her whilst she crossed Marylebone Road disappeared down some alley behind the church, got me worried whether she was coming back (which I'm pleased to say she did) and then bring her back to SJWR. All the way there and back she was telling me of a stalker friend of hers that she'd once helped out by letting her live with her for a year whilst she had some problems and now couldn't get rid of her to the point where it was making her life a misery and put her on anti-depressants. She even started getting emotional whilst telling me and I tried to offer her some pearls of wisdom I'd gleaned from 20 years of talking bollocks to my punters. I think it helped her see things a bit more philosophically and she thanked me for listening and talking to her, gave me a five pound tip and went on her merry way.

I now stop for a bite to eat with the other Chris, aka @Silvercabby on Twitter whilst my other mate Chris aka @Titaniccabby continues on nights. We'll generally wait until we're near the Euston area and go for a bite to eat at the Double Six Cafe at 66 Eversholt street. In my opinion it's one of the better greasy spoons around and you can park for 45 minutes for £2 on the taxi bays in Phoenix Road.

Any way I better get out to work as I've only just popped back after dropping Jane at work and I'm losing the morning burst of work whilst sitting here typing this.

Catch you all later and remember to wrap up warm.

Take care.