Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busted Mirror

Just almost flattened a cyclist at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Shirland Rd. He cut across me, realized he wasn't gonna make it the pulled out of the turn in time to whack my mirror. The glass fell out and smashed on the road, he came off the bike and my female passenger screamed. I U turned and went over to him and he apologized claiming he never saw me. How could you not see a great big black taxi?
My mirror casing was also broken but as we all know cyclists get away with murder and the garage gets to pick up the tab. I was on my way over to the garage anyway to pay the rent and get new ads ( Heathrow Shopping this time). I rang the owner en route so he could order me a new mirror but on closer inspection the whole casing had to be replaced. I waited at the garage whilst he took my cab to get the mirror at a cost of £86 to himself and drove away an hour later with everything intact.
I did a few jobs but the Central London traffic at the moment is horrendous so called it a day.
Back to my normal routine tomorrow.
One more fixed penalty to report. I was penalized for waiting in the zig-zagged area just before the begining of the taxi rank at Harrods. £65 less to spend at Chistmas.
Incase i go missing again heres wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

Take care out there.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Latest Door Ads

Hi folks

I've just left my taxi garage with new advertising on the doors. They have, in the past, given samples with whatever the ads refered to. So I was excited to see that the latest ads were about beer. I had visions of recieving a few cases of the stuff to hand out to my passengers (yeah right). No such luck today.

I parted with the weekly cab rent of £205 and had a chat with the owner, the mechanic and the two guys putting the new ads on.

I also got old Pete to change a blown yellow indicator bulb and i was good to go.

I started late today as i went up to Leeds yesterday with my son to watch the home game against Coventry City. The weather up north was absolutely freezing and was discussed with the nice couple as they served me and Danny our curry and chips.
After a visit to the club shop to get Danny the latest blue away strip we sat in the warmth of Janes car (she'd generously offered it up to me instead of driving the taxi all the way up there) until it was time to take our seats in the east stand for the game.
We led for most of the game but threw it all away in the last few seconds of added time. You could hear the crowds exasperation as the goal went in and an immediate exodus was sparked. Oh well, thats football for you.

I'm now sitting on the rank at St Johns Wood hoping for a decent job. I'll let you know what I got later.

Take care y'all


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Acacia Rd,Paddington,United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm sort of engaged!!

Hi folks

Since the last post I’ve had a few days away in Spain with Jane and my Mum and I also proposed to Jane to which she answered yes and the nuptials are now pending for some time in the future, probably 2013.

Me and Jane

I still continue to receive fixed penalty notices and have another 3 to add to the last 3 I received.

One was for driving through the bus only lane from Clifton Road onto Maida Vale, something I’ve been doing for years and years but now they have these little mobile scumbags that sit in their little cars unassumingly pointing their cameras at whoever is up to no good.

The second one was for not paying for a ticket to park in Iceland’s car park up in Kingsbury whilst buying stuff for my daughters 21st birthday party.

The final one was in Valencia, Spain. I parked the Hyundai hire car in a controlled street, paid a few euros for the ticket, placed it on the dash and walked away. When I returned a few hours later there was a penalty notice under my wiper. The ticket on the dash had some how flipped over rendering it unviewable. I’d also managed to leave the drivers window completely open so the parking attendant could have, if he’d felt charitable, reached in and turned it back over. Come to think of it, it may have been him who flipped it over thus guaranteeing his commission. In fact I’m convinced of that now as I always make a point of checking that the breeze from a slammed door doesn’t flip the ticket over. The bastard!!!

The front brakes on the cab had started grinding recently so I had to find time to get them looked at. This took about a month in which time the noise had become quite disturbing. When Old Pete the Greek mechanic at my garage finally removed the off-side wheel and peered down between the callipers he exclaimed in his Greek accent “Holy shit, there’s nothing left. Metal to metal!!” There was indeed nothing left of the brake linings and only the base of the pad remained. The discs were also pretty badly scored and Pete said they’d need to be changed on the next service. Funnily enough the nearside wheel, which has the low brake-warning sensor, had plenty of meat left on its brake pads so if I’d have waited for the warning light to appear on the dash well…I’d still be waiting.

Work has now returned to normal and as I’m still working days I’m able to earn my money between the hours of 8am and 5pm. I drop Jane at work every morning then drive round to the Cab rank at St John’s Wood where I hope to pick up my first fare in minutes. Working from the same place everyday inevitably means that you will pick up the same people from time to time. Today I picked up, for the seventh or eighth time, a young lad of around 15 who goes to Westminster School next to Westminster Abbey by cab every day. I know he takes a cab every day as he may often get into the cab in front of mine, if not mine. The fare is approximately £14 making it around £70 per week he spends and that’s providing he doesn’t take a cab home as well. His parents are obviously well to do. Good luck to the guy, I’ve never spoke more than a few words to him but he’s very polite and well mannered and always tells me to have a nice day. I’m yet to get a tip off him but who cares?

The Taxi rank I start at is opposite St Johns Wood Underground Station. Attached to the station is The Beatles Café where one can buy a selection of coffees and pastries while perusing a large collection of Beatles memorabilia and also be directed nearby to the famous Abbey Road Studios to be photographed on the world famous Zebra Crossing.

Talking of The Beatles it was nice to see Paul McCartney has tied the knot again for the third and hopefully final time. I doubt whether Nancy Shevell will be at all bothered by Maccas Millions as she has a few mill of her own. Anyway, what I was leading up to was that Maccas house is only two streets away from where I start my shift every day. Apparently he’s owned it for forty odd years and wrote some of his biggest hits there at number 7 Cavendish Avenue. I drove past it the day after the wedding and the clear up was under way with various vans and vehicles loading up and taking away all the seats and tables and other stuff needed to entertain the guests. I read that his neighbours had complained about noise on the night of the party. What a sad bunch!!!! After the crap he’s had to deal with in recent years you’d think they’d have wished him luck instead of complaining.

Anyhoo, I’d better get to bed as Jane is tutting beside me as she wants to go to sleep.

Take Care


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sick Britain

Hi folks

In spite of the riots gripping the country I have managed to avoid getting into any sort of trouble and my cab remains untouched.
It’s been terrible to see the events of the last three or four days where rioting and looting have taken a hold in some of our major cities.
Our Prime Minister has labelled these people as sick and I have to agree with him.
The most sickening thing I’ve seen (on TV) was the young Malaysian student who lay injured with a broken jaw and a bunch of rioters looked as if they were going to help him but instead they robbed him of his phone and wallet. There’s no hope left in this world, I truly despair sometimes.

I have had a bad week work wise. Being August the work has dried up and there are thousands of us driving around looking for the same work. If you can’t get on a rank then you’re going to find it difficult to make any money. On top of all that I have managed to receive a record (for me) three fixed penalties in the same week. My taxi proprietor keeps ringing me with the words “sorry mate there’s another one”. The first one was for stopping in the box junction on New Kings Road on the junction with Bagleys Lane. £65. The second one was for another box junction offence exiting Berkeley Street onto Piccadilly. Another £65. The third one I just found out about today but the garage owner said it was for stopping on zigzags and the only one I can think of is the one on Gillingham Street whilst trying to get on the cab rank for Victoria. Another £65 making the grand total of £195 I will have paid out this week. Not acceptable by any standards. To add insult to injury the cab owner rang me up and told me the weekly rent would have to go up by £10 as the insurance premiums have been increased by 60%. I should be angry but I haven’t got the energy.

Another negative thing that happened to me recently was when I was asked by a passenger if I accepted credit cards, as he never had any cash on him. I said I did and off we went from Euston to Barbican. On arrival he produced the card, I processed it but nothing happened. We tried two other cards but nothing happened with them either. I ended up letting him walk away with £12 on the meter. On closer inspection I noticed there was no provider logo (Vodafone) on the display so I simply turned it off and on again, the logo appeared and I did a test job for a pound with my own card and voila it worked!! You live and learn.

I did have one nice job in the midst of all this despair.
I was on point at Victoria Station when an elderly American couple approached me with a bit of paper. I get all excited when I see a bit of paper because there could be anything written on it. More often than not it’s a hotel not a million miles away but on this occasion it was the Hilton London Dartford Bridge. “You do know this is outside London” I said to them. “Oh no it’s in London” they assure me. There was a DA postcode on the paper and I assured them it was outside London and the fare would be in the region of £90 to £100. They had a little think, people were going round them to the cabs behind and I was worried that they’d change their mind and seek alternative accommodation but they eventually acquiesced and we set off towards the A2 and the County of Kent. Being a big job I quickly removed the “Credit Cards Accepted” sign so as to make sure they paid cash, which they did.

We are now in the month of Ramadan and I’m expecting the work to slow down even more than it already has. Who’d be a cab driver in London?

Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat. Until then be good to each other.

Take Care.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Michael "Mick" Brown 1945 - 2011

Mick Brown & his guitar

It Is with much sadness that I open this latest post with the sad news that my father-in-law Michael “Mick” Brown sadly passed away on Tuesday the 19th of July after a short battle with cancer. The speed of his passing from diagnosis to death was truly frightening and if any of you have any niggling complaints (as he had for several months) then I urge you to see your doctors and get it checked out.

I met Mick in 1981 when my girlfriend and later my wife took me home to meet the parents. Mick was having a kip on the settee. He was a big man and was often compared to Giant Haystacks, the British Wrestler of the 70’s and 80’s. He looked like him too in those days as he used to sport a full beard and moustache. As he awoke to see who had disturbed him I got a bit worried as he had a bit of a reputation as a hard man down at the pub. I needn’t have been concerned as it turned out because he was one of the nicest guys you’re ever likely to meet anywhere. We became friends and used to go out drinking together and often got into scrapes. Being a builder he would often need a labourer and I helped him out on several jobs and got well paid.

Mick & Jan

Mick loved cars and was always buying second hand ones, doing them up, putting engines in etc. One Ford Granada he bought gave him quite a bit of trouble and we went through three or four second-hand engines and gearboxes before he was satisfied with the results, often working on it well into the night and being supplied with a constant flow of tea and sandwiches from my mother-in-law and his beloved wife Jan.

As all the grandchildren started arriving it was plain to see he was a natural as a grandad. He loved nothing more than to be surrounded by them all and he used to tell them stories, draw them pictures and sing them songs often with his guitar.

Grandad Mick

The game of darts has been a big part of our lives in recent years and I along with my two sons have been members of several teams along with Mick and Jan and we have travelled all over London to compete against other teams. Mick took it so seriously that if he ever performed badly he would snap his darts in front of everyone, throw them on the floor in disgust and vow never to play again. He was always there the following week with a brand new set of darts stating that the new darts were going to make all the difference. Sometimes they did sometimes they didn’t but we did manage to pick up a few trophies along the way.

Mick "chalking"

In recent years the business of day to day living and earning a crust has meant I never spent as much time with him as I would have liked and I regret that now. But you can’t turn the clock back and I have to cherish the memories I have of him.

He was larger than life in every way and one of life’s great characters and I will really miss him. God bless him and may he rest in peace.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Royal Wedding

Hi folks

I felt prompted to do another post since it’s been almost a few weeks and also because GBCINTHEVITO, a fellow cabbie and Tweeter, indicated that he enjoys my posts.

At this point I have just leaned back on the bed to think of my next sentence and have put my hand on something wet. Cats piss!! She’s never done that before but then again we haven’t had her long. I now have to change the sheets and dry the mattress. Luckily Jane isn’t here till the 13th as she’s away in Cornwall working so I can sleep on her side for a few days. This is exactly why I didn’t want pets as at some point in their lives they’ll piss and shit all over the place. I’ve got the hump now and will have to leave this for a bit. Later.

(Some time later after calming down and eating a Tesco Paella and a coffee)

As everyone will no doubt be aware, the Friday just gone was The Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. I have to say I am a bit of a Royalist and thoroughly enjoyed the coverage. It was quite an emotional occasion and although I am but a mere peasant I felt really happy for the couple and even had to dab a bit of moisture from my right eye, probably caused by a fly or something :o)
The trip from Buck House to Clarence House in the Aston Martin was also a nice touch.
The fly past was a bit disappointing. It would have been nice to see a Vulcan bomber and a lot more jets from all eras, as it was we had to settle for a handful of planes old and new.

For my second job tonight I picked up X Factor winner Matt Cardle and his current girlfriend Sarah Robinson who was a dancer in the show according to Google. It was a fairly long ride and he took telephone calls from several people and spoke about his forthcoming single and album due around September time. When we arrived at Shoreditch House there were a lot of people queuing to get in and he asked me to drive past. He was wearing that silly hat and some thick-rimmed glasses and to be honest I doubt many people would’ve recognized him but he got out several yards past all the crowds and paid me. Meter fare was £27.80 and Matty Lad gave me £28 in notes and coins. It’s good to see that all that success hasn’t gone to his head and he still knows the value of a pound note.

Being a Mayday Bank Holiday weekend the Sunday often replaces the Saturday as the night everyone goes clubbing. I was kept extremely busy for around 6 hours and took a decent amount of money.

One of the last jobs of the night took me from Kensington High Street to Homerton. What an ignorant pair of A-holes these two turned out to be. All the way there quibbling about the route and how it would’ve been cheaper to go another way and that I was ripping them off. It makes me so mad sometimes but I think I’m mellowing with age because a few years ago it would have been handbrake on and “OUT!!”

Several years ago I blogged about a row I had with a beggar. He’d called me a few names when I refused to give him any money and as I had a passenger on board I went looking for him after dropping off. We had a mildly violent altercation, which was broken up by a few people on the cab rank at South Kensington Station. I never saw him again after that until a few days ago whilst dieseling up at the Old Brompton Road Shell garage. I never knew it was him at first but after I again refused to give him any money he started with the insults and we were soon trading insults of the most terrible kind. I told him to get a job; he said he had one…begging!! It went on for several minutes and the other patrons in the garage looked on in disgust at the language used by both of us and in some cases awe that someone could do what they didn’t have the bottle to do. It got to a point where there was nothing more to say, every possible insult had been traded and we parted company once again. At least this time I never manhandled him. Muppet!!

Anyway, I hope the work will now return to normal after a very quiet few weeks.

Take Care.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To bilk- 1: to block the free development of, 2: to cheat out of something valuable, 3: to slip away from

Hi Folks, back again.

Since my last post I’ve had a few episodes with passengers that need to be discussed.

For the last few weeks there have been road works on a major South London traffic system called The Elephant & Castle. I first found out about them whilst doing a job from Clapham High Street all the way up to Clapton in the north. On that occasion I informed the passenger that it would be best to detour, he agreed and I started a series of lefts and rights, which even amazed me. I got him out of having to lose at least 30 minutes of his life by sitting in solid traffic. He was happy, I didn’t get stressed and all was well as we proceeded on our way. My efforts were rewarded at the destination with a nice tip on top of the already nice fare.
A few days later I picked up two ladies in Great Portland Street who asked to be taken to East Dulwich. Straight away my mind was calculating the route, which, inevitably, would take me through the Elephant again. Were the works still going on? Would it be as bad as the other day or even worse? Being a Twitter user and following loads of fellow cabbies I decided to tweet the question as I still had time to get an answer. As sometimes happens the answers never come back in time and as I approached London Road I could see it was still chaos down there. At that point I should have veered left into Borough Road and made my way via Harper, Old Kent, East Street, Albany Road etc. Instead I entered London Road with all the other traffic and stewed…..and stewed. The two girls in the back were chatting away oblivious to what lay ahead. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes later that they realised we hadn’t travelled very far that they started murmuring to each other. As we neared the bottom of London Road I took it upon myself to take the left into Newington Causeway. “Where are we going?” piped up one of them. “I’m gonna go down Harper Road and Old Kent Road” Says I. “The traffic there is a nightmare because of the road works”. “OK” she replies. Harper Road was clear as was Old Kent Road, East Street and Thurlow Road. As I took the right into Albany Road it came to a grinding halt. A completely different set of road works with temporary traffic lights thrown in for good measure. 15 minutes later and we’re still there and the stress is building. They are now whispering to each other, something along the lines of that I was taking them on a massive detour to get to where they would have already gotten to had I stayed at the elephant. I took the opportunity to butt in to their whisperings and the girl who’d piped up earlier took my butting in as her opportunity to start telling me it would have been quicker (and cheaper) to come via the Elephant and Walworth Road. I told myself not to lose my cool as it would be counter productive and we embarked on a very gentle exchange of words with her the more heated one. She seemed to totally not understand the fact that had we stayed at The Elephant we would still be there now and also failed to understand that it wasn’t me who’d placed these other road works here. You just can’t reason with some people. I eventually got through the road works and the remainder of the journey was effortless. Once you’ve had crossed words with a passenger there is a bad atmosphere until they get out. Eye contact is minimal or non-existent and then you wonder if they’re going to start up the argument at the destination, often looking for you to knock a few quid off the fare. The eye contact was non-existent but lucky for her she never asked for a discount, as she would have been sorely disappointed. I don’t like having my routes questioned as I feel I know best and on this occasion I did what any other cab driver would have done and I would do the same again tonight if I get a similar job.

Last Saturday was extremely busy. I took my money plus half again in 8 hours, something I haven’t done in quite a while. Most of the jobs were people going out to bars and clubs and later on those same people coming out of the bars and clubs much worse off than when they went in. It’s part and parcel of working nights that you pick up the drunks and have to put up with their antics. Sometimes you refuse to pick them up by locking the doors and driving away. Other times you pick them up, take a bit of abuse then throw them out. Sometimes you pick them up, take them all the way home then get abused and questioned about the route but you always get paid because no drunk leaves the cab without paying. I’ve locked them doors and driven like a madman, slamming on my brakes and throwing the passenger who refuses to pay about the cab, they generally always pay unless circumstances beyond my control dictate otherwise.
Like the time I was on my way home and an Australian guy flagged me down in Lisson Grove and asked for Earls Court. All the way there he was chatting to me about life in general, and was I a body builder (yeah right!!) and other such nonsense to make me think he was a good guy. He directed me down a dead end street called Mornington Avenue. It was a tight street and I had to keep to my right to let him get out on the left, effectively boxing myself in, which he obviously knew about. He exited the cab and ran up some stairs, which led on to West Cromwell Road and was gone as was my fare.
Then there were the two guys I picked up in Shirland Road who asked for Burnt Oak. Again, chatting all the way there even asking me for a light for their cigarettes. They led me down another dead end street behind some garages got out of the cab and legged it along with my £14 fare (about £30 in today’s money as that one happened around 1992.)
Another bilker I had hailed me down at Victoria. As he approached the cab he made a point of counting some money he had in his shirt pocket to show me he had some on him. He asked to be taken to an address in North Kensington where he would pop into a house then return to carry on the journey to St Charles Hospital. Needless to say he never returned having taken another route to avoid me seeing him. More lost money.

I’ve got better over the years spotting the potential bilkers (non payers) but occasionally get caught out. I’m only human after all.

Just a quick Chris update. After a few years driving his own Mercedes Vito Taxi he has decided to sell it and go back to renting. He is currently renting an old W registration TX1 from the same garage as me with a view to getting the garage owner to buy him a brand new TX4.
A few nights ago I was on the phone to him. I was ranking at Victoria Station and he was ranking at Quagalinos Restaurant in St James's. As his passenger came out of the restaurant he went to statr the engine and the battery was flat. As this is a family blog I won't write down what he said but the air turned blue and even the poor passenger felt his wrath after asking why Chris wouldn't be able to take him. Hearing all this on the phone I decided to pull off the rank at Victoria and make my way there. He had jump leads and after several attemps we managed to start the cab. Several warning lights were alight on the dashboard and it was obvious a major electrical problem was happening so he decided to call it a night and sort the problem the following day. He now has a replacement cab and managed a trouble-free shift with me last night. We stopped for some food in Ladbroke Grove then continued our shifts. After a sub-standard shift I finished £15 ahead of him but still £50 les than I would've liked. Let's see what happens tonight!

Take care out there.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Perfume Ads, Wrong Ways and WiFi Dongles

Hi folks I'm still around just not alot happening. Nothing going on but the rent as that song title suggests, it's all pay pay pay these days.

The weekly cab rent comes round so quickly and involves a trip to the new premises just off Camden Road. The new TX4 (Chinese Version) I am currently driving is going ok but it has a minor water leak somewhere which involves a weekly topup. I have had 3 sets of advertising on the cab since my Paris post. The second lot was a new Vivienne Westwood perfume called Naughty Alice and they gave me a great big bag of samples to hand out to passengers. I managed to hand out a few samples but most people wern't interested so the rest went to friends and family. It did attract quite a lot of attention and I was photographed by passers by at least four or five times a day. The lastest ads were put on yesterday and they are for a clothing store called The Kooples who have a few branches around town.

On the work front I have been flitting between days and nights again. I drop Jane at work every morning at 8am then sit on the rank at Acacia Road until I get a job, which sometimes can be half an hour wait.

The other morning a lady came up to me with a bit of paper and asks for St Chads Place in the Kings Cross area of town. For some unknown reason I went a totally different way to to what I would normally do and got myself into a whole heap of bother. Instead of Hanover Gate, Regents Park, Euston Road etc I went over the top of the park, thru Camden Town, Bayham Street then, the worst bit, I had to sit in Midland road for ages as Goodsway and Pancras Road have been shut for a good while. Well, she moaned and moaned and I had to fob her off with excuses. When I finally did the left into Euston Road I thought the rest of the journey would be ok. To get to St Chads Place you have to go round the one way system and back into Grays Inn Road via one of the small roads off Kings Cross Road. I chose the first one, Field Street, which looked doable on the map but it looked like a dead end when I got further into it. I think at this point she must have thought I hadn't a clue what I was doing ( she wasn't wrong, I was having an off day for sure). The final insult to this hurried woman was that I told her there was an alleyway at the end of Field Street and it would take her straight into St Chads Place. She paid me, ran up the road heading for the non-existant alleyway and I reversed out of Field Street at top speed before she could turn round and slag me off.

I have been experiencing problems with my credit card machine and after months of umming and ahhhing I contacted the company who provides it and got them to send me out a power pack. Now that it works correctly nobody is asking to pay by card. I have signs up in the cab but the 10% service charge must be scaring them off. It's still cheaper than queueing at an ATM but people don't seem to see it that way.

I have a new toy to tell you all about. I recently got a new iPhone4 (that's not the toy by the way) and the pay as you go chip and service plan only gives me 500megs of data, which doesn't last long if you like to stream radio like I do. So, I signed up this week to 3 Mobile's wireless dongle and it gives me 5gb's of data and I can use it on any pc or wifi enabled phone so all in all I'm quite pleased about that.

Talking of streaming radio I have been listening to Outlaw Radio with Magic Matt Alan and his Demons of Decadence. It's is a very non-politically correct radio station broadcasting from the hills of Encino California. It can get very rowdy on there and it's well worth a listen.

So that's all for now folks, hopefully I'll have something to tell you pretty soon.

Take Care.


Monday, January 31, 2011


Hi folks

this post is only slightly cabbie related in as much as this cabbie (moi) just spent the weekend with his fantastic girlfriend in Paris.

We left on Friday morning and were picked up at my house by my mate Chris aka titaniccabbie's brother. He dropped us at Saint Pancras railway station to take the Eurostar train to Paris. We had to check in in pretty much the same way as you would at the airport, well maybe not as severe. After a short wait in the departure lounge we boarded the train and were soon on our way. I was very impressed with the speed and smoothness of the journey. The time spent in the tunnel under the sea was about 20 to 25 minutes and the French country side on exit was pretty much the same as England. After another hour we reached the suburbs of Paris and were soon pulling into the Gare Du Nord. From there we boarded the metro (having previously purchased a book of 10 metro tickets on the Eurostar) and headed to the La Defense area in western Paris where we were staying at the Ibis Hotel. After checking in and getting our bags unpacked we set off for some sightseeing. We went straight to The Louvre and spent a few hours checking out the famous and not so famous paintings. If you're not particularly an art lover (like me) it can become a bit monotonous after a while so after only having really seen a quarter of what was on display we left for a bite to eat.

The Mona Lisa at The Louvre

We crossed the Seine via one of the many bridges and had a meal in a pretty non-descript restaurant on the Boulevard Saint Germain. We had French onion soup, Lasagne, crepes, diet coke, brandy and a coffee for the princely sum of €78 plus a few more Euros tip. That's a lot of money in my book for somethinng that would have cost half of that here in England. With a full belly we walked on to the Eiffel tower and marvelled at the fantastic awesome structure that has stood there for almost 150 years.

The Eiffel Tower
Later that evening we headed back to La Defense and sought out a shopping centre to buy some goodies to have at the hotel. There is an enoumous building there called the Grande Arch and next to it there are plenty of shops and a supermarket.

We bought enough food and snack items for a few days and left there with 2 carrier bags each. The distance back to the hotel was enough to warrant a taxi ride so we headed for the nearby taxi rank. Being a cabbie myself I know some guys get pissed off at local journeys but they still do the job. The first guy on the rank point blank refused to do it citing that he was busy waiting for someone. The next guy started to refuse as he said it was too short a journey and that we should walk but when I offered him €10 for what I thought would be a €5 journey he accepted. The route he took seemed a bit suspect as we passed our hotel on the left and headed in towards the Arc de Triomph and then back out again. The meter total was €9.20 but I gave him the €10 I had promised him. Needless to say after all the walking we'd done that day we slept soundly.

The following day we visited the beautifull Cathederal of Notre Dame. I'd wanted to come here for a long time and I wasn't disappointed. This is where "Gothic" was invented for sure!!

Notre Dame Cathederal

More walking followed and we ended up at The Bastille memorial where the French Revolution kicked off.

The next port of call was the Sacre Coeur Basillica in Montmartre. We took the funicular railway from the bottom to the top and entered the church where there was some sort of service in progress with a choir of nuns doing their thing.

The Sacre Coeur Basillica in Montmartre

There are lots of little winding streets behind the church with gift shops and restaurants and artists vying for your custom. After another major trek we made it to a Metro station and headed back to the hotel. Sunday morning was my birthday (49) and check out was to be at 12pm.

We took the metro to the Gare Du Nord and checked our bags into to a locker as we had 8 hours to kill. We had another expensive meal at another non-descipt restaurant then went walkabouts down the Rue La Fayette and Boulevard Haussman to L'Opera and Place Vendome where the Ritz Hotel is and into the Tuilieries gardens where we had a chocolate waffle and coffee. We bought a few souvenirs, took more pictures, crossed another bridge and picked the metro up at the Nationale Assemblie station back to the Gare Du Nord for the last time. The Eurostar took a bit longer on the journey back and for whatever reason wasn't as smooth a ride but it was nice to be back in London where Chris picked us up in his Mercedes Vito Taxi and took us home. So all in all a pleasant if pretty cold weekend spent in a lovely city other than London.
Back to work in a few hours.

Check back soon.

Take Care.


Saturday, January 08, 2011

Trying it on

Hi folks
I left my house around 8 yesterday hopefull that I'd make some money. As I ventured towards Paddington Station I felt it would be ok. The bridge was empty and I did the left onto the ramp which is fast becoming known to us Twitterers as PPH or Piss Pot Hill due to the fact that it stinks of piss. After a short wait I got off the mark with a job to south London. As I exited the station the guy informed me that he only had £22 on him and would that be enough to get him to Streatham. Now depending on which part he wanted it would definitely be more than £22 and probably nearer to £30. He said to stop when it hit £22 and he would walk the rest of the way. I couldn't help thinking he did this regularly and hoped the drivers goodwill would see him all the way home. I call it " being mugged off" and knew there was no way he was going a penny further than the money he had. All the way down there he was asking if I thought the £22 would get him home and I was answering we'll see. The meter hit £22 at Stockwell, a good few miles from his destination. Am I a charitable institution? Am I a soft touch? Was I in a giving vein this day? It was also raining quite profusely as I applied the handbrake and announced this was as far as I was going. He hesitated for a moment, thought about saying something then thought better of it and handed over the £22. he had a long walk in the rain ahead of him. He should've taken the bus as it would've been way cheaper and got him all the way home. Am I a miserable old git? I felt pangs of guilt but the thought that he regularly tried this on brushed that guilt away.

The rest of the shift panned out ok and apart from almost getting knocked (unpaid) by 2 drunk girls I made my money and was home and tucked up next to my partner by 3am. Oh the joys of being back on nights.

Take Care


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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy 2011

Hi folks
I'm using the mobile poster from my iphone again so it won't be too long a posting.

Happy New Year and all that jazz.

Well I think I've been caught out after so many recent days off. There's little to no work out here tonite and after six and a half hours I'm struggling to make my money.

Most of the jobs are short hops and ive been mainly working between South Kensington and Victoria. I think it will take at least another week before the work picks up.

The best job of the night was four guys from Victoria to Wharfedale Road round the back of Kings Cross which went twenty quid but all the others have been much less.

I stopped off at Earls Court earlier and treated myself to a meatball sub from Subway. I've switched from Subway melt recently and now I can't resist the meatballs. It's not doing my figure any favours and all my jeans are starting to tighten up but what can I do? A man has to eat!

I went to the cinema yesterday with my daughter to see "The Tourist". I didn't think much of it to be honest. I'm not a lover of Americans trying to do English accents, and vice versa for that matter so it just didn't provide me with the escapism I was seeking but I made up for it with a Hot Dog, some popcorn and a McD's afterwards. (more waistline stretching nourishment)

Anyhow, just thought I'd check in and do the New Year thing.

Watch out for more tales from my cab.

Take Care out there.


My sister is back posting again. Check out her blog This Is Real Life

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:South Kensington UK