Thursday, May 31, 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Hi folks
I was just thinking how long it was since my last post and felt the urge to do another one.
Well the weather seems to have finally made its mind up and here in London we have been enjoying some record sunshine. Previously, we had been treated to two weeks of constant rain, which bought some relief to the beleaguered water companies, some of which have had to impose hosepipe bans.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is almost upon us and the final preparations are being put into place for this weekends festivities. What does that mean to us cabbies? Roads closed left right and centre. The main route from the Victoria area to the west end is via Buckingham Palace but the whole area has been shut now for almost two weeks. Traffic is now squeezed into smaller roads that can’t cope and the resulting chaos adds stress to an already stressful job.
I did a job from Paddington Station to the Haymarket Hotel on Monday. Normally a £12 ride. I pulled up at the hotel with £28.60 on the meter and she wasn’t a happy camper I can tell you but funnily enough I still got a tip!!
Back to the festivities and Sunday promises to be a difficult day for us as all the bridges across the Thames ( except Vauxhall Bridge so I’m reliably informed) will be closed to traffic from morning till night. So if someone gets in on The Strand and wants say Waterloo Station they’re going the long way round and will have to pay for the pleasure.
Jane and me plan to go into town on one of the days but I think we’ll take the tube.
Last time I spoke of the cab there were three or four major faults that would need to be sorted out under the warranty. I’m pleased to announce that they were indeed sorted and my cab now doesn’t emit any black smoke or have any leaks and runs like a dream.
The day after I got it back I dropped Jane at work and went to sit on St John’s Wood Rank to get my first job of the day. An American customer came to the window and asked to be taken to Merrill Lynch in Newgate Street. I told him to jump in and then watched him struggle to open the door. The handle came away in his hand and he handed it in to me through the window apologising for trashing my cab. I told him it wasn’t his fault but he would have to take the cab behind me. I pulled away and called my garage. The door handle would be another warranty job but it would make financial sense for the garage to buy the part and fit it themselves, which is exactly what they did. Anyway, I pulled out of the garage and drove towards Camden and another passenger flagged me down wanting to go into the centre, Piccadilly I think. I noticed that the door swung out more than it usually did and wondered if the safety strap had broken. When they got out I checked it and it had indeed become unstitched and would need fixing before a strong gust of wind doubled my door back on itself. Back at the garage they got the emergency kit out for fixing safety straps…….a tube of superglue and a stapler!!! I had to laugh. The old mechanic put a generous dollop of superglue on the strap, pressed the two pieces together and fired about five staple into it to finish the job. Sure enough it looked like a proper job. He opened and shut the door several times exclaiming, “job done!!” I drove away again and eventually trapped a job and guess what? It snapped as soon as they opened the door. I haven’t bothered to say anything as I’m waiting till I have to pay the cab rent next week but I’ll be interested to see what they attempt next.
I got an email today from Hailo. If you remember previous posts they are a company I subscribe to to get work. Well they said in the email that I’ve only been accepting 10% of the jobs offered to me and that wasn’t acceptable to them so they might have to cancel my subscription. What they don’t seem to realize is that most of the job offers are way too far away and are not viable if it’s busy on the streets. I’ve had some job offers up to 2.7 miles away!! They must be having a laugh if they think I’m gonna run for that.
Anyway check back soon for more riveting gossip from my world.
God Save The Queen!!!!!
Take Care.