Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Shard

Hi folks!
We have light drizzly rain in town at the moment so hopefully I'll be busy.

I'm starting a bit later this week as Jane is housesitting till next week. As I've recently re-discovered that I like Star Trek it gives me the chance to start from the very beginning. I watched the first 10 episodes of "the original series" on Sunday and a few more last night. I've still got to get through all of "The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise plus all the films so i've plenty to be getting on with.

Last week my daughter was doing a four day nail course at the Jury's Hotel on Pentonville Rd so I was dropping her off and going straight round to Kings Cross Station to pick up my first job.

I hooked up with my mate Chris aka @titaniccabby in Lincoln's Inn Fields to give him back an ipod I had been restoring for him. It needed wiping clean of all old songs, a software upgrade and a reloading of all his favourites which I've had backed up on my hard drive for several years. He was mainly keen to know if I'd added all the Alan Parsons Project albums which I had. Now if he calls me on the phone you will hear APP music in the background.

The Shard, Europe's tallest skyscraper, which also happens to be in London, opened for business recently.

There's a viewing station near the top called The View which is all the rage and at £25 a pop it's the new in-place to be seen in. So it was only a matter of time before people needed to take cabs there. Now theres always a fear of the unknown in all aspects of life which also applies to cab drivers. When somebody asks for a destination we like to draw a certain amount of comfort from the knowledge that we know the place and how to set down at the right spot. So a couple with two teenage kids hail me in Old Bond Street and inevitably ask for The Shard. Now, I've seen that building go up since the foundations were laid, from a distance. All surrounding roads have been closed for ages and I've always given the area a wide berth to avoid getting bogged down in the chaotic traffic that building has caused. So now I have to get this family there and I have to look professional about it. I have at least 25-30 minutes to resort to my various gadgets and to phone a friend and find out where the drop off is. To make matters worse the route through Trafalgar Square is in gridlock. The older female passenger pipes up at 15.50pm that they need to be there at 4pm. I answered with "not a chance in hell love" which didn't go down too well. "Why not?" she practically bit my head off. "Because you've left it too late. The whole route to the shard is going to be solid." That just shows you how an already stressfull journey can become worse. They rang someone up to let them know they would be late and I was frantically waiting for somebody to get back to me on Twitter with drop off directions. The journey took a further 25 minutes as the whole route was saturated. Twitter eventually came through for me with instructions to drop in St Thomas St which was partially open to allow traffic to reach The Shard. They got there 15 minutes late and slightly flustered. The moral of this tale is to give yourself enough time when crossing town and don't snap at your cabby when you've got it wrong.

I wasn't doing particularly well during yesterdays shift when I decided to sit on the rank of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. After waiting 35 minutes the doorman called me over, placed a large case in the front and a large lady in the back and announced "Terminal 5 please driver". Well you could've knocked me down with a feather. I always thought that hotel was bent meaning you have to give the doorman money to get the nice jobs, something i've refused to do over the years. Well this job was mine fair and square so off we went. Traffic was bad. It seemed worse than normal. Something was afoot. I turned to Twitter, my new best friend, and it informed me that a truck had broken down on the M4 elevated section. The only alternative was the A4 but from what I could see it looked just as bad. Nothing for it but to maintain present course. Traffic crawls along. I've passed the point where I can take another route. Next she's banging on the window saying something about Terminal 5 and she's gonna be late. As the broken down truck appears everything becomes clear and so does the traffic. I sped past the truck and encountered no further obstructions on the remainder of the journey. On arrival at the airport the fare is a good £15 higher than it should be. I contemplate knocking something off but it wasn't my fault, so I don't. She hands over 2 fifty pound notes and I give her back 21 and another stressfull journey comes to an end. That concluded my shift yesterday.

It's now Wednesday morning and I have just watched 6 episodes of Original Star Trek and I'm bushed. I need to be out at work by 9am as I am getting new adverts later on and will have to pay the cab rent.

I'd just like to send my best wishes to Skippy Mom, a regular reader and commenter of this blog. She's had a tough time recently with illness and has recently had some good news so all the best to you Skippy Mom.
Well as I said I'm bushed so catch you all on the flip side.

Take Care



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SkippyMom said...

Hey LC, thank you. That's awfully nice of you. We sure are enjoying the good news. It was nice to share it with my friends, like you.

Wow, you had quite the week, didn't you with those two fares? I can imagine the ones we didn't hear about too. ::smiling:: The Shard is a gorgeous building. Neat it is right there by you, but I can only think what a hassle that is going to be if they don't figure out the traffic patterns, huh?

Star Trek brings back great memories of growing up. Remember when there wasn't any cable and only a few channels, so we watch every single thing that was on? Star Trek was my brother's favorite and I had to, by default, watch it with him as he was older, and bigger. Still, I get a kick out watching the original over and over again. Pretty cool.

Have a great weekend and I hope your sweetheart is home with you soon. Hugs and thanks again. Skip

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We visited the Shard a few weeks after it opened and all really enjoyed it. Our son has physical disabilities but we thought it would be easy from our station to London Bridge ( he doesn't use a wheelchair, but it had been 3 years since he'd got on a train).

Try and imagine getting him on and off a train with a massive gap inbetween platform and train!

We thought of a taxi home, but were too scared to ask what the cost would be in case we had to say No and slink away!

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