I think Spring has finally arrived!! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the traffic is solid!!
I just had an old dear in the cab. I picked her up from the St Johns Wood rank and took her down to Great Peter Street in Westminster. Moan moan moan all the way. I shouldn't have gone this way I should've gone that way. I almost threw her out but I had too much on the meter.
You have to take these situations with a pinch of salt because not everyone is the ideal passenger. I tried explaining that all the routes in that direction were busy but she just talked over me. They tell you about people like that at the carriage office before they give you your badge and believe me you get them!!
Back in January I parked the cab on the rank outside Koko's in Camden and went into the Sainsbury's there to buy some food. I knew I shouldn't be on it at that time but took a chance. On exiting the shop with two bags of shopping I spotted a traffic warden by the cab so I hurried towards it. As I was getting in he uttered something about having issued the ticket to which I replied " you can stick your effing ticket" and speeding off before giving him a chance to put the ticket on my screen. I had forgotten all about it until I paid my cab rent last Friday. The owner told me I'd got a ticket and I could then see it was from the afore mentioned incident. It was at stage 3 of the process (£195) which would mean I would have to appeal on the grounds that I hadn't recieved the initial ticket. The garage was busy on Friday and advice on how to proceed was freely offered by drivers and mechanics alike. By the time I left the garage I had spoken to TFL (Transport for London) who had a report from the warden saying I had been abusive and had sworn at him and then driven off, not strictly correct but near enough. They told me I had the right to appeal and that's where I am at the moment after having put my case in writing. Watch this space!!
I picked a guy up earlier from Old St. "Do you want a really sweet ride?" he asked me in a strong and quite drunk Cockney accent. "Where to?" say I warily, imagining a trip out to the sticks. It was basically a little runaround ending up back at Old Street. As soon as we pulled off he started talking. He was a racist, he'd just lost his job, he was splitting from his wife (i'm not surprised), he almost became a London cabby, he knew all the routes to everywhere ( at this point he advised me he wouldn't have chosen the route I was in the process of driving), he loved to drink, he wanted to leave this country because it was going to the dogs (I agreed with him there) and basically he never stopped talking and we were only at the second stop on the runaround. I would describe him as Danny Dyer on speed.
He left the cab again to check in at the Mercure Hotel on Southwark Street offering me a deposit in case he never returned. He was gone 10 minutes then returned sporting a clean shirt. I thought I'd get a few questions in before he started rabbitting again. I asked him why he was staying at a hotel if he lived nearby to which he said he was persona non grata in his house on account of becoming an animal everytime he had a drink in him. He then asked me to find a shop where he could buy some cigarettes and I stopped by the Tesco on New Bridge Street ( under the red route camera!!) He returned with the cigs and a family size pack of Maltesers which he passed through the payment hole in my partition. I told him I shouldn't be eating stuff like that on account of me being Diabetic. This triggered a new topic of conversation whereby he informed he his dad was diabetic and since he found out he'd really tackled the disease head on by quitting smoking and going to the gym every day. "He ain't arf lost some weight my old man!!" he declared proudly and I humoured him some more. We were still ten minutes away from Old Street when he asked me to put some music on, preferably some Rod Stewart. I told him that my iPod had recently been stolen and I would have been able to oblige. "No problem mate have you got a connection?" He then selected the Bonnie Tyler classic "It's a heartache" sung by Rod himself and passed his iphone 5 through to me for connection. As the music blared out of the speakers he was bobbing about in the back singing along to the song "I effing love this song!!" he exclaimed. I couldn't wait to get the guy out as he was doing my head in.
We arrived at the Old St pub where the journey had started and he gave me thirty pounds for my trouble. I wished him luck in all his future endeavours and headed off at speed to collect Jane from work.
I made a Spanish omelette and grilled pork sausages for dinner tonight. I watched football with my son Michael and his mates then went up to keep Jane company. The whole time I was up there I could hear the microwave door opening and closing and the hum of it in motion. I just went down for a snack and found that all the omelette and hot dogs have been demolished by my kids leaving me nothing to snack on. Oh well! It's probably for the best.
Catch you all later.
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