Friday, January 22, 2016

A rainy Friday

You'd think rain would make it busy right? But as I sit here on the rank of the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington after having driven here all the way from Bloomsbury I'm starting to wonder. I go to Suffolk tonight to spend the weekend with my wife so a fruitfull day is always preferable.
Yesterday was a different story. Wherever I went I found work.
I started with a Hailo job from Maida Vale to the science museum. Harrods proved a happy hunting ground as long as you avoided the over zealous traffic warden trying to prevent us from over-ranking. To them "the kipper season" means nothing just an increase in taxis looking to illegally queue for work. A bit of sympathy for our plight wouldn't go amiss!
The V&A has also given me regular pick-ups. Strangely, more than half always want to go to Fortnum & Masons in Piccadilly....there must be an exhibit in the museum with a link to that iconic British store.
I grabbed a bite to eat at the Astral Cafe where I've known the owner Tony since his days at the Piccolo in Mayfair. I have one of the Astral melts with chicken escalope cheese gherkins tomatoes and mayo. Very nice indeed.

I recently ordered an android tv box to watch sport and films on it. My daughter texted to say the oackage had arrived so after work I had a new toy to play with. It took 3-4 houurs to set up but by 2am this morning it was up and running and ready for my viewing pleasure from Monday.
The only problem is I've only had 5 hours sleep and the effects are being felt as we speak 💤💤😲
Take care out there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A cold Wednesday in January

I've just been to pay the £200 rent on my taxi. I'm left with five £5 notes to my name after a particularly terrible week.

I left the garage in the Cricklewood area with my hire light on (well, half on, as one of the bulbs have fused!).
I drove as far as West End Lane where a dingaling sound from the phone indicated I had a job via the Hailo taxi app which I happily accepted. It was a couple and their baby going to the Royal Free Hospital. As I drove ahead the bright sunlight highlighted the fact that my windows needed a good cleaning with Mr Muscle.

From the hospital I have driven through Belsize Park, Chalk Farm, Camden, Primrose Hill and all the way to the taxi rank at St Johns Wood tube without getting anymore work.

I took a detour after Camden through Gloucester Crescent to look at number 23 which is the subject of the Alan Bennet story "The Lady In The Van". I was hoping to spot the blue plaque unveiled at the end of the film but it was no doubt fictional.

So, as I sit here awaiting a "dingaling" or a "walk up" and listening to Heaven must be missing an angel" on Smooth FM I wonder if fate has decreed a life of struggle for me and the missus.
It sure feels that way but we acknowledge there's people much worse off than us so we try and think positive.

4 deaths of note in the last month. Lemmy, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey. All have played a major part in my life and all gone way before their time. They will be sorely missed. May they all rest in peace.

Take care out there, its icy and cold.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Hi Folks

Happy New Year to you all!

Leading on from my last post where I was wondering where my one day of driving a 7.5 tonner would take me. Well I had to report to Magnus Group at Great Blakenham in Suffolk and I was told to take their Mitsubishi Cantor truck out for five pallet drops in and around London. The first drop was in Thurrock then onto Swanley. From there I had to drive up to Merton. The next destination was an industrial estate in Chessington where I had to deliver a racing cycle belonging to the MD of Magnus Group for some alterations. I was to wait for the alterations and then take the bike back to Suffolk with me so as it took about an hour so I went off in search of a burger van for my lunch. As I was on tachograph rules I had to watch my driving time. From Chessington I had to drive to Slough but there had been an accident on the M25 and my mandatory rest time was fast approaching. In fact I was due to stop for a 45 minute break as I sat at a complete standstill in the traffic so by the time I finally managed to get off at the next junction and find a suitable stopping place I was well over my time and liable for some sort of punishment, possibly in the form of a fixed penalty. After my drop off in Slough I had a final drop off in Waltham Abbey.  The drop off was a very muddy industrial estate where the fork lift truck couldn’t reach me.  The pallet I was delivering had some sort of air conditioning unit and several other boxes all shrink wrapped together and weighed at least a ton. The guy receiving the goods decided to drive a transit van round to the side of the lorry and handball the stuff off (remove manually bit by bit). Everything except the air conditioning unit was transferred to the van but the unit itself was way too heavy even for two of us so I had to call the office to see what needed to be done and they said to just bring it back. I set off for my 2 hour drive back to the yard. On arrival one of the office workers came running out asking if I had the boss’s bike and promptly took it. I had to report to the office to sign off and was questioned about the last delivery. They said they guy who’d helped me unload the pallet had called to say that there were parts missing and did I know anything about it. No I did not…and I didn’t care for this questioning as if I was responsible for some sort of pilfering. I left there with a nasty taste in my mouth.

My agency had informed me, previous to that 7.5 ton job, that I would have four days of work at UK Mail delivering parcels in the Newmarket area. I reported at 7am on the Tuesday morning to be told that I wasn’t required. I called my agency but there was no reply. I drove back home and called them a bit later to be told that there was some mix up but that they would get back to me with some work. That was on the sixth of October. I was fobbed off for the next few days and by Friday the ninth of October I had decided to ring up my old taxi garage to see if I could rent a cab for a few weeks. They had a cab available so I drove back to London and started work. I spent the next few weeks taxi driving, sleeping at my London home and returning to see Jane in Suffolk. The taxi I was using belonged to a guy on holiday so eventually he needed it back and there wasn’t a spare cab for me so I decided to go back to Suffolk to try the agency again. No work was offered so I signed up with another agency and waited for work. After another week of lounging around the house I’d had enough and rang a different taxi garage.  I’ve since  rented an 05 plate TX2 with an all over livery for £200 per week. Work has been pretty thin on the ground but I’ve scarped a living together and have managed to get home to see Jane twice a week.

Christmas has just been and gone and my first week back has been abysmal. Another week like the last and I’ll be in the poor house.

Take Care Out There