Thursday, October 27, 2016

Here And There & There And Here!

Hi Folks
I came back to cabbing at the beginning of August and lasted till last week.

I had been doing my trucking work up in Ipswich quite enjoyably until I had a bit of a mishap with the truck doors (details can be found on the latest post of my trucking blog
Ever since that fateful day I received no more assignments from my agency. As the bank balance shrunk I panicked and came straight back to rent another cab.
The first few weeks were pretty good considering it was August but then it just became a hard slog as it has always been in the last few years. I was also having to find money for the weekly rental and the daily fuel. Also being back in the family home meant buying shopping daily, I don't do weekly big shops, so all in all I wasn't coming out on top money wise.
I do enjoy cabbing and it has given me a good living for the last 26 years but other circumstances have come in to play i.e. marriage and re-settlement so back I have gone to Suffolk.
I have already secured work for the next few weeks delivering plumbing supplies all over the East of England but my aim is to find a permanent job.
So, keep checking both blogs to see what scrapes I am still getting myself in to.
Take Care out there.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Future Posts As A Trucker

Hi Folks

I have started another blog for my trucking posts.

You can read them al here

Many thanks for the years of reading the London Cabby posts I will try and make these posts as interesting and eventful as possible. I will probably do both jobs periodically so if I'm not trucking I'll probably be cabbying so check both blogs.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm off again!

Hi folks
Back again!

Since last posting here my cab has had its annual overhaul. This involves an MOT Test first which normally highlights problems that will need to be rectified before the main test is carried out a day or two later. I found the MOT Fail certificate in the glove box which stated that the cab failed due to a broken coil spring and a faulty windscreen washer system. Both these problems as well as others were rectified and in all fairness the cab feels like its had quite a bit of tlc to get it passed and plated for another year.
One problem I have been having a lot recently is that after leaving the cab parked up for several days (5 days over Easter) the battery goes flat. A quick jump start with my son's Christmas present is normally enough to get it going again but today it refused to charge up. On closer inspection I could see that the earth strap was falling apart thereby failing to provide sufficient connection between the battery and the body of the cab. An RAC guy once showed me a way around that which was to clip the black jump lead onto the engine. She started up first time and I was soon on my way to the garage where they replaced the earth strap and topped up my steering fluid which is also leaking from the steering box.
The Easter holiday has had a negative effect on the work and two weeks on its still giving us cause for concern. I think its just a matter of time for me to finally give this job up for good. (2week gap since I wrote these words) In fact the work is practically non existent on the streets so unless you're prepared to wait for ages on the oversubscribed station and hotel ranks you may as well give up. Last week, for instance I totalled £450. Deduct my cab rent and diesel and theres not a lot left over for anything once I've paid a few bills. I've applied for a few jobs in Suffolk and am waiting to hear from them.
It's a crying shame whats happening to our trade and I cant see a way back for it with so much technology out there offering cheaper transport.
I guess my next post will relate to whatever job I manage to secure in Suffolk so I'll keep you posted.
Take care out there.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Things are looking up

Hi folks

We're now in week 5 of the new year and the work is slowly but surely picking up...not a lot, but still better than it was.

I have another cabbie mate called Chris whose taxi has just reached its 15 year limit. He's decided to rent from my garage and is now driving around in a similar liveried cab to mine. The garage owner buys old taxis for parts and has offered Chris a derisory amount to take the taxi off his hands. Chris has litterally just called me on his way to pay his cab rent to say he's gonna try and get a bit more for his cab so I might hear something before end of post.

My own cab continues to earn me my daily bread but its not without its faults. A few weeks ago I picked four guys up at Paddington and took them to the World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace. When I hit Highgate Hill the cab almost refused to climb it. It was extremely embarassing and the burning smells it was emmitting pretty toxic. The cab has since been de-coked but I've yet to take four people up Highgate Hill so we'll see how I get on.
Another problem the cab has is a loose connecton on the electric windows. I'm booked in to see the electrician next Wednesday but until then I have attached a piece of string around the wiring loom and have to pull it when the windows dont work. You couldn't make this stuff up!!

Just passed the Ecquadorian Embassy next door to Harrods where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up for the last three years evading capture. Lots of press gathered there. Perhaps he's had enough and is about to give himself up? A clip from says "LONDON – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will accept arrest by British police if a U.N. working group investigating his claims decides that the three years he has spent inside the Ecuadorean Embassy doesn’t amount to illegal detention."
So it could all be over pretty soon. Its been costing a small firtune to police that situation.

Chris just called me to say he's managed to get a few bob more for his old TX1 and payment will be in the form of three half weeks rent on the cab he now has so he's gone home relatively happy with that deal.

I have a diabetic review next week so I'm trying to abstain from eating too much crappy food before my blood test. I'm eating salads from Prêt à Manger and am trying to avoid carbs, which are like instant sugar to a diabetic.

So, another high profile death to add to those mentioned in my last post is the death of the much loved Sir Terry Wogan. He's just always been there for most people my age and by all account the nicest bloke you could ever meet. One of his last tv shows was called "Terry and Mason's Food Trip" where he drove to various places around Britain with London Cabbie Mason McQueen sampling the local cuisine and meeting loads of interesting people. RIP Terry.

So I'm sitting on the cab rank at London Zoo awaiting my next job. I think it's about time I got a decent fare!

Take care.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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.


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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