Hello everybody, I hope you are all well and earning enough.
Well its been a while since my last visit and my promise to Steve that I’d post a bit more often!
A lot has changed since my last ramblings starting with my decision to buy a cab and stop renting.
This came about when my next door neighbour managed to park his van in the side of my rented cab. He came straight round and admitted it and offered to pay for the damage but after going back and forth between Hexagon and my neighbour for a week or so I decided that it if it was my cab I could have just taken it to my local body shop and it would have been repaired in a couple of days.
Now as I have said before I have had no complaints with renting from Hexagon, in fact I would go as far as saying that if I decided to sell my cab and start renting again I would be back with them straight away ( if Jason would have me back ).
My previous cabs were both bought from a now defunct garage in Dunbridge St that was run by a fella called Trevor. Now to say that he was your archetypal car sales man is an understatement, he made Delboy Trotter look like the pope and Boycie the arc angel Gabriel!
So it was with trepidation that I started looking around at cabs. I didn’t want a new one so I started looking around for second hand dealers and decided that it would either be Just Taxis or Ascotts. I looked at the websites for both garages and found the ideal cab in Just Taxis in Hackney.
So the next Monday Lyn and I jumped on a train to St Pancs, grabbed a cab to Richmond Rd and a couple of hours later we were the proud owners of a 57 plate TX4.
The cab is a great improvement on the tx2 and I wish that I had got one earlier. It hasn’t been all plain sailing though and there have been a couple of teething problems but they have been dealt with without any fuss and even a replacement gearbox was fitted, when the old one started to play up. This was all so different to our previous experiences with our last cabs!
Since my last visit here I have changed my working hours (again!) and I now start about 3.30 ish in the afternoon.
The reason for this change is purely selfish. The hours I used to work meant that I didn’t really see much of the daylight and it also meant that I “lost” part of my weekend as I tried to get back into a daytime living pattern.
The change has not improved my earnings, in fact I’m probably working longer hours but at least I did get to enjoy some of the glorious weather this summer. The other thing I have noticed working during the day is that the congestion charge doesn’t work! Some days the traffic is horrendous and is far worse than I remember it from when I last worked days.
I’m glad to say that I survived the Olympics and didn’t lose too much money but it certainly had an effect on my earnings and I for one breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over.
Talking of the Olympics I had an interesting job which involved a member of the judging committee for the tennis.
I was getting ready to go home one morning and decided to grab a cuppa and a bacon roll at the Smithfield café to see me on my way. As I finished my roll a well dressed fella, who had obviously had a drink, came up to the cab and asked me if I took credit cards. When I said I did he got in and asked to go to Putney Bridge. So off we went and as is normal he was asleep not long after we had set off.
When we arrived at Putney I had a bit of a job getting him to wake up but when I eventually did he decided that he was getting out without paying. Obviously I stopped him getting out and explained that he owed me some money and that he wouldn’t be going anywhere until I had it! After a bit of arguing, including him saying that I hadn’t picked him up in Smithfield but in Chelsea and I had ripped him off he eventually calmed down and decided that he was going to pay by card, which is what he wanted when he got in! Unfortunately his card wouldn’t work and no matter how hard we tried it just wouldn’t go so I suggested that we went to a cash point and got cash instead but he decided that as the card wouldn’t work I had to let him have the ride for free! Now that was never going to happen so after even more arguing, during which time he told me that he was supposed to be officiating at the Olympic tennis later that day, I took him to Fulham nick. When we got there he came with me into the station and we both explained what had happened to the desk officer who listened and then told the fella that he would have to go and get some cash from a cash point. So off we went back out of the police station only for the bloke to say that he was not going to get me any cash and was just going back to Putney.
Once again I went back into the police station and told the desk officer what had happened and she got on the radio and called up some troops. A couple of minutes later a car came around the corner containing 3 large policemen and a rather annoyed French tennis judge. They got out of the car and one officer came and asked me what had happened while the other 2 stayed with the fella. After I told him what had occurred he directed the Frenchman to the nearest ATM and said that we would wait for him to return. But the Frenchman decided that he was not going to do as suggested and told the assembled officers that he was going home, he also told them that he was very annoyed with his treatment and that he was going to report them to the Olympic authorities! This didn’t cut much ice with the police and after a short exchange, during which they made it quite clear what would happen to him if he didn’t do as requested, he toddled off to get my cash.
When he returned he wouldn’t give me the money and insisted in handing it over to the officer instead who then had to pass it on to me. While I was waiting for the fella to return with my cash I checked the back of the cab, which is something I do every day when I finish work, and found a wedding ring on the back seat. After a closer inspection I saw that it belonged to the French fella so I returned it via the same policeman who gave me my cash, petty I know but it gave me a smile.
Another thing that has changed in the last few months is my weight. I have lost over 4 stone since the new year and I still have a couple more to go until I reach my goal. This means no more bacon and cheese butties or sticky buns from the Smithfield café and I now try to find healthier places to eat. This has led me and Steve to try different places for refreshment over the last few weeks. So if any of you other cabbies out there can suggest a healthy and tasty place to try let us know.
My weight loss was inspired by an altercation with a motorcyclist and his female passenger last Christmas. I won’t go into the details as it would be boring but as a result of an argument he spat in my face which led to us having a “full and frank discussion” on Kings Cross Rd. Now I have always been able to look after myself and I didn’t let myself down this time, although I did discover that head butting a person wearing a crash helmet isn’t clever and also bloody hurts! but after it all calmed down I was knackered so when I got home I weighed myself for the first time in years and found that I was nearly 20 stone!!!!!!!!! Which is 6 stone more than when I started driving a cab 11 years ago. So then the diet began.
There have been many other strange and interesting jobs over the months since I have been on here, including one which involved an eastern European lady of the night who insisted in showing me that she wasn’t a natural blonde!
And I know that there will be more to come. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum and keep paying flying visits to keep you all up to date with the goings on in my working life.
That’s me done for now and I’ll be back soon with more from the world of Cabby Delboy.