And so, to the weekend and my first Saturday working in the cab.
A bit of a slow start to the day. Managed to get up to town by about 9am, with no hands going out on the way in at all. Don't you just know that the one I'd get on the way in will take me back out again.
Of course, the A2 is much better on a Saturday morning without the levels of traffic and fewer accidents to hold things up. Headed for the Iron Lung just to shake off the cup of tea that comprised my breakfast, and to get a another cup in the cafe opposite. It should have been coffee to help me wake up after a long night out with the band on Friday.
Playing classic rock covers in pubs is OK, but when you look at the hours it takes to earn the small amount that you get paid as a band member, and the time that you get home, you sometimes wonder if it's worth it. It must be, I'm back out at Earl's in Maidstone tonight with the band. At least it's an early finish tonight.
After chatting a while with a knowledge boy I switched the light on and moved off in search of a first fare for the day. It was nearly an hour before I got my first job. Having driven up and down Oxford Street for a while I eventually got flagged by the concierge of The Kingsway Hall Hotel in Great Queen Street for a job to County Hall. No problems with the job except turning into a one way street (the wrong way). Luckily nothing was coming the other way, and I realised my mistake before making use of the cab's 25' turning circle and carrying on with my journey. Here's hoping it's not a junction monitored by CCTV, otherwise I can kiss goodbye to a chunk of my earnings and possible add 3 points to my (so far) clean driving licence. I guess that mistake proves how distracting it can be to be chatting while driving, even if it's to someone in the cab and not on the other end of a mobile.
After that first job, there was very little time without anyone in the cab, apart from when stuck in jams. Nobody is going to get into a cab in traffic when they could walk to the front of the queue quicker than they can do it in a vehicle.
Most of the work was arounf the West End, with a few short trips between Oxford Street and Covent Garden, out to Harrods, then a trip back to the Langham Hilton for a couple of New Zealand tourists. Of course the conversation turned to the Rugby World Cup final. The couple had been planning to go to Paris for the game, but gave up their tickets once New Zealand had been knocked out of the competition (It was brave of them to even consider buying a ticket if they were hoping to eee the Kiwis in the final).
More work out of Oxford Street, including a job to Crouch Hill, my first job taking me outside of the comfort of the centre of town. The passenger was a young lady who told me she had to be back by 4:30 because she was being picked up by a car to take her to some studios for a show. Since she said she'd be missing the rugby (a regular topic of conversation throughout the day) because she'd be working, I guess she'd be taking part in the show. I have no idea who she was, or what she'd be doing, but it was to be a chat show of some description. Suppose I'll never find out. Still, someone's only a celebrity to me if I recognise them. (I did recognise Chris Eubank's truck parked in a side street in Brompton. Someone told me it had been there for 2 days and had a ticket on it. Guess it's hard to get a wheel clamp that big.)
At least the traffic was moving nicely and the job didn't take too long. I even managed to get out of the area and back into town before the crowds started pouring out of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on Hornsey Road.
After a few more jobs in the West End I was asked to take a couple to Canary Wharf. Since it was getting towards 6 o clock I decided to head home for an evening in front of the box after that job to see England's glorious defeat at the hands of South Africa and a doubtful decision by and Australian television referee.
All it'll take now will be for Lewis Hamilton to spin off on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix to make it a week of English sportsmen getting so close but yet so far. (Not that I'll be able to watch the race since I'll be getting ready for the gig tonight.
I wonder if I can afford to employ a roadie to set up my gear for me. A few more weeks in the cab will see if that's the case.