No, i haven't joined the ranks of cabbie golfers, but after having some time doing nights and having days off for half term, I'm now back into the routine of going into work during the busy days, then having another one off to sort out the ironing and to avoid the closure of the Blackwall Tunnel.
The nights weren't as bad as I thought they might be. Conversations with some of the people who had been out drinking made me realise just why I don't drink any more. It's a lot easier to talk a load of crap while you're sober, instead of endlessly slurring a load of crap while you're drunk. don't think I could handle the hangovers any more, and I sure as hell couldn't afford to drink at the prices some places charge.
The nice thing about the nights is that if you do get a long run, at least the roads are a bit clearer for the long haul back into town for your next job. It seems that geography plays a part in where people will get, or want to get a cab. Doesn't seem to be many people heading into town so most of the work radiates outwards.
What I have noticed about nights is the number of people who say that another cabbie refused to take them. one couple even said that he drove off as soon as they gave their destination. Perhaps the driver who gave them the broom was a little more sensitive than I but neither passenger seemed drunk or aggressive, and the journey wasn't going to be more than 12 miles or more than an hour, so one can only assume that he didn't want to go in their direction. To be honest, neither did I, but i had stopped for them in the early hours of the morning, so I was obliged to take them.
It can feel like you're being washed out to sea when you're trying to get home, since every job seems to take you further and further away from where you want to go. A mate of mine has suggested that cab's be fitted with some sort of colour coded light to say which direction they are going in. That way, everyone's happy. more ranks could also be set up to allow people and cabbies to go in a certain direction and head for home instead of way out of their way.
It would also leave people feeling a bit better about cabbies if they aren't just refused for no apparent reason. Enough of that, or I'll have some of the old hands having a go at me.
A couple of Saturdays ago was a no-go day as far as the cab was concerned. I was playing bass guitar at a charity gig in the evening with a couple of old mates including Simon Pinto who now plays guitar with The Latch (with Lee Latchford Evans, formerly of Steps) was playing drums. a night of various rock and roll and other covers was attended by a couple of hundred people who helped to raise something over 3 grand towards Capital Radio's Help a London Child appeal. A lot of fun was had, and it was great to do some work other than the grind of Headlong (who will be appearing at O'Neil's in Blackheath on the first Sunday of each month if anyone's interested.
For the Knowledge boys and girls
Gibson Square really does exist in the real world and not just as a part of Run number 1 of the blue book. Sadly the job was only from Kings Cross and not Manor House Station, but it was nice to go back there after last visiting all those years ago.
A real world run from Sunday afternoon
Charing Cross Station to Palace Gates Road - pick that one out