Working my way through January, I was beginning to wonder if the kipper season was just another "the game's dead" type comment from the old guard to discourage knowledge boys and girls from finishing.
Judging by February's work so far, it looks like it's not a mythical beast. It's quiet... very quiet.
Of course, it might be just the hours that i work that are giving me the grief, what with having to slide all the way up the A2 from the Medway Towns before even getting a sniff of a job, and then sliding all the way back down again for the afternoon school run. Hopefully a few longer days might give me a better insight as to how much work there really is. Perhaps I might even turn out for a few night shifts as well if it gets too quiet during the day.
The weather started to turn cold again with over zealous weathermen warning of blizzard-like conditions. Of course, the snow got nowhere near London, but it was great fun guessing which pedestrian's umbrella was going to be the next to turn inside out. And of course, cold weather means only one thing... that's right, the heater knob on the cab breaks off while switched to cold. Several customer complaints later and I'm back up at Nationwide getting it fixed. By fixed, I mean switched to permanently on! At least it's easy to open the window to cool things down.
Two gigs with Headlong at the weekend meant that I didn't do any cabbing. I really must think about changing priorities with the band and the cab. I still enjoy playing with the band, but I can feel it's starting to become a bit "samey", and the constant volume wars between the guitarist and the keyboard is annoying the arse off me. Let's see who can beat Spinal Tap and get to 12 tonight. Anyone in need of a bass player?
And so to this week's work. Nothing too testing for the grey matter, one or two into my grey areas (and I don't mean the hair growing at my temples) in north london, but the customers seemed happy on arrival. i have to admit to penning up a couple of lines when I got home though, wondering if I'd managed to take a wide line, but all looked as near as damn it "on-the-cotton".
No real daft jobs either, except perhaps for one bloke who during some delays on the trains out of Euston thought he'd get a cab to Birmingham International Airport.
"How much mate?" in his best Noddy Holder accent.
"It's gonna be at least £250" in my best Home Counties sales pitch.
"Bloimey mate, oi thought i'd be soomthing like £70".
"Only if you're going to 'eafrow".
He went back to wait for his train and i took a job to Marylebone instead.
Despite it being quiet and all the ranks at the Stations spilling over into the streets, there's some work out there. Just a case of finding somewhere to sit for a few minutes with the engine off instead of using diesel looking for a hand waving.
I'm beginning to like the O2 dome for first jobs of the day if the Blackwall Tunnel is busy. Occasionally jobs will take you into town so there's less dead mileage, but I had a nice one on Monday. The customer had travelled from UCH on the tube to North Greenwich tube having lost his keys, so he was going to the Queen Elizabeth hospital at Woolwich to pick up the spare set from his wife, before heading back to his house in South Kensington. We never made the whole journey though. With around £8 on the meter and not too far from QEH he gets a phone call from somebody at UCH to say they've found his keys in the changing room there. "Sorry cabbie, can we go back to The Dome"
"Of course sir!"
Two from the real world for the knowledge boys
Tea Building to Highbury Terrace
Guoman Tower Hotel to APT Nightclub ("Somewhere near Saint Paul's" - I didn't know where it was)