In keeping with the nation's desire for a 5 week Easter holiday I've left it several weeks before writing again. not deliberately, just out of pure laziness.
Since my last update I've gone through the 6 month barrier since getting my badge and starting as a cabbie. I have to say that I'm still enjoying the job, but am still unable to get in as many hours as I'd like to. The customers are still pretty much OK, with occasional daftness, occasional rudeness and plenty of conversation.
One particular moment of daftness was the man who wanted to go from Whitehall to Tottenham Court Road. Nice easy run, but while he was on the phone I could overhear his conversation, questioning why someone was waiting for him at the airport when it clearly stated on his ticket that he wouldn't be arriving until the morning of the 19th. It wasn't until I pointed out to him that "today's the 19th", that he suddenly made lots of apologies and started struggling to find a number at Heathrow so that he could re-arrange his flight to Johannesburg. Thankfully the LTDA diary comes loaded with numbers for just about all the airlines to just about all destinations and I received a nice tip from the customer for this little bit of help.
The London Mayoral elections saw Boris Johnson win over all-comers, although it felt more like a vote to "get Ken out" rather than a "get Boris in" result. It'll be interesting to see if there are many changes now that Bo-Jo has made a mark in politics rather than as a bumbling, blustering TV presenter. The next four years will tell.
I finally got my cab running the way I liked it after 6 months, with little bits and pieces finally being put right over time. And then, like a comfortable pair of shoes something happens that means you have to say goodbye. I went in to pay my rent last week to see a scene reminiscent of the USA abandoning their embassy in South Vietnam with a small bonfire going on the forecourt and a shredder running pretty much non-stop.
"OK Kev, we need your rent and your cab. We're closing down the rental business." Luckily they'd arrange for all the drivers to be supplied by one of the other local firms with newer cabs. Unluckily, mine is a year newer, but has a rip in the driver's seat cover, a badly patched up hole in the driver's carpet, a clutch that slips for the first half mile, a steering system that makes more strange sounds than Tangerine Dream gig in a china shop, no mileometer or trip reading, several dents all over the bodywork, a windscreen wiper that only clears half the screen and an oil leak that is the REAL reason for Gordon Brown asking the Oil industry to increase production. Add to that the fact that the air-con system leaks and the heater is permanently on, and you can see why I'm getting it changed this Friday.
Rather than post a couple of months worth of updates in one go I'll try to filter them through over the next few days. Remind me to tell you about the trip to Chessington.