Who is this Jackcabnory......

London Cab Driver, part-time Singer, micro/macro blogger, runner and primary school teacher in the making.....

Monday, 25 February 2008

Buckingham Palace?

Did my first Saturday this weekend, and again an enjoyable experience. Started off at the London Eye and after a couple of mins got a family looking for "Buckingham Palace" (they even showed me the photo from their guidebook, in case in my panic I couldn't place a mental picture)

Oh yes says I, lovely - nice and easy to get rid of the everpresent butterflies before the first one of the day..... then a spin round back to Birdcage Walk where no.2 hailed me for "The Lion King" okey dokey, nice and easy - Ahh that is until we

a) wait 8mins for the Coldstream Guards to march from Guards Barracks over to Liz's house

b) take about 15 more to get as far as King Charles II Island (Trafalgar Square) - Cockspur St was shut due an "incident"

So, I tell them that it would be quicker for them to walk as although the meter was ticking over nicely, they had already expensed £14 for barely a mile!
Then my first job south, Westminster Bridge to Liberty St ( no I didn't know it either, it's off Cauldwell St for those interested). Then I was ready for a sarnie, so quick snack and then I decided to head west and avoid the still ongoing shenanigans in Trafalgar Square. Got a couple of jobs from Ken High St, one to Ladbroke Square (via pet shop in Abingdon Rd) and another to Powis Square. Then Pembridge Square to Ennismore Gardens..... back up to Kensington and got my first "Cashpoint on the way please...." which was Moscow Rd to Lamb & Flag Rose St. Then whilst taking an age to get out of Cranbourne St (whilst dying for the loo!) I got a couple of guys going to Regents Palace Hotel Sherwood St...... great! just in time to dump the cab on the stand in Glasshouse St and make that urgent pit-stop.... then a coffee to liven myself and a quick look at the musac in Zaavi Piccadilly.

Next on the list was group of 4 obviously down from the midlands if my accent detector is correct, they were off to Marriot Regents Park Hotel, so no great shakes there, straightforward enough. A wee job from Regents Park Rd - Englands Lane (they all count!) then back down to the West End, picked up some Danish folk from New Bond St to Notting Hill Gate and then I'm not sure what was inbetween, but I got hailed in St Martins Lane going to Blackfriars Rd and that was me for the day. Turned off and headed SE to my niece's birthday party.
A good day, great first week, managed to take enough to cover this weeks rental, which is the main thing, and will post my review of Wed-Fri eve's activity........
PS - interesting statistics revealed by TFL on the Cabwise text facility..... tell your friends!

Friday, 22 February 2008

The evening shift

Now that I've handed in my notice, I'm planning to work Wed-Fri eve's in the cab from work and get a feel for London town after dark.

First job after fueling up was Stamford St - Victoria Station, then had a Pimlico Rd to Charing Cross Rd, very nice chap - very interested in the journey to become a cabbie and we chewed the fat on how so many are miserable beggars!

Then my first celeb of the job, Trevor Sorbie - hairstylist to the masses! on his way home from his salon in Covent Garden, good luck in the Ready Steady Cook battle with Nicky Clarke!! Great guy, let's hope all people in a similar position are as grounded as himself.....

Then onto Chelsea for a Dr who was on her way to meet her sister at the Peacock Theatre for an Argentine Tango experience, sadly we didn't get there on time thanks to the traffic, I did my best leaving Cheltenham Terrrace at 7.05 for a 7.30 performance......

Then met up with a mutual COP (for the lay man - Call Over Partner, someone you go thru the long painful of knowledgeness to get where I am now) at the Astral Cafe in Horseferry Rd, which at 8.30 is Cabby central!! great chat and tips from some old hands!

Then off homewards, before being flagged in the Cut, Waterloo by a guy who for most of the journey I thought may kill me!!! turned out to be just really, REALLY inebriated, but hey ho you gotta get used to the folk who've had a bit of sauce!

So 2 days and still enjoying, tomorrow is my first Saturday experience, will let you know how it goes...................... toodle pip

Thursday, 21 February 2008

First day.....

So, with only mild intrepidation, I slung my shiny badge around my neck and got myself behind the wheel of the silver beauty (sounds romantic, indulge me just this once!) and off we go.

Now, in hindsight I shouln't have been surprised that things were a bit slow, I head in at 1pm on a Wednesday mid half term week.... so my first bite took a bit of time.

I'd just pulled away from the stand on Soutwark St when said 1st victim (fare) raises her hand.... "Mare St, Hackney pls" wonderful comforting words as anyone in our line of work will testify. So a lovely miander up Bishopsgate etc etc up to the Ocean venue (great to be able to swing round rather that um and arr about a bloomin TA). This is free I tell her, no can't have that says she, so £12 will be going to Gt Ormond St next time I'm up that way.

Then I get a group of 3 gents on their way from Kinglsand Rd to King St Covent Garden, swung back in Covent Garden and got a hand up to go from Wellington St to Coach & Horses PH in Greek St.

Then I had a mooch about, have this inate desire NOT to sit at a rank if at all possible, next trapping was Kings Rd to Gatwick Express (nice and easy) a Dutch couple in town on business for the day. Then grabbed another in Eaton Sq going to Claridges, Swedish guy who is on his way back to his land of birth today after 26yrs living here! had a nice chat and received £13 for a £6.40 fare - nice to get a reward for passing the time of day!

Managed to get a job almost immediately on New Bond St going up to St Johns Wood,Hall Rd to be exact, really nice American guy.

Then lastly a couple going from Weymouth St to Ebury St.....

All in all a great experience, only out for about 4hrs but plenty for the first day, and managed to take a reasonable amount. Out for my first evening session after my current day job finishes (only 7 weeks of both...)

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Job done....

Had the final appearance this morning, 4 runs no problems, probably the most comfortable one of the 15 I've had.... Then off to Starbucks for a sarnie and a read of the papers, then back for a chit chat on the trade tips etc. Finally off to LP for me new toy - baffled by all the nobs etc, not out today, will be out tomorrow and will post a first day on the job....

Oh well, last small mention is that as we mortgage with a certain bank, then it seems all you taxpayers are entitled to a front door key! queue politely!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Nearly D-day

Well, just under 12hrs or 1 more sleep as my mum would always say.... before my knowledge finals that is.... I'm more eager than Britney in tattoo parlour...... anyway am feeling a whole mixture of excitement/anxiety/nausea etc etc.....

Sadly though some idiot has gone and given the good trade a bad mark in it's preverbial copy book, see here for the sad story - hope they string him up and melt his badge down for something useful.

Well good luck to Inspect Gadget of the yard and Con, a friend of a friend who is also up tomorrow.

All being well I'll be posting some sort of celebratory tome here soon.

Back to nursing my poorly 5yr old with the pox! (chicken that is)

Monday, 11 February 2008

Disco Todd Rock

Had a good weekend, entertainment packed, that was after spending an hour waiting for the nice men at the breakers yard to liberate a seatbelt for me...... firstly went to to see a youth production of Disco Inferno at a local theatre..... great singing from all especially the two leads.

Then out for a nice quiet meal with my better half and then onto see Sweeney Todd, my first big screen musical experience..... being a lover of stage shows, I wasn't that keen on it, but thought what the heck! And loved it, Johnny Depp is quite brilliant, great voice and just captured the character exactly (did have flashbacks of the Ed Scissorhands a few times). Helena Bonham-Carter was good also - helps being Mrs Burton?!? - Timothy Spall/Alan Rickman great as the beadle/nasty judge respectively. An interesting "straight" appearance from Sacha Baron-Cohen as Adolfo Pirelli, interesting in a good way! Go see it, on the big screen if you can.....

Finished watching some Chris Rock DVD's borrowed from a friend as well - very funny, yes peppered with expletives, but what isn't. Very astute obsverations of life and great self-decpritating about the US of A!

Well, just about done for today, have 1 week til my finals up at the PCO..... can't wait, normal office life is really tedious now, keep having to stop my myself from saying/writing "I Don't Care Anymore" at every opportunity (nows there's a tune.....)

Tara for now

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

A Really Hard Job.....

Spoke today to a dear old friend who is just back from a 3month tour in Basra, thought it might be good to show the sleeping accomodation to demonstrate just what a bloody amazing thing it is they're doing. We should take our metaphorical hats to them, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the conflict, they're out there doing their job.

And if you reading this, it's great to have you back in blighty!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Man Flu!

Now, I nearly had a hangover this morning (get together after work with a few old colleagues, one of whom just returning from Australia after 8yrs)...... and this sums up what we all know we're like - males that is........

Monday, 4 February 2008

Blog Roll 1

Well, this is the second attempt at a blog, I set one up last year but owing to lack of time, it didn't get very far.

I hope to post at least once a week and more in time, I'm a 9-5 office waller at the minute but in 2 wks I hope to get my green badge (licensed London Cab Driver) and then hand my notice in at work.

I've lived in London all my life, am married with 2 boys and looking forward to my new lease of life.......

As any reading the butterboys' blog will know, the knowledge takes around 3yrs or so and I'm now in the process of arranging all the minutiae of detail that you need (and quite frankly don't think about), accountants (being self employed now) bank accounts, oh yes and a taxi......

For those interested have pre-booked a Silver TXII with those nice chaps at LP in Dunbridge St.

I'm also in a quality covers band (I would say that I know) and hopefully will be giving that some more attention in the coming weeks and months......

Quick update on my weekend, a gig in a members club Friday night (no it was not at all salubrious!) and then went to a wedding reception in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday night - The High Rocks, a very nice venue. Sunday began with an early morning at Church (not my usual start to the 7th day, but eldest son has a monthly commitment to go as part of his membership of the Beavers, the first step in the Scout Movement.......

Oh well that's all for now, cheers!