Who is this Jackcabnory......

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

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Life's been a bit of a rollercoaster in the last couple of weeks.  My dad had a triple bypass on 31st October, and developed a lung infection in the week after, he had to have another operation last Thursday to rectify that and enable the antibiotics they have given, the ability to work the infection through.   So emotionally it's been very draining, he was extremely confused and frightened for several days and me, my brothers and our mum have all cry many tears, but thankfully he seems to have turned the corner and is much better, all that that much better is still hooked up to various machines that bleep, a torrent of medication and blood transfusions.

And I also find myself in a state of limbo, where I can't seem to focus on any particular task, feel quite despondent about a lot of things.  No matter how much I know how lucky and blessed I truly am, it's quite impossible to actually find the light at the end of the tunnel, silver lining, or whatever metaphor/cliche applies.

All I'm sure of is what I DON'T want at the moment,

  •  to argue with my wife and kids as frequently as it seems.
  • to have a cash flow that is so stretched, living week to week.
  • to live in a house for 7 years and yet nothing in the house reflect that fact.

I guess the obvious thing is to counter these by saying,

  • I do want to spend quality time with my wife and kids, cherishing the wonderful people they.
  • I want to be able to exist without these monetary issues, I'm not materialistic at all, but live in a world which is obsessed with it.
  • I want to live in a house that is bright and inviting.

When I was 31 I decided upon a career path which I now do not enjoy as I had hoped, does not provide me with flexibility as I had hoped and feel as if I have wasted that time. It also is proving very difficult to study for the other aims I do have, which I've talked about in previous postings.

My worst attribute, is that I cannot empty my head of things to do, people to worry about, situations I want to avoid. These projections, in my head, of events that may or not come to fruition.          

I normally post a link to twitter and facebook of my posts, but I think on this occasion I won't.  At the moment its enough just for me to know I've written this and hopefully I can get off my backside and do the other things I need to do today.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A description of me....

Did a thing and was asked to pen a few words for it...... These are they, I liked them so thought I'd blog it.

Where to start....My involvement in the 140characters project was thru, funnily enough, a twitter follower/ee the wonderful @Dr_Black, I'd met Sue back in November 2009 when I attended a conference, yes that's right, an actual "let's get together and talk about twitter" gathering arranged by someone else I'd met......well, you can guess the rest.

Being a human being that positively thrives on interaction, twitter has been the office I don't work in, the group of like-minded people I would drink with in a pub, if we lived closer than the miles/continents we actually inhabit, and didn't have the other distractions of life that are spouses, children and earning a daily crust.

By day (and also night sometimes) I'm a London cabbie, no, not one of those stereotypical flat cap, sun reading bigoted xenophobic women haters, an actual real life, ambitious, enthusiastic likeable guy who loves people and learning.......oh and I'm studying to become a primary school teacher

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The world is android shaped.......

Well..it is for now, I picked up my new phone this week, a very nice, shiny Samsung Galaxy S2 (oooh !) so far so good. It does lots my old iphone did and more, and what's more important, is that it does so far more quickly, and more than one thing at a time....simultaneously if you will.

I've had a great week, and had a very pleasant brush with rockstars. On Friday I picked up three guys near Waterloo station, they were Australian, nothing out of the ordinary.  During the journey I kept noticing the very well kept goatee that one was sporting. I finally plucked up the courage to ask at their destination "are you guys in Inxs *?" to which they replied "yes we are."

I was, just a little, starstruck....you see, I quite like the Inxs discography, so meeting the purveyors of 'Mystify' and 'Never Tear Us Apart' will be a dinner anecdote for some time to come!

Oh well that'll do for now, here's a pic of the boys playing footy yesterday

*they're are over for a gig at Clapham Common Sat June 11th

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cadburys take them and they cover them in chocolate.......

Nothing like a random post title to get you going.......and this certainly is one....

Anyway, it's been a busy few weeks, quite a lot of frustration with my damaged ankle ligaments and some other annoying niggles that have made me feel less than A1....I'm pretty much into the new routine, not working Monday and now Tuesday, doing the school runs, and most importantly - studying, I'm resigned to the fact that English will be almost straightforward, Science a little harder but enjoyable, and Maths, well, a challenge!

I need to not be so hard on myself and expect to get everything right first time, I need to be persistent and take the same attitude as I did with the knowledge.   That experience teaches me that I can achieve the goals I set, despite the slings and arrows of misfortune (hearty apologies to Will Shakespeare for nicking his prose!).

In other news, we've decided to pull our finger out and get some work done on the house. In all good faith, almost 2 years ago now, I stripped our lounge and dining room, and that is how it has stayed every since.   Every good intention is there to complete the job, but as we all know, all manner of hurdles appear to thwart them!.

In the big scheme of things, it is far more easy for me to spend the time working to earn the money to let someone more adept at these things, and quicker, to be let loose.....so it is with great excitement that I can confirm we have enlisted the services of another parent at the boys school, his first task will be some plastering, and then the papering and painting of the rooms.

So, as it always seems I pen these posts late at night, I'll leave you......I will unusually add a rather substantial epilogue of sorts.  What follows is the latter part of my latest English test paper that I recently submitted, I am rather proud of it, and my tutor too was happy - enough to grade me with a big fat B!

“The Great Stone of Sardis” is written in quite an instructional manner, very little detail on the characters involved, and more on that of the great vessels. “Jude The Obscure” is written in much more personal and emotional tones, focusing very much on the close relationship that the schoolmaster has with his community and, in particular, Jude.

In “The Great Stone of Sardis”, there is lots of use of clear factual information about the circumstances, for example “The Euterpe-Thalia was one of those combined ocean vessels which had now been in use for nearly ten years.” There is also frequent use of descriptive language to give the reader a sense of the movement of these vessels in and around the port areas - “A westward bound Atlantic liner was rapidly nearing the port of New York.” and “The vessel now speeding along the southern coast of Long Island.”

In “Jude The Obscure”, there is an inclusion of many characters, to evidence that the schoolmaster has a very strong connection within the town. There is some use of onomatopoeia, “the purchased article had been a perpetual problem” and “standing in a perplexed attitudes.”

There is also some quite old fashioned language employed, phrases like “A proper good notion,” said the blacksmith” and “the practicability of the proposed shelter.”

The main difference for me, between the two passages are that in “Jude The Obscure” we see a very personal connection demonstrated between the schoolmaster and Jude, a lot of language toward the end of the passage about coming of age - “You wouldn’t understand my reasons, Jude, you will, perhaps, when you are older.” And finally, poignantly, the giving of a gift by the schoolmaster at the end.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

It's been a while since my last post....I've been doing all the usual stuff, plus studying - here's an essay I have just written for my English language course.


Accidents are common place in everyday life, from cutting ones finger on a sharp food tin, to tripping up a badly laid paving slab in the street. It is said that the most common place to have an accident is in your own home, I guess, this is because we have our defences down, not expecting to walk into an open draw or trip over a discarded wellington boot! The accident and emergency departments of hospitals up and down the land, could fill a book, on a daily basis, with the tale of domestic dangers galore.

I personally, was an extremely accident prone young boy. My mother would remark that “Your file at the Brook” the local hospital, “Is as big a phone book”, in reference to just how many times I made a visit. It’s a shame that the mid 70’s to early 80’s, were before the introduction of the loyalty schemes’ now employed by so many organisations. I could have paid for the family to fly down to Spain with my ‘NHS points’! The most notable of accidents, was when I was around 4 years old. We were visiting an uncle, who lived not far, in a block of flats - which come to think of it is irrelevant. When we arrived, I insisted on walking along a short brick wall that surrounded the flats, about 3 feet in height. This was all going well, until I fell of the wall. Not content with the damage that ensued from the fall, I then proceeded to roll underneath a parked car, slicing my chin on the rear bumper. So, another tick in the the Brooks’ visitor book for me!.

I try and be less clumsy these days, however it seems that the eldest of my two sons rather takes after me in this sense and often has to be reminded of impending dangers, such as the aforementioned cupboard doors and discarded Wellington boots. I think that despite societies protestations, there will always be a place for ROSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), to spread the word of accident prevention.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Long division......really long!

So, evening or indeed, afternoon *delete as applicable.......  here comes another load of waffle about my life in the time since last I blogged.

A week's a long time in politics it has been said, and an even longer week when you have prepubescent small people in your house! bless him (!) our eldest continues to struggle with his emotions, blowing hot and cold.  It requires diplomacy of a level normally displayed by Kofi Annan and other high ranking UN officials....I'm sure I was as bad if not worse at his age, so best not to throw stones etc!

The thoughts uppermost in my mind, have been the need to get a regular study routine in place for my three GCSE's.  As I'm sure I've said, I am prone to procrastination (get on with it!) and need to get over this and the worry that I have bitten off more than I can chew.....must focus my mind on the fact that I have a better than average ability to retain information, and that this will see me right in my endeavours.

But lord almighty, how hard is the maths! I think I'm probably putting it on an educational pedestal, but I am struggling to get my grey cells round it. I've been thinking that it is a "pure" subject and, unlike the science and English language, is not really attached to anything specific at the moment.  I see it more as a theoretical thing, rather than practical......I'm sure this will come to pass.

Anyhoo, I am getting used to the new work/home balance that I have now, not working Monday, having a shorter working day on Tuesday and then knocking out longer days on Wed-Fri.   The boys seem to have got used to me being around more, and the difference between mine and mums ways of doing things.

I'm still doing my running, and really starting to get into my stride, excuse the pun.  This week I've been out twice, each time a 5 mile run, the second of which was a longer Thameside route, taking me from Borough High St to Lambeth Bridge on the south side, then over to the north side and back along, using Southwark to get back south, and then to the old office and a hot shower!   I'm hoping to apply for a half marathon around June, which I hope I can complete in around 2.5hrs.

Going to finish now, just a quick advert for any generous souls reading, my wife is training for her 3rd London Marathon in April, and is raising funds for two charities, please click here to read more and donate if you possibly can.

Cheers dear reader

Friday, 21 January 2011

3 weeks of January.......

So, almost at the 2nd month of 2011......what's happened then?

More running, as you can see to your right, that's it, there, I'm keeping track of the mileage I do. It's great fun, and helps keep me sane! and also keeps the flab from gathering.

I've been running this week with an ex-work colleague, it's great to run together, we get to catch up, over lunchtime, and even better, I get to use the shower afterwards.

Today, we ran from the office near London Bridge, over Southwark Bridge and then follow the river up to Westminster, then turn tail and head back. It was a perfect day for it, sunny with a bit of a chill in the air I took this pic.......excuse the bendy lamppost, hard to take a steady pic when you're on the move!

So, I've got my GCSE's underway (you remember, retraining to be a primary teacher....see this post) and it feels good to be on the path, Maths will be my nemesis I'm sure, English/Science seem to feel more easy, maybe because they're not a "pure" subject like Maths. Time will tell.

We've had a busy few weeks with various birthdays in the family, our youngest was 8 in early Jan, so we held a family tea and then kids birthday party for his friends. It was a good turnout and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, we did a great game for the kids where they had to dress in big baggy clothes (my tracksuit bottoms and long sleeved t-shirts) and see who could stuff the most balloons in them!

I've been twittering as ever, and you can see those to the right, and also been trying to keep up with friends blogs......

Well, last thing I'll leave you with is a link here to my wife's just giving page for her fundraising efforts, she's running the London Marathon in April, third time for her, so please take a mo to have a look and if you can support her that would be fantastic

Til next time

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Home is where the blog is.....

I decided yesterday that I wanted to add a certain "widget" (fancy tech term for info from another website etc) that showed my running endeavours on my blog. Unfortunately the wordpress site I was using to host my blog, didn't allow "Java" format widgets, so I've decided to "come home" to my blogger which does allow it.....

For anyone who's been reading my posts, I have updated the blog with the "wordpress" published posts in the intervening period.

2010 ended in a really mellow, relaxing manner, Deb had worked til 5, and then I headed out to the mean streets of the capital about 6 and then got home around 10pm. We channel hopped for the rest of the evening, Graham Norton, Jool's Hootenanny and the Beeb coverage of the fantastic fireworks in central London.

We even managed an impromptu jive in our living room!

2011 started with a drive down to my parents place at Beltinge, on the North Kent coast, they absolutely adore our two boys, and so it's always great to visit. We've taken to doing some lovely coastal runs while we visit now, and took this opportunity to start the year off in style. We did a great new route, which was our longest training run since we picked up our trainers again last year, we managed just over 6 miles in a time of 1hr 20mins.

When we got back we had a great time with nieces and nephews who arrived as well, I've added a pic of our boys with my brothers girls - munching magnum's !!

So, that's all for now, certain 8 and 10 year old sons of mine are still not asleep!!