Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fall back or spring forward

Good manners is the mark of a man as my granny used to say.
Well I was at the Stakis Hilton now called the Conrad in Earlsfort Terrace.
Things were slow enough when the concierge called me forward.
I was getting out to open the boot when the concierge had thrown the suitcase into the boot and slammed it shut.
"Airport" came a womans voice with a heavy English accent.
Nothing else was said.
"They are making a movie over here I wait until you see the cars and buses from the 1920s"
I said. Then she leaned forward.
"Driver we are not fucking stupid, no sightseeing tour, just you get us to the fucking airport."

They were having a huge row, like 2 dogs growling at each other. They had come to con someone and the deal fell apart and each one blamed the other.

That would have been a throwing out offense by any means. But it was a slow morning.
25 Mins later we pulled up at the departures gate. 20p short of the £20 on the meter.
I had the change in my hand.
As I straightened the handle of his suitcase I said.
I hope you left enough time ?
Corse we ave ya feckin moron.
No its the change in the hour, it fucked up my whole day.
Whats ya talkin abt.

The clocks went FORWARD an hour last night.

His face said it all.

I thought it but I didn't say it. (Who is the feckin moron now)

This would not happen any more with our fancy phones.


This virus is tiny but it has killed off commerce and around the world,
not to mention all the dead. RIP

My God daughter Judy went back to China to visit her children and she has been housebound for more than 10 weeks now.
Her wonderful husband died of Cancer and she was left with 2 small children to bring up.
We help out but with a career you can't give children the attention they demand, so she brought the kids back to China for her own father and mother to care for..Ask any Chinese person and they will tell you that the Chinese education system is far better there than here in Europe.
Her WatsApp went dead when her phone ran out of credit, we topped it up and but still can't get WatsApp back on.
The isolation is having a huge effect on everyone.
Then there are the taxi drivers who will see this as a chance to make  extra money.
I wonder if they are considering that they might be bringing home the virus which could kill someone else in the house.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St.Patricks day to one and all

On the 17th of March Irish people celebrate the saint who came to Ireland and drove away the snakes.
He also took up a shamrock to explain the Blessed trinity, 3 leaves to represent the Father,Son and Holy Ghost.
Parades were scheduled to take place all over the world,but something so small that you cannot see it has put a stop to everything.

Coronavirus-19
As it sweeps the world the countries which did not heed the warnings are paying the price.
Hundreds are dead in Italy and Spain.

One day I picked up two girls that I will never forget. They looked different so I asked them where they were from. Canada came the reply. No I am wondering about your enthaincy.
"Oh we are Inuit, you might call us Escamos, but that means snow eater, BUT WE DO NOT EAT SNOW" 
They were going back to the hotel for tea and then off to the airport.
So they got that ride for nothing, and the tea. 
But I did charge them for the ride to the airport.

Did you know that up in the Arctic circle it is dark for months at a time  and the radio and TV signals get distorted by the magnetic north. So this lack of communication leads to drug and alachol abuse.
The other problem is that because they are so isolated incest is common which leads to big health problems.One of the girls was a psycholagest, the other worked for an airline.

So the big question was why have you come to Ireland?
Everywhere we have been in the World we meet Irish people, so we wanted to see what kind of a place it is. 
And there opinion was?.
"Why would anyone ever want to leave such a wonderful country?"

Well it goes back to the trouble with the British, economic missmanagment and a hope of better things across the sea.
But no matter where you go it is never home.

There is a book called "Wherever Green is worn" By Tim Pat Coogan,    
It is about the Irish dyaspria, right around the world.
Did you know that thousands of Irish people were sold as slaves to the West Indies? 
The flag of Montserat has a harp on it and perhaps they are remote enough to be having a parade today. 




Perhaps next year



 This video shows Dublin in such a good light I would nearly go there myself.

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Cheltinham races

Friday 13th
I hope everything went well for you.
This is the end of week 2 in isolation for me.
I do go out but not in the taxi.
I have been doing plumbing and tiling.
I guess my wife has not checked up on my life insurance policy yet

A bad plumber split the toilet cistern and the new one was narrower, so I had to strip off the tiles and re tile the back wall. I don't know who sent that guy, but we haven't seen him since.
I bought an electric yoke and a kind of electric disc cutter which are useless
So I finished up with a thing called a "Grout rake" which does the job just dandy.

So the races are on in Cheltenham and thousands are mingling, why it was not called off we will never know.

So there was a businessman who would have a lull in his business at this time of the year.
He loved horse racing and he decided to take his entire staff off to the Cheltenham races for the week.
The staff  loved it and he met many of his customers there.
When he was leaving he paid the hotel for food and drinks and he would pay for the hotel for the following year.

Then there was a Foot and Mouth epidemic in England and he rang the hotel.
"Just transfer the booking fee to next year"
The English hotel managers falls into the hall of fame of things not to do.
"The payment will not transfer until next year."

He had a think about it and he rang his brother who was a priest close enough to the hotel.

He rang the hotel.. "My party will be arriving at 5 Pm on the chosen date.
A minibus arrived with the priest and 7 of the dirtiest and maddest people you ever saw.
The manager said that they could not stay, "But they are booked in, and you would not transfer my brothers deposit"
"Ok I will transfer the payment until next year"
After a brief call to Ireland the money was refunded (in Cash)

"What do you want me to do with this cash Tommy" said the priest.

"Take those poor people off to a decent Chinese restaurant and feed them well then use the rest of the money to help the poor.
It seems as though my business was not appreciated in that hotel "

I am sure most of you have noticed that if people don't look after their customers.

Someone else will.

Look at Norway, most fans by far !!!!

Norway
249
United States
166
Germany
133
Turkmenistan
119
Ireland
107
Unknown Region
30
United Kingdom
28
France
19
Indonesia
17
Brazil
11



One man that loves to win at the races is Mister Ryanair Micheal O'Leary

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Bahrain

Most journeys you forget and other journeys you hold in the back of your head forever.

A simple run to the airport and on the way I asked him where he was off to.
"Bahrain, I am with the Royal College of Surgeons and we have built a hospital there to train doctors"

After a pause I asked him who qualifies the doctors?
We do. And who oversees your procedures?

What do you mean?

Well if you had the son of a very wealthy Sheik you would be inclined to mark him up even though he is a hopeless doctor. So who looks over your shoulder.

He got pretty hot and bothered and when I turned off the M1 to go through Santry he almost had a fit.

Why the hell are you going this way?
Its a mile shorter and if there is a crash we can turn around and go back the other way.
There is no second choice on the motorway.

At the airport he had come up with a solution to his frustration.

"There are no traffic lights on the motorway"

Did you not see ALL the lights were green.

I don't know where it came from but then I said.

"IF THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM YOU HAVE TODAY YOU WILL BE LUCKY."

So a couple of days later I read about the Arab spring uprising and how patients were shot in their hospital beds,
Doctors were told not to treat the people who rebelled and it was a real savage uprising.

Now this year the hospital is going for accreditation and statements of barbaric goings on have come up.

No matter what business you are someone else has to look over your shoulder, just so its done well.

I am isolation doing odd jobs around the house.
God but working at what you are not trained for is hard work.
Plastering and plumbing are finished,
Tomorrow if the plastering is dry I will do the tiling.
I can do most things myself thank God.

I hope the isolation will be over by Monday so I can go back to work.

Never ask a taxi driver how are things for you?
He might just tell you.

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR MY FRIENDS IN FINLAND.






Wednesday, March 04, 2020

In isolation

Sad news of another murder suicide a motheR killed her kids and then tried to kill herself.
Remember a kind word spoken can sometimes turn a situation around.
There is no help the psychiatrists are few on the ground, the health board are heavy with administrators rather than troops on the ground.

The corruption in the government of Ireland would make Al Capone jealous, millions stolen before our very eyes.


So John !, what have you been up to?
I think I told you of my God daughter who went back to China to visit her children?
Well she has been isolated for 4 weeks and she doesn't know when she can come home.

Some other Chinese friends of mine and my wife have been at me not to drive the taxi for a few weeks so I am up to my eyes in DIY.

My wife has been saying that if I don't fix the dripping tap in the downstairs loo and tile the back wall or she will GET A MAN TO DO IT.

So to stop all the nagging I will be doing plumbing ,tiling and painting for another week.
Before she gets a man to do it.

There was a hell of a car crash the other day, as much as 15 vehicles involved.
It seems as though a truck driver had a heart attack and things mushroomed from there. 



 I thought you might like the Paris one.
Again this is so typical of a taxi drivers life

The dialogue is brilliant 


Sunday, March 01, 2020

Corona Beer? No its VIRUS

 So about this virus coming in from China.
Judy my Chinese God daughter went back to China for 5 weeks.
Her wonderful husband who was a brilliant scientist died a few years ago and our family has become an arm for them to lean on.
They are all wonderful people.
So she went back home to visit her 2 children who are being brought up by the grandparents and the virus struck The town is in the north of China, not near the center of the outbreak.
They were put in lock down and though the situation has settled she is still scared to travel.
She is telling me not to work and to wear a face mask and use gels, all totally mad.

I have been told  NOT TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW.

It is very hard to make people happy.

I met a beautiful Italian girl today, the make up was perfect, she was going to a job interview in the Marker hotel.

I hope she does well, she was from Calabria in southern Italy.
Talk to these people when you can and they will educate you in the ways of the Mafia.
In Calabria all the coffee houses and restaurants have signs,

You are not allowed to buy or to accept food or drink paid for by other people."

The reason? This is the start of bringing you into the gang.


I usually do my own car servicing.
Why ? you might ask.
Well I can do it and I know that the oil is correct and that the filters have been changed.
So I brought Judys car up for an oil change with the oil and filter and John in the garage said

"This is the last time I am doing this for you, when we service the car we provide the parts"

I was a bit miffed and my wife reminded me of a story from way back.

A restaurant owner used to bring the oil and filters into his local garage and the owner was taking the hump.
He found the solution by going into the restaurant and asking for a cheese omelet handing him the eggs cheese bread and a tea bag.
He got the message, as I did eventually. 

Just one thing about learning about car engines.

There is a magazine called "Car Mechanics" which you can buy and download on line.
If you are interested they have great tips and trouble shooting sections. 
There are also the wonderful Haynes manuals which are the bible when it comes to car servicing. 

John Haynes the creator of the manuals died last year.

You have heard about my hero Chuck Feeney , Click here he was in the taxi many years ago and I am still in contact with him. His opening of the conversation I still remember

"If I was to start my life again I would love to be a taxi driver, taxi drivers overhear conversations, ideas come to them and it only takes one simple idea to become a millionaire" 

Such a man! I bought the book about him  "The billionaire who wasn't" I have met many people whose lives were enriched by his money.
Chuck gave away $9 Billion

Then one day a friend of mine rang me and he said.
"John I have 2 questions.
Do you know everyone in the world" I said not yet 
Then he said How the hell do you know Chuck Feeney so well.

He told me that he was having dinner with him and he just put down his fork and asked me if by any chance I knew you by name.
"I am still shocked" he said.

Anyhoo as they say in Canada, he promised to help me to give away my Euromillions when my numbers come up.
Now I mean this NEVER tell anyone if you come into a large pot of money.

In a million Cities around the world hundreds of millions taxi journeys take place.
This movie covers, Rome,New York,,Paris,Hollywood and Helsinki.
The director plays out the possibilities to the highest level.
Helsinki takes the biscuit.

 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Herring days

The London Cabby is full of wisdom but even there the months of January and February are slack times.
They say that times can be so bad that you can only eat herrings and you won't be able to afford meat.
It is bad all right as we have more taxis in Dublin than in New York at the height of the Yellow Cabs prime.
Gene Solomon who writes the blog Cabs are for kissing has written a really good post on the demise of the Yellow Cab you can find the link on the right hand side of this blog.

We have a taxi hailing app called FreeNow it is very handy for calling up taxis.
Well today a customer left his keys in the car and as the change in the app meant I couldn't  report it.
So I went into their office.
They are very casual in there. Chewing bread and apples, 2 or 3 looking at one computer.
I asked if anyone was working and a guy slouched over and took my phone and I explained about the lost keys.
"We don't give out customers details he said but I will report it"
Even though I said that his number is on the booking information.
Around an hour later I got an email to say that they had contacted the customer.
I got another email later to say that the customer had not been in contact so I should
"Drop it into the nearest Carriage office"

Boys and girls there is only one carriage office in Dublin and they do not handle lost property.

Your nearest Garda station is the place to go to.
So I went home for lunch and I wrote a note for the man.
I knew where I picked him up and went over to his house. I checked the key of his Merc and it worked on the car, so I knew for sure I had the right place.
At 7 pm I got a text to say thank me and NO MyTaxi had not contacted him at all.

On Sunday I picked up a young lady going to Malahide, she had a slight accent as it turned out she was English and I remarked on her clear diction and the timing of her speech.
She had trained as an actress, but the delivery of her words was pure magic.


Of all the class acts I saw in Blackpool this one really was the most impressive.

Take a look yourself at the Evasons



Most acts like this use an earpiece and a third party passing the information to the teller.
Her ears were inspected twice during the act.
Also she read a credit card number without her caller looking at the card.
The other way it is done is using key words.
I have in my hand "something" personal. The word something means watch, I am "holding" is handbag  and so on.

They were brilliant.. I don't care how it was done.
No doubt if I google them I will find out.





I downloaded this by accident and I can't delete it, but its magic



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Great to be back home

Sorry folks the photos are still causing a problem, I will probably have to buy a new laptop.
I was in Blackpool England for the worlds biggest magic festival, thousands of magicians and me pus hundreds of magic dealers selling props DVDs and gimmicks. The traveling was strange.
Try trainline.com for tickets (Return to Blackpool from Manchester £20)
But the train I was supposed to be on was cancelled.
I am a big boy and I asked "Hop on this train and change at Preston"
Bobs your uncle I landed.
Other people didn't ask and took taxis down at £120 which made the driver very happy.
Going home I arrived on time the platform 4 door was closed with a red tape in front.
3 minutes to go, no announcement then the time changed to 1 1/2 later.
I asked and jumped on to a different train which took me to Manchester where I got another train to the airport the last leg of the journey cost me £3.50.

Ryanair did exactly what I wanted took off and landed even though it was windy.
I wanted to go Aer Lingus but they were more than double the price when I looked.

Here is a tip when you are looking for a flight.
You get a flight for a price and then you go and coming back you decide to go with that.
But when you go back again on the price has gone way up.
Find a computer whizz kid.
Go to cookies, remove cookies then when you go back the site does not know that you have been there before.
Teenagers are useful.

The convention was really bad for me. too many people and they made people queue for ever.
Some people checking in had to wait for an hour and 1/2 in the cold windy weather to enter the venue.

There was a lecture by Mat King and 1/3 of the people would have filled the hall so there was 3 times the capacity there and the fire exits on the left hand side were blocked up.

Irish people know what can go wrong in a crowded venue, the Stardust fire disaster on Valentines night in 1981 where 48 young people died woke us all up to what can happen, so I stayed from the overcrowded venues.
I was very tired and I missed a good few of the acts. But what I saw was really good.
There was talent there in Spades for sure.

The British are strange when it comes to some things.
The Ruskin hotel is the place to go to meet people, one year I met up with a few old acquaintances and suddenly I notice that the place was packed so tightly that you couldnt move and the doors were locked.
When I got home I rang the Police HQ to say my piece.
I was quick enough to note down her name.
"No you must ring ......."
I said Stop right there Constable...and told her about the Stardust adding that now that she knows what might happen she could prevent it. I from overseas was not going to ring around like a fool.
The following years the doors were open.

I will give you a few clips from YouTube.


This guy was there last year


Lance Burton



A fine piece of pattr from John Archer.



 This guy did his act, just like lightning....



There was a hell of a dove act and an incredible mind reading act that beat the devil.