Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008////2009





Only in Dublin, A Heugenot graveyard
And beside it they build this bunker.
Gabriel Byrne nearly had a fit when he saw it and asked questions about peoples sanity.



A repeat from last year...Its a bit of Deja vu again.

Well its all over now. The next big thing is the new year then it will be "Herring days" until 14th Feb.(Be my Valantine)
The London cabbie used to only get herrings for his dinner when times were poor.
This year with the economy in poor shape and so many taxis around I would like to go to Australia until Easter at least.
Still who would look after the dog when I would be gone.

For me it was a good Christmas, no I did not make much money, but on the other hand I did not crash nor was I robbed or assaulted.

Yes driving a taxi can be a dangerous job.

Here is a thing from the Irish Times.By Olivia Kelly

November 2000 Number of taxis nationwide.13,637
New SPV licences issued
2001 16,547......Ie. more than doubling the fleet.
2002 18,252
2003 19,856
2004 20,744
2005 21,888
2006 21,707
2007 25,695
2008 27,311 to nov.31st

Current total 46,583 from 13,637.

That is incredible.

There is also a breakdown of prosecutions for 2008 which were NINETY TWO.
I could get 192 prosecutions in 24 hours given the Garda.
Cloned cars, unlicenced drivers you name it.
Standards are slipping so badly here that many new drivers do not even know the towns of Dublin (Rathmines, Rathgar, Terenure, Ranelagh)never mind knowing the streets.

Here is something which will give you food for thought.
The London knowledge which makes the London cabbie among the best in the world.



Here is a clip of the play "The knowledge".
Its a great play look out for the DVD when you are shopping.



We all know that the French drivers can be fast. But can the taxi driver make the kick off and save the team?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas shop windows







3 great photos from Sabrina



















The lord mayor of Dublin


video

Wren boys in Sandymount

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Heading home







I saw loads of people heading off to Poland by bus from Sean McDermott st the other day. I hope they come back when things improve again.
That is some trip by coach 30/40 hours.
Well I am still going strong and as Christmas approaches fast I will have a few memories to add to my storeroom of images.
One was when I was up at the Northside shopping center the other day. A taxi driver came out with his daughter in a wheelchair, she was blind as well. As they reached the car the wind which was very strong caught her long hair and blew it straight up. Oh to hear the whoops of delight from her and the surprise in her voice was an utter delight.
We take so much for granted.
Kinda reminds you of the song”what color is the wind daddy?”

The other was of a couple who got into the taxi and we had a 2 stop journey.They were kissing like heck and when we stopped at her place I said “here we are”The smooching got louder and we waited and waited, “do you want to go on?”No response I let down the windows as it was getting steamed up.
e2 clicked up on the meter at 34cent a minute, it seemed like forever. Then she piped up “these lights are very slow” “Threes no lights, we are outside your front door”
She was really shocked and hopped out like a scared rabbit. Russians!
He saw the funny side of it and was glad to be rid of her, he rang his girlfriend and she was waiting at his front door when we arrived home.

There were a few pedestrians knocked down, one in Fairview where the pedestrian bridge is, every few years someone is killed crossing the 5 lanes of fast moving traffic there.
The other one was fatal, on the Oscar Traynor road in Coolock.
I am sure there were others.

I saw in the papers that the head of the Anglo Irish Bank took a “loan”from the bank of e87 million, he was doing a bit of property speculation, every year he would borrow a few bob from another bank to cover up his loan until the accounts were done. The word is that he did nothing illegal, but I wonder how well the capital was secured, anyhow he has resigned. Though the institute of chartered accountants say it was illegal and are holding an inquiry to see why such a hole in the books went undetected.

A guy who was in my taxi once before re-appeared. He was with 3 others. Conversation was all about a row they had had earlier in the night. When he got out one of the guys told me about him.
Up to 2 years ago that guy had never bought an airline ticket, never cooked an egg, never went shopping. He had a private jet at his disposal a cheaufer driven car, a maid and a Gardner.
You name it he had it.
Until his father was arrested for theft.
He stole Billions just like the guy in the papers this week, whose name was "Madoff"(made off with the money you might say).
The father got life in prison, the longest in corporate history.
The sins of the father are visited on the children as the bible says, the son could not get any work until someone built him a new identity and he found a job, he is doing well enough now.
Every day he rebuilds his life, each day is a victory as he said when he was leaving the car.
The last time he was in the car he eluded to some dark secret, now I know some of it.

Its funny how you begin to build up a profile of some people, others you never hear anything about until you see them on the news.

On that theme there are a few Irish who have been raiding the till lately.

Well I hope you have enjoyed the blog over the past year, the business is getting harder every days as more taxis come on to the streets.

The situation can only be like some kind of pyramid scheme which is about to collapse.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas 1915



My 250th posting.

Well we must count our blessings and remember Christmases long ago.
Thanking our Gods for what we have,


Happy Christmas to all.
I am sure if you look on the net you will find the tune

WW1 is over 60 years.

1915 on Christmas Day

On the western front the guns all died away
And lying in the mud on bags of sand
We heard a German sing from no man's land
He had tenor voice so pure and true
The words were strange but every note we knew
Soaring or the the living dead and dammed
The German sang of peace from no man's land

They left their trenches and we left ours
Beneath tin hats smiles bloomed like wild flowers
With photos, cigarettes, and pots of wine
We built a soldier's truce on the front line
Their singer was a lad of 21
We begged another song before the dawn
And sitting in the mud and blood and fear
He sang again the song all longed to hear

Silent night, no cannons roar
A king is born of peace for evermore
All's calm, all's bright
All brothers hand in hand
In 19 and 15 in no man's land

And in the morning all guns boomed in the rain
And we killed them and they killed us again
At night they charged we fought them hand to hand
And I killed the boy that sang in no man's land

Silent night no cannons roar
A king is born of peace for evermore
All's calm, all's bright
All brothers hand in hand
And that young soldier sings
And the song of peace still rings
Though the captains and all the kings
Built no man's land

Wherever you are in the world have a peaceful Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coming Closer


A fine house on Tritonville Rd

The Met. office a large pyramid building

"Tattooed Lady" a New York bus doing a Rock and Roll tour of the city.

The computer is on the blink and my computer whiz kids don't want to help me. So I have to type and cut and paste. Perhaps next year I will read the”idiots guide to computers”if there is such a book. Then I will be able to help myself.
I have been tidying up and I found my PSV driving license.
It is the size of a credit card and was under a pile of letters in my room. Well that will save me a massive e250 fine if I get stopped. The fines that they have introduced are very high in relation to the offense.

I found a copy of the Taxi Times magazine from last year.
A piece was printed from the Evening Herald 13/09/07.
A drunk got into a taxi so drunk he could not speak(Sounds familiar)
He directed the taxi driver through grunts and ran up a bill of e62.00 and then refused to pay.
He came up with a cock and bull story about how the taxi driver got lost!
Judge McMahon said “I don't know how taxi drivers go out at night and put up with some of the treatment they get around the city”.The passenger Clive Naughton had previous convictions and was ordered to pay compensation to the taxi driver and told that if he came up before the judge again he would do time in prison. He must have been watching Judge Judy, the law is often blindly on the passengers side.
I had a guy in the car last week who just grunted the same way but we found our way to Ringsend where he declared “too much drink” and he trotted off.
As they say “He was so full of drink that if he stooped over he would spill”
Party time is the time for amateur drinkers and I dread to some of the sights which are coming up.
2 or 3 girls going home together 2 get out leaving the third on to go on, her completely wrecked. Drink is one thing but some are drugged out of their minds. I have spent manys an hour at Garda stations while they try to slap them back to conciseness. It is very important that you do not shake or touch them where they pass out. Sexual assault charges would surely follow.
There was a case a while back where a taxi driver brought a woman home in a very drunk state.
He carried her into her house and put her groceries into the porch.
She collapsed behind the door and got sick, choked and died.
The judge told the taxi driver that he had a duty of care towards his passenger!
I would have said that the bar owner would have been more at fault than the taxi driver.

In America there was a similar case where a woman froze to death outside her apartment building.
In that case,after deep investigation it was found that she had been given the wrong coat as she was leaving the night club. Her keys were in the pocket of her own coat and it was a fur coat, so if she had her own coat she would have been OK on 2 counts.
I try to go that extra mile.
I will direct the car headlights up the path to the front door and wait until a lady passenger makes it through the front door, time was that they would wave goodbye and thank you, but I notice that that aspect of good manners is mostly gone.
Perhaps now that the Celtic Tiger is gone away common courtesy will return.

A Judge was saying that in divorce cases he would often be dividing up the assets of the couple.
Now he is being asked to divide the debts, one couple had debts of 2 million euro.
That is a tough one! Some couples decided to buy out their partners share of the house, the price was fixed at last years prices and now the same house has devalued by 40%
I have never lived beyond my means by much, some people just don't know when to stop spending.

While I am on the subject of houses.
Remember the beautiful 6 bedroom house in Oakley Rd. Ranelagh for e12 million?.
Posted on the blog Mon 30 June.
It has been sold!!!!
Now this is how the deal was done.
The Canadian government had a house on 9 acres on Strathmore Rd.Killiney beside Bono's house, the house was hard to keep, needed 2 gardeners etc. but it has development potential for sure. The house had been for sale for e17 million, but there were no buyers, so e3 million changed hands and a swap of the two houses was made.
Now the Canadian ambassador can now jump on the Luas and head into town in a few minutes.

I picked up 2 guys outside the Merrion Hotel a while back, they were buying high priced property.
I was asked by an estate agent to take them down Clyde Rd, Raglin Rd. Aylesbury and Shrewsbury Rd. All high priced roads.
After that the estate agent paid me and asked me to drop them at the hotel.
Much talk between them about the houses they had seen.
Then they asked me to wait and drive them to the airport, which I did.
On the way the discussed the merits of different properties, they agreed that the market was right to make a killing!
Around the point where we passed Christchurch cathedral they fell asleep.
When they woke up driving up to departures (You open the windows for a few seconds) one of the guys said,
”You seem to have taken a very long route to get here”
I forget what the exact fare was, but I said “Since when did you get two people to the airport for less than e25”
They took their exact change and receipt. And sure why not?

An estate agent told me a couple of weeks ago that the top end of the market has done very badly in all this.

SERVES THEM BLOODY RIGHT.

I know tipping is a sore point, I was told today just to give back 5 cents giving me a 5cent tip.
Now I know my worth.
That old git Tommy Cooper used to push something into the cabbies top pocket and say “Ave a drink on me mate” When the driver looked in his pocket he found a tea bag.

An actor was being given advice by his father who had been an actor all his life.
“Introduce yourself to your driver, call him by name and tip him well, he will think well of you in return. Speak to the stage hands and the doorman and they will share their knowledge with you.”
To illustrate the point the son once told the doorman that he had a lot of learning to do as his lines had been changed. The doorman told him not to bother, as the play had been pulled and another show was coming in on Monday. The theater manager had been afraid to tell him the truth.

Or as my daddy told me “Be kind to the people on the way up, and they will be nice to you on the way back down”Good old dad.

I spoke to Santa Claus the other day and he said that he would bring me a video camera as long as I am being a good boy. He said he enjoys looking at the blog up there in the North Pole and would like to see more of Dublin..

Speaking of which!
A customer in the taxi who works in international trade told me about COLD.
I had a guy in the car who works in Minsk, he spoke of how the police round up drunk people and deal with them very severely. You see when it gets cold they would freeze to death in a matter of minutes.
He told me he was very far north, Murmansk and a colleague walked another business college to his hotel a journey of 10 minutes. He was well wrapped up but had no gloves on. He came back to his hotel, went to bed and was woken up with a burning pain in his hand.
One of his fingers was black and it had to be taken off.

Now that is cold.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Frosty Sunday morning


The door of the nurses home Hume St.

Hume St. cancer hospital

The heads around the church door Dublin Castle

Well now I am legal I have had my meter sealed.
After all the fuss about Ballymun test center not doing automatics, I had to go all the way over to Fonthill beside Liffey Valley shopping center.
They didn't keep me long, then the guy said.
"This is a hybrid we have to road test it, you will have to drive" It passed with flying colors so now I am sealed for another 2 years.
On the way home I stopped at Heuston as there no taxis and a few people, believe it or not I got Leixlip. A lady who was visiting her newly born grandchild. She had lived in Barcelona for years and spoke in a very clear voice,allmost an accent. This was so that people who might have problems with English would be able to better understand her. She deals with foreign students who are over here learning Emglish you see.

Then on the way back home again I met a girl on crutches heading to Bray, she is a voice coach and vocalist. A Polish girl with florescent red hair.
She slipped on the ice outside her front door and broke her leg.
She will not be singing with the gospel choir this Christmas.
Think of what she will be missing all the get togethers with wine and mince pies.
She has been here a long time and only has a slight Polish accent, she like many Polish people who live here she thinks that there are too many Polish people here.
She had some interesting observations,such as young girls stealing clothes when they have good jobs here, so they should pay for the clothes.She was a great talker.
She had a very nice business card so If you ask me for her number you could buy your loved one some singing lessons for Christmas.
Once again the failures of the Irish health service came to the fore,5 hours in accident and emergency without seeing a doctor who then put an elastic bandage on her leg to reduce the swelling.She went to the Blackhall clinic where there was a Polish doctor who drained off the blood and fixed her up. "Can you imagine after 6 hours in hospital they couldn't give me a drink of water, no I could drink it but after asking loads of times no one came back with it"

Irish health service is a third a world or even a worse service.

While we are on the subject of Irish health service.
A lady yesterday told me of an Indian family who were living here.
The Indian lady had been complaining of abdominal pains and the doctors kept telling her that this was normal .
She went back to India and in Bengal after a short examination a doctor told her she had cancer in a very advanced state. Her husband is a porter in a Dublin hospital, they came here for a better life. Perhaps the better life was to be found in the slums of India.
Life can be so cruel to some of the nicest people.

I don't like Christmas anyhow, perhaps for small kids its great,but it puts many people under pressure.
Another girl told me that she dreads Christmas as her dad drinks a lot, he drinks alone at home and she is dreading finding him dead as a result, her mum is dead but at least she has her own home to go to.
Ah the pressures of Christmas "Humbug"

Anna Nolan a favorate personality of mine stopped me the other day on the south circular road heading for RTE our national broadcaster..
She is great,an ex nun,winnwer of “Big Brother”, broadcaster and entertainer.
I met her a few times before.
She came out (as a lesbian) a few years ago, it was all the talk of the town at the time.
At that time I said to her “You are a really great person, its such a pity you are a lesbian”
She shot back with “ You are really nice man too, it's a pity your not a girl”
Come to think of it I wouldn't fancy kissing a man either, so perhaps she is right.

All of that has become commonplace now, I hope they introduce full marriage for gay couples soon, why should only the hetrosexuals suffer.

Sunday morning now. Wow what a frosty night!
I saw around 10 wrecked cars, the tow truck industry were doing great business.
I can't understand why people don't slow down when you can see the frost on the road. It would be great to have the tyres with the studs, still we get so little frost here that you might just get 8 days wear out of them in the year.
On the other hand it is so hot in Queensland you would die.

I was falling asleep yesterday when just at the moment between sleep and being awake I felt that I had fallen asleep and had just woken up driving my car the split second before impact. Wow did I jump? Just a dream thank God.
If you are tired, pull over , let the seat back and take a few minutes sleep ZZZZZZZ
They reckon more crashes are caused by fategue than drink.
Yet I never see the police waiting at the roadside with a pillow to test you to sleepy you are.

Another girl told me that she dreads Christmas as her dad drinks a lot, he drinks alone at home and she is dreading finding him dead as a result,her mum is dead but at least she has her own home.
Ah the pressures of Christmas "Humbug"

One thing which I almost missed was the big anti prostitution raids. A joint operation with the British and Irish police. This time they followed the money so it will be interesting!People trafficking is an awful crime.
Some one once almost attacked me for having advertisements for prostitutes on the blog, so I told them to have a look for themselves.

I don't know if you have been following the funny ads but look here
Look for the Audi ad with the bottles.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All roads lead to Garys shop


"Well Gary are you going to do a special for the taxi drivers this Christmas?"
"Yes I will John.
You know the safety kit which all taxis will need to have on January I ?
I am selling them for e39 each or 2 for e70."

"That's the best value yet."

So all roads lead to Gary's accessory shop behind Guinness 01 4531631.
Its on Bond St.


Now nature is wonderful, here is how a mouse sorted out my tax receipts at the back of the freezer.
Clever little things, they made a nice little nest beside the compressor where it would be a nice and warm place to live.
If you ever have cash money to hide put it into a tin box to keep it safe from the mice!.


The Christmas lights and tree at the bottom of Grafton St. Where a girl waits..”.I'll see you at the Molly Malone statue"

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge them)


The Top gear motor show was a big hit and coming back into town on Saturday morning I saw the police car outside the Boot inn, a raid I thought.
The punter who got in told me that the crew from the Top Gear show had come over to the pub by bus. They were inside having a ball.
They were so happy to find that the Irish were so friendly and the Garda raid ....autographs and photographs.

I had a good old weekend kept the ball hopping all night, parties have kicked off and people are putting away their troubles for the duration so to round off the shift I went down to the port where the ships come in and got a lift to Blancherdstown.
I decided to head over through Finglas and past Cappagh Hospital.
Well they have built hundreds of houses since I was up there last and they have closed the road to Blanchardstown, so we had to make a big detour.

In cases like this I turn off the meter, its no ones fault so why make the punter unhappy. It was very foggy too, but they were very happy with me for turning off the meter and tipped me a few extra euro.
They were just after a weekend in “the other capital of Ireland “Liverpool.
A great spot and its European capital of culture for 2008.
Very witty people and dead sharp thinkers,must go back there.
When I was a young lad all the comedians came from Liverpool, Ken Dodd,Jimmy Tarbuck etc.

Today I did an hour on my day off and I picked up a fare from Heuston going to the LRC on Haddington Rd. I was thinking what is that? Then I remembered its the Labour court at Beggars Bush (so called because the highway men found it a popular spot to hold up people, so the name stuck) They had come from Galway where they were about to loose their jobs. They work in a cash and carry which is closing down and were fighting for more money so off to the labor court.
Its tough loosing your job at any time,but loosing your job coming up to Christmas must be the pits.

As they were getting out a woman with a folder got in going to Sth.Great Georges St.
She had been at law and her client had not bothered to turn up!
A really big waste of time, it was a case come to appeal so now he will not be able to take it up again in the future.

The old tidy up continues, I found a great book I had lost "Cheats at work" by Gerald Mars. I saw it on Amazon for $109.50 but second hand on the UK site for a fiver but the copy I have cost 3 quid.Look for it in your local library. He goes into fiddles and cheating like you never knew.I will treasure it now I have it again.
They also have a new book A year in the life of a London cabby.

Try this does it work?
You lock your keys in the boot of your car, the spare keys are at home.
You phone your wife.
"Darling be a honey get my spare keys from the knife drawer, then hold it to the mouthpiece of the phone and press the button" You turn your phone on to speaker and hold it to the lock of the car and hey presto ! the car unlocks

or no hey presto !

I will have to keep a note book as I remember the things I wanted to say just when I publish