Sunday, July 05, 2020

4 th July

Happy 4th of July to all you over in the USA

Friday, July 03, 2020


Most of us have sailed through this crisis unaffected.
I said most, not all.
There are lots of newspapers available on the internet, I got one called the Epoch Times, it is based in America and it is against the communist government in China, a Chinese friend of mine who says it is very good also pointed out that it goes a bit too far in reporting the TRUTH.
Here is a clip from the business section.
SSP group to lay off 5,000 jobs. Coffee and sandwich shops.
Macys posts $3 billion loss
NPC who have franchises for 1,200 Pizza Huts and 400 Wendys files for bankruptcy
JC Penny went bang
H&M to close 170 stores by end of 2020
Airbus to shed 15,000 jobs

But there is good news for someone
Gileads flu vaxene which RELIEVES the symptoms will set you back $2,340 a shot.
It won't even cure you, only relieve symptoms.

Face masks on sale for €1 each, cost of manufacture 10c

Near Las Vegas there is an Indian reservation of the Navajoes Indians.
They have bee hit very badly by this pandemic.
I read that an Irishman who was working in Las Vegas has been helping them out.
Good man 

But for that tribe the war in the Pacific would have turned out very differently
Click here and to add insult to injury after the war they got no medals or pensions,
  Mr Obama did go some way to make things right for them.

History is tough for sure.
I came across an article written by a black woman. It was about her heritage and slavery.
We are talking about masters raping their servants and when they fall pregnant the offspring are ignored.
I know that that happened in the big houses of the aristocracy all over Europe.
Anyhow here is a link to her here but it does not mention her heritage I found it here. Interesting to say the least. People are not one dimensional, they have many facets and like a diamond ring if you look closer you might see a completely different picture.
On slavery. It is little known that thousands of Irish were enslaved and forced to work in the sugar plantations of the West Indies.

I have been very lucky in my life to have met wonderful people and quite a number assholes in my life.

Have a look for my book The steering wheel university on Amazon

Here is an example of both.
A business man going to the airport and he asked me for a receipt.
Then he snatches it from my hand and runs off even though I am shouting after him.
A policeman was standing by the door and I asked him if I could run after him.
"No! But I will solve the problem for you" and he got on the radio
15 minutes later a red faced protesting entitled businessman was taken back all the way from the check in desk.
"I paid, I paid and I have  a receipt to prove it"
Well that proves nothing I saw you run away and the driver calling after you.
There is a camera in the taxi, would you like to go down to the office and we will put the chip into the computer?
"I have missed my flight now and its your fault" he shouted at me.
"No sir its your own fault, pay him now and give him a £5 tip for not prosecuting you for theft".

As the businessman went off the garda turned to me,
I said thank you and he said you are very very welcome.

Hold the good things in your mind until we meet again.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The footballer on the move

So now things move on
He was trained by the Howarth brothers who operated market stalls from Wigan market.
People like our footballing friend are always on the lookout for new ideas.
He spotted an opening!
There were goods which were being sold by chemists only, theese goods were sold with a big mark up.
He got some small stores and negotiated goods to be supplied at a keen price.
He built up his new business and the number of stores grew.
Back in the 70's the trucks would stock up the stores to the ceiling, opening at 9am the shelves were all bare at 2pm.
The very idea that there was a shortage created a need in the business.
He sold it and went to America for 18 months to study supermarket management.
He built up the business Whelan Discount stores which he sold to Morrisons when it took off.

Did he retire? 

Well no

He bought a football club Wigan Athletic and brought the team to the first division.
He also built a fine stadium.

Then there was the adventure that was JJB Sports, plenty of strategy there as well and he built it up to great heights. I was told that he was going to sell out when he was convinced to sell shares in the company and the guys with clip boards came in and started overruling his power.
What did he do?
He sat back and when the share price fell through the floor he bought it all back.
The guy who told me the story said that some of the directors went to prison !

So he sold out when the ship was back on course .
Today he runs DW Sports and fitness centers around the Yorkshire and Lancashire area.

So that is the 83 year old Dave Whelan

Look hard  and and keep your eye out for opportunities

Some people say he was lucky
Others say he made his own luck

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Opening up?

So things have started to move like Molasses on a hot day.
The pubs will open at the end of the month under strict rules.
It is a new age we are going into.
I never imagined I would walk into a bank wearing a mask and demand money and there would be no panic.
A guy rang B&Q the other day and asked the young lad how big was the queue, the lad at the other end said
"Its the same size as the B"
In Lidl the other day an old guy was wiping tree sap off his car. I spoke to him for a few minutes and then I remembered that I had a car cover in my garage. (Brand new) and he could have it for €20.
He never rang, so I looked it up on Amazon and it costs £30 +postage. Ah well.
You win some you loose some.

Here is a story that I will give you in installments.

A footballer broke his leg which disqualified him from playing in the cup final.
His team won but he did not get a medal.

He was very depressed and he had a good mate who asked him to come with him to Sheffield market and be his Shill. There would be banter and then he would go off and take a break and start again in an hour.
The footballer soon copped on that the market stall holder was as clever as a fox, so he learned from him, the cut and thrust, the quips and banter.
The the dealer asked him if he had a passport? When the answer was yes he told him to come to the south of France with him for a rest and the heat would do him good.
The stall holders family owned a villa in the south of France ! (Back in the 60s)they used it in rotation.
No one ever sat out except at night.
Who the hell would trust a dealer with a suntan!

Then over 4 weeks the dealer trained him how to sell a line.
His product was magnetic window cleaners.
With the jokes an his own Shil in the crowd he was a big hit when he came back to England.

To be continued.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


It is the 16 th of June when all the Wags of Dublin and elsewhere gather to celebrate Bloomsday.
The book Ulysses written by James Joyce, read by the few and understood by fewer.

I know senator David Norris very well and I said to him that I just don't understand that book.
"My God I can't believe it a Dublin taxi driver who can't understand Ulysses. It is what is going on in your head now. The thoughts travel at lightening speed, so fast that there is no rime to put spaces or punctuation between the words. How can you describe the swishing of the waves? Joyce does it in a spectacular fashion. Free your mind and read it again."

Joyce had to go to Paris to get it published (Shakespeare and Company)
His wife Nora Barnacle used to say "Why couldn't you write a book that people could read?"

Monday, May 25, 2020

It is OK Hooray

The postman dropped 5 copies of the book in to me today and the 13 missing chapters are in.

I also bought a copy of the eBook and they are in that as well.
A few spelling mistakes here and there.
Just to show you that I am human.
When will this lock down end ?
Donald Duck went to a solicitor "I want to change my first name" he said.
I must say the internet has been great for jokes!
A Cavan man was walking down the street with his wife and they passed a new fancy restaurant, as they passed the wife said "Oh that food smells divine" As he was feeling generous he turned around and walked her past it again.(Cavan people it is said are careful with money)

So the book is out on Amazon in book and eBook form

"The steering wheel university" By Paul Malone

The author drove a million miles and met thousands of people, they all educated him.

Some of the people I met would inspire anyone

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Happy birthday to me

Today the book launched on Amazon (Kindle direct publishing) but it has not gone to plan at all.

Six chapters of the book are missing!

If you can imagine that the cover for the printed book was designed for around 140 pages with 6 chapters missing it will be a lot slimmer.

Still it should be fixed for the paperback, fingers crossed.

I saw a death notice on the internet.
I recognized her straight away.

Her name was Lynn Shelton 54 had died from an unidentified blood disorder.

A few years ago there was a guy who was really tense walking up and down outside the Westbury hotel, he was talking to himself and gesturing wildly, I thought he was cracking up, after a while he went in to the patio area where he spoke with Lynn. Later on the guy went off to the toilet and the lady called me over.
She said that she was a movie director and that she was worried about the man. Straight away I told her that she would do much better in front of the camera. She was really beautiful.
She told me to wait for the guy and then take him to the airport safely.
I never forget a pretty face,so I was shocked to read that she had died at 54.

The guy was an actor and had come over for an audition but his nerves had got the better of him.
It was 3 hours before his flight so I brought him home for a cup of tea and a slice of bread.
My son is a drummer and this young man was the grandson of Buddy Rich the legend.
He played on Davids drums and a lot of noise was produced.

So the "Steering wheel university" will be fixed.
But a wonderful warm person Lynn Shelton is gone.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

This lockdown has me driven mad

Poor Judy, she went back to China for 3 weeks to visit her parents 4 months ago

Great for me I won the Lotto, if you could call €4 a win.Still "Manys a Mickle makes a Muckle.
So when I was picking up a few groceries I handed in my ticket and asked for a quick pick without a +
She scanned my ticket and then rang up for a new one. She was not used to the job and ran the ticket in with a plus. I never give back a ticket in case I am throwing away a winning ticket.
The ticket came to €3.50 and she asked me for 50c. No you owe me 50c.
She just couldn't see it.
Luckily there was a supervisor who jumped in.
"He gave you a ticket worth €4 and he bought a ticket worth €3.50?"  Said the supervisor.
"So he owes me 50c" Said the girl.

The supervisor reached into the register and took out the 50c. Thank God

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

On taxi driving you have to keep your wits about you all the time.
When I am giving change I count up. The fare was 21.60 Here is 40c brings it to 22 plus 8 that is 30.
The money that the punter gives you you place on the dashboard so that there is no dispute as to what you were given. So I went into Northwood and a tall Brazilian girl came out.
AIB, AIB. Where is that? AIB she said again, so I just said show me.
It was the Allied Irish Bank in Santry!
As we were turning into the bank she gave me €20. "You hold on to this,"
Then when we stopped she said wait for me. Can you give me 2 tens?
At that point I said we are all square now,so off she went.
She came back and we drove back to Northwood, on arrival she said (which didn't surprise me)
"Just take it from the €20 I gave you"
The row kicked off and then I said.
"Look at that blinking red light. That is a camera.
We will go down to Santry Garda station and sort this out now".
As quick as a flash she paid me and hopped out.

She must have done that a lot as she had it so well rehearsed.
Still there are a lot of prostitutes in Nothwood.
I am not saying that she was one, but that is such a sad road to be on.
I found an organisation to help.
Ruhama 01 8360292 or
Sad to say I do believe that some Garda turn a blind eye to what is going on,

Monday, May 04, 2020

One more day

Well the eBook launches for pre-order tomorrow, then it will arrive on the 19th.

It is in lockdown now so I cannot add to it.
Many tales have come back to me but this one missed the bus.
In Sandymount there is a terrific coffee shop Cafe Java and I was coming out when an African lady started to shout at me from across the road at the pub.
I drove over and she got in. "City West" "Which way do you want me to go?"
"God damn it the bloody driver doesn't know where it is"
I stopped the car. "Do you have a preferred route to go? I would go over by the canal"
So she directed me along the coast to Dun Laoighre and along the M50.
She was talking on her mobile fone so loud that my ears were nearly going deaf.
As we passed the sign for Ballymount she roared. "Jesus I don't believe it the fecking eejet has gone the wrong way, we just passed a sign for Ballymun"
I was fuming, and told her to put the fone down from her face for a minute, learn to READ that sign is Ballymount, the next one will bring us to the Naas rd".,
So she started talking again at full volume.
She worked for a company and they were holding a reception in the City West hotel for 1,000 people.
She was going there to get free drinks on arrival and canapes for the guests.
She paid me and got out, I went into the hotel to use the toilet,lucky that I did.
When I came out there was an old guy pushing a trolley with 4 suitcases on it.
I decided to help him. I told him that anything with wheels has to be pulled on gravel. If you push you are pushing it into the gravel and making work for yourself. I pulled it along with him and I told him about my lunatic friend that I had brought to the hotel. He said "You might not believe this, there are only 3 venues here in Dublin that can cater for that many people to do what she wants would cost €8000 or more,extra staff, breakages etc. That will not happen. As we were walking back to the hotel I saw two Hummers and a Rolls Royce parked to the side. "Wow they are wonderful cars" I said.
"Would you like to drive one?" he said "I will get the keys"
"No No, If I damaged the car we would both be very upset, its best not."I said.

"You are right, that would be a tragedy alright"

"Is that your taxi?
Do you have a run back into town?
Come inside to see if there is anything going soon?".
There was a run to the airport coming up in 20 minutes.
So he shook my hand and ordered me a coffee and walked away.

When the receptionist came back with the coffee I asked her who was the old guy?
"Do you not know him?
That is Mr.Mansfield he owns all this"

Then the African lady came waddling over fuming with temper.
"Take me back to Sandymount"
I was delighted to tell her that I had another job on.

To this day I believe that she had a screw loose in her head.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

May Day

To all the workers
Happy May day.

So It is finished if you go to Amazon and put in eBook "The steering wheel university" you will see it.
I have a few days to make changes and when I get someone to help me to size the cover I will get it printed, still the eBook should keep you busy.
Over the many years of driving I have met many people, some I would not like to meet again.
But others were pleasant and interesting.

Just a small one.
I had an investment manager in the car and I asked him had he any hot tips?
This is what he told me.
"Shopping centers, we believed were a great investment and we had invested several hundred million in them. One day I had a flash of inspiration and it changed everything.
The world has changed, rents are far too high. People now shop on Amazon.
Did you ever notice how shoe shops and book shops are disappearing.
Amazon ! Everything has changed.
We sold all our retail investments."
So I asked him what was good "Gold is best"

It reminds me of the story of the Polish man whose family had come to Britain when the war began.
They were weavers and settled in Yorkshire and opened several spinning mills making cloth.
He himself moved to London and when the older generation died out he inherited property and a gold tiara. To keep the property safe he got a storage box in a bank.
He put the tiara a very precious family heirloom into the strong box.
The cost of storage was paid by direct debit and he went about his life.
One day he needed to get the deeds of a house out of the box and when he went to the bank and opened the box the cash and the tiara were missing.
This is incredable
He went to the bank manager who said that the bank is not responsible for goods left in a storage box.
After all who knows what is in the box.
The way these things work is.
You go to the bank with your pass and ID a clerk takes you into the vault and he uses his master key which allows your key to open the box. Then you take it to the table and when you are finished the clerk comes back and you both lock it back in, neither one alone can operate it.
So there was no forced entry!
Cash and valuables were missing.
He went to the police, they said that as there was no sign of a break in there was nothing they could do.
He requested that the CCTV footage from the vault be reviewed and the bank refused.

So he took out a full page advertisement in the Times newspaper explaining his plight.
He must have taken legal advice because banks like to sue.

So be like Chuck Feeney, spend your wealth don't hoard it away.

This is why God made me poor.
But he made me rich in other ways.

I knew a Muslim girl who was having a very tough journey through life.
She had marriage and landlord problems and I helped her to move house.
When the final load was brought in I said that of all the people I know
you would be the first person that would benefit if I won the lottery.

Her eyes opened wide.
Never say that If Allah herd you and granted your wish the devil would take away
the one thing you have that is so precious.
Your wonderful sense of humor.

I hope that she got her life back on track.
I have not met her in years
narju 'an tarqud fi 'aydi allah 
May she rest in the hand of God

So in the book there is one very important chapter on the day I met this very remarkable man.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Its coming to get you RUN RUN

If I put what this is about it would be taken down.
Watch it now it will be gone soon.

Its coming  Run Run away

You are locked in so you have to listen to this.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

War of the Worlds

This whole thing is mad!
My wife will not let me leave the house except for walks in the park.
Our son is sent to do the shopping which meant that I have time on my hands.

So I got stuck into the book, chapter So I went to Kindle publishing and tried to download my work (To keep it safe) After 6 goes it said I had downloaded it successfully, I went to bed.
I opened up word and my 10 chapters are gone. I hope the nice people in Kindle have it or I will have to start it all again.
It is really strange how the stories which have been held in my head pop out for their moment in the sun.

Remember the "War of the Worlds" how a whole nation were shocked into believing that the Martians were coming? and peole went wild in the streets.

I feel like this whole Covet19 is like that.
But with the complete idiots in charge of government there is no real way of knowing where facts really lie.

Something is not right for sure.

Perhaps it is a foreign power sabotaging my efforts.

There is one taxi book that beats the hat of anything I could write
"Tales in a rear view mirror" By Donal Ruane 

Just a minute the nice people from Amazon are going to help !!!!! 



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.

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 !!!!

United States
Unknown Region
United Kingdom

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

Saturday, March 07, 2020


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.


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.


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 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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Where to?

Tango classes are held in the round room at the back of the Gate theater

There is a photo exhibition in the National gallery

Did you miss the Turner show, it will be back next January

After you say hello and you get your destination the next question is often
"What do you do for a living yourself?"
The most unusial answer that I have had to date is.

"Me ? I am a fruit stylist"

Yes I herd it right.
If you are photographing fruit for a M&S advertising campaign she would put her magic chemicals over the fruit and it would look 1$ million. She learned her craft in California and there is only one more of her in the country. A photographer told me that he could not enhance a photo to make it look as good.
She was on a fantastic wage a well.

So last week a little lady from Brazil heading for the airport flagged me down and
she trains models how to walk on the catwalk.
I really thought that they walked that way naturally.
She told me that she was Miss runway Brazil when she was 9 years old.

Being a model is a very tough gig, gaining weight, always feeling insecure as you last job could really be  your last as fashions change all the time and trends which are hot today are cold next week.

The insecurity can lead them into taking drugs, the slippery road to hell.

Marketplace in Canada do a great show.
Need to rent a car?
Watch this first
One tip that I tell people is to walk around the car with your mobile turned to video..

Thursday, February 06, 2020

17.5 minutes waisted

This day next week I will be among the best magicians at the worlds biggest festival of magic.

"John, Magic is the most fun you can without taking your clothes off " Paul Daniels.
I still miss him. Not that I met him that often. But he was always fun and never took himself too seriously.

He was giving a talk in Belfast and I sent him an email to say I was looking forward to meeting him again.
"Not half as much as I am" came the reply.
When the day came I went into the Europa hotel and found out where the meeting was to be held.
Paul was on the other side of the room when I came in. He stoped what he was doing, looking over to me he said.
"Gentlemen, here comes a very wealthy man ! As you can see he doesn't waste money on good clothes".
"Or wigs Paul"I said
"Touche"He said back
"No Paul. Toupee"
"Oh come here till I give you a big hug"

He really was a very humble man and in magic there are few better.

I think I am getting old.
But little things which are out of my control annoy me more and more.
My paper license for the taxi has been mislaid and I need it for a simple task.
It is on view on all the portals But not good enough.
I rang the National Transport Authority and asked for a duplicate license.
She went away and came back, You have to contact the Garda carriage office.
No No that is for the driving license, this is your department the taxi license.
She was away for longer and then said.
Now for me to issue you with a duplicate license I need €25.00

That is daylight robbery I said and ended the call after she gave me a reference number for the call.
Another 17.5 minutes of my life wasted.

There are hundreds of rickshaws out every weekend.
No tax, insurance, or vetting procedure
Plus they pay no tax at all.

And here I am being asked for €25 for pressing a button.

This was in London.Thank you to the taxi driver who got involved here


The blind guy doing card tricks  WOW

Monday, February 03, 2020

A tale of absolute horror

As you travel through your daily life some things might annoy you, disgust you or even horrify you.
These things are out of your control and even then you fight to change things.

As your old Granny might say.
"Save your breath to cool your porridge"

So I will relate a story which came to light last week.

Please if you are ill or very emotional please read no further..And I really mean that.

The headline read
"Are Britain's smart motorways death traps?"
In the UK they have a system whereby if the traffic gets congested they open up the hard shoulder as a carriageway.

The problem is if you have to stop where do you go?

In a ward of a Birmingham children's hospital an 8 year old boy called Dev Naran climbed into the bed of his older brother. His older brother Neel had suffered an epileptic fit and the doctors believed that he was dying, Naran was brought to the hospital to say goodbye.
Dev climbed into his brothers bed and told him how much he loved him and that the wanted him to live and come home again.

Neel later rallied and started to recover despite all predictions.

Dev on the way home in a Toyota Yaris driven by his grandfather was killed when their car was struck by a truck from behind.
The grandfather has no recollection of the crash, or why he had stopped.

The hard shoulder was live.

So people in high places make decisions which place peoples lives at risk.
They do not ever accept any blame.

Prison would be too good for them.
Imagine putting lives at risk to save the cost of expanding the road, they will have to make changes anyhow.
I cannot ever change any of this at all.
But if you have received traumatic news NEVER drive, take a taxi and collect your car later.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The passionate liberator

 I picked up this guy on Camden St.
Quick get me to the airport and stop at an internet shop till I print my boarding pass.
My flight leaves in an hour.
I told him to forget the internet shop, you can't check in on line inside 2 hours before take off.
He then tried to stop me taking the port tunnel.
I said to let me do my job and you can do yours.
He had missed that flight for sure.
But there would be other flights to London that day.

I asked him why he was going to London and he told me that they were going to make a movie about a book he had written called "Soldier for a summer"
He told me 
"I gathered and led a foreign militia to overthrow Muammar Gaddaf in Libya. My truck was the first one into his compound"

Call me Sam

I was listening and he seemed genuine enough, but I could check on him later.

The way my mind works was to tell him simply to be careful,
This is your book and your life story,
These people could depict you as a fool or a drug addict and because you gave your total permission you would have no control over your work.

Get a theatrical solicitor to help you.

We arrived and he departed.

Sam was the real thing all right, his brother in law from Tallagh was the Lord mayor of Tripoli for a while.
I was talking to some of his friends today, he is still alive with his Irish wife.

Depending on where you stand Sam was a really brave man.

You never know ho you might meet next.



75 years since the liberation of Belsen and Auschwitz death camps

It is 75 years ago since the extermination camps in Poland were liberated.
It is important to remember these things, the horror is that mankind can do unspeakable evil on other human beings. Many Germans to this day will tell you that it never happened.
On my journeys I met a man whose father rounded the people in surrounding villages and marched them through the camps where the bodies lay.

Even then faced with what they saw they denied that they knew anything.

It is said that even today the birds do not sing around Auschwitz

I also met a man who had been through the Japanese work camp where they built the bridge over the river Quai. 
When he was liberated he was only 5 stone weight even though he was over 6 foot tall.

"My ambition was to live, I never held bitterness in my heart. I LIVED my life from then on."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Psychology at work

This is the second strike day against FreeNow taxi app.
They are putting up their commission to 15%, that will be their take on every job if they have their way,

 My son is giving up his car, he won't need it when he starts driving the taxi, that is when he passes the knowledge.

To sell a car you might put an ad on the internet and have loads of time wasters ringing you, promising to buy then letting you down. I couldn't put a value on the car as it is 06 Prius and the public have a great fear that the battery will fail and the replacement battery costs €3,000.

Well not quite. The traction battery consists of 28 separate cells eash giving out around 15 volts Bolted together tou get 15+15+15+ which over i5 times gives you 225 volts If one cell fails you very carefully take it out and replace it. I got one for £20 on Ebay and that car was retired at 470,000Kms

So in the heel of the hunt I took it down to Merlyn car auctions near Naas and it was sold for €400, dirt cheap for what it was. You take what you can get on the day and thats that.

I had a young singer heading for rehersals, the address he gave me was Wood Quay where it should have been Denore Ave I told him to tell the gang that the stupid taxi driver got lost.

I am doing a bit and I pulled into Google where an Indian lady got in and told me which way to go.
I didn't follow her exact instructions and when we were near the end she said that she only had €10 though at that point the meter €11.20, "If you had taken the route I told you it would have been only€10"
She went on to say that she had no other change.
I have a credit card machine, after all you will need more change to get back into town..
Then I said if I was €2 short at the grocer, or in the coffee shop what would they say?
Or if I told my kids that there was no ice cream because someone short changed me.

She paid with the card and went off.

I know that the Merrion gates are always much slower.

Later in the day I had the pleasure of meeting a makeup artist from Los Angles, a really happy and beautiful lady, she had dumped her boyfriend and now she has gone to see the world
She wiped all the thoughts of the Indian lady from my mind.

You take the road as it comes, rain,hail or sunny weather no point in moaning about it.
You must learn to let things go.

I don't mind giving a discount €50.60 Just 50 is fine.

Look at this. 
Then go to YouTube and they tell you how it was made

Were you ever in court accused of something?

Look at how this guy defends himself....BOOM

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The living dead

I dropped off a customer at the Westbury hotel near Grafton St. the other day.
There were 4 taxis waiting so I headed off again.
On the way over to Auinger St. I saw what was once a really beautiful girl coming across the street. I stopped to let her pass and it was then that I looked at her face and into her eyes.
I swear to God if I had had a gun I would have blown her brains out.
She was a heroin addict, skin and bones looking into her eyes said it all.
The eyes are the window to the soul they say. The desperate emptiness in her eyes still scares me.
This once really beautiful kid was a walking skeleton with an empty desperate look of pain on her face.

There is no solution to this problem.
The top drugs barons rake in millions, the dealers further down make a profit, while at the bottom of the pile kids as young as 14 are becoming drug addicts.

25 years ago or so I got a radio call from Metro cabs and I was directed to a job and my customer was a drug dealer, he had a big mobile phone (A brick) and we went off to houses around Killiney, Foxrock where all the "quality" folk live.

Each deal was made 2 moves ahead, they would meet him at the gate and then he set the next deal in motion.It took a couple of hours in all.

Then he turned to face me "Don't judge me, I didn't ask them to take drugs, all I do is to provide a service and I cannot do this kind of work in my own car"
So in his own mind he justified his work.
One thing I will always blame him for was giving drugs to 2 young kids aged 12 to 14..
"No those are only Smarties, nothing stronger"
I know he will have something stronger when they are ready.
All these rich people living where we would all love to be

The wheel turns and the demand and supply grows by the day.

The book is coming on and there is quite a chapter on drugs.

Passing drug dealers on the Quays one day I said to my passenger how I would love to find a way to cure this problem. He gave me his business card and told me to ring him and he would arrange a world tour to explain how to beat the drugs problem to the world leaders.

A Dubliner called Bram Stoker wrote a book called Dracula, he wrote about vampires who suck the blood from people in the night. Then once you have been bitten a couple of times you become a vampire as well.

You join the living dead
Sound familiar? 

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Herring days

The days after Christmas have been christened as The Herring Days.
Things are so bad that you cannot eat meat.
It is not quite that bad, but it is tough.

A little bit of history.
In times gone by you walked to a taxi rank or held up your hand to hail a taxi.
If you needed a taxi and you lived on a quiet road you would ring a taxi company of which there were quite a few. The drivers who worked for those dispatch companies paid a weekly fee plus a % of account work.
The odd bottle of whiskey or the odd pack of fags into the dispatch kept things rosy.

Then came the APP as in Hailo. One tap and your taxi was there, you could see his progress and it took off.
It started off at 5  % commission paid to Hailo,
Then it went up, and up again to 12%
The name changed along the way to the really stupid title FreeNow
Now in the next few weeks it is going up again to something like 15%
While in Germany I hear that the c omission is only 7%                                             

Well there is a new app ready to download called TAXY and they promise to charge the taxi driver less commission. By the way the revenue which is being generated through the app is being used to advertise.
Go to Spain and the advertisements are all over the airport.
This does not come cheap.

But if the motor is broken... they are missing out.

Another funny thing is they keep sending out thees surveys.

How are we doing?
Just a few minutes of your valuable time.

The surveys seem to imply that FreenNow is the best thing since the sliced pan.
Do you agree?
Strongly agree?
 Etc etc. 

Anyhoo as they say in Canada time will tell.

I started Monday with a lovely lady from Brazil, she was just back here after Christmas and her body clock had not adjusted back to Irish time.
She was late for work.

Really guys we are so lucky to have such wonderful people living among us 
The Polish workers  pulled us through the last recession and now so many who have stayed are putting down roots.
A lot of the migrants are very well qualified, architects, vets, computer whizz kids.

The future is dot com