Saturday, April 28, 2007

May Day

With the May bank holiday started I thought that I would send you all this photo of Mary,"realt na mara" star of the sea the statue stands at the end of the Bull wall and viewed by the ships as they slip in and out of Dublin port.
The second is a photo of a plaque I found in Grosvenor Sq. Rathmines.
Imagine Rex Ingram was Irish.
Well not the Hitchcock I thought he was (
Well when you speak to people you get to hear things which you don't hear on the radio.

A couple from Romania going to James's st. hospital the other day. After the usual comments she told me a tale which must be the nightmare of any parent. She works in a well known hotel, a few nights ago there was a family with a small boy staying in the hotel.
When I herd the story a few of the exact details got lost.
But they got a call in reception from the boy crying for help, he didn't know where he was.
They traced the call back to room ?? and sent up a porter with a master key.
When he arrived on the floor the little boy was in the corridor without a pajamas bottom.
He was crying and could not remember what happened to him.
There was 2 men who had booked in to a room together at that time, she strongly suspected them.
What will happen next will be a question for the police, my thoughts are with the kid, and his parents.
No matter where you are there is a jackal waiting to pray on the innocent lamb.

The tourists are arriving in their droves as I speak, but the traffic is a complete bags.
M50 Red cow Monday morning traffic stopped for 2 hours.

Had a visit from a childhood friend who now lives in Sydney. He got lost so we had to arrange an alternative meeting place which turned out to be the Foxhunter pub near Lucan.
It is nice to speak to old friends, filled each other in on changes which are happening worldwide.
Tensions in Sydney where Scruffy Murphys pub is in the dock for banning Asians and Arabs.
Strange to say an old Ozzie was telling us about riots in Sydney, race related.

Trust the Irish to start a war!

Sorry folks we have come up with no answers to the worlds problems, but it was cheaper than a UN summit.
After a short while I brought Sam back to the Navan road avoiding all the traffic.
Short cuts bring you all over the place, but we got there without much effort.
Sometimes I wish that you could do a magic calculation to find the quickest route taking in all the situations which are present at that time.

Wouldn't we all love to buy one of those gadgets.!

Thanks for the old childhood photos Sam, guess some of them are 55 years old.
When my mother moved house all the photos which were in a box were lost.
Now its not like they were of any value to anyone else, but ke sera sera!

Made my way home and when I was almost there I was flagged down by a girl with a fantastic tan,going to Cappagh hospital..All the way back over the traffic building up and flowing like treacle.
Turns out she is just back from Sydney..Thats 3 today
The great adventure! Out via Thailand going over and she got the tan in Bali on the way home.
Trouble is she wants to go straight back.
"How can we keep them down on the farm now that they've seen Paree?"

There is no balance of work when you are driving sometimes its busy, then it gets really quiet.
Then you decide to go home and the world and his wife hail you.
I can't drive past work.

On the crime scenr Dutchy Holland the man who allegedly shot Veronica Gueran is in Bellmarsh Prison. Seems he was planning another hit in the UK.
Fatpuss Bradley phoned up the Joe Duffy on radio and joined in the conversation on air, now he was phoning from Portlaoise prison which is supposed to be maximum security.
This caused the minister for justice to go on air the next day to assure the public that dangerous criminals do NOT have access to phones in their cells.
He also advised us that prostitutes were never brought into prison to service the needs of the inmates,makes you wonder what else is not happening.

Bertie Ahern is find it hard to explain how 80,000 stg(correction 30,000) found its way into his then mistresses bank account. Money which he has stated HE NEVER GOT..
Well I reckon there will be a lot of long noses around before the elections are over(Penochio).

Help the nurses. All they want is more pay and a 35 hour week.
If they just sacked all the spin doctors that the government employs and made Bertie appear without make up, I reckon there would be a few bob over to pay them.

Well I have been working but only enough to keep the wolf from the door.
A little in the morning and some more in the afternoon. No point in getting too stressed out with all the beautiful weather we are having at present. There will be more work to be done when it is raining.

I will try this as a link But just in case it won't work here it is again and paste)
Now theres a thing you don't see very often. You see how he won a standing ovation.!

Well I thought that was good till I saw this
If that link don't work look here
And then 10!

Enjoy the May bank holiday its the workers holiday after all.

Workers of the world unite
Man on an oxygen mask. The nurse picks up his chart.
He speaks and she hears him say.
"are my testacles black?"
She puts down the clipboard. Pulls down the beadspread, opens his pajamas.
Lifting his manhood up she says " they look fine to me "
"Nurse that was very interesting, but listen very carefully.

Are my test results back?"

Leave them laughing.

Mobile phones

This is a photo of the annual taxi driver outing for special children.
Arranged every year around 200 taxi people take the day off, dress up their cars and parade through the city streets to a big party out in Leopardstown racecourse. Its about the only good press we get, but lat year they did not cover it at all.

Well I was driving down Pierse St. with my mobile phone in my hand when I was pulled in.
Whats the matter? You know very well what the matter is. You have a mobile phone in your hand. I was not using it . Look heres the call history.
I don't care about that its an offence to have a mobile phone on your person while you are driving.
I am going to issue you with a ticket e60 fine and 2 penalty points.
Well the summons came and I filled in the details and posted it back.
The next day it came back. We cannot process this as the name on the ticket is different to the name on the driving licence.
So I rang them up.
Photocopy your licence and put the photocopy in with the letter and the ticket was cancelled.

The mistake I made was that I was wearing a baseball cap to keep the sun off my head.

Now everyone knows that baseball caps are the uniform of drug dealers and criminals.
About an hour later I saw a guy driving an oil tanker his elbows steering the truck while he wrote a text message. 5,000 gallons of petrol texting a message.

I never saw anyone else being pulled over for using a mobile before.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Celtic tiger Bites back

Two fine examples of period houses in Bray Co. Wicklow.

If you have read my blog before you will know that I am a great supporter of the Samaritans.
They will listen when you need to talk, they have helped many suicidal people.

This week saw the horror of a family suicide,2 small kids and their parents.
All the signs of problems were present, no positive action taken.
The papers are full of editorials.
If only and what if ?
The funerals took place today and the grandfather took his daughter and grandchildren back to Donegal ,why should they be buried with their killer?.
Perhaps now so close to election time proper social worker cover will be made available nationwide outside 5 day office hours as is the situation at present.

The mental hospitals have a lot to answer for too.

One of my workmates described seeing a woman on a cliff in Howth. He had pulled into the carpark it the summit in Howth, as he was dozing off when he was disturbed by a car door slamming.
He looked up to see her ghostly figure pass his car window in her nightdress.He approached her slowly and coaxed her back to his car, he gave her the rug from the boot and she cried and would not go to the police station or tell him where she lived.
There was a long story about abuse from he spouse who was a wealthy man, he was pushing her to kill herself..She was in a awful state.Later on he told me that it must have been the husband driving off that woke him.
So her darling husband had driven her there in her nightdress.
He talked to her( Jimmy has a way with people) and he got from her that she had been at a posh hospital in Stillorgan. Yes she would to go back there.
So he went there.

The person at the desk looked up her file and then said that there is nothing wrong with her, "we have discharged her, she is well".
Jimmy asked if they would take her back , just for the rest of the night, 4 AM.
No, came the reply.
Jimmy slept in the front while she slept in the back until 8.30 when he brought her in to reception wearing her nightdress.
Then he walked away in great pain from the cold.
Jimmy said we were stonewalled at every corner, those psychiatrists should be made liable for their missed diagnoses.

I know taxi drivers have many stories like that to tell.
Carry a card for the samaritans and don't be afraid to stick your neck out.

Now as Monty Python would say for something completely different.

I met 2 gentlemen from Kuwait last week. The first asked me for the Shelbourne hotel. This hotel has been fully refurbished and it has been so long since anyone asked me for it that I was allmost stumped.
Why are hotels so expensive in Dublin? Well this is one of the poshest in Dublin, Like the Savoy in London these places do not come cheap. We told me that his airline was having a conference in that hotel and that is why he chose it.
Well there you are, the airline will pick up the tab,enjoy it.
I got an insight into his country then.
The shopping malls open until 11 at night. The fantastic ski slope which means that you can go from 100/0 to freezing and have the most wonderful experience.

The second guy was much mote sociable.
He had 4 daughters and was retired so he had come to visit his daughter who studies dentistry in Dublin. He loves the people and how you are safe to jog in the morning. Another Daughter lives in the States but he finds the people there too intrusive and noisy.
His father had been a taxi driver for most of his life and he made good money.
Now both his father and himself were retired, so as he loved Ireland he was here to stay for a good stretch.
Then I mentioned the war and was reminded of the gratitude that the people of Kuwait owe to America. I had forgotten of the invasion by Iraq.
He lost 2 brothers at that time. I remember that the school term had ended and many young students went back home and did not return to Ireland when the new term began.

We presume they died too.

One other guy I met asked me to drive him to the nearest bank link machine then back to Clontarf Castle. On the way he told me he was a pilot and he and his crew had been stranded for 2 days because the baggage handlers had broken the door of his plane.
I told him that I couldn't think of anything nicer than a few days in a top hotel with a few beautiful air hostesses, all expenses paid. It is not the pleasure it would appear to be.
There is a lot of responsibility I have to insure everyone is at the airport at 5 am.
No drinking or drugs for me !

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Travel in hope

Cruise ship in Dublin port today. As I drove along the Clontarf road a helicopter landed beside the ship.You could almost hear them say. Well there's Ireland done, Scotland tomorrow.
Without hardly putting a foot on the place.

Looking at St Annes church from the Westbury hotel off Grafton St.
Large puppets on O Connell St. at the James Joyce festival a while ago.

Funny thing happened today,
A girl from Kenya said ."Could I use your phone the battery on mine is dead. Its very important. I will only be a minute and I will pay for the call.
The first 10 seconds might have been important.
Then she goes on and on and on. I was going to explode when she decided to stop.
Mobile phone charges vary a lot . For her 8 mins I charged her e3.
Could be more, a lot more. Could even be less.
There is no magic number to find out.
What I found offensive was the lack of respect for the use of my phone.
I would never talk on the phone for 2 minutes myself and I would surely not use up someone elses credit .
When I got home I looked up my account on the o2 website and there was the call only cost .85cent, I thought it would cost a lot more.

I told her that in the 2euro shops they sell a phone booster which has adapters to fit all phones.
It wouldn't fit mine its not a Nokia.
ALL phones, I repeated.
It will keep you going or even charge up your phone in the bush.( that might have hit a nerve as she was black)
Why people take advantage I will never know. Once a girl borrowed my phone and then she said I don't recognise this ring tone. She hands me the phone as soon as I hear the tone I stop the car so fast that she nearly goes through the front windscreen from the back seat.
I looked again at the dialed number.

She was shocked as no one had ever spoken to her like that before. She lived in Dalkey where there is plenty of money and people live a lifestyle well beyond their means.
Opertunists are everywhere.

I often listen to the radio while I travel around.
Many of my passengers think I just talk away all the time even when I am by myself. Like a long playing cd.

BBC radio4 had a piece the other day about the OZ BUS.
A bus from London to Sydney 20 countries in 12 weeks for 3750 stg.
Look it up
Loads of sightseeing tours all food and accomadation included.

It sounds a lot and it is expensive but you have a escorted tour of half the world !
The poor drivers must be whacked when they clock out in Sydney and London .
They must be able to do births deaths and marriages on the way.
I hope you would be able to do a hold back !
IE wait for the next bus if the people on the bus you are on were not compatible people.

The BBC have a great website.
Radio 4, World service. News in many tongues.
It is an education. But remember there is a lot of propaganda there too.
and you can even pick up the regional services like radio Merseyside.
Liverpool the capital of Ireland abroad.
CIE international also arrange bus trips through Europe. up to 6 buses travel between here and Warsaw every day, It would make a great radio programe, speaking to the people as you travel. Radio is much better than TV

When driving a taxi.
One thing that I have learned is that you can refuse a fare.
"Driver YOU MUST get me to the airport in 20 minutes"

Boys and girls you don't
I will tell you a thing that took place a few summers ago.

I was waiting at the rank at College Green when an American couple approached.
Do you know where the cruise ship is docked?
Sure in the port. Unless it has no handbrake.
What do you mean?
The lady then wanted to go in a different car.
Sure he knows honey he is just kidding.

The gent wore a big white cowboy hat and looked like US presadent L B Johnston.
He asked my name and introduced himself. The usual banter followed.
When we arrived at the liner (she was a beauty) he asked me if I would collect him at 8 and bring him to Jurys Cabartet show ?
For you OK.
At 7.50 I was waiting and spoke to the guardian of the gangplank!
At 8.20 my guests arrived. I started the meter and as they got in I added 1.50 pick up charge plus .50 for each person.
This car is a 6 seater and 2 small elderly prune like women (Jewish) got in and started saying.
"Just look he, is robbing us,because he thinks we are stupid. he thinks we are millionares"
Look I snapped your pick up time was 8pm the meter was only started when you got in. You really owe 20 mins waiting time.They invited others on for transport from the port.
On the way I dropped off a few passengers and went over the East Link bridge, where I justly levied .50.(It was a while ago)
See what I mean ? the ladies quipped
Would you prefer to go the long way? or do you want me to pay the toll from my own pocket?
The Texan John Wayne lookalike seemed to be very embaressed about these 2 ladies.

When we arrived at Jurys he said. John I hope this will cover the fare, he handed me about 60 quid.
Woa I said. The fare is only 12.
Look what you have given me.

Take 20 he said these women don't know Jack Shit.
I hate the way they have insulted your integrity and honesty.
I knew your were honest, I just wanted to show these ladies, I would have bet my stetsun hat that you would not have taken more money than the fare.

It was a nice afternoon, there was time to kill before the show and he sat on the edge of the van to have a smoke.
He complained how he was restricted from what he wanted to do on the ship all the time,.
He was not happy.

I am going to jump ship and go back to Texas tomorrow.

Those two old ladies joined our trip after we had been cruising for a few days.
They joined our table and insulted all the staff. One girl from Korea that we all loved went away in tears, she won't come back to serve us.
Nothing is right for them.
Everyone is out to rob or poison them.
They emberass me on a daily basis and I am not even connected to them.

This trip out for example is at My expense, like all the others I have paid for.

I thought for a minute then I said.
I look at you and I see a guy who is not poor, you have worked hard for what you have and you deserve better than you are getting.
These women are professional carpetbaggers who look at you to see what they can get from you.
They are taking advantage to your good nature, taking money from your pocket.
Go back to the ship and ask to speak to the purser.
I am sure this has happened before and he will arrange to sort it out.
Remember you are the victim here.
Its your good nature they are preying on.

Thanks for that, he said.

Will you collect us when the show is over?

No I said I have had enough of those 2 ladies.
But there is no shortage of taxis in Dublin.
Can't say I blame you he said.

When I think of going on a trip I often think of him.

He probably has a ranch just outside of Austin Texas producing 200,000 barrels of crude per year.

A clever cowboy trapped by two vultures, I hope the trip worked out in the end.

Here is you bonus of taxi candid camera

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A good laugh

Today is a very important day if you are a member of the Russian orthodox church.
So the lady told me as she gave me directions to the church which is at Mount Jarome cemetery in Harolds cross. This is the day when we pray for the departed souls x days after Easter Sunday.Radinissia Day.
She was a wealth of knowledge, Russian Orthodox is the oldest church. Much older than the Catholic church. Hundreds of Russian Orthodox people came here when China occupied some land where they lived, you can go round the back and see their graves, but come inside its a beautiful church. 6 people were there and the priest could be herd but not seen as he chanted from behind a screen. No seats, the parishioners walked about praying.
She was a pensioner but buzzing like a bee with activity.
Sunday brought home the people who had been away, Spain , S. France raining! New York snowing, here if was lovely.
One couple were back from Morocco where they had bought a beautiful leather bag for around e50. A steal!
They had a car under cover when we arrived at the house. What car is that? Ford Mustang she said. Its his toy.
I had a book at home about Lee Iaccocca the guy who had the vision to build the car so I threw it into my car and gave it to them. When I went back the covers were off. It is the new model Mustang. I wish them good look with such a beautiful car.

Today I had 3 people in the car from Mauritius, they are becoming quite common and they were talking in Creole French..the accents on the words made the language sound so strange, like Cork or Scouse English I suppose.
On O'Connell St I met a guy who drives a taxi in Sydney Adelade and Dublin. He feels most at home here and we do a damn sight better here than in Sydney. The heat there would kill you.
How does he do it?

I brought another girl from Cork out to the airport really bright girl and she said something really profound.
Ireland for the first time in recent history has immigration. Young eager people bringing their own experiences, dreams and hopes to the country, perhaps the Irish should not be so afraid and try to live up to their expectations.
She was colored, but that will never hold her back. Not for a second.

Eco taxis made their debut yesterday and the're free !

Now here is a candid camera thing. First is Tommy Gorman head of the taxi union NTDU
Cut and paste.
Its a pity the "links" thing wont work

I laughed so much the tears were running down my legs.
Hope it worked for you .
The other one Is George Hook a radio presenter.


e from

Last Sunday I got a run down to Celbridge from the airport. Down the M50 I went and when I went to take the exit at Liffey valley He said no its the next turn off. When we got to the Red Cow exit he directed me towards Naas. After a few minutes he said I was going the wrong way!
Ever the diplomat I just said I was following his directions. When on a dual carriageway it can be hard to turn around.
Look I will turn off the meter & bring you there cross country, so we cut through the Kildare countryside in the morning sun, with the grumbling passenger giving out stink.
Look I said the only looser here is me. you gave me directions and even when I told you it was the other way you insisted on going the opposite way.
Just give me e25 and we will call it quits. He gave me 30 but saying he was wrong was not on the cards. Perhaps I will be more forceful in the future. Hindsight they say is 20/20 vision.
I noticed signs pointing to a sale of Vintage and classic cars at the City West hotel.
I had the camera so enjoy the photos. There was 20 men there to every woman.
So the rest is for the boys only.

Boys only

more boys toys

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easy days

The photos are from Bray where once these magnificent hotels played host to people from Scotland, grand red brick buildings which would be at home in Brighton or Blackpool.
The other is in City West the building is a great landmark!

Strange customs around. Up in Cavan we celebrate Easter with a Cludug, everyone gathers around the bonfire, and drops their egg into the bucket of boiling water. When they are cooled down they are painted.
Then everyone goes to the top of the hill and rolls their egg to the bottom. First one down wins.
Plenty of cracked eggs and heads at the bottom.
There was around 36 relations and neigbors there this time. Cousins from Scotland Cork and Belfast. Plus ourselves from Dublin.
I was reading the blog Taxi Tales and they have that custom in Cumbria too. They don't have it Munster or even in other parts of Ulster. It is the one excuse we have for getting together so I hope it keeps going for another few years.

On the taxi front traffic is a breeze as the builders, courts and schools are off.
Today I saw 2 of the new carriage office enforcement officers. There is 9 to cover 50,000 + taxis.
I expect to see great things!

I have been working mornings only and cutting the grass etc.

When things pick up I want to be well rested, that trip to Kerry then up to Cavan took more out of me than I expected, mabie I am getting old.

Today everyone tipped really well..e38 fare,,give me a receipt for e50.
e6 e10 keep the change.
I can never fathom this tipping thing!

You help someone, give them maps, carry their cases up the steps and let them use your restaurant guide and they wait for 20c change.

You pick up someone in a wheelchair and they give you e3 tip.

I really hope those guys who were buying property in Dublin 4 (and gave me a lousy 50c tip get really toasted)

It is a strange thing that people who stay in 4 star don't tip and the working classes do tip well.

Someone put it really well.

Tipping is like wiping your arse when you go to the toilet !.
If you don't do it right at the time it will be very messy when you go back there.

I do know that people who have worked up through the ranks will understand how the system works, they remember how the tips were more than their basic pay.
Just think ASSHOLES.
Sometimes I feel like saying 20c is your change not a tip. But then I would be showing bad manners.

My dad YEARS ago gave a dockhand a half a crown, "here buy yourself a drink" he replied "Jesus mister you must take me drinking with you if you think I can buy a drink with that"
Dad gave him 2/ more for his quickness. You could buy a pint for 2/6 then Old money.Nothing wrong with it..Why change it ?

Still if I keep my ears open and my mouth shut you would never know what you might hear in the back of a taxi. Perhaps a winner for the Grand National!

It was a charmed morning and I thank you all.

It seems like a lot of taxi bloggers are giving up the ghost and moving on to other things.

I hope that mad DC cabby keeps up the good work, he wrote some good stuff. Go to his link and have a read.

The New York hack seems to have run out of steam since she wrote a book.

The Tango Taxi driver from Argentina who teaches tango and drives his taxi by day is getting better and better.
He is a regular Micheal Flatley!
Look him up in you tube!. He has about 4 clips of his show.

Sydney, Perth, still looking good!

That guy from Canada . Federicton taxi, it is such a pity what happened to his daughter, take a look see.

The London cabby still working away and being scammed. We are prime targets for every type of con and trick artist

Jump from one link to the next don't forget NY taxi shots and Maui paradise driver in Hawaii.

Go see the world from a taxi blog!

Goodnight see you next week.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Dublin to Dingle

The photos I published one shows the taxi fare from Dublin to Dingle Start 2.50pm
Finish 9.38 360.15 Kilometers (2 Breaks) total e637.20

My Mothers grandfather came from the Blasket islands, It was a place famed for its writers and poets.( I wonder where I went wrong.) After many losses of life at sea the island was evacuated in the late 50's.
That ruin was where my folks came from.
Funny thing is that a Belgium couple had a map which pinpointed the house. We had not a clue where to look.
Those black whale like objects are Curraghs which can skip through the Atlantic waves like a knife through butter. The square holes in the bottom are for outboard motors, you should row. Thats cheating.

Great trip, happy to be away for 36 hours.
Tomorrow up to Cavan to visit the other folks.

I know that I go on like a broken record about the need for speed that the young folk have. Well guess what, when we were coming home we met the biggest funeral I ever saw. Three young people were killed. A car coming down a steep Kerry hill (18 year old driver)crossed over the road missing a car on the overtaking lane and demolished a car coming up on the climbing lane. 2 young men in that car killed. You could not even guess that the wrecks were once cars.
Kerry and Donegal have the highest young driver fatalities.

Slow down!

To the Blasket Islands

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring has sprung

I was in Mountjoy Prison the other day and there is the original "Auld triangle" all along the banks of the Royal canal. But that story will be for another day.
A novel form of transport, there was 2 kids in the sidecar with little leather helmets. So cute.
In Japan they drive out to the country to view the cherry blossom,they sit and wonder at its beauty, just now it is at its very best.
The weather has turned and we are having fantastic sunshine.
March, they say if it comes in like a Lion it goes out like a lamb and visa versa.

I am off to Kerry for 2 nights and 3 days, so no worries for me about the traffic jams on the M50 for a while.

I service my car myself the last garage I used let me down in a manner that has come in with the Celtic tiger.
I pulled up on a Friday afternoon and filled up my Diesel car with petrol a mile down the road she conks out. I cruse in to the hard shoulder and phone for a break down truck.
While I am waiting I phone the garage. Paul its John here I am getting a tow up to your place I need you to siphon out petrol.
Listen to me , he said. When I finish working on this car I will be dropping the bonnet and I will not be working on anything the second of Jan.
What about me?

There's more than one garage in Dublin.

Christmas day was on a Wed. that year and this was on Friday afternoon, so I siphoned her out and poured the petrol into my diesel central heating tank and gave it a bit of a mix with a stick.Cleaned the fuel filter bowl out and pumped up fresh diesel through the fuel line, a new filter.
Bingo I was back for the night shift.

I went to one other garage. The first service took overnight and up to the next day.
Then a crafty old bugger told me to leave the roof sign at home next time, hey presto the next service took 2 hours. The fecker had been working my taxi all night.
Now if he had done something wrong there would have been all hell to pay.

There are so many taxis now that it is hardly worth anyones while to go out.
Oh for the good old days.

I met Paul in the motor factors a few years later. How are you getting on ? Did you give up the taxi? I haven't seen you in a while.
Well its like this Paul, theres more than one garage in Dublin.
He turned scarlet and walked out.

The guy in the motor factors nodded when I told him what it was all about.
He won't be the first or last to be bitten by this Celtic tiger.

So this time tomorrow I will be heading out for the Balsket islands..Next parish...New York