Monday, October 29, 2007

Do I know you?

Smithsonian Institute to the native Americans

(click on the boxes if the photo in not there)

Who would go to New York and take so few photos?.
I would.
But I will share them with you.

You never really know who you could meet in this game a pop star perhaps?
He will be surly, almost refusing to tell you where he is going in case you engage him in conversation,then even when you carry his bags into the lobby at journeys end he might try to leave you short, all because He is a star.

No TIPS it shows a lack of rearing thats all

Or a shop girl from Dunnes Stores. The shop girl will be funny, clever and witty.
She will be inclusive in her conversation.
She will also show a good depth of knowledge in many aspects of life and will tip well.
Then thank you.

"You are a life saver,have a great day"

One gets out and the next one gets in.
The next thing you are at the Airport.
They must have a big magnet there which draws taxi drivers to it.

I have had more bad jobs from the airport than good ones.

So there I was after going through the queue standing at number 3 in the rank.
A guy walks up to the cars in front of me,they nod no.
Then back to me and says.
"Will you accept American dollars?"

Luckiest day for me "Yes"

"How much to the K club?"
This is a big run, off the taxi meter area so it worked out at e80=$100.
He counted it out into my hand and off we went.

We were OK together, he had 2 kids and a lady who did not join into any of the banter as we went through the Irish countryside in the darkness.
I hit lucky with a radio station which played good rock music and the kids sang along to the music.
"Do I know you, your face is familiar?"
"Everyone says that to me" was his reply.

We spoke of this and that and then I spoke about a DVD which I had bought on the recommendation of a customer, "Traffic" A big discussion on drugs followed.

I gave his kids the story given to me by a reformed heroin addict.

"Heroin was great It was. It was like being in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, you would do anything for her.

Then your eyes are opened and you see that you are with the most hideous hag you ever saw"!

His story was moving and frightening at the same time, he never dreamed that his world would turn in such a direction.

I am clean now and I work with addicts but this city is falling down with drugs.

He took out a note book! "Are you a reporter?"
He said that he is a busy guy and he constantly keeps notes, so then he does not have to rely on his memory so much.

I have to say that he drew more from the conversation than he added to it.
Then we started to talk about the movie in detail and he knew he knew his stuff.
We spoke about locations, photography and lighting. Then I said that the plot seemed to have a piece missing near the end.
"I didn't notice that, I will look at it again,though my copy is a studio one".
We spoke about how important music is to a movie,"almost as important as the script" he added.

I mentioned Magic and the Magic Castle in Hollywood."Franklin Ave?"
The note book came out and the names of a few good guys were written down Bill Malone Billy McComb etc.

Next topic was golf, would it rain? the weather forecast was 50/50. The Ryder cup was to be played at the K club later that year.
Sorry I don't play golf.

Work is what people do who can't play golf.

What kind of a place was it?
Luxury in a word,its the place where the Smurfits live and there are some other wealthy people living there.
They say that Bill Clinton has a house there.
"So its not for the like of me and you".

The architect who designed it has a car which once belonged to Prince Charles,an Aston Martin."What color is it?" "Racing Green" "Thats right it is".

A beautiful car."I have one too and they are a dream to drive"

When we arrived and I pulled out the bags and carried them into the lobby.

Your face is so familiar,look, let me shake hands with you because I will be kicking myself when I later recognize you. Sure,OK and thanks for the trip.

Off I went and the day was fine so I suppose he got his game of golf.

When I later found out who he was I wondered why the limo was not waiting to pick him up.I can tell you that he is a real gent. Very sharp mind.

The next day on TV The Late Late show was on.
Pat Kenny said, we have a very special guest tonight Mr**** ******. In he walks.

He turns to the camera
"Before I start I would like to speak to someone.
John if your watching thanks for bringing us to our hotel last night,it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it"

Well if I was him I suppose I would not say who I was either.
The whole conversation would change.

Its nice to have a normal conversation.

We will leave the last word to Miss South Carolina
Or the very last word to her parents

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Heading for Holloween

A fine display of pumkins at the botanical gardens.

Archway at the top of St Marys rd.

Dylan hotel One of Irelands 6 star hotels, or so I hear.


The clocks go back one hour at the weekend, darker mornings, and Christmas is coming
We were in Woodies and all the raindeers and Santas are lined up,
I don't like the falseness of this "Season"

Things are changing on the property front and 3 solicitors are under investigation for using clients money to fund property deals. The banks are pulling back from advancing 100% loans and many houses remain unsold.
This is a result of the over supply of houses and money over the last few years. Years ago I was saying 30 or 40 year loans were mad.
People said "Do you not know another song?"
Bad tenants and late rents can soon bring your property dreams crashing down.

Well I am glad the madness is over.
I only hope we have a soft landing rather than a crash.

Bertie Ahern is looking like he will award himself a pay rise of e38,000.
This will mean that he "earns" more than George W Bush, or Gordon Brown.
Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

Learner drivers have to face new changes in the rules regarding driving.They should have a qualified driver with them at all times. This rule will now be enforced again.
I would like to see a rule where they have to have 10 lessons from a driving school as well.Some of the mad things you see as you drive around, its not all bad taxi driving. Saw a car turn left directly in front of a bus on his left.The bus was moving at the time, He deserved to be hit a broadside.That would have woken him up.

Polish and other guys are having their cars lifted at last. You are allowed to go to Germany, Britian or any other country for your holidays or to work, but only for a few weeks. After that your car must be taken home or re registered and have its NCT done etc. The foreign guys were drink driving and crashing then it was found that they had an invalid insurance. One other thing is if you have a non Irish license the Garda cannot put penalty points on it,many truck drivers are foreign and one truck company has been responsible for over road 40 deaths in 3 years.

Had a guy in the car who worked in IT, spoke of the many companies he had worked which closed down because they would not sell out when the time was right.
One company had devised a method of on line payment where your card number would not be passed over the net. It was a really good system.
The guy was offered e80 Million, he turned it down.
The market changed and his buyer moved to Pay Pal.
Problem was that the guy who turned down the money could not develop the product further, but he wanted to be in charge,he went bust instead.
Guess there is a time to sell and to buy.

An Irish girl working in Edinburgh Scotland really appreciated the warm weather of Dublin. Her emloyers are 2 guys in their 30s who started up an internet company a few years ago,now they are really rich.
They have property in South Africa and they are flying some of their staff to the property to work for charity. Did anyone ever hear of Nial Mellon he saw the conditions in the townships and he has done a lot to make a change.8 days to go before he heads over again. People like this should be our role models, not drug taking pop stars and models with pointless lives.
There will be more stuff soon as I get my head right.

Here is a thing I found on Roys Irish blog. Guided tour you download to your IPod,what a great free idea.

Or the great Dublin video shown on u tube
I would nearly go into town myself!

Here is something you might do if you have a bit of energy. Surf is up.
Some rush that!.

Then someone sent me this link
It think this is the best dash to the Sacre Coeur that anyone could do. Thanks to whoever sent it, this is a legend clip, people say he went to jail.

Then there was the guy who worked for pest control.
He learned that putting on Leonard Cohen music made the mice throw themselves on the traps.

Looks like the New York taxi strike is having little effect its easy to intimidate poorly educated people who do not understand they have a right to respect and a living wage.
This strike is about their folks at home.
The rich will get richer.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Working through

Newly refurbished glasshouse in the national botanical gardens Glassnevin

Radission SAS hotel in Stillorgan Note the cross on the front. A former convent.

Not in the mood much for work.
Took Friday night off to relax,just as well as Saturday night was a dissaster.

I went off and did a few hops and got close to the airport, went in and got caught up in the queuing system and got locked in with nothing coming out,so I couldn't abandon the operation. Went for a coffee and the up escalator was being cleaned.
So we had to run up the down one.
Its a strange sensation as you are walking against the stairs they appear to be stopped,unless you slow down.
Then at the top you have to make a giant leap to clear the last few steps,remember the stairs are going down so don't try to swing off the handrail!
You would not get a better workout at the gym.

This was the night of the rugby world cup.

When I did mike it back into town every nutcase jumped into my car.
This happens to every taxi driver a few times a year.

One fare was 2 Latvian girls who were so drunk it was not funny.

"Take us to 26 Clondalkin",Its a big place where is it near.
They wouldn't tell me so off I went.
"Is it near the village?" 26****
"Will I go out the Naas rd or through Ballyfermot?" 26 C*******
Then the more sober of the 2 started giving directions, left straight turn here, no other way. Then the second one woke up.."Why you here? we GO TO 26 c*****.

Now something changed in my tone of voice and they suddenly remembered where they lived. Neilstown...when we got there there was a party on in full swing in the back garden of a house. I dropped them off and as they walked past a nutcase with a flagon of cider in his hand they asked for a light and engaged him in conversation.
The kind of person he was would have made any normal person run away from him.
But they were stoned. How can anyone place themselves in such danger is beyond me.

I am so glad they are not my kids,talk about clouded judgment.

When nights go like that I abandon ship.
The mood seldom changes so I went off to buy the Sunday Times and came home to read it for a while.
200 polish workers have not been paid for 6 weeks by the company which employed them to do sub contract work for our national electricity company.
Thats what happens, you need cleaners for hospitals, you employ a contractor ,he employs people who don't understand their rights, he robs them blind and the hospital says. " Its not our concern?"
3 ships have been impounded in the last year in Ireland as they had slave crews on board. One ship had to be sold to get money to pay the workers.
The national union of seamen take no prisoners.

Oh yes a solicitor has had his license to practice suspended, while the investigate him.The banks have appointed a liquidator, they are not even sure how much they are owed. His property empire falls like a house of cards.

The shootings in gangland Dublin continue.
Remember the guy who rang up a chat show on the national radio a month ago? Well as a backlash the prisons were all searched and mobile phones taken away. This was followed by a few prison officers being suspended.
In gangland this guy was just a pain in the backside.
He was released from prison a few days ago and went out to celebrate. He arrived back at his house and when the 8 seater taxi pulled up the hit man opened the front door and pumped 5 shots into him. The victim was climbing over the driver to get out of the way as this was going on.

The taxi driver escaped without a scratch,one miss or a bullet passing through soft tissue the driver was a gonner.

And I thought I was having a bad night.

Sunday we had visitors from Australia.
So I did the tourist thing and brought them to a pub.
I suppose I have known his brother for nearly 40 years,kept in touch all that time.
Sent him back a few books to read.
Just imagine sitting in Woombaroomba with the chucks going by and a allagater sunning himself on the porch.
Laurie reading my book on Irish history.

"Where the bloody hell are you?"

Today I was kicking all the goals between the posts.
There is a big conference about pharmaceuticals in the RDS in Ballsbridge.
When you know there is something like this on you drive in and pick up.
There must be money in drugs they all were staying in the top hotels and just when I was going to finish up I got a lift from a Korean student who had come here to learn English, I had trouble finding the address.
I will buy a sat nav soon but we found the house in the end, his sense of direction was worse than mine as we had gone past the house twice.
I turn off the meter when I have a problem finding a street, when I am close that is.

He gave me a keyring with a Korean mask on it. Thank you.

People think that I should not let you my public see what I look like I say why not? Look here

I guess you all know what its like to be driven by me now!

I don't know if you have come over Achmed the terrorist

I reckon I will be back on form in 2 more weeks

Friday, October 19, 2007

Celtic tiger

Two young Polish looking guys spend the night sleeping rough.

Dublin Castle, once the center of British control.

The Celtic Tiger has started sneezing and the weather is getting chilly.
I am beginning to notice people living out on the streets,the Polish. Checz,Latvian etc are feeling the pinch. If you are in Dublin around lunchtime take a look down Bow street where several hundred homeless people are going for dinner every day. They came here with hope,no contacts,no English, no money and no chance.
I will not insult their pride by taking a photograph.

They are like the Irish who got lost in London and New York over the years.

At least communications are not as big a problem with mobile phones,e mails and text.

The old house sales have slowed down and the estate agents are not a smug when they drive past, from now on they will have to "sell" the houses,rather than just show them.
Falling prices means lower commissions.

I am resting today, tomorrow it will be hectic as the rugby final will bring out the punters. England V S.Africa.

I am fine now, so next week I will tell you a good story.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A good life

Bantim roosters play on the street in Booterstown last Sunday morning.

This sailing ship is called the eendracht she hails from Holland

Well I will be back to work again soon,I would like to thank those who shared my grief.
My mother was buried a week to the day when her sister was buried.
They had great lives and I hope that we can carry on with our lives using the strong character as an example to us in the future.
Their roots go back to the people of the Blasket Islands a community of poets and writers,they fought nature and eaked out a living. Until drownings and sickness drove them to the mainland.

People will not look forward who will never look behind to their ancestors
Edmond Burke.

Here is a poem which I read years ago which places the moment in stone when you suddenly know that you are now in the front line.
It is very symbolic.(like the line which describes the dawn,under the fading lamp)

Mirror in February

by Thomas Kinsella

The day dawns, with scent of must and rain,
Of opened soil, dark trees, dry bedroom air.
Under the fading lamp, half dressed - my brain
Idling on some compulsive fantasy -
I towel my shaven jaw and stop, and stare,
Riveted by a dark exhausted eye,
A dry downturning mouth.

It seems again that it is time to learn,
In this untiring, crumbling place of growth
To which, for the time being, I return.
Now plainly in the mirror of my soul
I read that I have looked my last on youth
And little more; for they are not made whole
That reach the age of Christ.

Below my window the wakening trees,
Hacked clean for better bearing, stand defaced
Suffering their brute necessities;
And how should the flesh not quail, that span for span
Is mutilated more? In slow distaste
I fold my towel with what grace I can,
Not young, and not renewable, but man.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pause for thought

Forgive me, I must pause here.
My Mother has passed on.
She really died many years ago,Alzheimers stole her life a few years ago.
She had a good life and perhaps we will meet again.

Farewell for now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Win this car for 2 quid! Manchester airport.

The dome of the observetory at Dunsink

Well it has been quite a week,not the usual run of the mill thing. Payed my income tax and went to a relations funeral in Manchester.

Here are a few of my observations from the week.

The king and queen of Belgium decide to have a state visit.Highly escorted processions through rush hour traffic.
One 07 unmarked BMW was driving around that evening without his lights on, then blasting cars out of his way with his sirens when they cut across his path. It would have been funny if someone had hit him.If a taxi was driving without lights the penalty points book would be out.
Perhaps all this chaos is revenge for Roger Casement who tackled the then king of Belgium over his exploitation of the Congo all those years ago.

A guy going to Wellington Rd talking on the phone and to me at the same time,then when he hung up we had an interesting conversation in the end I asked him was this where his office was."No my physio is here,I broke my neck 2 years ago,I must go at least once a week"Lucky guy to be alive and quite mobile.

On the same theme I picked up a fare at the train station, a young girl from Kerry studying to be a physiotherapist. She started out working in the Rehabilitation institute in Dun Laoighre. This is really going in at the deep end.

When you break your spine or have a bad stroke this is where you go,if you are lucky.
She told me of a woman in her 30s who returned from holidays and she had a soreness in he back. It was a tumor on he spine she is paralysed from the neck down.
Or the young 18 year old apprentice electrician now in a wheelchair after a car smash.

This is hard work both on the mental side and the physical side,you have to detach yourself emotionally, they really don't need your pity.
Just a helping hand to get on with their lives.
Your health is your wealth.

I wish you luck girl.

Dark haired girl
"When will it be dark?" Turns out she wanted to go for a driving lesson but wanted to do it before it got dark.She had no money to get professional lessons as she spends all her money on foreign travel.She is going to do her driving test in Italy as she reckons."It will be easier to pass there,as the Italians do not know how to drive"
She looked like at least one of her parents were Italian.
The joke about Italian drivers is "If you ever saw the movie Ben Hur,you will know how they drive in Roma"

At the Westbury an Indian lady going to the Merrion.On the way she gave me a recipe for lamb cooked in Greek youghrt which you marinate overnight with cardinium and a few other herbs. Dropping her off I picked up an Indian man.I told him about the glamouris lady who had just vacated his seat. When I told him a bit about the recipe he said "She is from the south of India,We in the north would not associate with people from the south" Indian people are a divided race,with their cast system etc.
Not that the Irish could ever get on by themselves.

Picked up a guy from the USA. He would have been a great guest for a TV chat show.
His name is Nick Wheelan.
Told me his life story so far in 20 minutes.
He is having a good full life.
He was a military man fought in Korea and 3 tours of duty in Vietnam was wounded each time he went there.
He finished up as a sargent major.
Spoke of his children and grandchildren. All their names etc.
You know it was a pleasure to be in his presence,I could imagine being in a foxhole while he quietly preps his men for the battle ahead.
Off to tour the Guinness factory.
Perhaps you know this guy?
The Irish Times is our leading newspaper and they have just published the old papers going back to 18 something. If you subscribe to the paper you can search back through the years. It is free from all public libraries,schools and universitier in Ireland which have computers.
Picked up a guy in IT coming back from its launch.

Then there was the Italian chef who was going into alternative medicine,

The girl who was into web design and IT.
This is for you

The name of the book is
Rich dad Poor dad By Robert T Kiyosaki /Time Warner paperbacks.

And all the many more beautiful people too numerous to mention.

You know I am happy when the tax is out of the way, last year I had to pay out on the double over a simple error,it has come right this year.
Not like Robert with his e1.5 million bill.

Just a note to say that death is a happy time,we leave this life behind and if we are lucky there will be someone to say a few words to create passion among the mourners.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson

Don't read this at my funeral, Something from Monty Python perhaps.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

First date

My 2 best pictures taken early morning in Clontarf.
I published one before now you have the set.

This is for the girl who is into web design and photography.

Friday got off to a hit and miss kind of session.

A young couple got in very polite going to Smithfield with loads of goodbyes and promise to ring tomorrow,he got out.I had hardly got the car into gear,"that was our first date".It seemed to be going well."Yes I think it did go well,time will tell"
Well you are wondering how it all worked out,perhaps in 2 years time we will meet again and she will say "I remember you,you are the man with the blog".
Then we will all find out how it worked out.

Did some runs from the airport, nice sober people returning from holidays.
Another taxi driver asked me where Dylan hotel was
Its just off Baggott St and I was told that its a 6 star hotel.I told his passengers that I hoped they were good tippers. The rooms are cleaned 3 times every day.They must have celebs as they said they were not paying.Fantastic website that 10 course taster menu seems the best idea yet.
Got a run back into town and then just by chance a run out to Rathoth e43 theres e45 driver keep the change, the houses out there are great it used to be a village 10 years ago, but you could get lost out there now.
I went to the airport and was dropping off a fare at around 10 pm two ladies just back from east Africa. The Greenhills road has a small garage where they have a couple of classic cars all the lights on at 10 pm. I slowed down a bit but saw nothing unusual except that all the lights were on. Well at that time a gunman walked into the garage and killed 2 people fired 8 or 10 shots and then off on his motorbike.
On the other side of town in Ballymun 3 raiders arrived to rob a security van which was filling a ATM machine at the garage.Bang fired a shot over their heads and grabbed the cash.
Problem one of the two motorbikes wouldn't start.
Then they had forgotten to bring a bag to carry the money.
A Carry on movie plot,but it gets better.
Leaving the money behind 3 robbers get on to the one motorbike and fly up on to the M50 and down the off ramp thus driving up the M50 the wrong way on the hard sholder.

Never a dull moment!

Later on in the night I had to bring my son out to the airport, I know he should ring a taxi but the taxi companies are hit and miss on weekends so I offered to bring him.He dosen't live with us so I arrived at this house in good time.
"Hi dad come in and wait while I LOOK FOR MY PASSPORT" which took almost an hour.
My blood was boiling and I know every parent feels abused by their kids,you put yourself out and they are far from ready to act.You only hope that their own kids will be the same,then you can say "you were 10 times worse".Hows that for revenge.

I don't think another taxi man would have waited for him,perhaps I am just growing up to be a grumpy old fecker,but I know Bob has missed many flights, his thoughts are on other things.

This knocked a hole 3 hours out of my busy night,just when the action kicked off.


Be kind to you children now and they will pick a nice nursing home for you later.

Tonight was different It was flat out from the start. We had the "Police" in concert in Croke Park and queues at the ranks from 10 pm till 4 am and later.
A lot of the runs brought me southside so the poor tippers were out in style.
You would think when they were rescued and brought home they would hand you back the shrapnel. No way, the southsiders have the money because they will wait for their 20c
Though I complain here I will never withold 10c change, I push the 10c back into their hands.
I worked as best I could but in the end the punters were getting a bit angry about having to walk so far that I figured that that the rest of them could just walk home all the way so here I am home at 5.30.

Tomorrow is another day.