Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goin Going G

Well I will be in London this time tomorrow, down in the old bull and bush.
This is the guy I have gone to see.

Not bad for a man with only one arm !!

The girl who is doing the English has a fantastic magic act of her own, one that has taken her around the world many times, no words you see.

Another honoured guest is this guy.

Theese people are working because they are really good.

I suppose there is more to life than driving a taxi.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas tree all lighted up

The tree has been turned on, it changes color, red, green and white.

Grafton St lights.

Talbot St lights

Grand canal at Ringsend

Ducks crossing. Portmarnock

Well another week is over for me, my days off are Tues and Wed as a result I can go into quiet shops and pubs without all the hassle of the weekend crowds, not that I have money to spend though.
The weather here was a disaster, flooding in Cork, Galway, Gort etc. Along with the floods comes the power cuts and the drinking water has been contaminated, the supply has been shut off in many areas, we had no water on Sunday.
But homes have been flooded out which is very bad news indeed.
In Cork water containers were €6 each then they went to €12 then they went to €24 for the container that was €6 a few days before, bad shopkeepers, people will remember and shop somewhere else in the future.

At least we can blame the government for all this!

The O2 venue helped us out at the weekend with Bill Bailey and Boyence providing some of the people for us.

A pale girl got into the taxi in Fairview this morning,"I normally cycle" she said though she did not mention until she was getting out why she was taking a taxi today. She had a cross on the center of her forehead with black marker and a line above her eyebrows her with what looked like tippex.
Radiation therapy? I asked.
No she had been knocked off her bicycle and had spent much of her weekend in hospital. Now she just had to go to work though she was unwell.

You just never know what's going on in peoples lives.

On Saturday a guy got into the taxi going to Terenure cross roads and he told me that last week he stopped a taxi and asked to be dropped at the Stephens Green shopping center. The driver wanted the passenger to give him directions.
Now he thought quickly and told the driver to pull over and stop.
He got out and told the driver that he must not be a legal taxi driver if he did not even know where St.Stephens Green was.

He didn't pay.

Every few days I come across similar stories, that guy told me he had daughters and he would not feel safe if they picked up a taxi in the street, not with so many illegal drivers around, so the legal drivers suffer with the illegals.

Nice one Kathleen Doyle taxi de regulator.

This is what we need, the knowledge.

Here is an interesting one.

Someone told me this one the other day, I was amused.
A works outing took place from Belfast to Portstewart for the day.
One guy studied the racing page on the way down, he had the paper all marked out when the train stopped.
Looking around he couldn't see a bookies office so he asked a local.
"A bookie" said the man scratching his head,
Then he remembered.
"Do you see yer man over there on the corner with no arse in his trousers?

Remember this? over 32 million hits on you tube.

Now they have made a sequel

I don't know if this will work but here is a good radio programme about Harry Crosbie the owner of the O2

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Batten down the hatches

A fine old classic car ZV was the classification for vintage cars

The Virgin Mary stands keeping an eye out in Pimlico

Modern office block Sandyford

Theres a big storm coming

My second ride on Thursday was from Marino down to East Wall,this was once a very close community where dock workers and people who worked in the small factories in the area lived.
Everyone knew everyone for generations, times have changed, now you don't even know your neighbour.

This guy as it turned out had come home to bury his father.

His Dads wish was that he be taken from the hospital to the church and then to the crematorium all in one day,this upset the son as it left no time for relations to come from abroad. Plus that even many of the locals had not heard the news yet.
Still his Dads dying wish had to be fulfilled.
At least he had not asked that the coffin be carried shoulder high to the graveyard!
I saw this happen a few times in in this city in the distant past, its weird to see.

One has to be careful with the people who get into the taxi,you never know whats going on inside their heads, they may be going to identify a relative after an accident, or off to collect their Lotto winnings.
Who knows?

Proceed with caution.

A Chinese young couple I met in the docklands area, I just had to complement the girl on her pronunciation, "why wouldn't I be able to speak English well ?, wasn't I born here".
She told me how all her family had married into the Irish and all her cousins were mixed race, this is quite rare as the Chinese are inclined to marry each other.

There is a story about the Chinese in Liverpool, that settlement is one of the oldest outside China.
During world war 2 the British sent for more Chinese men to join the merchant navy, they came over and while on leave settled in with the local girls, kids followed and then the war ended. They were all deported,splitting up the families. They were Chinese so they had no rights, the children and their mothers fell on hard times for sure... You think of the "Good old days" they were hard times for those who lived through those times themselves.

It was busy today of interest was a man from Newcastle and his wife who is living in Rio in Brazil,he was amused when I told him that the girls who hand out the Hearld am free paper in the morning come from Brazil. The guy who organizes the distribution is Brazilian so he looks after his own.

One thing about Brazilian girls is the mixture of all the different races gives you a race of very beautiful people.
I forgot to tell him that I once shook hands with a lady who shook hands with Ronnie Biggs the great train robber.

The president of Macedonia was putting on quite a parade today, driving around with outriders sirens blaring.
I hate how these tin pot rulers disrupt traffic just to show how important they are "Look at me"...Where the heck is Macedonia anyhow?

I suppose I am upset about these escorts when I recall that woman lost a kid a few years back just because she couldn't get a Garda escort, all the motorcycles were deployed..The person who took the request had not got the cop on to prioritize the call, so the ambulance had to stop outside Lucan and deliver the child which did not survive.
I would hope that nothing like that would ever happen again.

The carnage continues on the roads, 4 young girls died and a fifth is critical after an accident in Galway.

The weather is very bad, heavy rain and strong winds with plenty of leaves on the roads, take it easy.

This safety notice is very hard to watch, but if you drink...think.

I think she is very brave to make this advertisment!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas lights.

I told you we were being screwed, well make sure you use a washer !

Liam Carroll is building this huge office block, now he is in the dumps with the banks, who will own it? Guess NAMA will own it, thats you and me.

Well the old recession carries on.
My eldest son lost his job back in the summer and after much coming and going finally got job seekers allowance. Then he decided to do another full time college course and the result was he lost the job seekers allowance.
So he applied for another type of student allowance which was not allowed as the course he was now on was at an equal level to the qualification he already has,(but not the same) now if it was a masters course he was doing he would be OK.

Whats next?

With no benefits he has to come home to live with us again, he has been gone for years.

I hope he will at least wash the dishes, sometimes.

If you see the blog getting prettier you will know that his years of IT training are starting to show.

I know that that last drink driving advert scared the crap out of me, and I saw it before, last year.

A girl from Perth in W. Australia was telling me that the government here would want to get real and tackle drink driving like they did in Australia.

"Coming out of Perth at weekends drivers are breath tested en mass, you know that you will be breathalysed and only and idiot would have one drink..Over here in Ireland guys go to the pub and drink 4 or 5 pints and think nothing of driving home".

At around 2.20 the Malahide Rd was closed off after a car crashed into a group of pedestrians killing one and leaving another one in a very critical condition.

The driver was drunk.

I suppose jail might help, at least his mates might waken up to the reality of drinking and driving.

There is no way in hell that he could say that he could have thought he was safe to drive.

The Christmas lights were supposed to be turned on on Sunday but weren't, I don't know why. But that big French Christmas tree is not up in O'Connell St. yet.

By the way there are loads of bargains in hotels in Dublin at present, seems that we have a big surplus of hotels.. They reckon that one in four hotels must close as they are not viable.

Problem is that the government gave tax breaks to build hotels, now no one said anything about running them, if the hotel closes before the tax break period is up the investor has to pay back the tax.....So super luxury NOW at a bargain price.
(At least I hope so)

Restaurants are playing ball with early bird menus, so eat early and often.

I went to the tax advisor today,,,final day of filing tax returns on the net.
I just can't get my head around the tax system, I rely totally on him to work out the figures.
If I win the Lotto in a big way I hope he looks after me.

2 other girls in the car on Saturday night,one girl really liked the other girl.
Her friend just wanted to talk about work(the other spoke about helping her) and about her boyfriend, about and what a jerk he was.
When the workaholic got out I just had to ask the other girl why she didn't tell her friend that she loved her as a lesbian?
"Was it that obvious"? she said to me.
"I'll just hang in there for a while, I don't want to scare her away, If you could see it that easily ,why can't she"?
She was a very pretty girl from Rio, I fancied her myself,perhaps I am becoming a lesbian too?.
Life can get very complicated.

Another thing on Saturday night was a big party of sorts in the Shelbourne hotel
gents in their tuxes and the ladies in ball gowns, they came out waving for taxis.
Now I have a bee in my bonnet about the "upper class people"

The higher the star rating of the hotel the lower the tip.

No If you give good service you deserve €2 tip.
Honest to God I got a £50 tip more than once and a few €50 tips in my time.

Going back home for tickets or passports, sometimes a lot less work.

Why would a poor shop assistant from Coolock give you €4 tip while a guest from the Merrion hotel paying €400 a night wait for 20 cent change.

Problem is it happens almost every time, the rich do not tip.

Until you learn what you should do, you wait for someone else.

Its just a faze I am going through and until go through it and come out the far side there will be no ball gowns or tuxes in my taxi at least as long as there are working class people waiting for me, who, by the way often tip.

Warming up for Christmas ?

Well I know a few Irish taxi drivers who could give him a run for his money.
Good fun that ,taken from the Anderson shelter blog.(link on R/H side)

Just a word to the Irish drivers. The GATSO van was on the road outside the Liffey Valley complex today taking photos of cars heading into town..
Be warned this is a revenue gathering exersise, no one would crash on that wide road.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The French are here.

Rathmines town hall

Sea horses on Capel St bridge

Bin lorry in Sandymount, look they have taken someones bin away!

Its hard to believe that the new bridge over the Liffey (Samuel Beckett bridge)was brought over here on a barge from Holland.
Now in place it looks fantastic.
The previous newest bridge (James Joyce) looks awkward in comparison.
First the good news, the Belfast to Dublin line will be open again on Monday, the bridge on the Malahide estuary collapsed and trains have not been running between the 2 cities. This will really ease traffic as the commuters had to use road up until Monday.
Then there is the Internet hostel booking company Web Reservations International which was sold for over €200 million. The founder and co founder are in their mid 40s.So I suppose its off to somewhere warm for a few weeks!
Its great when people can develop software and bring it to a point where they feel that they must sell it so that the product can grow.
They took the money unlike another guy a few years ago who had a method of internet payment that was secure, a great concept, the big fish came over and offered the Dublin company millions, they refused to sell.
Then the dot com bubble burst and in the inter someone else found Pay Pal and the guys in Dublin instead of having something to sell had nothing but debts. They had borrowed loads of money in the hope of making a fortune.

C'est La Vie as they say in Paris.
Talking of windfalls, I had 2 winning tickets in the Lotto in one week.
The grand total was €14, still its a start.
I met a really nasty piece of business today.
Going around the Green and down Dawson St there was a Prius in front of me, he went down the bus lane down to Trinity St. I decided to tell him that it must be his lucky day as the Garda are usually quick to pull in cars on that stretch of bus lane.
He pulled out his Garda warrant card and told me to mind my own business and just drive my taxi. Well I wasn't going to give out to him but, it wasn't official Garda business, in fact by his age I would say he was retired.
I hate these Mini Hitlers who use the badge of officialdom to throw their weight around, There has to be a point where this kind of behavior has to stop.

Sometimes I just wish it could happen, don't you.

Idiot of the week has to go to the parcel postman. My wife heard the doorbell and saw the postman walking out of the garden, she called him back and he said. "I had a parcel for you I couldn't open the patio door so I put it in the bin!"

First prize to you sir.

Remember a few weeks ago someone brushed against my car in the supermarket and drove off? Well the damage was not too bad compared to this one.
In this case the driver was caught later and charged with driving away from the scene of an accident, in Canada the Mountie gets her man.

On the same subject, unfortunate events.
Imagine having a new sports car worth over €1 million, there you are talking on the old mobile, driving along past the seashore, then when you loose control of the car and finish up in a saltwater lake...They say its a write off, I would buy it, it could be a project for me rebuilding it.

Did you hear that a pilot was taken off a plane heading to America from London, he failed the breathalyser and was arrested.
What was he thinking about?
Now his job is gone, a good job it was too.
Lets hope he doesn't start driving a taxi !
While I am on the subject, make it a "never" drink and drive.

I will be off to London in a few weeks, I hope this guy will be our pilot.

That took great skill when all was said and done, the tower should have sent him on a different heading perhaps against the wind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


War memorial Abberistwyth.

Monument to the Boer war Dublin

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 the guns fell silent.

The war to end all wars was over

The verse recited at Remembrance Day services throughout the country is as follows:

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

This year there are no more surving soldiers from WW 1 alive.

Then WW2 came and went.



Northern Ireland.





It never ends, war as it is fought today cannot be defeated by the old methods.
Soldiers don't line up and shoot each other any more. Bombs are placed in gulley's with command wires. Suicide bombers walk into markets.

The sooner we learn to understand each other the better.

May YOUR God go with you

As the sign on the back of the taxi read..

"Make love not war"

Ask driver for details

And for those who know me.

Now you know why passengers ask me to sing...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

It HAS arrived

There you are its official. Christmas lights on Georges st.

Off to collect the special guest.

The weekend was slow, very slow.But I am not complaining.
I was lucky I noticed the GATSO vans out in the middle of the night.
I often saw them out in the daytime but never at 3 AM
To get caught speeding would spoil your night.

The first on was on Wolfe Tone Quay coming into town from Heuston, the second was in Fairview near the pedestrian bridge, heading back into town. That spot is a 30 mph (can't think in kms/hr} Drivers going back to town at night do 60 to 70 along here.
So good luck on that one lads.

Your thoughts have to go out to a British pilot who was done for speeding. He appeared in court saying he was not driving the car at the time and to prove it he brought in a flight log showing he was indeed high in the sky at the time of the offense.. The police decided to check up on the log and found out that the flight log had been altered and brought him back to court. Forgery, Perjury and indeed speeding charges were put against him.
The old judge was not amused and gave him a fine, points on his licence and three months in jail...Nice one.

Just a thought for a guy I picked up aged 55 years or so, I thought he had MS, so I asked him. "Well if you really want to know whats wrong with me, I just gave up on life, that's all". He told me about his life and his wife who robbed him and lied and turned his children against him. He lost everything (he had a fantastic company), but now he is ill the bank want to take his home.
Some of his friends have employed a barrister and they are going to court soon.
His house is collateral if he looses the court case he looses his house as well.
There is a lot to be said for a Pre Nup agreement.!

If I had money I would adopt people like him,he is really clever and highly qualified. Good company too.

In Ranelagh the other night I was number 3 at the lights, as the lights turned green the first car rolled forward and braked hard as a car zoomed through against the lights.
Number 2 at the lights was an unmarked police car, lights, sirens action .....followed by paperwork.
We have many many unmarked cars driving around at night, take it easy boys and girls.

Look here to see what happened when 2 taxis raced to pick up the same fare in New York, neither one giving way.
I must say I never saw it happen quite as bad as this here, but what happens over there today comes here tomorrow.

I must confess at a slack time last night I measured that trip I estimated to be €15 well I was wrong €12 was more like it, but €18 for the total was dead on.

I must get a life! "Toys 4 big boys" was on in the RDS. Gadgets cars cameras Phones. Computers....and I didn't go.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
No wonder Jack is a dull boy.

I was telling a girl about this blog one day and she said.
"I hardly think that anyone would be interested in anything you would have to write about"
I thought about that for a minute then.
Yet people watch "Big Brother" all the time.

Magic! its about as much fun that you can have, with your clothes on.

I am going over to meet this guy again at the end of the month in London.
I met him before a few years ago.
Only one arm,yet he works every day.

I have a spare ticket for sale if you want to go for €80 cost £85...

I thought you might like this.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tale of two people.

This is the traffic heading into Newry the other day, the sign announces times of blasting for the roadworks. There was plenty of blasting around this area in the last 40 years.

Just thought I would share this moment with you..


I will never understand them.

Today I was cruising around looking for work, I came down the South Circular Rd. heading for Heuston when a highly animated guy flagged me down, he was very rough for sure 2 black eyes and I thought he might have been one of the many druggies heading for Ballyfermott clinic.
"Don't start the merer son this is for you". With that he put e12 into my hand, "AC Bowes the chemist" says he..Now that is only a e4.10 fare and I was insisting he took back at least 7 euro...
He would have none of it.
"Loads of people drove past, you stopped, Jesus it was a rough night last night. I'm homeless and I managed to find a box and a big cloth like a painter uses so I wasn't so bad, I haven't warmed up yet so I can't walk."

Some chemists dispense methadone, Bowes is one of them.

Contrast that with the lift from Ballsbridge. A bloke stopped me beside Jurys, and I waited while she said goodbye,, kiss, kiss,, more of the same....Wonderful..Call you BYEEEEE etc etc.

Then she got in, going to\\\XXXXX .Off we went and when we got there I noticed that I hadn't started the meter. So I guessed that it should be around e15...Well she took great offense and started to rave. I explained that it was tariff 2 which started at e4.75. "Look Its late, you tell me how much it should be then."
She paused and said nothing then went in to get the babysitter 10 minutes later we were on our way, the babysitter was pleasant enough, a girl from Eastern Europe on minimum wage making her way. I gave her e32 change from the 50 she gave me and decided that some day I will drive the route again, just to measure it for sure, why waste my time though she was getting good value.
One other thing was that the mistress came out and made a point of writing down my numbers, standing 6 foot from my bumper.(She should have gone to specksavers)

Plenty of drivers turn on their meters and drive around with it running hoping that the punter won't notice e6 or e8 on the meter when they get in.

On the other hand that long running dock strike is over, I dropped by today to leave in photos I had taken of them.
I hope they have a good Christmas.
Don't buy a taxi lads.

My wife got a book on dealing with stress, in it Paul McKenna says that you should look for a happy memory from your day and recall it.

The other day I was heading down Amiens st. turning into Talbot St.
At the lights I looked to my right where a guy in an electric wheelchair was motoring along. Standing on the battery holding on to the handles was a young blond haired girl around 6 years old, full of life. She was leaning forward talking into her daddys ear, both so happy, laughing their heads off.....

Not a care in the world

Some memories are worth holding on to. The others are for the bin.

When someone does something really well It makes me happy.
Like this one again.

Viva youtube

Monday, November 02, 2009

Christmas is coming



Car auctions twice weekly, many cars no reserve

Poor Luna has to go to the vet, she is a Huskie and has one blue eye and one brown one.She started to howl to get out.

Wow I was tired last week, after all the travel, 2 trips to the UK and one to Northern Ireland on top of no days off then it hit me. At least I could go home and go to bed.
Might as well go home because with so many taxis out there it is hit or miss whether you make money or not.

Today was interesting, I hopped around and picked up on the roadside, Heuston station are using bus transfers so there was no work there.
I would hate to tell you where there are a few jobs as there would be 100 taxis there tomorrow.
There was a party in Ongar outside Dublin where the wine flowed, problems came to light when people started falling down from the effects of "Liquid ecstasy",the drinks may have been spiked,seems like this stuff has been around since the 60s. Anyhow 3 are still in hospital.

I hit a lucky one on Sunday night, a couple(he was 60 she was 20)they had just stepped out of another taxi because the seats were soaking wet, "someone had pissed all over the seats" they said. So I explained that older taxi drivers cover their seats with PVC and we can wipe them dry in a few minutes, so the other driver not being in the know cost him a job.
Saturday night was so wet Noha was out trying to gather wood to make an Ark.
One Russian girl dressed as a police officer left the mark of her thighs and back on the seat and there was a puddle where she sat when she got out. It was that wet.
She was probably drier when she stepped out of the shower.
Rained non stop for 10 hours.. Great for us.

The powers that be are talking of relaxing some of the bus lanes around College Green for Christmas,Just when things were flowing.

I will postpone putting up all the safety videos for the moment.

Shops are really gearing up for Christmas now...Christmas trees abound..Humbug!!!
Here is something for the "Old Dubs"

I don't know if he would have copyright as many of these old photos are part of the "Father Browne" collection

Let me be the first taxi blogger to post this in 2009