Friday, January 29, 2010

Elvis is now 75

A clever ad for Guinness from a few years ago

Last days for Conways pub, said to be the oldest in Dublin

This Elvis show will be great...75

Royal Hospital detail

Catalogue from the display.

Talk on the airwaves is that we are getting a 30Kms Per Hour speed limit in the city center 24/7 that's 20 MPH in old money!
My sons electric bike goes faster than that.
Today a car flew past me and started to weave in through traffic, the car on my left gave chase and turned on his sirens.
An unmarked police car, they are everywhere.
He was on him like a terrier dog onto a rat.
The driver looked Italian, if he is driving on a foreign licence they can't give him penalty points, just a matter of time before they bring out an EU licence and you sins will follow you from country to country.

Richie from Wexford was telling me of his neighbour who on loosing his Irish driving Licence got another one in England where he has an address of convince, now he is driving around giving the 2 fingers to the Garda.

TGIF Thank God Its Friday!

Taxi driver attacked last night from the Westbury rank, no details as at the present time.
The boys in blue are looking for the CC TV footage from the Westbury.

This can be a dangerous job.
Chances of crashing or being robbed every day, not to mention putting up with head cases.

I got a late start today and my first fare was from Heuston to The Barge pub.
He started to tell me about the photos that Roy had on his blog yesterday, Dublin 1961, his daughter had sent them to him. Have a look they are really great Nelsons Pillar and all.

When we arrived up it was €10.30 and I said I was heading down to the Bretzel for an eclair. The Bretzel is the only Kosher bakery in Dublin. The owner is not Jewish himself but the local Rabbi cajoled him into keeping it Kosher when he took it over,but I think that guy has sold it on since then.
Anyhow the passinger decided that he had time to go down to see the Bretzel bakery himself. The girl who was serving was from California and we had a chat about the weather, which is nice and warm there at present. My customer presented me with a free eclair and a €4.60 tip as well.
After I turned around I noticed my passinger was engrossed in conversation with the Californian bakers assistant, why not?.
Then back on the SCR (South Circular Rd.)where I was snagged by a Kiwi who was heading to Bluebell...happy days, a jolly chap of 59 with a 41year old girlfriend.
Tales of Kerry Packer and Dame Edna Everidge followed, he had reared a family in Brisbane Australia.
Some people tell you their life's story in 20 seconds, others hardly tell your their destination!
Later that night I had a girl from Brisbane in the car who has been here 7 1/2 years and she was shocked about what the Kiwi said about the Auzzies.
Sister may I say we are on the same page when it comes to life as it is at present in Ireland.
Shit creek and paddle!

One thing I have been telling my public about is the display Picturing New York in the Royal Hospital..You still have till Feb 14 th to see that.
I went to see it today and its well worth a visit.

Photographs as art, 3 or 4 great photographs the rest are interesting.
Best one was the family hailing the taxi, Cony Island and the plane that hit the Empire State.

But for those of you who have never seen the Turner water colours in the National Gallery..That closes for another year on this Sunday.

My leak is now fixed, the plumber my wife called did not come, so through the grapevine I found another one. A nice big hole in the celling and the trouble was exposed, a leaking blank where the plumber had closed off a joint in 1933, it has been leaking for years, just that now it got worse until ..Now it is fixed.

I will go to the damp store opposite Blackrock College, I will buy something to kill the spores and prevent dry rot, which comes after wet rot.
Better safe than sorry.

Another notable fare was a family`from the midlands who had a very bright lad with them, he seemed healthy enough but as they were getting out at Temple St. hospital I noticed that the lad was yellow not from sun but from Jaundice, nothing worse I hope.

It puts your troubles into the background when you meet people who are sick.

Your health is your wealth, that's for sure.

Skills training for new drivers.

Here is a classic comedy piece from Europe.

Reminds me of Charlie Drake and Norman Wisdom, with a little bit of Charlie Chaplin thrown in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Airport Taxis

With so many taxis in the city where do you go for work?

Lets try the airport.

Pay e 440 for a pass and off we go.

You arrive ! cars are coming from both roads, so you mesh together.

Then you enter "Mondello Park" named after a race track.
There is a slow race from now on.

Up the hill you go.

Then across.

Then Down the hill. "The grand old duke of York he had so many men that he marched them up......."

Down you go.

Until you see Long Kesh !

You have to go around the Kesh....

Final approach!

Now there are only 13 lanes of taxis ahead of you!!
Sweet Mother.

So you wait in line and then up you go.

Past the new terminal.

Then you arrive...only 30 cars in front of you now.

Looking back at the new terminal.

Then your customer comes and asks for Kealeys pub.....a e6 fare....after 3 hours waiting.
I am not taking the piss here lads.
I really feel your pain.
I had the pass for years, it is addictive.
But where do you go for work?

Lets go to Heuston.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blackpool 2010

Well I am looking to the future the 2010 Blackpool magic convention.

Feburary 19/20/21.

Take a look.

Blackpool 2010 full trailer from Blackpool Magic on Vimeo.

Some of the people you will not know, but they have that wow factor.
ic in 2012.

Then there will be FISM,Olympics of magic in 2012

Magic can just be in the mind.
Images created in seconds !

What skill, pictures made in sand on glass, by a very young girl.

So if you are heading over there contact the Blackpool magicians club.

I recomend the Mayfair on Vance Rd as a good place to stay.
012533623798.Warm and cheerful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Talk to me of Mendocino

While you are at why not visit the Wax Meusium

Well here I am as the actors say "resting".
There is no real work for us until Easter..Well St.Valentines day and St.Patricks day there is work , but in the main it is lean times...down time..

I know of one guy who is gone until Easter as he does every year.

So I am doing the ing up. painting.. tidying.. the list is endless.

My oldest son is moving back in with us...With his cat and we are all sneezing because we are allergic to its fur..and the extra luggage in the house, plus the extra laundry.
Well he lost his job and rather than stay on benefit he decided to go back to school.
Well the powers that be decided that they would remove all his benefits.
Fantastic, they would pay him to sit at home and do nothing, going back to school disqualified him from payments.!

Still as Bill Cullen says "aren't ya above the ground."

Sad news today Kate McGarrigle has died in Canada.
A class act.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Burst Pipes

Today Friday was quiet and I was not having much luck when I got a call from Paul to go down to Graystones to look at someones burglar alarm.
I went down in around an hour and located the fault, a blown fuse and a 7 year old back up battery..Job done I checked out a neighbors alarm and I was heading back to the big smoke.
I had just passed Bray when I got a phone call.

"John could you help?There's an alarm ringing and we can't turn it off."

This guy is very wealthy, property all over Dublin, Manchester and London.

Problem is that maintenance is way down his list of things to do.
He employs a hopeless alcoholic to do odd jobs for him and this guy drinks 7 days a week.

Employing good people to get things done right and in good time is money he feels that is wasted.
So property's remain idle for want of a good painting.

I explained that that a property which rents for €1,500 per month costs him €6,000 in lost revenue over 4 months. Plus clean and fresh looking properties will rent no problem, where as dirty properties in poor order will only be rented by people who will not look after it in the first the place.

You can also add into the equation that staff wages and materials are tax deductible.

Well it is as it is.

His "helper" didn't turn off the water in all the empty houses as he was asked to do.A burst pipe in the attic and the water has been flowing down the stairs and through the ceilings for the last few days.

What a mess.

Sorry the photos are a bit misted up, a lot of moisture around.

For the want of a nail....a shoe was lost.
For the want of a shoe ....a horse was lost.
For the loss of a horse ....a king was lost.
For the loss of the king ...the kingdom fell.

Penny wise Pound foolish.

Look to the links on the R/H side.
Check out the story from Anderson shelter
Ant a tale of woe from Taxi tales in Cumbria

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New years blues.

It is just dead out there, thousands of taxis looking for hundreds of jobs.

The more boats that trawl the seas the less fish for everyone, that's for sure.

With so many people losing their jobs the need for taxis is going down at a big rate.

I have been there before, this time it happened so suddenly that I have been taken aback.

The radio cab companies have really jumped on the bandwagon......"Drivers needed, loads of work,we have top contracts, loads of cash work"
Then when you join up and you learn about their 20% discount scheme, yes, YOU GIVE 20% DISCOUNT TO THE CUSTOMER no discount to you.

Any time I am asked for a discount,I ask how much discount the publican gave them.

The other thing that makes me very mad is the uptake of the stickers supporting Aware and the Samaritans...The radio companies were too mean to give a few bob to help prevent premature deaths of healthy people within and outside the trade.

One other other thing about the radio companies.
If they have work for 100 cars they employ 199 and everyone has a bad day.
(Except them)

So boys and girls, get out your paint brushes and sandpaper.
The house needs doing up.
The kids need to be brought to football and judo.

Better days are coming.

I am sure of it.

Buy a sheeps head from the butcher and ask him to leave the eyes in.
So that it will see you through till the end of the week.

Shop like your granny did !

We will see this through together.

Here is a really good piece, it kinda sums up the situation.

Here we are now, through no fault of our own.

Its a strange one that,like marmalade and banana !

Odd but it works.

Look to the ones who love you.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Taxi network

Suppose there are 16,000 taxis in Dublin...
Suppose that if there was a need to contact those drivers in a hurry.

A girl was attacked in Blackhall Place on New Years day.

I only knew this because there is a notice to that effect in the airport taxi drivers canteen.

There is no big notice up at the crime scene

This is not 1810 it is 20 10.

So I rang the number and spoke to a detective.

He quoted me the right to privacy and how numbers held by the taxi regulator are private information..

Really ! You have at your disposal a method of contacting 20,000 people scattered all over the city in an instant and they have never included a note when applying for or renewing a PSV licence that your mobile number may be used by the Garda to alert you to possible crimes or serious incidents.

While I was at it I gave him an ear full about Garda moving on taxis instead of asking for information from them about that assault.

Just a thought.

The Garda did not come when I reported an assault in Fairview, when I stopped an unmarked car they insisted in processing the guy they had just stopped.
A few weeks later a young lad was kicked to death 50 meters away from the first incident, it might have been the same guys.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday OFF!

Go and see this then go to see the Turner watercolours, only shown in January in the National gallery Merrion Sq.

Remember when it was ROMANTIC to fly?

Don't know how this one got out.

Then there is the training.

Weather and aeroplanes...It will effect your plans.
My oldest son came home on the boat today from London By train from Euston and boat from Holyhead total cost £30.50p.
Seems like Ryanair wanted between 200 and 300 quid to bring him home even though he had a ticket and they had cancelled the flight..

He like me has sworn never to use them again.

This is my first Friday off for a very long time.
The weather is so bad and I reckon the people have no money left to go out anyhow.

I started to keep a notebook just so that I could keep account of some of the things which have been going on.

I dropped a young couple from New York at the Guinness brewery the other day and just went 50 yards when I got a fare to the airport. A very big man 6 ft. 6ins.tall an English engineer who had flown over to "Tweak" a generator in the brewery after the fire..Thing was his flight cost him little or nothing but as his bag had tools in it so he had to pay €40 or so for the bag. You can't bring tools onto a plane.
He was reared in Birmingham the home of the British industrial revolution...He really knew his stuff and you could see he had spent his youth stripping down motors and engines, he took great interest in the Prius.
A vintage car passed by and the conversation turned to the Fiat Topolino I wanted to buy last autumn, that was before my wife stopped me!
I felt that this car had been sent to me at €5000, one owner from new, loads of service history...NO NO NO..she said .So
So I let it go and saw one in a worse condition for sale in the UK for £15,000 Stg.
Next time I want to "invest" I will keep it a secret.
I just wanted to have it for 6 months and then sell it for 3 times the price.
I told him that the car had found me.

He as it turned out had 2 kick ass cars a Jensen(or perhaps an Aston Martin Vanquish)which he bought for £4,000. The owner was ill and wanted a good home for the car. One thing he wanted was that he be brought out for a drive in it for his 70 th birthday.
This part of the contract he fulfilled and the old guy passed away a few months after the day out. His other car is a V8 Jag well I did say he was a big lad..He said "I have a big carbon footprint too".
There was a fantastic tradition of engineering around Birmingham, they could build and make anything there,sadly the skills are mostly gone.

I picked up 2 girls from Kenya going to Lomond Ave to collect a package from the postal sorting office. Chatting away the alarm went on my phone to remind me that I had a collection to go to the airport in 15 minutes. When we arrived at the sorting office they had forgotten the collection docket...No docket no letter!
So I raced back to their house and back again with the docket. It was a registered letter and he found it in a few minutes...The girls are working as nurses aids, not well paid so I gave them a good reduction on the fare.
As they came from east Africa they spoke to me about a thing in Voodoo called a "Gen"
Or "Jen" It is 1/2 fish 1/2 human and possesses special powers which are good and very bad....The moral is that for every gift there is a very high price to pay.
I knew about this from years ago but Nigerians or South Africans do not know of that story.

The port tunnel is a great way to go to the airport but the other day there was a problem and I know someone who spent over an hour held hostage there because of an accident.
I had an interesting one today, 2 guys going to see a house. First they demanded that I stop in the middle of the road and got miffed when I insisted that I drive into the side of the road while we waited for the other guy to cross over to our side of the road.They were heading to Churchtown to view a 4 bedroom house for rent.
After I dropped them off I headed towards Dundrum when I saw a girl looking down the road the other way..Now I thought, she is looking for a taxi, but after I did a U turn and came back she had just crossed the road. Then I decided to retrace my steps back into town. As I passed the house where I dropped the 2 lads I noticed that they were standing in the drive in the snow. So I drove up the drive and spoke to them..The agent would be along in 10 mins and yes they would need to be brought into town again. So I said I would wait for them rather than drive around looking for work.
So the agent came and they saw the house and the agent told them that it was too far from where they were working, he had another property.....Hold on....No it wouldn't be empty until the end of the month.
Well I know someone I said, and they rang him and he had a 4 bedroom house in Kenelworth Sq for 500 a month less than the other house was! This landlord is loaded.
That location was ideal as well.
Could have charged both sides a "Finders fee"
I brought them there but I had to leave to meet the ferry to retrieve my long lost son, home at last by ship.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Well many people find themselves saying "Ryanair bit me, and it really hurt".

More snow and the buses came to a stop!
The airport had people sitting on the runway for 4 hours before telling them to "go home".
My son is in London and when he went back to the airport he was told to re book his flight...You see airlines run a tight operation and they can't just fit you in ,or put on an extra plane..I told him to take a train and the boat from Holyhead.

See you tomorrow lad.

Well shortly after the snow fell the buses could not cross the bridge at North Strand.
My passengers decided to get out at Amiens St as the only thing moving was the meter.

I did a U turn and caught 3 people heading for the airport. A Spanish couple and an Irish girl who works for the United Nations. (Water was her subject)
The girl said the port tunnel and we whizzed under the traffic in frost free conditions and made the airport in double quick time.
The UN girl was going to Germany then driving to Amsterdam today to fly to the Far East.
I now now that they all went nowhere!

On the way back into town I picked up a Ryanair hostess and a young lad who was heading for football training. As we reached Santry some of the cars in front started sliding back down the hill.
So I decided in my great wisdom to drive through Northwood and back on to the Ballymun road.
Then the traffic came to a stop!
The young lad paid the fare and jogged off, he had football training to go to!
So my girl from Portugal told me about life in Cuba, where she had been recently.
"Next year is the 50th year since the revolution"
So it will be a good time to visit Cuba.

So even if you are working it is not good as the traffic is not moving.
Tensions are high when it costs €10 to go 1/2 a mile

By the way if you have any empty property, turn off the water and let the cold water tap in the bath run to drain the tank in the attic.

Water damage can be very bad when the thaw comes.

Perhaps I should buy a London taxi to work through the snow!

Monday, January 04, 2010


Nothing to do with driving a taxi.

I found this piece and lost it, now having found it again I will share it with you.

Pianos in Cuba are scarce, the woodworm has a good time in their climate.

I love the idea of the Buena Vista Social club...Old guys and gals knocking around who became stars in their twilight years.

Didn't they have a great time?

One for the ear, I wish I could play like this at 20 never mind at 80.

I found this one which shows Rubens hands at work.

Great to have been round when they hit the scene.

They are nearly all gone now!

Hope you enjoyed that.

Taxi work is now dead for a while!


Today my son made his first CD, its not bad, not ready for release, but its a first

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A story of caution


A tree decorated with wine glasses. A bit tipsy after Christmas.

well here in 20 10, the new baby has arrived and we wonder what big things lie ahead.
God answered many taxi drivers prayers by giving us snow and frost on New Years Eve.
Oh how the Poles laughed at us. "In Poland this is nothing". The Russians laughed even louder."In Moscow this snow would fall every 20 Min's through the night".

Well no gritters came out and on New Years day we taxi drivers had a bumper day.
No buses ran, too dangerous...Wimps.

Most guys I rang said "Are you mad, going out in that?"
Mad or not I did well.

In fact I got 2 tips of e20!
The first one put the money into my pocket and said "Anyone who work in conditions deserves a good reward."When his friends were getting out I said I had already been paid.
They told me that that was a tip! Nice one.

The second time I was stopped in Lr Stephens St by an American family who wanted me to drive around and show them the city. I decided that I would drive around and show them what I knew, then if I had missed something that they wanted to see we could go and see that. They were happy and gave me e20 tip.

Nice people their Dad was with them with a walking aid, EX taxi driver, they were from Boston and Texas. Not much snow in Texas for sure.

Reminds me of the story about one of the guys who hired a car while he was staying in Texas. He got a burst wheel and he rang the hire company, they were not very helpful. At one point they asked him where his address was. "I'm at Governor Connolly's house" "I said whats the address sir?"" Oh so you are broken down outside the governors house?"
"No he is my uncle we are inside having our tea"
Well they sent round a new car that day, a better one,at no extra charge.

Guess the helpline wasn't in India at that time.

Well I digress from my tale of warning!!!

Take note they wait for you like the big bad wolf and Red Riding Hood.

A girl in the car told me she went to a wedding in Florida before Christmas. She took 3 weeks holidays, before,during and recovery.
There was a house hired for visiting guests and she stayed there.
Being a chatty person she talked to the security guard on the development, they got on OK and at some point he said. "There has been PROBLEMS WITH THIS PROPERTY, BE CAREFUL". He said no more .
The night before they left the property they cleaned the place down and then took photos of the whole house. Bedrooms bathrooms toilet etc.
On arriving back home there was an e mail from Florida with a demand for thousands of $$$. The house had been trashed! a toilet smashed and flooding through the house...The owner had to fly over at short notice from the UK at a cost of $2,000.

The file they sent of the photos of the damage would not open, so they requested another file which would show them the photos, and while they were at it a copy of the owners flight details...A demand followed with a threat to go to LAW.

So they sent them the photos from the last night and sent a copy of all the correspondence to the local police...They heard nothing more...
They are waiting.

.Will they catch you?

Look after yourselves and be happy.