Tuesday, September 28, 2010

29 th Sept

On Wed 29th Sept taxi drivers are requested to tie black ribbons on their roof signs and wing mirrors as a Day of mourning and awareness for the taxi drivers who have taken their own lives over the last few years.
This will be as a mark of respect to them and to let their family's know that they are not forgotten.
Please call the Samaritans or Aware.

You are not alone.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A great weekend

Michael Buble the Canadian crooner filled the taxi drivers pockets this weekend. He played in the Aviva stadium on Friday and Saturday nights. It holds around 60,000 people, so every hotel bedroom in the city was full. Everyone who went was happy with the show, but they were very cold as it was an outdoor event.

I think he is one great singer, he sings "My way" nearly as good as I do.

In the middle of all the fuss I picked up this well dressed gent and lady.
He was wearing a striped blazer that looked really great. When I told him is was very smart he said he had taken the cover off the deck chair and had it made up.
The conversation swung around to "Dublin in the rare auld times"and I started to tell him about a video of Brendan Behan thats on you tube.

Anyhow as we turned up towards Crumlin I said "There s Brendan Behans house now".
Then he laughed and told me he was a Behan himself. He lives in England and is a psychologist. "One thing about them Behans was that they had too much brains" said I.

So when we parted I was his newest best friend, I wouldn't have minded spending an hour with them.

Getting back to people who were in the taxi. That old rocker that I couldn't recall was Bryn Ferry, he had a group long ago called Roxy Music.

He was a very sound guy with his 2 feet firmly on the ground. I liked his style, very much knew whhat he was about. Single minded if you know what I mean.

What of King Bono?

Well might you ask.
His charity called One has spent over $50 each on goodie bags for the press who are attending the World summit on poverty.
This is to remind them that One is lobbying the US government to donate $6 billion to Aids funding !.
I have to say he looks really foolish now.
His orgisation has spent over $6 million in wages over the past few years.

But, on the other hand the Clarence hotel which he and the Edge still own have slashed the price of lunch to.....€9.95 a pop.
Now covers are up and the dining hall is buzzing.
I think I will treat myself and go there some day very soon.

Chuck Feeney (my hero) and Bill Clinton ar ecoming to Dublin to honour the memory of a famous philanthropist this week. I will put in her name when I find it.

On other dynisties, did you see the photo of Mark Shriver in the paper? That Kenneddy gene is very strong, you would still recognise him as a Kenneddy,he was paying tribute to the special olympics, Eunice his mother was a patron.

Monday night is Tango night and my teacher asked me to look at this.

100 yerrs old and still doing tango

Here she is at 96

Here is the "Silve Fox " again.

Dance on and stay young.

Mad Magic

To coincide with the new school term.

The Canadian campaign puts a painting on the road that, from a distance, appears to be a small girl trying to pick up a ball from the road.
Its a 3D painting.
The illusion is the centrepiece of an accident awareness scheme by accident prevention charity Community Against Preventable Injuries

Monday, September 20, 2010


Wow what would you do if you had some money?
Have a holiday? OK

A bit more money.

Buy a big house!

Wow 20 bedrooms, whats this?
Are we in the novel
"The great Gatsby?"

Well in the paper last week there was a big house for sale.
Mr.Getty is selling up and moving on.
When he was young he was kidnapped and his grandad wouldn't pay the ransom, so after holding the boy, who was only 16 at the time they cut off his ear and sent it to the family.
Now that was something for a young boy to go through for sure.
Well he became drug dependant and eventually after an overdose he became paralysed.

What I am saying is that money brings as many problems as it brings pleasures.

Would the person who is Paris Hilton be a much better if she had been born less rich? I do honestly think so.

Hard as it is to keep poor or middle class kids on the straight and narrow, I cannot imagine how hard it would be to monitor wealthy kids.

I think I may have told you before about a strange tale told to me from someone from east Africa, Mozambique I think.

"Be careful what you wish for John" she said.(Damn those IDs with your name on it)
In my country if you want to be a very wealthy and successful person you could be given a Gen by the witch doctor. It is half fish half animal, once you get one you become very very rich and successful. The price you pay is that it lives on the energy of the person you love the most. You get richer, they get weaker. They suffer all the time and they do not die they just suffer on. You cannot kill it because if you try it will destroy you and it will destroy your soul as well.

My stop is just along here, goodbye"

So she jumped out and I later spoke to a guy from Mauritius and he said that in their culture the Gen exists as well.

It is an intersting take on the Midas Touch,

A girl from Thailand won something like €370,000 in the Lotto the other day, her time in Ireland away from family and friends is now well and truly over, happy days.

"Before strongly desiring anything, we should look carefully into the happiness of its present owner."
~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Thanks Mike

Once apon a time I was driving a film crew around to do a big shoot.
I didn't mind mud in the van so I brought the crew right into the field and let them shelter in the van when it rained. (Sorry if you heard this before, but its good)
There was a shot to be taken with 2 horses. One guy was a japanese pop star and a yong girl on another horse.
I worked with horses when I was younger so it was natural that I held her horse when she dismounted.
I said how the time was absolutely dragging and then told her that she had the most fantastic teeth that I had ever seen and would she lend them to me for the weekend!, She laughed and we sat on a bale of hay talking for a while. The conversation was very strange to say the least, but looking back on it now then made perfect sense.
"look I am not being paid to be here, tell them if the shoot dosen't take place in 10 mins I am going" So I went to the interpreter and told her, she just oignored me, so when I went back to the girl she told me to watch carefully and hold on to her horse. "Tell her I am gone."She jumped into her BMW and waved me goodbye!.

I went over to the film crew and told them the news.

Wow, what a panic!

Phones out, calls made and in 15 mins later she was back.

So with a big smile and a wink she jumped on her horse and the scene was shot.

She asked me to ride her horse around the paddock and then back to the stables.

When I got back an old guy who was a neighbour said to me " The Princess likes you."
"Is that her name, Princess" I said
"No she is the daughter of the king of ****** Princess *******"
So it all came together, "It is very hard for me you know, I have to be very careful who I speak to...."
Well she married into the Saudi royal family later on, now she is a Queen.

I bet she still remembers the joke I told her.

King Bono of U2 fame came in for a bit of bad publicity today. He collected €11,.5 million in 2008 for his poverty in Africa campaign but only handed over €141,250 to charity.
The article went on to explain that he had spent €6 million in adminstration !

I guess he just wants to keep them poor.

Its strange I found a financial hero shortly after that, Make money and help people, its not for buying €6,000 watches with.

While I am it.

To all my New York readers.

How would you like to be a sponsored runner in tne New York Marathon for the Fresh air fund?

Go on you know you can do it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A snatch and rescue

The empty yard at Clontarf boat club

Trailers waiting for the crane to lift the boats from the sea

What a super dawn, Mother nature must have worked all night long

Solicitors graduate. The class of 2010

The fountain in Jameses St

You get one wheel, then another comes along.

Fashion shoot

"Than a criminal in a three piece suit".

There was a fundraiser in the Westbury hotel with an auction and a fashion show.
Never saw so much fake tan in my life and you could see by the posture that there was a lot of bitching going on between the smokers outside.
I tell you those beauty socialites would carve anyone up and dice them in a few minutes.
Still with the auction and all money was collected.

The girls who sell flowers on Balfe St are an institution in Dublin. The 2 flower stands support 5 or 6 families and they come and go, its hard work standing there in rain and snow.
They have a cheery word for everyone and they are mostly in good spirits.
Then yesterday one of the girls was planning to go on holiday today, so she withdrew €4000 in cash from the bank.
Then in the blink of an eye she was robbed!

My heart goes out to her, someone must have heard her saying that she was going on holiday, just waiting like a Jackal they knew when to strike.

It will take a long time to build up that heap of money again.
I wrote that yesterday.
I met her today and got the full story. It was a certain ethnic group who are well known for stealing.
She had arranged to go to the bank to collect the money and when she got back to the flower stall she realized that the girl in he bank had given her e500 notes, so the thief must have heard her saying that she was going back to the bank to get smaller notes. When she came back the flower seller noticed her wallet gone in an instant. She did not panic. She stepped back to where a Roma girl was tidying the flowers and found the wallet under some papers. Luckily for her she checked inside only to find it empty. So she grabbed the girl and started banging her head against the wall and asking her for the money. There is a group of guys who carry billboards at that junction in Grafton St. They are mostly from Mauritius but in the middle of clattering the girl she saw the Roma boy flinch. She shouted at the other sellers that he has the money and the chase was on.
He was caught up past Mountjoy square heading for the Royal canal a good 2 miles away. The Roma was lucky he wasn't killed. One thing for sure their days of cleaning up around the flower sellers stalls are over.

The dealers may fight with each other.
But if you attack one of them you attack them all.
I hope she has a great holiday she flew out at 7 pm

We often become targets for hold-ups ourselves, but you have to carry very little money with you and you at any time and you must "Cull" your stash and only carry the minimum at any one time.
Not that carrying cash is a problem at present.

Ah the "Good old days"

Before we all get Dewey eyed about the past we must remember that time filters your thoughts, then it adds little bits of color until you look back from 30 years later you see a Rosie past. Times were very hard indeed. Though that for many now things are very bleak.
Just go back 20 years and watch that great film The Commitments, Dublin as we know it now can not be seen.
I remember 2 things that brings the past into context for me.
I was doing a job for a woman on Philipsburgh Ave. once, she spoke about her 2 daughters and how they were getting on. When school finished I had to collect my youngest kid and I brought him back with me while I finished off the job.

"God I thought that was little Billy for a second. He died when he was 6"
She went on to tell me how he got sick one day and the doctor came.
"I hope to God this is not what I think it is" the doctor said.
"He died of diphtheria a short time later, there was a lot of things going then"

I was in her house last week, she is in a nursing home now and they are clearing out the house to sell it.

We have come a long way since that time.

The one example came from an old guy who said "There were no good old times, it was bad and good for sure and the only thing I can say without fear of contradiction is that the times were just very very different".

So step forward,eyes looking to your guiding star and don't slip on the dog shit.

If you have to change your car.
Dream on

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Dubliners

Aviva stadium

As seen from....

A Segway tour of Dublin the glider tour

Inchicore works, they once made trains

In loud wigs, a stag group hits the streets.

Its the Dubliners, much loved by all.

I hate doing my taxes. There are always invoices missing and every year I say I must get a better system.
I once read a book about Howard Hughes the Billionaire after that I realize that I am not too bad at all, I also declare I am not a Billionaire..

The old tax man came after Fallon and Byrne and hit him for around 3/4 of a Million euro in under declared VAT and taxes. Problem with many chiefs is that they can cook many dishes, but they are no good at cooking the books.

2 Cavan men sitting at the breakfast table, they open the letters and read the mail. They both get "final demands"from the income tax people.
So hey screw them into a ball and throw them into the fire.
"Thanks be to Cripes we have heard the last of them fellas"

A lady got into my taxi going to Manooth the other day, she had booked a taxi and it had not come up to collect her. When they rang back they told her they had no record of the booking. It was an agreed price and I said I would do it at the price quoted.
I really should do a TV programe from the taxi because I get the most unusual information from my "guests". I tell them something, they comment, then I ask a question and we shoot off on a tangent which may lead anywhere.
This lady is a "sniffer", she tests perfumes and different things to make sure they are correct.
She got the job after she smelled that a dress was reeking of cigarette smoke, she suggested that it should be withdrawn from sale, but the shop assistant could smell nothing wrong. Another lady sniffed the dress and as a result offered her a job as a "Sniffer"
When we arrived in Manooth she gave me a 10 euro tip! The strange thing was that had it been done on the meter it would have been 10 euro less than the price quoted to her.
I went back via the back roads, through Leixlip where the big Intell plant is and even through Lucan and along the Liffey banks to the big city.
MY wife has a very acute sense of smell as well and once there were complaints of a "Funny" smell in the taxi. As I had not picked up any clowns I asked my wife to step in. I had had the seats covered with a PVC covering and the PVC smell was like urine.
So I sprayed the seats with water and sprinkled baking powder over the coverings and rubbed it in. After an hour I washed it off and I had to do it once more to reduce the smell further.
But it just goes to show you, few people said anything, but what were they thinking?.

I might have a taxi fare to LONDON ! Its a pity it is not a paying trip.
My oldest son did not do his projects for college and as a result he would have had to sit the first year of his course again, so he is going to get a job in London and I want to rid our house of his cat as well the cat makes us all sneeze and cough. The dog tries to attack the cat at every turn as well, so it is like some kind of allergy and zone at present. 5 hour drive from Holyhead so I wonder what the taxi fare will be?

One guy in the taxi today had an interesting theory about beautiful women.
"Look I know a lot of fantastic looking girls are never asked out on a date because the guys are too scared to ask them out. The guys just feel that this girl is so beautiful that they would never say yes. So I go for it and you know it works. Not all the time but it does work more often than you might think"

Do You know it is true sometimes, like that girl from Brazil who preferred the longer taxi ride so as to placate the taxi driver? Well we got on just fine, and she wass a fantastic looker. I suppose neither of us were trying to impress the other so we could just hang loose as they say and relax.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liffey Swim

Could this be a sign from God?

A Mad garden

Lashing rain for the Liffey swim. They got all wet.

French transport a Solex bike

American truck

Its for advertising, not very Eco friendly though

Well here we are another day over and tomorrow is a new week.

I am glad that the madness did not start off with the burning of the Koran, dialog boys, talk to each other. We all know that most people are honest Honorable people, the hotheads give us all a bad name.

Or as one guy said to me about taxi drivers. "You know its the 95% that give the other 5% a bad name" The cheeky pup !

Did you catch the Liffey swim?
Yes it took place on Saturday . Get it next year 2pm.

The days for me pass in a blur, I often have to look at the paper to see what day it might be today. My routine is not 9 to 5. I start early today, finish for brunch, then do some shopping (Food) then back out, Perhaps back out later on again.
You could start work at 5 am. or 7 am, no one will be there to ask you why you were late etc.
I met up with some of the older drivers the other day, it is hard to believe that we used to bump into each other every few days, now there are so many drivers we seldom see each other.

Who did I meet in my taxi?
Did I really meet you? Wow, lucky me.

Well the lady that sticks out as being my star customer was one funny lady.
She has been in the taxi twice before. A very devout lady she is either going to or from mass. Clarendon St. church to be exact. (So you picked her up too?)
Well she lists out her ailments, her bad neck, back ankles etc. then she asks and answers loads of questions. Raglin Rd was her destination.
"Look at that house there, that belongs to Micheal O'Leary who owns Ryanair. He paid 22 million for it you know.Stop here! I don't want you to stop in front of my house, because they will be scolding me for not asking them to send down the car"
So then when I told her it was 11.20 she flipped. "I never pay that much, I will give you 10 and count yourself lucky!"
She is one funny dude.So rich that they live in millionaires row with chauffeurs at the ready and give out about 1.20

Contrast that with a good looking young girl who got in at Summerhill. Going to Barneys. I told her the only Barney I knew was a big purple dinosaur.
I knew by her tone that she was a druggie, I am a big boy and I should not be shocked to see so many young people killing themselves with drugs. After all the time it still hurts me to see such a waste of what may have been a great life.

When she landed at the bottom of Talbot St she went looking for her sister. "Sorry mister she has the money and she is here somewhere" After 2 minutes I just drove away without waiting for her. I scored a passenger a few minutes later, I have no doubt she scored as well in a different way.
Its not just girl drug addicts I worry about, a few months ago I brought a boy to a drugs refuge run by a priest called Fr.McVery
He seemed to want to settle in when I went away. 2 days later he was back on the streets begging. He didn't know me., he needs good parents.

Though now I know he will be dead before Christmas.

It is strange how we spend millions on keeping lord mayors and presidents in luxury and little on treatment centers for heroin addicts.
I have met people who work with them and they tell me it is not as black a picture as I paint in my mind. One girl was once an addict and now works among them, she was well adjusted and confident.
So perhaps there will be salvation for some.

A girl from Argentina who was going to the Herbert Park hotel in Ballsbridge. Through I believe a misunderstanding she insisted that I take her around to the front entrance rather than the side entrance. Now the side entrance does not take you through the kitchens its an alternative entrance.
Anyhoo I drove her around the block while I told her I was taking Tango lessons.
"I love tango! Is it tonight ? I want to go" Sadly no but I will look it all up.
Look hereThen try here Or here

Is Dublin gone Tango mad?

Or I shpould tell you about the old pop star from Liverpool who was going to the Guinness storehouse.(No not Paul)
I still can't get his name but he was very funny.
"The girls in Dublin are so beautiful John, not like when we were young. Those women back then had mustaches and were as rough as a bears arse!
I saw a girl on Grafton St. She had the most beautiful long legs, so long that if I had a prize I would have given it to her..BEST LEGS IN THE WORLD.
The last time I saw such long legs I was at the grand National at Aintree!"
The 2 other guys in the car were ringing New York and Hong Kong etc.
One of the guys said he was supposed to be meeting someone in London at this present moment in time.
The rocker said."You think it some kind of joke to stand up that guy because you don't need him? The day will come when you will need him very badly,don't be surprised that he leaves you cold. Grow up you pair of twats"
He, like me resented them phoning around like they really mattered.
They were just digging holes for themselves to fall into.
He really was able to put his finger on where they were letting themselves down in public.
"John and me wouldn't be phoning around making appointments we couldn't keep.
We could teach you pair a lot about what is and what is not good manners."
It is really annoying when someone is going on on their phone ignoring everyone else.
"Look lads why don't you have an office to look after all that? Then you would be like John and me"

I saw his face on so many posters, 60ish, I am sure it will come back to me who he was, a really funny guy. Well clued into the ways of the world.

I really should keep a note book and fill you in on everything.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/11 remembered

It was one of those moments when everyone the world over will be able to tell you where they were and what they were doing when the planes hit the twin towers.

An awful act of titanic proportions to the entire civilized world.

Hundreds of innocent men women and children and thousands of lives destroyed in grief.

It is difficult to know what the people behind these acts of destruction hope to achieve.

Here in my island we have had 40 years of bombs and bullets. Hundreds of people killed until everyone had enough and the killings had to stop.

Thank God it did end.

Much of the credit would have to go to a few people. Moe Mowlem, George Mitchel Bill Clinton and John Hume who got together and banged heads until the main people started to see sense.

It is hard to see where all this leads to and from. For example many of the guns and explosives which were used came from Gadaffi in Lybia, they were paid for in part by money raised in America by well meaning ex pats. The same bombs killed women and children of all religions and political beliefs.

Peace is a very delicate flower and it will take a lot of nurturing for it to get strong and take hold.

So as wars continue in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan,Palestine etc we must start to find peace in other ways rather than through war.

May all your Gods bless you and give you wisdom

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back to do my taxes

Well on Tuesday 700 drivers took more than 1,400 special needs children and their helpers into town to be serenaded by the Garda band, then a march down O'Connell St.
Then we drove in convoy our horns blaring with Garda outriders to the Leopardstown racecourse. There the kids had a disco and chips etc. Then back to their special schools, all over by 4 pm.

Every year it touches me to see the brave faces of the kids and every day is such a challenge for them and their families.

Think about other people for an instant your own problems are tiny.

Last Sunday I picked up a lady with the most beautiful voice that I ever heard.
No not in a sexual way, Her pronunciation and tone seemed to touch something in my spirit., it was strange.. It was like the first time I heard the Goldberg Variations.
We know what a voice sounds like, we know what a piano sounds like, so why on this occasion should it be so different?
I can't bring you her voice but I can give you Bach.

Now for me that was too fast. Listen to this one.

The same thing, though quite different.

I have a feeling she was an actress, her voice was definitely coached, or so it seemed to me. She was from South Africa but she had a strong British accent(Oxbridge).
Her car had a flat battery so it was a return trip with her daughter after the weekend with her father, three peoples lives at a tipping point of transition.
It was a period of absolute pleasure for me. I do hope she goes on to be famous, perhaps she is already. What would a taxi driver know?
One thing I do hope she does is to read children's stories on to a tape so that her daughter can listen to them again as she goes to sleep. The hungry caterpillar, Dogger and all the Shirley Hughes books. Great years those were.
Just while I am at it take the Goldberg variations a bit further here

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

51st Dublin taxi drivers big day out

Were these empty seats there because drivers did not turn up?
I doubt it.
But if you are a taxi driver in Dublin sign up for the 52nd year.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hurling Final day

Canpers heading off to the electric picnic in Stradbally.

This is from the Butterfly farm of course.

They were building the estate when the great event took place.
You must remember. 1969 the Apollo space craft landed on the sea of tranquility and man walked on the moon.
30 years later we put wheels on suitcases !

Well here I am at home on a Saturday night, my Mojo is not working.
For some reason people stand while my taxi drives only to hail the car coming behind.
I stopped for a Chinese guy who was just standing there and he got in. "Why didn't you hold your hand out?" I asked him.
"Because I knew you saw me" was his answer.
Maybe I am tired.

I was on the rank at Foster place and 3 guys jumped in, reeking of drink and I got one of those jobs that every taxi driver hates.
"Hey mister go here, then over there."
Then they paid me e20 and a mobile phone to act as security until they came back.
Then over to the general post office where they tried to cash a cheque.
Tony Blair was going to sign copies of his book and half of O'Connell St was closed off "Whats goin on?".
"Tony Blair is signing his book" The guy in the back must have been the dumbest in his class.
What he said next was classic.
"Wasn't he the fella in the white helmet who was James Bond, and he drove the racing cars?"
Well no he was not the Stig he was the British prime minister that's who he was.
Well when they went off and left me to wait for them I hid my money in the boot and armed myself with my big flashlight. Then I plugged in my seat belt so that I could jump out if I needed to and the car would not be beeping because the seat belt was not plugged in.
It all came to a calm end when they decided that they would wait for their dealer in the stairwell of an apartment block.

It was hard to figure out whether they were dealers or addicts.

If a fight had kicked off I would have 3 times the strength of any one of them, I am well built and I get very angry when anyone tries to rob me.
Still you don't need that kind of shit.

Tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow will be the hurling final in Croke Park where Tipperary take on Kilkenny
Kilkenny who are nicknamed the cats are going for 5 all Ireland's in a row.
Taking the video of that mad woman who put the cat in the wheelie bin, the Tipperary people are putting out their wheelie bins.(for a joke)