Wednesday, March 30, 2011

25 years here

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Time to stop whinging

Not quite back to myself, but if I do stretching exercises when I stop I should improve. The trick is not to let anyone see you doing them.

Talking about people dying, did you spot Jet Harris died?
Of The Shadows?
Cliff Richards and the......forget it !!!
History lesson..

Yiutube brings us the little things in life that makes us all happy.
Like this.

Today I went in for a re test for the NCT Fail again. I put in a new bulb but the dip on the drivers side blew between the time I replaced the other bulb.
Lesson to self, check all the lights an hour before you go for the NCT.

Still shit happens and it's how you deal with it that makes the difference.

The back is coming on just sharp darts of pain when I twist to do something.
Somewhere there is a Vodoo master busy with her pins !

If you ever saw this girl you would not forget her, blond dreadlocks, with pink green and all the colors of the rainbow, really wild looking girl. Well I picked her up today. She is Scotish and realy normal. I was expecting a real tough nut. Not so.
I said to her that she could play "Where's Wally" because she sticks out so much.

When your health is fine you ignore and abuse it. It is only when you meet someone who is bunched that it hits you how lucky you are.

The Scotish girl told me that she went into a doctor on Wicklow and he looked up on the internet to see what was wrong. Then he had to go back on line to check the spelling. It hardly inspires confidence.
So this guy waves me down on Townsend St, he is on oxygen, the cylinder is on a pack over his shoulder.
"Elm Park my good man"
He was in great form, though he had to stop every few minutes to get air into his system. The oxygen had a valve which let out gas then stopped. So I reckon he had to time his breathing to the beat of his machiene.
He told me he was in hospital for 8 weeks being treated for bronchitus. Then someone checked further and they found out that he had TB.
So all the treatments have affected his heart.
But you know he must have been a great person in his day.
Sharp as a tack with his wit and humour in spite of his bad health.

Everyone needs a good kick up the arse to let them know that they are alive.

Some of the sunrises over the last few weeks on the Clontarf seafront have been the best ever.
If I was an Angel and I bouught you down to see that miricle of the dawn.
"I was sent to collect you, but I thought you should see this first before you go."
You would wonder how I produced such a beutiful vista.
Yet It was there for you, all you had to do was to lift up your eyes.

So boys and girls it is time to lift up your eyes and look towards a better future.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Improved a little

At the moment of arrest the girl in the blue track suit is caught. The girl with the bag on her back is being pushed back as she shouts "I'll always love you Mary"


Folks wait for the Aircoach to the airport.Bet they all wish they had the worlds lightest luggage.

Taking the bus home

This house was on Abbey St.lost to Dublin Corperation when the tenant stopped paying rent, the Corpo didn't act and he won squatters rights

Elizabeth Taylor died and was buried last week.
Colin Farrell read this poem at her funeral.
Sooner him than me!

Richard Burton had such a wonderful voice though, didn't he?

Still I wouldn't like to leave my friends with such a conundrum something like this would be much better,

Perhaps for the more sentimental there is Emely Dickenson.

While I was looking this up I noticed I noticed ads for beautiful Chinese brides.
"Hey lads I am trying to write a eulogy, give me a day to recover"

This bad back is a total feck!
But it is far from being terminal for sure.


Talking about travel, did you ever think about going to Sydney from London and visa versa by Bus?
Then take a look here.
In Ireland you can go to London for €50 return using Eurolines, with 2 big bags, then onward through Europe,as far as St.Petersburg and Istanbul. I just found I can get a Eurail pass for €239 which gives me 5 days travel over 10 days
or 10 days travel in 22 for €339.
Look into it here
A great way to see Europe, much better than a bus.
Do you remember in every city the cheapest accommodation is near the railway station. The most expensive is at the airport.

If that old ash cloud comes back again, just use it!
I remember a woman who just Had to be back in America.

Book a ticket on an ocean liner I said.
She looked at me as if I was mad and said.
"I can't, I have no dresses for dinner at night"

Well there you have it. Never made it through vanity.

Here is a prize winning act from FISM in Blackpool, its amazing what you can find on you tube.

The cube has a beautiful air of being totally weightless.
Quite wonderful.
I still can't find the great French act which stole the show.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Still not back.


Is this Stork looking for your house?

Good time party buses lined up and ready.

Short back and sides sir?

This pub nearly lost its licence for selling drink to a drunken man.

Here is something quite clever, its not Katie but very good, The dance fits perfectly to the music..
When I was waiting for an aeroplane in England I read that Katie has had a nervous breakdown.
Showbuisness is very hard,travelling all the time on TV stage and very little real quality time.
Add to that that she was only 18 when she shot to stardom.
She is Russian from Belfast,her father is a doctor there.

People come and go today Imelda May from inner city Dublin is the new rising star.
She used to play in Brussels near the Westbury when she was rising, then to the Jules Holland show in London. Imelda has the advantage that her husband plays guitar in the band and the seem to be a close knit group of people, so there is little isolation for any one of them.

Remember Jessie Jackson was in town to address the students?
One of the drivers with a six seater was asked to be there at 11.30 to pick his party up and bring them to UCD. So he turned down 2 other jobs and waited for the appointed time. Then he started the meter and the party came out 20 Min's later.
It turned out that they were going to Trinity college and decided to walk. The driver stopped the meter and asked to be paid, but they just walked away.

I don't blame Mr.Jackson, but what about the rights of the working man !

On my second attempt to join the Heuston rank I failed again and was at the lights heading back into town when I got a tap on the window. "Palmerstown Please"
He was pleasant enough around 19 but talking quietly on the phone perhaps 6 calls in all during the journey, all the time saying where he was.
There were photographers taking photos outside the court and he said his mates girlfriend had been photographed laughing leaving the court, she was just nervous, but the judge must have thought that she was not sorry for her crime (slashing another girl on the face and breast with a bottle) "Her drink had been spiked and she was out of her head" Still the judge gave her 7 years. He knew the young lad who was stabbed to death in the flats complex at Inchacore the other night too.
The more nervous he became the more it effected me as well.
He developed a tic which then turned to a stammer.
The tension started to alarm me too.
Is this a robbery ?
Is this a high jacking?
"Go to Stewarts hospital and down the hill"

A cul de sac,
So I pulled my coin holder over and got ready to beat the crap out of him with it.
He paid me, jumped out and ran off.

My guess is that it was a drugs thing, collection, delivery or payment.

Young people with no jobs are fresh meat for the drug lords.

One of the lads told me that he picked up 3 really aggressive lads going to Inchacore, he was really worried, but as he came out of the dip to pass Dublin Providers there was a Garda checkpoint. The younger Garda waved them through, but the taxi driver slammed on the brakes, blew the horn and jumped out with the keys in his hand. The older Garda turned around and shone in his torch.
"Ah hello lads !, Did you have a good Christmas?"
"Call for a van, these 3 wise men forgot to return to prison after Christmas leave"
So he got paid and they went back to the slammer.

I went to Liffey Valley to buy an ice cream and just as I was walking out a Romanian girl ran over to me to ask if I would bring her to Tallagh?

Wouldn't I just.

She had a package to collect,but it was at the other entrance.

So I walked over to collect it. It turned out to be 4 Stone of frozen chips,which I carried back to the car in my arms,instead of walking back and driving over.

Which is why I now have a sore back.

Still I learned a lot about Romania on the drive.

Oh yes I went for my NCT taxi all cleaned out,


One headlight was brighter than the other !

Retest next week then the "Suitability" test.

There are many taxis in this city being driven by people with forged documents !
That is a fact.
When the regulators enforcers pull on to the rank the allow these guys to drive away.
Then they inspect the papers of everyone who stays on the rank.

As Homer would say. DOH !

There is a guy who consistently picks up around the back of Heuston and right in front of the station as well.
The regulator tells me she cannot stop him (I have the letter).
One of the guys has punched him out cold.
He has amassed fines of over €3,500 which he refuses to pay.

Yet guys are being pulled up for the silliest things.
Martin on the tax Clarence cert and Marty on the licence.
A gap of 1/4 inch on the side of a roof sign.
Worn patch on the arm rest.

Yet they ignore people who are driving taxis who don't even know where the villages of Dublin are. Clontarf , which way to go?

So if the driver is illegal where do we look when he kills or rapes someone ?

It is a bit unfair that a legal driver has to pay tax, insurance and income tax. While the illegal ones do not have to do any of those things.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bad back blues

Not bad value for the city center.

So good they built it twice.

I don't know how I forgot this, but early on St.Patricks day I got a fare from a Polish girl of about 20. She was heading to the handball alley at Croke park.
We came to a set of traffic lights which were red, nothing was coming so I drove through, the next set were the same. Five sets of lights in all. Then I came to the main road and stopped at the lights.
"Why did you not stop at the other red lights?" she said,,"Well on St.Patrick's day you can go through 5 red lights, but this is nr.6."


Are you selling programes at Croker? says I.

Oh no they wouldn't let a Garda sell programmes.

I must be getting old, she was just a kid. But it is great that our country is assimilating the Europeans into our society. How fantastic, a girl at the police station who can speak Polish, Russian,Chinese or Romanian perhaps. The very fact that they don't have to send out for someone to translate. Such a saving of time and money too.

Over the weekend I went into the pillar room to see the tango lesson in action, they are having a special guest over for the tango fiesta 1st to 3rd of June. They will feature this female dancer who has been shown dancing many times before.

When I sent the clip to Julian last year he told me that she is the finest tango dancer in Argentina.Remember the woman does as many steps as the man, only backwards and on high heels ! If you go down to "Tango lessons in Dublin" then go to events you can check out the up and coming events.
Today when I was getting my Coffey I met that famous Baptist preacher Jessie Jackson. Hi is over here making a few speeches, it will be in the paper tomorrow so click on Irish Times newspaper for details.

My back LOCKED today and I couldn't afford to have that girl from Thailand to unlock it,in her special way. So I walked for 3 miles and now it is off to a hot bath.

It is sad how you do one thing and you have to spend the money you made to have it fixed.
Chinese acupuncture for the back! That's the cure for sure.

That was last night, still in pain so I went to the Chinese doctor today.

Sadly my old doctor has retired and gone back to China, the new doctor didn't say "If you are not better come again and I will fix you free" (which is what the last one said) So here I am broken hearted,payed my money ....and still in pain, only worse.
It will be a while before I can do this.

I often thought I would like to manage a restaurant, let me say more !

Today I went into "The Green hen" on Exchequer St. Looks great, but my mistake there were only 8 people inside, so I had a lunch special Linguine with mussels. I wish I had noted the time from when I sat down until the food came. I would say 40 minutes, but there is a video camera there if someone cares.

So when it arrived and there was a chili pepper which was chopped through the dish and that was all you could taste.
Pasta is cheap I got so little that I was very hungry leaving the table.
The waiting staff where standing around like sentries, just standing there, I didn't see any of the staff say "Can I get you anything else? Would you like some more water?"

Or,what I would want my staff to ask is.

"Was your meal OK?"

The manager came in, threw his keys behind the bar, didn't speak to his staff or attempt to make eye contact with any of his customers.

A few doors away there is a sign in a window "FREE FOOD" when your order doesn't arrive in 7 minutes. They were packed to the rafters.
Pichet around the corner is also excellent. I know the head waiter there, I should have gone to him.
You pay wages for staff, heat, light, rent and rates 20c more of pasta would have made a difference.
Thanks to Paddy I bring you the loyal dog who would not leave his friend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A great week for the Irish

A man begging walks towards me at Heuston train station.
The taxi rank begins at that 30KPH sign, so I am running the risk of an €80 fine as I wait

Tango lessons at the Pillar Room

The back of the Rotunda hospital

A fine example of wireing on the facade of a Georgian house.

When you park badly there is someone on hand to help you get it right

Well Cheltenham races had plenty of winners in brilliant sunshine.

The St.Patrick's parade went off in great form.

Ireland beat England at Rugby.

We all forgot about the doom and gloom for a week.

Still a bit of work came our way, Paddys day for me was not great. Most times I can reckon on being at the right place at the right time. This year I missed it somehow.
After working for a few hours in the morning I went to have a sleep. When I went back out to work through the night the great Irish public were legless and falling about. So I went home and went back to bed.
The next day I had one of the best days of the year. Hitting bulls eye with every stop.Later on that night after the Rugby there were loads of Zombies going around when a hotel porter came over to me."Would you mind going to the O2 to rescue this gentleman". So i rang him and collected him.
There were hundreds of people there, The "Commitments" had been on stage and everyone was sober and very happy.So I went back again and again, a great show.

and a great great movie, of a Dublin that is no more.

Still luck is the name of the game.

Then on Sunday

A lady from the train was placed into my care to go to St.John of Gods in Stillorgan.
Poor girl sobbing and crying, she started talking after 15 or 20 minutes.

It is hard to know how much you should intrude, to comfort or reassure.
Poor girl had her shell removed and was a quivering raw jelly of sobbing hopelessness.
Before we passed Merrion Square I asked her to look to her right, and she gasped in awe at the Ferris wheel lit up and the bright fairground rides going around.

"Oh I would love to go on the big wheel and go higher and higher to see the bright lights and forget it all"
Sadly I just kept going, but we talked a lot and she told me I was the best taxi driver she had ever met.
Perhaps when she gets her head right I will be a complete asshole again.

The human mind is like a 6 liter engine in a Nissan Micra, it has immense powers and yet we should only use 10% of it at any one time, the body cannot withstand the full force of the mind and that may be why we suffer nervous breakdowns.

The human mind is like a fragile spiders web, complicated, strong and yet fragile.

But rest helps the body to heal itself, I hope you feel better soon.

Many people are under tremendous pressure, jobs going, negative equity.

As my poor old late father used to say.

"When poverty comes through the door, love flies out through the window"

The story goes that a farmer who lived alone heard a noise outside his front door one night.
He turned on the outside light and opened the door.He looked up and down the yard and saw nothing. He was just about to close the door again when he looked down. There standing at his feet was an old Jack Russel terrier, who just walked into the house.
So he fed and watered the animal and the dog became a lodger.
A neighbour was sitting in the kitchen one night and he remarked how "Bengie" was looking so well."You know someone just dumped him from a car to get rid of him and then drove away".
"That was a lucky day for me" replied the farmer. "For he is a great companion and I am sure he is a properly trained psychiatrist, he listen to all my woes and seems to understand,some people do not know the true meaning of a solid friendship"

Just as an aside I would never divulge details of conversations etc. which would identify any of my customers.
Most of what happens in the taxi stays there

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Word from Bill Clinton

Words of hope spoken in the Spring.

Reported by
MICHAEL O'REGAN... Published in the Irish Times today

FORMER US president Bill Clinton has expressed concern about Ireland’s high suicide rate and urged a return to core values in the journey to economic recovery.

Mr Clinton said that while Ireland had an economic problem, profound damage had also been done to the Irish psyche.

“The thing that has troubled me most, believe it or not, about this whole economic crisis in Ireland has been the rise in the suicide rate, not just among the young, where it was already too high, but among those in their prime working years who feel somehow that their whole lives have been robbed,” he said.

Mr Clinton said a good friend, “one of the young, phenomenally prosperous Irishmen”, had taken his life and made him think about the Irish situation all over again.

The former president was speaking at a lunch on Tuesday at the New York Yacht Club, where he presented Irish America magazine’s annual award to John L Lahey, who has been involved in the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade for 30 years.

Mr Clinton said Ireland’s economic difficulties were not the end of the world, adding that the Republic was beginning another chapter in its history.

“Somehow, we need to help our friends there not just to recover but to keep their heads on straight while they are recovering.”

Ireland, he said, had voted to make a new beginning by way of a political change.

It should never be assumed again, he said, that any given level of prosperity was permanent, that any economic arrangement could not be improved, and that any clever thing done might not be tinged with a little arrogance carrying the seeds of its destruction.

“We should remember that what we loved about Ireland was how green and beautiful it was . . . how beautiful the poetry and prose were . . . and how wonderful the music and the dance are.”

Mr Clinton said he was convinced if everybody had “30 lucid minutes” before passing away, almost nobody would use them to think “how cool it was when we got rich”.

He added: “We would think about who we liked and who we loved and how the flowers smelt in the springtime . . . when we made the passage from youth to adulthood . . . and what it was like when our children were born or when we gave our daughters away at the altar.”

Mr Clinton said the thing people loved about Ireland had almost nothing to do about whether it was financially successful or not.

“It was what it was at the core. Ireland will be great and prosperous and wonderful again, simply by recovering what it is at the core. So it is for us not only to give advice, investment and support, but to scrape away the barnacles which have clouded the vision of the place we love.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 St.Patricks day

Fairgrounds, blocked streets then a run to Howth head.

She hopped into the taxi on Vernon Ave., "Its so hard to get a taxi today" she said.
She was going to Croke Park, "Are you from Brazil" I said, but she was from Poland.
Then it happened the lights were red, but there was nothing coming...So...and the next and the next. "You are allowed to go through red lights on St.Patrick's day" I said.
"I didn't know that" she said.
So as we reached Edges corner I asked her what she would be doing at Croker, are you selling programmes?
"No I am a Garda"
They have recruited a few Polish people and Chinese etc...Hail the new Ireland.

Luckily I was able to erase her memory!

There used to to be a thing on the radio which became "Give up yer auld sins"
Here is the slant on St.Patrick

Now if you go to Australia, be sure you leave enough time to catch your train.
Riverdance tribute !

We have all done it bought that "Cheap flight".. Then we buy another

OK watch the parade from here

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St.Patricks day

If you go up Blackhorse Ave you will see a distincly Indian army barricks.
Well they got the one designed for Dublin, ours can't be heated, theirs can't be kept cool.

Don't forget to see the Phil Lynott displaqy in the St.Stephens Green shopping center.

Happy St.Patricks day to you all.

Yes folks our patron saint was a Welsh man!

In the West Indies St.Patricks statue stands in pride of place with the snakes at his feet in many homes but it is to represent the snake god DAMBALLAH.

You may remember I had a lady and her daughter going to the Pheonix park,they will not be here for the St.Patricks day parade. She must be still laughing when I told her that unless you get a good vantage point you will see little of the parade.
She was the daughter of the American ambassador to Ireland.

Their seatto see the parade would have been a good one for sure.

The Irish Times today carried an article about the most Irish town in America Butte Montana. Home of the Annaconda copper mine, discovered by a man from Ballyjamesduff Co.Cavan..The folks from the Bera peninsula in Co.Kerry came there to mine and the history is rich in Irish folklore for sure.
You know the Irish went everywhere, set up businesses and sent for the folks back home to come over and give a hand.
There is a book by Tim Pat Coogan called "Wherever green is worn" in it there are tales of Irish people who did the most heroic deeds.
Irish people turning up in the most unlikely places.
Go on its worth a read.

You do know the Queen of England is coming to visit us?

Well her are the folks in Chicago.

People of Japan

Hands across the sea.

Let me and all the taxi drivers of Dublin extend our deepest sympathy to the Japanese people following the disaster caused by the tsunami.

We assure you all that the Irish people are willing to offer help in your hour of need.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another day in paradise

Guard Dogs

Dolphin House

Urban wasteland

Urban paradise
For different creatures time moves at a different speed.
The May fly lives for only one day, and what a happy day he makes of it.
I can't believe it is Friday again.
For taxi drivers the time spent on ranks at the airport has expanded to 3 or more hours between jobs. Lets hope they are studying for a PHD while they wait.
By the way the cost of the airport pass is over e400(That is a pass to pick up people)
Do you want to see a photo of the toilets that are provided for the 4 to 6 thousand taxi drivers who use the airport? Don't ask.

Sorry for showing you this again.
But its so great, lighten up.
So what rocks your boat John?
My life is still like a twig flowing with the tide, going where it takes me.
A little flick of the tail and I go a slightly different way.
I wanted to show a regular customer a fantastic magic trick I bought at Blackpool.
So I put in into the taxi and as luck would have it I picked met her on the road.
The presentation on my behalf was poor. Driving a car and trying to produce 2 live goldfish from a sheet of paper definitely 4 penalty points and an e80 fine!

Jesus Christ was the reaction !

Must practice more.

Then I picked up 2 Turkish business men going to the Greenhills Rd.
"We need to go to the airport in 45 minutes, what would you do for us ?"
So........ I will come back and wait for you and I won't start the meter again until you come back....
OK ! deal done.
The fare was e20 then when they got back in.....Across the M50 with a e3 toll the total came to e61.
The guy handed me e60,,,,, well I had spent just over an hour waiting for no fee so I played hard ball. "Its all there on the printed receipt,you have to pay the fare."
There are enough airport police standing around to enforce your rights, don't be a fool.
Guys like that who are given the best service and don't even want to pay the fare will get the luck that they deserve. It's not up to me to curse them.
Allah will come to my rescue.
When I came home my son had taken out the other car and became stranded with a flat battery. "Where are you? I will collect you." "No I am OK"
I went to have a sleep and was awoken with the call "A mechanic has been called to David and he needs paying" No way was that to happen.
A strict lecture on common sense followed by a post mortem on what went wrong. Car turned off with heater and lights on... WRONG !

So later on I was Knackered and went to bed.
Once upon a time I used to do all night what it now takes me all night to do...Joking

One word of warning to anyone going to a show.

This nearly happened to me as well.

I picked up a couple from London. The Temple bar hotel and back again as quick as you can. When you buy tickets from Ticketmasters they come in a big strip, some of those "Tickets" are receipts, and he had brought instead of 2 tickets a ticket and a receipt.
Now his taxi fare was e21, 20 is OK and he insisted on paying me e25.

The other hand the Turkish guys I had waited for for over an hour with no charge and they wanted to leave me e1 short!

I do know that someone up there will be looking at the record and they will take care of things.....Euromillions ? Please.

No I know a few places where some money would help a lot.
Did you ever hear of Fr,McVerry and the work he does with drug addicts?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Pancake day

Words from Iveigh buildings..

Intel the biggest "Chipper" in the world.

Waiting for Summer

Ah Its Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras time to head to off to New Orleans !

They are getting into practice for St.Patricks day,

There is a promotion on I wouldn't quite call it a special offer.
A set menu for €25 or €30.
It runs from 21st to 27th of March ie After St.Patricks weekend.
Now in the times we live a promotion would be €15 to €20 max and you could bring your own wine for the duration of the special offer. That would pack them in.

I know a guy who owns a restaurant. "Times are bad" he told me.
So I suggested that he have a cookery night.
Bring in a chef with a bit of flair and prepare food for everyone.
He thought in his wisdom that things will pick up so he will keep on going the way he is. Kevin Thornton and Conrad Gallagher and a few other top chefs think the idea is a good one (no I didn't tell them)and they are having big cook ins, its a big hit.

St.Patricks day is coming and there are loads of visitors in town

Hey driver, Why is the meter at e4'10 ? We are only starting our journey.
In Holland the meter starts at zero.

Well now with Google I beg to differ.

"Customers now pay a base charge of EUR 7.50 maximum, which includes travel for the first two kilometres. The maximum price per subsequent kilometre is EUR 2.20"
It might be even more now,that was 2008.

The only thing I can say when this happens is that they must have never taken a taxi on their own before.