Tuesday, May 28, 2013

House for sale

On the South Circular Road a house has come up for sale.
it is just beside the old Players factory.
This house was the home of a very famous American lady.

Her name is Jean Darling and she was a star of the silver screen back in the Shirley Temple days.
Her mother put her into films and when she rose to stardom whe she was hardly out of nappies.
Then one day she got a massive bill from the IRS, but her mother had spent her money on fortune tellers of all things.
Even though she was a child she had made the money and owed the tax.
So she worked on and paid back this massive debt.

Later on she married a magician called Kajar and toured the world.
When he died she settled in Dublin and wrote children's books.

Here is a clip going back giving a brief outline of the of "The Gang" biographies

She was an interesting person to know, she was in my taxi 6 or 7 times and I looked after her for the duration of a funeral once.
She knew everything about stage presentation and stagecraft.
"What do you think of the Irish magician Keith Barry?"
She once asked.
"Can't you even see that he doesn't even know how HOW TO STAND?"

This was followed by a 20 minute lesson.

She has gone to live with her son in Germany.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kite surfung contest

 Coming this weekend. Get the 130 bus from Abbey St Lets hope its windy.
   Mary St. Capel St Where the real shops of interest are found.I hate shopping malls
   Sailors from Norway cross Capel St. Bridge
   Where are they from? Romania and Armenia (She speaks Russian).
Both girls speak 4 oor 5 different languages.
Please Google, do a "tribes of the world" so that we can compare the tribes all over earth.
In 10 years we will be completely mixed.

So I got a quick haircut.
She did well and was surprised when I told her that the time before (in a different salon) the lady cut off my eyebrows completely.She was clipping away with her back to the mirror so I couldn't see what she was doing, when she stood back I couldn't even raise my eyebrows in amazement.
They were gone..
 She was even more surprised that I didn't complain.
"what could she do? Put them back on?"

Once I read a book about New York where the writer said that it was just a collection of small villages, this village area has a lot going for it.
Rents in Dublin have been linked to a "Upward only rent review" clause So on renewal of your lease the only way was UP! A few high profile court cases sagainst this law have been successful in the courts.
So now if your turnover is down because of the new shopping mall or because of the recession you can with a bit of luck review for a lower rent.
Sometimes negotiations are not enough however.
Brownes restaurant in Sandymount were coming near to the renewal of their lease.
The landlord stuck to his guns, he wanted xxx in rent.
But there was another place across the green which his present sitting tenant developed,
2 places with the same name !.
When the lease is up in the first place the tenant will be gone, So the landlord will have an empty shop.

And empty shops we have in plenty

You have to move with the flow.

Monday, May 20, 2013

15 0n the 19th

Well I had my birthday on Sunday the 19th.

Horay for being 15 !

Really I am that age on the inside. I never ever grew up.

Thank God.

Tango fiesta del Sol is coming to Dublin Click here to see what is going on
This is your chance to see Julian and Kristina in action.

Who could forget Gereldine Rojas (bad camera work)

Well there really more to life than driving a taxi.

My life is like the life of a fisherman. I trawl my lines along certain shores looking for fish to bite on my line.
Sometimes the really good spots are dead, at other times they are hopping.
C'est la vie

I went to Foster place and moved on to the center of the road, after a while I saw this  young lady on the opposite footpath trying to get directions outside Abercrombie and Fitch. She was not having much luck either.
I wanted to cross the road  and give her a street map, but that would involve leaving my car alone on the traffic island. It was cold anyhow, so I sat back into the car where it was warm.
I had turned on the radio when the very same girl tapped on my car window.
She was looking for that tourist hostel place on St.Augustine St..It was not far away.
Maria from Brazil is drop dead gorgeous! Even though she had not slept for 24 hours.
She is meeting her boyfriend from Spain and they are spending some time here in Dublin.

On the trip I made her laugh, she made me laugh too.
"Please give me your phone number" she said  "I want you to drive us back to the airport"
So when we arrived I carried her bag across the road and asked her to link my arm as we crossed over.
I told her that I did this just to make the other guys who were stuck in traffic jealous.
The happy people from Brazil have a song which translates.
"I have no food for my saucepan but at least I can make it play music"

Those girls from Brazil are such a wonderful mix of race that they all look fantastic

By the way there is a sailing ship from Brazil parked near to the Sam Beckett bridge.

A driver from the Westbury hotel rank was beaten up the other day .
Punched and robbed of cash and his mobile phone.
Its part of the risk you take.
There is a good reason to have CCTV recording in every taxi,
In Brazil the violence towards taxi drivers is much higher.
Look at Brazil taxi on the right.
Then use Google translate. It gives you a taste of the story.

Their world is so different to ours.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Philo Gone

      2 drunks pushed the iconic statue of Phil Lynott over and damaged it, so it is gone away.
The parents of one of my sons friends work the foundry where he was cast.
I hope the punks are told to pay the bill
 Our neighbors across the water are getting upset with Google, Amazon, Pay pal and Ebay etc. for not paying tax in the UK.
You see they are all based in Ireland where corporate tax is lower. When you buy Starbucks coffee the transaction is completed in Switzerland.  All legal though
 The new Aldi on East wall Rd opening in the Summer (Soon)

We had a huge visitor to Dublin the Queen Mary 2
From the Irish Times
Over 3,000 people disembarked from the RMS Queen Mary II, which is the first of 14 liners to visit the town this year, bringing more than 30,000 passengers and generating €3 million for the area. In 2012, a total of 200 people arrived in the harbour.

But there are 2 or 3 cruise liners coming into Dublin port every week now. Happy days.

The variety and wonder I find in my own passengers continues to amaze me.
Yesterday I had a couple from San Francisco who were Armenian, very interesting people the lady was very beautiful and petite, Armenia I now know was the first country to take Christianity as its national religion.
The empire stretched from the Mediterranean sea to the Black sea to the Caspian sea.
They said that they were Persian. The population of Armenia were persecuted and those who survived scattered all over the world.
But I really felt from them a very strong love for their culture and traditions.
They still spoke their language and would hold on to their traditions with great pride.

Today I met a Canadian lady off to the airport to Washington.

Then a return trip with a family all the way from Oman, the man who sat in the front with me was well educated and he told me that the population of Oman was only 1 1/2 million (less than Dublin)
The country is bigger than England.
All the workers come in from abroad and they have loads of oil.
The whole family were very clever and had good English.
It is 50c in Oman at present, a little too hot for me.

The students are starting to move away to find summer work now and the influx of tourists is amazing.
A big Rugby weekend with the French arriving in big numbers. As for myself I think I am getting a bug.
A few hours off is what is needed.

Just an example to show that it is not just in Italy or Ireland that this might happen.
In China a man lost his wife, after a few years he met a widow and after a while he moved in with her.
Every day he had to rush back to his old house to prepare food for his son who is 31 years old.
"If I don't prepare food for him he will not eat" said his father.
The widows daughter found a job for the son who had never worked.
But after the first day he came home and said wouldn't go back.
"Its too hard work" he said.

I thing my sons must be Saints !

Still more and more taxis on Dublin's roads its incredible

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sex,kidnapping and slavery.

Every so often a case comes to light of someone vanishing completely. Then they turn up in very tragic circumstances.

Every day someone goes missing, some turn up alive and well others are not so lucky.

Garda in Ireland today are investigating how a woman in her 20s was held captive and raped for over a week by 6 men

You know of the storys of children held captive, some discovered alive others have been found buried in the garden years later.

This is hard to watch if you are not strong turn away now.

Years ago I saw 2 Gangsters punch a girl and put her into the boot of a jeep, when I rang 999(112) I was told that unless he had a "missing persons report" he could do nothing.

You will see something today or tomorrow and perhaps this time because you are looking for it, someone might get back home again.

Perhaps your police will act I don't know but I hope so.


Last year a group of Irish travellers were jailed for keeping men who were homeless prisoner , some had been held for up to five years.
The case cost the British Police over £1 million
Well done lads.

This is happening in every City in the world.

So today and every other day open your eyes and ears.
Tomorrow someone like Madleline McCann might come home. DV 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ron McMillan

I was in London visiting my son last October.

Part of that visit is to visit the Ron McMillan convention which is always the very best magical get together that you can go to.
The star last year was Juan Tamariz the Spanish man of Magic A true gent and a genius.

Part of the celebrations was a presentation to Jeff McBride who has put the sparkle back in to Magic.
He is putting on grand shows in stadiums filled by thousands of people.
Add to that rock groups and total wall to wall pyrotechnics, its like the Riverdance of magic.

Come on  "Learn Spanish"

OK I found him in English.

But I still don't know how he does it

Saturday, May 11, 2013

London taxi in Dublin

                   Someone has taken out their alarm !

Yesterday when I had finished work I went for one pint in my local.
I had my coin holder in my hand and I started to fill it while I was waiting for my pint to settle.
The guy beside me told me that in London this is called a"piano" because the coins go up and down in value.
He told me that he was a London cabby and he had driven his big black taxi all the way to Dublin.
He told me to have a look at the number on the way out.

When you look in your rear view mirror it reads "TAXI". Nice one.

Security is always a big thing, let it slip and you learn a lesson.
The other day a guy approached 2 tourists who were taking photos with their laptop.
"I just wanted to tell you that you have to be very careful as thieves are swooping on people and snatching cameras and laptops."
Fair play to him, his words fell on deaf ears as they told him they were always careful.
On Pierce St a girl was pulling her suitcase along with one hand and in her other hand was her purse which she held out as she was walking . I stopped beside her and asked her to put the purse in the bag or into her pocket. She ignored me and just walked on.
Perhaps she didn't speak English? who knows.
Then Near Hollies St a man and woman were sitting on a bench together eating breakfast. The woman's hand bag was on the opposite side of the table.
Again I stopped and told them to bring the bag around beside them.
Absolutely no reaction.
Perhaps next time I should run up and take the purse/bag just to demonstrate what a shock loosing it would be to them.
A girl from Mongolia who lives up the road from my house was going down Marlborough St.She was talking away on he fone. A guy passed her on a bicycle, he turned around and came alongside her again and snatched the fone from her hand. She told me that it was insured and it would cost €700 to replace.

On being told and doing nothing another fine example comes to mind.
A pub and off license in the city center was taken over by a new owner.
The monitoring of the alarm system had 3 months left to run when they took it over.
When the contract ran out they didn't renew.
Now unless the alarm is linked in they will get no Garda response when the alarm activates, in a hold up situation the personal attack button will be ignored.
The cost of the contract is €400 which is tax deductible.
To cap it all when there will be a robbery or a fire the insurance would be void.

Still you can tell some people, but experience educates them !

A realy friendly customer who came to me via HailO told me of her tale of woe.

She was driving along and a car came straight at her on the wrong side of the road.
He crashed ito her and then hit a tree.
He was drunk out of his mind !
Now among her injuries was a broken hip.
Her foot was on the brake and because her leg was straight the bone was pushed through her hip bone.
Ouch !
Now in the courts he had a good barrister and was painted as a saint, so he got off very light.
There is no justice in the courts, only law.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

I found her again today

As I travel around Dublins fair city I often see sights that are wonderful to see.
A few days ago I stopped the taxi and said WOW to a lady walking past.
She had the most wonderful long hair I ever saw. It cascaded down her back like a wonderful waterfall of gold, in the morning sun it was totally fantastic, such a joy to see it.

I didn't think of it any more. (Getting old)

Today I was sent for a message to Artaine Castle, there was a lady there collecting for animal rescue, I put in a few coins on passing. Coming back again I talked to her only to find out it was the same lady with the fantastic long hair.

She comes from Lithuania not Sweden as I thought.
I gave a look of the photos to some of my passingers, one Polish girl was unable to speak for a while.
After a while she spoke, "I am totally speechless" she finally said.
A Russian lady told me that this is quite common in Russia, sometimes they grow their hair to the ground, now that would be something to see.

What will we talk about? Do you know that if you let people walk over you your conditions will get worse and worse.
I have spoken about the clothing workers conditions in Pakistan, India and Mauritius.
The conditions in these factories is a hell on Earth.
It is time that we got a "Fair trade clothing" label.

I had a really good start to my day today.
Clontarf to the Clarion Hotel at Liffey Valley. Around €30
The lady works for the tourist board organizing golf outings.

She was on her way to be given a talking to by the managers of local golf clubs.
They will be wanting to know why there is not more business.

My tuppence worth was this, look you are the guys who were charging the earth for a round of golf in the good times. Better to ask them to find out how to make the golf trips more memorable for the guests and to remember who is trying to help them in this present situation.

Later on I picked up a guy from Limerick who is here to entertain some business men who are over for a multi golfing outing. Then they are off to Johnny Foxes pub for a night out tonight.
He has 2 construction company's in Finland look here 

Then I got a HailO job from Pierce St to near Grafton St.
A Saudi lady studying medicine. Saudi ladys are very beautiful and she had never heard the old joke.

"Remember to subtract 30 from the pulse count from an old guy like me.
This will give you an accurate reading.
After all, one would have to compensate for the excitement and elivated heartbeat he would fee on seeing you."

When we arrived I looked down at the meter "See what effect you had on me?
I forgot to turn on the meter"
But she still paid me.

A lady from Holland was in the car she was here for a big meeting celebrating architecture in Europe.

Like many people on the outside she believed that things are on the way up in Ireland.

This is not true at all.
This present situation was caused by corrupt property developers,crooked bankers who allowed clients to over extend themselves, corrupt politicians who took bribes and refused to see what was going to happen.
We are struggling under a debt  which was caused by fraud, it is not a just or an honest situation.
When you raise taxes people have less to spend, workers will quote for cash work so as to avoid paying any tax, so it will get worse.

One of our Golden Boys Sean Dunne was a star of the Celtic tiger years.

Poor old Sean Dunne is signing for bankruptcy in the USA
He owes a $billion.
€185 million in unpaid development loans.
He claims his monthly expenses are €16,600 (which includes €457 monthly allowance for clothes)
His wardrobe is reckoned to be worth €9000
He lists that he works as a project manager for his wife and is paaid €17,000 a month plus €17,000 for various property rentals.
He has a watch and cufflinks valued at €5,700
He has a ten year season ticket for the Aviva stadium.
He also pays for premium tickets at Ticikenham €4,900 and the Millenium stadium.

But he is a good boy he pays his mums Sky TV bill,€690

Even after going through everything he will still hold on to his €1 million pension from his bankrupt company
He has €762 worth of ski and golf clubs.
In his former home he has €7,600 worth of furniture waiting. 

Whare did it all go wrong ?

Or did it happen like this?

Sunday, May 05, 2013

6th May 1882

Today is the sixth of May.

On this day in 1882 Lord Cavendish the new Viceroy of Ireland had just arrived in Ireland to take up his post.
Lord Cavendish and Henry Burke the head of the Civil service took a stroll through the Phoenix park and they were set upon by a group of men and murdered.

Now this sent a shock wave through the world.

The group responsible became known as the Invincibles.

Such a horrific act put into train a murder hunt like no other before.
"Suspects" were rounded up and people with grudges informed on their enemies (who were innocent of that crime)
The horror of the event and the brutal execution of innocent men is a story of epic proportions.
One informer was later recognised on a ship headed for Australia, he was killed by a man who knew him.
That man was then executed and his daughter had to go on to Australia alone.

So to read more click here.

Now today go to the park

Walk towards the Phoenix monument from town.
Look to your right and when you get a clear view of the front of the presidents house, you are there, right at the spot.On the left hand side

There is a cross made out in white marble chippings on the ground.

Today there will be 2 wooden crosses and 2 small posies of flowers laid by a mystery person at the spot.

They will not be there for long as thee deer eat them.

Who puts them there?
Decendents of the killers?

Who knows.

I was on Chesterfield Avenue today at 9.15 and there were no crosses or flowers.
But later on around 3 pm I checked again and the flowers were there. The grass around the marker had been cut back and I assume that someone had taken the crosses away to sell on Ebay !

Look back through this blog for other postings made at this time. I have photos of the posies and crosses.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

An amazing human being

 May I present this to you?

It has nothing to do with taxi driving.

It has everything to do with life.

Sebastião Salgado: The silent drama of photography

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The first day of summer ?

              Seagulls go mad for fish waste in Howth
           One of Dublins famous pubs

                                A casino off Grafton St.

What a beautiful day of sunshine the first day of Summer. The temp rose to 14C

May day is the workers holiday among other things.
There is a tradition in Dublin "One City one book" This year it is Strumpet City
Strumpet City (1969) is a historical novel by James Plunkett set in Dublin, Ireland, at the time of the Dublin Lock-out. In 1980, it was adapted into a successful TV drama by Hugh Leonard for RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster. The novel is an epic, tracing the lives of a dozen characters as they are swept up in the tumultuous events that affected Dublin between 1907 and 1914.

The novel traces the struggle of the workers to get fair pay,they go on strike, resulting in a lock out.
After months of hardship they had to go back to work.
But many of them joined the British army and died in Flanders fields in the great war.

When you look at the death toll in that Pakistani factory collapse last week you might wonder have moved along in our understanding of what constitutes workers rights.
The conditions in these sweat shop factories is worse than what slaves had to endure.
Slaves you had to feed, they had a value.
Indentured workers you can kick out.

Students are settling in for exams and the RDS in Ballsbridge is seeing a steady stream of students picking up exam numbers ready for the big day.
I often think of the founder of Apple computers Steve Jobs, how he dropped out of school and went his own way.
I am sure there are many "Failed" students who excelled in their lives.
There are many forms of intelligence, not all can be measured by exams you know.

Mother to student...."Look at that poor taxi driver ! Do you see how badly he's dressed?
If you don't pass your exams and qualify you will be a nobody just like him.
And you wouldn't like that"

The taxi drivers reply is not recorded.

One lady I had in the taxi today started talking on her phone. (Nothing wrong with that)
But she spoke pure crap all the way out to Cornelscourt.
If I was counting she must have said the same cliche 40 times.
My calls last 10 seconds, perhaps 20 if I have to repeat myself.I never ever talk to people on the mobile phone.
I am sure if a recording of her conversation was to be played back to her (and she listened to herself) she would freak out.

Another guy I met, I reckoned he was a restaurant owner and I was right
I thought he had a tin of beans in his hand. It turned out to be a man's perfume bu Jean Paul Gautier, which he was bringing back to the shop.
I spoke to him about these so called food critics who lord around judging restaurants.
I reckoned that they needed bribes.
He told me no, thats not it,
This is the way it works.
"We found your place to be excellent, So good in fact that we are including it on a website of places to eat if you would like to be included the fee will be €400?"
"Well what do you do?"

I also had an official from the restaurant association.
Her startling fact was that you have to have 13 licenses or permits to open a restaurant.
Its not a one stop shop either, you have to go from one to the other.

It seems that Ireland has become a hard place to do business.

One thing I have been following is the fate of the wonderful house in Dalkey,Gorse hill, Viko Rd to be exact,
The mother and father of a law case. A house valued at €30 million in 2006, but now it is valued at between €6 and €7 million. Whatever the balance is it  will still be owed!
Now I never even got near an A in maths in school. But this is a huge drop.
This is all a result of fraud, like a giant PONZI scheme, where everyone chased the mighty $ with no regard to the cost later on.

I had a lady who departed from her bank when she pointed out how the figures were not adding up.
She dug her heels in.
"If I do not speak up I will be committing fraud" she told me.
So they cut her a deal to leave.
She went.
Now she works with NAMA !
She said that the extent of the damage is like looking into a giant sink hole and guessing where the bottom is.

It is a very wild guess.

Through no great insight I never got involved.
Strange to say I own my own house !
I never ventured into Spain, of Vietnam for property.
I never wanted a big BMW

However I do feel for people living in negative equity, loans they can never repay on property which was never worth the price paid in the first place.
It was all a con job.
Yet the real con artists are living the high life.
Living in Drumcondra,with assets in Barbados or some other west Indian hideaway.
Pensions coming in the thousands per month.

Paid by you and me.

They must think we are really thick