Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dissaster waiting to happen

         View of Dublin from Howth head
                   A hopeful London cabby doing the knowledge 3 years work
                This gent reads through his papers outside the 4 seasons hotel
    A nice old French van on Dame St. (Pancakes I suppose)

The news over the last few days was not good.
A Garda on cash in transit duty was shot dead by a deranged robber. Gun point blank to the head with no chance of escape or mercy.

The taxi regulator has all the mobile numbers of every driver in the country. If the numbers were put on a data base all drivers in any given area could be alerted in seconds to look out for suspicious activity.

The awful case where a father sexually abused his daughter over a 10 year period. It started before she was 11 years old and he even raped her on the eve of her first communion.
You have to wonder
Where was God?
So she was betrayed by her Father. Her mother. She reported this to the police and even when as a minor she picked up an STD she was still not rescued.
The father pleaded guilty. So the judge gave him 12 years in jail, Suspending 9 years and allowed the beast out on bail pending an appeal.
Wow that was some slap on the face for the victim.
Uproar from the people and the press saw the father brought back in and sent to jail.

I would give experts in mental studies 6 months to learn from this beast than he should be given a painful death.
The money saved from keeping him locked up could be put to better use.
The mother has to be held guilty as well.

Then that awful fire in Brazil.
In Ireland we went through the trauma when the Stardust ballroom burst into flames back in 1981
click here 48 young people dead and 214 injured.
As bad as these things are you have to wonder why people do not learn,
Factory's in India Pakistan and Mauritius where workers work in appalling and dangerous conditions.
If the fire chief and the person who passed such buildings for use as a disco went to prison as a result of their actions things might change.
One thing I was reminded of when I read up on the Stardust disaster was in spite of the locked fire doors and the massive loss of life no one went to prison and the Butterly family who owned the complex were paid £500,000 compensation for loss of income and their court costs.
Its wonderful what you can do when you are a pal of CJ Haughey.

I met a man coming in from the airport the other day. "Your accent has me puzzled" I said.
He turned out to be a German Jew. It was the day after Holocaust day and he was a very clever man who works for Microsoft. Among the things he was doing was the construction of a medical center in southern Africa. Microsoft encourage their workers to do special projects. This was a great cause to support. He is Africa now overseeing the project. He is a great man he loves Jackie Mason and that fantastic Jewish singer Ofra Haza
What a guy.

A girl got in on Sunday morning ,, going home after being up all night.
She told me something of her life about how she had split up from her abusive partner after more than10 years and she had 3 kids to care for.
So at 6 weeks to go before Christmas she managed to sell the family home before the bank took it from her.
If the bank took it she wouldn't get a cent from the disposal of her home, indeed they would add on vast costs
She is getting over the trauma of her past and being rid of an abusive partner who used to beat her up.

She was a really nice person
So I would love for lady luck to smile on her soon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Black Monday

In case you didn't know this was "Black Monday" when all the bills from Christmas land on your mat.
I hadn't got it so I didn't spend it.

Sunday brought Hollywood to the Savoy cinema for the Premiere of Lincon the movie.
Daniel day Lewis, Stephen Spielberg and all the stars were out. When you look in the news and the papers they seem to have spent a lot of time outside hugging the fans.
Something like this lifts the mood of the people.
"Give them Circuses" is what they said in ancient Rome.

                          Beautiful winter scene in Tallagh.

Anyhow a little bit of snow helps people into taxis, and we had another flurry today.

                  Party eyelashes !

                   No matter which way "I stand" Isle of Man

                        The boxes climb back up the stairs to the darkness of the attic.

Sometimes you are going along . Just minding your own business and circumstances take an unusual turn.
You didn't start it and you cannot stop it for sure.

Warning this may offend you.

 Really good street magic

Yes its getting really close to the time for the Blackpool magicians convention

Look what the man from Urlingford can do with a €5 note

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Every year in the month of January the National art gallery opens its doors to display its Turner water colours,(click here)
They are shown only for this month because the light is at its lowest strength at this time.
The collection of paintings are rotated betwen Dublin and London.

In many of the paintings thre are really vivid skys.
If you are old enough to remember the time Mount StHelens blew her top, the volcanic ash went right around the world and we had amazing sunsets.
It is no coincidence that another volcano blew its top back then Krakatoa blew  her top..

Taxi drivers should know things like this, also that art galleries and the like are closed on Mondays

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bring on the rain, wind, sleet and storms

             A nesting area inside the new Mater Hospital
             I am nearly old enough to buy a "Gold Wing"

          This is the the interior of the new Terminal 2 at Dublin airport.

So I woke up this mornin' (an old blues song)
Turned on my hailo app and got a call in 2 seconds!
Then when I dropped them off it went off again in seconds and so on until I had 6 calls clocked up to HailO. One couple were coming from the Stillorgan Rd into Capel St. They had abandoned their car and they sure had made the right decision there. When you know the correct route straight on through the end of Stephens Green and down to the 4 courts via Christchurch. Its a breeze. Bus lane nearly all the way.
The traffic was static from Brewery Rd

As my Daddy said "Whats seldom is wonderful"

I had few people that I look after, they call me up I collect. I give no discounts and they appreciate the service and often tip well.
Poor Patrick who never books was stuck today I was in Dundrum he was in Clontarf and late for work.He told me once that other taxi companies were giving 20%discount.
"Patrick ! use them" He did and missed his flight to Greece much to his cost.
You see if you are booked you have to be in the area around an hour before the job and take no other work for 40 mins. before the appointed time.
On Leeson St Lr one time I was going to a place which sold big cups of soup. I was waiting for my run.
A really special lady who now lives in America.
The Aircoach stop had around 9people waiting. There was a road closure on O'Connell St..
As I was walking past the stop I told them that as there was a road closure in O'Connell St. therefore the Aircoach may not come. But if they got into a van (which I had) they would get to the airport cheaper and on time.
Tell the driver to go up Gardner St.(Pre port tunnel it was. )
They looked at me like sheep. "Just telling you !"Then one guy said "Will you bring us?"
Sorry I am waiting for a client who has booked me to collect her.
One old guy did not believe me and had "its a  con" all over his face..So I crossed over the road.
The more pro active guy stopped an 8 seater and loaded everyone in.
Oh my! when I came out with my soup the last guy had stopped a taxi and had to pay the full fare to the airport by himself, while the others could split the cost by 8

Such is life., But people amaze me, taxi driver robs a customer and the customer complaind to the next honest taxi driver that he paid twice the cost for that journey last week.
Then he walks off from the honest driver without even a 20C tip.

Is there Karma?
I hope so.
For that girl who resigned from her job because of how another girl was being treated.
Then she set up on her own and took on the other girl.
A short time later the girl whom she rescued left and took 1/2 her friends clients with her

Oh Dear,

I do hope there is Karma   Good Karma

There are a lot better versions of this song, much better than in the movie.
Not the best version, but better than the movie.

But boys and girls God bless the Tesco checkout operator from Ballyfermot.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Herring Days

          Slow load passing the rank
               All this for €5
                 SPORTS HALL AT BELFIELD
          Trinity College at night


     The Luas line at Dundrum.

Here we are in the middle of January. Its dead quiet on the streets, the London cabby calls this time "Herring days"because the income drops so low that you can't afford meat, you eat only fish.

Looking at my HailO statement I took €110 through the Hailo system this week,every penny is money which would not have come my way 6 months ago.
There is a great interest for it in Cork now andin DUBLIN  110,000 people have downloaded the App, 2,800 drivers are on board it is so good, all praises for the mighty App.

Well its really no harm because the work has dried up anyhow.

No more big nights out until 14th Feb (St Valentines night)It is not widely known that the relics of St.Valentine are in the Carmalite Friary on Auinger St (so you can go for a "Rub of the auld relic")
That's the night the restaurant will give you 40 minutes to eat up and get out.
Take her out the week after the big day for a bit of peace and quiet.
Then we have Paddy's day on the 17th of March. The festival gets bigger and better every year.
Loads of Irish from all over the world come to visit "the old sod".

Its only Mighty.

So as the saying goes "Live horse and you'll get grass".  Perhaps.

Ireland is kicking off for our year of the EU presidency, expect flashy cars with blacked out windows and with motorcycle escorts. They will bring our fair city to a standstill.
They zip around all 5 star, did they never hear of Skype?
If its good enough for us than its good for them too. Conference calling is secure and affordable, why not do ti that way?
Though in fairness the last time the Troika were in town they walked to a few of their meetings leaving the limos blocking the taxi ranks.

Think of this, keep a note book and write down some of the interesting things that happened over the days and weeks and pretty soon you will have a book !
Gene Salomon who writes the blog "Cabs are for kissing" has just published his first book 390 pages
"Confessions of a Taxi driver"
My copy arrived in the post today and I just checked and the best taxi story I ever read is in it The wrong Guy.
I put this story on my blog a few years ago as it is so incredible  and well told.

Genes book sitting on the hood of my taxi

Yet things like this do happen in real life.
Other taxi books I have read are Hack by Malissan Plaut and the Gabby Cabby Perer Franklin of New York There was another few written by London Cabbys, all good stuff
Then there was our very own Doal Ruanes book Tales in a rear view mirror.
A very funny book

So its Go Eugene Go Confessions of A taxi driver

Today a very large woman with a squad of kids stopped me. She didn't know where she was going but after a bit of quick thinking I took directions to Moore St. On the way she told me that she was due in court, She went to Swords courthouse and it was closed then she went to all the different courts in town until someone rang her asking her why she as not in the court in Blanchardstown.
She hardly knew  where Blanchardstown was never mind where the courthouse was.
All of her kids had different fathers, totally different they were. Perhaps they were all orphans.

The first thing you should do is find out where you are supposed to be on the day of judgment.

I pulled up outside the bus station 2 cars there, the first car drove away, 5 minutes later I was the only car there when a girl with a red bag walked past.Then a Philippineo man got in, the British embassy please, then the the girl came back to the car, "could you call another taxi up for me?"
I told her to walk to the corner as there were plenty of empty taxis going past.
Then after checking with my passenger if he would share, I asked where she was going so she might share the ride, even part of the way.
But she didn't answer, she stood at the corner as empty taxis drove past with their roof lights turned on, I shouted over, "Lift up your hand" she didn't move. I think there may have been something wrong with her, deaf perhaps?
You never know with people.
My fare was living in Donegall and just loves Ireland, "A bit less rain would be a bonus"
You couldn't argue with that.
He was a very nice guy and allowed me to sing the praises of the nurses from his native land.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A man gets into a taxi

   Flower display in the Westbury hotel
 Film makers in Mount St The guy in the hat is Gabriel Byrne
 A fine old Dodge right hand drive too

A man gets into a taxi and leaves a story behind

 How was your Christmas John ? (looking at the ID badge)
Well for me I don't like it. Too much excess, drinking eating and wild carrying on.
Its great for the kids
But people go too far, many people drink themselves to death.

You're right there he said.
I'm a ships captain and a few years ago I paid the men off on Christmas eve morning and went off home to have a few days rest. The day after St.Stephens day a police car arrived at my home. They had a body in the morgue which they thought I could identify it.
We drove around to the city morgue.
We put on surgical masks and white coats and were led downstairs.
The first thing we noticed was the smell. Vomit Urine Shit and Alcohol everywhere, we walked into a room where there were 12 or 15 bodies lying on trolleys, each one naked with a label on their toe.
No sheets covering the bodies.
My man was in his early 50s he had died of a heart attack and was found by his flatmate.
So tracing relatives and getting the body became my next priority.
I asked the porter why the place was such a mess. "Holidays,too many dying and unable to contact next of kin. They should be all gone from here in 2 or 3 days"
So the day after we put wheels in motion to have him buried.

I know that porter was battle hardened man and few things he would see would shock him, but it shocked me.

Listen have a good new year and look after yourself, and he was gone

So as you go around your day other peoples lives are evolving and ending all around you.

A sad picture in the paper the other day of a young man on release to attend his fathers funeral.
The son is accused of murdering him.

 Little girls like to dress up and Julie Feeney is no exception.
It must have take ages to make this great video.

I missed this at Christmas, bit why not now?

Brendan Grace Just for laughs

The day Bollywood came to Dublin

Saturday, January 05, 2013

You never know the moment or the day

There is a certain 4 star hotel I stop of at nearly every day. If I can get parking I pop into one of the local coffee shops. So today I happened to be there when an incident took place.
What had taken place I did not know at the time, but there was a lot of running around and excitement.
Later on there was a woman and 2 teenagers who got into the taxi and all was revealed.
They were coming down the main stairs and a man of around 50 years old was coming towards them. He stopped walking up the stairs and collapsed backwards on to the marble floor below.
She was a trained nurse and sent the kids up to reception to get help.
There was on pulse, so she asked for a defibrillator, the manageress asked a member of staff
 "Do we have a defibrillator?"
All the training seemed to have been lost as she had to stop giving CPR to talk to the paramedics who were coming..
She was upset and the kids were upset as well.
But to make matters worse their mother began ringing all her friends in England to tell them the news.
Both her daughter and myself had to stop her as the daughter was getting close to becoming hysterical.

So their you have it, one moment hale and hearty the next instant you are gone.



So the Christmas party is over and we enter the "low season". Thank God for HailO it has come along just at the right time and sent me business when there was nothing.
Its the only way to go.
Radio taxi companies had held the business for far too long.
They charge the drivers up to €120 per week for the privilege of having a radio in the taxi. The taxi company might have work for 80 taxis, then they increase the taxi numbers to twice the number that there is work for.
They make a lot more profit the drivers make less money as the work is spread over more drivers.
Then came discounts 20% and fixed rate fares to the airport etc

The driver then made even less money.

Time has moved on and the HailO app gives the passenger an accurate time of arrival of his taxi, a photo of the driver and the subscriber can see their taxi approaching on their phone.
No more will we hear "your taxi is just around the corner"when there is no taxi coming available.

All the girls love it for the safety and security aspect of the system

One taxi company tried to intimidate their drivers and they found out that the next day 8 drivers requested to have the radios taken out.

This reduced their overheads by a good amount.

Every job that HailO sends they get 10% Or if it is a credit card off the street they take 3% commission.

No weekly rental.

So we are moving into a new age, long may it continue.

Imagine this car !