Saturday, 20 December 2008

Bah Humbug

I can't believe that it has already been a month since my last post. I am not going to bore you with the sordid details, but it has been a pretty miserable month.

So I have decided to post this today as a sign of intent for the new year. I am not going to post negative thoughts over the Christmas period, instead I am going to post positive ones in the new year.

So to everyone in blogland, Happy (bah) Christmas!

Monday, 17 November 2008


If you read Sods law you will know that I was a little bit poorly, as it turned out Mrs Taxi Driver was wrong (I nearly died). Sorry to disappoint you all, but I'm still here and normal service has resumed.

This weekend; 'broke UK' officially started celebrating Xmas, I picked up the first of the seasonal party animals. Although allegedly having no money, they still managed to find enough to get drunk, spew everywhere, throw insults and try to shag their best mate's partner.

Anyway, try and remember that when you get your cab this Xmas, the driver will be sober (hopefully). He will remember what you say, what you do and what you want to do, maybe just maybe it will end up on the WWW

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Sods law!

After three weeks off work, I thought it would be a good idea to make an effort yesterday and show my face. In my defence all the drivers I spoke to have said business was slow, they have described the Thanet town centre's as ghost town's. Before anybody reads to much into this, October is traditionally slow for our trade, hence why I always take some time off.

A very busy day, with plenty of people out day and night. The opening of the new toy store Smyths added a new string to the Westwood Cross bow, trade looked brisk all day, good luck to them. I'm not sure Tesco and Sainsbury will have a similar view, the roundabout between the two was jammed all day. The problem is there is no right turn into Smyths for traffic heading towards Ramsgate, they have to go to the roundabout and do a U-turn.

Last night saw my taxi full of Witches, Zombies, Horny devil's and even a pumpkin. I have a neutral view on Halloween, as it is an American concept that wasn't particularly popular when I grew up. However adults and kids alike seem to spend a great deal of money on their costumes, the results were quite spectacular. One criticism would be parents letting very young children (u8's) roam the streets trick or treating, with no adult supervision. Dark evenings and black costumes on children running between parked cars, is enough to give this taxi driver a premonition of doom.

Sods law- I take three weeks off work and return yesterday. I wake up this morning with Flu. Luckily for me Mrs Taxi driver thinks its only Man Flu!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Then and now

It appears that some of Thanet's blogging community are beginning to show their true colours.

Maciegrace the staunch defender of Margate, has admitted that she finds its population rude and ill mannered.

Rick is getting praise for his Sherlock Holmes impersonation, although there is still passionate pleas for 'brevity' in his chronicles.

Matt of the Thanet Star is not actually a blogger, but a highly paid salesperson for that small corporation Google.

The hypocrite Taxi driver, accusing bloggers of promoting issues like Chinagate above more important issues. Then posting on Chinagate, thus getting more comments than on any other previous post.

ECR our resident Plane spotting, council bashing, defender of the Eastcliff in Ramsgate has spat his dummy out of the pram (if you are prepared to dish it out, be prepared to accept it).

However if you are looking for consistency type 'naked Thanet' or 'aquifer Thanet' into google and our very own Peter and Michael are in the top 5 (varies) results.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A step forward for Thanet.

With the planning application for the China Gateway finally approved, I can't help but think this is a victory for the silent majority against the vocal minority.

All that Thanet needs now is for the Airport's expansion plans to come to fruitation, and hopefully Planet Fanet will not become a retirement village.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Malmesbury, not in India.

In the day and age of poor customer service, I am happy to say that I have found a British company to rave about.


I ordered a spare part off the internet, this promptly arrived after 5 days. As it turned out I had ordered the wrong part, so I phoned the customer helpline. At this point I was sweating and shaking with trepidation at speaking to an Indian call centre and being placed on hold for 30 minutes, then when answered me not understanding the person on the other end and vice versa.

But Linda answers within 3 rings, introduces herself and asks how she can help (I nearly fell off the sofa). Within 5 minutes she has identified the correct part, explained I could have it FOC (5 year guarantee). Gives me a free post address to return the part that I incorrectly ordered, and told me that I would get a full refund. The call centre is open 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

All I need now is Dyson to supply my gas, electric, internet, phone, etc etc etc.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Thanet to Sandwich via Canterbury

If you have any plans to drive a car to Sandwich from Thanet, Don't bother until after Christmas.

The roadworks between Cliffsend and Sandwich at Richborough power station are officially due to start monday (29/09/08) for 8 weeks, however nobody told the workmen. Work has started, chaos already reigns. Traffic is already queueing from the Lord of the manor roundabout, to get past the temporary lights at the power station. So the alternative is Ebbsfleet lane (between Minster and Cliffsend) except the whole lane was is currently a queue of traffic, also the lane will be closed from the 29th anyway for 8 weeks.

Other alternative is to go down the A253 towards Sarre, turn off for Plucks gutter, head for Wingham, when nearly at Wingham!!!! Turn off for Ash, head for Sandwich.

My advise is get the train.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Do they take us for fuels!

Obviously the price of fuel is a major concern to me, with prices rising by approx a third over the last nine months it is hitting taxi driver hard (where it hurts most, the pocket).
At this point I could start raving about the amount of money which is taken for tax in each litre I buy, but the government didn't rub it in, they froze the planned tax increases. The major fuel suppliers seem to be squeaky clean, after all it has been well documented that the price of crude oil has rocketed. So who can I take my frustration out on?
Well the major forecourt company's have come to my rescue. Much to my joy, the national press have been highlighting the fall in crude oil prices. Having seen how quickly the price increases were added, surely this week would see at least a three pence a litre decrease on the forecourts. Ok my naivety is here for all to see.
Anyway the most cynical marketing ploy is awarded to the garage on the A28 at Birchington. The price here for diesel over the last couple of weeks has been £1 24.9 a litre (and to be fair this is the national average). So with all the hype over falling pump prices, imagine my surprise when on Thursday I see they have increased the price to £1 26.9. Slightly miffed, I drove past and filled up at Whitstable at £1 22.9 (this price has been the same for at least two weeks). Then on Friday the price decrease arrived at Birchington, Yes the much reported three pence decrease to £1 23.9.
Do the fuel giants really believe Joe Bloggs public are that fuelish, that they will not notice their blatant profiteering. With Tesco's trying to recuperate it's losses over the dodgy petrol scandal, there appears very little drive for price competition at the pumps in the south. So I guess my pocketss will be hurting for a while yet.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Only 100 days to go.

A very quiet week on the taxi's. It makes me wonder with Christmas (sorry for mentioning it) being thrust down our throats by the supermarkets already, how much the 'credit crunch', 'recession' or temporary economic blip (depending on your view) will affect us all, leading up to the season of goodwill to all men (including councillors).

Poor economic conditions or not the kids are writing their letters to Santa. The youngest at Taxi drivers abode, says ' you have to send it early, so Santa can save up'. Oh to be that naive again! Mrs Taxi driver is starting to get stressed that this years top toys will already be sold out, surely she has worked out by now that it is now a seasonal tradition that you have to wait until Xmas eve, to see if you can get little Jonny the latest all singing red (must be red) Dalek, that of course 'all his friends will have'.
My guess is many people will struggle this winter with bills, mortgages and the like, but come Christmas the majority of us will have coped ( we are very resilient, us humans) and we will be hoping the New Year brings a change in fortune.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Westcliff Dick

With David Green and ECR doing such a wonderful job cleansing the Eastcliff of the undesirables and miscreant chav element of Ramsgate, a question springs to mind, where have they all gone?

Well I believe I have the answer. Not Australia (unfortunately) or Afghanistan, not even Margate (due to potential turf wars), they have relocated to another part of Ramsgate. Taxi driver has recently observed during his many hundreds of miles a week around Ramsgate, a mass migration of Ramsgates finest citizens upon the unsuspecting residents of the Westcliff! From drunks on the old motor museum terrace to large gangs of feral youths hanging about Government Acre, perverts frequenting the sunken public toilets and selfish dog owners leaving Fido's mess on the clifftop.

So if the Eastcliff has DG and ECR as its champions, who will step into the role of the Westcliff's champion? I may be wrong, but I cannot see anybody currently who has stepped up to the plate, where is Westcliff Dick?

Sad:- Watching the end of the summer weather that never began.

Funny:- Watching 50 smokers fit under 1 umbrella, in the sodden Ramsgate, Cafe Culture bars.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

The sweet smell of successful licencing.

That's it I have had enough, all Rugby players leaving Indian restaurants are now banned from my taxi!

I am going to start a campaign to ban smelly and loud flatulence from taxi's. I will start by lobbying the council licencing officer to get the above sign made compulsory. The next step would be for the Council licencing officers to have the power, to issue on the spot fines for all offenders.

As the council licencing officers have already enjoyed much success in applying the smoking ban, I am sure they will relish the opportunity to have their noses up the taxi driver's customers behinds.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Blushing brides

I'm hoping that I have not upset the local blogging community too much, as I am rather in need of some help. Despite repeatedly joining and sending 'please help' E-mails, my humble blog just will not be added to the Thanet blog list. It could be that it is not worthy of a prized place, however until it is publicized and commented upon, it probably will not improve.

This weeks post is a an observation I have made over the marriage season (mainly the summer months), where the sight of blushing brides and vintage Rollers are common. It should also be noted a very good time for taxi drivers, as Aunt Mable has her twice yearly sherry (the other time being Christmas), and leaves her car at the wedding reception. Anyway back to my point-infidelity.

Maybe its the heady mix of posh frocks and suits, perfume and aftershave combined with the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol, that makes the best man fair game for the bridesmaid and the grooms mother for the usher. It is possible the marriage ceremony it self invokes memories of foot loose times before committing to our partners, which in turn leads to the urge to act upon, rather than dream about our lustful thoughts.

The results of these primeval urges can be viewed across the isle most summer weekends, with the taxi driver being an unwitting alibi, witness and collaborator. The evidence normally involves blood, broken bones, tears (normally the bride), and no doubt divorce proceedings for the guilty parties.

So if your middle aged husband goes to a nightclub after the reception with the young ushers, I suggest you check where the chief bridesmaid is. Watch your best friends hands closely as she slow dances with your newly wedded husband in his kilt. Keep everybody away from the brides mother, when she starts her second bottle of wine. It is normally the taxi driver who listens to the latest tale of woe, when the celebrations cease to be celebrations!

Sad- The amount of pre-teen children walking and cycling the streets after midnight in Thanet.

Funny:- The amount of so called adults staggering and crawling the streets after midnight in Thanet.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

In the scheme of it, is Chinagate important?

If I had a pound for every time a customer asked me "are you busy tonight". If you've ever done it, don't be embarrassed, its the ice breaker for your conversation with the driver. I am truly in a privileged position as a taxi driver, talking is a big a part of the job as driving. Most of the time the conversation subject is chosen by the customer, thus giving a true insight to which current affairs are more important to them at any given time. Given the huge range of people who use taxi's (age,gender,class and race), surely the taxi customer would be a useful barometer for current affairs.
If you collected a random sample of posts by Thanet blogger's over the last few months, you could be forgiven for believing that Chinagate is a somewhat important issue for local people. However the proposed business park in Manston appears not to be important (to taxi customers), apart from the growing amount of restaurants appearing and the Olympics, the Chinese are not flavour of the month.
So you may wonder (or not), what is flavour of the month? Well at the moment national issues are prevalent, price increases and the credit crunch fill most conversations during the drive across Thanet. With gas and electric price's increasing by approximately 30% over the last 9 months, you can see the genuine concern on some oap's faces, as they talk about wearing an extra cardigan this winter, because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly. The families who have already seen their shopping budgets slashed by mortgage increases, also see the contents of their baskets shrink due to grocery price increases. These are the talked about issues currently and appear to be more of a major concern than Chinagate.
It could be argued that Thanet bloggers should concentrate on local issues like Chinagate , as the national media gives extensive coverage to issues like the credit crunch. Whilst understanding that most blogs are a personal account of the bloggers life and thoughts, some blogs in Thanet appear to be in a popularity contest using promoted issues, which in reality is a thinly veiled disguise at council/councillor bashing. However these bloggers risk alienating their readers by promoting issues like Chinagate, ahead of issues that the reader considers to be more important.
Sad:- News tonight (Saturday) about a serious stabbing near Manston riding school. The victim a male in his mid 40's was assisted by a fellow cab driver, until the emergency services arrived.
Funny:- Sunday Peering over a Garden fence in Park rd, Broadstairs (because nobody answered the bell), to be confronted with the sight of a large hairy naked male cooking on the BBQ (I hope the food didn't spit hot fat).

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Folked off

Broadstairs folk week, a Thanet taxi drivers dream (allegedly). The reality is probably in the realms of his/hers worst nightmare.
Saturday evening trip 7pm from Ramsgate to Broadstairs. Male " are you busy", marks for originality '0'. Male " How far into Broadstairs can you take me". Me "bottom of the high street". Male " ok drop me at the dolphin", marks for intelligence '0'. Male " can you come back at midnight to collect us", marks for optimism '10'.

Sunday morning trip 1am from Broadstairs to Ramsgate. Male " Milscchhh bart". Me "sorry". Male to partner " eees mutton", male to me (shouting and spitting) " arbor, milscchhh bart". Me being ignored, conversation between male and partner as interpreted by a driver with many years experience. Partner " have you got a chewing gum, I can still taste the sick". Male" if that beers off and I get ill, i'm going to complain tomorrow". Partner " It was that busy I didn't make it to the toilets, look at the state of my shoes". Male " I know what you mean, you couldn't hear a word over the bands". Thoughtful pause. Male "blinding night though". Partner " I'm going to put my bells away for next year".

Saddest sight of the week:- The police tent over the council offices in Albion place, Ramsgate.

Funniest sight of the week:- Having about 5 different people (including 2 males), answering my shout for " taxi for Charlotte" outside the Natwest bank in Broadstairs. Then all of them trying different doors to get in first.