Thursday, May 31
Wow what a write up from Red Shoes over at the lovely blog from France Chateau Lalinde I have gone red with embarrassment reading it, pop over and check out life in the Dordogne region of France.
"This is a delightful and insightful blog, very well written - and yes, he is correct in saying he often sees what others overlook. I wanted to say that 'very original', but Bob is linked up to a whole range of taxi driver blogs, which is not really surprising -- how often have you yourself said -- "Ah! What they must see and hear! Taxi drivers should write books!" Well, here it is -- Bob is doing it. Do go have a look. And while you are there, also click on his second blog, , a photographic version of taking a look at what others often miss --- here he takes two steps back and looks at things from a different angle. He is not only a good writer, but an excellent photographer".
Wednesday, May 30
Sign of the times
No smoking signs, get used to them because they'll be everywhere from 1st July. But what really is heavy handed is the fact that every public building must have them - regardless of what the building is. The government has decided on a new design for no-smoking signs and it also wants them put at the entrance of every enclosed public space, Buckingham Palace has to, so does 10 Downing Street, and even St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Even ancient monuments which the public have no access to must have them, but the thing is that they can't just be any old "no smoking" sign , rule's have to be followed and this applies to us in our taxi's as well.
SIGNS - THE RULES Signs Must be in colour Must be A5 size Must be a minimum of 70mm in diameter Must read: No smoking
Must contain, in characters that can be easily read by persons using the entrance, the words— " No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises".
Bag of Crap?
I was thinking maybe if I got myself a horse drawn taxi life, would be easier with no more silly council rules, but apparently not!
A horse-drawn taxi service in Bath risks losing its licence because the horses keep fouling the city's highways.
Bath Council says it has received "several complaints" from local residents and traders about dung left by horses of the Bath Carriage Company, owned by Davey MacDonald.
"It is part of the conditions of his licence that he clears up after his horses," said a spokesman for the council, "so we have reminded him of this."
The renewal of Mr MacDonald's licence is due soon. He says that the council's stipulation that he fixes a device to his horses to collect the droppings is "impractical.
"I'll put nappies on my horses on Thursday to get my licence but on Friday I'll leave them off," he said.
The device would resemble a canvass bag attached to the tail and suspended between the horse's legs.
"It's ridiculous and dangerous to have a bag of crap slung between my horses' legs," said Mr MacDonald. "It would chafe their skin and interfere with the harness. If they trot fast it could really unsettle them."
There has been public speculation that a bylaw might be introduced in Bath which could see all horse owners fined if they fail to clean up their animal's mess.
Tuesday, May 29
Monday, May 28
Whit a Night.
Saturday, May 26
Rougth Ride Home
"Matthew Champney, 41, was stopped by police and later convicted of overloading his Skoda taxi. Now he could be out of a job if Carlisle City Council’s regulatory panel revokes his taxi licence as punishment.
A report to councillors says: “A white Skoda taxi was seen in Collier Lane, Carlisle, and it appeared two people were getting into the boot. “Police officers attended and found the driver to be Mr Champney.
“When questioned he stated that he had finished work for the night and the two men in the boot were friends and just ‘larking about’. “There was no complaint from the two men.
“However, the officer reported Mr Champney for overloading his vehicle and he appeared before Carlisle Magistrates on April 13 when he pleaded guilty.” Mr Champney, of Whitberry Court, Roadhead, later told council officers that the two men were drunk.
He had, helped by two other friends who were already in his taxi, put them in the boot as a “light-hearted prank”. The incident took place in the early hours of the morning .
When the regulatory panel meets, councilors have a range of options from taking no action to suspending or revoking Mr Champney’s licence. He could also be ordered to re-sit his taxi-driving test."
Some folk might find that a bit extreme, but I am told by drivers who work the town centre ranks in the early hours that they would love to be able to carry local drunks like this. Some even go so far to suggest that some of the more subhuman drunks should be carted home in dumper trucks and unceremoniously tipped at their front doors. I think this is a bit extreme, maybe cattle trucks would be kinder, but even then I think they should give them a small discount on the fare.
Thursday, May 24
All Greek To Me
Well I'm a bit disappointed that I never got this little job , it would have been a nice run out.
"A retired teacher in her nineties took a cab to Greece to see the site where Alexander the Great took lessons from Aristotle. Kathleen Searles made the trip from Britain to northern Greece accompanied by her nurse, spent half an hour at the site of Aristotle's School, then got back in the cab for the journey of several thousand miles home. Searles had a lifelong dream to visit the site in Isvoria, near the modern Greek city of Naousa, where the famous philosopher tutored the heir to the Macedonian throne and other nobles in 342 BCE. The teachings of Aristotle, one of the leading philosophers of Greek antiquity, are believed to have heavily influenced Alexander, who resolved to spread ancient Greek culture in the vast empire he subsequently carved out in modern-day Turkey, Egypt, Persia and India."
Tuesday, May 22
Monday, May 21
Heres the link!
The new Taxi and Car Security System TASSY is a system for the protection of owners, taxis and cars. It´s a system with functions of Anti-Theft and Anti-Robbery by 50kV Electric Shock. The special taxi protection cushions with high voltage electric shock function can be easily fixed on the rear seat of the car by elastic belt directly without control unit. Covered on the seat and the backrest of the car, the driver can operate the cushions by remote control or manual to activate the high voltage electric function. In case of an emergency, the driver can activate the shocking function by pressing the shocking button. Then there will be high voltage pulse on the whole surface of the cushion and backrest. Electric shocks protect the car and its driver immediately from robbery and violence. The robber is forced to give up. The voltage, it emits, is high. It can shock the robber strongly and do little harm to health. So, it´s an easy and impressing solution for the safety of driver
Friday, May 18
His long-term partner Emma Thomason took exception to something he’d done on Sunday and let him know about it – by packing all his worldly goods into the back of his works van and letting it roll into Cumbria's Whitehaven Harbour.
Jason’s sympathetic boss Graham has given him the week off but will be expecting an explanation when he returns on Monday morning.
Graham Wilson said: “Basically the lad was out for a pint and she took exception to something. I don’t know the ins and outs yet, but it must have been serious for her to take this course of action and I’ll certainly be asking for an explanation.
“I have been to see the van – which is a total write-off – and all his clothes and possessions are in the back of it. She must have been really mad at him.
“I have never met her and he has only worked for me for a few months, but from what I can gather they have been together for a long time.
Astonished on-lookers could not believe what they were seeing on Sunday evening. One said: “I had just been for a meal in a Harbour restaurant and I was walking along the dock when a van pulled up on the slipway.
“This woman jumped out of it, slammed the door and walked away. It went rolling down into the water.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it.
“I was going to ask her what she was doing but I looked at her and she gave me an evil stare before I could open my mouth, so I decided I’d better not.”
The van rolled into the water, which is over 12ft deep, and was completely submerged.
The coastguard volunteers tried in vain to get the van out of the dock, despite the water level being dropped by a metre to try and aid the recovery.
The next day a professional diver attached winches and the van was hauled back up the slipway.
The final bill for the incident could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Graham Wilson added: “I was furious at first but I can see the funny side now, and at least we’ll get some free advertising if the picture of the van is plastered all over the papers.
“I haven’t had the bill yet, but the diver was £400 and the recovery wagons cost a fortune.
“That van itself is worth eight or nine thousand, so the total bill will be massive.
“I just hope that the insurance company are prepared to pay out.”
The Whitehaven Harbormaster said “Thankfully they were able to get it out within 24 hours, so the environmental effect was minimal.”
Thursday, May 17
Wednesday, May 16
Tuesday, May 15
A single-digit car registration plate was auctioned off for more than $6.8m in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, beating the previous world record by more than 10 times.
The number plate "5" was bought for 25.2 million dirhams ($6.86m) in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the UAE.
Businessman Talal Khouri placed the highest bid in the first auction of its kind in the UAE, with the proceeds going to charitable projects for people with special needs.
When asked if number '5' had any meaning to him, his response was in the negative. "The number does not mean anything to me. I will keep it and after my death it will be re-auctioned and probably raise more money that will again be given to charity and humanitarian work," he added.The price beat a previous world record set last July in Yorkshire, northern England, where the numberplate "M1" was knocked down for £331 500 or $657 160 at current exchange rates.
Monday, May 14
Saturday, May 12
Later on in the morning I had driven halfway down one of Barrows narrower terrace streets when a car turned in from the bottom, as there was no room for both of us to pass I stopped and waited for him to reverse the few yards back so we could pass. But oh no not this character he drove straight up to my front bumper and arrogantly waved at me to reverse. When I didn't he leaned out his window waving me back and shouting "go back go back". A couple who were walking past looked at him in amazement and said to me "what a cheeky bugger" Now this could have led to the classic Mexican standoff with both of us refusing to move, but I was on my way to a job and this was losing me money. And so after a few choice words in his direction I very slowly reversed back. But the shock was that this wasn't as you might expect the arrogant behavior of a local boy racer, but one of our well known local town hall council officials.
The vehicle, finished by the company’s paint shop team in eye-catching luminous pink, is among the latest vehicles to roll off the production line of the Holyhead Road-based manufacturer in Coventry. It was ordered by London cabbie Carlos Oliviera after he spotted what he believes is a gap in the market, and his pink cab is already creating a huge buzz in the capital.
"It's certainly rocking London and women think it's absolutely fantastic," said Oliviera. "The Fairway was a fantastic vehicle but the TX4 is great and is a superb drive. It's an effortless way of working," he added.With a registration plate of E10PER, Carlos has named his unique motor the Pink Eloper and hopes to attract some of the 4,000 gay couples who tie the knot in the capital every year.
London cabbie Carlos said: "I got a bit of a ribbing from my mates and it was a bit of a shock for them when they saw it. They said they thought it took some guts to drive a vehicle like this but I am not frightened. I know I will get stick."
Although the factory can produce vehicles of any colour, LTI were taken aback when they were asked mix such an eye-catching shade. They said: "We are sometimes asked to produce special colours but this one is the most outlandish.
"Having said that, we have had a lot of fun working on this one. It isn't exactly my choice, but my daughter loves it."
The pink cab is a rare, one-off special order for which the customer had to pay an additional charge, but LTI Vehicles already offers the famous taxi in twelve different colours.
Thursday, May 10
The highest pub in England has come out on top in a David-and-Goliath battle with Kentucky Fried Chicken over the right to call one of their meals a "family feast".
Every Christmas, the remote Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales serves a traditional meal of turkey with all the trimmings for £40 a head.
However, American fast food giant KFC threatened legal action against the quirky local for trademark infringement of the chain's own "Family Feast" - a mass-produced carton of crap adulterated chicken pieces, chips, coleslaw, potato with gravy, and a tooth rotting soft drink.
When pub landlady Tracy Daly, received a letter from a London, on law firm on behalf of KFC, she initially thought it was a late April Fool's joke. Even the solicitor's name, Giles Pratt, sounded suspicious, she said.
But she called him, and heard it was serious. "The solicitor told me I shouldn't take it personally, but I don't feel anything - it's just hilarious,"
"They are a multi-million-pound international organisation and I am just a little lady up a mountain."
KFC at first confirmed the lawsuit but a spokesman for the fast food firm said later the company had decided to drop its legal fight.
A spokesperson for KFC GB Ltd said this afternoon: “KFC has to protect its trademarks against those who seek to trade off its brand. KFC has spoken to Mrs. Daly at the Tan Hill Inn and confirmed that it will not take this case any further.You couldn't make stuff up like this, even if you tried!
"This means that Mrs Daly can continue to use the phrase “family feast” on the pub’s Christmas menu. It’s an unusual situation that has been blown out of all proportion.”
At 1,732 feet the Tan Hill Inn, on the Pennine Way long distance footpath in North Yorkshire, is England's highest pub. It is four miles from the nearest village and 42 miles from a Marks & Spencer, Mrs Daly said.
For more than a year, the pub has advertised its "Christmas Day Family Feast" on its website. The hearty meal starts with soup or Guinness and Stilton pate, followed by roast turkey with Yorkshire puddings, cranberry sauce and vegetables. Punters can choose between Christmas pudding and Strawberry Gateaux for dessert, with coffee or cheese and biscuits to finish.
Which to me sounds a heck of a lot better than KFC,s offering!
How on earth can anyone trademark two words and then say that they own them, it's about time some of these global Goliaths were brought back down to earth.
Tuesday, May 8
Saturday, May 5
Time and Tide
A Barrow driver, despite the loss of his car had a very lucky escape this week. He had driven out with his daughter and grandchildren on to the sands off North Walney to follow his hobby of scuba diving. Before he knew it he found that he had been cut of by the notoriously fast flowing treacherous tide from behind. Realising he could not hope to drive the two miles back to shore, even with the four wheel drive engaged, he had to abandon the car and make a desperate dash back to the safety of the beach. He was very very lucky to escape with his and his family's life's, and now wants people to know just how dangerous it can be out on the sands. As the old saying goes "time and tide wait for no man" and that includes the ones driving four by fours. After reaching safety he contacted the police who told him he should inform the coast guard. Since the danger had passed he decided not to ring the emergency 999 number, but to ask directory inquiries for the phone number. After being put through he had a ten minute conversation with a very confused lady phone operator. Only after he had tried to explain for the fifth time did she realise that he thought he was talking with the coastguard but in reality he had been put through to a local taxi firm called Coastline.
Friday, May 4
Another Driver Attacked
Wednesday, May 2
Tuesday, May 1
Talking Walking Benches
have gone missing. Yes that's right the whole flock, herd, gaggle, whatever you would like to call them the whole bunch of talking benches has disappeared. For those folks who have no idea what a talking bench is, they are fitted with solar panels for power and the idea was that you plugged your headphones in and it told you a story or recited a poem.There were about ten or twelve scattered about the town centre and they were a great source of puzzlement to local drunks who plugged into them on their way home. I didn't have a listen myself, but people who did, told me that they were ok, but the stories and poems they told were not locally based, which would have been a far better idea. Hey! Maybe our local bigwigs swapped them for the giant steel book and some folks in another lucky town are scratching their heads trying to figure out what the strange new seats are all about.