Saturday 19 March
Essex to S6A trip to Sheffield with my boys for a visit to Hillsborough and my mum. We're not superstitious in any way but obviously none of us can wear any red. The Wednesday FC might lose if we do. The strategy worked.
Monday 21 March
Early Harlow New Town ResidentsI love hearing from early Harlow residents. Harlow started in 1947 as a new town, taking some of the overspill from London after the war. Ron was telling me how he moved to Harlow in 1952 from Camberwell, where his dad had been killed by a German bomb during the Blitz 1940.
Uber issueI had an interesting discussion with a London black cab driver about Uber, which is killing his trade. It seems to be all down to Transport for London not regulating the company in the same way as minicabs. I don't understand why this situation has been allowed to come about, but it's worrying that it's been allowed to happen.
Public applauseA customer publically (and sarcastically) applauded me as I pulled up at the station. He had apparently been waiting 35 minutes for his cab. He'll be going to ABC now (I drive for Metro, ABC is our competition). I hear this same complaint frequently from disaffected ABC customers coming to Metro- it's the way it goes. He calmed down quickly though, asked me to take him to Canons Gate to pick up a bag of weed, then home.
Tuesday 22 March
Wheelie stupidFirst thing in the morning I was confronted by a lad doing a wheelie on a push-bike towards me the wrong way down a bus lane, in what seems to be a continuation of last week's stupidities. I chose to patiently let him pass rather than mowing him down.
Harlow at a standstill
A 2-car-and-a-lorry pile up caused chaos during the rush hour this morning. It seems incredible how a relatively small event can cause such a big problem (as evidenced by most of the red in the photo). A feature of planned towns, it seems.
A bad day for those in Brussels with many dead or injured. #itssomethingtodowithIslam
The traffic warden game
Trying to pick up a customer from the town centre, I have to play the regular game of avoiding the traffic wardens whilst trying to time my arrival at the customer so I can pick up before he/she moves me on or gives a ticket. I don't understand why it is made so difficult for minicabs in the town centre- black cabs can wait in the taxi ranks but there are few places for us.
I see a fence is being erected near the centre of Harlow, I suspect to try to contain an outbreak of ticks that hit the national news this week. See this Guardian article.
Wednesday 23 March
AddictionA young man I took is cutting down a bit on cigarettes but is finding it difficult as he has smoked for so long. He is now 15, having started smoking at 11.
Red red wine
Retired Beryl going to Sainsburys likes white wine but has never had red wine in her life and doesn't know what it tastes like. Having heard from me about how nice it is, she's going to buy a little bottle to try.
Thursday 24 March
To be or not to be
One of my favourites passengers, a retired lady who's regular response to "How are you?" is "Well, I'm still breathing", saw the finger puppets in my car and recited a number of Shakespeare speeches to me, from Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar and The Tempest. That made my day. My two finger puppets on the dashboard often trigger interesting conversations. Who's the other one? (It's not Dumbledor)
A Sainsbury's employee told me that the word Easter has been banned from Easter eggs, probably something to do with people being offended by the word Easter. Between us we couldn't think of anyone we knew who might be offended by the word appearing on them. Having looked it up this is the story she was referring to, from the Daily Star on Tuesday: Chocolate makers ban ’Easter’ from eggs to stop 'offending' other religions, something that Nestle, Cadbury and Sainsbury's have all denied. This seems to be another article designed to shock people and to promote something, in this case the Meaningful Chocolate Company, which makes eggs with the word Easter on them. Another case of us being manipulated by the media to promote a product. A quick search on Sainsbury's website shows a large number of Easter eggs available. Personally I don't really care whether an Easter egg has the word Easter on it or not.