The Knowledge Alphabet

Today we have a guest post from @knowledgeboy10 whose blog London Taxi Knowledge records his journey that starts with buying a scooter to hopefully receiving his Green Badge so he can work as an all London taxi driver.

He invites you to share his highs and lows on the Knowledge as he works his way through the 25,000 streets and learn every point [places] on them.

I thought I would write about something a bit different and slightly light hearted as I am getting very stressed about my progress so far, I’m half way through book two and seem to have hit a brick wall with my calling over, I just can’t remember the runs, so I’m having a week off to re-charge my batteries and I thought this would be fun . . .

[A]ppearances. The meeting with the examiners when we find out just how much we know or don’t as the case may be, the joy of sitting in front of someone feeling very stupid and hoping all out hard work shows through.

[B]lue Book. Our bible, all 320 runs in a nice little book this is what our lives now revolve around!!!!.

[C]alling Over. The bane of our lives, we love being out there doing the runs visiting the points but then we have to call over either the BB or P2P hate it really hate it lol

[D]edication. As Roy Castle used to sing, if you haven’t got it give up now it’s gonna take years to do, gonna take over your whole life nothing else will matter – if you’re not dedicated then may as well not start.

[E]x. Ex wives/girlfriends, unfortunately many of us Knowledge of London peeps can end up losing our partners as they can’t put up with what we have to go through – I hope it doesn’t happen to you!!!!!!

[F]ifty-six. The start of it the appearances, once the map test is out of the way the real fun begins!!!!!

[G]reen Badge. Why we’re doing this, the Holy Grail lol

[H]elmet. A Knowledge of London boys best friend for the times that you come off the bike due to Addison lee cutting you up!!!!

[I]mpossible/Inspiration. How the Knowledge of London feels and what you need to get through it.

[J]ob. Something most of us have to do to pay the bills while doing the Knowledge of London, a few lucky sods give up work but for the rest of us we have to fit in the Knowledge of London around it.

[K]nowledge Schools. Somewhere to go to meet other Knowledge of London peeps and get help and advice, or somewhere to go to find out you know a damn sight less than you thought you did!!!!

[L]ost. We all do it, don’t deny it one of the pleasures of doing the Knowledge of London.

[M]aps. Second only to our Blue Book we love our maps we study them, write on them and when I’ve finished the Knowledge of London I never want to see another map again in my life.

[N]ew Friends. One of the joys of the Knowledge of London is meeting new people who are doing it, they are the people we can talk to about it and they understand what we’re going through, and even when they pass out we’re pleased for them even though we are soooooo jealous.

[O]ver and Over and Over. What we do when we call runs, visit points EVERYTHING OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER and eventually it sinks in ( we hope)

[P]oints. What we have to learn, all of them, every single bloody last one (for those of you that don’t know a point is a place of public interest, on any road within a 6 mile radius of Charing Cross. Could be a hospital, church, shop, club police station or government building or anything else, and yes there are lots and lots and lots of them!!!)

[Q]uit. Out of every 10 people that start the Knowledge of London only 3/4 will get the Green Badge the rest quit. You can’t fail the Knowledge of London only quit it.

[R]ed-lined. What happens on appearances when you don’t get enough points, means you could go from 28’s back to 56’s happens to the very best of us.

[S]cooter. The Knowledge of London peeps best friend, what we use to take us around London in all sorts of weather and hopefully it doesn’t break down, I spend more time on my scooter than I do my missus!

[T]transport for London. The organisation responsible for putting us through this. Used to be the Carriage Office now TFL.

[U]nderstanding. What our Friends and family need to be while we have 3 years worth of mental breakdowns because we can’t remember whether it’s a right turn or a left turn.

[V]ictories. We have little ones everyday, we find a point we couldn’t or we finally work out how two roads link up, everyone of these is personal and no one else will understand just how great it feels when you get one.

[W]eather. Out on the scooter in the freezing cold or the pouring rain or when it’s boiling hot – we take on the weather and win because we are on the Knowledge of London.

[X] – XXXX. Pick any swear word you like, and you’ll say it a million times when you miss a turn, miss a point, come off your scooter or call over a run wrong, in fact if you don’t swear then you’re not doing the Knowledge of London right.

[Y] – Why? I ask myself this question everyday and it is a great motivator, we all have our reasons for doing the Knowledge of London, and we also ask ourselves why we put ourselves through it, but it’s worth it at the end.

[Z] – ZZzzzzz. Sleep, What we all seem to miss out on doing the Knowledge of London, and when we do finally go to sleep we’re thinking of the best lines to call or where a certain place is. How I wish for the days when I would fall asleep and just dream of me and the spice girls and a very large bottle of vodka.

I hope you enjoyed my light-hearted look at the alphabet, until next time stay safe and be lucky . . .

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