Category Archives: A window on My World

February’s monthly musings

🚓 What Cab News

In December a cab driver was pulled over in Aldwych by Met Police officers after he was spotted driving whilst rolling what appeared to be a cannabis joint. The cabby then tested positive for cannabis during a roadside test. With a softly-softly approach to drugs in London, I suppose it was inevitable that some idiot would tarnish the Black Cab trade.

🎧 What I’m Listening

I’m still working my way through the previous Ladies who London podcasts. Sadly one of the presenters, Emily, is leaving. The good news is that Alex Lacey will continue with this amusing and informative podcast.

📖 What I’m Reading

For 10 years I’ve been reading Christopher Fowler’s eclectic London blog, writing about books, films and observations all analysed with his wit and practised prose: “Plastic carrier bags floated around the traffic lights at the end of the Strand like predatory jellyfish.” Advance cancer has now put pay to writing for this consummate wordsmith.

📺 What I’m watching

My favourite London hotel is Claridge’s, which for me, has an understated elegance, I just love its Art Deco foyer. A BBC documentary – The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild – follows an extraordinary project to add a five-storey basement, hand-dug by very skilled Irish miners, incorporating two swimming pools and three new floors added to the roof to provide 72 new rooms and luxury suites, all the time keeping the hotel open for guests. Amazing engineering.

❓ What else

Apparently the priciest road in the country is Phillimore Gardens in Kensington & Chelsea, where the average house will set you back £23.8m – or 83 times the national average property price. Just one street outside the capital makes it into the top 20, Titlarks Hill, a private road in Sunningdale, Berkshire, which took 12th place with an average price of £12.3 million.

📆 What date

The Last Post: In 9 years time CabbieBlog will have its last post uploaded. To be precise, on 29th February 2032 at 13.50 GMT. By that date missives about London will have been regularly posted for nearly 24 years. On that leap year day, assuming I’m still alive, I’ll be approaching my 85th birthday, and old enough to take retirement from all this cyberverse malarkey.

Statistics 2022

I have been thinking lately about the purpose of CabbieBlog and the answer isn’t easily definable. I could give the BBC’s mantra: to inform, educate and entertain, but really it’s about what interests me in London, rather than a crusade to inform, although health issues and the publication of my memoir have made this a struggle at times.

Anyone who regularly peruses this corner of cyberspace would realise that I like order, now I’m posting 7 days a week, and every day has a specific subject allocated to it, and not only that, posts are always available at 13.50 London time. To break with this – some might say obsession – I’ve started Unblogged London on Substack a fairly new platform on which I aim to write long-form essays at irregular intervals, and not always at the same time of day. However, breaking with regularity I’m finding it challenging.

What sets CabbieBlog apart from the millions of websites and thousands of London blogs? Firstly I like to think that if you’re not interested in reading what some 18th-century poet wrote about the capital you can ignore the Monday post, likewise, Thursday’s whinge by me can, should you wish, be given a miss. The three days I write about London will always be no more than a 5-minute read and, unlike many London websites, somewhere that I’ve visited recently or driven there at one time in a cab.

So with more information than you probably wanted to know about me, here are the annual blogging statistics for 2022. As before, with the data amassed over the last year, I’ve broken it down into bite-sized chunks with comparable figures for the previous year.

Blog visitors and page views

Now everyone has returned to work after laying on the sofa watching Cash In The Attic while waiting for the epidemic to abate, visitors to CabbieBlog have inevitably dropped, in fact by 17 per cent. These figures don’t include those who lazily use an RSS feed to gather posts to peruse. (Average hit rate per visitor: 2021 – 1.6216; 2022 – 1.5461).

Visitors – 31,986
Pageviews – 51,871

Visitors – 27,686
Pageviews – 42,807

CabbieBlog’s readers from abroad

This year has seen a drop in the number of individual countries checking out CabbieBlog. This year we welcomed our first hit from the Åland Islands, apparently, it’s a Swedish-speaking archipelago in the Baltic Sea comprising around 6,700 islands, whoever you are, welcome. The United States leads our curious cousins with 5,623 a drop of 1,523 hits since last year.

2021 – 140 individual countries

2022 – 129 individual countries

Number of comments

The yardstick of a blog must be how many of its readers decided to metaphysically put pen to paper and comment. I’ve said it before, one of the delights of blogging for me – and one of the things that keep me going – is the interaction with others. To all of you, particularly those individuals who post comments daily, yes Pete, I’m talking to you. Again a huge thank you for your encouragement or discouragement. Your comments keep me submitting regular posts for your perusal.

2021 – 592

2022 – 557

Number of ‘Likes’

When you have a super, intelligent and engaging blog that is blessed with visitors that repeatedly like to Like, you are in a favourable position. CabbieBlog now gets three times the Likes that it did two years ago. Thank you for touching the Like button found at the foot of every post.

2021 – 739

2022 – 1,045

Followers of CabbieBlog

For reasons, known only to WordPress, they now only provide me with information on the number who have subscribed to receive post notifications by email. Even so, the number has risen marginally, thanks to all of you for following CabbieBlog, however you receive notifications of postings.

2021 – 1,368

2022 – 1,410

Posts written

Monday’s Quotations obviously are not written by me and therefore are not included in the count. Likewise Previously Posted are not included in these figures as they were, well previously posted. This year’s increase is mainly due to now posting 7 days a week.

2021– 178

2022 – 292

Most viewed and least viewed posts and pages

It has to be said that some subjects take on a life of their own, while others just sit in cyberspace minding their own business. At the bottom lie many posts with only a few views a year, and some I suspect just sit there patiently waiting to be noticed.

Highest post
London’s top-secret tower – 1,303
Lowest Post
Extreme London – 17
Highest page
The Knowledge – 2,846
Lowest page
The small print – 20

Highest post
Who remembers the characters of London? – 1,259
Lowest Post
Shakespeare in Love – 13
Highest page
The Knowledge – 2,482
Lowest page
The small print – 17

Pages written

This year no new pages have appeared on CabbieBlog.

2021 – 0

2022 – 0

Number of words written

The addition of Weekly Whinge and continuing with Johnson’s London curiously haven’t increased this year’s word count, I must be writing shorter posts these days.

Words – 83,468
Characters – 487,420

Words – 72,478
Characters – 425,158


If you ignore the search engines, clocking up an impressive 21,100 hits, social media referrers are Twitter at 1,507 and, surprisingly, as I haven’t an account, Facebook at 793. These are the top independent referrers.

Diamond Geezer  – 58
Bloglovin – 46

A London Inheritance -66
Diamond Geezer – 21

In conclusion

Having reached the end of this post, you’re in very rarefied company, in fact, only 26 read this last year, mostly in February with only four viewing this incisive post since last March.

January’s monthly musings

🚓 What Cab News

Transport for London has increased the number of private hire vehicles on the capital’s roads by 2,505 in just one week. If the newly licensed minicabs were all lined up together in three lanes of road space, it would stretch nose-to-nose between Paddington and Kings Cross Stations.

🎧 What I’m Listening

I was sad to read the death in November of Andrew Nickolds who wrote the long-running quirky comedy sitcom Ed Reardon’s Week on Radio4, drawing on the ups and downs as a freelance hack. Well worth a second listen.

📖 What I’m Reading

Leadville by Edward Platt, in 1995 the author stopped his car and took a stroll down Western Avenue. In the 1920s it was a tree-lined suburban boulevard but now it’s an urban nightmare. The book focuses on the lives of the people who live there, of suburbia, the dreams of its inhabitants, and of our senseless and all-consuming love affair with the motor car.

📺 What I’m watching

A favourite piece of trivia of mine: When on 23rd June 1951 Soviet spy Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to Moscow they enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the RAC Club just ahead of MI5. So when ITVX screened A Spy Among Friends starring Damien Lewis and Guy Pierce I just had to watch the box set.

❓ What else

Here’s something that I didn’t expect to write: Westminster City council has painted some walls in Soho with a water-repellent layer designed to stop people pissing on them. Apparently a council source explained: “outdoor urination is on the rise post-Covid, but if anyone tries it on these walls then they will get ‘soaked’ in their own urine”.

December’s monthly musings

🚓 What Cab News

Rishi Sunak has said the so-called ‘golden era’ of relations with China is over. His speech, at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, came after a BBC journalist was arrested, beaten up and kicked by police while covering a protest in Shanghai. The Prime Minister told the audience: “We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism.”

Website Taxi Leaks then asked: So where does that leave the Taxi trade in regards to the LEVC TXE, the only London Taxi on the market produced by the Beijing company Geely?

Geely is already struggling after losing £118m last year, forcing them to lay off 140 of its staff. It’s also been reported in ‘Wired’, that the company may concentrate on manufacturing an electric vehicle for Uber, which it sees as a much larger market, compared to the Taxi trade.

With the danger of a monopoly, London’s regulator was asked: “What plans have TfL in place should Geely stop production of the only available London Taxi? So far, no reply!

One alternative would be converting ‘classic’ taxis from diesel to 100 per cent electric, which is what Clipper Cabs does, but this has not been approved by TfL.

🎧 What I’m Listening

London Undone is a podcast about City of London churches. Twice a month journalist and Blue Badge Guide Catherine Cartwright takes you to a church and gives you an in-depth tour.

📖 What I’m Reading

The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers: A Question of Knowledge by Ruth Finnegan. As an anthropologist, Emeritus Professor of the Open University, Finnegan takes a detailed look at the intriguing subject of taxi drivers’ lives, considering work practices, life stories, immigration and their social mobility. The work is claimed to be the first piece of research into those behind the wheel hidden in plain sight.

📺 What I’m watching

Mark Monroe on his Secrets of London YouTube channel has made a video titled ‘London’s most famous taxi driver!’ It is a great watch featuring among others Fred Housego.

❓ What else

This year on 1st January, for reasons that now escape me, I decided to blog every day. Now at the 364th day I’m nearly there, despite also taking the decision to self-publish my memoir with all that entailed. In fact it wasn’t until I read Cathy Cade’s piece: My Fourth Mini Bloganuary in late January I realised WordPress were encouraging one to daily blog. So here it is, my penultimate post of 2022

November’s monthly musings

🚓 What Cab News

Recently in just one week the Public Carriage Office issued just seven new taxi driver licenses and plated 32 new black cabs. Conversely Transport for London licensed 539 new private hire vehicles and 400 aspiring drivers in this one mammoth week of licensing in London netting over £125,000 in new private hire licensing fees. The Capital’s traffic congestion can only get worse.

🎧 What I’m Listening

Goldsmiths have produced a series of street sounds titled London Street Noises, compared with those made in 1928, which at the time, drew attention to London’s rising noise levels. Leicester Square in 1928 has horses, noisy vehicles and many horns sounding, Goldsmiths’ recordings taken at the same location, day and time have people enjoying their leisure in 2018 and only the sound of pigeons during the lockdown in 2020. Fascinating.

📖 What I’m Reading

With all the razzamatazz of the opening of Battersea Power Station, I’ve revisited Up In Smoke: The Failed Dreams of Battersea Power Station by Peter Watts. Well-researched and effortlessly entertaining Peter Watts tells the whole, long sorry story of the site, from its industrial past to its future as a gated millionaires’ reserve. Saved from demolition by Michael Heseltine who gave it a heritage listing to annoy Margaret Thatcher who hated the edifice. So big you could, should want to commit suicide, accelerate a car from 0-60 within its walls. He relates how four owners over many years saw their best-laid plans frustrated by the sheer scale of the project they’d taken on. This is the story, not only of a building but of a city.

📺 What I’m watching

Fellow blogger BeetleyPete pointed me to the BBC’s London Collection, a personal compilation by Simon Jenkins comprising old documentaries. First transmitted in 1996, Modern Times: Streetwise looked at the tough training regime undertaken by black cab drivers as they prepared for one of the hardest examinations they will ever take – The Knowledge. It was filmed during my last year on The Knowledge, so I knew many of those featured.

❓ What else

For years FeedSpot has been devising tables from data on the number of ‘hits’ that a website receives. On their 100 Best London Blogs and Websites, CabbieBlog has usually languished around 50ish pushed into that place by all the female ‘influencers’, even Diamond Geezer has rarely made it into the top 20. Now recently I find CabbieBlog at number 26, probably due to the fall in long-form blog posts with influencers moving on to Instagram and their ilk. Another table, the World’s 60 Best Taxi Blogs and Websites finds CabbieBlog at the heady position of number five. Blimey!