CabbieBlog saves the World

[A] small ripple of applause at the start of this post would not be untimely, for you see CabbieBlog has solved England’s inability to produce sufficient energy to bring it in line with Europe’s diktats.


. . . Thank you, thank you very much!

The monster windmills which now despoil our coast are not working to their maximum capacity. The wind is not constant and the electricity demand has its peaks and troughs.

But there is one location where you can find relentless wind (and we are not talking about The Palace of Westminster here), that is the M25 with its constant stream of lorries. Install small windmills down the central reservation and with a 10 metre windmill, a wind speed of 33mph and you would produce 25kW of electricity. There you have it barring traffic jams, continuous power and located in a virtual vandal proof position.

Now if you compressed a membrane of quartz crystals you would get a small electric discharge, Mr Shaw my physics master would be proud of this one. Put these quartz strips along the speed humps and at long last here is a reason for installing these obstructions. Connect to a simple capacitor and Voilà electricity on demand.

Add to that, photo sensitive cells above road signs in London, free illumination.

And if you can produce electricity yourself and sell it back to the grid, well I’m thinking of helping out with the banking crisis and printing my own money.

I’m writing my Nobel Prize acceptance speech already.

Day-Glo Cabbies

Dog coat A recent piece of legislation from Brussels, and I would ask you at this point to treat the information with all the gravitas it deserves, concerns that ghastly piece of apparel, the Day-Glo Vest.

In France, Spain and Germany it is now mandatory to carry a high visibility vest in your car’s glove compartment.

[T]he French in their customary fashion have roped in style icon Karl Lagerfeld to help promote the new legislation and to ensure its wearers remain sartorially elegant.

It will only be a matter of time before England follows submissively down the same path with the €135 fine for infringement as an incentive.

So how long will it be before Transport for London (not known these days for joined up thinking) insists that all London cabbies have to wear that ubiquitous fluorescent vest when plying for hire, with ‘LICENSED LONDON BLACK TAXI PROPRIETOR’ emblazoned across the back, and London fashion guru Jeff Banks brought in to ensure its functionally.

Other items demanded by Europe for cabbies to carry could include a little hamper in case we break down, we then can offer our fare a selection of croissants, brie cheese and a half bottle of Bordeaux while they wait. An umbrella would be useful to keep the sun from their fair heads, to reduce the risk of skin cancer while we wait for help to arrive.

Surely it’s only a matter of time until I have to wear a fluorescent vest to take my dog for a walk in the park, while my little dog sports a canine version of the garment.

Press 1 if you want to report a fault

cartoon from

[I] am thinking of reporting a persistent fault to mobile phone manufacturers. It would appear that over use causes the device to adhere to the user’s ear.

Cabbies are getting increasing annoyed by our punters complete inability to communicate in the normal way. They hail you and mumble their destination while continuing a conversation on their mobiles. If you have the temerity to ask for clarification, Mobile Man, as yes dear reader it’s always the male of the financial services species, shoots you an annoyed glance designed to imply that you are a complete idiot.

They continue earnestly talking on their phone for the duration of the journey; I swear if I got a job from London to Manchester (if only) Mobile Man would not stop talking. Ladies reading this might like to reflect on the accusation that women rarely stop talking.

Now comes the clever part. After being told “why have you gone past my house” or “why did you take that route” Mobile Man alights. He then performs a feat worthily of Billy Smart’s Circus; phone in left hand, trying to retrieve money from one’s pocket with right hand and shutting the cab door with his foot, he juggles with commendable dexterity to pay you. Then and this is his piece de resistance, he asks for a receipt without breaking the flow of conversation on the phone.

He then wanders off, still talking; I suppose to find someone to help him prise the phone from his left ear.

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

A Phoenix Arises

Supreme Court As part of a CabbieBlog series with the imaginative title The Buildings of London we focus on another London architectural delight.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to give it its full title, is emerging like a phoenix from the old Middlesex Guildhall, on the south side of Parliament Square – and what as little gem it promises to be.

Little did Tony Blair imagine, or care, when he was ingratiating himself with the Americans to guarantee his healthy income stream for when he left office, that copying their idea of a Supreme Court would bring that neglected building to life.

[T]he name Middlesex comes from the kingdom of the Middle Saxons, and has been around for over a thousand years and the Guildhall symbolises that civic pride. The building was built between 1906 and 1913 in an art nouveau gothic theme, and decorated with mediaeval-looking gargoyles and other architectural sculptures. The Guildhall also incorporates in the rear a doorway dating from the seventeenth century which was a part of the Tothill Fields Bridewell prison and moved to the site to be incorporated in the building.

The conversion has attracted much controversy from conservation groups, which claim that the conversion will be unsympathetic to such an important building. The Middlesex Guildhall is a Grade II* listed building and English Heritage classed the three main Court interiors as ‘unsurpassed by any other courtroom of the period in terms of the quality and completeness of their fittings’. But the conversion works have involved the removal of many of the original fixtures and fittings with a vague promise to display a few key pieces in the basement and find a home for the rest in some other building not yet designed or built.

Outside the building stands a statute of George Canning whose total period in the office of Prime Minister was at 119 days the shortest on record. If only Tony Blair tenure had been so brief, Britain might not be in the sorry state it finds itself today.

Nailing my colours to the mast

uk-royal-standard When American tourists get into my cab they will ask me questions about the Royal Family, never do they want to know about Gordon Brown or Tony Blair for that matter.

But once again the cost of keeping our Royals is up for debate.

[U]nable to criticise the Queen whose frugality is legendary, these Republicans (including the BBC) seize on the petty extravagance of minor members of the Royal Family, whose only job is to provide us with much entertainment.

At 69p per person in this country, the cost of having our Royal Family is miniscule compared to the extravagance of politicians; their international travel to ‘summits’, chauffeured cars, and don’t get me on the expenses scandal, which has laid bare the greed at the heart of The Palace of Westminster.

When will we in this country learn to stop spitting on our good luck and to keep the precious possessions our wiser parents fought for and handed to us on a plate?

The question that should be asked is not what do the Royal Family get, but what powers do they stop others from receiving.

Taxi Talk Without Tipping

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