The View From The Cab.

What a great day in London today, warm sun and sights to behold! St.James Park was a vision with the spring plants flowing brilliant shades of colour in the warmth of the sun. The Queen was out and about, showing to us all the benefits of that embodiment of English traditionalism: Afternoon tea. She was at Fortum and Masons, surrounded by others not as regal partaking in the same delight and from where it was officially confirmed that the milk should be added last to the tea-cup. In what other country in this world could a Head of State do such a thing, nor such vital information be shared amongst the common populace? In less tolerant parts, both of these announcements, would be treated as “Top-Secret.” Please pardon me if you found that comment in any way sarcastic, it was not my intension, but on two separate occasions, during my own working day, it would not be truthfully to say, that was not the case.

The first time was when I had picked up one Chap who, when at the open near side window in the act of paying me, sneezed. This is where I shall begin to tell the stories of how my sarcastic behaviour perhaps, over the many years that it has been one of my characteristics, could have landed me in trouble.

“How much is that then Cabbie? Achoo!” He asked adding the sneeze without covering that offending nose.

“£4.80 mate” I replied. Trying as hard as I could to pretend that his lack of common manners, in either directing his sneeze elsewhere than in my direction or covering up in some way, had gone unnoticed.

“Take five pounds then. Achoo.” This time; it was one time too many.

I looked directly in his eyes with a distinct disapproving glare and said: “Well, it seems that I cannot say, that a single sneeze comes free, with every twenty P.” Needless to say I had no apology.

The Second Time.

A small car sped past me in Brompton Road on the approach to Knightsbridge, and the awaiting traffic at the Lights, in a burst of blue smoke and screeching tyres. A few seconds later the brake lights inevitably came on.I proceeded at my normal pace and drew alongside. “Wow, that is some car you’ve got Mate” says I with a smile on my contented face. “I’m not sure what to compliment you on first, your wasted speed or the fact that the brakes work so well!”

As I said, perhaps my sarcasm should by now have been redressed but I’m still standing trying to right what I see as the wrongs of today.




About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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