Swimming the knowledge

Well, not quite. But you can’t be me if you don’t relate pretty much everything you do to the knowledge, being a cab driver or London generally. So it was with some joy that I noticed that the amount I have swum in training this week was roughly the same as the first blue book run on the Knowledge, the infamous Manor House Station to Gibson Square.

These are the little things that will keep me focused and motivated over the next 4 and a half months, because I spent ages thinking about doing this thing, wondering what the response will be and then you just do it and get a bit overwhelmed. Having only decided last Sunday to do the Human Race Poole Swim the response in the following few days was great. An email from my older sister (mum to Luke who this is partly about) telling me off for making her cry, first generous donation from a friend I shared a house with 25 years ago, 2 extremely generous donations from friends of my sister in the US, a decision by me to sell some unused technology and put proceeds to ‘the cause’. Already, my target of £1,000 was looking foolishly on the low side. So a quick decision to really try and push this and the target has gone to £3,000, £1k per charity.

So now this is all building up and got way past the changing my mind stage, I’m going to need to track what I’m doing. Get things in order to make sure I personally stay on track. Any excuse for a spreadsheet. My wife joked earlier in the week that I’d need a swimming training spreadsheet. Well, she was about 2 days late with that one. That spreadsheet has now expanded to show how much I’ve swum in training and how much you lot have helped me raise.  And, obviously, I’m sharing all of this with you. Here are the important (to me at least) numbers to date;

And this is the daddy spreadsheet. Don’t judge, these things make me happy.

And if this nudges any of you to donate, here is the link for that;

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=RichardCudlip

Inspired?

I’m a complex, contrary chap so I have complex reasons for doing this thing, please bear with me while I try and explain what & why.

So I’ve entered this, a 3km swim in the sea at the end of September. For a 45 year old taxi driver who has been far less active over the past few years than he should be, this is no small matter. I could simply say that I need to swim more, but that would far too simple an answer. It’s a part of it, no doubt about it, but it’s actually a fairly minor reason. Want I really want to do is raise some money for charity by doing something that will hopefully make me a healthier person not just for a while but for the rest of my life. Why it’s taken me quite this long to get round to doing something like this is a discussion for another day, for now let me explain my motivation and talk about the people that have inspired me to take the plunge (terrible pun intended).

I will be raising money for 3 charities because there are 3 main inspirations compelling me to do this thing; British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and Scoliosis UK. You can donate via my Virgin Money page here.

First charity is British Heart Foundation because this coming January I will turn 46, the same age as my Dad when he died of a heart attack. Sobering stuff and a big factor in my commitment to be healthier, fitter and a bit less of an idiot about my health. Like me my Dad was a sports nut who would attempt anything, but specialised in rugby with his police pals and in later life attempted to turn himself into a centre forward for the police 10th XI football team. Think Andy Carroll, but without the skill or pace. I want to do something as a bit of a hat tip to him and, as you’ll see, I want to do something that recognises the fantastic grandchildren that he sadly never met.

I’m not part of a large family but those that I’ve got are all pretty special. A mum who seems like some sort of force of nature determined to live life in retirement with a zest & vigour that occasionally leaves me spinning in her wake. I’ve got an amazing wife who not only tolerates me but did this thing called giving birth which gave us the Cabbette (real name Esme) about whom I will speak more later. 2 brilliant sisters, in laws of the brother, sister, mother & father variety who are all on the right side of sane and finally 2 nephews (Luke and James) and a niece (Lily) who are all special beyond words. I am lucky to have all these people in my life, but it’s the younger generation that are my inspiration for doing this and are the ones that I hope will encourage you to dig deep into your pockets. So get ready for the big money pitch.

Those of you who know me, or followed me for a while on Twitter, will know that the health of 2 of the aforementioned children hasn’t been perfect, he says with crushing British understatement. In 2010 my nephew Luke was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent a gruelling course of radiation and chemotherapy to try and reduce the size of the cancer as it was too big to operate on. This vital, happy, sensitive boy became a shadow of his former self physically but remained stronger than you can imagine to fight the cancer and ultimately beat it. He remains in remission and is an inspiration to all those that know him. For him alone, the least I can do is thrash around in the sea for an hour to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

But, just in case I needed an extra nudge, my daughter Esme was diagnosed with Scoliosis just about a year ago. You can read about what scoliosis is here, but in short it is a curvature of the spine that seems to particularly affect young girls as they reach puberty. After thinking that Esme’s back looked a bit ‘wrong’ we took her to the Doctor and she was quickly diagnosed with a 40 degree ‘S curve’. Initially the prognosis was quite low key and as Esme was in no pain it was decided that her spine just needed ‘monitoring’. After further x-rays and referrals to the spinal specialists it was determined that Esme’s curve was severe enough that surgery was the only way to correct it. The surgery itself is a major op and Esme was still largely unaffected by the condition so there was no urgency to make any decision. But, unfortunately, that has not remained the case and as Esme’s curve has worsened the pain has increased and the decision to have the surgery has almost been made for us. So Esme is on the waiting list and will hopefully have the op some time in the summer as she’ll need 6 weeks to recover fully enough to return to school. It’s a major op on the spine, and contains all the horrible risks that any spinal surgery has. So a worrying time for all of us, but with a positive long term prognosis we know it’s the right thing to do. We have found Scoliosis UK extremely helpful as we try and find out more about Esme’s condition so they are the 3rd charity I’m collecting for.

So, what else can a chunky, middle aged taxi driver do? He can get off his lazy arse, do some proper training and try to raise as much money for charity as possible. And that, dear reader, is where you come in. I’ve no idea what a realistic target is for me to raise but as I’m trying to help 3 charities I thought about £300 each would be great so have put a target of £1000 on my Virgin Money page. But I’ll take whatever you can give, large or small donations. Thanks in advance and all that….

Donate here – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RichardCudlip

The Great Taxi App Race

As any cab driver will tell you, there was a time over the summer when it seemed that there was a new Taxi booking app appearing every week. Although some seemed to disappear as quickly as they appeared, there are 5 or 6 that seem to be making a reasonable stab at getting properly off the ground. I shudder to think how much money they will end up spending between them, but there is certainly a feeling in the tech community that the London Taxi Trade is ready for some “disruption” and that some money can be made along the way. There was a lot of excitement around the launch of Uber Cab in San Fransisco, and there seemed to be a strong desire in certain quarters to get that level of disruption in London. And part of what I write here will be about if that is really possible here. But before I head off into the depths of a post that could be long and not a little ranty, I need to be upfront about my “interests” in all this. Not only am I obviously a Licensed London Taxi Driver, I am co-founder of Tweetalondoncab (TLC), who in turn had extensive meetings with the people behind what is now Hailo, with a view to combining forces. Those discussions ultimately failed and Hailo then teamed up with the TaxiLight team. TLC itself is not a business and after a couple of false starts is not looking to build it’s own app, it will continue to fill a little niche and provide it’s extremely useful Twitter based information service, Cabup. So my views on all this will almost certainly not be completely unbiased, but they will be based from the viewpoint of someone who has tried to run a taxi booking service & as a driver.

So where are we in the Great Race? Well let’s have a quick look at the runners & riders shall we? In no particular order, and with some omissions I’m sure, here are the services I’ve come across or heard of this year; TaxiZapp, London Taxi App, TaxiStop, Usestands, Get Taxi, Black Cabs App, Cab:App, Hailo, Hail, App Cab & Taxi Square. Quite a list, with the potential for confusion looking pretty high what with the sheer number of apps and the similarity in names. Hail/Hailo? Cab:App/App Cab? Good grief. Out of that list, 4 seem to be making better progress than the rest, Get Taxi, Hailo, London Taxi App and Cab:App, and 2 of those, Hailo & Get Taxi, appear to have serious money behind them.

London Taxi App was first to properly get out into the market and from the feedback I’ve seen from drivers may have done so too soon. I’m sure my driver colleagues will soon put me right, but the initial burst of publicity for London Taxi App seems to have passed, the app itself seems a little unreliable and perhaps they’ve missed their chance to steal a march on rivals. Cab:App is much newer to the market and seems to be going about things in a more measured, steady fashion. Their App, available on most smartphones rather than just iPhone, seems straightforward and their pricing structure simple & fair. The customer pays a £2 booking fee, £1 going to the driver & £1 to Cab:App. The customer settles up with the driver direct, they do not provide the means for drivers to take credit cards payments. To make money, they’ll need to take a lot bookings at a pound a pop but I’m assuming their costs aren’t anywhere near the likes of Hailo or Get Taxi. Whether they’ll have the financial clout to compete with the “big boys” remains to be seen though.

So let’s move on to the big players both of whom, if you follow my tweets, I’ve had my issues with. Yes, I am keen to “win back the work” as much as the next driver, but I do have to ask at what cost? And when the established circuits (Radio Taxis, Dial A Cab & ComCab) are viewed as antiquated, expensive and/or too close to private hire the door should be wide open for someone to come in and provide a new, hi-tech taxi service that blows these circuits away. But on what I’ve seen so far, neither Get Taxi or Hailo are doing that. Get Taxi are insisting on providing drivers with a “drivers box” that attaches to your windscreen like a Sat Nav and a smaller version of the terminals the existing circuits provide. Some drivers are already complaining that the units are poor quality, and that the battery doesn’t last long. Having a separate unit has been pushed as better for safety by Get Taxi, their argument being that using your smartphone while driving is illegal/unsafe. There may be a legal issue here (although I hear that TfL have approved Apps for use on Smartphones) but I fail to see how having an extra box in your cab with the potential for 2 devices competing for your attention, is any safer than having one device that deals with everything. And then there is the cost to drivers, Get Taxis website states that drivers pay “just £5 per week plus 10% pay-as-you-go per job for account work capped at £19 per week”, which works out at over £100/month. Cheaper than most of the current circuits certainly, but not the radical reduction in costs that this technology should be giving drivers. I for one won’t be getting a Get Taxi box in my cab, perhaps if they decide to deliver jobs to drivers via a smartphone I’ll think again. And for the implications of the “pay as you go” model, see below for how I think that affects coverage.

And so we move to Hailo. I will try to choose my words very carefully here as I’ve upset the people behind Hailo already and I have no desire to do so again. But………I don’t like the service they are offering, and here’s why. Hailo, like many of the other Apps, make a big deal out of “winning back our work” by which they mean that lost to the likes of Addison Lee. I’ve always had a problem by what anyone means by “our work”, like black cabs have a divine right to any journey in a car/taxi. But let’s leave that argument for another day. In Hailo’s enthusiasm to “win back our work” they have decided that the customer is king and should not have to pay a penny more than is on the meter, unless they choose to tip the driver. So that means no credit card charge to the customer, no booking fee, no nothing. To make things even easier for the punter they only have to press 2 buttons to book a cab, meaning they don’t even have to tell Hailo where they want to go. Brilliant, as a punter I can get a taxi to come and pick me up from my favourite pub/restaurant and the taxi will even wait for 5 minutes outside before putting the meter on. Take that greedy taxi drivers! But let’s just think about this from those greedy drivers point of view. As a driver I get to use the Hailo App for free, it’s ever so clever and has all sorts of stuff that is going to help me during my working day, stuff that may have been, ahem, “borrowed” from other services. It’ll even keep track of my earnings for me (klaxons now going off in Tax Offices around the country) something Taxi drivers have been desperate to have for years, that pen & paper is history. For those who struggle with irony, that last bit was a joke. But to me, it just smacks of technologists thinking that they know better what a taxi driver wants than the taxi drivers themselves. But I digress slightly. Back to the greedy driver, who’s using Hailo for free, luckily for him he won’t pay a penny until he takes a job from the system. When he does though, he’ll pay “about 10%” of the metered fare for the privilige, but that kindly includes the credit card processing fee if the customer pays by card. It seems unclear if that % stays the same for cash jobs Hailo give you, but they are definitely charging for those, because their T&C’s say they do. All well and good you say, Hailo are providing the tech platform to connect punter & driver, someones got to pay for it right? Well of course. But let’s really think about the implications of this. As a driver I’m out and about on a busy Saturday night and up pops a Hailo job. I’m at Chelsea Bridge, the pickup is a nice restaurant in Knightsbridge. Do I a) take the Hailo job, which I don’t know where the punter is going and I have to pay 10% for or b) reject it and take my chances on finding a street hail around Sloane Square or Victoria. In fact, on a really busy night I won’t have made it as far as Chelsea Bridge empty anyway, and if I do I’m probably getting hailed as the Hailo system is offering me the job. So how are Hailo, or any of the other new services, going to get drivers to cover jobs at busy times? Well there is some stuff on the Hailo site about being higher up the “priority list” the more you accept jobs and the better ratings you get from customers. But, frankly, I don’t think drivers will give 2 hoots about a priority list. They’ll know that at busy times there will only be a few drivers available anyway, so the priority list is meaningless. And we go back to the options a driver has, if every job is allocated without a destination a driver is only going to do that job if he is very close to the pick up and it’s not busy elsewhere in town. Why keep taking jobs at 10% off the meter when you can get the full meter fare from all those nice people waving at you in the street? If you dig into the Hailo website you can find some of their T&C’s which make it clear that Hailo is a distribution platform (with accompanying customer focused rules) only and won’t be held responsible for the actions of customers, and only offer payment protection in certain circumstances. Despite being “run by cabbies” and wanting to “win back our work”, it sounds to me like Hailo will happily introduce you to a punter that needs your service, and get you to cover all the costs of doing so, then run for cover if it all goes pear-shaped. There also appears to be little, if any, attempt to build a community of drivers that might care a bit more about the service and therefore provide the all important customer with better coverage. In short, providing a taxi service is a tricky balance between punter & driver needs, I really think Hailo are far too customer focused. In fact, given that drivers are the ones paying for their service, should they be regarded as the customer here?

To be fair, the problems Hailo face are not exclusive to them. All the new services will struggle to cope at busy times, and I don’t profess to have any smart solutions to these problems. How do the current circuits cope with these issues? Not brilliantly it has to be said, but the likes of Dial A Cab at least have a level of driver loyalty that will be very difficult for the new players to replicate. Dial A Cab in particular are owned by the drivers themselves and when I was a member that, combined with the fixed £140/month subs, made me go out of my way to cover work. I quite literally had a stake in Dial A Cab and clumsy as it may appear, the subs also made me make sure I got my “moneys worth” every month. But the circuits are archaic and it should be possible to provide a similar service for a fraction of the cost. But, with a slightly heavy heart, when I look at the new services on offer now I don’t think any of them offer a realistic, competitive option to what we already have. That is not entirely their fault though, you really do have to question how much taxi drivers are prepared to adapt their working practices to new technology and I have severe doubts about how disruptive technology can be in a trade of 25,000 sole traders, every single one of which has a different motivation to be a cab driver. The experience I’ve had of drivers and the trade while running TLC has left me extremely sceptical about how drivers will welcome these services, and that no matter what they offer drivers they will never be happy.

So there you have it, my view of the Great Taxi App Race. Who will emerge victorious? Or will the cab trade itself leave them all stalled at the starting line? Should be interesting seeing what happens.

I blame the bloomin’ Beatles

I mean, there can’t have been THAT many ZEBRA CROSSINGS back when this photo was taken.  The intervening years have seen our great city afflicted by what can only be described as an epidemic of ZEBRA CROSSINGS.  Pedestrians continue to insist on walking around the city, often forming themselves into herds of marauding sheep, and they also continue to insist on crossing the road.  Cars, and Taxis in particular, just aren’t given the respect they are due and have to play second fiddle to the great unwashed that are roaming around getting in the way of London’s best drivers.

This was playing on my mind as I sat in a queue of traffic that snaked around Russell Square earlier this week, as I tried to get a punter from Bloomsbury Way to Euston.  A short and pretty straightforward journey when you look at an A-Z, but take into effect the Pedestrian factor and a fiver fare ended up nearly £7.  Get through Bloomsbury Sq and you might think you are well on your way, but you just know that the zebra crossing in Bedford Way is going to screw things up.  You could avoid it, but the traffic going the other way doesn’t look a lot better and your punter is likely to scream blue murder.  So you sit there waiting for a) the constant stream of pedestrain to end and b) the constant stream of muppet drivers who think their journey is more important than yours and cut in the queue of cars.  Once you’ve got through that, the traffic by Gordon Sq can be a bit sticky as the ZEBRA CROSSING by Byng Place is slowing things down, then turning right into Gordon Sq you have to be really careful as you turn across the cycle lane, only to be presented with another ZEBRA CROSSING, just before the Bloomsbury Theatre that at the wrong time presents another human wall, thankfully mainly students and therefore expendable if you really do lose the will to live and steamroller your way through.  And there you are eventually at Euston, with a punter wondering why the hell he didn’t walk.  So as I queued at Euston to get my next fare, I asked on Twitter “Can we start a list of most annoying zebra crossings in London? I’ll kick off with Bedford Way.”.  And, as expected, I got a wonderful response, mainly from my cabbie colleagues.  In all there were 13 crossings nominated and I will reveal the top 5 below.  But “honorable” mention must go to, of course, Bedford Way itself (which I’m sure would have received more votes if I hadn’t nominated it in my original Tweet); Anderson Street (as you enter from Kings Road), Great Russel Street (outside the British Museum); Long Acre (outside Covent Garden Tube); Terminus Place, Victoria; Chiswell Street (by the junction of Bunhill Row); Bernard St (outside Russell Square tube); New Cavendish Street (junction with Marylebone High Street).  All, I’m sure you’ll agree, supremely annoying crossings.  But the crossings with the most votes were;

  • 5th – Abbey Road – the temptation to mow a few tourists down is pretty difficult to contain at times, but your mood is often lifted by seeing some divs taking their iconic photo on the crossing further north by Abercorn Place.
  • 4th – St Paul’s Churchyard (or is it still Ludgate Hill there??). I tolerate this crossing because of where it is. But only for the view.
  • 3rd – Bow/Wellington/Russell St, Covent Garden.  Yes, of course, right by the Royal Opera House, and a junction where cabs are are constantly trying to turn into the main flow of traffic. Let’s have a crossing where tourists, who don’t even know how the things work, loiter looking like they have barely evolved since the missing link.
  • 2nd – Endell St/Bow St/Long Acre.  Genius. Within a few hundred yards of our 3rd placed entry let’s have a new crossing right by another hugely busy junction that wasn’t perfect before but worked a hell of a lot better than the new “improvement”.
  • 1st – Great Marlborough Street.  In reality not that much traffic goes down this street, certainly not so much since the “dirty dozen” is closed off and most of Soho has just become a car park. But, if you are forced to travel down there at pretty much any time of the day or night, you just know you are going to be stopped at this crossing FOREVER, only to finally get moving once your previously pre-school children have left home.

Yes, yes I hear you all cry, you cabbies aren’t the most important thing in London. Ha! Well I’ll have you know, I can find at least 25,000 others that will agree with me……..

Lightning Indicator for London Drivers (1926)

I have a Reader’s Pass for the British Library, something I’m jolly proud of (see picture below).  Anyone can get one, you just have to navigate your way through the BL’s arcane rules & regulations and within an hour or so you have your pass.  I got mine for reasons to do with getting access to their Business & IP Centre, but thought it would be rude not to have a search through the archives for some Taxi trade related stuff.  And in amongst the database I found a few items that I’ll be boring you with over the next few weeks, possibly months if I find anything else. So brace yourselves, here we go…..

Today, my iPhone is invaluable to me when working, I get updates through Tweetalondoncab’s Cabup system, I can look up places & roads in Google Maps and when I’m really struggling out of town a bit, even get some directions from Messrs Google.  But back in the day, and this little gem of a book was published in 1926, cabbies (or other London Drivers) had to rely on the written word.  And the Lightning Indicator for London Drivers must have been a great help for cabbies back then, it’s 60 pages packed full of useful “points”, from Clubs & Restaurants to Hotels & Sports Grounds.  Due to BL rules, I’m not allowed to copy all of the book so I’ve extracted the bits that interested me most, the “Principal Hotels” & the introduction.  It must have been a nightmare to keep even such a small volume up to date, hence the offer of “a cheque for 2 guineas will be forwarded to the sender of the best suggestion for the improvement of the next edition”.  I wonder if anyone claimed that 2 guineas?

If you click on any of the photos above you’ll be able to read the pages yourself, you might even find them interesting.  Maybe it’s just me, but I find the list of Hotels fascinating, all the big names are there of course; Claridges, Savoy, Ritz etc.. but there are many others that appear to have made it intact through the intervening 75 years, more than I would have thought.  Bailey’s Hotel is there (wonder if it was stitched up by cabbies even back then?), the Bonnington, Imperial & Russell all in and around Russell Square still exist today, as does the newly refurbished Connaught.  Even what might be considered lesser know hotels like the Rembrant on Thurloe Place and the Rubens on Buckingham Palace Road are on the 1926 list and appear to have made it through to today with the same name & in the same location.  But perhaps more intriguing are the names that have disappeared since 1926.  The marvellously named British Empire Hotel could have been found in De Vere Gardens, the Hummmums in Covent Garden (next to what is now the Transport Museum).  And there are at least 3 Hotels that used to be in Euston Square that must have been demolished at the same time that the Square itself all but disappeared.  Also note how many Hotels are listed for Northumberland Ave (click the link for photo, with added Hansom Cab), when it was first built pretty much all the buildings were purpose built hotels, now only a couple remain that way.  But the most interesting name, I don’t know why it’s name stuck out, is Haxell’s which was on the Strand and was absorbed into the Strand Palace Hotel not that long after the Lightning Indicator was published.  After a quick bit of research I soon found that it was owned & managed by Edward Nelson Haxell, who become embroiled in a cross dressing scandal, which others have covered much better than I could.  There must be hundred’s, if not thousands of equally intruiging stories linked to these forgotten Hotel’s, I’m going to do my best to try and uncover a few more of them.  Or if you have any yourselves, please feel free to let me know.

"researching the world's knowledge" is the unreadable bit at the top...

I say top, you say bottom – let’s call the whole thing off….

heading in the right direction.....?

Let me tell you a cab trade secret.  Cab drivers don’t know EVERY street in London, there are over 20,000 for gawd’s sake, you could never learn them all.  And even when you’ve learned all the ones you need to get you through The Knowledge, you slowly forget some of them too.  Then there is the issue of rubbish intercoms, onsetting deafness through old age & comedy foreign accents, predominantly from our friends directly across the channel.  Witness a job I did on Wednesday night from the Landmark Hotel – “60 Charles Street, pleez” in what can only be described as a Clouseauesque accent.  To which I would normally just ask exactly where the punter was going as I know landmarks much better than house number.  But I didn’t and as we got to Charles St, I slowed down to try and see where No. 60 is.  “Why are we stopping here driver?” was the response from my punter, “You wanted 60 Charles St, no?” as alarm bells started to ring, “No, I wanted *incomprehensible* St”.  So I pull over and after my poor punter has to spell out the name of the Street it turns out he wanted the Gaucho Restaurant on Charlotte Street.  Why didn’t he just say that in the first place? Tsk.  But hopefully you get my point, it isn’t quite as straightforward understanding where someone wants to get to, and these kind of episodes are one of the best examples of why Sat Nav can’t replace The Knowledge.  But let’s not get into that argument, not today anyway.

My other little secret, and the main point of this post, is that if I’m really not sure where a punter means, or I just can’t remember the road, I’ll ask “which end of XYZ Road/Street do you need?”.  Which is designed to get a response that helps me place where the road is like, “Farringdon end”, or “Grays Inn Road end” but can open up a whole other can of geographical worms.  What if the punter says “Oh, about in the middle”, or “up at the top end”, or “down the bottom end”.  Then you’re buggered.  It’s then that I start on the “having a brain freeze/need some more coffee/just can’t think of where that is” type jibberish.  And many times, it really is that I’ve just misheard what the punter said in the first place.

But when someone does say “I’m at the top of the road”, what do you think they mean?  I once had a very long “discussion” with a punter about what was the top (and therefore bottom) of Portobello Road.  Given that Portobello Road is mainly one way for it’s entire length and travels in a S(E) to N(W) direction I would think that it’s a no brainer that the Notting Hill end was the bottom, wouldn’t you?  But no, when I said which end did she want, my punter said “Oh, near the top” and then got upset when I headed for the north end.  So if roads like that are open to debate, they shouldn’t be of course, what about roads that go West to East?  Do they have a top and a bottom?  I’d argue that they do, and that the “top” is the bit closest to the centre of London and the bottom bit furthest away.  So the “top” of Holland Park Avenue would be Notting Hill end and the “bottom” down at Sheperd’s Bush.  Some of you might think this slightly nit picking, or perhaps slightly obsessional, but when your job is to get people as efficiently as possible to their destination, these things really are important.  So next time you get in a cab, just be sure you and your driver are as one when you ask him to take you to the “top” of your road.

** Update 22nd January, 10:20am **

As has been quite rightly pointed out in the comments below, if a road actually does, you know, climb a hill then the top is just naturally the top.  Not the bottom. Just to be clear…………

Xmas London Quiz 2010

Greetings one and all, I trust you have been having a fab time with your nearest & dearest.  You may, or may not, be getting a trifle bored after the extended break, or you may just want a distraction between eating & drinking.  Either way, I present to you my Xmas London Quiz 2010.  Hopefully the questions will make sense, if you need any clarification feel free to drop me an email to rjcudlip@gmail.com.  And when you’re ready for the answers just let me know via email or on Twitter (@mrcudlip) and I’ll send them over to you, enjoy!

Xmas Quiz V2