Time to install Uber?

My musical life has been nonexistent since cancellations – and that in what should have been a big and exciting season with lots of Mayflower 400 celebrations.  Not least, both my big Plymouth-based choirs have commissioned major new works for the event!  My social life (a large element of which is the music) has been woefully absent too.  Meeting by Zoom isn’t the same!

So it was a lifeline when Jane, the driving force and first-among-equals of a small singing ensemble (usually six of us), organised us to get together in their garden.  A little sing, a cuppa, a good natter.  I should be there now.

It’s maybe 10km from here to Jane and Robert, with a lot of uphill (they’re properly within the Dartmoor national park), so I set off on the bike in good time.  Only to find my back tyre utterly flat, and remaining flat when I tried to pump it.  I was out on the bike only yesterday and it was fine.  Clearly I’m jinxed. 😦

OK, not to worry.  Put the bike away, change to my most comfortable walking sandals.  No, I wasn’t about to walk there: I’d’ve needed to set out maybe an hour and a half earlier for that.  But time to wander down to town, to the taxi rank.  The walking was for the return home: a pleasant walk when there’s no time pressure.

At the taxi rank, there are zero taxis.  I wait there 15 minutes, still none.  I phone Jane, who mentions she was in town this morning and saw one at the bus station (there’s no bus route to Jane – though it’ll get me to just a half-hour walk).  Wander down to the bus station on the off-chance: there is indeed a taxi, but it’s parked with no driver in sight.  Not useful.

On the way home, I pass the taxi rank, now there’s a taxi (by now I’ll be 20 minutes late, but better than nothing)!  I ask if he accepts card payments: surprisingly he doesn’t.  So I go to the cash machine for the first time since (I think) February.  By the time I get back, he’s picked up another passenger and is setting off.

I guess it’s time to install Uber if I ever want to travel …

Posted on August 8, 2020, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Is Uber available down ‘ere? I rarely use taxis, the last time was when I booked a local outfit called 4Hire to get me home after a sumptuous meal and wine tasting event. They were actually rather efficient and we had a very pleasant east European driver who didn’t insist on engaging us in inane conversation. He seemed genuinely touched to receive a tip as well!

  2. I thought they were everywhere?

    John, you know you’ve been most of my social life since lockdown! Unless perhaps we include random encounters and smalltalk with strangers. Even dogs are rarely allowed to talk to me now.

  3. As I understand it Uber only operates in the larger cities. I guess there isn’t the level of demand in the sticks for a service that relies on volume to make it pay (both for the platform and the driver). The only time I’ve used Uber has been in the big Australian cities under the guidance of Helena’s son who is far more savvy than I on such matters!

    The rabbits are happy to talk to you any time!

  4. Update: According to Uber UK the South West means Bristol!


  5. The group got together again today. This time I made it on the bike, new back tyre gleaming in contrast to the elderly one in front (yes, inspecting the puncture I decided the whole tyre was due replacement). Nice to meet up with folks again, though sadly another member of the group had transport trouble and couldn’t make it.

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