Home life · Notes from West London

The Tuesday Minicab Service

Most Tuesday evenings my wife and I run a kind of minicab service for our teenage children. Their extracurricular activities here in West London take them to places that are local but further apart than I realized until last week.

Our daughter’s athletics training is at a club to the north and east of where we live, and our son attends a youth club east and south of that. Her training session starts at 6.30pm, his youth club opens at 6.30pm and runs various events up to 9pm. Typically my wife drives all four of us to the athletics club. She and my daughter stay there while I drive our son to his youth club. I then drive straight back to the athletics club and the three of us return home by around 8pm. I usually have 30-40 minutes at home before heading back to the youth club to collect my son, and we are home by 9.10pm.

Tonight, if all goes to plan, I will catch most of the first half of Man City v Leeds (8pm kick-off) before collecting him, and most of our journey time will be during the half-time interval. I should be back in time to catch the last 30 minutes of what I fear will be a comfortable City win, although Leeds did win the corresponding fixture last season despite being down to 10 men before half-time.

Last week, for the first time, I made a note of the distances involved in the six journeys that we typically make on a Tuesday night. I offer them here, for my own benefit if for nobody else’s. I regard myself as pretty good at gauging mileage (and the equivalent in kilometres) but am surprised to find that it’s 5.3 miles (8.48km) from the athletics club to the youth club, which means that I am doing a round trip of 10.6 miles (a shade under 17km) in the 45 minutes or so it takes to drive between the two places.

From To

Distance (miles)

Distance (km)

Home Athletics Club

3.0

4.80

Athletics Club Youth Club

5.3

8.48

Youth Club Athletics Club

5.3

8.48

Athletics Club Home

2.8

4.48

Home Youth Club

3.7

5.92

Youth Club Home

3.6

5.76

Total

23.7

37.92

If the children were to take actual minicabs, these journeys would cost around £100. And don’t bother telling me that it would be cheaper on Uber. We continue to be an Uber-free household.

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