coffee and cake

22 Feb

london 12.26pm 12.3C cloudy wednesday 2017

this morning i was reminded that i still have a voucher for free cake and coffee/tea at john lewis oxford st store. so i decided to go to the marylebone library instead of the local ones,as it is a short walk from there to the store.

well i took the bus, as it does not entail a tube change , and anyway today is a tube strike. i suppose i shall be reading of all those office workers stranded at the station later today. but around midday, the roads were relatively quiet.

i got a cheese cake, which is what i wanted. they are not as sweet as a cake.

i think it is lovely to be able to just come here and relax and just enjoy the fun of people watching and also to browse the shop and look at the stuff.

i used to do a lot of window shopping in the past. even in those days i dont have the urge to buy stuff, so my window shopping trips never end up with me spending loads of money buying unnecessary things.  to those who cannot resist i would not recommend they do this. but it is a very enjoyable way to spend some leisure time. now of course everytime i see something, my immediate reaction if i like it is to wonder whether i can find one like it in the recycling bins… haha. hehee.

in the past , at one stage of my life, i would wonder if i can find it in a charity shop. now i want it free or not at all. like this lovely fleece jacket that i found in the recycling area. it is a brand called guise. it is a large size, but great for me as a house coat. or if simon wants to wear it he can too. it has a very luxurious feel. 

 

 

 

Digital StillCamera

banoffee cheesecake.

see and be seen

21 Feb

london 12.25pm 13C cloudy tuesday 2017

its cloudy now, so no sunny day today.

i see the gardeners of our little common garden (millbank gardens it is called) has a huge load of soil to spread on the ground under the bushes. he was doing it under the camellia bush which have a few more blooms coming out;  quite nice looking soil too, all dark and rich looking.

i was talking of how businesses will cater to any event in london. there are enough people who will buy to make it worth their while to go to the trouble of creating it, that is why. this is where being in a big city is advantageous. 

 it is the london fashion week now, and sure enough here is the hilton park lane doing a special fashion theme for their afternoon tea , featuring cakes in the shape of dresses and shoes etc. rather clever i thought, and i bet they will charge u (its £39 each). haha. oh, there will be lots who will be willing to pay it (its a fun thing isn’t it? )for the privilege haha. that goes without saying… but if u want to be amuse i suppose you would go for it.talking of afternoon tea reminds me i still have a free voucher for cake and coffee in john lewis cafe. i must go before it expires at the end of this month. it is actually rather nice to be able to go there and have a free cake and coffee. 

and of course there is the actual fashion events to go to. to see what is on, and what the trend is now, and what is the latest in thing. and naturally u will be going there to be seen as well.

  added. i write about this fashion week, but actually i dont have any interests in it anymore. fashion is another one of those things i am interested in a long time ago and then lost interest. 

 

 

a lovely morning today

20 Feb

london 11.09am 12.7C ! sunny 2017 monday

such a lovely morning today. blue sky and sunshine. and such high temperature for feb. and it has not even peaked yet. 

 it was so nice i could not resist dashing out and taking some pictures of the daffodils that have bloomed a few days previously. its very early this year. 

3.53pm 15.6C but cloudy. i read a expat who blogs from penang, and he was saying he is going to move to chiangmai, being rather disillusioned by penang as a place to spend his expat years. and someone wrote in a comment saying is it possible he is bored , because she says  she can use herself as a example.  she mentioned her situation , that she and her husband lives in penang and are finding it very difficult to fill their days to stop getting bored. this is the first time i read of an expat willing to acknowledge that they are bored with it. everyone up to this point have never acknowledged the elephant in the room. that being an expat can be very boring. it seems rather ungrateful somehow, that you come to live in a country that have all this sunshine, and culture and festivities and smiling faces everywhere to admit that you are bored with it all. i can understand why not many will want to admit it to themselves, nevermind telling others. it is not often acknowledged that small town life , and life in small countries or developing countries can be very boring. people are too busy working to live, just to survive , to bother to provide entertainment for people like the expats who got lots of time and money on their hands always looking out for novel things to do or see or experience. and flitting from one swiftly to another not wanting to linger longer to savour that experience, but to move on to get their fix of the next one.

it makes me wonder if that is the biggest thing that being an expat have to deal with. boredom. after the intial excitement and novelty of their new place, it is all too easy to get to the end of things to do and see without it repeating the cycle. 

here in london, there are lots of things going on. so i doubt one can get bored.

even though it is easy to get bored doing the same thing over and over again, but there is so much variety of entertainment here in london, you can skip along to the next attraction and can go through a big long cycle of things to do before u need to come back to the starting point. and who knows along the way u find things that u are always interested in and so can latch onto it to keep boredom at bay. and there are many one offs, events that happen once only, or come round once a year, that gives some light relief. often times two events clash, and you have to decide. we are spoilt for choice in london.

well just as an example of a once a year event, yesterday i went to the olympia cruise show. i got given to me free entry tickets for two by the daily mail who are sponsoring the show.

i have been on a cruise before, a gay one, leaving from fort lauderdale and going round the islands in the caribbean, and find i am not really into them. these are full of gay men, and you would think i should like them, but even so, i dont, so i doubt ordinary cruises that cater to straights will be any better. well, seeing it is free entry i just thought it might be amusing to go see what they have to offer. 

waiting for the bus back i got chatting to an indian lady who had just left the venue. she was carrying a churchill bag, it is a company that specialise in protected retirement living. she said she was given it ,its quite a nice bag, and not really looking to join one. she told me she had been to quite a lot of cruises, mostly round the arabian coast. as she has the time now having retired.  i guess these cruises appeal to old people who have time on their hands and who like to have things organised and accommodation and food taken care of. i can see how that would appeal to many of them.

 

 

observations in london

19 Feb

london 11.39am 10.3C cloudy sunday 2017

yesterday i was on the way to a meetup of malaysians, and went past a bus stop near holborn and saw a long line of people queueing on both sides of a door into a building. i was wondering what the attraction was, but there was no sign or anything to tell me what they were queueing for. later, when i got back, i read in a blog someone who also met a queue in their wanderings about town wrote about it, but knew it was london fashion week and that was what the queue was all about.

in the queue i saw it was all young people wearing black. one would have thought they would have taken out their glad rags and be dressed to the nines; but not at all. actually come to think of it i dont know why i expected them all to be stylishly dressed. after all, it wont do for the audience to be better dressed, and/or wearing other designers’ clothes than the clothes they have come to see as worn on the catwalk.haha.

 there was just one chinese guy with a top knot. he had short back and sides but the top was kept long and tied with a rubber band. i have seen this style in some men so perhaps it is the hippy style of the moment. its the kind of style worn by men in kurosawa’s films of old japan.

the meetup went well, first time i knew of this malaysian meetup group, and it was really nice to be able to meet fellow malaysians.

we met at the wellcome reading room in euston road. it was supposed to be a quiet read and then we would talk about it and other things at the coffee shop there. as well as get to know each other, or so i hope. haha. 

it was very busy with some kind of live exhibition downstairs in the main lobby with 3 hospital beds with volunteers lying on it, and rubber gloves thrown in the centre of the stairwell, and a metal statue of a man hanging upside down from the ceiling.  i miss the sign saying what it was all about. the coffee shop on the main floor was very busy too, but we managed to get a table to sit together. one of the ladies told us of the book she was reading about social intelligence. as opposed to emotional intelligence. how a person can give the wrong impression by his actions and words or behaviour… i thought that is worth a read.

she mentioned one incident in the book where a group of soldiers approached locals and made the locals reacte with fear and aggression, until the leader realised the situation was critical and he immediately ordered his men to all kneel and invert their guns to point down and rest it upright on the ground, and ordered them to smile…that immediately defused the situation.added. i found the book by googling. here is an excerpt from the book relating that incident she mentioned.social intelligence by daniel goleman. he was the one who wrote a previous book about emotional intelligence.

i thought of back in my time in malaysia when malaysians meet we all have  questions for each other, and eager to find out about each other. it is only when i came to uk, that i realised the westerners consider it prying and intrusive the questions we asked of each other. to us it is just being curious about a person and wanting to know more of them. but we have read from westerners how they are taken aback when asked straight away by strangers about whether they are married, or what job they have, or even how much they earn… all of which to them is very intrusive and some even said rude. i wonder if that is some kind of social intelligence that we should be aware of , in that not everyone are so easy about telling these things to strangers. but growing up in malaysia, i have never felt it awkward about these things, and telling more besides… it seems normal to me, because in my time, we do it all the time, and think nothing of it. it is to us part of normal conversation. but i noticed now, even malaysians are wary now, about giving too much information to strangers. there is a reserve now not to give too much away of personal information. 

 

i hope to get to more of these meetups. some ask if we want to go to a london school of economics (lse )malaysian night that they were going to afterwards, seems there is food. haha. nasi lemak. i hope to find out whether it is as good as it sounds. haha. 

 

 

blue plaques

18 Feb

london 1.45pm 10c sunny saturday 2017

such a pleasant day so mild. my friend , who lives in florida, has come to visit uk. he intends to stay about 2months or so. he is a brit who have gone to usa for the work opportunities. he has been there many years. he went in the 80s i think.

he tells me he is thinking of relocating back to the uk. i ask him why and he said he has discovered his old school friends, and found that they are such a close knit group… they keep in touch with each other after all these years. and after finding them, he says he has formed a close attachment to them…and he says he is now beginning to appreciate having a group of close friends to be around . he says they all get his jokes. haha. and he says he can laugh so much his belly aches, from these shared jokes with them.  whilst in usa none of his friends get his. and he dont get american jokes either. haha. 

i ask what about usa, surely he has friends there, but he says it has dwindled to a handful now and they have a lot of health problems even though they are younger than he.  and he lives in quite an isolated part of florida and so dont have much chance to meet new ones.

he lives inland , not near the sea. most of us know florida as a sunshine state with great beaches and a seafront lifestyle. but it has a lot of places that are far from the sea.

but this morning i was out and about, and heading to the library and on the way back waiting for the bus i saw this plaque on a building just by the bus stop. i have used this bus stop countless times, but not really paid much attention to this plaque.

it commemorates wilkie collins. i daresay the house he was born in has long been torn down to be replaced by this block of flats. it is unusual that it is a place where he was born. most of these plaques just commemorate a short time in their lives when they live here. collins must come from a well to do family if he has a family home in central london. its on new cavendish st, near the bbc building.

this post gives an idea of what the building has become over the years. i got it via a post  about him. the buildings next to the one with the plaque show very nice substantial houses which existed at the time of his birth. gives u an idea of the kind of house he was born in .

salty macsaltface

17 Feb

london 1.49pm 11.5C sunny friday 2017

some time ago i remember a council asking people to name a gritter. and today i see it has been named as salty macsaltface. haha. i would have liked gritter garbo myself. i guess the garbo name must have a copyright on it. 

 

in search of milk powder, roast chicken

16 Feb

london 3.25pm 9.9C sunny thursday 2017

its a nice morning out there.

i have been hopping on and off the bus earlier this morning, getting to the supermarkets, as i wanted to buy milk powder. i am down to my last pack. it was a sainsbury basic milk powder 500mg for £1.40 but when i went to the same store where i bought it , the nine elms branch, there was none to be had. i mean to say i could not find  that basic sainsbury brand. there are lots of other more expensive branded milk powder of course. but i dont want to encourage them by buying them. haha. not just yet anyway, as i still got a pack to finish. so i am not desperate for it. 

i do hope sainsburys have not stopped producing it. i fear so. ah well, it seems to be a product that our brexit has caused to be shafted. perhaps they can source milk powder from other countries, other than the EU. surely australia must produced cheaper milk powder. i remember reading an article that says the chinese go there to buy loads of cheaper milk powder to bring back to china. perhaps it was during the baby milk scandal. ah well, i dont use that much for it to be a big saving. so even if i have to buy more expensive milk powder from now on, it wont break the bank. haha. in the meanwhile i shall be looking at every branch of sainsburys i can find looking for this basic milk powder…

chicken fortunately is still good value, i got one from asda, £1.99/kg, and it is now roasting in my oven. roast chicken now and then is really delicious. and today i fancy some of it. i got pork too, @£2.69/kg. this lot cost me £7.71. and it will keep me in meat for more than a month. i have 3 packs of pork freezing in the fridge now.

 sometimes i wonder why i hear or read of old folks finding it hard to make ends meet. and having to decide to eat or to heat. its very cheap to eat when u cook it yourself. i wonder what they are buying that is so expensive. ready made foods i dare say. i think anyone who says they have to eat or heat, is doing something wrong. but i dare say no one wants to say so to them.

you dont want to come across as a scolding type. haha. esp when these are old people and should know and you dont want to act like you are teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. 

sometimes i think younger people dare not tell an old fart to just learn and take advise and not be such a stubborn old fool. well i am an old fart myself, so i can say this to them, so there! and be allowed to do so, seeing i am an old fart myself.  it takes an old fart to know what an old fart can be like. there is no fool like an old fool.  really. there are plenty of old fools who wont listen and learn. they think they know it all… or are so stubborn in their old ways they just wont change. having said all that, i have to admit i can be an old fool too. i am guilty of the same thing as these old fools that i am castigating. sigh, i know… i have noticed old age can make a fool out of a person who used to be very clever when they are young. old age is a terror. 

4.38pm 11.2C cloudy . its clouded over . i have eaten that dish , quite delicious even though i say it myself. and simon returned from work just in time to have some. so that saved him having to cook the noodles that he bought. roast chicken must be the easiest to cook. and there is minimum preparation needed. just season the chicken and that is it. put everything in the oven and let it cook. whilst u sit back and enjoy a coffee. haha. and afterwards you can have tea, like i did.