its raining outside

6 Apr

london

thank goodness, though it would have been more welcomed 2days ago, at the height of the sand smog from the sahara. in fact by yesterday the smog was clearing. i know because i can see the clouds and sunshine was getting through . during the smog, the whole sky was a uniform hazy brightness. it certainly brings us an experience of what it is like for malaysia and singapore when they got the haze from the peat fires in sumatra wafting over them. or people in chiangmai area when the farmers start burning their fields every feb-april.

what i find surprising is that the sands can remain suspended till they arrive in the uk. how come they dont fall in europe for heaven’s sake. even the sand wants to settle in uk, travelling all the way over the vast expense of europe to drop in here.

 it is the first time that we got this sand. at least for as long as i have lived here, i have not seen this before. the scientists are saying dont be complacent, it will happen more often in future. hope they are wrong. And i think they will be wrong, because our prevailing winds are from the west. it must take a once in a blue moon strong wind that will shoot the sand fr the sahara so high into the stratosphere that it lands so far north. that cannot be usual so i would not expect it every year no matter what they say.

i read in todays paper that the brits wont pay more than £6 for wine, that the govt takes 60% in duty and so there is no money to be made selling wine in uk. i know now why wine is so cheap in europe, it is the govt tax here that keeps the price high. no wonder all french cooking involves wine, it is so cheap there. i used to think what a waste of wine to cook it, the alcohol gets driven off so what is the point of it? right? but when u realise that wine is really very abundant in europe, so much of it is produced that if u dont find ways of using it up , u will have to pour it away. i bet in europe they dont need to use beef,or chicken stock , they use wine instead.

the brits drink more instant coffee than anyone else.

Yesterday i took the bus to trafalgar square, because i was restless and just wanted to go out. there were lots of young people carrying pillow cases. and there were lots of feathers on the ground and a large group were flailing their pillows up by the entrance to the national gallery. the central square where the fountains were have been closed off and cleaners spraying the area and sweeping the feathers.

I asked one of them what was going on. she said it was a pillow fight. is it a protest or something? I asked. no she said. what surprised me is that so many of them were using pillows filled with real feathers. i see many pillows being carried with the primark brand, and those dont have feathers, but since there were so many feathers about, i imagine quite a number of them must use feather filled pillows and that must cost a bit.

ah well, the exuberance of youth u might say. haha. nowadays with twitter and such it is easy to get a crowd going .

i have to say it is very efficient of the cleaning company to be cleaning away so quickly. just as well otherwise the wind will blow the feathers about and spread it wider. these guys dont realise somebody have to pay for their bit of fun. it will be us council tax payers i guess. Or maybe we council tax payers many not be affected… it might be included in their cleaning contract.

Generally,  i think it will be to london’s advantage… see,this event brings them to central london on a saturday, they will go out to eat and go shopping and generally patronise the businesses in london and pay through the nose for the food, goods, entertainment etc and london will make its profit and also make sure people keep coming to london .

London is always busy with lots of people on the streets. when u consider an equal if not more people are in the shops, u can hardly imagine the numbers of people in london . and it is all good. it makes the place so vibrant, keeps business tills ringing away and gives it a good atmosphere. I love the hustle and bustle of it.

i was looking at the crowds of people from where i am in the bus and i see so many are dressed so drably. all dark clothing and the uniform of the day… duvet style jackets and jeans, and trainers. everyone , even the women. considering they must be buying lots of clothes where do they put them since they are not wearing them in their daily lives.

I have finished reading ‘bangkok days’ by lawrence osborne, ‘eat pray love’ by elizabeth gilbert, interesting to me because they talk of expat life. both depict expats who have fallen into a lotus land where time is forgot and they stay so long they are in suspended animation.

added 13.4.14. here is an interview with osborne in the observer today.

‘quote from pray eat love. ‘I’ve been watching the expatriate society in Ubud… Everywhere in this town you see the same kind of character- Westerners who have been so ill treated and badly worn by life that they’ve dropped the whole struggle and decided to camp out here in Bali indefinitely, where they can live in a gorgeous house for $200 a month, perhaps taking a young Balinese man or woman as a companion, where they can drink before noon without getting any static about it, where they can make a bit of money exporting a bit of furniture for somebody. But generally, all they are doing here is seeing to it that nothing serious will ever be asked of them again. these are not bums, mind you. This is a very high grade of people, multinational, talented and clever. But it seems to me that everyone I meet here used to be something once (generally ‘married’ or ’employed’); now they are all united by the absence of the one thing they seem to have surrendered completely and forever; ambition. Needless to say, there’s a lot of drinking. ‘ unquote.

that really sums up expat life in these places very well indeed.

2 Responses to “its raining outside”

  1. sarahinguangzhou Monday April 7, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    I think that Saharan sand does land on Europe too; when I lived in Spain you’d often find your car covered in red dust. It’s just unusual that it reaches this far.
    Yes this kind of uniform that everyone wears here irritates me too. If you ever travel on a train at commuter time (I try to avoid it but sometimes I have to) then you see everyone wearing a corporate uniform and I think these people are so accustomed to it that they end up wearing another sort of uniform on their days off. There’s so little individuality in England these days.

    • alifesgayventure Monday April 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      i have a feeling that the demise of the skirts spelt the death knell to colorful clothes. in the past when women wear skirts, they chose very colorful ones, but now every woman seem to wear pants. that is my theory anyway. haha.

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