living in london part 2

3 May


I was reading the newspapers in the library this morning, as i always do on saturday and spotted a daily mail advert by lidl that they are selling 500mg mince beef for £1.

this was what they did a month ago and i bought 4 packs, and wished i bought more.

well, i stopped reading the paper immediately, (luckily i allready read the others), and went out and quickly caught the two bus connections to the lidl branch in old kent road. but when i got  there, there was none to be had. either it was too early for the store to stock it, which is most probable as it was only a weekend offer for today and tomorrow only or it has all been bought. 

anyway i went on further to the asda, because they have a toilet, (which used to be outdoors but it was gone and i asked a shop assistant have they removed the toilet and she pointed to it inside the store, and i realised they have got it inside the store. it might be this toilet was being redecorated and they were using the outside one temporarily. it just goes to show how long ago i last used it. 

anyway i bought the shoulder pork, @£3/kg which is the cheapest price now. 

then since i had to change bus at elephant and castle, i decided if the bus 344 came before the C10, which takes me to my flat, i shall take the 344 to clapham jct, where there was another lidl branch and try that one. 

well, i was surprised to see huge amounts of the mince beef on sale there, and no one buying it.

they limit each customer to 6packs  so i bought 6 packs. very good buy when usually these costs £2 each. strange to see this contrast. no beef on sale in the other store and so much here and no one buying it.

can it be that all the beef were bought allready when i went to that other store? so quickly? it was only about 11am when i went there. maybe people in old kent road are poorer and so will stock up when such a bargain happens. whilst people in clapham junction are richer… it is nice to speculate why there is this difference, but maybe i was just lucky to get there just when they fill the shelves with this cut price mince beef.

coming back, i just missed the 344, and decided to go round the corner to catch a bus going by another route to vauxhall, and saw the bus 87 which is a better bus to take as it takes me straight to the tate britain, and near my flat. in fact, i dont know why i did not think of taking this bus to clapham jct, as there is both a lidl and an asda there and it is one bus instead of taking two to get to the old kent road. 


I can remember a time when 20% fat in mince beef was not all that great… but meat have got more expensive now.

i think getting 6packs is just right. one could get greedy and buy 10 , like the guy i saw last time the offer was on. he bought 10. but there is a limit to the space in my freezer. also , it is not good to have too much of them, as it tempts simon to eat too much of them. he cannot control himself. 

anyway i got lots of meat now. Rather nice of lidl to do this special offer. 

sorry to be writing about this mundane thing. but for us ordinary people this is what concerns us and makes us happy. or at least it makes me happy. haha. 

Reading the news can make anyone sad.That is why i say dont do it too much. I read them and can separate my life from the events i see depicted. It wont make their lives better if I am saddened by it so why be sad about it? but it can affect you, so when that happens i just stop reading. you have to cultivate a couldn’t care less attitude to the news for your own sanity. 

Well, just look what happened. Just talking of the bad news is making me sad. 

so lets talk of the weather. it always makes me happy. even if it is raining, and cloudy and dark. haha. i find the bad weather dont affect me very much. i like the rain, because i know it wont last and the sun will come out tomorrow. today the sun is out and shining in a blue sky. it is cold though in that there is a strong cold wind. but when u are walking about and have a hoodie on, it is very comfortable. 

my friends are feeling the cold a bit, so they have been staying in my flat all the time. not doing any tourist things. they have just come back from a whirlwind tour of northern europe, so i am not surprised they are not going out much;. 

they have discovered the joys of snooker. there is a snooker competition going on bbc2 now and they spend all their time watching it. well it keeps them occupied i guess. 

i was on the double decker new buses, the ones with a platform at the back for anyone to get on or off. they open the door when they approach a bus stop. and the conductor stood on the platform hanging on it by the big rod that runs down the middle. and he was chatting to a bunch of elderly tourists and one of them made to step off the bus just when the bus took off to get to the bus stop.

luckily the conductor put out his hand and blocked her and said stay on, don’t give me a fright. luckily he was quick. seeing it i thought it is important their job, i used to think they were a waste of time, but i did not reckon on old tourist people who get distracted easily. 

but i do think it is a design fault to allow the doors to open before the bus stops at a bus stop. people will automatically think it is safe.

Added.5.5.14 i had another read of the above, and realise it is not a design fault. it is part of the design. originally these platforms with stairs are meant to be open all the time. no doors. it is only nowadays that the doors are set up. and they are closed only if there is no conductor. it is the new added factors fixed onto the old design format that makes it dangerous. with doors sometimes closed, sometimes kept open; passengers get mixed messages.

in the past with no doors we all know that it is up to us to look out. but when doors are put in, we tend to forget that and assume that when the doors open it is safe to get out. and these doors are opened or shut permanently according to whether there is a conductor present or not. and in winter they are shut even with a conductor to keep out the cold. the constant changes makes it gives out mixed messages to passengers. 

normally it is great for us locals, as it enables us to jump off but we know what we are doing. tourists will not, and may step off without realising they shouldn’t and get hurt. that is why the conductor is crucial. now i know why they always hang about the entrance. they do a real good job and my hats off to that young cheerful conductor. 

8 Responses to “living in london part 2”

  1. brushes and papers Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    My, my.. You bought so much beef. How are you gonna cook the beef? Make a beef balls out of it? 😃

    • alifesgayventure Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      hi, your comment was very timely. when i read it, it gave me that idea of making beef balls out of it. i have not tried it before because i recall it was very fussy. i tried to google it but it was so slow to come up that i decided to do it anyway. i dont have a mortar and pestle, which is how my mother do it. but i just improvised. the trick i think is to put a dollop of the minced beef, (seasoned well with salt, pepper,fine chopped ginger, garlic too but i did not have any; tung choy, soya sauce, and cornflour) on the palm of the hand, and use a spoon and press it firmly against the palm of the hand… really mash it smoothly and firmly so that the balls are really flattened , fold and flatten some more until you can shape it into a tight compact ball.
      most of the time when people make balls, the balls disintegrate in the boiling water. using this method i think it keeps it intact. anyway mine did and it turned out quite nice. not as smooth and bouncy as the ones you get in restaurants, or chinatown. but good enough. for soups and noodle dishes. this way u can see the beef, unlike if it is minced, when it just disappears in the soup.

      • brushes and papers Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

        Hmmm, that sounds delicious. I saw in food program on US channel. They used the beef, bread crumbs, egg, seasoning mixed together. Rolled them on palms to make balls and then baked it. It looked so appealing. But I have never tried it though. Because we rarely eat beef at home. Next time I’ll probably use minced pork to try.

      • alifesgayventure Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

        they bake them? too much using of electricity… i try to use as little power as i can in making these things. do u know why they use bread crumbs? it is to absorb the fat so it does not run out during cooking.
        i suppose u could make pork balls, though it is not a common thing.. haha.
        you might like to make fish balls. my mother does them. the chinese way is very efficient, uses very little electricity. but generally these are a lot of work. usually i just use the pork, or beef or fish in its original state. stir fry mainly, or in a noodle dish. i am too lazy to do anything that involves long cooking or preparation. i can understand people just buying the fish , or beef balls from chinatown. they cost a lot here £2.10 for 200mg of fish balls.and they dont use 100% fish.
        when u consider making it from the raw ingredients of beef or fish is so much cheaper.

      • brushes and papers Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

        The program I saw was from a famous restaurant chef there. I guess they add crumbs to make the beef balls crunchy and less economical, I guess. To hold them together you need to use egg. If you don’t want your meat balls to disappear in the soup, make sure you drop them when it is boiling.

      • alifesgayventure Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

        i think the egg is not necessary. i did not use any when i made my meat balls. i know western recipes always add an egg when making balls. but then what do westerners know … i am afraid i dont think much of westerners and their recipes. haha. if there is a way to make it really convoluted, use lots of electricity, lots of expensive ingredients etc they will do so.

      • brushes and papers Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

        Oh, I remember a recipe that my mom used to make which is whenever she made too many of the meat balls, she will make other things too. Like stuff the meat in tofu and braise the it with Chinese cabbage add soya or oyster sauce in it. Or she would make wontons out of the meat too.

  2. brushes and papers Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Sorry more economical

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