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18 Sep

london 5.53pm 19C sunny friday 2020

reading is very natural to me, i dont know when i started to read, but it must be very early in my life. and i learn to read from reading books lying around in the is books that i learn to read.

the reason why i am talking of dyslexia is because i came across this article about dyslexia, (which means difficulty in reading) in my wordpress reader feed just now, and reading  that article  was how i found out that not every kid can read, and it seems you have to be taught to read, no one can do it naturally. (i went back to the article trying to find the part where it says kids have to be taught to read, but i cannot find it. so i wonder where i read that, or what i read that made me think that it said everyone cannot read on their own but have to be taught to read. )

i dont remember anyone teaching me to read, in that no one read a book to me as a bedtime thing. so how did i learn to read? the most early thing i can remember is me reading , i dont remember when anyone taught me the alphabet… i dont even know what age i was when i started to read, whether i read before i went to kindergarten or was taught in kindergarten.  plenty of things in my young age i dont remember at all.

so i was surprised to read in that article that people have to be taught to read. and some kids cannot read, even though very intelligent (as tested by IQ tests) so that they label these kids as dyslexic, whilst other kids of lower IQ are dismissed as just slow learners.

now they say there is no way of diagnosing dyslexia, because there is no common sign or symptom amongst all those who cannot read or write. in other words, they found it has nothing to do with intelligence. and would appear that middle class families with money can pay to test their kids and so get them diagnosed as dyslexic and so can get the state to fund them. poor kids from poor families just wont be able to afford that and so they can just be put into the substandard pupil pile. the rest of the article was about how they send some kids, mostly from middle class families to special schools that get state funding to teach them, whilst many poor students are left out to fend for themselves in the rest of the poorly funded school system. 

it makes me wonder what  if i were born  in china, i too would be thrown into the class of pupils who are no good in school work and cannot read or write, because i find i cannot read or write chinese characters. they just look like a jumble of squiggles to me. i know i would be diagnosed as severely handicapped. i am just glad that i can read and write in the english alphabet and was not born in china, or have my parents enrol me in a chinese school in malaysia. it seems to me the ability to read is the ability to recognise the alphabet, or if it were in other languages the ability to recognise the various squiggles. to me when i see arabic, or mandarin, or sanskrit etc or other foreign languages that do not involve the western script , they are just squiggles, and i cannot imagine how anyone can read them. there u really need to be taught. but i wonder if with english, it is possible to be self taught. i think you can, once u are taught the 26 letters in the alphabet, and learn how to form words,  i think u can then go on your own and learn from books how to read them. it then becomes a matter of reading widely, so u can gain a big vocabulary… one thing though, you might not be able to pronouce them well, as i have found out. haha. i mispronounce the words, placing wrong emphasis on the various syllable, so that the word sounds strange to the native speaker. haha. but my vocabulary is extremely wide and my spelling too is very good. i can visualise the word and how it should be spelt.

the article just triggered memories of my childhood reading books. i am very glad i could read books as they opened a huge imaginary world to me and kept me company over a big part of my life. and very glad it was english that i learnt, as there are so many books and fiction written in english. thank goodness for the mission schools and the clerical brothers and lay teachers who taught me in those schools. and the huge english libraries that the english officials have stocked the schools with, when they left our shores after malaya got its independance, and they handed the schools to the local govt and town councils.

what does the post corvid world look like

16 Sep

london 1.33pm 24C sunny wednesday 2020

last night’s quick chicken and 3 veg (savoycabbage, celery,whitecabbage) stirfry.


its a very nice weather we are having now. yesterday was an indian summer hitting 30C, though it did not feel hot . i went out just to see what it felt like , went to the sainsburys nearby and so was able to feel how hot it was. not at all, really. but i have noticed that is the usual effect, when the heat just last for a day only. today it is back to the high 20s. and very comfortable it is .

i went to chinatown today, to buy noodles and frozen fish balls. i noticed the thin noodles have gone up from £1.40 to £1.60 for 500mg. and there are no big size flat noodles , the kind that u can make char kuey teow out of. 

trafalgar square looking very empty of traffic

when i read of the fires in america and in australia,  i am really glad that uk has such good weather. there are fires here too, but they are in the heather moorlands, where no one lives except midges.

all those fires in america and australia and amazon, are pushing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and completely undoing all the carbon saving efforts by us . makes u wonder why we should bother really. nature seems to be the big culprit when it comes to CO2 emission. and i am not even talking about the volcanoes spewing their CO2 . and what about the arctic burning… seems it is burning under the ice sheets. and dont forget the peat burning underneath indonesia…and what about those who say CO2 is not the main culprit. makes me think we humans really have not much influence on where the climate is going.

stop press, 17.9.20.

i just read this article saying the pantanal wetlands in brazil are on fire. seems to me, if so much of the world is on fire, even so called wetlands, i think it might be it is natural for them to catch fire now and then. it is part of their natural cycle. we know that some animals and plants depand on these fire clearouts for propagating their kind. so it is not so far fetch to posit that these fires are natural recurrant events that are part of the cycle of environment.

i think this pandemic will be the biggest contender to upset the applecart for society and it will have a big influence on how  we live than climate change. and now that i have been reminded looking at those different parts of the world going on fire, that it might possibly be pandemics are also part of the natural cycle of life. 

stop press 11.19am friday 18.9.20

i read this , this morning, about how the europeans brought viral pandemic to the natives in americas, wiping out the atzec, incas, and north american indians, changing the course of history of the americas. and dont forget the bubonic plagues in europe, killing so many that it altered history.

we all thought after the 9/11 twin towers attack that our lives will be altered, but not at all. it did not have any effect at all , no lasting effect i mean to our way of life. but i will bet that this pandemic will have a lasting change in the way we live our lives … travel, leisure, sports, commerce, practically all aspects of our lives will be altered. we are a resilient species and very adaptable, so i know we will change and adapt. we may have to shift towards online life … so no more schools or universities with so many people crowded together in a room, or a place. and no more big indoor events. 

added 6.39pm 22C sunny 

i had a nap of about 1.5hrs and then i read this on my wordpress reader feed. it says people will pay to perform instead. it began by saying the economy began by trading commodities, (defined by google as

a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee.)


then goods, then services,then experiences. and people become consumers. now that we got corvid, making experiences more difficult with the need to keep our physical distances from others… what is next, and it suggests people will buy performances. they want to showcase themselves, using themselves as the commodity… in other words, people want to buy and sell themselves… what a thought ! (it all sounds like doing business to me) do  u think that will be the future? they will have the kardarshians to thank for that i think. they can model themselves on that show, keeping up with the kardarshians. so no more doing things for themselves, and for their own private satisfaction, but to showcase themselves and put themselves on show to the world and their audiences. i think it is horrible. but than is that the future? or is it another way of making a living, being an influencer. but has that model become obsolete, after all even the kardashians are giving up their tv show. so maybe after corvid , it is not possible to do the kinds of things they do, mixing with people, influencing crowds of people to follow what they recommend, or show… because crowds are forbidden now. from now on, everything must be done alone, but with an audience. kind of reminds me of that fitness fella who does his routines online and people tune in and do the exercises with him. but even he gave it up after some time, as it must be very time consuming, and he only returned for just one more one-off followup. but i was thinking will there be many audience for such performances?taking exercise with someone leading the way is one of the most appropriate ways of showcasing yourselves, but what else is there. actors allready do that by acting in films and letting people see their performances and paying to view them . but for ordinary people how can you get other people to watch you? who will watch? i think only a small proportion will do it. so what will the majority of us do now that the usual stuff , like travel, eating out, watching sports, etc etc are so restrictive or forbidden. 

added 10.46am 18C thursday 17.9.20

i had thought that corvid will affect us for a long time, but i think it might just blow away, and we find plenty get infected but very few die. and so we might learn to live with it, making things go back to normal again. i think that may happen, in which case, it would just be another episode of panic in our history that came to nothing. i think a lot of us would hope that is the case. 


14 Sep

london 11.16am 22C sunny monday 2020

these pears are not fully ripe but i have eaten one ,and it is very sweet. they come from portugal and sell normally for 57p for 550mg. 5 pears. but i bought them for 49p. i wonder why they are not selling fast. i am glad i bought 2packs of them. 

no audience in broadcast sports events seem so weird

13 Sep

london 11.37pm 17C dry sunday 2020

i am not a big fan of watching sports on tv, but even i notice the new thing now, when they are playing football, to a empty stadium. it feels weird even to me, who is not really interested in watching them in normal times, far less now . but what do fans think about it? simon still watches it, (that is why i can see it on tv, i happen to see it since i am in the same room ). the fact he still does means he dont mind that it is all empty seats and the cheering is all fake. haha. or it could be just habit. there is also nothing else to watch, as all sports are like this anyway, and that is if it is even broadcast, or is played, instead of it being cancelled. 

what our society is heading into

11 Sep

london 8.35am 12C cloudy friday 2020


this is the first thing i read in my reader feed this morning, and it is the best article i have seen about what is happening today to our society. it is by daniel hannan

Indeed, our state broadcaster was especially blatant, When BLM thugs turned violent, the BBC produced the ludicrous headline, “27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London”. The following week, when a different set of thugs turned violent, it had the more conventional headline, “London protests: more than 100 arrests after violent clashes with police.”

10 Sep

london 6.50pm 18C dry thursday 2020

a note taped to the wall outside my ground floor neighbour’s flat, asking us to take the tomatoes growing on her window ledge, or they will go to waste, so i picked some.

there is nothing much going on in my life, thank goodness in a way, because it means it is a peaceful day for me, pottering around. drinking cups of coffee or tea, making my meals, which are all very quick to do, as today there is no long cooking sessions, from either of us.

i did go out this morning, the ostensible reason was to the sainsburys to see if they have stocked up with the trophy basmati rice that they are selling for £10 per 10kg. but the number of times i went there hoping to find it, were failures. none in stock. 

i was wondering if i can order it in the store but there was no customer service counter , so i did not ask.

the other way is to buy it online, and pay the delivery fees, as well as pay with a credit card. but i dont have a working card now, but also i am reluctant to pay the delivery fees. i got an email from them saying they can give me a £10 voucher if i buy more than £60 of stuff, that would pay for the delivery fees, but i cant find that many things to buy from them that will cost total of £60. simon most probably could as recently he has been going to the local sainsburys and spending £14 each time. that branch has certainly made it convenient for him to shop, because it is so nearby. i noticed even if u do the click and collect option, if u buy online, they will still charge you £4.

i read today that diana rigg had died, aged 82. if u say, who she? it means you are not my generation haha. or live in another part of the world. it just reminds me of the passing years. 



enjoy your life

9 Sep

london 8.35am 17C bright clouds wednesday 2020


its a lovely morning,its very  bright even though the sky is very cloudy. i got a cup of coffee here , i have changed to using the microwave to heat it up instead of heating water in my electric kettle. this way i only heat up what i need, whereas if i use the kettle, even with minimum level water, i still heat up more water than i need. its a small change in habit, but i am sure over time, it is a huge change in my bill. i most probably wont notice it but it is there.

what i do notice is lowering the thermostat to the fridge has brought about a significant change in my usage. that i notice, because it is so dramatic.

speaking of coffee reminds me that pret is giving us a £20 a month subscription to free coffee , up to max 5 cups a day. whilst leon is giving us ‘unlimited’ coffee for £15 a month (up to 75cups a month about 2.5cups a day). for a coffee addict that must be heaven. obviously this is aimed at the office worker, hoping that they will come into the store for it,and then buy their lunch there.

my friends are on holiday in sardinia, and i read a blogger is also there as well, so in spite of all the news we read of quarantine for travellers, people can still travel if they want to.

as for lockdown in uk, london is not affected by it, but how many are back at their offices i have no idea. are they returning or not? who knows. i dont care . it is a problem for govt . for us ordinary people we can leave it to them to tackle it. 


free halo burger, vegan

8 Sep

london 12.51pm 22C sunny tuesday 2020

they gave us chips as well, even though it is not included in the offer. nice touch that. because the chips offset the saltiness. at first, but as u eat the bottom of the pack, you start eating the salted chips…and provide a different texture to munch on.

so this is what a vegan burger tastes of. actually it was salty, so that was what it taste of. and the saltiness may be due to the cheese, and not only because of the salt in the patty.

and to be honest, even a meat burger will taste of this, salty, so no difference there.  its texture is quite good, like a meat burger. so that is the thing they got right. it has not got the meaty smell. and it is not oily, which a meat burger will be. those are qualities which a vegan will not want, so i guess u can say they are plus points to a vegan. but to a meat eater those will be minus points. i think the smell of charred meat is rather nice and may even be the whole point of eating meat…along with the taste of charred flesh…  but than i am biased. hmm, i wonder why they dont have the charred taste … you could do it with vegetables but maybe it might be too difficult to get the veg charred without breaking it all up.

the three vegan patties that make up the burger got squashed together after some time of eating, which  the meat patties wont be. if grilled separately those meat patties will remain separate but the vegan ones have merged, from the pressure of my hands holding the buns. how crucial  is that point to a vegan? 

i like them keeping their separate shape, instead of becoming a homogenous mass.

i suppose a vegan will like this because of its pleasing texture. though later when it becomes a homogenous mash, it losts that. the buns were soft, and at the end of the meal, the top bun completely disintegrated. i am a meat eater so i dont think my opinion counts here. it is meant to appeal to a vegan, so it would be nice to hear what the others say, who are vegans.

i dont think they should try to compare it with meat burgers. surely vegan burgers can have its own taste and texture that is unique and special to vegetable based patties that is even better tasting than meat… that must be the selling point surely. so if they can invent a veg patty that has the texture, charred smell and taste of roast vegetables (which is really very nice in its own right), they would have a winner that would even attract meat eaters. its lovely to have a free burger, especially in these corvid times, when businesses are suffering. so i do hope people go and eat there. 

How Troll, But True — Garfieldhug’s Blog

7 Sep
How Troll, But True — Garfieldhug’s Blog

london 7.09am 9C sunny monday 2020

this one made me think. 

maybe the sheep eats and sleeps and that is all there is. it enjoys its life, it forgets its past, and is oblivious of the future. and that is a nice state to be in i think. like the lily of the fields, it does not work and all its needs are provided for. that may be enough for most if not all other life on earth.

but intelligence must be a survival trait, otherwise there will be no human beings. other animal and plant species come and goes but we humans are here now. and we got the intelligence to invent and think of new things. that must be unique. but is it a one off and no other life in the universe is like us? surely not. 

so by this arguement, it must mean there are other intelligent species like us in the universe. but we have not met any nor have they found us. is it because the universe is so big, and constantly getting bigger that it is not easy to find each other? or is it we dont recognise each other nor be able to communicate with each other. 

are bees , ants, termites, etc, etc  intelligent species like us which we dont recognise because we speak a different language? 

food and freebie

6 Sep

london 10pm 15C dry night sunday 2020

its quiet around here, that is because the extinction rebels have taken the day off from their demonstrations, and so we dont have helicopter flapperty flap flapping above.

but the news has quite a lot of knifings in uk. somehow i dont feel so frightened about them, unlike hearing about gun killings. it might be psychological, somehow hearing about 9 hurt and one killed in a knife rampage by a man, (in the gay village in birmingham) does not sound so horrifying than if it was a report of a similar incident   done with a gun. maybe because   it would be definitely more killed if a gun was used. but we have so many reports of knife killings that i have got desensitised to them now.

i still get the feeling of being very safe in london, which is a nice feeling to have, rather than always being afraid to go out for fear of being killed or robbed or whatever. perception is everything, isn’t it? today i went to asda to buy 1.9kg shoulder pork to replenish my freezer of it. i frozed all of it. i did cut it into 4 pieces first so that i can eat it bit by bit  to make it last. its just to flavour the dishes really.

i came back to find simon had taken 2packs of frozen raw king prawns out of the freezer. i thought he had made a mistake and asked him about it, but it seems he wanted to make chop suey and wanted the prawns to thaw first. i thought 2packs is rather a lot, but there you are. it is a luxury to be so extravagant about it, but an affordable one.

anyway it did not turn out as nice as the fried noodles with prawns that he did yesterday. that was very nice though i did suggest that he fry the garlic first.

this chop suey was just prawns with bean sprouts in a sauce. i thought he would be making noodles to go with it, but no, instead i happened to cook rice , and he used my cooked rice. it can be done i suppose though i had thought it goes better with noodles. i had intended to eat the rice with a can of sardines in sunflower oil and fresh cut tomato , and a bit of ketchup,mixed with it. i find it is a lovely meal to do if u just want something to eat that is easy to do. 

anyway i found out just now browsing their website that tesco is doing whole willow farm chickens 1.1kg-1.5kg for £2.33. in the past it was £2.43. they were price matching with aldi so i guess aldi has reduced their chicken price.  but it is a good bargain so tomorrow i shall go and buy one. and torn between roasting it and doing a chinese hainanese chicken. most probably i will go for the latter as it uses a lot less electricity and is a change from roasting. it is very nice to be able to dream of food and/or decide how to cook it, and anticipate eating it. 

today i got notified of a freebie, halo burgers are giving away 100 free vegan burgers in shoreditch on tuesday from 12pm. and not only that , they are donating £2.39 (they say it is the cost of a macD triple cheeseburger…sounds like good advertising for macD… i must say that attracts me more. a basic halo burger costs like £6 . it is strange that a vegan one is so much more expensive. ) to a local food distributing charity.

to me vegan is not as nice as meat, but i guess if it is free…. haha. and who knows, i might like their fake meat burger.  it is the 2nd freebie event during these corvid times, so i guess we are craving such freebies now and hope more of it will be the norm from now on.