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staying in

12 Oct

london 8.50pm rain 12C saturday 2019

i had thought of going out in the rain to the tesco, for its late night food reductions, i remembered simon buying a fresh loaf from the sainsburys express store near me, and how lovely it tasted, with its crusty sides and soft centre. and i was thinking this tesco i intend to go to, also sells such loaves, and they might be reduced. but i went to take a short nap and by the time i got up at 7.30pm, that feeling had left me and i did not feel like going out in the rain.

i wonder if many others too have changed their minds about going shopping for groceries in this rain. its not a heavy rain, just a drizzly one, but it has been raining all day and now all night. and the flat is too cozy indoors to make me want to go out.

i have been reading  a blog i follow ,she lives in london and she is in montpellier now. she is on holiday of 2wks there, on her own; she wrote of what she did and getting lost and wandering around in the drizzling weather and i was thinking i am glad i am not there, in a strange city far from home, and amongst strangers, and not even having nice weather and sunshine to enjoy it in. and staying in a hotel room, watching some netflix program.

i may be at home, and not travelling to foreign cities with all that implies, the excitement of seeing new things, and tasting new foods, etc, and doing lots of new things, but i am glad to be just in my flat not having to do anything. in fact, talking of tv programs, moonlight, the movie is coming on now. 

added 2.13pm sunday 13.10.19. virgin lounge.  rain. 16C. i did not watch that movie to the end. it got the 2017 best picture oscar. but i found it rather boring. the reviews say it tugs at the heartstrings, but i must be a cynical old man, because it did not move me. i guess i am a lost cause. 

so what is happening with people

11 Oct

london 2.19pm 17C rain friday 2019

i went earlier to the upton park market, expecting it to be a busy day for it, but was very surprised to find it very quiet. this is friday, i would have thought the housewives would be there to do their weekly shopping , but not so. maybe the busy day is the saturday, tomorrow. but no matter, it makes for  less queueing to pay, and fewer people to block the way, haha.

it was raining , or rather drizzling, forecast to be doing so all day, and all night too, but i dont think that is a factor to how busy the market is. it is under shelter, so rain should not affect the business. anyway i bought fresh chilli, which was what i went there to get. this time £1 bought 400mg of it. and fresh tomatoes because they were £1/kg. i was thinking of making salads with them, eaten with mozarella cheese, and with a olive oil dressing, and basil leaves, they can be delicious. anyway, when i got back i did not have mozarella, so i had it with a hard boiled egg, that simon cooked yesterday. and got fresh basil leaves from the pot that the neighbours were growing. i bought garlic too, 4 bulbs for 60p, which were not a bargain, as tesco was selling them individually for 16p each. i was thinking i could buy two at a time, from tesco, and not have to finish them quickly in case they go bad. when they get old they tend to sprout, or moulder.

for some reason, the harvest this year for chilli, or garlic, or ginger is not plentiful. i mean to say they are all sold at higher prices this year than last. so there is no glut of them. usually they are imported from china, so maybe the trade war with america may be affecting the trade with the british too and we are not importing as much as before. 

the fresh tomatoes which my neighbours are growing are all green now, with the plants going dormant for winter. i doubt the remaining green tomatoes will redden. and soon i think the neighbour will have to get rid of them, and prepare the soil for next years crop. some neighbour also grew grapes, or tried to grow them; but this year, none of them flowered and made grapes. 

my life is very quiet now. not sure if it is just my life and that others lives are more lively. i dont mind the quiet life, even though it means there is nothing to blog about.

even the tv programmes are a bit boring.

as for books, not many titles i want to read. i am reading a indian pakistani remake of pride and prejudice. it is called unmarriable by soniah kamal. it has a 2019 copyright, so is very new. it is transferring the story of pride and prejudice to pakistan. and into a islam culture. in some ways pakistan, (and india too, and even china) still retains some of the hangovers of regency england, that jane austen was commenting on in her stories. marriage is still the main concern of families,more so for the rich families and marrying well is still the way for women to advance themselves but also to advance the fortunes of their families.

i wonder if the chinese families of one child in modern china also have this same concern about marrying well. with only one child, they wont have the problems of jane austens pride and prejudice. 

i wonder if the only thing different between jane austens society and modern day indian or pakistan and chinese families is that they dont have arranged marriages…i think amongst the wealthy, some kind of arranged marriages must be done behind the scenes.

i get the impression that arranged marriages are not done in regency england; but is it so or hang on, maybe they do, maybe in regency england arranged marriages are prevalent.  and so the regency societies are very similar to the rich modern day indian, pakistan and chinese societies…i was thinking there is one thing that women still have the advantage over men, in that they can marry upwards, and immediately leap frog to riches and status just by marrying into it. just look at meghan, at one stroke she rises into the heights  by marrying a prince. that just shows fairy tales do happen. but only for women. a quote from the book, ‘it is a truth universally acknowledged that a girl can go from pauper to princess or princess to pauper in the mere seconds it takes for her to accept a proposal’.

new plastic £20 note to be issued 20.2.2020

10 Oct

london 8.36pm 15C dry thursday 2019

i just now read this article about the new £20 plastic note. it will be issued on 20 feb 2020. it is quite soon really, 4 months from now. wow, it will be difficult to get rid of all your £20 notes or replace them with £10 by then. and what about people from overseas holding the old £20 notes. i wonder how they will be able to change to the new plastic ones. at first  i thought the old notes will be invalid on that date, but no, you can still use them, but dont know for how long. the govt will give 6months notice before it goes invalid.  though i noticed that the banks will continue to replace old notes, even old £1 coins, even though these have been invalid for some time. 

a new £50 note will follow in 2021. so it will be a busy time for us trying to replace all these old notes for the new ones.this reminds me that the turn of the decade is coming very soon, only 2months away, and we shall be going into the 2020s. this date is like the future. i think of it as the future, and now it is here. ! but it does not feel like the future. if u know what i mean… no flying cars, nor all seeing robots, or androids,serving us as our servants. or fully automatic homes or futuristic furniture or clothes. none of us are wearing skin tight leotards like those marvel characters wear. 

10 Oct

london 2.51pm 17C cloudy dry thursday 2019 ageuk canteen tavistock square

we came out of the chelsea sports centre yesterday, after our circuit training, and it was still light, and sunny . when we walked to the sloane square, we could see even the trees were all still green, and not turning brown at all. i commented on it to my friend, and could not help myself saying if this is warming, i am all for it. better than global cooling. 

now sitting in the canteen here in the age uk headquarters in tavistock square , i could see through the windows the trees in the square, and they too are all green. such mild weather in october, when we are in autumn. 


free lunch near tower bridge.

8 Oct

london 4.05pm 17C cloudy tuesday 2019

today, there is a restaurant near tower bridge, who are giving away 100 free spareribs (i misread it as spareribs, but it is short ribs. i have never heard of this cut. is it beef or pork?had to google it, and found out it is beef ribs) burgers to celebrate their opening. its quite nice, i got there by tube, because the buses are so disrupted it would be very slow to get there otherwise.

i could not find it, at first, so lucky that two of the people i know who goes to these freebies appeared and we managed to find it in the end. it was close to 10mins before it opens at 12pm,when we arrived,  but there were only 3 others ahead of us. but the queue started stretching behind us as soon as we joined the queue.

it was quite a nice burger, to takeaway only, so they had allready packed the food up in a takeaway bag and were able to give it out very quickly so that the queue went very fast. they said we could eat on the tables outside, and the two  with me did so… but i wanted to sit by the river, so i took myself  to near the river bank, and watch the river as it flows by. and look at all the tourists that were milling about the place.

there was a lot of meat in the burger and surprisingly it was not salty. at first i thought it was pulled pork, but it is not. usually when i have spareribs, there is the bone in it, but this one they must have got the bone out without destroying the integrity of the meat. it was very meaty , all in one piece as it were, and there were quite a few pieces of this chunky meat in it.  that it is not salty i think is really something to comment on and makes it unusual from the norm. if u eat there another time, without the free offer,  it costs £10, and for that you can get sides of chips and pickles with it.

coming back, i saw the effect of the road blocks imposed by the climate change demonstrations.

they closed the strand to all traffic, and presumably closed all the roads leading into parliament square too.

the buses thus were not running, so i walked from aldwych. though i did not go far, decided to go into a pret near the waterloo bridge, just to charge my chromebook.

it has a big downstairs section. very pleasant too, a lot of chinese looking customers there. i wonder if that is usual, or is it just that day.   as usual they got a tap water dispenser so i was able to get to fill up my water bottle. 

afterwards, walking along the strand to trafalgar square, i could see two other branches of pret. and all of them busy. so they seem to have cornered the coffee shop business there. 

i did not go to trafalgar square, as i have no wish to meet up with those climate change people. so i dived into the charing cross tube station and got back to pimlico and walked back to my flat. i wonder how we will feel about it when we have two weeks of this thing to endure. added. i was writing the above, when it rained heavily. so those demonstrators got a wetting. it did not last long, it was a short heavy spell of rain and than it cleared up. it must have just missed me, i got home just before it came down. simon came back just after me, and he said he just avoided being drenched too. he is now making risotto. haha. 


7 Oct

london 12.01pm 14C sunny monday 2019

the news today is of the extinction rebellion group staging road blocks and bridge blocks around london, it seems they will do so for 2wks. it is a inconvenience, esp to us bus users. and it affects the buses coming into my area.

but i guess people can avoid it by just not go on the buses, and use the tube instead. i think they have set a precedent, so anyone now can disrupt traffic by blocking bridges and roads, when they demonstrate. some of them have been arrested, because causing obstruction is a crime. now it would be up to the judges whether they will uphold the law and impose punitive fines. if they do, then maybe people might think twice about using this method of demonstrating to disrupt traffic. if the judges are lenient, then we will be seeing a lot more of these disruptive demonstrations. ah well, so be it. i guess. 

this morning i read this article about british pensioners in europe being fearful of the loss of reciprocal health care in europe. they have moved there for retirement, but now we are leaving, that reciprocal arrangement with health care , whereby the nhs pays for the health care they get in europe will be gone. and they will have to pay it themselves. it is one of the biggest reason not to go abroad for retirement. these pensioners are not to know that we will vote to leave the EU, so they might expect their health care to be quite safe with europe. but people should always bear in mind that they will go old and they will get ill, and they will require some form of long term care in future. and to ask themselves how will they get it if they are abroad… in a country where they dont speak the language, and are they rich enough to afford private care bearing in mind that it might be affordable now, but will it be so years from now, when inflation and costs will double. 

taco day, so got my free taco

5 Oct

london 11.13am victoria library cloudy 13C saturday 2019

i seem to take pleasure in eating these days. or rather, discovering foods that i have not eaten before.

like for eg, yesterday i saw entirely by chance,on a website, that taco bell, is giving away free tacos, only for that day, to celebrate taco day. they dont have many branches in london, and they mention one near holborn, and when i read of this, it was allready 7pm at night. i was in my flat, but thought i might just go and take a bus there. it is fairly near, in that i only need to take the 87, and then change to any bus at aldwych. and it was a nice night, warm, and dry and very clear and hardly any traffic on the road. so i arrived and there was a bunch of people waiting, but not queueing. only one woman ahead of me, and so i asked when my turn came, if there was free taco, and there was, and so my number was 610. i saw three young people, a boy and two girls waiting and i asked if they are waiting for their free tacos too. the boy said they were 605. when their turn came they were given a huge takeaway bag, and 3 paper cups, which they fill up on the serve yourself drinks machine. it dispenses fizzy drinks. i think they must have ordered more than just the tacos. because when my turn came, i saw it was a small taco, filled with salad and minced meat. the taco was like a poppadom folded up on itself, so u cant really put a lot of stuff inside it, or it will break the taco. i have not eaten this before, so everything was new to me. i did not realise it cant take a lot of fillings.

they do burritos,also, but their prices are £1 more than ‘tortillas’, (its not really higher prices. i was mistaken because i have forgotten how much they were in tortilla.  like a lot of things i am mistaken about.  for eg, that bag that the kids got which i thought was full of more things than 3 tacos, i forgot that it contain all three orders , for the 3 of them.   ) tortilla is the other mexican fast food restaurant chain which have more branches in london.

actually i think there is a mexican food called tortillas, but i dont know what it is. i have to google it and found out this was what it was. they look like chapatis. anyway, the free tacos, is really not worth the bother of going specially for it. in my case, it was allright, because i live so nearby. and i just wanted an excuse to go out , seeing the night was so nice. and there was nothing on tv. haha. there was also a free offer of coffee from giraffe, the cafe chain, valid only on that day, (yesterday) but it was nightime, when i first read of that offer, and so i dont fancy drinking coffee at night. 

i have discovered that i am not missing out by not eating out.

if you are out and about a lot in london, walking  around london and seeing all these fast food places, i can imagine it is easy to feel left out, and to think that those places are serving delicious food that maybe if u are not buying them, you will miss out. but i can say to those who feel that way, that they are not missing anything at all. your own home cooked meals are more delicious, and so nobody need to feel they are missing out on anything. now if u were in, then i would say not eating those hawker foods, you will miss out, because they are more delicious than how you can make them… but not so with fast food in the western countries. perhaps i am biased, because i grew up in, and so my tastes would be influenced by foods that i have eaten all the time when i was growing up. so i am bound to like those foods more than when i have grownup and gone to live in london. your upbringing can really influence your tastes in food much more than you realise. i think.