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why africans migrate to europe

22 Oct

london 9.41am 11.5C sunny sunday 2017

i was reading and come across this article that says it is 20yrs since jared diamond ‘s, guns,germs,and steel: the future of human society. trying to answer the question why some societies are more advanced than others. 

i remember being quite impressed with his book but the article also points out to me about africa’s heading towards huge population explosions because their birthrate is very high. (of course the death rate must be considered too, but it seems 

However, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a faster decline in its under-five mortality rate, with the annual rate of reduction doubling between 1990–2000 and 2000–2011. Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 38 percent of global neonatal deaths, has the highest newborn death rate (34 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011).

so the death rate has declined rapidly, which means more babies are alive today who would have died. 

it seems the total fertility rate, the number of births per woman per lifetime in africa is over 4. a replacement rate is 2. 

now it makes sense why there is this huge migration of african people trying to get into europe. and those of you who wonder if it is true that our spread of mankind starts from africa and no where else…might well believe it when  u consider africans are so fecund. it must be their genes, they have a huge urge to reproduce. perhaps what we are seeing is just the normal progression of human migration… it is still happening, this outward spread of humanity from africa. i think in this context, we can get some understanding of the reason for africa being so poor and corrupt and unequal. 

 it certainly explains the slave trade from africa.

added. 1pm charing cross library 13.8C cloudysunny  just eaten my free margarita pizza by prezzo in northumberland avenue. they are giving away free 100 margarita pizzas every day only till tuesday. with half price pizzas till friday. 

there is not much on it, that pizza i mean. just a tomato base and cheese on top.  that is the trouble. might be better if they give a slice but fill it up. but even then more cheese wont really make it that interesting. it will still be rather dry. i wonder who  orders a margarita pizza. haha. it must be the dullest pizza . 

the restaurant prezzo is really very nice, i expected a queue outside so that i completely missed it and walked past it. there was no queue, and it did not look crowded inside when i peeked through the glass window; so that i hesitated to go in, but i did anyway, afterall , they can only say no… but the waitress said it is still on.  you can eat in, or take away, at first i thought you have to eat in, until i saw a couple walk away with take away boxes, so i changed my order. while i was eating it on the steps of st martin in the fields church, i could see another prezzo right across the space pass the edith cavel memoriam. so many branches, one wonders how they can survive. 

i passed through hydepark this morning on the bus and saw the leaves are falling in drifts. 


dark mornings now

21 Oct

london 7.30am 13.5C cloudy sunrise saturday 2017

i woke at 7am and it was dark. we are getting dark mornings esp when the sunrise start getting to  7am . usually by that time i am up.

now Actual Time

7:35 AM sunrise to think that by the time the clocks change it might be 8am. those who live in the north will find it might rise at 9am, or even 10am. no wonder they all want the clocks to change. added. it is strange, i have a look at hammerfest norway, and sunrise is 8.04am and sunset is 4.12pm. not that much difference from the northernmost part of uk. why is that i wonder. maybe they have moved their clock back allready. added. i checked and they end their summertime on 29oct, same as everyone else. i looked up paris , france, and their sunrise is 8.21am, sunset 6.51pm. it is weird isn’t it? their sunrise is later than norway. later than london even. 

5:56 PM sunset 

i find i prefer lighter mornings rather than later sunsets. so i shall welcome the clocks going back 1 hr next sunday. 


one side is all shaved off, the other side leaves are still there. looks like our area wont see the autumn leaves turning colour and falling in piles on the ground this year.

added. 12.36pm 15.9C verybright outthere. people say london is dark and gloomy, but today belies it. in fact, my impression is that there are lots of these bright sunny days in london. but of course, we only remember what we want to remember. haha. i have finished reading the newspapers in the library and am back home. but before coming home i went to the victoria station, just to stroll around a bit. and i went into the w h smith store there and browse the magazine section.

i saw the newsweek and time magazines on the shelf. the time magazine, in fact both of them, have reduced in size, and in volume. i could not find the price for the time magazine, and asked a chap who was next to me to find it. he did find it, and showed me saying ‘there it is but it is too small for me to read’. and it was true what he said… it was in very small print along the spine of the magazine. ireland E4.90, united kingdom £3.50. funny why it wants to hide the price.

but when i got back, i find i could read the articles online in their website. dont have to pay to read it. perhaps it is not the same articles as on the magazine. who knows, but i find i much prefer to read online, rather than read the actual magazine. the size of the font in the magazine is very small at least to my poor eyes. so that i just skim through the magazine.

but the article in the online website was telling  about a couple who retire early… at 41yrs old. they were american and they were talking about the various american investment vehicles they used. so maybe not of much use to others who are not americans.

my own opinion is that it is silly to retire when u are so young. you will get bored with not working… there is a sense of achievement when you are working which you will lose when u retire and stop work. and you are still young and in command of all your senses, so the one big reason to retire namely when you lose your eyesight, your coordination, your stamina and your alertness and your competitiveness makes u realise when those qualities wane, and make you dont want to continue working and wish to retire; those reasons do not apply when you are youngish. that is why i think it foolish to retire when you are so young… 40s is too young to retire.  perhaps what they mean is that they dont want to do what they have been working on, but to find other interests instead. but i daresay a few years down the line they will be looking for money making opportunities. 

added. 1.40pm i got the tv guide and see that bbc radio 4 is doing a spoken broadcast later today (at 2.30pm) of phillip pullman’s latest book, the book of dust, le belle sauvage. i saw that book being sold at the wh smith store. and it is being broadcast now. that is so quickly done when the book has only just been released for sale. amazing, isn’t it? did they not think it might affect the sale of the book? or did they think it will enhance the sale of the books!!

pullman has recently been reported to be highly critical of a a milne, author of the pooh bear books. when i read the article about it , i find he is also critical of nesbit, railway children, and kenneth grahame, wind in the willows. he might not have realised that his stories may not be that liked by many people. haha. myself included. i find his writing style very heavy handed and not an easy read. i will hear the bbc broadcast and see what i make of this new novel of his. but i find his dark matter  material trilogy quite unreadable. 

added. 6.46pm, dark now. afraid i fell asleep while listening to radio 4 on my laptop. haha. its very soothing when someone talks on the radio. i would highly recommend it if u are an insomniak. i think part of the blame is i am a bit deaf, so cannot hear him. that is why i prefer to read about it. but is new to me, is that whilst looking for the bbc radio 4, i searched google and it gave me this   link 

it is an internet radio link that gave me all the radio channels. amazing. i never knew it existed before. though right now, it is all talking and not much music in all those channels, and what music there is, i dont like. no wonder i dont listen to radio anymore.haha. i thought there was a time when we could chose what music we want… but i might have dreamt it. now it seems there is no choosing, you just have to accept whatever they broadcast and there is no way of finding out their timetable . hang on, i see on the side a list , and there is a box called all genres, and when i click on it i get a list… but no country and western. 

added. 4.36pm sunday 22.10.17 , i have discovered i got spotify in my save list, and it is much better than all the other radio channels. it got country and western , and lots of other genres which u can chose. 

ikea homes through 4 decades

20 Oct

london 3.13pm sunny 15.3C friday 2017

i went to a meetup of ex members of a east-west club at montague pyke, the pub, and i found out that it is next door to this house that ikea has taken over for 4days to show their furniture over the 3 decades that they have been trading in uk. so there was the 80s living room, 90s , 00s and one in the attic showing the 10s . that top room has a woman dolled up like a android… i thought she was not real, actually… until she started moving… i think if she stayed still, i would still be fooled and not sure how to react to it. some might even be tempted to stick a pin in her… just to find out… oh wait, maybe that is why she moved… haha.

though the furniture is quite timeless, actually and the only way u can tell it is the future is the different tvs in there. haha.

the house is rather interesting, i have never been inside these and often i wondered what they are like when i am on the street looking up at them. there are a lot of stairs to climb haha. each floor is one large room, they might have been large bedsits each. 

i think i prefer my flat, where it is all on one level. it would be a bother if u forget something that is on the top floor just when u are heading out to the street on the ground floor. their ground floor had been eaten up by half the space taken over by the montague pyke pub to give them a entrance/exit into this street, like a backdoor , because their main entrance/exit is on the other side of the building.

from the outside you can see the house has been changed, so that the ground floor height is reduced to allow an extra floor to be added without making the house taller. and if u compare it with the house next door, the 3 windows have been replaced with 2 large ones. this house have been altered quite extensively.


actually if u look at furniture, have you noticed that they are more or less the same shape? perhaps they have to conform to our bodies and our bodies dont change in shape nor do we lie differently over the years. the materials changed and that seems to be the only change over the years. i bet if we go to 2050 we will still be able to recognise furniture. it wont be so weird and different that we wont know which end to sit on …haha.

this is the back view , that roof you see is the passage from montague pyke pub. it continues past that wall to the main room , a very high ceilinged auditorium which was the cinema in the old days. i was very surprised that it is so low that i could not see it over that wall. there is no sign of the montague pyke building from here. amazing isn’t it? the whole area is so open, lots of sunshine, no tall buildings blocking the light. if u look here, google map shows the terrain very well. zoom in to the montague pyke area and u can see the whole building stretching from one end across what must be gardens into the back end of 19 greek st. 

useful inventions since 1958

19 Oct

london 11.51am victoria library cloudy 16.4C thursday 2017

i am reading the daily mail here, and saw this article about inventions that change our lives. she have her favourites as i am sure many of you have. for me the electric kettle and toaster that can switch itself off. invented in ’60, ’58. the automatic washing machine ’60. fridefreezer ’63,colour tv 67, microwave ’74, digital camera ’86, laptop ’92, bagless vacuum ’93, nokia mobile phone ’99, broadband’00, high definition tv ’06.

she was commenting on the which report 60years 

these are trees just outside my kitchen window. as you can see, one tree they lop of the individual branches leaving a knob at the end of the branch, whilst the other they just lop of the whole end of the branch. one wonders why they dont just do that for all the trees. it is much quicker just to cut off the end of the stem and leave a stump, rather than a knob at the end.

earlier there were cars parked there, which they remove by lifting them onto trucks. i suppose those owners will have to pay a fine to get their cars back. there were warnings not to park on this day… but i think some of those cars may have been left there for ages by the owners who either have gone on holiday or use their london home as a holiday home.


18 Oct

london 6.46pm 16.1C rain wednesday 2017

it has been rather rainy today. i dont mind it, as i bring a brolly everywhere i go and so dont get wet. in the past i used to think that people who dont like the rain dont like to get wet, but i have come to realise it is not that at all… they seem to have got it in their mind that rain is depressing, and so they make themselves feel depressed when it rains.

i was having a chat from a friend who called me to chat on the phone and he tells me he does not like the rain… he says he feels cold and so is glad to get back to his flat where there is central heating on. so maybe that is why he does not like it when it rains. and there well be many people  like him, who just feel cold…but i wonder.

surely not everyone is 80 years old? he is in his 80s, so i guess he feels the cold more than usual… it is a dangerous sign when u feel the cold… age is catching up on you, or your immune system is wonky.

or you come from a hot country and have yet to acclimatise to the cold climate here.

but anyway i went to this place between old st station and liverpool st station, an area full of trendy shops which i have not been before. there is a nun’s pop up restaurant here where for 3 days the catholic nuns are giving away free soup, and bread , and cookies, to publicise their tv appearance in channel 5. from what i can gather from what the nun at our table told us, that program shows a number of women who have been saved… haha. i have not seen that program, but it is on tomorrow so i might have a look at it. channel 5 at 10pm. they say the lunch is for people to come together to chat and i think the nuns hope that their vision of life will help troubled souls.

however, when i was there, i went so early, or rather i was on time, my slot was 11.30am, but there was no one else other than me. so i had my chicken soup without any conversation. no one else you see. i got to get another helping of the soup. haha. i guess because there wasn’t anyone else.

then two people came in , sat behind me, and by that time , a nun had come to sit by me to chat. and when i told her i am malaysian, she told me there is a nun here who is from there. and later she came and we met. and i found out she is from east malaysia. she is chinese. and was wearing a white headgear which from what the nun told us, was a sign of someone who is beginning . she told me she had been in uk only 4yrs. she was studying here before she got involved with the nuns. 

the nun who sat down with me said she herself was wearing a black head gear so that means she had done at least 5 years. and she was wearing a gold ring… which i understand is a sign of her vows of chastity and obedience. anyway, when i look back at the couple who came in, i saw they were that same couple who i have been seeing often, whenever i attended a freebie. so i moved to their table and the nun addressed us together, rather than have me alone.

none of us were troubled, so we did not really have that kind of conversation, so she gave us an exercise to do, pick images that we like , and we picked the non religious ones… haha. there was a cross, but i guess we were not very religious because we did not pick that. i suppose we are just heathens. haha. she suggested we might like to act as mentors and help others who are troubled. but i think we were not really attracted to that idea because none of us took her up on it.

i definitely have no desire to be anyone’ mentor. haha. partly because my advise to anyone is dont worry about it, it might seem very important now, but later on you will see it is a lot of bother really and you will be laughing at yourself for being so caught up in it to feel it is important. and i guess that advise is not really very helpful hehe. 

fiction and scary stories

17 Oct

london 9.41am 13.9C cloudy/bright hardly any wind. tuesday 2017

i realise i dont record the wind speeds, and there is a reason for that, because most times it is not worth recording. haha.

i was scanning the news to see any reports of devastation in the wake of this so called hurricane, but nothing. so it looks like those weather people are wrong again. sometimes i wonder why we still continue to believe them. but maybe we just want to be scared, like people liking horror stories and ghost stories, because they are all deliciously scary. hurricanes  peter out by the time they get here.

so those weather people may get a thrill of playing with their computer projections, and wish that the hurricane will keep its strength after crossing the atlantic, but there is a reason why their charts stop short of the british isle, because whatever they might get in the caribbean, soon peters out by the time it hits the british isles.

this morning has been windless. very calm. makes me wonder if all those news of a storm hitting us is fake news… !! so far no one had named this storm. that is very significant isn’t it?

i think ireland has blocked out most of the impact of whatever is crossing the atlantic. the uk is protected in some ways i am sure by the bulk of ireland… haha. so they get all the messy bits. hehe. 

the first tree in my neighbourhood to undergo trimming this year by the tree doctors. they have lots of leaves still. i suppose by cutting the branches now whilst they still contain leaves means there wont be too much sweeping  of fallen leaves needed. the road sweepers would be rather glad of that. i just noticed there are no people apart from the workers on the street. granted it is early in the day, but i know even later on, there are hardly anyone on the street. and we are in the centre of london. i like that, but i wonder if this is unique to london, or what. i know in malaysia, where the family house is in ss1, it is also like this. quiet, with no one on the roads, because it is a residential area and quite far from the shops. but i know in kl, it will be impossible to live in a street where there are no one about. if u live in the centre of kl, you will be surrounded by people throughout the day, there is no getting away from them. but it is not so in london.

exmouth street market

16 Oct

london12.12pm veggie pret in exmouth market. 22.6C sunny monday 2017

quite warm today, and it seems brought on by a storm coming up the atlantic from the caribbean, dragging hot air along with it but because it is hitting ireland and scotland, it is missing south of england and that is why we are having these warm dry days. they all thought it is a repeat of the big storm of 89, 30 yrs ago, but it is not going to happen. it seems even that last storm of ’89 is not really a hurricane, in that it is just strong gusts of wind, that brought down the trees, and not a continuous 80mph (138km/hr)winds which is what a hurricane is. so far i had a look at the windspeeds in the north of scotland, colintraive, and it is about 50km/hr. and it seems the devastation 30 yrs ago is now all but recovered by nature with trees growing up to hide it all. which makes me kind of remain  equable when i read about nature’s destruction. nature just grows back again… it almost seems to be the way nature works… destroy and then rebuild, almost as if destruction is part of the plan.

it certainly clears away old growth and old trees that block the light from young growth. the old is not favoured by nature, or have you not noticed that? though some trees grow to a ripe old age but they are rare. actually some experts question why old women live so long, as they dont serve any purpose once they cannot breed. so it is a puzzle that one. but maybe they do serve a purpose , one that is important, and that we are not aware of. otherwise why have that old age trait lasted so long?

it used to be that we guess it is to impart age old wisdom… for eg, old she elephants remembering all the water holes in their migration and leading the herd to them in times of drought. so maybe old women have this function. and i can well imagine them imparting knowledge of plants and herbs and healing ways… as well as teaching the young generation how to cook, sew, mend, etc. but that kind of knowledge seems to be propagated just as well in books or written records… or maybe not, i doubt it is possible to get that kind of knowledge about edible mushrooms just from books…

i see the market stalls selling food outside this veggie pret that i am in, is busy now with people coming out for their lunch and the lunch crowds building up. there are quite a number of these stalls selling food, so this veggie pret will have competition. at first i had some trouble getting online with their wifi, even with the help of one of their staff, my chrome book wont allow me to download anything, saying it has no https and so is unsafe. but after fiddling with it, a page came up to ask me to register to the pret wifi, and when i did, it allowed me access and now here i am tapping this online. haha. i got a nice latte from the voucher i got when they opened. a very nice latte which i ask them to put in a porcelain cup , instead of a paper cup.



the view outside the window where i am sitting. that stall selling those meats look very good. they are on top of a bed of salad and rice. that latte is really special. i have not had one like that before. latte is half and half milk, but she foamed up the milk so that it is like a cappuchino but with lots more milk . so that u get a lot more drink in it. the thing i dont like about a cappucino is that it can be a lot of foam and not much liquid, so that you go away feeling you would like more coffee. this latte satisfies both. i could get to like it a lot.

and they have a tap right in front of the counter, to provide the free water. with cups nearby so dont even need to use your own bottle. very useful that .

added. 3.05pm home,  21C . its a very strange light we are having. like sepia tinted. that orangy yellow looking tint in old sepia photos, well that is what the light looks like now. must be a storm nearby to give that kind of clouds to tinge the atmosphere this colour. what is stranger is that there is no wind. none.

added. i read this news article in the dailymail online talking about it. it seems the storm coming up, has drawn air from the sahara and along with it, dust , which produces this strange tint. but where is the wind? why is it so still. no wind at all.

Digital StillCamera

a door that is not a door. haha. it was near the chapel st market, one of the streets running at right angles to it. a man who looked like he was some kind of mailor parcel courier was actually pressing the button on that call box when i pass by and i said to him, it is not a door, then a curtain parted in the glass windows on the right of us, and a hand beckoned him, and he went round the corner and i saw him enter some gates and proceed up a courtyard where the real entrance was.