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i experienced the after office drinking culture

25 Jan

london 7.07pm 4.4C rain wednesday 2023

i just came back from a free dinner of cheeseburger and chips washed down with a light beer at this fullerspub near the monument. coming back, i used the tube to pimlico, it was raining, and i thought to catch the C10 from the tube stop at pimlico, and was waiting quite a while, with 2 360buses going by, when simon suddenly appeared. he had been to the snooker club in east london and was on the way back. and it dawned on both of us that the C10 is not running, they are on strike today. 

this free food i only know about early this morning, but it starts at 5pm, so plenty of time to get there. i saw  steve and his wife in the pub, they have booked a table, so i was able to just join them, and let steve arrange for us to get the food and drinks, without need to queue up. there were not many wanted to eat. it was meant to be for 100, and i had expected a long queue stretching out of the door, but nothing like that happened. they were all taken upstairs to eat. the pub ground floor was just full of  office drinkers, who were not interested in the free food. we were downstairs, because steve’s booked table was downstairs. 

i was able to see that british tradition of after work drinking going on all around me. it was very loud and noisy which to me was very uncomfortable… i dont know how they can stand it.

 i just cannot imagine  how they can hear each other and must have to shout at each other to make conversation. and i cant imagine what kind of conversation they are having. and it was not even friday, which i thought was the time when they would all do this… but steve told me it does not need to be on a friday… it was practically everyday. these office workers just come to the pub and drink. they dont even bother to eat. prices for a drink is not cheap. £8 for a pint. our cheeseburger is £15, normally, so i was glad that we got it free , and the drinks too. it makes me wonder why the pub bothers to introduce food . they seem to have enough customers just for drinking. and they gave us free chips too. our meal was very filling. 

when we got back, i thought it will be very late, but it was only 7pm, and simon started to fire up the oven to make his roast pork. i am too full to eat anything, but he obviously had not eaten. it will be about another hour before it is ready. i will just lie back and watch tv. i am not hungry and most probably will eat it tomorrow. in reality, when it was ready about 1.5hrs later, i just took some crackling and the boiled greens with gravy. that was enough for me. 

another mass killing by a chinese man in halfmoon bay 30miles from Los Angeles

24 Jan

london 3pm 6.5C tuesday 2023

i just now saw another article of another mass killing in LA, california by a chinese man 67yrs old.

i wonder why chinese old men are doing this. is it dementia? that makes them think their fellow workers are talking bad about them and feeling persecuted and dementia makes them want to kill them .

no where else in the world do we get a reputation for murderous actions in old chinese men in their 70s. being one myself i cannot imagine we old chinese men are so murderous. so the only reason i can think of is dementia. it is the only medical condition i can think of that will make a peaceful man turn murderous.

we get to read of all these killings in america and not anywhere else in the world. is it because the news agencies picks it up and report it, whilst other parts of the world dont publicise these events that much so we never hear about it?

so does it mean these mad killings happen all over the world, and is quite common, except they are not publicised so we dont hear of them? and/or is it because guns are not so readily available anywhere in the world except in america, so gun killings happen more often there, and gun killings are more devastating in their effects, because they can kill alot more people than knife killings. 

23 Jan

london 12pm 3.1C sunny monday 2023

4.44pm 4C sunset 4.33pm.

chinese new year just started yesterday. usually there will be a event in trafalgar square to celebrate it, but i did not know any such event was planned this year and assumed that it was not happening.correction, i saw a picture of the dragon on the street near chinatown, so there was a procession.  there used to be a dragon procession too in chinatown but i guessed that did not happen either.

update 25.1.23 wednesday i saw this utube video of the chinatown procession in london. it shows the crowd of people as well. i have never gone there to see the procession, and looking at the crowd of people i now know why i dont do it. haha.

this will be the chinese year of the rabbit. i am a rabbit myself, so those who know their lunar calendar can guess how old i am. i dont follow all the ins and outs of being any particular animal and how it affects my character, or fortune. i dont follow the western horoscope either, though i am a gemini. and that is all i know of it.

so the chinese new year came without me making it special . i suppose being in a country where it is not celebrated makes it easy to ignore it. i am sure if i were in malaysia, i will certainly be made aware of it. for one thing, all the chinese hawkers will be closed as they will all be going back to their villages for family reunions. and those of us who remain in the city will have to go to the malay and indian hawkers, if we want to eat out.

i wonder how they do it in china, where everyone is chinese and so will celebrate it. perhaps not every eating business will close.

so far i dont hear of any huge accident involving people driving back to their village, which is the news we hear often during this new year exodus .

the main news related to the chinese is the chinese 72yr old who killed about 10people in a ballroom dance hall in monterey park, a majority asian american suburb of los angeles in california. the americans call chinese and indian  people asian american… but i assume this area is majority chinese and not majority indian.  why did he do it? 

bus,tube fares will rise from april 2023

18 Jan

london 3.11pm 5C sunny wednesday 2023

i read in my wordpress reader  that bus and tube fares in london will rise from april 2023. it was in a blog ian visits

pay-as-you-go tube journeys within Zone 1 will rise by 30p — from £2.50 to £2.80 — which equates to a rise of around 12% for those fares. The Mayor said that as journeys solely within Zone 1 are more likely to be made for tourism or leisure, that allows for a lower fares rise outside Zone 1.

Proposed Bus and tram fares

  Current March 2023 Increase
PAYG – single £1.65 £1.75 6.1%
PAYG – daily cap £4.95 £5.25 6.1%
7 Day Bus & Tram Pass £23.30 £24.70 6.0%

each bus ride costs £1.65 now, and u can change many times within an hour of the first ride. but come april, it will rise 10p more. 

i wont be affected of course, as i got my freedom pass which gives me free tube and bus travel. before i got it, i used to cycle on my own bicycle. but it means i go only where it is a short bicycle ride. i did get a lot of exercise . now i take the bus mostly, and dont get so much exercise . the cost for travel can mount up so that i am very glad to have this freedom pass. fortunately they have not removed this concession . what with the huge debt that transport for london is getting in, and all the strikes for huge wage increases that they are involved in , i thought they might take this freedom pass away but so far there is no suggestion that they do it. instead it looks like they are increasing the fares to get more money. oh i forgot, it is the local council that pays for the freedom pass, so maybe that is why they are not abolishing it. tfl is not paying for it. so maybe seeing i am a council tax payer, i have allready  paid for it through my council tax on my flat. well, i dont mind it as i benefit. for something to be sustainable, someone must pay for it, and hopefully the burden falls on many so that its cost is spread out over a lot of people or institutions. 

edit, 19.1.23 this link to more details about the fares increase and how it will be paid

last week, my downstairs neighbour  told me of a case of vegetables being left in the hallway near the entrance door to the block . no one had claimed it, so i said it must be for her. yesterday i saw a box of veggies placed on the plantar outside the block. and today someone had taken it in and put in the hallway. i wonder if it is just someone who have extra vegetables and is donating it to the block. there is no meat so it is quite safe to leave it outside without refrigeration and it will be safe to eat. though it would help if they put a message on it to say it is for everyone to take if they want. i daresay veggies are not in demand, unlike if they give away cereals, or chocolates, or a tin of assorted biscuits or some other processed foodstuffs. 

16 Jan

london 1.30pm 5.4C cloudy monday 2023

2pm blue sky and sunny. but only for a short moment. clouds back again but still sunny

today is supposed to be blue monday… dont know why, it is not because of blue sky, but denotes a sad day.  maybe this day is when all the bills and riotous spending comes home to roost, as the bills start falling through the letter box. so to cheer people up this falafel takeaway near camden  is giving us free food. i got their chicken shawarma, and took it home to eat. its very filling, because of the very rich mayonnaise dressing. i am so full up from it i could not finish it, so shall keep it for another go at it tomorrow. i dont want to fill myself up too much because i got a free dinner at the age uk canteen this evening. its a regular monday evening meal for us oldies.

today is supposed to be the start of the cold spell that is settling in this week. it is forecast to be -4C in london. but i am used to them overestimating the cold, so dont expect it to be that cold .

it is very pleasant here in london. not just because of free food, it is a lovely life even without the free food.

though i have to admit that for people who crave things to do, and excitement, and newness, life may be a bit on the dull side for them. haha.

you know that old barbed greeting , may u live in interesting times… with its barely concealed wish for u to have a bad life… well as i get older, i am not that eager for an interesting life . those who are young will see it different, and consider an interesting life a desireable one.

 

such is the big difference as we age. when we are young, we are eager for experiencing new things. nevermind if it is good for us or bad, we just like it if it is new and nothing like what we experience before. the craving for fresh new experiences is the big hallmark of being young i think. and the mark of being old is when u are not bothered with the new anymore. maybe that is why so many who dont want to be old, start doing crazy things in their old age, all to keep off that dreaded day when they become old. 

chicken shawarma usually £6.75

we are getting more free offers in restaurants now

10 Jan

london 3pm 13.1C cloudy tuesday 2023

this cut of beef is called a flat iron steak in this restaurant. they say it is a cheap cut but it is delicious. today it was a free offer. it normally costs £13. other people in the restaurant were ordering sides which comes with sauces,(which have to be paid for) but i just like eating steak by itself, that way u get the full flavour and taste of it. when i left i asked the waitress what is the name of the cut, and she said flat iron… buti have never heard of this cut , in supermarket , or even in the butchers. so i wonder which part of the animal it comes from.
i took this picture before the food came, and it was a clear sharp picture. so i dont know why the pic of the food is so blur.

this is a good offer of free food from a restaurant chain. a proper steak .

yesterday there was another opening of a indian restaurant offering a free 3 course meal plus free drinks, in canary wharf, they have an unusual name, holy cow… which sounds rather dubious… i would have gone, but it clashed with a free meal at the local old age centre, that i have been going too even before christmas. that has been offering a free meal every monday till end of march for the 50+/  the dinner is very simple, but i like it, as it is a nice distraction from my own cooking, haha.

but the holy cow restaurant offer is indeed generous. i wonder if any of my freebie friends went, and i can get to hear what it was really like. it is lovely that the restaurants are starting to give out these free offers of food. i thought that the increased costs will deter them, but hope this suggests that they wont stop these free offers. 

update 4pm 

as usual, i googled it and this is what i found  the invention of flat iron steak

 

be of good cheer and in good health

5 Jan

london 1.29pm 13.5C cloudy thursday 2023

a peaceful time nowadays for me. enjoying the gentle rhythm of my days. sunrise, sunset, pottering around all day, taking a nap, surfing the internet. grocery shopping, reading other people’s blogs.

this morning i got an email from ian, telling me someone we are acquainted with long ago has died. ian knows her better than me. even so, her friends took 6 months to search out who her friends are so that they can  inform them of her death.

that is something that i wonder about too, wondering what will happen when i die. or any of our friends died. because we are all gay people, and usually we either have no partners, or our partners or friends have died before us, so there is no one to tell .

it is usually relatives who are left to handle the remains, and they are hardly likely to know who the gay friends of their deceased uncle or aunt will be.

i have lost touch with almost all my friends, so i am resigned to not knowing what happened to them , or if they had died. of course even if i kept in touch, once they die, there is no one who will know me to write to me about it. 

at my age, all the people i know are dying off. and this applies not only to my previous friends, but also famous people, singers,actors, actresses of old, or famous people , writers etc who i have grown up hearing of them, and i now see their orbituaries cropping up. it always reminds me of my own mortality and i end up wondering how many more years i have left. and then i remind myself not to think of it too much. life is what it is and what ever will be , will be. 

i shall just carry on enjoying my good health, and pray that everyone i know also will continue to enjoy good health and happiness in their lives, everyone. it makes me enjoy even the smallest insignificant thing… even every breath i can take so easily … breathing is just a joy. 

i boarded the bus with another guy waiting at the bus stop with me. i was not paying much attention to him .  i did not realise it then, but he was chatting to the bus driver for quite some time,after letting me go ahead and use my bus pass to get through… it was only when he  came walking towards us sitting at the back of the bus, and start checking the tickets, that was when i realised he was the bus inspector. and it got me  thinking how wonderful that i got a free bus pass, when i presented by bus pass for him to check with his gadget.,

how lovely it is that i got a free bus pass to use on the buses whenever i like. it is lovely to get free rides everywhere in london . i am glad for my pensioner free bus pass. how many countries gives free bus passes to their pensioners, i wonder? not many i bet. you can  get reduced bus passes , that is quite common, but not many give them free.

i was reading another person’s blog where he talked about having to buy the prescription medicine. even though he is on medicare, he still have to pay for his medicines. he is american, and it reminds me how fortunate i am that the nhs gives me free medicines.

now i read of how people have to wait hours to be seen in emergencies, or dont have a bed for them in hospital, and saying the nhs is breaking down, but i still think at least u can get some medical help when u need it. my philosophy is how fast u get help depands on your fate… u can get struck down,  all the money in the world wont help if there is no one qualified at that time and place when u are having the heart attack. fate is the big factor there as to whether u survive or not. and i believe that if your soul wants to go, you will die. if your soul wants to live, you will survive that. but enough of those morbid thoughts. life is wonderful to be living it. and i hope all my loved ones continue to enjoy good health and happiness at being alive and well.

 

peanut butter is so delicious. this one is sainsburys’ economy range, £1.15 for 340mg.

great scott, it’s 2023

1 Jan

london 00.26am 12.4C sunday 2023

what the govt support for businesses is like

31 Dec

london 9am rain 13C saturday 2022

my email has an advert permanently added , so that it comes on everytime i go into it. and this morning i saw this advert about the govt support for business.  energy bill relief scheme  .

For all non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland this government supported price has been set at:

  • electricity – £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) / 21.1p per kilowatt hour (KWh)
  • gas – £75 per MWh / 7.5p per KWh

i read a news headline recently saying the govt has cut back on the support, so not sure if this is the new rate to them, or what. it was on today, so i assume it must be the new rate. according to this news ‘jeremy hunt to halve energy support’, it is yet to be implemented. so this rate must be before the cut.

update 10.1.23 

from april 2023, link . reading it i cannot make head nor tail of it. maybe u can do better.

so come april they will all have halve their support , that means increased bills. that must mean they will have to increase their prices . all  takeaway and eat in restaurant prices  will increase. will they do it? or will they absorb the costs? maybe the mark up is allready so high, they can absorb the cost, just to prevent customers from being frightened off from buying from them. after all, no customers is worst, no customers means no profits.

and how much cost increase will the customers bear, and still come back to eat . dont look at me, i wont know as i dont eat out or buy takeaway at all. i am not the targetted customer. simon is, i wonder if he will continue to buy takeaway… he goes to his snooker club in the east end, and there he will buy a takeaway from the club, an indian meal, whenever he goes there and come home with it. he might continue because they do a real good indian takeaway… like the olden days .i have sneaked a bit of it , so i know it is good. in fact, even if it was me, i would buy… because the old style indian takeaway is delicious and hard to resist, and impossible to replicate at home.

12.50pm

i went at about 10.30am to the library and as i left my flat, i saw across frm me on the landing, my neighbour’s flat was open and packing cases everywhere. my neighbour told me she is leaving the flat. i asked her how long she had been living here, she said 10yrs. she had gone through one husband, who we have known when they first moved in with their 2children, and seen them grow old here. she has a new man now, and she said she is moving to australia to be with her mother. 10 yrs is a long time to be renting a place. 

i borrowed this book from the library today. Act of Oblivion, robert harris. 

electricity tariff for my flat before and after 1 jan 2023

29 Dec

london 2pm 9.8C cloudy thursday 2022

just for the record , what it will cost me after 1 jan 2023

standing charge 33.15p/day (no change from previous)

charge per kwh 36.078p/kwh (previous charge 35.797p/kwh)

before it all began, it was 16p/kwh 24p/day i was getting this rate before june22. what a big change, and it was not even a year. it is a doubling in 6months. a doubling in 6months is breathtaking. 

it sounds bad, but i only use about 1300kwh a year. so it was £23 a month, in june 22, now it will be about £46 a month. quite bearable really. the price cap will end in april 2023, so more rises to come then. must be quite worrying for the average household. 

the press here in uk is constantly writing articles about the rising prices of things, so that u would think that lots of people are affected by it. yet i never read of any of this worrying people in other countries. i dont read of how much electricity costs in other countries and see stories of how many people are getting into debt because of it. why is that i wonder? even in blogs, i never read anyone saying they are suffering from the high prices. but in the uk newspapers we get stories of hardship all the time.