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nothing happening and suddenly everything happening

16 Sep

london 2.40pm 22C sunny thursday 2021

i have been living in the present. to savour the moment, being alive and well, and just enjoy being alive. there is nothing going on in my life. at least anything that directly affect it. but having said that i realise that a few days ago simon told me his mother died. they had been expecting it, as she had been terminally ill for some time. it is still a sad time even though they expected it. i have been putting off talking about it, and in fact resolved not to say anything about it but to just mention it in passing. 

added. 5.41pm, 

i erased the above, not wanting to post anything that is so depressing as announcing a death. but the draft saver in wordpress had saved it and kept it. i was just going to write about how i like nothing happening in my life, and that life is uneventful. i have put her death out of my mind. it sounds unfeeling but talking of deaths depresses people, and really why anyone here reading this would want to know that, after all, no one who reads my blog knows her. it is true isn’t it? it is like reading a newspaper article about some celebrity or other, or even someone unknown dying, either naturally, or from murder or crime, when none of us know anything about that person. but it is a fact of life that no one writes about nothing happening in their lives, and being happy to live that moment and just savour the fact that they are alive, and enjoying all the sensations that a life body can experience… well that was what i have been experienceing and as u can see, i have not written any posts about it for 5days straight. so it kind of proves that nothing happening is not something anyone writes about. so here we are today, when i thought perhaps i should write something about the joy of living when nothing is happening… well, everything starts to happen, … 

 

5.41pm

simon came back at about 4 or 5pm, and settled down to see the tv. when the phone rang and the call was from our housing estate office asking if i am home now. and that they got a panic call from our neighbour downstairs. he did not say what she was panicking about, but just asked me what the workers in our flat have been doing, (for of course they know they are repairing the water damage to our flat) and to go see her and check it out .

simon immediately went downstairs, because we know our neighbour would not be panicking for nothing. i wondered why she did not call us because in the past if there was water streaming down her flat, she knows to call us straight away. 

anyway, when simon went downstairs i went to our bathroom to check it, and to my horror saw the wash basin overflowiing with water whcih has flooded the floor. recently simon had opened the stopcock fully so that the water now gushes out fast whilst before it was a trickle. now the fast flow is overcoming the out flow from the basin and so we get this water gushing over the basin onto the floor. so i quickly turned it off, removed the soaking carpets, putting them into the bath tub and quickly soaked up the excess water on the floor with a mop.

when simon came back, i told him what i found, and he had to admit it was him, he was distracted and left the tap on. i figured he turned on the bathtub tap after he turned on the washbasin tap, they are connected  , in that if u turn one  on, it stop water coming out of the other tap. they seem to be linked. and it is quite easy to forget that and turn off the bathtub tap and not realised if you have not turned off the other tap, it will set the wash basin tap to gush water out. i noticed if u dont turn the tap full on, the water gushing out will be reduced and the waste pipe can handle the flow enough to balance it out and not over fill the basin. so i told simon to always make sure he dont open the tap full blast but keep a half flow on instead, so if ever he forgets the outflow can handle it. in fact, he did it again, he went out and left the tap on. the flow was a reduced one. luckily i noticed it and turned it off… that is why i hope he will take heed of what i said, and make sure he dont ever turn it on full blast, but reduce the flow whenever he turns it on. 

he was telling me that downstairs all her lights have gone off. and he came back just to put on shoes, with the intention  he was about to dash out to go to the housing estate office to make them call a electrician, because the neighbour downstairs have told them about the lights not coming on and they have said it is not their problem. i told him to  check the downstairs neighbour’s fuse box, if it is an oldfashioned one wiht separate fuses, or like mine, and i showed it to him; with a central kickoff switch that may have been triggered off .

i now know why the office was saying it is not their problem, if all they had to go on was the downstairs neighbour saying all her electrics have gone off… the neigbour did not realise it is due to water from our bathroom affecting the celing lights in hers, and trigger the fuse to trip off. the neighbour just dont know who to call, for what she thought was an electrical problem. i figured out why our neighbour called the estate office instead of us, it is because it was not obvious that there was leakage of water from our flat, because there was no stream  of water flowing down her walls  in her flat , but only that her lights are not working. the water from our flat had fused the lights, and triggered the fuse to kick off.

simon later told me he switched her fuse box on, and found out that there was a separate kick switch for the lights, that also had been triggered off. she got two separate kick switch, that were triggered off. 

so her lights are now all on, and there is no need to get the management involved. it is fortunate that she noticed it so quickly, that she was home rather than staying with her children or on holiday because we would not have noticed it till a lot more damage has been done. as it is all it damaged was the carpet and bathmat in our bathroom and they are now laid out and drying… it was the bathmat that soaked up so much water too, so that less of it dripped into the flat below. so much excitement. i can do without.

 

free coffee from knots pretzal

10 Sep

london 12.25pm 19C cloudy, just rained friday 2021

i am sitting here in the victoria station concourse, near the knots pretzal drinking a free coffee and a cinnamon bun given to me by the nice barista there. when i showed her the qr code , she laughed when she saw it on my chromebook. everyone seem to laugh at that, because i guess it must be unusual , everyone else would use a smartphone. i asked what am i allowed for that free offer, she said anything , and i chosed the emmenthal and bacon pretzal, then she had to say it is not an offer for a free pretzal but for a coffee. 

she said the loyalty card that i got from a free offer was not really for a pretzal, but for a free coffee. she said everyone made the same mistake, and she said she is also going to give me a free cinnamon bun . that is very nice of her really. so i got a cappuccino and a free bun. i had a closer look at the picture they sent me with the qr code, and i saw it was a loyalty card with 3 entries stamped on it. she told me if i buy six coffees, i shall get a free one .and they apply the stamp by using a laser gun on the QR code symbol instead of giving us a paper loyalty card and stamping on it.  i suppose it applies to any sales, so i guess buying a pretzal counts. it is very nice that the free offers are coming back. 

the old uk bank notes cannot be used after 30 sept 2022

8 Sep

london 10.30am 22C sunny wednesday 2021

i have just read this article saying all old uk bank notes cannot be used after 30 sept 2022. this really applies to the old £20 and £50 notes, as the £5,£10 notes have long ago ceased tender. most of us got a lot of the old £20 notes. and everyone overseas who have them , and i should think many may have them from the days when they travelled a lot, will have to get them exchanged. not sure how they can do that. would their foreign exchange agencies accept them? anyway here in uk, it will still take some time to use the old £20 notes , nevermind the old £50. very few businesses want to accept the £50 notes, nevermind if it is an old one or a new one. in fact, i myself have not seen many new £50 notes.

 it is nice and sunny outside , when i look out of my window. actual cloudless blue sky. i shall go out for a bit, just to get some sun to make vit D. and since i am not a person to just go out for nothing, i shall find a destination or task, and i fancy buying more of sainsburys imperfectly perfect oranges. 5 for 69p, and though they are smaller than the ones being sold at double the price, they are very thin skinned, whereas the expensive oranges look quite thick skinned. i bought a pack yesterday, and allready i am down to two oranges. i seem to have eaten 3, though i dont recall eating that many. so i think i better go back and buy some more, as they might not be there much longer, if the shortage of hgv drivers means delivery will be disrupted. well now that i have reminded myself , i better get going now. 

added 11.36am

just bought them,2packs

added. 12.44pm 27C sunny

i recently used a new debit card for the first time and bought something at the tesco, where i have to slot my card into a machine and type out my pin number. then i read this article, about someone who is a scriptwriter and have written sit coms about card frauds and  who became a victim of a card fraud himself. even him , who is supposed to be an expert on scams. he too was fooled. read how he got fooled here. it seems they come up with new ways to fraud people using the cards. it is why i am so wary about using cards to pay for things. 

eventful

7 Sep

london 4pm 28C sunny tuesday 2021

the builders came again today and stripped off the plaster off the walls of the kitchen, and switched on the machine to dry it. these two three machines , one two in the kitchen, one in the spare bedroom is quieter than before, and also shoots out cool air, instead of hot air like before. he said it must be on 24hrs, and they will come back in 7days time. it must cost a huge amount of electricity, though fortunately they will pay it. even then, to me who is afraid to use a lot of electricity, it does make me uneasy , but i guess if it has to be done, it has to be done. this time the machine is cooling the air, whereas before it was heating it up. dont know why it is different from before. as far as i can see, it is the same machine. but what with the hot temperatures we are having , to have air conditioning and cool air is rather pleasant really. how that would dry  the walls, which is the reason why they are on all the time, is a mystery to me. they have a tube connected to the sink, to drain the water that they somehow or rather suck from the air , so that is how they dry the walls, remove water from the air, and so allow more water to evaporate into the dry air. this time round the machines are quieter too. before they were very noisy and another reason why we did not want to on full time. 

so now at least there is no more noise, because in removing the plaster they had to use a machine, and it was very noisy. so now we are left alone for 7days , and our lives can be almost normal , because i think we can use the kitchen. they have swepted it clean, and though i have not been inside since they left, i think it only needs a clean wipe of the surfaces and we can use it.

all this disruption is rather frightening in a way…there was a brief moment when i felt afraid, (it came when simon left me alone, with the builders, because he had to go and see his mother. she had a stroke and he said might not be able to survive that. i did not realise that with him around, things are much better and easier. it is a subconscious thing i suppose;  and i was glad that i have simon to share this with me. it is nice to have someone around to bear the burden. he is away still, he called just when the workers told me they are leaving and the work is finished for now, to find out if the builders have returned after the lunch break. he said he will be going to see his mum after the phone call. she lives in essex. she had been in bad health and at one stage nearly died, with the doctors saying it is only a matter of time. so simon had got that hanging over him. she is my mother in law, but i have never met her. neither of us wanted to meet, it would seem. 

then, i got myself in hand, and calmed down with me giving myself a talking to.  i have to remind myself that it is only a repair work, and it is only a kitchen, so what if all the things that i like about it as a functioning kitchen has been destroyed and not sure if they can return it to its original condition, but after all is said and done it is only a  kitchen. and good that they had finished in two days, instead of us having to bear with all the work , banging and drilling ,going on for days. we were only disturbed for two days. now it is a waiting period, for it to dry out. the builder had said that in another case, the family had to be relocated to a hotel while the work was done, so it is good that we dont hve to move away and rehoused. 

so now they have left and i am watching tv, an old nature program narrated by attenbrough, about madagascar. its a very strange island, seems the oldest island, and full of curious wild life , both flora and fauna. nature programs are very calming programs to be watching, unlike say a crime and murder program which i am not in the mood for now. 

added. 10pm 

 

found out what the extra machines were for. they are air conditioner machines, shooting out cold air. so now we have 4 5 machines working , where before they were only two. the two were machines to suck water out of the air and drain that into the sink. they generate a lot of heat, making the flat too hot.  the extra two three machines that are newly switched on were to cool the air. 

kitchen mayhem

6 Sep

london 12.32pm 24C sunny monday 2021

it looks like today is the first day of a 3 day high temperature, (which means this being uk, it wont go higher than about 28C. so really nothing to shout about. haha.) but of more concern to us is the builders finally coming to do some work on our kitchen that had been flooded before. they are removing the kitchen sink. and it is a kitchen sink that i want to keep and put back after all the repair work. it is a old fashioned kitchen sink, a huge thing, with drying slopes on either side of the sink bowl, whcih makes it so easy to wash dishes. unwashed plates can be put on one side and the washed plates have plenty of room on the other side to leave to air dry. that is why i love washing up so i told simon to tell them i want that sink. so i hope they are preserving it all, even to the wooden stand that supports it. the thing is i like the whole design of this kitchen.

it may be old fashioned but it is very efficient in its function. there is just enough cupboards and storage space for me, whilst still keeping lots of walls free to maintain the spaciousness effect. i have seen modern designs of kitchens with wall to wall cabinets that might look nice but fill up the whole wall and so drastically shrinks the size of the kitchen, so that it feels very claustrophobic, making modern kitchens feel very small and constricted.

and they have cut off the water supply, to remove the old gas heater there earlier today;  and now they are removing  the sink, in preparation for removing allthe cupboards on that wall. 

 that means we wont have water in the kitchen for cooking or for drinking. i wonder if they are allowed to do that  and leave us without water. and god knows when they will be able to finish the decoration of the kitchen, they have to wait for the walls to be dry, and that might take ages. in the meantime, are we expected to do without water for maybe months!!

though i have a secret plan, i shall use the water that supplies our bathroom. it is on a different water system, using water from a common tank on the roof. normally i would not like to drink water from there, as who knows how old that water tank is and what may be lurking in its depths, but i know housing estate  had the water tank replaced with a new one recently, about a year ago, so i can be sure it is clean. simon says we cannot use the water to drink, but i think he is wrong. i am going to use it for cooking and drinking. though i wont tell him or let him know. in this case, what he dont know wont affect him. so far they have left the cooker in place, but even if they remove that, we have an induction stove , and that i intend to use worse come to the worst. 

 

all this makes me really wonder how anyone even wants to decorate their kitchen,or renovate it. how do they tolerate the loss of use of the kitchen for months, whilst the renovation takes place? yet plenty of housewives have forced their husbands to renovate the kitchen. i can only assume that most of them do it before they move into the flat, or house, after they bought it.

 i am just glad that at least we dont have to pay for all this repair work. it must be very expensive. we got quotes of £25,000, and the insurance did not believe it and sent in their own assesser who found that   another kitchen wall is flooded and needs drying out. 

but if i can put this kitchen problem aside , the rest of my life is fine. simon and i are fine. and so are our friends. 

electric scooters in london

4 Sep

london 4.23pm 19C cloudy saturday 2021

row of electric scooters for hire. there were 4 different companies .first time i see such a large number of them in one place. it is near my flat .

a couple of young people also were attracted to it, and they got smartphones and said it cost £1 to unlock the bike, and 15p per min. they were trying to figure it out, it seems they have to download an app first and they said it also wants them to have a driving license before they can use it. that is a new one on me, wanting a car driving license.then while we were standing around there dittering away, an old man came and he quickly unlocked a bike and rode off… and i commented he is an old codger too, showed us all up and we all laughed. it looks like these electric scooters  seem to have displaced  the santander bicycles which are not electric. i googled it and found this

How much does it cost to hire an e-scooter in the UK? Renting an e-scooter will typically cost around £3.25 and £3.40 for a 15-minute journey according to Transport for London. Each operator will charge a fee of £1 to ‘unlock’ the scooter – and then a per minute fee of 15p for Dott and Tier, and 16p for Lime.7 Jun 2021

to hire a santander bike, 

Hiring a Santander Cycle costs £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes, within a 24 hour period. For journeys longer than 30 minutes, you pay £2 for each additional 30 minutes.

what about buses, 

London buses are all cashless, so you need an Oyster card, Travelcard or contactless payment. Bus fare is £1.55 and a day of bus-only travel will cost a maximum of £4.65. You can hop on unlimited buses or trams for free within one hour of touching in for your first journey.

all this is purely to satisfy my curiosity, because i got a freedom pass so i am free for all tube, bus and tram travel within london (after 9.30am)

aimless talk

1 Sep

london 3.20pm 18C cloudy wednesday 2021

its the start of september, so i guess it is autumn now, if u follow the calendar, rather than the autumn equinox as heralding the start.

last month i got a new contactless card from my bank. it says use this instead of the other one. they are changing to mastercard , the old one was a visa. and today they sent an email reminding me that i must use it to activate it, or i shall lose its function. and they also warned me that the first time i use it i have to put in my pin.

i suppose i shall have to use it, at least once, just to activate it. so i have put it in my wallet, so that i can use it when i next buy something from the supermarket. now that so many supermarkets are making it difficult to pay cash, by restricting the number of self service cash tills, we are all forced to use credit cards now. so i shall use it when i next go to the big tesco superstore near me. there they have completely removed all cash self service tills, making them all card only, and if i want to use cash i have to go queue up at the human cashier tills.

in my case, this card i got from my bank uses contactless payment, which have been increased to a limit of £100, from the previous £35.

i noticed more and more supermarkets are cutting out the cash self service tills making them all use card. or making it half cash and half cards, when previously they all can use cash or card . , and in those where they completely remove all cash self service tills,  if i want to use cash they tell me i must go to the human cashier, and those  always have long queues. it seems it is a deliberate policy to steer all of us into using cards. and when it is all card everywhere, i bet they will charge us if we buy anything less than say £10, or £20 because of the commission they have to pay the card companies. as it is ,not many people know this, but the price of all goods in the store  allready have the commission cost added in allready, and everyone have to pay that whether they pay cash or card.

i think one unexpected effect of this is that those with a lot of goods in their trolley are using the self service tills . in the past, the self service tills are meant for people with few goods. all others use the human cashiers. life is changing nowadays.

i hope all of us using cash will boycott those businesses that only use cards. macdonalds for eg dont use cash anymore. not that my boycotting them will be useful, as i dont ever buy anything from them. haha. i think it is not only macD , i think almost all of these coffee shops, or fast food may not accept cash. 

i recently got chatting to a guy in a naturist website , he wanted to meet up, which since the lockdown , no one is doing that for more than a year now. even now, many are afraid to meet up for fear of the covid, so i thought we could chat about that via that website, but he said he does not really want to do that, using a third party website. and i can understand why he might be reluctant to do so, because obviously our chat can be monitored by the owners. it seems to me there are not a lot of places , websites i mean where u can chat without everyone else reading it. in other words, having a private chat dont seem possible, unless you email each other in your own email address. but i think sooner or later both of you will realise there is no point talking of it, because it does not lead anywhere… 

spending money shopping for groceries

31 Aug

london 3pm 19C cloudy tuesday 2021

5.18pm 18C cloudy

it looks like the council is going to replace the pavement stones outside my flat, and so there was very loud drilling noise where they are breaking up the old pavement in preparation for replacing it with new slabs. luckily they started the work at about 1pm, so at least they did not wake us up. i woke up at about 12pm. i closed allthe windows facing that side and closed the doors to the rooms as well, but the noise still penetrated to the living room which was on the other side of the flat. so i decided to get out of the flat, a good excuse to do my shoppng, i am running out of the huge amount of toilet paper that simon had ordered during the lockdown, and that is finally being used up, so asda it is for their very nicely priced toilet rolls, 6 rolls of 400 sheets for £1.93. it would last 1 month , with the way simon uses it.

whilst i was at the asda, i did had a thought , looking at all the goods on display and ready for everyone to buy, that it is a good eg of capitalism at work, abundance of goods for people to buy, to satisfy their craving to spend money. i think many humans are so bored with their existence,(and dont say you are not bored… nowadays when majority of us dont have to work all hours to make ends meet, we have a lot of time on our hands. ) that a lot of their cravings are catered for by these places that allow them to satisfy their craving to spend. in fact i think many like just spending money. it is a thrill in itself. nevermind what they spend on, that is not the point. jsut spending money is the point of it. it is the opposite of the pleasure from hoarding. it might be tied in with that too. in fact, i think i am into spending now. i got a lot of pleasure buying those items. and i think i shall go out again to morrisons, and buy more of that ice cream cones they are sellling on offer, and maybe more of the hot spicy bombay mix. and i still have to return my library book though the urgency is over, it is supposed to expire today, but because of the bank holiday, i think they have automatically renewed it for me by another week. 

the roses growing inthe millbank tate gallery garden

lamb roast dinner

30 Aug

london 2pm 17C cloudy monday 2021 bank holiday

all peaceful around here. none of us are going on holiday and being stuck somewhere in a traffic jam, or in a crowded holiday place , or having to rush back . so a peaceful holiday for us.

its roast lamb with all the trimmings. simon cooked it today. i am stuffed now. with the english way of eating, which is you load your plate with food, it is always difficult to calculate how much u can eat, and often you load too much on the plate and then have to force yurself to eat it all. i prefer the chinese way, where the food is all laid out on the table and you just pick and eat as you go along , whilst others do the same until you are full, and leave the rest on the table for others .

simon said this lamb shoulder was very easy to cook, unlike leg of lamb. it was very tender. i have not eaten lamb for ages, so i cannot remember what texture it usually is. but i expect every meat once properly cooked should be tender. if it is tough i expect it was not properly cooked. we have all seen people , in real life and on tv, who when they take a piece of roast meat, would exclaim, oh it is so tender. and that is what i said too, like we expect it to be tough… 

a film that gave me two big prolonged laughs

28 Aug

london 2pm 19C cloudy saturday 2021

i was seeing a film, two by two, a cartoon about two misfits fictional creatures’ adventures during the noah’s ark flood. i laughed out loud and couldn’t stop laughing for quite some time after the action not once but twice.  and i have not done that in any films ever , so i like that film a lot just for giving me two hearty bouts of laughs. its great to get to laugh like that.i was watching it on my laptop, and my laughs attracted simon to come and ask me what it is i am laughing at, and he decided to see the film on our big tv screen. 

a picture from my archives. it was taken a few days ago not today. a house’s front garden near the kennington tesco