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first day of spring

20 Mar

london 10.37am sunny tuesday 6.1C officially first day of spring2018

sunshine streaming into the flat, from my two windows in the lounge. first time i think this year that it has been so strong. and quite fitting too, as this is the first day of spring. the changing seasons is one of the nicest things about living in these temperate latitudes.

i made a pot of tea just now. and drinking it now i realise it is just as nice , this assam tea, as the darjeeling tea that i used to have before. i find i am wanting stronger tea now. i drink it without suger or milk. i think as i go older, i like bitter tastes, then vinegarish tastes  more than sugery, or salty tastes. but i would not generalise and say all old people tend to go that route. i know lots of friends who are getting old and still like their suger and lots of it.

i seem to have rediscovered how nice crackers biscuits are. i used to buy rich tea biscuits, and digestives , but now i think i shall go for cream crackers. why they use the word cream is a mystery to me. there is no cream in it. in fact i think i like it because it is not sweet, unlike most biscuits. each cream cracker has 1.2g of fat though. it is one biscuit that i can eat a lot of in one sitting, (just this month i have finished off 500mg of it. and the month is not even over. whilst i still got some rich tea biscuits lying around that has been in its container for ages.) so that is something to be aware of and guard against. seem we are allowed to eat 44g – 78g of fat a day. 

they recommend it be eaten with cheese. i dont think so, it has allready a lot of fat, without adding more. and it is very nice on its own anyway. it smells very nice too. 


my westminster council tax for 2018

19 Mar

london 12.09pm 1.8C cloudy 2018 monday.

i just got my westminster council tax demand in the post. earlier the council wrote to all of us saying they are not increasing the tax, which was true  but i see we still got a small increase because the greater london authority increase their take by 5.1% and there is the adult social care precept which got increased by 2%. so in the end the total increase was 3.2%. to £710.50 for the year. last year it was £688. i am not complaining, because it is still low. if u live alone, you get 25% off. 

5.44pm 3.3C sunny .

i went to chinatown just to wander around, and saw they still have the sale of reduced bagoong, 99p, from £2.60 for 250mg. and i bought it, as well as a reduced priced 100mg fresh chilli 50p. i used to cook a lot with shrimp paste, but have not bothered to do so for some time. now seeing it has got so much cheaper, i shall be using it more. its reduced because it expires may2018. who knows nearer the time, it might reduce even more. they have a lot of it in stock. lookng at the ingredients, there is 30mg of suger and 32mg of salt in 100mg. so quite high , but you only need a spoonful each time, so it is not a lot if u do it that way.

80% is shrimp.

day and night are equal 12hrs long today

18 Mar

london 10.39am 0.6C cloudy sunday 2018. still no snow storm nor heavy snow drifts. high 0.9C low -0.3C

i saw this in the weather website today.

Length of Day 12 h 0 m
Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 58 seconds longer

sunrise 6:08 AM sunset 6:10 PM

its funny, i always thought sunset and sunrise times should be the same if the day is equal to night. but the above shows it is not so. will be interesting to see what it is tomorrow. will it be same setting and rising times, making it equally 6.09 or will it flip over. added. 19.3.18 sunrise 6.05am sunset 6.11pm

so by rights, today is the spring equinox.

it can go by without us noticing, because it is not dramatic. unlike the shortest day or the longest day. near the equator everyone experiences it everyday. i live there for 22yrs, whilst growing up, and i know none of us take a blind bit of notice of it. haha. we get so much sun during the day, we are quite glad to welcome the evening and the night as it is so much cooler  and people come out then. added i found i made this same observation in 2014 at the same day. i also found a post of mine that explains why the equinox does not equate to equal day and night. hint. it is due to the size of the sun…

 Digital StillCamera

 very pretty patterns that the snow makes on the shed roof.

there has been no heavy snowfall at all today. though if u read the papers you would not think so. ah well, perhaps they have a reason for talking up this so called beast of the east 2, it is more like baby beast really.

this morning only the top of the parked cars have a layer of snow on them. i wonder if people have been scared off attending the st patrick day procession at trafalgar square today.

its a real pleasant day out when i went to the paddington library today. but i think i am a minority to enjoy this weather. majority dont like this . 

added. 11am 1C cloudy but sun is coming out 19.3.18 monday sunrise 6.05am sunset 6.11pm it says winds are from the west, yet everyone tells me we are getting winds from the east, that is why it is called the beast from the east. so who is right?

Length of Day 19.3.18
12 h 4 m
Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 58 seconds longer
so looks like the days are lengthening.

where is the snow they promised us?

17 Mar

london 11.53am 0.8C cloudy no snow at all. disappointed. saturday 2018

so far, the promise of a snow filled landscape has not come true. i was so looking forward to london covered in snow. i live in the centre of london, so maybe it is warmer in london. all those living outside london, tell me is it really snowing heavily where u live? the papers seem to say so, but when you look at the pictures that they print , you can tell there is hardly any snow on the ground. and they tell me heathrow have cancelled flights. perhaps it is one case of the forecast being taken as true, and so they simply followed its prediction. or they dont have to refund passengers if their flights are cancelled due to bad weather, but will have to compensate if they go ahead and fly and then get delayed. they win again when all those rebooked flights fill up the plane and then they can charge a hell of a lot to others because the planes are full and so anyone wanting to fly will have to pay a premium of any of the rare seats not taken. it sounds like a win-win-win for the airlines. and another win, they will solve their pilot shortage too because of the pilots having to take their holidays before a certain date. ah well, that is modern life for you. we dont have to worry about life or death situations, where in the old days u can starve because there is a famine when crops fail due to no rains, or too much rain. now we just get disappointed because there is not enough snow…haha.

old age problems

16 Mar

london 6.12pm 11.4C dry cloudy friday 2018

its mild, warm today. strange really because tomorrow it will plunge to 0C. when the east winds brings in siberia cold to cover all of uk.

i have just been with ian, for our monthly chat meetup. we went to the ageuk tavis house cafe, where they are very welcoming, and coffee is only 50p. they are in fact very easy going about people bringing in their own food to eat there, even providing microwaves to warm the food up. and a sign says to bring your own cup if u want to takeaway a drink. they still continue with washable mugs if u drink in. i think that is good , so that they dont use any disposable cups anymore.

our talk is rather gloomy in a way. about his ageing parents. they are in their 90s.  he got a text message from his sister saying his mum had a fall. and there is also the constant problem with his father, having strokes, and needing care. what with his mum having cancer, he got a lot of future problems to solve involving their care. as the population ages, many will have this problem to solve. 

but here is something for the kid in all of us. i found them. 

right hand image is a macdonalds happy meal toy. the legs pull out to a 12cm measuring tape. the other one, i have no idea . toy cars inside this yellow container. usually i find the container empty… and i use them to keep coins. this is the first time i find one with its contents intact. 

micro plastics in bottled water.

15 Mar

london 10.16am 9.7C rain earlier, cloudy now thursday 2018

we have all read of plastic items in the sea, but it seems microplastics are in bottled drinking water as well. it did not say where it comes from, and i wonder if it might not be from the plastic bottle it is kept in. they say they found it in water sold in glass bottles as well. tap water has less it seems.

i suppose this finding  makes it even more sensible to drink tap water. though the cost savings have long ago persuaded me to turn to tap water and i stop buying bottled water.

i carry around a used plastic bottle to fill with tap water when i go out, now i wonder if i should put it in a glass bottle. the trouble is glass bottles are heavier. thank goodness i dont drink that water a lot when i am about. there have even been concerns of bacteria in reused bottles. but maybe like bacteria, not all are harmful, so we might find that micro plastics are not harmful. no one knows what it does to the body. we just assume it cannot be good something so artificial like that. maybe the body can get rid of it like it does everything else…

ah well, i think there are lots of other things we do that is harmful, and their harmful effects are allready causing illness and we still do them, so i doubt this micro plastics can make it worse.

even so, i can see we use plastics a lot everywhere (all those plastic water bottles must contribute to the plastic wastes; maybe that is a stronger reason not to buy them) and it is all  used once and thrown away. i have stopped using plastic garbage bins , preferring to wrap my organic rubbish in paper; and i dont  throw away my recycled rubbish in a  plastic bag. though i can see how difficult it is because simon would do so, and keeps forgetting not to.  those habits die hard.

and of course there are all those disposable coffee cups. they even give u those cups when u drink inside the shop, instead of takeaway only. 

the trouble with all this is that there is not a lot we as individuals can do about it. we sometimes cannot even avoid buying plastic, like for eg, all the food comes in plastic, so if u boycott it you are dead. 

added. i wonder if this finding will persuade people to drink tap water and not buy bottled water. or to boil their water and let it cool , in those countries where tap water needs boiling first. 

electricity dec17-feb18

14 Mar

london 12.05pm 12.7C sunny wednesday 2018

Fair Deal Electricity 2.0 (02 Dec 2017 – 01 Mar 2018)

02 Dec 2017 61480.0 Opening Read
02 Mar 2018 61815.3 Estimate
Energy Used 335.3 kWh @ 11.65 p/kWh £39.06
Standing Charge (90 days @ 13.66 p/day) £12.29
Total Electricity Charges £51.35
Subtotal of charges before VAT £51.35
VAT @ 5% on £51.35 £2.57
Total Charges for this bill £53.92



this is for my records. it is the first invoice i got from my new provider brilliant energy. their estimated reading is very accurate. they tell me i can keep the monthly direct debit unchanged at the same level, £15.59. i guess they know that the summer months will even things out. i seem to have used 50kwh more this quarter (3months)than my average usage.