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lovely free meal

23 Jul

london 2.29pm 32C sunny tuesday 2019

oh my, 32C now . i have just comeback from a nice lunch at the duchess of kent pub, in islington. they are giving away 2 course meals today and tomorrow to publicise the new renovated pub.

it is a nice decor, and airconditioned so very cool in this hot weather. there was a sky light that brought in lots of bright sunshine into the interior, and they have lots of comfy chairs, and settees. its very pleasant and i ordered the  sole, and it was lovely, with apple crumble to follow. the sole was costly at about £17 but i really wanted to try it, as it is not often i can eat them. so all in all a very pleasant time i had. and if i were living there it would be a very nice regular pub to go to.

the whole meal was free, which is very nice of them to do … it always make me wonder how and why london have so many free meals given away by the restaurants… i never hear of this kind of thing being done anywhere else in the world. have you? 


they dont skint with the food , very nice indeed. i think most people dont like the flat fish as it has bones not only down the middle, but also fine bones all along the sides; and many find that too fiddly.

but being chinese, i love bony fish. it might be difficult to cook the fish so that the bones on the sides of the fish are crispy fried, whilst not overcooking the soft flesh. then you can eat the bones too. but i think it must be difficult to do because it is not often i can get to eat the side bones.

the apple crumble was hot , dont know how they do it because the pastry it was in was not… and i think you are supposed to tip the icecream over it, so get a combination of hot and cold, but i just wanted to eat them separately. very nice indeed. and that is some kind of liquour they gave in that small glass. i think it was like bailey’s cream liquor.

well, that is what is exciting happening me personally now. for everyone else, i guess it must be the weather. it hit 35C today. now it is 7.18pm and it is a cooler 30C. 

22 Jul

london 9.06pm 24C highest 28C sunny sunset 9.05pm monday 2019

its pleasant here in london. its cool in my flat, so i dont feel this heat that they say we are having. and if i wanted to cool off, i can go to the library which is airconditioned. and of course the supermarkets are airconditioned too.

as usual, they are giving out warnings to the old. i guess they will have to, because there will bound to be some old people who will take this as a good reason to die, and get off this life. i am thinking everyone wants to prolong life , and not want people to die, there is this assumed desire to prolong life ,that is what is drilled into us;  yet i know a long life with a mind that is going gaga is not a good life to live. but i shall not dwell on it for now as it is too depressing. 

so we are having a lovely summer. we should savour it to the full and wallow in it. who knows, this year it might last all summer. haha. but i am going to confess that i dont mind if it does not last. i think i must be the only one who likes a cool summer, even a rainy one… much better than a 37C one, as they threaten us with this coming thursday.

this film, the world’s end, i am watching now is really hilarious. a bunch of old guys coming together to savour old times by going on a pub crawl in their home town. and meeting a bunch of aliens who look like young kids with blue blood. the whole town is taken over by these aliens.

well perhaps that is the human condition, we just dont like to have nothing happening… so even a nice hot summer is not enough. we want more. and more things happening. and you can bet there will be someone who will take it on themselves to make things happen. 

Digital StillCamera

this was what i had yesterday, cooked by simon. food will always be a joy of life.

old age and losing the mind

21 Jul

london sunday 2.36pm 23C cloudy 2019

this morning i checked my mobile and saw i had a message from a friend last night, asking me to call him . he texted me at about 5pm last night. but i have the phone switched off and only got the message this morning when i switched it on to see if i got any messages. its unusual to get this message, so i called him and got a very bad reception. i could not hear him well, but managed to get that he is in hospital, in chelsea and westminster hospital, having suffered a mental breakdown and committed himself to the hospital and had  been hospitalised. this was 5days ago and he said they are keeping him in, even though he wanted to leave.

anyway, i cannot understand him over the phone, for some reason he was mumbling and i could not hear him. so i said i will go to the hospital and see him. when i got there, i found a sign at the entrance to the ward, saying visiting hours are between 2pm-8pm. well that surprised me because i had the impression i can visit him now. it was about 10 am.  i called him on his mobile, but no one answered.

then a nurse came by and used his card to enter the ward, and i asked him if i can enter as my friend had asked me to visit him. so he allowed me to go in and talk to reception… and she seemed to know that he is expecting a visitor. so we went to the visitors room, and a nurse made us tea and brought it to the room.

i have to admit i did not recognise my friend, if the nurse had not pointed him out to me, i would have missed him.  haha. it has been a long time since i last saw him. and i noticed why i could not understand him. he was mumbling and not pronouncing the words properly…i think he had gotten worst, because in the past he used to talk more clearly… no wonder they wont let him go home, as he has no one there to look after him. at one time, he forgot where his hospital bed i told him to take this time in hospital as a rest , here he is looked after with his meals prepared and he can let his mind not worry about day to day living outside. 

i have a feeling that the hospital is finding him a dilemma, because they cannot let him go home, and at the same time, cannot get social services to provide him with some kind of care. so he ends up blocking a hospital bed. i wonder if that is the fate of us old gay men, if we live long enough to be senile. 

when i got back,( after i went on to the library and read the papers  after my visit to him), simon who was recently told his brother had terminal cancer, (it was a shock to him, as he did not know. they must have not told him about it, as there is nothing he can do, and it will only be a worry to him)  told me his brother had died. i was thinking, it is for the best. its sad to know someone you know died, but i think better to die quick than to linger on for ages, esp with cancer.

and after my visit to my old friend, i am thinking death may be a better outcome than losing your mind, whilst the body is still vigorously alive.

he was telling me he tried to contact another friend of ours, ian, but unable to get hold of him. and i was thinking ian have his own worries, about his old parents, his dad in a nursing home because he is in senile dementia, he is in his 90s, and his mum recently admitted to hospital because she had a panic and anxiety attack and could not cope. both are old and need looking after. it seems if the doctors say they need to be hospitalised or social services decided that a person need to be sent to a home, the family dont have to pay for it. sigh, the perrenial problems of looking after parents or friends that have gone old and losing their minds.

this is a sad post, full of sad news. but it is the kind of news that will fill our days to come in the future, i fear…as friends grow old and die off, or suffer long terminal illnesses, or dementia. or even we ourselves suffer those things. 

20 Jul

london 8.11pm 22C sunny saturday 2019

its still saturday. this morning seems like a long time ago, which just goes to show that time goes very slowly today.

i started it very early,or at least it feels like it, but i think it was not that early… about 10.30am when i went to the library and then i went to covent gdn to see if i can get a free offer of a electric toothbrush that some company was giving away… it is supposed to cost £340 and they are giving it to the first 100. i really dont need it, but just using it as an excuse to get out and about and for some destination to go to. 

on the way there, on the bus, i got to chatting to a man with his son, he tells me they are going to covent gdn to his ballet class. so there are still boys who like ballet, like billy eliot, that film of that name…

there had been some disruptions of the buses because of a march by remainers.  they were going my way, so we walked to the toothbrush place…  there was a long queue. it was about 10mins or so past the 11am opening time, and the queue was not moving, so i asked a woman at the head of the queue why she was not inside, and she said they are only letting in 10 people at a time. there was easily 100 people in the queue, so we did not bother to join it. i am surprised so many like to have an electric toothbrush. i was half thinking that there might not be many queueingup for it. how wrong i was. i guess anything free will find takers. it must be one hell of a electric toothbrush. coming back i quickly got a 87 and got back without seeing anything of the marchers. the streets were quiet with hardly any traffic, because all the traffic had been diverted from that part of london. luckily for me, some buses were still running.

most people will be arranging to meet up with friends in some coffee shop or other to socialise over a coffee and cake. that is the usual routine that majority of people will be doing on a saturday. or at least that is what i think they will do when i ask myself what do people do on a saturday if they are not working.  i would find it rather boring, but then it is just me.

i can understand the desire to get out of the flat, for something , just for a change of air. i get that desire too.  i find wandering around london is quite a diverting thing to do, because there are lots of people to watch and things happening. 



when will we colonise the moon?

19 Jul

london 9.51am 17C sunny friday 2019

google doodle has the 50th anniversary of the first man moon landing on 20 july  1969. i dont remember it at all, even though i just turned 18. can anyone else remember it? it should have been a memorable day , and unforgettable day, where everyone ask and can remember what they did that day. i dont remember where i was, was i at home in petaling jaya, malaysia, in the family home? i must have been, because no one mentioned it, and that is what will happen when i am at home. i dont read the papers so carefully in those days. and did we have tv? i dont remember. and i  never listen to the news on radio when i was a child.  my childhood, i was blissfully unaware of the world, haha. i consider it a good thing, in that i do not develop an anxiety about the world.

but what is interesting is that instead of my growing up years full of our conquest of the moon, and space travel developing and the whole world looking outwards to space exploration, and with now all of us loving our sightseeing tourist trips to the moon, and today, we might be regaling our grand children with stories about how we remember that day when man first stepped on the moon. but none of that happened. instead we are thoroughly earthbound.

but maybe we are too impatient, expecting us to settle in the moon in 50yrs, when it took like 100yrs for america to be settled after its discovery in 1492 to the first colony in jamestown in 1607. so maybe it is still early days, and we can still look forward to a colony on the moon in another 50yrs time. 2070. 

11.33am rain 18C

a close up of the poster that was given out with the dailymail, showing buzz aldrin on the moon, with armstrong who was taking the picture being reflected in his face visor. aldrin is still alive now , at 89yrs old.

a not dog

17 Jul

london 5.27pm 24C hot sunny wednesday 2019

i have just got back from the circuit training. but this is my 2nd trip to chelsea today. earlier on at about 12pm i went to chelsea , at the far end of the kings road,  to get the free linda mccartney vegan ‘not dog’. it is a promotion that the restaurant was doing to publicise their adding this vegan notdog to their menu of lobster. there was no queue of people , when i got there just after 12.30pm, which should have alerted me to something not quite right there. 

i did not bring my chromebook to show the waiter, so there was a bit of confusion. he did not know i was there for the free offer, so when i asked how is it done, and can i takeaway, he said i can do either… and then he came to give me the bill, £8, so i mentioned it was a free offer by the restaurant. he was surprised and said he will check, and then came back to say they have not heard of this offer. i did not bring my chromebook with me, so i could not show them… later the waiter said the offer was yesterday, because yesterday was vegan day… well i was thinking i will have to go back and check what is said in the link that i have saved. have i mistaken the date?  but then the waiter came back and said it is alright, they will give me a free notdog. it was very hot inside the restaurant, they have airconditioning but it seems it is unable to cope, so i was glad i got it to takeaway… when i checked it in the bus and saw it has no cutlery, i decided to go home and eat it, instead of sitting outside somewhere on a bench which i had intended to do, as it was such a lovely day.

on returning to my flat i had another look at the offer and realised it is eat in only. so that might explain the confusion. i am supposed to eat in, so by opting to take- away, the offer does not apply.  of course if they had insisted i stay in to eat it, i would, but it is good of them to let me takeaway. it was so hot in the restaurant, i was glad i dont have to eat it in that heat.

even so when i got back , i find i could not finish all of it, i just took half of the sandwich and ate that with half the chips and salad. and it was enough for me. i shall save the other half for later.

and then it was coming to 2pm, time for me to catch the bus back to chelsea, to the sports centre there, for my circuit class. 



you can see it is quite a lot, but then at £8 it should. what about the taste ? well, the thing about the usual hot dog is the skin, it has a texture and sensation when you bite into it, that is quite difficult to describe but is very nice to experience. this one dont have that. the inside is quite nice, in fact nicer than the mush that the usual hotdog is filled with. even in the usual hot dog, there is not much meat in that, so a vegan version is better actually. but the skin…that is the biggest lack… if they put their vegan filling inside one of those skins, i think it would be perfect, but then maybe the skin is made of animal products and they cannot use it. 

added 8.19pm, i just read this and it reminds me that today is hot dog day. 

a small virus scare.

17 Jul

london 10.57am 23C sunny wednesday 2019

i am really glad i got chrome, because just now i got my chromebook frozen and the page says they have frozen my computer and to not shut it off, but to call a microsoft line to report it.

i was really surprised , firstly because it was the first time it happened to me, and because i got a chrome book and google blocks all viruses from coming in. this one seem to have slipped by it.

anyway, i decided to shut my chromebook down completely and reopened it, wondering if it will do so, or will it be permanently frozen; but it did open as usual, so it looks like the virus did not affect the chromebook. the page was still there, but this time it was just one in my tabs, and so i could close it down. it was making a lot of noise, loudly saying this is a alert… quite a fright if i was on an ordinary laptop, or a microsoft laptop, because it was very convincing.

i even went to my phone to call up the landline number they gave, but luckily i got a message on it, and with this phone, they make it so you cannot make a call until you listen to the message and clear it out of the way; and by the time i listened to it, i was able to recollect myself and decide not to call the number, but to shut my chromebook down and reboot to see if it will remain ok. so i nearly got caught, as i am sure once i call them i shall be hooked on their scam. 

i dont know how it managed to slip pass  the chrome virus blockers, as chrome os  is usually very good at blocking them. now you know why my advise to any one wanting to buy a laptop, is to go for the chromebook. highly recommended, just for never worrying about viruses anymore.


this is the lovely snapdragon in the garden. ian came to visit me the other day and we took a tour of the garden in the estate. i did not even know this plant was there, until he told me about it. and he told me its name and even showed me why they are called snapdragons, by pinching the flower and it opens up to show a large open jaw. of course it was meant to open when a bee lands on it, so it can get at the nectar and pollinate the flower.