Tag Archives: alcohol

quiet sunday

12 Mar

london 1.33pm 13.5C rain sunday 2017

8.31pm 10C no rain now, rain expected to stop at 10pm.

its a misty rain today, like a fine mist. hardly seems worth it to open the umbrella sometimes. and the bus’ windows gets all steamed up especially the big front ones on the top deck so you cant see much out of them.

i read in a blog that america is changing its clocks to summer time today. i wonder how they do it for such a big country that spreads over so much area. i mean how they overcome all the objections. here in uk we are always at loggerheads with the north about it. maybe we handle it by changing later, last sunday in march. it seems rather early to be changing this sunday when it is not even the equinox yet. mornings do get darker if u change to summer time. sunrise 6.20am sunset 6pm. today. if we change today, can u imagine sunrise at 7.20am? though sunset at 7pm will be nice.

its a quiet day for me today. in the past it was a highlight of the day to read the sunday papers. how times have changed when it is no more anything to look forward to. in fact, the saturday papers seem to have more content now.

now i go to the library , the one in paddington because they are the only ones near me open at 11am, instead of 1.30pm. and they take in only two newspapers now for sunday. mail on sunday and the times. but for some reason i have got bored with their supplement pages, there is the travel section, and the fashion section, and the housing and household stuff section, and the cooking section. but i seem i have gone off all of them now.

i wonder if it is me who have changed, or what. i guess it must be me. i tend to blame myself for these changes. my taste have changed so much even i noticed it.

on the way back from the library and stopped off at the sainsburys in pimlico to use my friend’s purchases a few days ago to get points in my nectar card. he bought £40 worth of stuff, but some of it was spirits, which was not allowed in the points system, so it came to £30 instead. still that is 30points. not that i collect a lot, currently i only got enough to redeem one coffee from cafe nero haha.,not that i use them much. i still have 4 of these converted to vouchers but  yet to be used to buy coffee. . oh dear, i just find the coffees so strong really. i simply marvel at how other people can drink these coffees without feeling the effect. simon and i saw a tv program about it, they did some experiment with bees, feeding them with nectar from some flowers but  some with caffeine, others without and found out that those fed on caffeine, remembered the flowers. it was a bbc program , the actual video is not working but here is the report on which it was based. so it seems caffeine aid in memory.

coffee drinking seems to be universal. all over the world you will find cultures have a coffee drinking habit. i guess the tea drinking habit also gives them caffeine, and tea being cheaper, it is poorer people who indulge in it, i guess.

drinking alcohol is also universal. practically every culture u can think of have found a way to make alcohol drinks. and from the most diverse source too. we were watching a program about how this chap drank alcohol drink with a native tribe, who use their spit to make alcohol. i think it was the same program  (called secrets of your food, episode 3. )about food which contain the bees and caffeine. i dont think u can see the program now that the bbc wants you to have a tv license, though it only ask u to click that u got a license, how would they verify u really got one? i wonder. but it does seem strange to me that every culture have found a way to make alcoholic drinks. and what is even stranger that so many foods can be converted to alcohol. it seems as long as they have suger, they can be made into alcohol drinks. dont you think it strange that there is this universal discovery by practically every culture that has evolved on this earth? 

 

old buildings

25 Apr

london 12.8 cloudy monday 2016

little ben, a replica of the original big ben. this one is near victoria station.

little ben, a replica of the original big ben, this one near victoria station. it has been recently renovated and painted. added.1.8.16 more of it here

i am reading the sunday times this monday morning, as this library is closed on sunday. and i read that big ben is to lose bongs in 2017. it seems it is falling apart so badly it cannot wait till 2021 when the rest of house of parliament is going to be repaired. the big ben repair will cost £30million, and take 3yrs. they are thinking of reverting to its original green and blue, instead of the black and gold now.

it brings home if we  ever lose sight of it, that old buildings are expensive to maintain and repair. and there are a lot of old buildings in london. though i think they are very willing to raze a whole block because i see a lot of that happening, and right in the centre of london too, places like leicester square , the city of london, oxford st and mayfair.

 i think the time has come when people realise it is cheaper to just pull it all down and build new ones on top or clear the whole building, keeping only a shell, and design a whole new space inside it. 

i think i can understand now why singapore or malaysia dont preserve their old buildings so much, and allow them to make way for new buildings. 

added. 6.01pm 9.6C rain i have been watching old episodes of a place in the sun; home and away… and it is without doubt uk homes cannot really compete with the spanish ones, like she said, who wants to look out onto a cold old loch, when u can look out onto your own swimming pool in the hot sun.

i have got a ticket to go see the place in the sun exhibition in olympia , on 6-8may. it is a free ticket which they give to me. i am not really in the market for buying property overseas but i guess it is a nice way to while away a few hours. haha. i do find after looking at all these property programs that i think it unnecessary to buy a place.

when u could just rent a place for the period of the holiday and leave it when u are done and let them clean it up and maintain it etc . it saves u all that hassle and u can just concentrate on enjoying the holiday.

i was thinking it is easy to get into drinking if u live in spain. because the big advantage of living there is the cheap booze. i dont drink, so maybe that is why living in spain does not appeal to me. and i am not even attracted to its hot weather… which is what everyone seem to like about it… so i have come to realise it is not really for me.

yesterday there was a  tv program  showing drunks being treated in kings college hospital and being interviewed by louis theroux and it brought to mind what a problem it can be. and this was in uk where booze is more expensive than in spain,and you can still find alcoholics here. price dont seem to be a factor.

i think from seeing that program it seems to me the physical addiction is the one that catches them. and from there it gives them the psychological and mental problems. the program tried to suggest the mental and psycho problems came first, but it think not. i think they gradually drank more and more without realising it… very easy to do, it creeps up on you, and then before they know it they are addicted and the physical effects of detox are so horrible , it is easier to just keep on drinking. 

 

valentine day supermarket meal offers

11 Feb

london 4pm 8.4C sunny. thursday 2016.

its looking very nice outside, blue sky and all that, even though the sun is setting and the day is coming to a close; it is lighting up the top half of the block of flats opposite me as i look out of my window.

i got back from a rather unproductive outing to the ymca. i got a series of emails from them asking me to subscribe, and i ignored them, as i dont really want to pay so much money for the annual plan.

the latest one said if i do before 12feb, i wont have to pay a joining fee. well i thought it was the membership fee of £30 which will allow me to access their  pay as i go concession for over 60s , paying £2 per session.

but when i went there to ask for it, i find it applies to their yearly membership plan, costing something like £500 a year. and not applicable to the concession plan. so i definitely dont want that.

still, i was a bit relieved that it does not apply and i can with a good conscience not join .  if it was free to join i would feel i have to.  and then feel obliged to go on their pay-as-u-go plan with a £2 per session entry. it is very good value actually, even on a £30 membership.

but my heart is not in it. i just dont want to get into that routine of gym and exercise. maybe it will be good for me to do it, but i find i just dont like it anymore.

i know , there is the danger of being lazier and lazier, as i grow older, and just want to stagnate, and not do anything. … i think it is a old age condition, that every old person can fall into. i shall give it some thought and see if there is any other way for me to keep active without feeling stuck in a routine. i dont like being committed to anything nowadays. 

on another note, i went to the waitrose just up the street from the ymca, along the charing cross road, and was thinking of getting a free coffee from them. but i saw a notice on the entrance saying they are closing in spring, as they are finding it unprofitable to do business. so this branch will close. well, i felt kind of sorry for them, so decided not to get the free coffee after all.

to us , individuals, the free coffee is a small thing, but to them, it costs a lot of money to provide when multiplied by the many coffees that they have to give out free everyday. i dont shop at waitrose that much. their bargains are not very good. haha. or not appeal to me.

i know for drinkers of alcohol, their valentine offer which is going on now is good. £20 for two people , for a main dish for 2, 2sides, starter for 2 (the dressed crabs look good),dessert for 2, and a free bottle of wine. but i dont drink, and dont like appertisers or desserts, so even though i like the sirloin steak which was one of the main dish on offer, (costing £8 normally) i can buy a steak for less and so dont need to pay £20.

but i know all this is not meant to appeal to me, who dont drink and dont fancy all those things like starter and desserts.

last time they offered a half price whole chicken. that was very attractive , it came to £1.60/kg and i bought from them. but they are not doing that now.

in fact all the other supermarkets are offering a valentine 2course meal …but at £10 , though the main meal is not so good, but all offer a bottle of wine.

i wonder what marks and spencer is offering this year. there was a  year it was £10 for a meal for two with wine. cant see them doing this offer again this year.  i googled them and found out they are offering the same as waitrose, £20 for a 3course meal with wine. 

i was telling simon that i am glad i dont like drinking wine, so i never get tempted with all these 2-3-course meals with free wine thrown in. haha. saves me a lot of money and all that health worries about drinking too much alcohol. i never have to worry about being addicted to alcohol and ruining my liver. haha. makes my life so much easier. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

just a simple meal that i rustle up when i got back.

do u drink?

9 Jan

london 7.28pm 10.9C (don’t u think that is mild?)rain. saturday 2016

alcohol, i mean.

there is the advise to drink 14units a week. and this article tells u how much is a unit.

ALL DRINKS - What Does 1 Unit Of Alcohol Look Like V2 Copy 2

from this link

i tried to find out how many units u can drink before u go over the limit for drivers. but it seems there are so many other factors, weight, age, gender, etc that it is not possible to just put a number to it.

many people seem to think that if u wish to enjoy your life it has to be with a drink. if u are not a drinker you are a sad sack. haha. or after a long frightful episode, someone will shout, i could do with a drink, and everyone laughs with understanding… i would be thinking he is thirsty… and asking for a glass of water…

but it just goes to show what mindsets people have… and your mindset is what colours what beliefs u hold. and that will affect how you live your life, or how happy you are.

but back to drinking.

a lot of people think the advise is too much of a nannying by the state. no doubt the state wishes to let people know that any form of drinking is bad.( the advise concentrate on  telling you of the health effects.but i think it will make u addicted and then it becomes uncontrollable; but this is something that many advise dont seem to dwell on. maybe because many will say it wont happen to them). and that if u have to drink keep it to 14 units a week. 6pints of beer, or 7 glasses of wine.

you might think it wont happen to you , that u can drink and that u can control it, but you might find out too late that you are the  one of many who cannot.

it is said that there are some who can drink and never get to depand on it… i think it is a myth, i dont think anyone can control it. when they get into a crisis in life, they will tip over the edge and the drinking becomes uncontrollable. 

someone who drinks may find that they gradually move to addiction without realising it until too late. the only way is to not drink at all, that is my opinion. but of course it would be ruinous on our economy if everyone follows that advise. haha.

well, all i can say is i am glad i do not drink.  with one stroke i get rid of all that angst about whether it is what makes a person live to the full, and that it is one of the greatest pleasures that life can give u; or to grapple with all the debt and illness that uncontrolled drinking can bring. you might say i have deprived myself of the joys of tasting wine, and alcoholic drinks and deprived myself of that pleasure.

but i wont miss what i dont know. in this case, i think it is a good thing. haha.

 

 

why people drink alcohol

4 Nov

london 7.22am rain 12.9C wednesday 2015

saw this article in the msn (its a news site connected to my hotmail.com) its a post written in huffington but i think it was written in the huffington quite some time ago because i could not see it in the front page of their website. added. i searched for it in the huffingtonpost website by the author’s name and found it. its taken from the original site ,welcome trust blog,where it was first posted. (you can see how reblogging seems to lose the original post, so most people end up on other sites. i think that is why reblogging is not liked by a lot of original sites, as it does not make people read the original post where it started). on the other hand, if not for the reblogging, i would never find it. quite a catch 22 situation dont you think?

anyway it is someone relating their experience with booze in her younger days when growing up in the late 80s. so the 90s was her time with booze. peak booze came to uk in 2004 it seems.

i realised the 90s was also my experience of the booze, mainly pub, culture in london when i came here to work.

she mentioned that women ordered half pint of beer in pubs, in fact it was expected. i did not know that, i always order half pint, haha. it seems it is not manly to order anything other than a pint for the men. well i did not know, but i think i wont be bothered even if i did and still continue to order half pint. its cheaper but also i dont like drinking beer really, (it was lager during my time)and just order half pint just to hold one in my hand all evening, to just be socialable. its necessary to hold it all the time, because if u leave it on the counter, they will think it is an abandoned drink and take the glass away. so a half pint glass(it was glass instead of plastic then)is easier to hold.

its a great account of how alcohol have progressed with the different generations. now it seems the younger generation are not so much into booze. the article did not say so, but i think the new generation  are more into drugs, like ecstacy etc ,i think. 

Newspaper headlines: Middle class drink ‘epidemic’, aid ‘giveaway’ and a galactic cousin – BBC News

24 Jul

Newspaper headlines: Middle class drink ‘epidemic’, aid ‘giveaway’ and a galactic cousin – BBC News.

the front pages of all the newspapers in uk at one go. gives u an idea of what people are talking about.

the bbc website gives such a comprehensive news coverage, and all free.

as for middle aged alcoholics, it does not surprise me . i have noticed the british drink alcohol without meals. it is a british phenomenon. other places associate wine or beer drinking with meals, but not the british. i think it is the pub syndrome. people are used to drinking without any food in pubs. so when the wine industry makes it popular, it is quite a easy thing to add wine to the beer and carry on.

it is a fact that i have found out myself that there is nothing to spend money on really when you grow older.  most of the middle aged are lucky to have bought their houses cheap, before the big boom in prices so their mortgages are small in relation to their income. and the children are all grown up, and there are only so much u can spend on holidays or eating out. in my case, i  dont drink nor smoke and sometimes wonder what i am saving my money for haha.

if i were a drinker i might just spend it on drinks, might as well get some pleasure in life since we are all going to die anyway. haha. so i am not surprised if a middle aged person just quietly drink away. instead what i do is drink a lot of tea.  i figured if i have to pick up a drinking habit i might as well chose drinking tea, without suger or milk.

when u are middle aged, there is nothing that gives more pleasure than drinking.

if u dont drink alcohol…

22 Jul

london 3.51pm wednesday 2015 22.5C cloudy

i dont cultivate a alcohol habit. but i think i might pretend to after what happened just now.

you see, i got an email saying they want people to do a survey by john lewis, and you will be entered for a £100 voucher in a draw. well, i dont mind winning a £100, so i clicked to enter the survey. unfortunately i was too honest and ticked that part where they ask how often i drink. i ticked seldom. and that go me kicked out, saying i am not eligible.

oh dear, we non drinkers really get left out of a lot of things. which makes me believe that is why there are so many alcoholics.

 right from the start, society seems to favour the drinker. in the recent past it also favours the smoker, but that is now completely about -turned and the smoker is now a pariah. but drinking is still rather encouraged.

we get so many articles about wines, and how to drink it, and also reviews of wines with all their flowery phrases, always likening them to fruits, which makes me wonder why not just eat the fruit instead of fermenting it and drinking the fermented products if you then end up comparing the fermented product to fruit flavours.

i was wandering around in my supermarket the other day and saw the wine section, and all the prices ranging down the aisle, £5, £6, £8, for a bottle and i was thinking i am glad i dont drink, all that money spent on drinking these small bottles of alcohol flavoured drinks. they keep telling me it tastes wonderful, but i know they dont. i have tasted them before and no amount of propaganda will convince me they taste that good. haha. so anytime i feel i am losing out when i hear or read someone praising the wine, or luxuriating in it, i can say, pull the other leg, because i cannot deny my own experience of it…

if i  did not know better, and be firmly confident of what i can see and taste with my own mouth,  i would be envious and feel i am losing out, but i have seen through the scam. it is a very successful scam by the wine manufacturers to get people to drink their products. all they have to do is to design a great looking label and concoct a fantastic sounding name and then start their propaganda.

its amazing how this fear of missing out can make people behave in a way that is opposite to what they can know from their own experience. they can be made to deny their own experience , to doubt what their tastes buds tell them, and to like something that tastes horrid. 

life in london

29 Apr

london

I just now realised how useful it is not to like alcohol drinks. my friends from usa have just come back from their short trip to europe, and  asked for ice, for their whisky, and i said i dont have any in the freezer, but we can start making some. so i dug out the freezer container and put it in the freezer with water. They will just have to wait till it freezes. I can see if i were a drinker of whisky i would want ice now. haha.

Though it is not always drunk with ice. simon likes his whisky and he dont bother with ice. so maybe u can make as much or as little botheration as you want. 

You can see that I am not a good host. haha. I expect my guests to make their own meals etc . haha. i dont mind, my guests will just have to take it and not mind. They can console themselves that they make me happy to host them as they are no trouble at all. 

but since i dont drink, i dont have to bother with all that… making sure i got a steady supply of ice would be the least of the botheration that liking alcohol would bring. A drinker will say,’ Ah, you have deprived yourself of one of god’s greatest inventions, alcohol’. and i suppose i have, but i guess i shall have lots of future reincarnations where i can be an alcoholic and indulge to my hearts content.haha. 

added. 1.5.14 my friend  went to the pub nearby to ask when they keep open for dinner, (10pm, and they went there at about 9.15pm and had fish and chips. it seems quite crowded with people at about 8pm when he went. and this is on a night of the tube strike. commuters i suppose waiting for the trains at vauxhall. it seems the west end and soho were dead at night during the strike days;  and just asked if they sell ice, not expecting them to do so, but it seems they sell ice. so he bought a bag. 

I find now that i dont seem to like anything that gives me botheration. things that i have to do. yet life is all about being bothered otherwise it is not living is it? Or so i thought. Obviously i dont think so anymore. now life is perfect if it does not involve any bother to me.

i wonder that maybe the reason why  i dont fancy all that alcoholic stuff now may be because in a previous reincarnation i have done it all. 

Today the tube strike starts in london. or rather it started last night at 9pm but this morning is when its effect is most striking. all those commuters will be caught out. but i was on the bus in the midmorning, about 1pm, and it was very quiet and like any ordinary day. i guess the main effects are felt in the morning and evening rush hours. I went to morrisons, because i was reading the mirror newspaper in the library and saw an advert by morrisons about their veg and fruits 3 for £1.50. so i bought oranges, celery and a pineapple. All three were just what i like and crave at this time. 

pineapple is a rare treat for me, usually i dont buy them at the normal price as they are not worth it. they have been imported come all this way and are not ripe. but as something that i eat now and then they are nice. i eat them for the sour sweet taste. the trouble of course is getting them just as they ripen, but it is not easy to judge when they are at that just -ripe stage.  this one is all right. though not as juicy as what we would get  in malaysia. but still very nice and reminds me a bit of malaysia.

Have you seen ‘the artist’ the film which won the oscars in 2012? It got best film. It was made to seem like it is a silent talkie movie. there was a lot of hype about that film, with the dog being praised. Well, i finally got to see it on tv.  i missed its broadcast in real time, for some reason i got caught up watching wall-E, the cartoon film, which was showing at the same time and which i have seen allready but missed the ending.  

anyway simon told me he saw that movie, the artist,  on the iplayer when he got back from work in the early morning and said it was very good. yesterday was the first time it is shown on terrestial tv. seems it takes 2yrs to get to the small screen. 

so he showed me how to plug the laptop to the big screen digital tv we bought recently. but we discovered that my old laptop had not got the input socket for it, so we used his laptop and i got to see the film. rather nice these days that there is the iplayer and u can see films u missed without having to  tape it. 

Well, after seeing the film, i have to say i did not see what the fuss was about. haha. was it really the best film that they can get that year out of all the competition? even the screen was grainy which disappointed me as i expect very high clear images nowadays from films. but maybe they were trying to mimic the grainy look of old films. anyway i would say the film was alright, but not that great that i would give it a best film accolade. 

My friends and i are watching old cliips of ‘you been framed’. lots of falling over and crashing. i find it painful to watch so that may explain why it is not my favourite program. 

Harvest 2013: its Bake Off with the fun bits taken out | Television & radio | theguardian.com

13 Sep

Harvest 2013: its Bake Off with the fun bits taken out | Television & radio | theguardian.com.

london .

I find this program, going on every day this week, extremely interesting. i think the reviewer here is deliberately courting attention by taking a contrary view just to get people reading his post. nothing like a contrary view to get attention. and he certainly achieved his aim, as i click on it to read it.

in the end, he had to admit it is an interesting program. never knew that carrots can be left in the ground to hibernate and be harvested in winter. unlike potatoes. if u have ever wondered how they can still have supplies of potatoes, carrots, right throughout winter, you will know it now.

potatoes seem to be a fussy grower… i get that impression, but maybe it  only appears to be from the format of the program,

and it is shocking to me that they put back the broccoli into the fields if there is a glut. i know even in supermarkets, broccoli must be eaten quick or they ripen and go brown. but as one commentator said, who lives in new zealand, where they sell off surplus fruits and veg in the local market at rock bottom prices, they dont do that in uk. instead they plough it back into the soil. what do they do with the tomatoes i wonder? make canned tomatoes perhaps?

in the past, i know i can get bags of tomatoes that are overripe for  £1 in brewer st, not any more. now they sell measly worn out old looking veg in a bowl for a £1 . nobody buys them. so who are they fooling?

and with this good weather this year, u would think they would get a record harvest, but no, it seems the awful winter,(or so they tell us though personally i find that winter quite mild) and the cold spring and the hot dry summer is not good for wheat.

growing barley is a better bet, as it is turned into whisky, so the canny scots do it. haha. barley grows better in scotland anyway but the whisky means it is sold like 100x, 1000x when it is turned into whisky. unlike wheat, which even at its premium quality can only be turned into bread, and you cannot charge a lot for bread, nobody will buy it. but whisky, well u can charge whatever u like, there will be lots of addicts who will buy it. if they can find a way to turn wheat into alcohol…

the barley should not have too much nitrogen fertiliser added to the fields, it seems, as it then reduce the carbohydrate in the seeds, and because carbohydrate is turned to alcohol, that means less alcohol in the whisky.

maybe the next program coming up about fruits might give a rosier picture, as the fruit trees may like these conditions.

Added. 16.9.13 yep, the fruit harvest this year is much better than last year. though i doubt we as consumers will see lower prices in the supermarkets for fruit. they will plough the fruits into the fields rather than sell it cheap to us.