Tag Archives: bus

some flowers

21 May

london7.52am 14.9C cloudy saturday 2016


i first saw this in australia, and i call it a bottle brush plant. now there is this big bushy growth right in my courtyard with lots of budding flowers . it should be quite a nice sight when all the flowers come to bloom. the lilac was growing in the front fence of a terrace house in pimlico. it has a heavenly scent.

london 5.07pm 16.2C cloudy

today i thought of getting out and about, so after the library i decided to take the bus to westfield shepherd bush.

i wanted to go to the street market nearby but could not find it. maybe it does not open on a saturday.

the shepherd bush bus garage having an open day where people can get tours of the bus garage, and it was the reason why i decided to go there today; but i decided i am not that interested in it and decided to go to the library there instead. and then i went into the westfield shopping complex, it is a very nice one, with a transparent roof that lets in sunshine.

the day was spent on the buses, because it is a long trip to the shepherd’s bush… and then it was a long trip through the westend , and then south of the river to the asda in old kent road. i just looked at the passing scenery and the people. oxford st so busy and i was looking to see if they all were carrying shopping bags, some were but not that many. are they all just window shopping? trafalgar square has a stage setup, so i googled it and found out there is a opera broadcast live on certain days, and tomorrow there will be an orchestra  going to play  tchaikovsky’s music live. 

there was food to be sampled. cheese and a yogurt- like drink in asda.

satay chicken outside ‘penang’ a malaysian restaurant near westfield; i took a piece and the chef who was handing it out suggest i dipped it in the sauce. it goes to show how long i have lived away from malaysia, because i clean forgot that was what the sauce was for… and when i dipped it in the sauce i did not scoop it deep inside and so only got the top oil. in fact i told him the sauce needs more peanuts… and it was only when i walked away that i realise it was my mistake. i realised i did not scoop deep enough to get into the sauce dish and scoop the sauce properly… so there was peanut in the sauce, it just happen to be settled deep inside…i did feel a bit bad about it, for criticising it when it was a free sample…no wonder he looked confused when i said it…  on the other hand, u could say in malaysia, u wont find the sauce have so much oil on top that u cannot see the peanut…

it did make me think of  kajang satay with nostalgia and the time we would all go there in a car and eat satay after going to clean the graves of my parent at that time of year for doing it.  its been so long since i eaten satay, that i forgot how to do it. that is what happens when u live in london for so long and dont go back to malaysia for years. 

its a pleasant way to spend the time, sit on the top deck in front and watch the scenery pass by; especially when there is a vague reason for the trip … asda for the £2/kg pork they are selling today. 

cold day, forecast snow for london

15 Feb

london 7.02pm 5.9C dark now, sunset at 5.14pm. dry. monday 2016

would be nice if we have snow in london. its very pretty when it snows. and usually the temperature rises too, when water turns to snow, it throws out a lot of heat.

now there is a north wind blowing so if u are out, it is a cold wind blowing at you. if u have your neck uncovered, it can be bitingly cold. they say it will be -2 tonight. i shall believe it for london when i see it. haha. lets see what the weather website says tomorrow.

indoors my nhs thermometer says 12C. i think i will be cold only if it is 9C so now, nothing that a hot drink wont cure.

i was on the bus this morning and watching this foreigner , french i think, who pressed his oyster onto the reader, but it did not work. it might not be his oyster card’s fault, because earlier the reader did not register for me. (though the driver was changing shift, so maybe he had not configured the reader yet.)

anyway, he was about to get off when the driver said something, i guessed about his credit card, because he returned and started taking out his cards and i could hear  him asking the driver to take the payment from the card. instead of just pressing it onto the reader,   he put them on the counter one by one,and i could hear the driver talking, but i wastoo far to hear the words.

 maybe the driver was telling him to press it against the reader, so  i expected him to press one of the cards against the reader, but he did not, and i could hear the driver talking again… maybe he does not understand what the driver was saying… anyway he took back his cards and got off.

i dont know why the driver did not mime it, pointing to the card, pointing to the reader and pressing his hands together… but maybe it never occurred to him that the guy dont understand his accent. because lets face it, people here in uk dont speak the queen’s english. just like when u go to another country they too have their accents, even if they speak english. 

i was thinking it is one of the things i dislike when i am in a country where i dontknow their language. this is one case when not knowing the language make him lose the opportunity.

it is very frustrating, if it happened to me. and that is why i dont go abroad anymore. one of the reasons anyway.

it is a minor thing, but it can really ruin your experience of a country. you ask directions or information and get a stream of language from a person, and you know  he is telling u important information but u just dont understand him.

anyway, it is things like this i see that reminds me how glad i am to be in london and not away in some foreign country.  


bus driver

25 Aug

london 8.36pm 16.7C tuesday 2015

i was on the bus earlier today, on my way to the supermarket.

usually bus drivers are really good drivers, but today, we were approaching the junction at camberwell,and there was a building with scaffolding very close to the road, so that it ripped off the kerbside mirror of the bus.

i was on the top deck on the side where it happened. there was a loud scrapping noise. the little girl sitting on the front seat right by the big front viewscreen jumped up with a little scream. no one was hurt.

when i went down , i saw the inspector handling the side mirror, it was snapped off. the front door was open so with a few other passengers i got off, as i know the bus will be taken out of commission. it cant go on without an intact side mirror.

that scaffolding is too near the road, and it might be this is the first time a bus got damaged from it. i could see a plank with jagged edges, suggesting that it had been ripped off, perhaps by this accident, as the wound looks quite freshly made. 

usually it is trees growing too close to the kerb that caused these bus mishaps. it is a hard life being a bus driver, so many things u have to look out for. i think compared to , for eg, train drivers, the train drivers got it easier. and they are paid more too. 

hi tech but at a cost

2 Apr

london thursday 2015

it is chitchat time over a morning coffee. haha. good morning all.

yesterday, i was at the bus stop and saw a sign saying ‘text ….(a number) to get the bus arrival times. so i did, and found out my next bus is 17mins away.

i just missed the previous bus, as i could see its backside disappearing far down the road. i have checked the bus times earlier at home, on their website, using my wifi and saw two buses were supposed to be coming 5mins apart and after that it is 17mins for the next.

 i was not sure whether the bus i just missed was the one that came after the 5mins. so should i wait in case the next one comes after 5mins or go home? 

 well the text shows me i have missed the 5mins apart buses and the next one is a long time away. so i went back home. haha. but i realised it is an expensive way of finding out.

i could have just opened my chrome book and see the time there when the next bus is expected and check the time in my mobile phone to work it all out which bus i just missed .

but i just got tempted to use my phone. haha. funny how having it makes me want to make calls even though i cannot think of anyone to call. haha. should i wait in case the next one is 5mins away, or what? i checked how much it costs me to send that text, and from the balance on my phone i calculate that text costs me 24p.

technology has a cost. haha. or shall i say, wanting to know it right now has a cost. if u dont mind waiting it costs nothing. or curb that urge to call people on the phone, it is so addictive. right?

life in london

19 Mar

london thursday 2015 12.42pm

i have just been to the library, and even had cake, free samplings of their brownies, in this shop in goodge st that sells only cakes. they have a baking class too.

imagine a shop just selling cakes. and it is not even a place where u can sit and eat it with tea . i marvel at the ideas people have to set up a business. like that shop selling only porridge. or cereals.

Anyway, here i am sitting in this 88 bus as it meanders its slow way through the westend on my way home.

today the papers are full of the budget. quite a nice one too, with personal allowances of £10,800 a year, and £11,000 next year.

£900 a month u can earn and not have to pay tax on it. and this is not to mention that £350 a month extra if u let out a room, which is free of tax too. so £1250 a month. that to me is quite a lot of money to live on , esp if u dont have to pay rent and have a mortgage free flat.

granted maybe i live in a bubble haha. as there cannot be that many people with mortgage free flats in london.

seems there is smog in london now. and it is true that i all this time i have been walking in a very grey environment.

they say the smog comes over from europe. so how come we dont hear of them being slapped with a fine, like london has been. huh??? and it is a fairly cold day, so that suggests we have a east wind blowing, so how is that europe air coming to us, seeing it needs a south wind to come to us. ha!!

another reason to grouse about europe , for all those europe sceptics out there. haha.

one chap did say dont be so eager to leave the EU, it would make all those brits living and working there becoming immediately illegal immigrants. which i suspect would happen to greeks if greece left, or got kicked out of  the EU.

oh hey, i just saw something outside the bus window. a black man stood in front of the bus next to ours, and stopped the bus from going, just because he wants to board it. but it is not a bus stop. and then another man came and knock on the door but he left when the bus man ignored him and not did what that black man did.

what is the matter with people these days? surely they know a bus can open the doors only at bus stops. and anyway there will always be another bus soon. that is the trouble when ignorant people come to a city and act selfishly. or act as if they are from still in their little village out in the sticks where a bus comes every 2hrs, stops anywhere when u flag it, and missing one will mean a long wait.

Added. that bus was the 12, and it has a different bus stop to the 88, so that might explain it. the guy did not realise that its stop is further down the road. but it was very arrogant of him to stand in front of the bus, and maybe trying to take a picture of the driver with his smartphone while he was doing so. he might be thinking he is in the right, and taking evidence. foolish man.

sometimes i do think hell is other people.

this reminds me of a similar incident which happened yesterday. that time it involved a megabus, a bus company that carries people intercity for quite cheap fares. £1 if u are lucky; and a young lady wearing a cycling helmet. at first i thought the bus had clipped her bike and she was angry. i saw her talking to the driver as the bus was waiting at a traffic light. and there were 3-4 community police officers with her. there was a wooden board in front of the bus, dont know how it got there. after talking to the bus driver and to the community officers, she just sat on the board in front of the bus preventing it from moving.

my bus came so i did not know the outcome of it but it all seems so silly really. i asked a guy nearby what it was all about and he said he did not know and when i said ah well at least the police are there, he said they cant do anything as they are community officers, and he was right. community officers have limited powers.

home is lovely when it is cold and raining outside

22 Feb


most of us will have an ordinary day without any dramatic incidence, and i am sure we are very glad it is so. i am sure if we read the news we are quite glad that our day is so ordinary. haha.

i read of the fire that engulfed the high rise residential block , called the torch, in dubai. makes me glad i dont live in a high rise. it makes u start asking yourself what is the attraction of living in a tower block, when escaping a fire miles up will be difficult as u have to walk downstairs, the lifts being out of bounds.

and it seems quite easy for a fire to start, and how come the building is not using materials that will confine any fire to just the flat it is in, instead of spreading so quickly. lots of questions to ask,   it must make all high rise owners wondering if they had forgotten some basic survival principles when they opt to buy a flat in a tower. 

i look at the high rise towers being built all round me in central london, and i wonder do those owners know what they are buying into? that flat may be their coffin and they would have spent a huge fortune to end up making it their funeral pyre.

though i have noticed when a fire occur in a tower block in london, the fire is almost always confined to the flat, and seldom, in fact, as far as i know, never has the whole tower gone up in flames. i wonder if the building fire proof requirements are stricter and more carefully implemented in uk than in dubai. 

this is the weekend after chinese new year on thursday so london is hosting its annual cny festival in chinatown. it may be the nearest time the chinese living here can celebrate as there is no public holiday on thursday. though i know the chinese would have taken their reunion dinner on the 18th feb, and booked a table at the restaurants then.

i remember we used to do it, booking a table of about 10people. but eventually we gave up the practise, as the service was horrible, and the food came in dribs or drabs or in a rush with long intervals between courses. cant really blame the staff or the kitchen … the jam of people  is awful, u would think they are giving away free food. 

not much fun for the chinese workers in the chinese restaurants, having to work on chinese new year eve; but it is great for the customers. and a chance for the workers to get extra pay, i bet. everybody accept that the price will go up for the bookings on chinese new year eve. it is very crowded too so the price hike has not deterred customers. as for this weekend, i doubt there are many chinese actually eating in the restaurants this sunday;  those who do are not locals, or are westerners, or tourists. haha. 

i have just been in chinatown , but did not stay long, as it was raining, and frankly add rain to cold and it is not a place to be outdoors. i see plenty of people around, esp forming long queues outside the eating places in chinatown. and that was at about 3pm. i am afraid i am not hardy enough to hang around and chickened out and quickly fled home. haha.

the buses are jammed even on normal days due to road works but today it seems worst. on a sunday too. so i did not wait for the 88, my usual bus that drops me right by my door, but took the next bus that came along, fortunately the number 3 bus. i  got off at lambeth bridge and walked back to the flat. 

London bus strike 2015: millions face travel chaos as drivers walk-out in on-going pay row – London – News – London Evening Standard

12 Jan

London bus strike 2015: millions face travel chaos as drivers walk-out in on-going pay row – London – News – London Evening Standard.

latest update 13.1.15 seems the strike is not widespread. this morning i was able to get the usual C10 to the library. and it was running as usual. 30% of buses are running, and 5 bus depots are not joining the strike. this link tells which ones are running. it lists my C10 might be affected but in reality it is not obvious. there might be buses bunching up, but that is all. 

there is disparity of pay of bus drivers between different bus companies in london. so the union has called for a strike tomorrow. what, i wonder, of the bus drivers of the company that pays them the highest. why would they go on strike because wont they end up having their pay reduced to the average pay? or did they think every bus driver will have their pay raised to theirs?

if there is collective bargaining, then the pay chosen will be the mean or average pay of all the drivers, and that means the lowest paid will have a raise , but the highest paid will have a pay cut. or in this world of ours,do  people expect all the drivers to be paid equal to the highest paid drivers? that dont seem realistic.

some routes are longer than others, so would some drivers say since we have to drive the longest we should get paid more. so pay us by productivity, according to how many miles we have to drive. or maybe they are allready paid by hours worked. in which case they will make the hourly rate the same for every driver. then theyget paid according to how many hours they work. so no more overtime then? because some of then put in their 2cents worth and say working weekends and public holidays should be paid more… where will it end? haha. oh, another lot might say what about night shift , that deserve to be paid more. i can see it will be a huge kettle of fish trying to sort it all out and make everyone feel they have got more out of it.

it might be the bus drivers union think they can copy the tactics of the tube drivers unions which were very successful, but there is no olympics going on to blackmail the authorities with this year , just many bus companies to do separate deals with. 

oh another thing, a double decker bus driver might say i deserve to be paid  more than one of those drivers driving those small dinky buses that scuttle around in the back streets of housing estates ( my C10 bus!!). haha.

added.1.2.15. more strikes to be called on 5, 13th, 16th feb. this comment made by someone may give us the underlying reason why unite is so keen on bringing in a collective pay.

As far as Unite are concerned, what they really want is to control all pay negotiations so that they can work with the RMT to bring London transport to a total halt in attempts to drive up pay



some observations

9 Dec

london tuesday2014

prices are going up in the supermarkets as the christmas is coming.

yesterday i went to morrisons hoping to buy their £2.50/kg shoulder pork. but none to be had. just very large (4kg) pork joints for roasting costing £3.50/kg.

fresh turkey is now making their appearances. before you can only get frozen ones. but they are expensive partly because of the size of the turkey 4kg or more, but the price per kg is also high so that a bird can be £40.

morrisons have 3 for £1.50 deals on carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, brussels sprouts … all roasting accompaniments but it is very early to be buying them. i wonder if they will keep till people start roasting the turkey on christmas day which is 14days away.

i am glad i am not having a party so dont have to stock up on food. so far all the major supermarkets are open on boxing day. in the past they close for two days over christmas.

there is a live update on the bus services here. i use it to tell me when my bus is due and it was useful today because the c10 which i normally take to go to the library had a 20mins (it is really 28mins, really incredibly long delay between services, i wonder why?) gap between 9.12am and 9.40am.

such a long gap but being forewarned i was able to remain at home and do things rather than go and wait for ages at the bus stop; and when it came, two came at once. which is quite useful too as the bus would be too full otherwise. this live update of bus arrivals is very useful.

i see there is a new revamp of the wordpress page. i used to be upset whenever they changed but i am quite easy about these changes now. i think it is good for them to try things out and change things , it may take a bit of getting used to but it is usually an improvement.

i used to be a bit grumpy at them for changing things when it ain’t broke, but recently there have been changes to it and it has been better than before.

there was a bit in the news about a judge ruling that wheelchair users have no priority over prams. it’s a bit tough on the wheelchair users as they are the ones who have fought to have wheelchair access in buses and now the prams users have usurped their hard fought gains. i wonder if a person using a sedgeway or one of the new type self propelling machines can get on the bus with it. maybe not because even an electric wheelchair is not allowed on the bus. for now, invalids will have to wait for the next bus if the first bus is full with prams. i have noticed there seem to be a lot of parents with prams nowadays, at least on the c10 which i take often.

i think my chrome book blocks pop up adverts. certainly i dont get them, though the newspapers are getting wise to it and incorporate their adverts inside the pages of the website. it can be very panic making when the video comes on at full volume, esp when i am in the library. quite irritating too… and no way of getting rid of it. though somehow i seem to have hit the mute button and now they appear but silently. though i read here that there is software you can download that blocks ads. i wonder if they block these adverts within the body of the articles. 

update 12.12.14 i spoke too soon about the rise in prices, veg are still cheap, aldi just published their 6 veg specials for 49p each. and all the christmas dinner veg are represented. yesterday sainsburys was offering half price for all the meats. so prices are lower than last year.

i read that pork is cheap because of the russian embargo. and veg will be in glut because of good harvests. 

i got pork leg joints for £3/kg. at sainsburys which is a good price. the only problem is they dont stock a lot of 2kg packs. perhaps it is the festive season so they concentrate on big packs like 4kg or more. i managed to get the last one of the 2kg pack at sainsburys yesterday. i cut them up into 4 portions and freeze them. my preference is for the shoulder pork, but none to be had, or in aldi, they cost only slightly less than the leg pork. shoulder pork has a more even distribution of fat within the lean bits so are more tasty. for those in the know very lean pork (or any meat really) are not so tasty 

i am on the bus and blogging

16 Jul


I have read that central london is wired with free wifi , but this is the first time i am finding out that it is true.

I am on the bus 24, on the top deck and going through trafalgar square, and now approaching tottenham court road, and my chromebook has got onto  the free ‘wifi-here’ (that’s the name)  and after a few details , like asking me for my mobile phone number so they can send me a code, and to fill out some details of myself, i suppose so no one is anonymous and can be contacted , (they did say they will be sending me adverts to my mobile ) , i got online. rather nice, dont you think?

interesting, when i hit to send, it could not do so, saying an error occurred and to refresh. and i see there is no signal. the bus is right under the centre point tower so that might explain no signal. it looks like the free wifi is not north of tottenham crt road.

Added 2.33pm. I am now at trafalgar square, sitting on the steps of st martin in the fields church, and i found that what i have to click on is ’02wifi’, it seems it is in quite a lot of cafes, coffee houses, and i think i may be using one from one of the eating places around here. maybe it is broadcast by the cafe in the church, or pret nearby.

I was in soho square earlier, and there was no wifi there that i could get. there were lots of office workers sitting on the grass in soho square, eating their lunch.

there was one guy there in shorts and shirtless and barefoot, who looks like he is a traveller, very bronzed and tanned with short cropped hair. his space being encroached on by the lunching workers and him unable to lie down with outstretched bare feet on the grass.  

oh, a chinese guy just walked by with bright blue hair. !!

anyway let me post this and see if it will do so. i suspect it will as there is a signal.

added. it was bright sunshine in trafalgar square, though i was in the shade cast by the porch of the church. at first i could not see images on the screen on my chromebook but i brightened it, and it got legible. it is the first time i used it outdoors and it is perfectly comfortable to work on the screen. 

no cash payments on london buses from 6 july2014

3 Jun


I dont suppose it would interest people here in london, as we all have oyster cards or we know we can pay with contactless debit cards, but i got an email today from tfl.gov.uk saying all buses in london will not accept cash from 8 july. added 7.6.14 it seems it is changed to 6 july. at least that is what is stated in this standard news article about paying by oyster even when there is not enough money in it. 

you pay more, almost £1 more if u pay by cash. and it slows the queue. £2.40 cash, £1.45 by oyster or debit card. the oyster will have a daily limit, and stop paying out once it is reached for the day and zones, but the debit card has no limit.

I suppose it would end those times when the bus is delayed when a tourist fumbles with cash to pay the fare. i must say i would be glad to see the end of that.

Added 7.6.14 i was on the bus the other day and a group of 4 chinese tourists paid cash. they will be affected once cash is forbidden come 6july. they could buy a one day travel pass i suppose from a ticket office in the tube station, though what will they do when they close all ticket offices i wonder. in the end they might as well buy an oyster card each. they can always get a refund of the £5 deposit when they leave the country and return the card… though maybe tlf may hope they wont bother haha. 

not every tourist  has good english to use the ticket machines. certainly when i was in paris, i could not use the machines as i did not know enough french to work them. as far as i can see the machines dont have translations. the english ones here in uk dont have translations either. perhaps they will add other languages , it cannot be difficult to do so. 


I remember a lady asking me if they take foreign money, i did not know but doubt it, still i told her u could try. we were at the tate gallery bus stop. well, the bus came along and she asked the driver, but got a no. at the time the debit card was not introduced so i took her to a local shop, hidden away in the housing estate to get a oyster card. 

now, she can use her credit card as most have contactless payments. 

i noticed now that cash is getting less and less welcomed as far as buses and local transport is concerned. sometimes even in supermarket self service tills you get tills that accept only credit cards.

I read somewhere that in europe people dont have to buy a ticket before they board unlike here in uk, where if u have no ticket you pay the fine. no excuse. whilst in europe it seems because u dont have to have a ticket, people forget to buy one, or pretend they forget haha. as the chances of being caught by a inspector is low and if caught u just pay the fare, instead of a fine. it encourages people to risk it. it is in germany i think. they rely on people’s honesty. maybe germans are honest, if so they must be unusual. humans being what they are, if u give them a chance to get away with it, u cant blame them for taking it. that is why i am all for putting safeguards and limits to anything. esp social security benefits and free housing.