Tag Archives: buses

traffic jam

3 Jun

london 9.11pm 22C dry blue sky and light still out there. sunset 9.11pm. sunday 2018 high 27C.

i was caught in a huge traffic jam in park lane this afternoon. i was coming back from the paddington library, and the 36bus made such a long detour at marble arch. instead of going east down oxford st which is the usual route when this kind of thing happens; it went west, all the way west before it could turn south and travel to kensington high st, before turning east again to hit hydepark corner and resume its route to victoria. if we had been able to go down park lane, we could have done that journey in a fraction of the time we took to travel that detour.

i tried to go online to find out what caused that huge hold up from marble arch  down park lane to hydepark corner, but could not find any reference to it. usually it would be caused by  some demonstration or something similar. a marathon perhaps.  it was about 1pm. but no warning of any protest march this weekend. so it must be an accident. i did debate with myself whether i should just get off and take the tube, but decided that since i was in no hurry, i shall just consider it as a unscheduled bus tour of west london. haha. quite a lot of the passengers must have thought the same, because a big number of them sat on the bus all the way before getting off at victoria. if i were catching the train at victoria, i doubt i would have the patience to sit it out for so long.

there was a young chinese guy with a huge suitcase on wheels got on the bus same time as me, near the paddington library, and he only got off at the junction with harvey nicholls, the department store near harrods. i thought at first he was going to paddington station, but the bus did not go there at all, being diverted to by- pass the station. road works blocked the route.

then when i see he was still on the bus when we took the detour, i thought he was going to victoria, but he was checking his mobile phone so i guess he must know where he is. if he had wanted victoria he got off too soon, if he had waited a short time, we would have hit hydepark corner and from there it is a short ride to victoria.

it was a warm day today, but the bus was nicely airconditioned downstairs, so it was quite pleasant.

long delays during the weekends are quite a common thing in london. most sensible people , or those in a hurry would take the tube really. and i found out recently that the district line is very nicely airconditioned nowadays , with tube trains that are one continuous carriage, with no doors between carriage, so that u can look down the whole length of the train from where u are sitting. in the past it was very stuffy travelling underground which is a good reason to avoid it, but not now with the vast improvement in the trains. but rush hour is still horrendous, so that reason to avoid it still remains.

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please hold on, the bus is about to move.

15 Jan

london 11.34am 10.2C rain 2018 monday

yesterday i was on the bus and heard the announcement that the bus is going to move and to hold on… presumably to something. it is not coordinated to the bus’ movement, so it may allready be moving before that announcement came on. and it does this announcement everytime it stops at the bus stop and move on.

i hope it is just an experiment and it wont last and they stop it.

there was a time when the rear doors will announce very loudly to mind the inward opening doors, but they have muted that now so it is not so irritating. haha. 

there was a time on the c10 bus when they   would announce please stay with your child’s buggy for your safety… or something like that, and i thought it is a good excuse for mothers who enter via the exit doors, not to come forward to the driver where there is a oyster reader and pay their fare haha. if the inspector catches them they can always say, but you told me to stay with my child’s buggy… the management  might have realised that because i dont hear that announcement anymore. haha. you can bet if it interferes with profit, all that safety nonsense goes out the door at once.

there must be a limit to how much u can nanny people. why not an announcement to say the bus is going to stop? because i would have thought a lot of accidents come from the bus stopping, usually with people coming down the stairs of those double decker buses; rather than moving. but u can see how ridiculous it is to announce it every time the driver presses his brakes or approaches a bus stop. 

added. 7.43pm 8.3C dry now. i am back now. earlier i went to that free lunch near liverpool st station. i got there about 12.40pm and there was a queue. but it was moving fast. i got chatting to this guy who came just behind me. he works in a office nearby that sells office furniture. very good business he said. and no wonder, with all those offices sprouting up in that area.

well, i got my free lunch and went nearby to eat it. but i am afraid i dont really find it exciting. there was black noodles in there, and i chose the chick pea option, there was sweet potatoes and there was lentils, the other options. i find not very exciting these vegetarian meals. it is either lentils or chick peas or potatoes. so boring. anyway it is free so cant really argue . normally it costs £7.25 according to the menu board.

i could not finish it , too dry and was wishing there was curry gravy over it… and took it with me to visit my friend, the 80yr old who ask me for help with his computer. interestingly, he ate it all and seem to like it. so it must be me.

we chatted about his affairs, he wanted me to help with his tax affairs from his two paris properties. obviously i am no use there, as it is all in french. i tried to persuade him to get a french tax accountant who can help him better but he did not want to spend money. i told him dont u be one of those old people who refuse to pay some money to get help whilst losing hell of lot of money doing it on their own and failing badly at it. he begrudge paying his uk accountant, £1000 a year to do his tax affairs… i told him dont be silly, it is low what he is charging, and it is all tax deductable anyway. and it would remove all the headaches he is getting himself into trying to do it himself, when he is so doo lally… i reminded him he is a millionaire , with his london property and his two parisien flats, and £1000 a month from the two lodgers… i said he should look on them as giving him free money and he dont have to do a thing… instead of grumbling about how they keep the lights on and not switch off the heating… he seems to think they should switch off the heating that he has turned on. what a strange way of thinking… usually the lodger dont interfere with the heating at all. he wants all those ceiling lights that he has installed, but grumbles about it when the lodgers leave it switched on. i ask him why not just remove some of those lights. it is always a silly thing in my opinion for people to put so much of those ceiling lights on the ceiling… rows of it god knows why they do it. but he says he dont like that… so i told him stop grumbling about the lights if u want them bright. you want these things and you are getting the lodgers to pay for it, so if u look at it that way u should be grateful to them for paying for something you want. it is the same with the heating, he wants it warm, and would switch it on all day. ( he showed me his smart meter, showing it allready cost him £2.88 for his heating today…(damn stupid meter, as if it is going to get him to switch off the heating… what a hope! that is why i think these smart meters are hopeless. it is not cold at all today…) i was thinking it is not fair on the lodgers who have to pay part of it, when they only are in at night and yet have to pay for the whole day he is in… i could not let him see this side of it. and he should be grateful they dont mind… so anyway i told him stop thinking you cant afford it… you are like that man who grumbles about how poor he is, whilst sitting on a chest of gold coins worth £1million . i think i managed to at least make him realise it.

we are rich men you know. just by buying our flats when we did we are sitting on a fortune, and did not do anything to deserve it either. just luck really. my generation is fortunate. and that is why i say all those nephews and nieces of gay guys, go now and butter him up, and u might be given some of that fortune in his will, when he dies. haha. us gay guys with no dependants have no one to give it to when we make a will. with me i give it all to simon, but after him, i dont really care who gets it. most of us gay guys have distanced ourselves from immediate family… so we are more likely to give to nephews and nieces, but if we dont know them, we are not going to give them. so go and butter up your single gay uncle or aunt. haha. come to think of it, they need not be gay either, because if they are not married, they wont have anyone to give it to and will be likely to give to you if u butter them up nicely.

prudential bike ride

30 Jul

london 6.11pm 20.1C sunny sunday 2017

I have been looking at the webcam on trafalgar square just now, and i see no buses at all on the road, until just now when a red bus came into view. so it looks like the road blocks put in place for the road race is now removed and the buses are running again.

it has been drastic stoppage of the buses. none are running into the centre of london, the area around trafalgar square. for me, the 88, 36 stoppage are the ones most affecting me. i had wanted to go to the virgin lounge at the haymarket, but decided not to bother. perhaps it is just me, reluctant to do anything that is not bus related. i m so used to the convenience of the buses, they set u down so near your destination, unlike the tube where there is a lot of walking both underground between platforms and also above ground to your destination. it could be a age related thing. as i have gone older i find i like the buses more than the tube. even though the tube is faster.

but needs must and so i did take the tube this morning to the paddington library to read the sunday papers. it involved 3 changes of tube trains, victoria line, than the bakerloo line, and then the hammersmith/circle line to royal oak station.  compare that to my normal route by bus taking just one bus the 36 and it set me down right by the library too. its interesting in its own way, because it is so rare i take the tube it is like i am doing something new. 

ah well, it is still very bright outside, it was light drizzling rain on and off earlier but now all is clear. i had a nap, thinking of going to the tesco later tonight as i suspect there might be bargains to be had if no one can travel due to the buses being so disrupted. but i forgot that the supermarkets close early today… still thinking of the late closing, and had in mind going at about 8pm.

when i woke, it was 5.30pm, too late to go as they mostly close at about 4pm. or at the latest 5pm.

this prudential bike thing comes round every year and is the most disruptive of all the races they run in and around london. does anyone enjoy it i wonder? it is not much of a spectator sport,the route runs near me, by the river at vauxhall bridge, but i dont see anything on it, the bikers come in drips and drabs… and there is a lot of hanging around where nothing happens. imagine closing the bridge for the whole day just for the odd biker coming along.

 but maybe it is exciting… to participate.

i was wondering how the people who live along the bus 36 route further south of the river , from vauxhall all the way to lewisham; cope. there are no tubes run through there, and the rail is limited. but i think the buses do run there but not as frequent. it is only disrupted  just in the centre between vauxhall and marble arch. the centre has the tube, so people are not so inconvenienced really, but if u live in the outskirts and have to rely on the buses , it must be a real pain. 

correction. i had a look at the buses running on the end route of the 36 and found that there are lots of other buses that are running. so those living there are not really inconvenienced at all, they have a lot of other bus services to chose from.

it just goes to show there is no second guessing what others feel about anything. two different people experiencing the same thing may have very opposite reactions to it, with one feeling hard done by , the other enjoying it.

i mean if u read all this , me talking about this buses disruption to my travels, you might get the impression i am really pissed off about it. but it is not so. and if it does not piss me off, i dont know why i assumed others will be pissed off by this… granted there are lots of traffic jams, so that traffic is at a standstill… but for us without a car, it is nothing to bother us, really.

i assume car owners caught in the jam will be upset, but i dont know. for all i know, they might be calm about it, and accept it. certainly on the bus looking at the cars sitting there becalmed, no one acted impatient , no one hooted their horn, or cut into others or make rude gestures or shouted at anybody… everyone was very polite and calm and gave way to others. it is something that we might not appreciate about car drivers here in london. everyone is very polite and there is no ridiculous hooting of the horn or shouting. 

another hot day

19 Jun

london 12.41pm 30.3C sunny monday 2017

cant really help talking about the weather really. it hit a high of 30.6 at 11.47am. and the day is not over yet.

i have just got back from my free breakfast at primeburger in the st pancreas concourse. i got there at about 10am just before a huge bunch of young people clutching the photostat copy of their voucher. haha. and i read in the website that if u order a breakfast you can get a coffee for £1. so i got a cappuchino to go with my bacon bun.

last time i was there , there was a crowd of people sitting by the benches outside the cafe… and this time i was early enough to see them gather. so it was all my fellow voucher eaters. haha. many took it away. i stayed to eat in, and quite pleasant it is, with free wifi, from the st pancreas people, u dont have to give any details if u just use their 10min wifi. u can always log in again if u wish to continue after 10mins.

as usual, it is pricey for what u get. £3.45 for a single component bun. and their coffee comes in a paper cup, and not really very frothy… i would not consider it worth the money at the normal price of £2.70. i think only travellers must be wanting to eat breakfast there. though if i were travelling i would bring my own breakfast or food and coffee in a thermos. haha. from what i see, everyone of the other stalls in that area put their coffee in paper cups too. so u might not really get any better coffee in that area. 

but of course i mustn’t carp seeing it is free after all. and really, if u can afford it, go ahead and give them some business. i have good wishes for them just because they have this free promotion which they dont have to do , it is generous of them really. the rent in that place must be very high. i can only wish them all good things and huge success with the business. as it is they provided me with some fun free food.

i noticed also u can enter their summer festival contest using the number in the receipt. the main prize is a free ticket to the music festival in chelmsford… not of interest to me, but u might get the other prizes of free burgers etc. which i much prefer. but it is all a lucky draw, so u might not get anything at all, which is what happened to me when i entered my receipt number this morning.

i came back by bus which i would not recommend if u are wanting to get to anywhere in a hurry. better take the tube. that area round kings cross is very congested. there was almost stationary traffic going west. those two train stations , st pancreas and kings cross brings in a lot of people and taxis. and then there is the cross london traffic which uses that east west road , it is no wonder it is so congested.

and i was able to get a dentist appointment. i went to the clinic in person, rather than call them for an appointment… as i was passing by… and was given one the next day at 11.15am. that was quick, and i did not even say it was an emergency. just that i want a checkup. it seems i have not been there since nov 2013…(and i only know that because when i got back i wanted to put their telephone number in my address book and noticed the last date i had there was when i had the crown done.)

hope when it is recemented it lasts me another 4yrs. haha. though it is not likely. in fact looking at it i am surprised it lasted that long.

 added 1.16pm. i got a text message from the hospital reminding me of the 29june appointment. they are rather good at sending these reminder text nowadays… it is a long way from the appointment but still it might make people keep it in mind. i certainly will attend as i want to give them back the crutches and the surgical boot. and hope they will reuse it rather than throw it away. 

added/ 9.51pm 27.4C dry 

 

first time this year that my nhs thermometer is showing the highest temperature. 27C in the flat. in fact, i dont recall it ever hitting this high before.

summer sale now on.

17 Jun

london 2.56pm 29.1C sunny 2017

yes, that is the temperature now it seems. they have forecast it will be hot this weekend, and the thermometer seems to bear them out. there is not much breeze so that it feels hotter.

first sign that tells me there is something , an event, happening in whitehall is when the bus driver of the 453 asked me where i want to go. he was being diverted to go over waterloo bridge instead of westminster bridge . it seems whitehall is blocked off.

 i had wondered why they closed it. when i got back and googled it, all i could find was the horse guards changing of the guards… but that happens everyday so no call to close the road… it might be the queen is opening parliament. that has been postponed due to the election. it normally takes place in May. so this could be it. the delayed opening of parliament and the queen’s speech spelling out the agenda of the govt for the year.(that one, opening of parliament is on 21june it seems) it was only when i was looking at the tv guide that i saw today was the trooping of the colour, an annual thing to mark the birthday of the queen. so that was what it is all about. i thought it was last week,  10june. i remember it always used to be on the morning of the day the naked bike ride was on. but i think the election must have knocked everything out of kilter this year. this weekend was supposed to be the westend live show in trafalgar square or so i thought, but googling it i find it is changed to the 24/25june instead. not that i go there to watch it. it is too crowded and also i am not that interested in the musicals they do these days. it was better in the old days. haha. 

but the buses are still running, even though diverted. so that is all right then. haha. it is nice to see london so busy with so many people out and about. and the buses are nicely air conditioned so the waiting and delay is not a great inconvenience.

all along regent st, the shop windows were having signs that say up to 50% off and SALES in big letters. so it looks like the summer sales are on now. usually they gradually reduced the prices until at the end when everything that was not sold is then drastically reduced to get rid of it. but this year they are starting to cut it by half, right at the start. only some items of course, as they are not stupid.haha. but those things they know wont sell they are cutting to the chase and just reduce it by half to attract shoppers who might want to hang fire till the end of the sales. its a bit like a cat and mouse game with their customers. this way u get them coming regularly to the store just to check out their target choices for fear it might be reduced by half. allready reports are in that uk has got the highest spend  of the tourist money for the year. a record it seems. and not surprising when u consider everything is 15-20% reduced just from the fact of the £ dropping by that much. great if u are a tourist. i am glad i dont like all this stuff they are selling… haha. so never feel i am losing out to the tourists. they are most welcome to it all , that is what i say.

there have been lots of unsettling things happening in uk recently… so that these everyday scenes i see about me as i sit on the top deck of the bus, or even on the lower deck and seeing the guys walking about in shorts and flashing a lot of leg is harking back to what is a normal summer’s day. 

busy buses

30 Apr

london sunday 2017. 5.24pm 15C cloudy .

as usual i go to the paddington library to read the sunday papers, not many, as they only take in two . the mail on sunday and the sunday times.

oh by the way, the water leak has been repaired. at least there is not that huge gush of water shooting out of the wall from the outlet pipe high up the wall of my block of flats. must be quite a relief for those who live in the flat just below it.

i went to the library by bus and i noticed it is rather full. the 36. ever since they diverted the 436 which used to stop at paddington station, and shifted it from vauxhall to terminate at  battersea power station, i have noticed the 36 service is not so frequent as before and more crowded. it is the only service that links vauxhall, victoria station and paddington station.

i was thinking i am on the bus because it is a leisure activity for me, i dont have to do it, but many of those i see around me dont seem to be making the trip out of pleasure. since the route serves victoria station and paddington station, there are quite a number with luggage. that is the thing when u live in a big city there are so many people so that even on a bank holiday sunday when people are not working, u still see such a lot of people taking the buses. its busy, busy, busy. quite nice if u are like me who like to people watch.

i wonder if the 36 is reduced service today because it is a sunday. i remembered they do go less frequently on a sunday. and also tomorrow too, as it is a public holiday. so today’s infrequent service may not be normal. but it is all relative, because even with this slower service, the wait is only about 10mins or so. they must hire a lot of bus drivers.

and the mental talking to that i gave myself about taking the knapsack off my shoulders seem to have worked a treat. i have no desire to off load the knapsack, and in fact it makes for such a pleasant time because it being on my shoulder i can put it out of my mind entirely. i forgot about it and so did not notice it’s weight.  

 

 

how i spend my day whilst waiting for the foot to heal

26 Mar

london 2.12pm sunny day 14C sunday 2017

when i woke up , it was such a sunny blue sky day, i felt like going out. and so decided to go to the paddington library, even though yesterday i thought i shall skip it. so now i am at the library. what surprised me was how nice people are ,asking me if i am ok, and one man even offered to give me a helping hand when i was hobbling to the library. its very heart warming. 

5.55pm sunny 13.6C highest was 14.4C so i wonder where is that heatwave (up to 19C they promised).

i got back , in one piece, as it were. quite happy that i was able to do it, without damaging anything. simon was back just before me, and he said he got very worried when he did not see me at home, thinking i had been whisked off to the hospital by an emergency.

i showed him the foot, the swelling was still there and not seem to have got smaller. though granted i have been on my feet all this time, so it might just be blood pooling in that foot.

its only 2days and antibiotics need a full 5days to work. so i suppose i must give it time, and it might turn it round and cure it. otherwise i shall have to make another appointment. i sincerely hope there wont be any need and that come 5 days i shall see clear signs of the infection clearing up.

i have much cause to thank the bus system. it saves me from doing a lot of walking. it is a short walk to the 88 bus stop, and that takes me south over the vauxhall bridge to vauxhall, where i change to the 36, and that takes me north and goes over the vauxhall bridge again, and that takes me quite a long way to paddington and beyond to a bus stop close to the library. so i take two buses where normally it would just be the one. it was really very necessary, because i find walking is exhausting.

i think it helps to be active, it will encourage blood flow into the foot, and that would bring the antibiotics to the germs. i think in the old days, the advise would be to rest the foot, prop it up, and lie on the bed, or divan all day and not exert yourself. maybe they still advise it, but i am of the opinion that it is dangerous to rest it completely. once u can move it without too much pain, u should do so and increase the activity as it gets better.

times like this makes me realise our feet really do a lot of work which we take for granted. our body is really amazing. we just take it for granted until something goes wrong. than we really appreciate it  healthy.

in the meantime, i shall occupy my time by surfing the net, reading other people’s blog in the wordpress community  and peeking into their lives. and watching tv, and reading my books. it is very nice to do so.

 there is an interesting one by tom holt, about a world where magic is sold and demons can enter that world and they are hunted by a govt department , and this magic salesman has demons after him. i am at the point where he does not know why the demons are after him.