Tag Archives: buses

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. 

traffic jams

8 Sep

london 5.37pm 22.2C sunny thursday 2016

yesterday had a high of 28.3C. but that was only for a day, today it got back to normal.

i had first hand experience of what they meant when they said london had a highest amount of traffic jams in europe. at least that was what i read here. i was googling traffic jams yesterday because i got caught up in one in parliament square. it was due to a demonstration of marchers who blocked one carriageway on westminster bridge. it is quite a common occurrence in the centre of london. i think the congestion charge prevents the usual reason for a traffic jam, ie the sheer amount of traffic. at least in central london. but it mightnot be the case in this part of london that i was in today. 

i thought central london’s constant protest marches are the reason for making london the most traffic jammed city in europe.  but today i went to shepherds bush by bus, hoping to buy morrisons’ basic instant coffee. (they were sold out too, earlier i had gone to the morrisons’ in camberwell and they were sold out as well. i saw lots of empty shelves in morrisons’ shepherd bush branch. )

 anyway both going there, via the 148 bus along the north side of hydepark, and coming back on the c1, through knightsbridge, there was very slow moving traffic. i wonder why… perhaps it was just the sheer amount of traffic. so that is the reason for the huge traffic jams in that area.

i am certainly not going to grumble when my bus in the central area congestion zone  is jammed because of a demonstration. at least here in central london, i dont get jammed because of the sheer volume of traffic. so taking the bus within the congestion zone is quite pleasant, with the buses able to move at a good rate at normal times, when there are no marches in protest against something or other, in their dedicated bus lanes. 

heading to shepherds bush, i saw a lorry with a extra long load attached to it, and other heavy goods vehicles in the long line of traffic. dont know if they might have added to the congestion.

i was thinking are the residents regretting not having a congestion charge now? long ago the congestion charge area covered this section of london, but when boris got in , it was abolished. i was thinking it might be good to get it back.

certainly i am glad i dont live in that area, even though it encompassed some of the choicest properties.  it is no fun to have all that money and cannot drive your car or even go anywhere because of those traffic jams. even those poorer people who have to rely on the buses are in trouble, because the buses are caught in the jam too.

u might say let them use the tube, but some parts of that area are bereft of tube stations and are quite a long way from one. it surprised me too, this is supposedly an expensive area to live but there are huge areas where only the buses serve it.  if u look at the map you can see three areas nottinghill area, kensington area, chelsea area are bereft of tubes stations. 

the c1 meandered all round that area and i could see it linked a lot of places that are oasis of isolation from the nearest tube stations. it is quite a hefty walk to the nearest tube station. and if the buses cannot  run smoothly because of the traffic jams, i dont think it is that good a place to live in.

added. i pulled up a link to the c1 route, and there i find a status alert, and it is Buses serving Holland Park Roundabout, W11 are delayed up to forty minutes due to a burst watermain. so that was why my bus 148 got diverted. 

Digital StillCamera

this is what asda’s basic instant coffee looks like. funny why they always make the labels look so unappealing. but the coffee is made from coffee beans, so as far as i am concerned its good enough. haha. 47p for 100mg. and it comes in a glass jar too. i made a cup justnow , cant say i can taste any difference from the tesco, or morrisons basic instant. the morrisons have a more bitter taste, and that i find i like. as i grow older, i like bitter taste now. so once i shall stock up on more of morrisons.  somehow i associate coffee with a slight bitter taste. that tastes like real coffee to me. maybe because i grew up on malaysian coffee, and it has a bitter taste.and we always sweeten it with condensed milk.  it has a strong  aroma because it is ground coffee and filtered through cloth filters. aroma is something that all instants dont have anymore.

in the past nescafe instant has this aroma, but not any more. at least not their classic blend.

i saw a tv cooking program and learnt that there are two beans robusta and arabica. the robusta gives it a bitter taste but not much aroma, whilst the arabica is milder so less bitter, and have more aroma. it looks like i like the robusta then. 

this link gives the difference between robusta and arabica

added. 4.39pm 5.10.16 wednesday. when i went to asda  to buy another , the price has gone up to 59p. morrisons , which comes in a vacuum pack has gone up to 58p from 50p. little did i realise that 47p was a swan song, and not to be seen again maybe forever. 

 

 

perks of living in london

6 Sep

london 8.50am 20.7C cloudy tuesday 2016

living in london has its perks.

i read yesterday in the evening standard that from monday, bus users will be able to change buses free if it is within an hour of their first ride. ie their ticket is valid for 1hr on any bus. and they expect it to apply to tube rides in 2018.

it might benefit those who take short journeys , say to the supermarket or shops. they can do everything within an hour and so spend only £1.50 for the return trip which normally would have cost £3. quite a good saving if u are going on a supermarket shopping. it means the one way fare is 75p. that brings it back to the old days when a single fare for a short journey is 65p. before they change that to any length of journey costs the same with a fare of 90p, which gradually rose to £1.50 now. it wont work if it is a long journey as it leaves u very little time to do your shopping. and it wont work if u have to take two buses to get there. you can get there using one ticket, but u wont be able to use it again for the return journey. 

the example about supermarket shopping is really a valid one, because u will be coming back with heavy shopping, for which u need a wheeled shopping bag, and that is not easy to carry if u ride a bike.( i have thought of tying it to the back of my bike, long ago when i was riding my bike everywhere; but i never did do it. and it sure was awkward to balance two heavy shopping bags of stuff on the handle bars , or to strap them onto the back carriage behind my seat. my bike dont have a carrier basket in the front).

of course all this applies if u are under 60yrs old, because if u are over 60 here in london u get a free oyster card that allows u unlimited free travel on buses and tubes and trams, and trains within the 8 zones. and that is another perk, because you cannot get that if u live outside london. you have to wait till you are 66, or 67yrs old to get the freedom pass which is free bus travel for those old people who live in the rest of england and wales and that of course includes london. so when u reach that age u have to exchange that free oyster card for a freedom pass and then u can use any buses anywhere in england and wales for free. ( somebody else pays for it, and that is your council, where u live). of course the cost is spread much wider than that. those who pay are those who have lost council services which are scrapped due to lack of funds because council have to pay this extra cost on their budget.

life is like that. what benefits one group, means another group or the whole group have to pay for it. but maybe it is also what separates us from animals. we can see some groups need to be subsidised, or given more help. those that we see are vulnerable. and so the whole group pays for providing that. or in case of services, like roads, public transport, we see they need to be paid for and some parts of it subsidised, whilst other parts are charged more than their cost.

who pays for it and who benefits, that is the one that needs balance. and we are still at odds about that. 

there are lots of other things that is nice about living in uk, or in london in particular. not everyone will agree with my selection. for eg, i have heard in france that if u dont greet the shop assistant when u first enter the shop u will be considered rude, and offend the assistant. but here in uk, no one bothers to greet anyone… neither the assistant nor the customer. and no one expects it and so no one feels offended. i like that. 

24 hour city comes to london

19 Aug

london 8.51pm 18.1C highest 19.8C raining friday 2016

tonight the start of the all night tube in london. it is only the victoria and central line. south london wont be served. and it is only on friday and saturday. so not 7/7. 

i suppose south london is used to being the neglected child in this. though so much of south london has only buses serving it, that extending the tube further south wont make much difference. buses brings u right to your destination, which is the best thing about buses. and at night u would love that , so u dont have far to walk from your bus stop to get back home.

i dont know about you but if i live quite far from a tube station, i rather take a night bus from central london, where there are other people about, that sets me down right near where i live,  rather than take the tube, and get out from a isolated tube station in the outskirts and wait all alone for a night bus  from there to take me to my home. 

it would be interesting to know how many really gain from this 24 hr tube service. maybe a year from now they will have more data to see if it really does make a difference. or will buses be drastically reduced because fewer people use them.

they are saying houses in zones 3-6 will be more attractive and prices will take a hike.( i mean a rise).  perhaps night workers, or people working in shifts will welcome this and enjoy faster travel, but only for those working over the weekend.

security must be the biggest concern. how to keep terrorists from planting a bomb in there , in a network that spans so vast an area, with so many stations open and hardly any staff . in the day, with so many passengers to keep an eye on any suspicious activity or package, it is a good safeguard, but in the dead of night….?  

in the past when all the stations are closed, anyone lurking in the area will be suspicious, but now with these places open, anyone can walk in carrying any number of things. i wonder if the security people have thought about it. they must have and decided it is safe. so i guess we can only hope they are right.

this reuters report says night trains rumbling all night will be noisy for those people who live near the tracks. 

added. 9.54am sat 20.8.16 16.9C cloudy i saw a copy of wednesday’s evening standard, lying on my bedroom floor. it is devoted specially to news about the 24hr tube service.  there was an article about new night buses being launched to service the northern end of the victoria line, and the eastern end of central line. so walthamstow, stratford, leytonstone, crouch end, muswell hill and ilford will benefit. there will also be a 24hr service on theE1 bus between greenford and ealing. (that is in the western end of the central line). 94 bus from picadilly circus to acton green will continue , they had intended services to be cut.

new bus routes are 34 barnet church to walthamstow central. 123 ilford high road to wood green. 145 leytonstone to dagenham. 158 stratford to chingford mount. 296 ilford broadway to romford. E1 greenford broadway to ealing broadway. W3 finsbury park to northumberland park. W7 finsbury park to muswell hill broadway. they run every 30mins. a further 7 bus routes have been introduced.

service staff in the tube stations have been told not to get in the way of fare dodgers. so it does look like fare dodgers can get away with it. its like a free service then.

also what if homeless people start staying  in these tube trains… esp during winter… they can stay in all night. i can see there will be lots of fun and games to be had by all those involved.

i daresay someone will complain of being raped… how soon that will happen i wonder. any bets on that? knowing human beings some soul will contrive to have that experience. not to mention will the tube turn out to be the new way for gays to cruise. haha . robbery of course will happen too. when u get drunk people who can barely stand, they will be ripe for the picking. 

all to provide a few a faster way home. is it worth it i wonder? maybe it is… if it brings in more traffic into london and increase profits for businesses there , and we are talking not only central london but the whole of greater london. i can envisage taxis losing business. i suppose it is inevitable that london will have a 24hr tube service. all cities worth the name should have a 24hr tube service really. it will be an interesting experiment this one.

added. 11.53am 17.5C friday 30.9.16 found out what this plant is called. rowan. it is featured in the guardian country diary for today. there are trees and shrubs of this plant everywhere near where i live. the birds eat them, when they are ripe. 

The fruit of European Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) can be made into a slightly bitter jelly which in Britain is traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to game, and into jams and other preserves, on their own, or with other fruit. The fruit can also be a substitute forcoffee beans, and have many uses in alcoholic beverages: to flavour liqueurs and cordials, to produce country wine, and to flavour ale. In Austria a clear rowan schnapps is distilled which is called by its German name Vogelbeerschnaps. Czechs also make a Rowan liquor called jeřabinka[11] and the Welsh used to make one called diodgriafel.[12] 

extract from wikipedia