Tag Archives: business

free lunch near tower bridge.

8 Oct

london 4.05pm 17C cloudy tuesday 2019

today, there is a restaurant near tower bridge, who are giving away 100 free spareribs (i misread it as spareribs, but it is short ribs. i have never heard of this cut. is it beef or pork?had to google it, and found out it is beef ribs) burgers to celebrate their opening. its quite nice, i got there by tube, because the buses are so disrupted it would be very slow to get there otherwise.

i could not find it, at first, so lucky that two of the people i know who goes to these freebies appeared and we managed to find it in the end. it was close to 10mins before it opens at 12pm,when we arrived,  but there were only 3 others ahead of us. but the queue started stretching behind us as soon as we joined the queue.

it was quite a nice burger, to takeaway only, so they had allready packed the food up in a takeaway bag and were able to give it out very quickly so that the queue went very fast. they said we could eat on the tables outside, and the two  with me did so… but i wanted to sit by the river, so i took myself  to near the river bank, and watch the river as it flows by. and look at all the tourists that were milling about the place.

there was a lot of meat in the burger and surprisingly it was not salty. at first i thought it was pulled pork, but it is not. usually when i have spareribs, there is the bone in it, but this one they must have got the bone out without destroying the integrity of the meat. it was very meaty , all in one piece as it were, and there were quite a few pieces of this chunky meat in it.  that it is not salty i think is really something to comment on and makes it unusual from the norm. if u eat there another time, without the free offer,  it costs £10, and for that you can get sides of chips and pickles with it.

coming back, i saw the effect of the road blocks imposed by the climate change demonstrations.

they closed the strand to all traffic, and presumably closed all the roads leading into parliament square too.

the buses thus were not running, so i walked from aldwych. though i did not go far, decided to go into a pret near the waterloo bridge, just to charge my chromebook.

it has a big downstairs section. very pleasant too, a lot of chinese looking customers there. i wonder if that is usual, or is it just that day.   as usual they got a tap water dispenser so i was able to get to fill up my water bottle. 

afterwards, walking along the strand to trafalgar square, i could see two other branches of pret. and all of them busy. so they seem to have cornered the coffee shop business there. 

i did not go to trafalgar square, as i have no wish to meet up with those climate change people. so i dived into the charing cross tube station and got back to pimlico and walked back to my flat. i wonder how we will feel about it when we have two weeks of this thing to endure. added. i was writing the above, when it rained heavily. so those demonstrators got a wetting. it did not last long, it was a short heavy spell of rain and than it cleared up. it must have just missed me, i got home just before it came down. simon came back just after me, and he said he just avoided being drenched too. he is now making risotto. haha. 

the gym experience.

18 Jun

london 7.46pm 22.1C (high 26C) sunny monday 2018

i took up the daily mail offer of a free 7day pass to a gym. i chosed one near me, in victoria, where i used to be a member about 10yrs ago. and i can say there is no going back to the old days. when i was a member there, it has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and a lot of space . now it is much smaller and only have showers. there was no soap provided. no towels too. i paid £20 a month in those days, now you have to pay £37 a month. for not a lot. what is surprising is that they have other branches that cost £20 a month. this one cost so much and yet dont have any of the facillities that would explain the extra cost… and i can only assume it is the location, supposedly more central that explains why it costs so much more. they have a branch in south kensington that charged £47 a month. what extra do that branch provide? if they provide the same facillities , or lack of it, than it is hard to justify the extra cost.

but even after the fact that they dont provide anything extra in facillities, the gym was very busy when i went there at about 6.30pm. so it looks like the extra cost is not a deterrant to membership. i sometimes dont really understand human beings. why did they join this branch, instead of the others which are so much cheaper. its so crowded all the machines were being used. and its a monday too. i find it just too crowded to exercise , so i did not do so. just had a shower.  i was chatting to a chinese guy in the changing room who is a member there, and i should have asked him what is the attraction for him to join this branch.

the council gym is so much better, so spacious and nice showers with soap provided. and yet it doesnot appear to be so popular as these private gyms.

i went into the Marks and spencer store nearby, and see a lot of empty shelves. those hungry hordes of office workers have swept the food. they dont seem to be put off by the cost. that is why i think businesses have managed to keep going , the lunchtime profit from the office workers is enough to sustain them. these office workers are like a bunch of locusts.the cost is not a deterrant. 

i was earlier in the tesco , a local branch near piccadilly circus, during the lunch hour, and it was absolutely jammed pack with these office workers buying their lunch. long queues snaking away from the tills, all trying to pay, as if it is free. (rereading it i know it is illogical, that last bit. but you get my point, i hope. haha) that store and many like it must make a lot of profit from just the lunchtime business. 

added. 12.18pm 27.2C sunny monday 25.6.18. i never did goback to that gym to use it and use up the free pass.makes me realise i am not going to use those weights, so no point joining the gym.

the circuit training that i am using seem to appeal more to me. it is a supervised activity and because i am expected to go, i go. i read in my library a notice saying there is a yoga class for over 50s in a old age community hall near me, it is on wednesday too, and i might go and see if i would like it. 

shops opening and closing

21 Mar

london 9.28pm 7.3C dry night wednesday 2018

i seldom get phone calls, so it was unusual just now i got two, in succession. one was from a chinese friend who has returned from malaysia. he was there for 5wks. he stayed in penang, his home town, and took a trip to kl. he said he just spent his time enjoying the foods. i asked if he went to the gay clubs in kl, but he said he has gone off them now. ah well, it does happen to us as we get older. clubbing is not so much fun anymore.

he said nothing noteworthy happened during his time in malaysia. i sometimes think thailand is more interesting… lots of things going on in thailand. the people there are wanting to interact with visitors… the incentive being they want something from the visitor, selling them things, or services that is why. whereas in malaysia, there is not that pressure on the guys there as the tourist business do not involve so many of the citizens in malaysia. most have other jobs that have  nothing to do with tourism. 

the other call which came just shortly after the first call, was from a english friend who organises the ex east -west club meetings of former members. there was some trouble with his mobile phone i recall, because in the past few weeks he sent me text messages which i never received. i think it is his phone that is at fault. so i suggested he use the other phone that he has got.

with this phone that he is now using, i could not make out some of his conversation. and his voice sounds weird, one of his friends told him he sounded like he have a cold. so it was a strain to talk with him over the phone. i hope he will change his phone.

but there you are, mundane things like this is what occupies me nowadays. haha. i like it , because the opposite would be even more intolerable. to have constant phone calls from people demanding my time, that is hell.

i see westfield shopping centre in shepherds bush have done a fresh new opening … to celebrate their increase in size. i read that john lewis has taken up a lot of space there… interesting that because sales are down in john lewis. and now with this branch they would have 4 branches all within london. their oxford st br, chelsea peter jones br, and the one in westfield stratford east london. i wonder why they do that…aren’t they spreading themselves very thin and have to pay all those overheads in rentals… they and the westfield management must have a lot of confidence in the economy because there have been many high st chain shops closing down. toy r us is the one that is in the news now. and other retail chains are in trouble too. 

i was in the kings road chelsea, came out of the sports centre after my circuit training, and saw the habitat store is closing down. this is their kings road branch. last day is sunday and they are clearing their stock reducing it to half price, though even so, it is pricey… armchair costing £500, and that is half priced allready. they will continue to have their main store in tottenham court road.

when i look at my two armchairs that i got free from somewhere, years ago when i first bought the flat;  i figured i have saved myself a lot of money. haha.

in the end, i hardly sit on those armchairs, we put our clothes on them. that was until recently, when simon did a big clearing out and the chairs emerged from all those clothes. but we are starting to put clothes there now and starting the process of  covering them up again. 

there is a national carpet chain store closing down, carpetright,  i just read the news about it,  but yet i see a local carpet store has opened in lupus st, pimlico … this store tend to close down and than reopen about every two-three years or so.. i suppose when the lease expires and they leave; to return when they get a new lease again. but looking at their store window i cannot help but notice that their carpets are all beige, and grey… no colour at all. what happened to those bright deep coloured carpets that are like the ones i got in my lounge? it is bright dark vibrant green that i never see on sale anymore. mind you, that bright colour means any marks on it shows up like billy o. 

uk a tax haven? no

21 Nov

london 5.07pm 12.2C drizzling monday 2016 quite warm really.

read another article saying facebook has decided to stay put in london, in fact increasing its workforce to 500 from the 1000 already here when they move to new offices which it is building in fitzrovia. that area around the post office tower.

so this is  3 of the big guns of the internet companies increasing their presence in london. i wonder what is up.

(and in that article it mentioned amazon is moving its headquarters to london too from slough, berkshire. ) what is going on i wonder? even though they have a physical presence in uk, they have not paid much taxes to uk, still being able to channel profits to their company in luxemburg. just goes to show how lenient the british taxman is to these big companies. instead they go after the little man. (wasn’t it helmsley, she of the helmsley hotels in new york who said only the little people pay taxes?) hmrc is now thinking of charging tax on perks like gym membership etc. 

i think after ireland was forced by the EC to increase the tax to one of them,(microsoft, in case u are wondering) they must all be rethinking their strategy. uk at least has been very accommodating to them, and not forcing them to pay the full amount of tax allowing them to bypass their profits into off shore companies. and with PM May saying she wants to give them the lowest corporate taxes in the G20. (it seems trump has said he will bring down  corporation tax rate to 15%). well, if uk is going to follow they must be thinking it will be wise to stayput in uk. not to mention they might be able to avoid us tax if they pay uk tax as there is a reciprocation agreement between the two countries where there is no double taxation. (corporation tax rate is currently 20% in uk, to fall to 17%  in 2020. so really it is not a long drop to 15% ). it looks like all the countries are trying to attract businesses to stay rather than go abroad. all the big internet companies are holding vast amounts of money off shore… they are holding off bringing it back to the US, because of that high 35% corporation tax rate in usa now. i think trump wants it brought down to 15% to allow them to bring it back and be taxed. 

it would seem people might be better to let themselves be made into a company. that way they can pay company tax rates of ,what is it now,20%? ireland charges 15% so if PM May is wishing it, it might be lower (about equal)  in uk in future.

it would make the uk the best tax haven in the world. or will it?

added.11.35am tuesday 22.11.16 12.1C cloudy.  i wonder what rate the bahamas charge.i googled it and to my surprise it is 0%. so it seems the uk is a long way from being a tax haven. haha. how does it work out for the bahamas to charge 0%. how do they make money out of it i wonder?

hmm, if they bring corporation tax to 15% i wonder if they might consider bringing personal tax rate to that as well, and remove all exemptions. have maybe £11000 tax free for everyone, and then tax the balance at a flat rate 15% on gross income. it will at a stroke put a lot of accountants out of business. haha.



motorbike sharing in ubergurgaon

30 Mar

london 8.18am 6.5C clear wednesday 2016

i find this one interesting, uber providing this service free for the test period.

i am thinking it is great because when i was visitng my parents, in petaling jaya, malaysia, (long ago when they were alive) i had to drive the car down to the nearest metro station, and leave it parked there all day whilst i travel down by metro to kuala lumpur. it would be useful then to have this service, get a lift by motorbike to the station, and then get a lift when i come back. it would hit the taxi drivers livelihood though. and the local authorities’ income from their license.  is it a good thing? sometimes i wonder , if u allow unlicensed operators on the road, you could get trouble. 

hamburgers with pink in the middle

4 Dec

london 3.40pm friday

i have enjoyed eating hamburgers where the meat is pink in the inside. but now i see a council in portsmouth winning a court case against a burger place for serving a pink in the middle burger.

it seems the council wants them to specify how the burger meat is produced so that the meat is not contaminated.

a rare steak is allowed because only the outside is contaminated and the germs are killed on cooking, so it is ok to serve a steak rare.

it just means more cost to get someone to work out the paper work. it is no wonder eating out is so expensive because of all these petty bureaucracy… though i suppose u could say it will stop fly by nighters serving unhygienic food to unsuspecting customers.

but dont complain when the food prices are jacked up, and it costs so much to eat out.  it just means anyone willing to go into this food business must allow for the extra costs in complying to all the food rules and laws that abound and all that cost means the customer have to foot the bill. now u know why it costs so much to eat out.

the owners sound like they are polish, so maybe there is some kind of politics in there somewhere. the local shops may be complaining as they provide competition.

once u taste beef that is medium rare, it is difficult to go back to eating well cooked beef. 

chinese visitors spend a lot

22 Oct

london 9.19am thursday 2015

the chinese president and his wife are here on an official visit. the first time for dont know how many years. considering that china is such an important trading entity, it is surprising it has taken so long. i read that the chinese tourists are encouraged as they spend so much. the british are trying to persuade them to come to uk, by giving them 2yr visiting visas for £85. this is to combat the schengen visas that the chinese can get to visit (practically) all of europe.

but it just struck me why these chinese spend so much when they visit abroad. it is because they want goods brought from europe as they will know these goods are genuine. even if made in china, the goods sold in europe have strict controls and so none will be fake. unlike goods bought in china. that is why they come here to buy. and i bet many would buy for friends or others… and take a commission for it. that is why u see them buying cartloads of stuff… 10 ipads, 20 handbags and all designer ones too. what do u think?

the whole of oxford st, regent st, bond st and the westfield shopping malls are  supported by these people who come here to trade, using them as a wholesaler might use for lesser brands. but these are high end goods so the mark up can be like 1000%. 

dont be naive, they are not buying for themselves all of them are buying for the hordes of their fellow countrymen who yearn for such products but cannot afford the plane trip over here. it is a business, like any other, to come here and buy things up like crazy and sell it on when they get back to china.

but i daresay everyone knows that haha. and it is only me who come to realise it, late as usual. hehe. such is life. but it is still very nice to have this ah ha moment. a bit of life’s mysterious working that i get to get a glimpse of… the underbelly of life’s strange machinations as it were. right?

Damascus, Kiev and Tripoli top the list of the 10 cities rapidly becoming the worst to live in the world – Middle East – World – The Independent

19 Aug

Damascus, Kiev and Tripoli top the list of the 10 cities rapidly becoming the worst to live in the world – Middle East – World – The Independent.

an interesting take on the usual best liveable cities list according to the economist, meant as a guide to remunerate  business people asked to relocate for work in those cities. it highlights the list of cities that have become worst to live.

Top ten cities: 1. Melbourne 97.5 2. Vienna 97.4 3. Vancouver 97.3 4. Toronto 97.2 5.Calgary 96.6 6. Sydney 96.1 7. Helsinki 96 8. Perth 95.9 9. Adelaide 95.9 10. Auckland 95.7

melbourne tops the list, toppling vancouver. the top 10 dominated by cities in australia, new zealand, canada. vienna, in austria comes 2nd and is the only exception.

cant say i want to live in those top 10 cities, haha. far less not getting extra money if i were sent there by my company. double whammy haha. hmm, i found out that down to 63rd position (santiago) all the cities above it dont require a bribe (called hardship fund)to the employee sent there. so not much advantage to being in the top10 cities really.

whereas london and new york are 53rd, and 55th respectively so to be sent to those two cities would be great, ( you will be thrown into a competitive and international environment , great for getting that work experience and expertise and still get to enjoy all the amenities of world class cities) i would think they are desireable places to go and work and then you get extra money as a bribe to relocate there. haha. what not to like.

they should give extra money to those sent to the top cities in the list, as well as those in the bottom cities;  if you ask me as bribes to go there.

Inflation will return to 2 per cent, says Bank of England Governor – Business News – Business – The Independent

25 Jan

Inflation will return to 2 per cent, says Bank of England Governor – Business News – Business – The Independent.

i can remember a time when inflation was taught to us as a bad thing. now we have the governor of the bank of england no less wanting it to rise to 2% from what it is now .5%.

for savers, inflation is a bad thing as it erodes the value of their savings, but for spenders and for govt, inflation is good. not for itself but for what it implies, that there is a lot of economic activity, with people buying and selling , it is a self propagating cycle, with money getting less in value it discourages those who want to hoard it, and also when prices of goods keep going up people will buy now rather than wait, that keeps the money circulating, and generating profit along the way.

the converse being if inflation is low, everyone will not spend, businesses as well as ordinary people, businesses will shelf plans for expansion, people will wait to buy as they know prices will drop still more  so there is just no economic activity. without it, there is no profit for the govt to tax.

you can see how intricate it all is, and how perversive its influence and its feedback.

i can remember a time when govts are scolded for printing money, but that is exactly what the EU is doing now…  germany did it, and it led to high inflation and making the currency worthless. but now it is used to pump up the EU economy.

added. i wondered how it would work. today i read this in the sunday times to explain it.

the eurozones’ central banks buy their own govt bonds from pension funds, banks and other financial institutions. then they will invest it in businesses and lend to households to provide a boost to economic growth. i dont see the connection… do you? what is to prevent someone borrowing this money and go to uk or other parts of the world and buy up property? or even buy up british businesses, in uk or elsewhere? that is not going to help europe would it?

it seems to me that there is a race amongst the big currencies to the bottom. all trying to devalue and make theirs lower than the others. i think it is because if u have a low rate, ur goods and services are cheaper than the others . that is why the US and UK have boomed, they got in first by huge QE, printing money, so their currency is relatively cheap compared to the euro. the euro has come late to the party by devalueing now.

added 11.11am i am at the library now and read in the sunday times that diesel is now the bad boy. wtf as they say.  it seems then labour govt tried to reduce co2  emissions by introducing the  vehicle tax rate  in 2001 that penalise petrol cars. not realising that diesel churns out 4x more NO2 and 22x more particulates. oh haha. as they say. then they introduce another which abolish the vehicle tax for diesel cars entirely. so that make diesel even more attractive. in fact, i remember diesel petrol is cheaper too. now they are all making a u-turn.