Tag Archives: coffee
13 Aug

london 10.30am 21.5C sunny morning sunday 2017

blue sky and all that this morning, sun streaming into my living room. it is worthy of note because it hasn’t been like this recently. it makes you appreciate it. and that is the nice thing about the weather here. the contrast makes u aware of nice days when they come. though for me, even the cloudy days are nice. i like both kind of days. so that it is not an issue with me. i think to enjoy living here u need to adopt that kind of attitude. otherwise u will be a very sad sack. haha. 

added. 1.02pm 23.4C sunny . paddington library.  i found 2 chairs in the recylcing. they are kitchen chairs. shall put up a picture when i get home. i was going to the library when i saw them, and had to carry them back to the flat before i could go on. i am in the library now, and i sat next to a lady who asked me if i was homeless. it seems she is a tenancy lawyer but spent her time helping out the homeless. when i sat next to her, she said her friend is now at the waitrose getting her a drink . and i found out she told me, that she would go there and get free coffee without anyone stopping her. it seems she got a load of old waitrose cups, which she use. so that is how you can get a free coffee without buying anything … but i did buy something this morning when i went there. they had brocolli reduced to 25p, so i bought two and got a free coffee cup.

i dont really drink coffee from them, nowadays. even before the rule that u must buy something to get your free coffee, i have not done it much. i just am getting free coffee everywhere, and i am not that keen on drinking coffee anyway. though i have to say i think they are very good to provide free coffee to their customers. it makes me feel good about them. even now when they bring in this rule that u must buy something from them, but as u can see, u can circumvent it, but also there is no minimum spend to get the free coffee. the lady who was sitting next to me, also told me a tale of how she was helping this homeless man, who is from the states, and is staying in uk illegally, and recently she asked him to look after her things while she goes to the toilet. it seems in this very library. she had asked him before to look after her things, and he had always asked her if there is any money in there… and she had always said no. but this time, she had gone to the bank to get £450 to pay for her storage and he stole it , along with her storage keys which were in her purse. i told her she had put a temptation in front of him and he just could not resist. but now she had lost her keys and had to pay £80 to the company to get another. it seems she pay £1400 a year for the storage, and this £450 was part payement. now she is debating whether to report the theft to the police. there was cctv pictures of the man stealing from her purse. she said she cried for days when it happened…

i suppose when u help the homeless you must be savvy and not be so naive as to wave huge amounts of money in front of them. it is unneccessarily testing their honesty. and many will be unable to resist the money. so dont tempt them, because when they fail you will lose your faith in humans, when really u should expect them to steal from you.

people who are homeless are obviously people who dont really have a strong mind, or discipline. a generalisation of course, but mostly true. and so u would not expect them to be able to resist temptation. of course we have read of the odd one who have returned huge amounts of money they found. it is newsworthy because it is rare. even amongst those of us who are not homeless… 

i found this book, by robert winder, the last wolf in the library today. so i borrowed it. it was mentioned in reviews as the cause of the shaping of the english landscape, when the extinction of wolves in uk, led to sheep farming. 

2.28pm 23.5C sunny home

 

quiet sunday

12 Mar

london 1.33pm 13.5C rain sunday 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

freebies

7 Oct

london 5.32pm 16.3C friday 2016

i was at the charing cross library, decided to go there hoping to find one of the chicken toys that byron said they are hiding in the area, round their restaurant there, this weekend. if u find it, u can get a free burger from them.  a promotion to publicise that they are having a new addition to their menu… a chicken burger.

they are a beef burger upmarket place, but it seems they are muscling in on kfc chicken market. did not find any though. 

whilst at the library i saw today’s metro newspaper, and in it an advert for 10p black coffee at timberyard, a coffee place near seven dials. and the daily mirror has a voucher for free frozen mccain roast potatoes 800mg.

i got my 10p black coffee, they have milk lying around so u can have it white if u want. there was a lady handing out vials of gunpowder. when told that was what it was, i could not help blurting out who would want to eat that? obviously you are not meant to say that. haha.

i could stay there and use their wifi, but it was too hot inside, so  took the drink to the seven dials column where u can sit out the open air. it  was nice to sit there , even though there was no sun. 

saw a black man in a suit and a hat there, supposed to look like a mafia man, who was wearing a sandwich board advertising the 10p coffee. i got chatting to him, and he asked me do you know what it is promoting? i said is it the coffee place, to commemorate their anniversary? he said no, it is to introduce the maxi mafia 3, a computer game. he says it cost a cheap £60 to buy the game.i laughed and said oh i would not call it cheap, but maybe guys in your generation would think so. in fact, i did say to him i wonder why it was not mentioned in the brochure or the advert in metro that the maxi 3 was a video game. there was no url link in the flyer or in the advert. i thought it was the name of the coffee place, though its address was timberyard… well i thought it was in a cul de sac there called timberyard… like neal’s yard. i think their advert could be more incisive. it is not obvious what it was advertising. there was no one in the coffee shop to link to the video game. later another man joined him, also dressed smartly like him. i asked does he get to keep the suit, no he said, have to give it back. it fitted him very nicely. 

 he gave me the link in youtube, mafia 3 trailer. and i got online there  and saw the trailer. but of course i could not play the game, it was only for information about what it is about; as it wont work in my chrome book. u need an xbox or a computer. i admit i am not a big fan of computer games. so cannot say how good it is. he said it was a bit like grand theft auto. now that one i have heard about, that it was very good and very popular. 

well it was pleasant chatting to him, and eating my home made egg sandwich.

he said he will be going off on holiday to hongkong 3days only, staying with a friend, then flying off to bangkok, chiangmai and pattaya. 3 weeks. why the weird itinerary? i asked, he said well he wanted to end the holiday with lying on the beach. haha.

whilst chatting we were approach by two guys one carrying a camera, and they said they are taking photos of londoners with smiling faces. so they ask him to pose. i said he is perfect for it, as the guy really has beautiful teeth and very healthy gums, it looks very nice, and as a ex dentist, i can really appreciate nice teeth and gums. the guys offered a drink in a can, it was sparkling water with some flavour, and called ugly. what a strange name for a brand. haha. it was a fizzy drink but the flavours did not come through. at least i did not notice it. i ahve drunk these flavoured drinks in the past but it was still water and the flavour can be tasted and can be really very nice. giving u a hint of whatever fruit they say. it is all artificial of course but very nice actually. i can see anyone other than me being addicted to it.  but this one hasn’t got the flavour. just a citric taste. 

i forgot about the mccain roast potatoes voucher , and remembered only at about 6pm when i was at home.  so i took the bus c10 to the co-op branch at lower marsh st, and luckily there were still some packs there in their frozen cabinet and got it. its best to go quick even though it is valid over the weekend; otherwise it might all be sold out.

the assistant was serving 2 chinese guys before me. and when it was my turn she said in chinese ni how… i just chuckled as i dont know mandarin. and afterwards she said thank you in chinese. it costs £2.09 in that co-op. it was a new product that is why they are giving this voucher to promote it. 

 

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. 

 

 

tesco raising its basic coffee price by 40%

22 Aug

london 1.29pm  22.7C cloudy but bright. monday 2016

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

i just filled up the tesco jar with the morrisons coffee. in fact, if tesco would get rid of the glass jar and keep the price at 50p in a sealed bag, i would prefer that than hiking their price by 20p. as it is i have to throw away many of these glass jars in the recycling bins.

i saw i had run out of the tesco basic coffee , but i was really surprised when i went to the tesco this morning and saw that they have increased the price from 50p to 69p. that is a 40% increase. what rotters! just because the £ has dropped. but last time when the £ rose in value they never brought down their prices did they?

so i decided to go to morrisons instead and bought their basic coffee  in a  unadorned package 47p for the same amount.  i  since made a cup and it tastes just as good (or as bad, haha depanding on whether u like strong coffee or not. i like it weak, so that it does not really matter how good the coffee grains are, as i will never get to taste them. i think to get the taste of coffee u have to drink it strong. and since i dont like the taste of strong coffee, that is me out of the running for the which- is- the- best- coffee competition. haha.)

whilst at the morrisons (it is the camberwell branch) i saw a whole pile of basmati rice 10kg, selling for 2 for £13. what!! 10kg of basmati rice for £6.50???!! so how come they can reduce their prices even though the £ has dropped?!!! huh? explain that tesco!

i have lots of basmati rice, but i think this offer is too good to refuse. i have never seen such a low price before. it was too heavy to carry right there and then or i would have bought them.  so i shall go back later today and  bring along my trusty wheeled shopping bag and buy them. 20kg is hell of a heavy weight to carry without a wheeled trolley.

but u can see how some businesses are taking advantage of our brexit vote to pushup their prices. we should name and shame them. starting with tesco. haha.

added. 3.33pm 24.8C sunny . it is really getting hotter, so maybe the forecast of 31C on wednesday and thursday might come true. !

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

so i got the two big bags of rice. i could not see the expiry date, in front, have to ask one of the shop helpers, and he found it. expires apr 2018, so it is not even near its sell by date. it is all basmati rice, and not a mixture. a single bag costs £7, still very cheap. 

 

 

 

baristas and coffee

27 May

london 21.3C sunny friday 2016 3.43pm

link to a google moving 360degree image of the royal exchange.

went to grind, new opening of their branch in the royal exchange building. it is on the left hand side as you look at the main facade of the building. a tiny bit of room , quite a small space. they were giving away free coffee from 6.30am to 2pm today. i was surprised at such a small room, esp when it got a good write up 

Their first in the City, Royal Exchange Grind is a bit of a stunner, with an impressive 19th century frontage and no-expense-spared interior. link

i could hardly believed it is the same place. but i had a look at the grind website and it had pictures of the exterior and interior of the place…it is only when i saw the pictures i was aware that it had marbling effect on the walls, but  i did not notice the marbling effect on the walls when i was there. so not a good attempt or i would have noticed. haha. it is nice coffee,by which i mean  the cappuccino i asked for was not full of frothy milk and very little liquid coffee which a bad barista can do if not careful; (this happen to me long ago, when coffee drinking was not so popular as now) but it says a lot about the baristas in london now, that i have not got a bad coffee made by a barista anywhere in london. and what is more, none of them have this snobbishness i associate with ordering a coffee in france or spain or italy… where they dont like to make u a cappuccino in the afternoon. here in london we dont have that kind of ridiculous rules. i can see it takes a bit of effort and skill on the part of the barista to make that drink. and perhaps those baristas in europe just cannot be bothered to do the hard work to get it right , hence their resentment at anyone daring to order it after a certain time as it will slow down the turnover at the table after u have eaten the foods for lunch or dinner which they expect u to order… whereas here the baristas do it so often they have got that skill to a fine art and  become very good at it, and so do it without much angst or fuss. there were lots of people queueing to get the free coffee, and the 3 baristas were coordinating themselves, so well, that the coffee came fast and smooth.  it is real pleasure to see experts at work, doing their stuff. 

the asda advert mentioned their argee bargi pizza. it gave me a good laugh. its a nice play of words.

i did not know you can enter the royal exchange building. i often pass it in the bus and always thought it is private ground, and full of city gents beavering away. but i got inside it, and saw it was a covered courtyard surrounded by facade.

ar•gy-bar•gy

(ˈɑr giˈbɑr gi)

n., pl. -gies.

a vigorous or noisy discussion or dispute.

fun with emojis

20 Apr

london 6.32pm 15.4C sunny (setting sun is shining right into my bedroom window now) wednesday 2016

a few articles in the newspapers about emojis. how apple, google, facebook feature different emojis for the same emotion. 

Researchers last month showed emoji, used in text messages and social media, vary so radically across platforms such as iOS and Android that their meanings get easily muddled. The emoji illustrated above are meant to be the same, but vary dramatically across platforms

i did not know that. must be real confusing. and it seems i am not the only one who can be confused about it. it seems many people misinterpret the emojis and use them for other than it is depicted. as this post  and this one points out.

i dont have a smartphone so cannot bring up these imojis easily to send as text. and in wordpress i dont know how to get them. so i only use ‘haha’, to denote laughter, or to indicate that i am only joking; is there an emoji for it i wonder? certainly wordpress  does not translate it into an emoji. unlike if i use this… 🙂 . some message services will convert that into a smiling emoji. (added. i posted it and saw my typed symbol has been converted into a smiling emoji by wordpress. isn’t that interesting… 😉 (this is a winking and smiling mouth… i wonder what emoji wordpress will translate it into.) 

@) , ~), >) , x), :o, #),

 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

a large cappuccino, i got it from a voucher given by sainsburys when i redeem 100 points. very nice of the barista to give me the choice. usually they just give u a regular cup when u redeem points. so i shall come to this cafe nero in pimlico from now on when i want to redeem my points. i got another two vouchers to redeem. and it is very pleasant place, with free times newspaper to read and wifi.