Tag Archives: free coffee

free costa express machine coffee

1 Oct

london 9.17am 17C victoria train station tuesday 2019 sunny.

sitting here with my free latte from costa express. it is a coffee dispensing machine , installed in tesco and sainsburys, that i know of, and who knows other places too, but for today it is free, to all. rather nice of them. i found that they give milk without diluting it with hot water in the latte. and the server in the shop, an express sainsburys near me, was constantly being summoned by the bell, to refill the milk container. this offer is for the whole day, so there is nothing to stop people going back again and again to get their coffee fix. they also give out chocolate drinks too. i am not that addicted to coffee, so will not go that much. i might take the chocolate instead. 

this morning, my friend from usa has left for the airport to get his flight back to his home in florida. i wish him a safe journey back. he tells me he would be coming back to visit in spring next year. he is very easy to host, so he is welcomed anytime. 

the nice thing about living in london is the free food that the restaurants give out. like today at 5pm, pittabun are giving away free pittabuns. and not only today but for this week every day. 

added i found out today is coffee day, so that is why we are getting free coffee. 

added 6.43pm 15C heavy rain . the downpour started at about 3.45pm, just when i was on my way to the free food given by this restaurant near carnaby st. so that might explain why there was no queue, and even when we did get in at about 5pm, when it starts, there were only us 5 and a child. and 4 others. later more came in but when i left only 12 people had come. the rain might be the reason. 

it was an interesting experience this storm, it is quite rare for me to get caught out in one. in fact, this is the first time i see such a lot of water coming down. my shoes were soaked wet, that was how drenching it was, and my trouser legs were soaked too. but the rest of me was dry, because i got an umbrella, and even though the rain was heavy, it never did penetrate below my umbrella.

the food was described as an open bun, but really it was like a pizza. i chosed the lamb, and it was piled on top of the  bun/pizza.  as usual , it was quite salty, the cheese that was on top of the pizza added to the saltyness.  it costs about £11 normally.  with chicken version about £9.

that is the usual price for these things. i was able to finish mine, but the child could not finish hers, and they gave me some of hers. haha. well, it is better than it go to waste as they did not bring any containers to takeaway, and the restaurant dont provide doggy bags.

to me, it does not look a lot,but perhaps it is too much if u are a child. i find it is quite easy to finish. just that it was very salty, but salty is something that is almost inevitable in eating out i think. i have noticed that nowadays you dont ever see salt provided on the table. they stop providing it by making the food so salty that there is no need to add more salt. i would prefer if they dont salt the food, and let people add salt for themselves. but i guess cost wise, it is an added extra to provide the salt, and pepper to season the food at the table. 

Digital StillCamera



free costa coffee today only, in uk

30 Oct

london 10.25am 12C sunny monday 2017

its really free too. no questions asked about the empty coffee cup from starbucks that i gave to them. they give small coffees though, so i asked for a latte. if i can get a large one, i would ask for a large cappucino, haha as you get more coffee in a large cup than in a small one. they put my latte in a plastic cup though, even though i would have liked it in a glass … but from what i see of the glasses they have, those glasses are very small, made smaller by the fact that they taper towards the bottom.

but it is interesting that sitting now in the cafe, i dont see anyone bringing in a rivals coffee cup to exchange for a free coffee… iwonder why… are people here in london so rich… or they are not that bothered about getting a free coffee. haha. perhaps that is so with londoners. they must be a business’s dream customers. they dont seem to be affected by price.

for eg, recently i have been getting free eclairs from a shop that has just opened in soho, and their eclairs are £5 each. when patisserie valerie sells cheesecake and all kinds of slices of cake for £3. each. you would think there wont be any customers, but not so. there are lots of paying customers in the store even though they know there is a queue outside waiting for the free eclairs offer to start.

they want us to twit about it or put it on social media, but i dont see anyone doing it so far.

so today, if u really want to binge out on coffee you could go to all the costas and get free coffee just by bringing a empty coffee cup from their rivals. haha. this offer has been advertised all over the papers so it is not that people are not aware of it.

 added 12.07pm. i have been here for quite some time now, but no one has come in to exchange a rival’s cup, and not many people buy food . they only get the coffee. to me that is very strange behaviour, but then as i constantly say, what do i know!!

human behaviour

21 Mar

london 10.04am 9.2C sunny tuesday 2017

5.15pm 11.7C sunny

7.21pm 10.8C night. dry.

people can be rather trying sometimes. i saw an example of it in the bus today. the bus drivers i think must have a lot of patience, and tolerance of human behaviour. the next bus stop is closed, because of road works, but some of those boarding on the bus one stop before did not know. they were only going one stop, and when the bus did not stop they start getting agitated. some of them know how to open the doors, by pressing the emergency button on the top of the doors, and so they got out. there were others who were allready on the bus who have heard the announcement, but still did not get out before hand. dont know if they did not know english or were unable to make out the words from the loudspeakers or just too lazy to walk and know that they can use the emergency button to open the doors. 

i wonder what is it about human beings. it must be a survival instinct i think, for people to flout the rules and find loopholes to circumvent any obstacles to them getting their way. it is like they want to gain advantage over others. and that i can see is a survival trait and will come in useful.

applied to business , those will be the ones to make a success of their business. but it does make u see the ugly side of human beings. those who have no compunction to trample on others to get their way. ah well, i suppose karma will find them leading a horrendous life in the next life. haha.

it does make u look at someone here in this world who have so much horrible things happen to them, and it does make u wonder if they have been right shits in their previous life and now karma is working on them.

or maybe there is no karma. everyone does what their souls want to do and there is no such thing as bad or good. 

i see that waitrose have finally decided enough is enough and stop giving away free coffee. u have to buy something before u can get your free cup from 3april. so it is still free coffee but with a small proviso. they did not specify a minimum amount, so it is still quite a good offer. even a generous one actually. though quite a lot are allready lamenting and complaining about it. haha.

added. 9.33pm, earlier my hotmail was down. its on now.  i have read of it going down in the past, but i was not affected, or more likely i did not go into my hotmail when it was down. but about 5pm, or was it 7pm,  i tried to go in and it was down. and i read this express article talking about it. one wonders what is going on that hotmail has been targetted like this. curiouser and curiouser. 



smartphone and free coffee

17 Oct

london 7.10am 12.7C monday 2016

this advert came up in the telegraph webpage just now, i have seen it often, but am puzzled how it works. at first i thought u have to pay a bus fare or tube fare using your mobile with this app  and show proof that u paid, but it seems u dont even need to do that. just show them u got this app in your mobile phone and that is it, u can get a free coffee from cafe nero. and is it all day on mondays? that cant be right… surely? or can u claim that free coffee just once.  times like this makes me wish i have a smartphone. ( until i read the conditions) .have you used it, and do u really get it for free? what is the catch i wonder? added. read the conditions, should have read it first of course before i make any comments, and found out it is for one free coffee on monday between 3 oct and 24 oct. so basically valid for the month of october only. 

when waitrose is making people buy something before they can get their free coffee, and that is once a day…(it is being tested at some stores , so i dont doubt that it will be extended to all stores soon…and about time too i think). though now u can still get a free coffee to takeaway.

i dont go there and get their free coffee everyday,( i dont believe that if something is there for free, i must take advantage of it. in fact sometimes i do go there to browse and still refrain from getting their free coffee )  but even if i did, i think it too generous of them.

added.19.10.16  and now it seems they are increasing the £5 spend that gets u the free newspaper to £10. people are complaining, but it is natural that they do, when u take away something that used to be free, people feel it more. 

this offer from mastercard is a promotion i think to try to get people to load the app and use it for all their smartphone contactless payments. from my own observations, on the buses, i dont see many people using their mobile phone to pay. and those who do are apple users. but maybe now that android is allowing it , perhaps i shall be seeing more people use their mobiles now to pay.

the question to ask is will all the usual limits , daily limits and weekly limits and free hour use apply to the smartphone payments as it does for the contactless cards? i must say the engineers who can program all that into the system must be real clever for it to recognise all those conditions of use and automatically allow it to apply for the millions of transactions every day. added. this news article gives more detail. u need a mastercard credit card. i noticed even i dont have one. mine are all visa. banks have used visa that is why i got visa . mastercard have disappeared from the scene, it is a v gradual process, now i think they are trying to get back their market share. i wonder why they disappeared. perhaps they have a falling out with the banks, because banks have a strong influence as to which card u get. 


just some architectural detail window ledges and surroundings and balcony

added. 11.33pm 11.9C very mild this weather we are having. it feels comfortable in the flat even without the heating on.  the met office predicts this winter will be very cold and dry. they say their powerful computer can now predict the winter weather a year ahead. well, we shall see. that computer had not been very reliable before.  i am sceptical but i guess it will help businesses to plan ahead and to let council store grit for the roads , or not if what they say is true and that it will be a dry winter so no need to grit the roads as much as normal… though i think if i were council i will just rely on their short term forecast and still order the usual amount of grit. not worth saving that little bit and risk being caught short of grit if their prediction turns out to be wrong again. added. this guy who forecasts the weather without technology, also agrees. so it might be this winter will be cold though he predicts snow in london so not dry. unless they can argue snow is not rain, so can be considered dry. haha.

 but i have a feeling i will still not need to put on the heating.

the bbc ditched the met office this year so they hope to be proved right and make the bbc feel they have dumped them too soon. haha. their £100m computer can only do a 62% accuracy. not much different from 50-50 really. for that money i want 80% accuracy or more at least!!

john lewis membership card

7 Jul


I am at the library and charging the chromebook and i have read the telegraph and the times and glanced through the daily mirror (the latter because they sometimes feature the special offers by supermarkets which enable me to get down there and buy it before it runs out).

this library dont have the mail. that newspaper also have adverts by supermarkets. it was the one where i found out about morrisons latest chicken offer of £1.75/kg. i bought 4 that time, and roasted two and cut up the other 2 and freezed them. at that price they are the same price as frozen chicken pieces except they are better as they have breast meat.

one advantage of reading the actual newspaper instead of online is the adverts of these special supermarket offers.

there are the guardian and independent newspapers too in the library  but i had enough of reading for now and thought i shall write a post instead.

So u must be asking what is all this john lewis thingy then?This morning i got the john lewis membership card sent to me by post after i got an email from them asking me to join. I knew of this membership card sometime ago and wanted to join it for its free cake and coffee once a month. haha. but for some reason i could not find it online.

this email came after i spent £230 on the chromebook last month in their john lewis store in westfield shopping complex in stratford.  i wonder if that is the reason why i got that email. i was thinking i could have put that purchase on the card if i had it then.

there dont seem to be any advantage to having the card apart from the free cake and coffee and even then it is only once a month .they said they can monitor us and give us special offers according to what we buy… which is certainly not calculated to entice people to join does it? they said each purchase earns an entry for each £1 spent to a monthly prize draw which is a £250 voucher to spend in john lewis.

 i have a waitrose card but that card does give better value as it gives u free coffee everyday and also 10% off all purchases. Anyway, in the letter they sent me, in an envelope that looks like a cd case, i got 3vouchers , one each month till sept to use for my cake and coffee. i am looking forwrd to those. haha.

I recently went into their store in oxford st, and saw the cafe on the top floor, and it was rather nice. too bad they dont sell the security lock for my chromebook otherwise i would buy it now and use my membership card. (but since i now cannot find any less than £10 unless i go online, i doubt i shall buy it now).

i wish the chromebook has a slot with a hidden hole, so we can use our own chain or lock instead of having to buy a special lock to fit the custom made socket in the chromebook. but i shall keep an eye out for a security lock that costs less than £10 in the shops.

its not really a big concern, as the library is quite safe to leave things alone for a short while. and there is always the option of putting the whole thing, adapter(still plugged in the charger socket) and chromebook inside a bag and lock that and secure the bag to the table. so i guess you can prevent someone stealing the adaptor which must cost a bit if you have to buy it on its own. I mean the only reason why anyone wants to leave the chrome book unattended is when  you are charging it in a public space and the security lock do not safeguard the adaptor.

other than that there is nothing i want to buy in john lewis. in fact, i remember looking for the price tag in their sports clothes section and could not find any. they make it hard to find the price.  

i picked up a pack of ankle socks , 4pairs all of different colours, and could not find the price. so i asked one of the servers, a lady who looked like she is a supervisor, rather than a shop assistant, and asked her and i made a comment saying i hate this store for making it so difficult to find the price. she agreed with me as she could not find the price on the tag either; and went away with the socks to find the price and came back and said it was £10, and i said i feel real embarrassed having to ask you for the price. it makes me feel the store is hinting that if you have to ask the price,(and here i can see her nodding as she knows the saying well)  you cannot afford it.

maybe it is a temporary glitch because it was a few days into their sales, and these socks may have been brought from outside ( as special purchase) and not their usual goods. anyway i doubt i will buy them as ankle socks are £2 for 3 pairs in primark. 



lots of freebies in london

22 Jun

Long ago someone gave me a tv. At the time, I already had one, but I never refuse if someone offers to give me something, so I took it. It was heavy and he kindly helped me bring it home.

I installed it in my bedroom and so we have a spare tv to watch. Very useful when one of us want to see another program that the other does not like.

But yesterday, the tv in the living room tipped over and fell flat and it damaged the picture, and now I cannot see the picture but only hear the sound.

The reason why it tipped forward and fell of the pedestal was because I had been precariously perching it on a table revolving top , the kind that Chinese restaurants use to revolve the middle portion of a circular dining table. I wanted to swivel it that is why I used that.

Foolishly I let it list forward without adjusting the support.

Ah well, the tv screen in the living room is an old one and the picture is rather blur.

I have now transferred the bedroom tv to the lounge, with the help of simon, (these screens are damn heavy), and now I am seeing very clear sharp images on this screen.

So that was the upside to this mishap.

We lose the spare tv in the bedroom, so it means we wont be able to watch tv separately if we want to see different programs.

I asked simon to keep an eye out for any one wanting to change their tv and getting rid of old tv screens.

You cannot tell, it is possible to find a tv screen discarded in the recycling area and to re-use it.

Things do get broken in life I suppose, and it means a slight adjustment. Life is like that.

I was at the Trafalgar square westend live stage shows of the musical excerpts and it was rather interesting. U can see what these musicals are like, and get some idea of whether u will enjoy them or not. I hope they do get people to book their show.

I noticed the mormon musical is not taking part. I daresay they are fully booked.

The air now is full of tiny particles, so that it gets in the eye and in the throat making me cough a lot. I am not the only one affected though those of us affected are in the minority.

It reminds me not to go out if I can help it. Or to go into controlled air areas, like shopping malls, or buses or into department stores, or anyplace indoors really.

Cant help feeling for the performers in these musicals. Seems like a hard way to make a living. They have to sing and dance and spend a lot of energy.

In fact, I accidentally joined them backstage. I saw a crowd of people going into a narrow entrance on the south side of the square, and thought it was the way into the square. I entered and joined the queue forming inside. I overhead two guys behind me saying look at the guy, he just went in… and I began to realise I might have joined the wrong queue. These were the performers.
So I turned back , smiled at the two guys and said I think I got in the wrong queue, and went out.

Didn’t take any pictures as there were so many heads in front of me, I doubt it will turn out nice.

I did notice the dancers at the background of the mama mia musical were really very well choreographed and danced really well, not only individually but collectively. Many of their moves were individual, creating a pleasingly diverse tableau of different moves. Very pleasing to see and the dancers were all very fit and move gracefully. I spent most of the time looking at them rather than the lead singers. It is one show where the ensemble cast take the attention rather than any one particular lead singer. Just as well, as the musical was a series of songs by abba. I have seen the film so I guess in between they will tell the story about who is her father.

The cast of ‘we will rock you’ do the audience participation thing very well, maybe the songs lend itself to arm waving and clapping by the audience, whatever it was the lead singer was able to get everyone of the audience involved. Rather good atmosphere that.

The rain held off when I was there. I left at about 2pm, when thriller was playing, I could not help thinking how wonderful it would have been if Michael Jackson had lived to play the concerts himself … it would have been truly memorable…

All these musicals trade on our nostalgia. It bring back memories of ourselves when we were young. That is the attraction of these musicals nowadays. For have u noticed they are all rehashed and remakes of films or old musicals or stories from books. There is no truly original musical anymore.

It must be the only show , if not the largest , free live musical which gives everyone a chance to sample 30 musicals live.

There was a voucher for a free litre of milk 1%fat that waitrose is sponsoring. The voucher is in their newsletter which is given away free in the stores. Usually skimmed milk is 0.1% fat, this one is semi skimmed I suppose.

Only a few waitrose stores sell this milk, I went to the Belgravia branch to get the milk. I had it with cereals, and it was quite nice, but I think full cream milk would be better. Amazing how much it tastes better with just 2%fat. I am not complaining about the milk of course. I am glad I got it free. I would not buy it though because I prefer the full cream milk, that is , if I buy any… which I don’t do anymore.

I think it silly to buy semi or skimmed milk when they cost the same as the full cream. If u want to slim, u would be better off cutting down the fat elsewhere, or exercise, or (shock horror) eat less!!

But these kinds of freebies make living in London rather nice. It is not necessary of course, but nice to have. In fact the Times is giving away free iced latte at EAT, or I should say EAT is giving away free iced lattes.

i found a pack of smoked mackerel in my laundry basket

18 Jun

I just now found a tightly wrapped in plastic smoked mackerel, about 4 of them with some kind of filling in them.
They smelt ok so I put it in the fridge. I thought it was simon’s and that he had taken it from the freezer to thaw. Though why he would put it in the laundry basket is quite beyond me, but I am used to him putting things in strange places.

When I asked him, later, he said it was not his. and he said better throw it away. what a shame, but if it is not his, than it must be one of my guests and they had left 1week ago. so that fish has been sitting there in this warm weather all that time. it is a wonder it is not smelly. i hate throwing away food, but i am not too keen on smoked mackerel so i threw it away into our communal bin rather than into my waste bin. 

I wonder whose it can be?

I know, u must be thinking what a strange household where it is so chaotic( think messy that is what u are really going to say but are thinking not to say so because that is not tactful, admit it haha) in the kitchen that this guy don’t know what is what.

I admit my kitchen is messy but I have a good excuse for not knowing what is in my laundry basket. Haha.

Our old washing machine had packed up quite some time ago, and we had not done any washing , in fact, ever since our guests left. That is about a week ago.

Anyway, I think one of them left it there. And he did not say anything because he thinks one of us ate them when he could not find it anywhere.

Today our new washing machine came that is why I had been catching up on my laundry and for the first time need to use the laundry basket.

(simon bought it online from argos,its a Bush 127QW, £210 plus £15 to pay for them to take away the old one. they are really good with the delivery, said they will be here at 10am and arrived promptly on time). 

I am glad that we got all the parts to connect the new washing machine to the mains water.

I found we don’t have the hose for the inlet pipe. I thought we have lost the water inlet hose. And was kicking myself for not making sure I took the old one from the old machine before letting the delivery men take it away.
I wrote a note to simon, he was sleeping, to tell him about it.

To calm myself I decided to go out. And not wanting to get back to the flat, and unable to settle down in the library to read the papers, I decided to take the bus to john lewis in oxford st to get a free cup of coffee. I thought I shall treat myself to it and get away from the flat to forget about it.

Anyway, john lewis was so busy, it was lunchtime, there was a long queue for the service tills, so I decided to go to the Tottenham court branch instead. They are really very good about it, making no fuss about my getting free coffee. When I showed the coffee and my Waitrose card to the cashier, the cashier just ask what coffee I took. This time I took café latte, which was much nicer than the capuccino last time.

It was really a pleasant experience, I took my coffee to Bedford square and drank it there, ate it with some biscuits I bought at the sainsburys in Pimlico and read the metro newspaper which I found on the bus.

I then took a walk to soho, looking at the shops and just people watch, passing a thai restaurant full of customers with more sitting outside next door to another with no one inside… passed by the C&R restaurant in Rupert court, the one with the laksa, and saw the laksa is £7.50, not £6.50 in their website.

When I got back, having got myself in perspective…, so what if the part is missing, it is minor really… simon had fixed the washing machine and it was on. He said the parts were all inside the washing drum. So that was a nice relief, and kind of showed me there is really nothing to get dramatic about. Just leave it be and it will all right itself.

It’s a warm day today and it was pleasant to be wandering around London. There were a lot of people in the charlotte st area eating in the restaurants. I was thinking the economy must be allright surely, if all these people can afford to eat in restaurants for their lunch. But maybe charlotte st is full of media and PR types, because along Tottenham court road where there used to be lots of computer shops, there were quite a number of empty shop fronts.

Went to old Compton st and into a gay shop to get the free boyz magazine and saw another …fs magazine free too and took that too. ( no qx, another freebie gay magazine, am I too early for it to come out, or too late and it had all been taken?…I think too late, because it comes out on Thursdays and today is Tuesday. I think qx is more popular for eg it lists my favourite sex club but boyz do not list it.)and saw a batch of ‘Time out’ magazines placed alongside these free ones. There was no price listed on it. So I took one and ask the cashier is Timeout free ? He said yes.

That surprised me , when had it become a free magazine??…

Just goes to show how long it has been that I took a wander in old Compton st and browse in their sex shops.

Another surprise, I was on old Compton st, and I saw flags flying outside a shop saying clone zone. It has moved from its old place across the street. One of the shop assistants was standing at the doorway, and I asked him and he confirmed it.

One thing I should say to all shop assistants , don’t stand in the doorway. It discourages customers from entering the shop.

They are preparing for the big profitable day at pride on Saturday 29june.
That is another weekend to look forward to for us gay guys.