Tag Archives: freebies

italian food exhibition, ikea 30th anniversary

14 Oct

london 3.06pm 19.7C cloudy saturday 2017

i think a lot of us like italian foods, and this exhibition today at the vincent square exhibition hall tries to popularise them. we were able to get some free goodies too, like this lot of stuff that i got. there were also samples of food to try. mostly dried meats, and the pesto sauces and other sauces that we can try with pieces of bread. there was even a demo where a chap was making mozzarella, and we could taste it . it is actually not salty at all, very different from the usual bought mozzarella they sell in the supermarkets. and lots of dried pasta, so many weird looking pasta shapes. 

Digital StillCamera

those cartons i found out are cooking creams. i have no idea that there is even such a thing. i googled it, but still could not figure it out. what is it? how do u cook with it? can u use it in coffee as ordinary cream, or what? they might be useful, because they can be kept in the store cupboard and do not need refrigeration. all those items have italian labels, so might be they cannot be bought in this country. the soft drink is rather nice, its peach. but i doubt we can buy it here. they dont tell where to get it, so i wonder if it is just a goodwill gift on their part and not a advertising gimmick. its a pity they are not sold more here, instead of the watery drinks that we get. on the other hand, it might be they are very expensive… they were telling us those 180mg of pesto, and other sauces are like £6 each. so much. maybe i misheard her, but that much for a small bottle of sauce. i suppose they are used to flavour pasta dishes. like instant pasta sauces that u can take out of the bottles for a quick meal. they sell wines too, and they gave us glasses to sample them, not that i bother, because i dont really like wine. but a dedicated person could get real drunk if they want to sample all these wines from all the stalls. haha.

i got an email from ikea to celebrate their 30th anniversary they are giving us free cake and a £5 voucher. but when i tried to find my ikea card i could not find it, and rummaging through everything, especially all my coats, i find 2 old £1 coins, and went to the sainsburys nearby to buy anything just to use it up before the dateline. i suppose there will be lots of people doing the same thing i did, just buying anything to get rid of it. haha. i found out even though the supermarket has changed their self service tills so that they will not accept the old £1 coin, you can change it at the till, and you might not even need to buy anything. but i bought anyway, two useful things, a reduced price mushroom 300mg 69p and a full price fresh tomatoes 75p.

but it is rather a interesting observation of human nature, this dateline when the old coin becomes invalid, seems to make people just recklessly spend, almost as if it is of no value and so can be wasted. it is strange because the £ coin has its value. i wonder if people really are desperate to get rid of it, or is it just me. and i myself dont know why i should be so worried. after all when the £5 note was going out of validity, i did not panic nor felt i got to rush out to get rid of it. in fact, recently i found an old £5 note and was able to easily exchange it for a new one from my bank , no questions asked… and it is more valuable than a £ coin. human nature can be so funny, as in peculiar sometimes. we behave irrationally. 

i wonder if a lot of beggars are getting the benefit of this mindset, as people just throw it into their begging bowl , especially on monday when they might not be bothered to go to the bank to exchange it. 

then i read this in my wordpress reader, a chap who is divorced and felt the whole weight of the inequality that the laws pile on the father. it is a injustice to divorced men, no wonder so many of them commit suicide. there is a huge incentive to make women file for divorce, they not only keep the children, they also get a huge amount of money from their husbands. and as we see in another case, women can come back to sue for more money many years later even though they have got a settlement. makes me glad i am not married to a woman.

i hope all those men who got married to other gay men, dont start taking the mickey. i would like to think men are not so greedy as those harriden women who are just gold diggers. but then, who knows, if the law gives them that advantage, those men too would start getting into the act. it seems the first person to file for divorce gets all the advantage. 

 

Advertisements

freebies

22 Aug

london 12.51pm 20.6C cloudy. tuesday 2017 supposed to be very warm today, from hot weather carried by hurricane gert. but it is not coming. just shows that forecasting is a hit or miss affair. they have revised, downgraded, their high for today.

i got an email this morning from krispy kreme , telling me i got a voucher for a free doughnut. rather nice of them to give it to me. so after the library i went to victoria station to redeem it and got myself one. on the way there in the station , were loads of people giving away free lucozade cans, 150ml, and i got 4, because they were giving it to me in each stall, and there were lots of these stalls placed all over the concourse. haha. i could have gotten more. but i am not really very keen on drinking these fizzy drinks. i prefer plain water really. but still, if it is free , it is nice to have … and to drink. it is not often i drink these things. and to think people actually buy these things. anyway, i had thought to take a swim but decided to get back instead. for lunch, as well as see a tv of a japanese cartoon, called tale of princess kagoya. the way they draw the cartoon is supposed to be special. light and airy. i think it was a studio gibli effort. its pretty to look at. now i had my lunch, just a simple warmed up dish of fried rice and chicken/celery that i had made leftover from yesterday. it is a quickly made meal, just warm it all in the microwave and that is it. haha.

and catching a nature program about the savannah in africa. it is the play of nature , all the animals there interacting with each other and with the vegetation to create the grassland ecology. a species of bird, quelea, and the wildebeest are the most numerous migratory creatures there, but it seems there is another that is not well known and not obvious. ants and termites.  they are plenty and stay there all year round. and they eat more than a third of the savannah plants… more than all the other animals combined.and it is the aardvarks that controlls the ants, eating 100,000 a day it seems.

 well, not mentioned in the program, but what i found out… we know why the wildebeest migrates and dies in huge numbers along the way, not only as food for the predators, but also just dying from drownings as they cross the rivers. it seems when they decay they return vital minerals back to the soil and replenish the soil of nutrients. so if u think all those dead wildebeests floating bloated in vast numbers is a terrible waste, dont think it. haha. nothing is wasted in nature. 

i am resting till it is time to go to the virgin lounge to meet with ian, and take him inside as my guest for our meeting there. it is only 1.30pm.

its a nice life i lead. nothing exciting like an eclipse, haha. but i dont fancy these large gestures of nature, i find them rather troublesome really. i mean large gestures like that means earthquakes, and floods , or droughts, or other natural disasters, and frankly my dear i dont like them.

 

bargain london

23 Jul

london 2.45pm 18.1C

it’s very pleasant to spent time in this virgin lounge. there is a film show on now , da vinci code, (2006). they have been showing films every sunday for july. though it is difficult to hear what is said, as the volume is set low. or it maybe i am a bit deaf and so dont hear it. but the films are not what i am here for anyway. so it does not matter than i cannot hear much of it. 

nowadays i have to rely on the subtitles to know what is being said on tv. thank goodness for it really. my enjoyment of the tv is made more so because i can read what is said and so i dont miss much of the dialogue. 

added. am writing this on the bus 88 now. there is no wifi here, but it does not matter as my chrome book allows me to write things offline. i checked earlier with the tfl website to see if this bus is coming, and it did not say it was. that is why i was real surprised to see it when i left the virgin lounge. i had intended to take another bus, but this one came along just in time. i wanted to take it to the tesco just to see what is on bargain offer there. it is early closing on sunday.

i think the timetable of the bus has been disturbed and made unreliable because the whole of regent st is closed to traffic because of this time of year, when every year in july, the whole of regent st is pedestrianised. 

its quite sunny now looking out of the bus. earlier it was drizzling. which made up my mind for me not to bother going to tower bridge to see the indonesian festival there. but it seems it is quite sunny now but it is allready 3.16pm so the festival would be near its closing time.

i was reading this morning about how venice residents are real fed up of the huge amount of tourists in their city and wanting to limit the numbers going there. well, here in london we get roads closed for events so that is the effect the tourists and catering to them have on the locals living in london. but london is big enough so the effect is quite small.

i was in venice many years ago, in the 90s, and i noticed if u just go a little bit off the main tourist routes , the city can be remarkably desserted… even in peak season. but maybe now even those out of the way spots are full of tourists, who knows right? i think every tourist attraction is now full of people. which makes me glad i saw them before they got so crowded.

then there is that japanese article about the birth rate falling in japan and that is because the men are unable to get permanent full time jobs. and so are not good prospects for marriage, or want to have babies. and there is another phenomenon…  it seems there are lots of single men who dont want to have sex at all and hide out in their parents home completely cutting themselves  off from society. its a strange society that one in japan.

 i got to the tesco at 3.30pm and just in time to get all the reductions. a whole free range chicken from £6 to £1.50. and 2packs of chicken drumsticks reduced by 3/4 to 37p a pack. that seems to be the prevailing rate of final reductions. 25% of the original price. it is another of the fun things about living in london. i got an email offering me a monthly subscription to the empire cinema chain . unlimited film shows for £20 a month if i want to go to the central london cinemas of that chain. that is a nice bargain price i think. so now if u like to watch films on the big screen, it is quite affordable now.

seems to me it is not that expensive to get your entertainment and stuff in london after all. and there is all kinds of free vouchers for free food or reduced dining in london as well. i got the voucher for free hamburger from primeburgers. it is the last of their free monday offers, it seems. so i am looking forward to this monday (tomorrow) when i shall be able to get it. they have certainly made mondays a lot more attractive these past month or two. 

added. wed 26.7.17. it seems paris is the most touristy city, (7 visitor to 1 parisien)according to this report. surprising to me, kuala lumpur is 2nd. london is 13th. (1.5visitors to 1 londoner). i am surprised  venice is not in there,it has been ruled out because most of the visitors are day trippers and from cruise ships, rather than those who stay at least a night there.

humourous brand names

5 Jul

london 9.01pm 24.8C still quite light sunset 9.18pm wednesday 2017

yesterday i cut out a coupon for free milkshake. it was only today i had a good look at what it was, as i was at the big sainsburys in pimlico to redeem it. but they dont stock it and the assistant checked for me as to where i can get it, and she said it is only online. i had a good laugh at their name, it is called shaken udders. 

 

i went into their website and found their store locator to tell me which store stock it. and the tesco near me stocks it. it is a small convenience store. they only have the chocolate one, and there was no code in the coupon and so the cashier was flummoxed and i have to get the manager to do it. he did it, quite complicated too so i got this to drink. it is like a chocolate drink, not really like a milk shake. the milk shake in prime burger is much nicer. but then that is about £5 or so, whilst this one is £1.39.

then i read in the daily mail online about the funny names the british give their shops and brands. there are some real funny ones there. 

more calendars

29 Jan

london 12pm 8C raining sunday 2017

london is having its celebration cny in trafalgar square. it rained. but that is par for the course at this time of year. yesterday was dry and sunny so it would have been good to have it then, but there you are. there was a stall   giving out desk top calendars, featuring paintings in the chinese style of cockerels which is rather nice, i thought;  and a gadget that looks like a charger. i have no idea what it is used for. maybe i can google it. added, google wasnot much help. 

one of the pictures show the tail end of the cny parade that was heading towards chinatown. 

 

free pret a manger sandwich

10 Nov

london 11.53am 11.7C sunny thursday 2016

as usual i was browsing the newspapers online and saw this. it is pret giving away free sandwiches today. so  i googled their branches near me, there are two very close and went there. the first i was approaching the counter and before i could say anything, the assistant gave me a wrapped sandwich, all ready to go. i was thinking wow, that is some service.

i thanked her and on the way out i saw it was quite a cosy place and was wondering whether i should sit and eat it there. but anyway by the time i thought of it i was out the door, and paused by the outside tables and decided i shall sit there. but there was a man smoking on that table, and i looked up and saw my near neighbour sitting on the next table. so i joined him. i told him about the free sandwich and he had a coffee with him,(even offered to buy me one, but i thought i shall save him some money as i get free coffee everywhere these days. haha) and i said he could go and ask for it. but he did not want any.

he has his dog with him, and i see him often about the courtyard exercising his dog. he throws the ball to the dog using a special ball thrower, until the dog gets too tired and stop returning with the ball.

he told me that actually there is a free lunch organised by our housing estate once a month. he said i should be able to read it on the notice board in each block. i said i have not seen it. it seems it was started a few months ago. he said it is really good food, a buffet style thing where u can eat as much as u like. well, that sounds like it is for me. haha. so i shall keep an eye out for it. i must say i have not read anything about it in our notice board. ( i went downstairs to have a look at the notice board and did not see anything about this lunch. it is easy to miss the notice board as i walk by … got used to not reading anything on it. haha. but i shall make it a point to read it now that i am aware there is this lunch.)

anyway i opened the paper bag she gave me and saw it was a nice salmon sandwich, warm too. what a nice surprise. i offered it to my neighbour but he said no. though the dog would want it, as it kept nudging me. haha. i did not take a picture of the sandwich. it was on toasted bread. 

 so i ate it on the way to the next pret . haha. it was a bit salty, but then everything is salty to me. 

in the next pret i asked if i am too late for the free sandwich, and she asked her supervisor who picked up this ready packed sandwich on the counter and said will this do. of course it will do. haha beggars cannot be choosers. i think they will heat it up for you if u ask them. but anyway i did not think to ask. it did not occur to me then. i am not a regular at pret, so do not know how these things work. this pret is a smaller shop and not as spacious as the other one, which is really cosy. and the sandwich in the other shop was so much nicer than this one. so it looks like different branches of the same chain can vary in its free offer. 

Digital StillCamera

anyway i am home now and writing this, it did occur to me while writing this to put that sandwich in the microwave and see if it will do. it is much nicer heated up.

it is fun to live in london and get these freebies. granted they are not necessary, because in the end, i prefer my own cooking because it is not salty.  but still anything that is free is nice to have.

i was thinking people who are not online must miss quite a lot. i get these free offers online. either i get to find out they are there, or i am emailed with info about them.

on the other hand, those who roam the streets get to pick up things from recyling bins. i do both, so i think i got the best of both worlds.

i was at the sainsburys and was looking at their newspaper shelves and all the papers show full page photo of trump. i have been reading about him all day yesterday, and for a moment i thought why are the newspapers full of old news? i forgot that it is new news as far as the newspapers are concerned.  to see the papers today with their front pages full of his face and full page stories about him make me realise that newspapers have stopped being the first bringer of news nowadays. with the internet we get the news first fresh from the time it is happening.

in the sainsbury i looked out of their glass window and saw a goods van outside, with it sides fully down exposing the insides with its stacks  of produce. when i got out i saw it was a tesco van, and i couldnt help remarking jokingly to the man unloading it saying what is a tesco van doing outside a sainsbury shop? he said he was delivering produce to some one who lives above the shop. hmm, i wonder if that would be the hallmark of life in these times, order online to have your shopping delivered even though u live right above the supermarket… haha. 

added 2.49pm got an email just now from waitrose. before i read it i guessed it is about the free coffee… and sure enough, it is. 

Our myWaitrose free tea and coffee offer is one of the ways we thank our customers for shopping with us – and we want all our customers to be able to enjoy a free hot drink when they shop with us in our branches.

From 21 November, we’ll simply be asking myWaitrose members at a small number of shops, including Pimlico, to make a purchase* before collecting their cup at the checkout.

i was expecting them to do it, and so they have. 

 

eu and our leaving

8 Oct

london 8.51pm 14.2C saturday 2016

trouble with nowadays when news is so easily available and news feeds throw news our way continuously, it makes u feel as if there is so much turmoil in the world.

if not from man made killings, it is huricanes, like the one hitting america’s florida coast. it has devastated haiti, but it seems its force has gone down once it hit the coast. islands by the very nature get the worst blast from them. nothing to block them and deplete their force. these islands are considered paradise , or what paradise is like, but it  is not so paradisical as far as i am concerned. these devastating huricanes are not an isolated incident. it happens almost every year.

not many places in the world are trouble free from nature. that is why i consider uk as paradisical, in that the weather here is friendly and never extreme. if it does go extreme it is not horribly extreme. if that is not paradise, what is?

i had a very pleasant day today. nothing dramatic happened, but got a little bit of everything.

freebies to collect… free coffee from john lewis, and lego bricks from daily mail which i collected from the whsmith store in victoria station. so far i had not felt the urge to break open the pack and build it up.

and i avoided the traffic jam on that part of the west end that borders hydepark. there were marchers who had marched from the north to london to enact king harolds march to hastings to fight the normans, and where he got an arrow in his eye that ended it all. they had amassed at hyde park, and i supposed would have been quite nice to see, as they are wearing costumes, and i daresay the papers tomorrow will show them. but in terms of getting around london, i am glad i avoided them.

its quite a normal day in london, people going about their business, whether shopping or eating out, which is all i see, from the top of the bus. you would think that is all they do, but then they all look like tourists. and they are enjoying themselves what with the £ costing so much less now. its parity now. £1= 1 euro.

i can see the businesses in central london may well depand on the tourists spending their money. how else are they going to get customers, certainly it would not be possible to have so many businesses like there are here making a profit if they only rely on locals patronising them. every  business seem to be full of customers inside. it might be to uk ‘s advantage that the £ is low… tourism will boom.

the papers are also full of articles about the fears of eu punishing uk for voting to leave. they have threatened it, so it is not a fear that is unfounded. we shall see if they really can do it and not make themselves lose money. and obviously they will try their best to steal business from the city of london and other uk businesses. but they are especially eager to bring back financial business back to a european capital, and centre it in frankfurt or paris. though plenty of observers say they dont have the expertise , and the business will go to new york, if they try to cut out london. or the whole thing fails and they do not get london or new york and their own businesses find it hard to raise finances or do any business. we shall see.

in the meantime i think we here in uk will have to keep to our shores, and forego foreign holidays for a time. at least for those of us who like a bargain. because it really rankles when the £ does not buy as much as it did before in europe. at least i get rankled haha. that is why i stopped going to europe when it dropped from £1=1.50euros to £1=1.20euros. now that it is £1=1euro, there is even less reason to go there. for me anyway.

i have yet to hear from my friends who have recently gone to europe. perhaps they did not notice much difference.  perhaps their liking for europe overides the low £, and they will still like going there. i wonder if the low £ will entice even those in europe who dont like to travel to come to england. or will they get so angry with uk voting to leave that they refuse on principle to come here. haha.

i have someone in the gay website telling me he is coming to uk, he is from bulgaria,and recently i got a message from him saying he is here, in london and staying at a hostel in bloomsbury. he wants to find work as a kitchen porter. his written english is good but he says his spoken english is poor. and from the news the govt has conceded that most of those eu citizens who are here will remain, as they cannot be forced to leave legally. so i think anyone who comes in now and work here will be allowed to remain. they will be given automatic leave to remain when uk finally leaves after giving the two year notice. uk is very gay friendly, and is ideal for a gay guy to come and live. 

i ahve a feeling eu citizens will still be allowed to come to work, uk needs them to fill up the vacancies. people should make a distinction between those who come specifically to bring their families and claim benefits from those who come to work and take up the job opportunities for work here. though if the £ remain low, i wonder if they might not find it not worth the effort as the money they earn will get less when they send it back to their home countries. 

added.7am sunday 9.10.16. i had word from him that it is difficult to open a bank account now. he said it was easier in the past. without a bank account it will be difficult to get that job. i suspect it is a catch 22, he cant get a bank account unless he gets a proper address, instead of a hostel; or a proper job.

 i have a feeling lots of new comers will get this drip drip obstacles put in their path. not only in uk with newcomers, but in europe, with uk citizens maybe not being able to get free medical treatment in europe. it is not a problem for uk tourists visiting europe, most will have travel insurance, but the long term stayers, the expats, they will feel it if they dont get their usual free access to medical care. 

added. 8.06pm 12.8 light rain,monday 17.10.16. i got a message just now from the bulgarian guy who came to london to work. he started work on 11.10.16. and lack of a bank account was not needed to get the job, he just needs one so that his salary can be put in it. so he used his friend’s account. it seems very easy to get jobs here. it looks like london need these eu workers to fill the vacancies.

 added. 7pm 13C wednesday 19.10.16 he got a job as a kitchen porter in a 5star hotel,

he says ‘ Yes they give us free meal and soft drinks.
Im working 9-10 hours per day from 7 pm to 5 or 6 am
with 1 hour break and in this hour we eating and drinking in zale for staff.’

its long hours, but hey, if i were him, i wont mind. after all the idea is to make money here. and long hours means the daily wage will be higher. even at minimum wage of about £7 an hour, that means about £70 , less tax and national insurance  so maybe £50 a day. it is possible he might get higher wage scale for the unsocial hours and weekend work. so he is looking at least £1000 a month take home pay. maybe more. hmm, i shall have to see if i can get him to tell me how much he gets. haha. but i can see why this kind of work will not appeal to the british person. such long hours… not to mention if i am on income support that is £65 a week,given to me free money…  plus if i get free housing, (£500 a month, if not more even if it is a room, and if a long term benefit person i  might have a one bedroom flat allocated to him by now, rent free or paid for by social security. ) he would have to earn hell of a lot more than £1000 a month to afford the rent. so no wonder none of them want this kind of work.