Tag Archives: freedom pass

just comparing my life in london with my life in kL if i live there.

5 Nov

london 4.45pm 14.3C (high 15.8C) cloudy night monday 2018

i remembered a email voucher from krispy creme giving me a free doughnut which they sent me a few days ago and i saved it.

today i decided to redeem it, so went to victoria station whre there is a krispy kreme kiosk. its quite nice , the doughnut, but very sweet of course, not only from the topping, but from the filling. i had my own water bottle which i drank from, because it can make u real thirsty, but also i passed by the water dispenser in the main concourse which reminded me that this station has a free water dispenser.  so i filled up my bottle. i had thought i shall go to the wing shot, that place where we got our free chicken wings, to redeem the voucher they gave me for another free chicken wing portion. i had saved the voucher in my email, and i opened it when i was in victoria, using the wifi there.

however when i arrived at the shop,in cambridge circus,  i found that  the email wont open and i have to get online again… which i did at the pret nearby, though by the time i did it , and went to the shop i found when i tried the door it wont open, even though i can see the workers inside… even though the notice open hours says that they open at 11am.  the time was 11.30am. they are late, and i remembered that when we were queueing that first day, they too were late and let us in only after 30mins after their opening time.

so i think i shall go there after 12pm tomorrow, just to  be sure they will be open.

ah well, i was thinking what i might be doing if i were retired and living in malaysia, kuala lumpur, which i would be doing if i were to have lived a different life instead of the one i lived. and i realise i would be rather more house bound, as it would be too hot to be out in the afternoon , not to mention there wont be any reason to go out  as the bus is too erratic and the journey long, and not airconditioned, and does not go to many places. usually i walk to the village nearby, where u can go to the wet market to buy food groceries, like veg, and fish or fowl, or meat. at least that was where my mum goes when she was alive. i wonder whether i would do that if i were to live there. or would i prefer to shop at the supermarkets. it would require i drive as people are really depandant on their cars or motorbikes. and i dont like to drive as it is real easy to get into an accident when you get older and older and your attention span and skill goes out the door. i have not driven in london for a long time now.  so i suspect i shall be quite house bound if i were ever to live there.

i am glad to be living in london rather than in kL.

the freedom pass here in london is a great enabler, it allows me to just up and go and make me not need much of a reason to go out, whereas if i have to pay, i would need a good reason to go and many times there is no need to go at all. even so i dont always go out. i hear from the two malaysian sisters, that they have gone to croydon for a freebie, and i said that is far, but they said not at all. they live in hounslow, so that it is about equal time travel to croydon as to come to central london for them. so for them, the effort and time to come to central london is as much as going to croydon. of course they have the freedom pass too so  cost is not a consideration. whilst for me, it is certainly much more of a bother to go to croydon than to central london as i allready live in central london.

i got my freedom pass renewed

22 Feb

london 12.28am 10.1C monday 2016

the one i got now expires 31 march 2016. so they sent me a letter asking me to renew it. it seems i can renew it by going to their online website, which i tried to do but it failed to register. so that got me a bit worried, that they might think i am a fraud and not give me one. oh dear.

anyway if the online fails they said i can apply via post, so i filled up their form (remarkably, no asking me for £5 or a photo, which they wanted when i first applied). and sent it with a second class stamp.  

and now today i got it in the post, using the same photo, which i gave  them when i first applied about 3 yrs ago. this time they gave a 5 year duration, instead of 3 yrs for the previous one; it is now valid for 31march 2021. the letter said it had been paid by my borough.  

i looked impossibly young in that photo, taken 3yrs ago, and that was why i was afraid they might think i am a fraud. haha.  though none of the inspectors who checked it on the bus,ever queried my photo in all the three years i have been using it.

anyway i am so glad i got this renewal. this pass is such a godsend. it makes being old in london (if you are over 60yrs  u can have a london pass instead of this freedom pass, which comes in only much later; another of the advantages of being in london) a really fun thing to be.

i try to use it responsibly, in that i try to walk. i am well aware of the danger of not doing any exercise because of this pass. i know it is tempting to take the bus even for short bus journeys of 2-3 stops . it does not save the council much money, because after the 3rd journey by bus the cost is capped. but it might cost u your health. old people must walk and do some exercise. but anyway, i am delighted at having it renewed. and just want to tell someone haha. 

i thought i shall post something

18 Aug

london sunday 2014

it is the height of summer now, at least if u just take the calendar evidence, we should be having high heat but we are not. haha. purists might say the height of summer is at the summer solstice, when it is the longest day. now the days are shortening, and it is sunset at 8.19pm and sunrise at 5.48am.  but that is british summer time. so actually if u follow GMT, sunrise is 4.48am, and sunset is 7.19pm. it is funny to me that the sun seem to favour the early morning, rising so early and setting relatively early too.

so what is my life like in london now? just the same old, same old. Usually nothing much happens in britain in august. people go away on holiday , the politicians are all away as parliament have their summer recess. so those who are well connected will be leaving the city for their country estates, or abroad. schools are closed too for the summer holidays. those of us who chose to remain , out of poverty or just because we dont like all that travelling, or dont have kids, who like me in other words will stay in london.

i wonder what they do to amuse themselves. dont get me wrong, there are lots of things to do in london, esp for tourists, and they always have lists , like 101 things to do in london, where the things they list are quite mundane.

the great thing about london, and maybe any great city are the niche interests that abound to anyone who are interested in it and can find out where they are. anything starting from sexual interests onwards. so no need to just take the lists they publish in papers which u might find rather tame. 

maybe they take advantage of the john lewis tea time offer that comes with their members’ card. once a month we get free cakes and tea/coffee at the john lewis cafe. this month i decided to go to their chelsea branch, peter jones. the cafe is on the top floor with a transparent roof.

i had walnut and coffee cake and cappuccino. rather too much caffeine. maybe i should have gone for the tea. the cake slice was quite a lot, too.

it was crowded with people, maybe it is normal for them to be so busy on a saturday afternoon. 

i was browsing the newspapers trying to find again the article listing 101 things to do in london (could not find it in the end)and accidentally brought up this from slate. it is about why there are all these different yogurts from different countries. there is nothing to distinguish yogurt native to  one country from another.  i have not thought about it but it is true, and yet we have all these yogurts from all these countries selling in supermarkets… strange. take the quiz, you would be amazed at the answer. i only got 2 right. 

monday 2014, 18.8.14 

i wrote the above but did not post it as i thought it was rather mundane . this morning i read in my online news that there has been a huge procession in central london by a hindu community to celebrate their new temple in north london. i missed that. but i am used to knowing there are lots of things in london that i can miss very easily and i am glad i dont have fomo.( a condition known as fear of missing out.) 

for example, last fri/sat we can get free use of the boris bikes. usually there is a £2 daily hire, but it is waived for those two days to enable lots of people to try it out. 

i have never ridden a boris bike so dont know if it is very heavy and take effort to ride, and i dont really want to try it. this is because i got 3 bikes and can ride them free everytime haha.

except i dont do it that often anymore because i can get free bus and tube and train. even so, i dont ride the train and tube much, preferring to use the buses, and even then i dont do it much either.

i am aware that it is not really free, someone else have to pay for it, in the case of the free bus pass, it is the local council, which in my case is westminster council.

though my council is rich and can easily afford it; still, i try to save them money because i am just thrifty and dont like waste. even if it is not my money. if u say i do pay it via my council tax, i would say not really. our council tax is the lowest in the country. it is one of the paradox of life, that here in westminster where property prices are the highest in the land, we pay the lowest council tax.

I have a feeling westminster do not pay as much as the outlying councils for the free passes. it is based on usage how much travelling the holders make on the public transport. i think a lot of us in westminster dont really travel often to the outskirts of london because there is nothing in the suburbs to attract us to go there. whilst the opposite is the case where people in the suburbs would love to travel to the centre as there is everything happening in the centre. so they will use their free travel passes more often and use the tubes and trains too which cost more.

we in london get free travel even on the tubes and trains, unlike the rest of the country which can only travel free on buses and even then those bus routes are being cut. one of the advantages of living in london.

i also think walking is essential for good health. i see old people using the bus for just one stop and i think to myself be careful, or u will make yourself less fit and suffer the consequences in future.

as it is i dont cycle anymore whereas before i would cycle to brixton to buy my ginger and garlic, and tomatoes (just a few days ago,  there must be a glut because i can get 8 big fat tomatoes for 50p in brixton so much better bargain than the 50p offers in supermarkets for 6 small tomatoes and even then those special offers are not often on. or u have to buy 3 items for £1.50).