Tag Archives: friends

random thoughts

20 Jul

London
I saw a tv program about people on benefits and pairing them with similar people who work and not getting as much as those on benefits. So u can imagine how critical those who are working view those on benefits.

During a shopping expedition the one who was working was criticising the other for buying a whole chicken saying she should buy breast chicken as there is more meat there.

I myself prefer to buy chicken on the bone. I know simon prefers breast meat as it is boneless. And I think he is not unusual amongst westerners who like boneless meat.

But meat on bone is much tastier, in my opinion. And cheaper per kg. though that might be a moot point as the lady who advocated boneless meat says u are paying more for the bones.

Is it true? Breast meat is very much more expensive per kg. Maybe it comes down to taste. Whether u like boneless breast meat or not.

I think she is wrong to try to impose her views on the poor housewife. Maybe she should point out instead that buying frozen meat is cheaper than buying fresh. though with the amount of water they put in the frozen meat, I sometimes wonder how cheap it is.

I buy frozen chicken drumstick and thighs from sainsburys at £1.75 per kg as opposed to £2.25per kg for fresh legs. In the past these used to be huge portions, so there is a lot of meat in them;. But now I noticed they are quite small portions. It is still 2.5kg for the bag, but when they are so small the proportion of meat to bone in weight is less.
I have noticed fresh chicken has really gone up in price now. Gone are the days when I can get a 1.5kg chicken for £2,50. The only time I will buy a fresh chicken is if I want to roast it whole. If I want to make a stew of it, I prefer to buy chicken portions instead. Though come to think of it, I can still roast the chicken portions.

Frozen is useful in that I don’t have to cook all of it at one go, so can store in the freezer to use another day. Sometimes I do get a craving for meat and it is so much easier to just grab it from the freezer as and when I want it rather than go out and buy one.

I was passing through the victoria train station this morning, and it was really busy with people . The weather has turned cooler too. So if those people are coming on a day trip to London hoping for some sunshine, they will be disappointed. But I daresay they are all tourists coming in from Gatwick. It was about 11am or so. So not a time for commuters. There are a lot of tourists in town judging from the street crowds in parliament square and Trafalgar square. I daresay it is a biased view as those places are the centre of the tourist attractions. And living in central london, i am bound to see more tourists than locals. 

I was recently browsing the m &m shop in Leicester square and was wondering how come I don’t see their sweets being sold in supermarkets. The whsmith has bags of them but only as a promotion, for cinema tickets. Buy 4packs to get one cinema ticket. 2packs for £4.50 I think .so u will need to spend £9 to get a free cinema ticket.

They are selling the m&m in their Leicester square shop at £1.99 per 100mg. The shop is very clever at marketing with lovely smell of chocolate as u walk in. makes u want to eat them, and you would expect them to be selling the sweets immediately u enter.

Not so.  they are not sold everywhere in the shop but only in the basement. it is self service with the sweets dispensed by lifting a lever. which will tempt people to overfill the bag.

Most of the store space is given to selling merchandise with their logo instead and rather expensive too but I guess it is a specialty shop. U cannot get any of their branded clothes anywhere else.
Oh I just remembered in the past I know these sweets as smarties, do u think they are the same company. Maybe not, otherwise why call them smarties instead of m&ms. So what happen to smarties are they still in business, do u think?

Browsing the wh smith shop in victoria station, I was looking at the books and see their price for paperbacks is about £8 each, though some of them are on offer buy one and get the other half price.

I don’t know about you, but book prices are expensive, even at the special offer. So many of the titles I wont bother to borrow even if they appear in the library, so I wonder who buys them?

Ah well, just as well we all have different tastes haha, otherwise book authors will never make money.

Though from what we see with jk rowling and her attempt to write under another name, it is really difficult to sell a lot of books if u are a new author.

Even e -books are expensive, like £5 each. I had expected them to be about £1 or so. Makes me realise I wont be buying these e book readers. I am really glad we got the library system here in uk.

I got an invitation to a 50yr old birthday party from a friend who I have not talked to or seen for years. I wondered at first if I would want to establish contact again, after all these years, but decided that I have so little in common now it would not be much point. So I emailed him to say I wont be able to make his birthday party. I think he invited me out of politeness. 

And it reminded me that I have lost so many friends from my young days. There are good and bad things about it. Haha. In some ways it is sad that I have lost these old friends, as they remind me of the good times we had long ago, but the good thing is that my interests have changed and it would tarnish the old memories to be replaced by the present when we have all grown old and set in our ways with different interests and trying to keep in touch when we are not the least bit interested in each other anymore and have to pretend to be.

Losing friends is really the normal state of affairs, for if u don’t lose them from normal attrition, u will lose them when death comes.

I guess I should go out and make new friends now. A strong reason to keep making new friends throughout your life.

reunion

12 Feb

London
Sunday 10.2.13
I had thought to post some pics of the Chinese new year celebrations in London round Trafalgar square and Chinatown. But it rained practically throughout the time allotted for it, a small drizzling rain.

I don’t mind the rain, as I was able to use my rain coat, but it cannot be very nice for those who want to celebrate it outdoors. And it cannot be much fun for those providing the entertainment or food stalls or souvenir stalls. And the day was too dull to make happy pictures. Haha.

But London is such a large city and have so many people I am sure even if a small number of those people who came there are young enough to enjoy the day and bring their boisterous nature to it, it will be enough to lighten the spirit for everyone else.

So if my friend and I don’t stay long, (my friend suggested we move on to the south bank); it does not mean the day was a washout.

We are too old to hang around. One of the things about being old, or older is that u really come to realise that new year celebrations are really for the young. They get to receive ang pows, and new clothes, and lots of food to eat… and they will be indulged in, with parents who are normally very strict the rest of the year, relaxing and giving tacit permission to play the fool a bit.
Not that my parents were strict, but I know my parents are unusual in this respect. A lot of my Chinese friends have very controlling parents.

 

I met up with a German friend of long ago who moved to panama to live with his Mexican boyfriend, and works for a hotel chain, and travels half the year abroad a lot for his work. He seldom come to uk, but this time he did and so we met after many years.

It is actually rather a sad and nostalgic meet. Because both of us have grown old… and all our friends have gone. Not gone away from London, but we lost touch with them even though they are living in London. So that there was only two of us to meet. We remember the younger us and those days of frolic in London, unlike now when we all have our separate lives and cannot even muster a big reunion of all our old friends.

Reunions are not always a happy affair, and can be more of a chore. I know we Chinese always rapsodise the family get together reunion at Chinese new year, but I know it can be rather a bore . Like taking a holiday to the same place every year. And with added horribleness in having to socialise with those in the family if you cannot get along with them in the first place.

I get along well with my brothers and sister, but I am glad I don’t have to go back to Malaysia for a reunion.

That is the reality of life. We grow old. Friends come and go. And we change too, and as we go older, our outlook does tend to concentrate too much on musings on health a lot more than when we were young.

I don’t recall we talked of our health that much when we were young.

And the interesting thing I noticed with our conversation, is that instead of curiosity to hear what the other’s sexual adventures are , we tend to talk of our own adventures and for me anyway, comparing theirs with mine and realising that I don’t really fancy their adventures.

So different from when we were younger, when we have not done things and are not experienced in sex. And when we hear of some unusual sexual practices we are just agog to hear more, even though secretly thinking how awful, I don’t like that.

Not realising that many years later , we will be doing it, liking it and doing it a lot now.

My friend says he goes to saunas a lot during his trips abroad on business . He works for a hotel chain which have many branches worldwide.

And I remember thinking when he said it that I don’t like to go to saunas anymore. Haha. At least not in London. I daresay if I were to be on holiday in Europe, or s.e.asia. I will go because most of the gay action is in those places. And it is a way to meet other gay guys for sex without a lot of complications or danger.

Everyone who likes saunas always say they like how clean they can be and how everyone else is clean too. My friend is no exception. He too praised the cleanliness.

So much emphasis on cleanliness… I guess they have not yet experienced the joy and sexual excitement of guys’ natural scent.

Some guys give off really exciting natural body scents.

It was too rainy to hang around outdoors or to watch the Chinese new year shows… and he was not that interested in them anyway, seeing most of the time u are looking over people’s heads, which is bad enough but this time there are the umbrellas to contend with as well.

So we walked across the river and after going into the festival hall and a number of others places to find a place to sit so we could chat, and finding them so crowded with people there was no room to sit, we finally settled on benches outside the film institute. I think not many sit there because the coffee is very expensive. Or maybe it was a cold day for them. The staff very kindly turned up the open flame heaters without us asking.

It was nice to catch up with him. And to have a glimpse of another life lived differently from mine. He told of his dreams to retire. Though interestingly enough his idea of retirement is to find another job , and set up a B&B in panama!!

I think he was just musing and testing out the possiblities, as he said he wants to buy a place elsewhere, in florida he said for the weather, and move between panama and that place. And of course that is not compatible with running a bed and breakfast in panama. Haha.

There are hurricanes in florida, and the summers are very hot. But I did not remind him of it. After all, we all like to dream and why not!

In fact, even now in panama, he tells me they have bought a place in the mountains near the panama city where they live, just so they can go there over the weekend, to escape the heat. So even though he likes the hot weather, I can see it can be too much sometimes, if not all the time.haha.

I know how it is like. I am from Malaysia, and the weather he said is rather similar in panama. Hot all the time, and either wet during the winter, or dry during the summer months. In Malaysia it is the other way round.

Makes u wonder why they live there when they cannot stand the tropical heat. It seems temperatures in panama is like Singapore. my friend’s reason may be to be with his boyfriend, so that might explain why he lives in panama now. And also explains why he likes going to the highlands. it is very similar to the british when they governed in malaysia, going up to cameron highlands or fraser’s hill , near kuala lumpur to escape the lowland heat. They do it in india too. 

People I find are very contradictory. And they say these contradictory things in the same breath and don’t seem to be aware of it. Haha. I don’t mind, I am very indulgent when I hear guys talking to me about their visions of their future and what they would like their life to be .

I made the observation that in terms of ideal climate, London is the best. Neither too extreme in heat or cold and so pleasant to live in all year round. I know not many will agree with me. Haha. But to those of us who have travelled the world and seen it all, I can assure u London weather is the ideal.

I like the rain. Because it is a nice contrast to dry days. I would be bored if the weather is sunny and dry all year round. It is too much the same. And today’s rain is rather pleasant, a small drizzle with not much wind.

But ‘say that to the marines‘, I hear your collective shout from you all who are currently living under these rain darkened clouds. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

just a recent 2day post

23 Jan

London

23.1.13 wednesday

I am quite surprised that there are so many bloggers still, I thought everyone have gone to twitter, facebook, or whatever those social networks are called. But wordpress is still very active, and tumblr as well.

I used to be with blogspot, and they don’t have the kind of connection that wordpress (and tumblr too for all I know) seem to make available for its members.

This article in the telegraph today says old people are likely to be cut out of the mainstream if they don’t join a social network. I cannot find the link , so maybe the editors have removed it as they realise that they are wrong to assume that just because u are not on a social network u are cut off from society.

I think if u are not on the internet, or have some access to it, u will be cut off from the mainstream. Being able to get online is far more important than being in a social network. Libraries give free daily 1hr access to anyone who joins the library, and in England at least it is easy to join the library. But for a gay guy, it has its disadvantage , in that it wont allow access to gay websites like gaydar, etc.

That is why I still have a landline, as it allows me to get free broadband. I got talk talk. And it is cheap, landline rental is £9.50 (because I pay a year’s rental in advance) and monthly dues for the package which includes free broadband is £3.50. I get free calls (up to 1hr per call) locally and nationally in the evenings and weekends, and a special concession for me, I get free local calls (02 numbers for London) anytime. I get free international calls too, to certain countries, but I never use them.

I thought in the past that I will close this landline if ever London gives us free broadband throughout the city… but I think even if it does, I have second thoughts about closing my landline, because it is v likely they will restrict access to gay websites. And it is nice to be able to call and chat with friends free.

I am using my blog as some kind of diary. For my own enjoyment. Not many use it like that.

Many use their blogs as a means of instruction, or imparting knowledge. Or as a means of trying out their communicating skills, or publicising their business, or humour or story -telling or poetry to entertain others.

And they all seem to want a lot of viewers and visitors. I wonder why?

22.1.13 tuesday
I was wondering when is Chinese new year this year. And I saw an advert in the online newspaper , the independent, an advert placed by amoy , saying they are cooking at various places in uk over the following weekends until ending in London on the 10feb, which is when Chinese new year starts.

The coming year will be of the snake.
This one is the year of the dragon.

Not that I know what the difference is.

I might go and see them cook, and hopefully sample it, in Trafalgar square on the 10th feb, or at observation point, Gabriel wharf on the 9th feb. the 9th feb one might be less busy.

There will be a big celebration with stage show in Trafalgar sq on the 10th feb. This year the celebration is on the actual Chinese new year day itself as it is on a Sunday.

http://www.standard.co.uk/staticpage/amoy/

It is a chance for the Chinese businesses and restaurants in and around Chinatown in London to make their profit by attracting lots of people to come into central London that weekend.

There will be lion dances.

This year Chinese new year is rather early in february.

Long ago, we used to meet at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown on new year eve for dinner get together. But it is usually a hectic affair, with the restaurant very full and everything was so rushed and expensive too. And the food suffered as a consequence of this.

Now, we don’t do that anymore. At least not me.

You might say how sad to lose touch like that with friends. It is rather sad, but we have lost touch with each other because we have no more common interests anymore. That is the reason why we stop seeing each other.

Rather sad, that , but friends come and go, and sometimes when our interests diverge, there is nothing to say to each other anymore. So we go off and find new friends or find new interests.

christmas day and boxing day

26 Dec

London

25.12.12 Christmas day
I thought there will be something to write about for this day, but really there wasn’t.

A friend called me to say he is nearby and wants to know if I am free so he can visit me.

I said yes, and he said he will call me later when he is ready to come to my place.

Well, I thought I shall take a nap, and still be able to hear my phone ring.

But I must have slept, and so soundly that I did not hear him ring me. i thought he was not coming when I next pick up my phone to hear if there was any messages, I found he had left me a message. He rang at about 1.40pm, and since I did not pick it up, he thought I have gone out, and so he decided to go home.

Later, the next day, boxing day, he explained that after his call to me,  he went to see his 90yr old woman friend who lives near me. He said this time of year he visits his old friends, to keep in touch. And this one is really old, and has senile dementia.

He mentioned that he was late calling me back as that friend told him the carer did not come that day to make sure she took her medicine. After calling the carer services, where there was no answer, he stayed with her till another carer who had come for another person in that old folks home was able to open the log book and told him the carer did come at 8am, and woke her to give her the medicine.

All the while the old lady was protesting to him that she is not mad. I think all this diagnosis of dementia is making the patient realise she is losing her mind and making her even more anxious. In the normal course of events, the old lady never get to realise she is losing her mind. She just loses it, and it is so gradual that all she knows is that everyone around her is losing their minds, are going deaf, are forgetful, steal her things, and generally make a nuisance of themselves whilst she is the only sane one . Haha.

And normally there is no harm in letting them think this. They can just gradually go senile and remain quite happy and ignorant of it.

But nowadays, the doctors leap on the diagnosis, tells the old person they are gradually losing their mind, and make the old person really anxious and scared and worried.

It does not help them to know the diagnosis, because there is no cure and so they then get prescribed anti anxiety, anti depressants, and god knows what else to counteract the side effects, for eg, prescribed sleeping pills as the antidepressants may give them imsomnia.

So these old folks are just filled with pills.

That is my view anyway, if ever I get dementia, I prefer not to know about it. Just get someone to look after me, not interfering, but keep an eye on me. That would be the ideal help, but I am not likely to get that. They will put me in an old folks home and pump me full of medicine.

Hope my soul make me die before that happens. Haha.

Anyway, today boxing day, he called and ask me to visit him, or he can come to meet me in town.

I decided I shall take the bus to his place. The tubes are on strike , but his place is easier to get to by bus anyway. It takes two changes of bus.

It took me 1.5hrs to get to his place. And he prepared a lunch of chicken and pasta, very nice.

We chatted about mutual friends, and how we have lost touch with them. He said none of our friends visit him anymore, he said he thinks it is because they look down on his flat…

They want him to visit them instead . I said surely that is all right then, it means they are not wanting to cut off the friendship but he was not consoled.

I myself don’t get any visits from friends, but then I can understand why they might not want to visit me. I don’t want to visit them either. Haha.

Our interests have diverged a lot.

They must all be in their 50s now. It does make u realise u are getting old, when u see your friends all getting old.

U want to meet new younger people. At least I do. Haha.

Old people are rather depressing because they will have lots of health issues and it reminds u of yours when u hear them talking of their ills.

Anyway, he wanted to carry on our conversation in a coffee shop, and took the car and drove to Kensal rise where he says there is an ethnic coffee shop which might be open on boxing day.

It was about 3.50pm now and getting dark, and really not many places were open. So I said I wanted to go back, and ask him to put me at the bus route back and when he says we are near Paddington, I suggested he put me there.

I managed to catch the number 16 at edgeware road. It was very crowded, with half the bus getting off at marble arch which is one end of oxford st.  They cant all be going shopping surely? I was glad when they cleared the bus.

Getting off at victoria, I went to the sainsburys, and saw they were reducing the vegetables, so I bought some. Brocolli ,lettuce, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, spring onions for 20p each pack. I bought 11 of these packs for total of £2.28.

There were loads of bread, and quite good bread too, hovis multiseeded/ wholemeal too. But they were 20p each and I usually get them for 10p and I got enough so I did not buy them. Strange they did not just reduce them to 10p. I would have bought some more if they did.

The shop closes at 5pm, and it was already making announcements to shoppers to pay up and go. So maybe those breads are not expiring today for their sell -by date.

Ah well, so that was how I spent my day, and soon boxing daywill be over, and tomorrow things will get back to normal, and my gym will be opened and I can go there again. And the library will be opened too.

And thank goodness all these holidays will be over.

I was seeing the alice in wonderland film on tv, starring Helena bonham carter as the red queen. It had raving reviews, when it came out in 2010, but it is really not very interesting. It disappointed me actually. Lots of computer generated images of monsters, and it looked like lord of the rings. I am so glad I did not pay good money to see it when it came out in the cinemas.

Films are very overated these days.