Tag Archives: gym

the gym experience.

18 Jun

london 7.46pm 22.1C (high 26C) sunny monday 2018

i took up the daily mail offer of a free 7day pass to a gym. i chosed one near me, in victoria, where i used to be a member about 10yrs ago. and i can say there is no going back to the old days. when i was a member there, it has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and a lot of space . now it is much smaller and only have showers. there was no soap provided. no towels too. i paid £20 a month in those days, now you have to pay £37 a month. for not a lot. what is surprising is that they have other branches that cost £20 a month. this one cost so much and yet dont have any of the facillities that would explain the extra cost… and i can only assume it is the location, supposedly more central that explains why it costs so much more. they have a branch in south kensington that charged £47 a month. what extra do that branch provide? if they provide the same facillities , or lack of it, than it is hard to justify the extra cost.

but even after the fact that they dont provide anything extra in facillities, the gym was very busy when i went there at about 6.30pm. so it looks like the extra cost is not a deterrant to membership. i sometimes dont really understand human beings. why did they join this branch, instead of the others which are so much cheaper. its so crowded all the machines were being used. and its a monday too. i find it just too crowded to exercise , so i did not do so. just had a shower.  i was chatting to a chinese guy in the changing room who is a member there, and i should have asked him what is the attraction for him to join this branch.

the council gym is so much better, so spacious and nice showers with soap provided. and yet it doesnot appear to be so popular as these private gyms.

i went into the Marks and spencer store nearby, and see a lot of empty shelves. those hungry hordes of office workers have swept the food. they dont seem to be put off by the cost. that is why i think businesses have managed to keep going , the lunchtime profit from the office workers is enough to sustain them. these office workers are like a bunch of locusts.the cost is not a deterrant. 

i was earlier in the tesco , a local branch near piccadilly circus, during the lunch hour, and it was absolutely jammed pack with these office workers buying their lunch. long queues snaking away from the tills, all trying to pay, as if it is free. (rereading it i know it is illogical, that last bit. but you get my point, i hope. haha) that store and many like it must make a lot of profit from just the lunchtime business. 

added. 12.18pm 27.2C sunny monday 25.6.18. i never did goback to that gym to use it and use up the free pass.makes me realise i am not going to use those weights, so no point joining the gym.

the circuit training that i am using seem to appeal more to me. it is a supervised activity and because i am expected to go, i go. i read in my library a notice saying there is a yoga class for over 50s in a old age community hall near me, it is on wednesday too, and i might go and see if i would like it. 

lockers in the gym

10 Jan

london 10.36pm 6C dry wednesday 2018

the daylight is getting longer by 2mins now instead of seconds like the time when we were near the solstice. i notice it is lighter now. my circuit class has started after the 2wk holiday break, and today is the first class of the new year. when i got out of the building at about 4.15pm, the sky was  light… with the setting sun throwing its red rays onto the underside of the clouds. before, on the last day of the circuit class last year when i came out, it was dark. so there is visual evidence that the days are lengthening now. its very uplifting, as it gives a hint that brighter days to come. though we still have the deep troughs of winter to go through, as jan , feb are always the deepest cold of the year, before we can get to the warmer uplands of summer.

during the holidays i found 3 old £1 coins in the flat. simon had dropped them on the floor. he seemed to be getting them given to him as change, or he is finding these old coins in his wallet but whatever the reason, i find them on the ground , mainly in the bedroom and in the watercloset (wc).

i had lost my token for the lockers.  i had found that token  and had been using it for the lockers before i lost it… so finding the old £1 coin is rather a happy thing for me…as i am able to use the lockers to put away my things and be able to lock them with that old £1 coin.

though one of the guys working out with me told me reception had told him they have changed the lockers to accept the new £ coins now. i thought he was mistaken, because the locker accepted my old coin , but later when i was leaving the place i saw a note taped to the locker sides, saying they accept the new £1 coin. so it looks like my old £1 coin is not needed after all. still i will continue to use them as it is quite easy to forget to retrieve them when the lockers return it when u have finished.

i am glad that they dont charge us to use the lockers.  in the past they used to charge for the use of the lockers. perhaps they realise that it makes thieves damage the locks to get at the money and the cost of repairs makes it all very unprofitable.

Life continues to be very pleasant for me. one of the guys in the circuit class that i was talking to told me he felt a bit bereft , trying to fill his days and having something to do. but since i am really happy not to have anything to do, nothing planned and no one to have appointments with, this life suits me very well.

the circuit class is for all ages, as long as they are men, as it is a men only class. but because it starts at 3pm, those who do go are those who are retired. so it seems to have self selected that age group, though our instructor has always maintained it is for all age groups. but it stands to reason that younger people will be at work at this time and wont be able to make the class. oh i have a thought, it will suit the young unemployed too… but perhaps no young guy will come as it kind of shows his unemployment status. 

the class is free, so i dont know who pays our instructor… i cannot imagine he is doing it out of being a volunteer, he got to earn a living surely;  maybe it comes out of the old people fund, because london is one city that seems to have a program of helping old people keep active. that makes london a very old- people friendly city.

it might well make it a good city to retire to, even though it sounds counter intuitive, as many consider it a very expensive city. but from my own experience, as long as u can find cheap accommodation… and i suppose to many that is a big IF, i can vouch that london can be very cheap to live in. 


i like it raining in london.

9 Aug

london 5.02pm 15C rain wednesday 2017

they forecast today will rain a lot, like a whole month’s rain in one day and they were right. haha. it has been practically raining the whole day. but i dont mind. i know there are a lot of people lamenting that summer is over, and where has summer gone? but it is not really that bad. even the temperature is not cold, i was able to walk about and go to the gym in my shorts, and a lightweight gym top. and it is only for one day, the rest of the week it will be dry. 

last week it was raining too when i went to the circuit training, but this time there are 4 of us. and i think our trainer made it a bit easier for us, 10 exercises instead of 12 like last time, and simpler exercises too. so this time i was able to complete both the sets without feeling faint. also i remembered to take it easier, do the exercises slower and taking deep breaths all the time. it was a very nice feeling being able to stretch and work out the muscles and i noticed i like the ones that stretched the back and strengthen the arms. i find i could do them very easily. and there were a lot of exercises for the stomach muscles which is great as it would get rid of my tummy . so all in all, i am very pleased at how it went.

and i shall go swimming at my local sports centre as well. and get back into the exercising thing and get back into shape again. sigh, i realise gyms are necessary. theoretically we can all exercise at home, no need to go to a gym at all, but it is one thing to say so another to do it. i could do all those exercises at home but it just means i never do them. lazy or what.




31 Jan

london 8.57am 8.3C cloudy/rain sunday 2016

i have been wondering whether i should join a gym again, and concluded that the basic gyms that abound are not for me.

this morning, i got the daily newsletter from the  londonist , a offer of a free day pass to the ymca. filling in the application means they will contact you to make a appointment to decide which day. understandable as they are too busy for u to just walk in any day u like.

i had a look at their website, and it does remind me they may suit my purpose for a gym, (and swim) with steam room and sauna . only £30 a year for membership and £2 per visit. only for over 60s. haha. and their activities and classes are free to attend. i am looking at their tai chi classes. every friday at 6.30pm.

actually now that i am seeing all this, it reminds me that i do have free swimming at the queen mothers sports complex near me. i have stopped going since august, but it would be the obvious first choice if i am thinking of upping my sport activities. it’s funny, isn’t it? that here is a place so near me, that offers me all that i wish, a sport, and free… and i dont go there but instead look so far afield at places that require me to pay money and commit to going… we humans are weird… 

added 10.20am actually i wonder if that is what also makes those of us want to go abroad, to buy a place or start a business, or just to live there; usually to do with catering, a food shop, or a b&b. instead of just doing it all where they live in uk.

it is allready tough enough to do business in uk, where u know the lingo and the customs, nevermind contemplating doing it all in a foreign land with strange language and customs. 

podcasts and subsidy

19 Dec


i was browsing this blog talking of why you should drop your cable subscription. it is in america, but we here in uk also have cable subscriptions , but what caught my attention was his mention of podcasts. i found this one rather interesting. it is about gyms relying on many people paying membership but dont go. that enabled them to charge only $10 a month. whilst another gym that have full usage charges £500 a month. it seems to me that if u know the system, you will be able to take advantage of this.

if u use the gym a lot u can take full advantage of the subsided charge. that is something that applies elsewhere too. in fact if u look, everywhere has this principle of other people subsidising the service.

it is a form of crowd funding. 

more ordinary days in london

17 Jun

I went out today to the library at around 1pm, and took my fleece hoodie. Outside I realised I may have taken the wrong clothing. It was warm. And I found myself thinking that is the difficulty of deciding how to dress on going out in uk.

These past few days it has been chilly, (due to the cold wind I think). Anyway, I have got used to wearing the fleece.

But today it is distinctly summery. There is a perceptible warm change in the air.

So when I left the gym, which I went to after the library, I got changed into shorts and t shirt after my shower and walk out in them. It was very cooling on the legs, which makes me wonder why women still wear pants on this day instead of skirts. They could wear them to keep cool. Men only can change to shorts. I read that a train company refused to allow the men to wear shorts to work, and so when the summer got hot, the men started wearing skirts and that was ok , it seems. Haha.

I happened to see the weather forecast in my laptop just now, and was surprised to see Wednesday is forecast to be 29C. I know they have been saying so last week that this week we will be getting high temperatures, but I have got so used to not believing them, that sometimes when they do get it right, I am surprised. But better not raise my hopes too high, or rather, the forecast is thunderstorms in Wednesday and so I would think that would cause a reduction in temperature. With any luck it wont come to that high a temperature. 29C is too uncomfortable really.

Still, Wednesday isn’t here yet, and I have often in the past been disappointed when their forecast did not come about.

So I don’t think I shall hold my breath for it. Haha.

Everything is very green around here. I think I shall be happy if the temperature just remains like today, about 21C.

Passed by some cherry trees and seeing small cherries on them. I wonder if we shall get cherries from those trees this summer. They were trees growing in a housing estate I pass by on the way to the gym, so might be worth while passing by them again in july or aug just in case they are edible cherries. It is very rare to get edible cherries. Practically all the cherry trees grown in London are ornamental and sterile.

I think because the fruits can be messy as they fall on the ground, if not harvested, and gets squashed on the ground.

I know a gingko biloba tree , one of 4 in Pimlico had been cut down and another grown in its place. It is the only female tree, and it sprouts a heavy load of fruits every year, and they stink and splatter on the ground all around the tree making it rather slippery. it’s a pity it is cut down, but I guess the residents who live there must be fed up with the smell and mess it makes.

minor things in life

16 Jun

There was a long line of cars waiting for the lights to go red, and this car was honking and trying to attract the attention of the car next to it, but slightly ahead.
It turned out when they moved off, that the car had a flat tire on the back wheel, and the other car was trying to let it know. It is one of the mysteries of life that when u are driving a car , u can never know if one of the tires go flat. nowadays, tires don’t go flat with a bang, but quietly lose air. I am sure he would be damaging his tire hub rim by driving on it with a flat tire.

It made me realise how glad I am that I don’t have a car. These things really can make life irritating…I mean things going wrong with the car; and we are not even talking about the agro u can get from other road users.

I go through life now getting lots of evidence of these minor irritations, and reinforcing to me how wonderful my life is without having those things.

So what I am saying is if u feel life is depriving you of its enjoyment because u cannot afford to run a car, just be happy that u don’t have a car and never have to tolerate the nonsensical irritations that owning a car will bring to you.

I happened to find a daily mirror newspaper in the library the other day, and saw an advert by asda of 50p celery and 60p brocolli. That is the good thing about these cheap tabloid newspapers, u get adverts about bargains in the supermarkets. Unlike the so called quality papers. So often, it is the only way I can know of these special low price offers. Vegetables are cheap now, maybe because it is the summer and so the harvest is plentiful.

Also, mywaitrose card arrived by the post. I registered for it online. I tried it out by going to the Tottenham court waitrose, to get my free coffee. It was a self service, and the cashier did not even take my card to swipe the number. maybe he rang it up on the till but he said to go ahead and get the coffee so i did.  It normally costs £1.80. The coffee was v weak, and I realise it was because I used a large cup to make the cappuccino. The trouble was this was the only size available. I thought the machine will just dispense the small amount, but it seems to be controlled by the cup size.

Another day I went to the waitrose in john lewis, and this time the cashier rang it up in his till and gave me a receipt for it. It was normally £2.10 . But foolishly I spilt all of it when I went to add the suger. So I never did taste it. I shall have to go again to try it properly next time.

But it is a great service of waitrose to give free coffee every day with the card.

I think u can get free coffee everywhere in waitrose branches that serve coffee. The john lewis one is the only one I know that actually have someone make it fresh for you. I am kicking myself for spilling that coffee because it looked like a really good cup of coffee. The others seem to dispense it from a machine.

I saw the new waitrose in Vauxhall have a coffee making machine so maybe they too will give me free coffee. It is not listed in the list of branches that offer this service. I shall have to ask them one day when I happen to be waiting for a bus in Vauxhall.

Even though there is this great coffee offer from waitrose , I wont be using it much. I don’t really like strong coffee.

But isn’t London lovely to have this free coffee available?

I heard about this waitrose coffee offer from a blog about frugal living. Now that is one good reason for reading other people’s frugal blogs.haha.

My gym membership is going to expire in august and I am thinking of not renewing it. At the moment it is £11 a month, but come august it will be a year and the introductory offer expires and so the membership goes up to the normal £20 a month. I am wondering if it is worth the £20 a month.

I go regularly, but I have free swimming sessions at the local sports centre, and so I could get my exercise from swimming instead of the gym.
So I think I shall terminate my gym membership come august and see if I can just do swimming.

It will be a change from the gym. I am getting a bit bored with the gym.

Life is so carefree now, that this is the kind of thing that exercise my mind. Minor things as u can see.

life is nice in london

12 Jan


12.1.13 saturday 

I have noticed that if u click the follow button on each person’s blog a box comes up asking u to give them your email address and it says u will be notified by email.

That scares me off, because I don’t really want my email to be clogged by these notifications.

But I noticed that if I click on the follow button at the top of the page in the task bar, than it comes up in my blog’s reader, and I can chose not to have email notification. And I can read all the blogs I follow in the reader.

That is much better.

Have you found this out too?

Also I wonder if I edit my posts will they send a email notification to followers every time I click the publish button? That would be real irritating to the followers surely? At least I would find it irritating to have my email box clogged up by many notifications of the same post just because small changes have been done.

The independent newspaper has a report of one of their reporters to live on £31 a week, which is what is left after rent, bills, etc have been paid for.

He concludes he could not live on that. But seeing what he spends it on, I believe it is because he is hopeless at budgeting.
I live on £50 a month for all my living expenses.
So if I can do so why cannot he? The answer is he does not know how to budget.
Just one example will illustrate the point.
He spent £8.60 on two trips on the tube, when he already has a bus weekly card. Why does he take the tube?

And then he buys processed foods like pizza, ham.

If he were to just buy one uncooked chicken ( £5), uncooked minced beef400mg (£1.17), 15eggs (£1.50), and veg, oats, sultanas,and rice, pasta, milk powder and bread will feed him very well for the week.

Here is what he bought instead.

Milk, coffee, pasta, chopped tomatoes, an onion , a carrot, cooking bacon =£4.78

Pizza £2.50
Bread and ham for sandwiches £3.60

Spend £5.77 for ingredients for a chilli that will last him 3days. (I wonder what he bought? A basic minced beef + fresh tomatoes (6 for 68p)+canned kidney beans, will not cost that much.) Maybe he bought cans of chilli con carne. That would be expensive.
He bought basic cornflakes included in that total.

Nothing on food

Nothing on food

£2.20 on frozen pizza

Dinner £3.63

I think any decent cook will be able to show him how to eat well on less money. So it is not poverty that is his problem, it is ignorance. I bet no one in the comments in that article will point this out.


I have seen it many times even amongst my friends who think they are frugal. 

My friends would buy canned sauces, when it is so much cheaper and quicker and easier to just use fresh ingredients and make your own.
U want a tomato sauce, use 3 fresh tomatoes, and water. Add herbs or whatever u have in the kitchen, pepper, etc. and u have a lovely tomato sauce just like that. If u want to thicken it, just added cornflour dissolved in a bit of water.

So with curry sauce, instead of just buying a can or bottle of curry sauce, use curry powder and add water, garlic, ginger, or whatever herbs u got and that is it, curry sauce. Add a bit of suger if u like to enhance the taste.

I have long ago stopped buying pasta sauce from the bottle, or passata, or bottled curry sauce. They are very expensive for what they are, merely water, with a touch of curry powder, or a bit of concentrated tomato paste. And they will be very salty and sugery as well.

Do u know that passata , which used to be 29p is now 55p? And that is the Tesco basic one, fancier brands cost even more.

It is only concentrated tomato paste and water. With a bit of vinegar.
The branded ones made from real tomatoes are very expensive. U might as well just buy fresh tomatoes and make them yourself.

Life is really very nice for me here in London.

I take the bus to the gym and use the showers as well as do the machines. And without much effort I can see me bulging out with muscles in all the right places.

And I washed with that radon orange and tea smelling gel , and it is a really nice smell. Funny how the smell can make u want to use it. Those marketing guys really know how to attract people to buy.

Even I was tempted to buy it just for the smell. Haha.

My friend who is coming to visit me called and told me that he managed to get national express bus fares for £5 one way, both directions. They charge £2 now for booking. That has gone up rather a lot from what it was before £1. But the general cost is reasonable at £12 return. Esp on such short notice.

It wont tempt me to go to Bournemouth but then seaside towns don’t expect much business in winter.

In winter, London is the best destination to visit.

And he is ok with no heating in the flat. he said he don’t have heating in his place either. So that is good to find a kindred spirit who don’t want heating.

We should form a club of likeminded guys like us.