Tag Archives: holiday


20 Jul

london 11.25am 25C cloudy friday 2018

a random shelf in the library travel section.

everywhere u can see signs of travel, urgeing you  to go wandering, seeing new places, it makes people feel they should be out there doing all those things, so that anyone who likes to stay put is made to feel they are missing out. it does not surprise me if the number one desire nowadays when u ask people what they want to do, is to travel and see the world. 

6.43pm 20C cloudy .

I have been to the age uk canteen to meet with ian. we usually meet once a month. he had just got back from a holiday in croatia. on the bus there i noticed the roads are uncrowded and no traffic jams; and i realised today is the beginning of the long summer holidays. why it should bring fewer traffic in london is a mystery. surely there are not that many who have school kids doing the school run, and are now all on holiday and left london. and it seems not only traffic is less, but places are less crowded too… restaurants, etc seem to have lots of tables free. i dont personally know of it, as i dont eat in restaurants or go to places of entertainment, but i read in the newspapers articles from writers of the social pages saying so.

its a cloudy day but it was warm so we decided to go to tavistock square nearby rather than stay indoors. and sat on one of the benches there and talked whilst being entertained by two squirrels, cavorting about under the base of a maple tree, under a sign that says  it had been planted on a year of peace in 1986. the squirrels are grey, but have tinges of red breast on their bellies. ian has a theory that grey squirrels gradually evolve into red squirrels over time as they adapt to the local colours. sounds like a nice idea. certainly these ones we see are a mix of grey and red fur and are full of life.


holidays, food

4 Aug

london 10.30am 20.2C sunny friday 2017

12.05pm 21.7C cloudy.

6pm 21.2C sunny.

as u can see, it has been sunny and cloudy but no rain so far. even though the forecast was rain at this time. a very pleasant day actually , unlike what i read of 40C temperatures in the mediterranean. august is when most people are on holiday or thinking of it. it is the school holidays as well.

and i know in paris, it is holiday time, anyone who is anyone will be away on holiday, leaving the city to tourists and those too poor to get away. haha. fortunately in london we dont have that stigma… or at least i never got into those social circles where it is a stigma. i remember in the past it was the done thing to go away for the weekend to your country estate so no one who is anyone stays in london for the weekend. but perhaps that custom is no more, as the old brigade dies off and the new youngsters find it too old fashioned. now perhaps the style is to jet off to somewhere fashionable in europe for the weekend. haha.

i wonder if anyone sometimes get the urge to spend money? i find i was suddenly desirous to spend and decided to go to iceland, where they have advertised their spatched -cock peri peri chicken 1.1kg for £2.50. it seems the normal price is £4,(very overpriced i think) and it is boneless.

spatched cock means they snip out the backbone, and than flatten it and they remove the thigh bone too and the pelvic bones and ribs. normally if u do it at home, the idea is to flatten the chicken so it can cook evenly and quicker but i like the round shape of the whole chicken , i like the 3 dimensional look, instead of a 2 dimension look of this flattened chicken. a flattened bird looks like a road kill. haha. 

anyway i took the bus there, to the iceland branch near waterloo station, but they have sold out of it.  the advert only came out yesterday or so. so quick to be sold out. i should have known the brits love anything boneless. haha.

but perhaps it is fortunate that it has sold out, and i could not buy it; because it is better value to buy a whole fresh chicken @£1.99 /kg, as opposed to this one which is @£2.27/kg.

so since i still feel like spending money , i shall go to the tesco later and buy their fresh chicken and have a whole roast chicken , with its bones and all. i  think the meat tastes much nicer  when it is attached to bone, don’t you agree? and i shall use chilli powder and curry powder to season it.

but as usual, when talking of food, it makes me hungry. that is why never watch too much tv with its adverts for food, it makes u eat too much. but it is getting me hungry this talk of food, so i have decided to steam some fish with rice and have a quick snack. and finish it with a cup of coffee.

it looks really very nice out there, with the sun shining and blue sky with bits of cloud. i shall go out for a stroll just to enjoy it. 

added. 5.51am sunday 6.8.2017 12.8C brightclouds.

i did go to the tesco near me and bought the chicken. it was 25% reduced, even though it was not expired on that day. it was part of their promotion so that effectively the chicken was £1.80/kg. so instead of a 1.5kg bird, i got a 1.8kg one for about the same price. it came to £3.37. i roasted it and the day was cool enough so that it was pleasantly warm in the kitchen instead of it being swelteringly hot. if the daily temperature had been 40C like in the Med, i would never think of roasting anything or using the oven even. but as it was, i got a roast chicken to eat now. and when i was paying for it i remembered i just got a tesco gift card of £5 sent to me by the daily mail as a redemption of 2000 nectar points. so in the end i did not spend any cash either. 

the daily mail points system have been warning us of their imminent change of the redemption system. in fact, they are changing next week.

they are going to convert the points to sainsbury nectar points. in the past we could convert the points to get vouchers of £5 from any supermarkets, but once this system comes in we can use sainsburys only. its still quite good, free money really. you get this amount every 2months . as an incentive for people to go to sainsburys it works i think. haha. there are plenty of other outlets where u can get nectar points, unlike the tesco system where u only can build up points only if u shop at tescos.

the tesco system is more generous, paying 1p for each point. so 1000 tesco points is £10, whilst the nectar points is half that ,£5. but if u consider you need to spend £1000 at tescos to get the 1000 points, it is quite a lot of money. no wonder people try to pick up tesco receipts lying around in the car parks etc. to collect the points. 

we are willing to pay more for what we perceive to be luxury. duh

8 Aug

 9.18am tuesday 2016 sunny 17.4C london

i had the two croissants this morning. yesterday i bought 2 loaves of 800mg wholemeal bread for 17p each. (reduced from 85p normally) and it does make me think how very inflated are the price of croissants. each of my reduced price croissants cost that much alone. if u buy them fresh they can be 70p ( they are 80p now edit, it was in one store but still 70p in another)each, and that is in tesco. i dare not think what it will cost in a bakery with the croissants fresh from the oven.  yet so many of us buy the croissants. maybe fresh croissants are so delicious, many will consider it is a small price to pay to inject that luxury into their lives. it shows that price is not everything. i know that because even i want to buy fresh croissants every morning when i am on holiday in france, or spain. with coffee it epitomises for me what  a holiday in europe is all about. haha. perhaps having a croissant when i am here in london is a way for us  to bring back those european holiday memories. added. lidl sells freshly baked croissants for 29p each. i think they must be the cheapest in uk. i noticed the croissants are particularly nice in the late afternoon when they bake a fresh batch. not so much the morning. their size has been gradually getting smaller and smaller as the years go by, i notice.

i realise reading my title of this post again that duh, of course. that goes without saying really. that is nothing new. 

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one of the loaves i bought yesterday , i have eaten some of the slices allready. they were very fresh, so much so that i did not bother to toast them. the other loaf is in the freezer. its become so cheap to buy these that i have not bothered to bake my own bread nowadays.

added. 8.57pm i think related to all this is the fact that we do not know how to bake anymore. i am sure it is easy to make our own croissants, if we know how. it cannot be complicated. but the skill to do it is lost to most of us.

it makes me remember seeing very expensive packs of ready cooked rice being sold in supermarkets (and i mean it is 1000% markup 100mg cooked rice for £1, when 10kg of uncooked rice  is £10, and that is not including those times , as recently, when it can be bought for £8 on a reduced price offer).  it is so easy to cook rice, and u dont really need a rice cooker. just a saucepan with a tight lid will do. it is even easier if u microwave it.  but obviously those who dont know how to will find it convenient to buy the ready cooked rice and might consider it is worth it  for the luxury of convenience.

come to think of it, this concept of luxury hinges on the idea of convenience. getting others to do and produce things that u like , not need.

indian visa

27 Jan

london 11.30am 13.8C cloudy/rain on and off. wednesday 2016

i have been getting emails from my friend about his woes with getting the indian visa he needs if he is to go to india on 1feb. he allready bought the ticket. costing £644 rtn. he wants to go to goa and have to go to mumbai first before changing planes to goa. but as usual, i find when i go looking for flights i can find rtn fares of about £460 or so. with air india. so i know it is just him, he is quite hopeless at finding cheap fares on the internet. and so it proves the same with applying for a electronic visa online. he could not find the button to pay for it, nor even where he is to send his passport. or whether he can send a photostat copy or photograph of his passport… it is not clear. i had a look at the page for the eticket. it looks straightforward, send a photo of the passport page, 


Step 1

Apply online

Upload Photo and Passport Page

Step 2

Pay visa fee onlineUsing Credit / Debit card

Step 3

Receive eTV Online

eTV Will be sent to your e-mail

Step 4

Fly To India

Print eTV and carry at the time


looks straightforward, so dont know how he can fuck it up. haha. i think it is because he does not follow the instructions carefully. it is a common fault of people, esp old people. i think. and especially my friend. he is very careless about it, laughing it off when i point it out to him. i think his soul wants it. it wants to make his life difficult. many times i have seen him do things that makes his life difficult. 

personally i think he should have just come to london and go to theindian embassy at the strand and get it done by hand. it is not too late, otherwise he might have to not go at all and lose the money for the ticket as it is non refundable. some of it is his own fault, i think. other bits is his ignorance of how these online application work out. on the other hand, it might well be his fxxking soul does not want him to go to india. 

added. 9.27pm wednesday 2016 i got an email from him saying he has tried again with a third party, and they charged him £82. it costs £39. ah well, old people really are so hopeless. they just have to pay more to get some third party to help. no one is going to help u for free. i suppose if he does end up getting his visa because of their help it will be ok, as he is incapable of doing it on his own. i think it will be real funny if this third party is a scam and it has taken his money and he still dont get the visa. haha. i would not put it past that soul of his. it is a real trouble maker that soul of his. 

 its terrible to be old and not know how to work the internet. another reason that it sucks to be old. 

update 4.44pm thursday  10.3C cloudy. 28.1.16 he wrote me saying he got the visa. so he is all set to go on 1feb. well, i am glad for him. but that soul of his really wants to make him jump through hoops and squeeze him with costs to pay to get a visa which normally would be very easy to get… he gave me the breakdown of the cost.

Visa £39
Service fee £35
VAT £7

ah well, at least he got that visa.

another free invite to an exhibition

9 Jan

london 4.04pm friday 2016 11.9C cloudy, some rain.

this one i got in an email, giving me free ticket to see the place in the sun exhibition in olympia on 6-8may 2016. well, at first i thought i wont bother to get the ticket, but i had second thoughts , no harm in getting it, and later nearer the time i can decide to go or not. or give the ticket to someone else.

i have been two years ago, when i got a free ticket, and did not go last year because they did not send me a free invite; and this year they did. haha. the exhibition is linked to the tv program of the same name. 

the last time i went i thought it was all right, but found i was not really interested as i dont really want to buy any property abroad. what is the point? if u own someplace abroad, it  means there is pressure to go there every year  to make full use of it, and i just know it will get boring if i have to go every year.

the big reason why people buy these places is the sun. but since i never did worship the sun that much, i can take it or leave it. and for the last 10 yrs at least i have left it, not bothering to holiday in europe in summer.

also,the air fares are not such a good bargain anymore. and that is another reason not to buy. in the past, air fares are so cheap, you can just hop onto a plane and go there any old weekend.

recently i looked at easy jet fares to murcia, (because it is near vera playa, the naturist area in spain) and it is over £100 rtn. and this was in june 2016. in july,august it will be even more. so no thanks.

i can understand sun lovers will be tempted to buy a place in those sunny areas, because in uk, the sun is fickle and unreliable. haha.

but most of them dont realise that even if u do go there, u can get too much sun, in that it gets too hot; or their winters are just as cold as uk, though they might have more sun. so u end up not going except in small windows of good weather in spring or autumn when the weather and fares are just right. 

and then there is the question of what to do when u are there. most of them end up drinking more than is good for them. haha.

now i come to think about, there really is nothing that exciting that i want to do now,that i dont allready can do if i want. so i was thinking winning a lot of money wont really change much for me. in fact, it might make it worst, in that with all that money, i start thinking i got to do something with it, or go somewhere, or buy more stuff, or get more experience, much of it i might not be interested to do at all. i mean bungy jump? or high dive and parachute down? i have no interest in doing them, and i doubt having lots of money will make me want to do them .

it makes me think there is nothing really that having a lot of money will improve my life right now. it is very good allready.





have a happy time

24 Dec

london 8.46am 12.5C sunny thursday christmas eve 2015

i got two christmas cards , and they are pretty. so i thought i shall post them. 

they epitomise the image of christmas that i have.

though this time we dont have any snow. it has rained and i was thinking if we had a cold weather it would have turned to snow and we would have a blanket of snow covering the landscape now. i like the warm weather we have now but it does not feel very christmassy. 


cheap veg part 2

16 Dec

london 10.33am 14.3C cloudy wednesday 2015

i see an advert from asda in the daily mail this morning giving 39p veg, but only for brocolli, parsnips,carrots, brussels sprouts. so not as good as the tesco ones, with it’s additional offers on potatoes, cauliflower(instead of brocolli).

i read also in the financial pages that the main supermarkets have lost sales to the budget supermarkets. so that might explain why they are reducing their veg. well, here is where competition is working to the benefit of us consumers.

but i am sure nearer christmas they will recoup their profits when the prices will rise and the public start buying seriously for christmas dinner.

most of us cook and eat in for christmas as almost all the shops are closed, and what keeps open are every expensive; not to mention all public transport is shut down. so supermarket shopping for food is huge in the run up to christmas. (that is why i avoid it as last minute shoppers get manic ) but once that is over, than expect to get lots of bargains in food as they sell off unsold foods. late christmas eve is a good time to go prowling the supermarkets. haha.

if  like me, you dont celebrate christmas, this time of year can be real peaceful and blissful. once u avoid all the food buying and the gifts buying, there is no stress anymore. that leaves u to really enjoy the holiday in your own way.

 added. i just now had a look at the aldi website, and they are selling brocolli, carrots,potatoes at 29p.  so even cheaper. no wonder the main supermarkets find it hard to compete. 

lego garbage truck

22 May

london 1.38pm 2015 friday

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its the start of the big holiday getaway now that the rail strike is not going ahead. 

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my lunch… it may not look like much but it was very delicious, the textures and different tastes, sweet, sour, salt,bitter were all there.

added 6pm went to see a korean exhibition at the korean centre near trafalgar square and saw these stone bas reliefs and took a pic of the guardsman on his horse 

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why go on holiday to europe in august?

16 Apr


John , from poole, is going to capdagde, south france, for a 8day holiday in august. it will cost him £161 rtn fare flying easyjet fr gatwick to montpellier. which is 3hrs drive away. luckily for him, he said  his host has offered to fetch him from the airport. When i read that his host is driving to montpellier to fetch him i thought  maybe the host originally offered to fetch him from the airport because he expected john  would fly to beziers airport, which is the logical choice. it is only 30mins from agde. wont he get a shock when he finds it is montpellier airport. but perhaps i am too cynical. haha.  maybe he really dont mind driving all that way to fetch him and back.

At first i was puzzled why john wanted to fly from gatwick, as ryanair flies from luton to beziers, for (i checked just now) £106 rtn. (In fact when i checked the fare when he first told me of his plans, a few months ago, it was £75 rtn.) But i have noticed that john do not bother to save money. he is not rich but has a rich mentality. i dont blame him. i think most british people feel the same way as him. (hope that is not a genralisation. haha. but i am afraid I have noticed over the years  i know my british friends, that it is prevalent amongst my british friends. that is why i make that generalisation.)

then i realised why he chosed gatwick,  he can get a coach direct to gatwick from poole, and so dont have to come to london and go out again. but it does mean a bigger airfare and having to impose a 5-6hrs drive for his host in agde. I  like that my friends are so generous with their time, but i dont take advantage of them and expect them to drive 3hrs to montpellier when a 30min drive is available. but then it is me, maybe british people dont feel that way… taking the view that if u offer to help me, then u shall go out of your way to do so , otherwise it is not really worth my appreciation. if help is given when it is no bother to you, it cannot be that much of a help , is it?

added. i got a reply from john about why he chosed montpellier. it seems his host in agde recommended it. and the journey times by car is 25mins to beziers and 53mins to montpellier. though when i took the journey by taxi (shared with 3others and it still came to about 25euros each, and that was in 1996.) it felt longer. that was why i thought it was 2-3 hrs. it felt that long. of course these times are operative only if they dont get caught in a traffic jam. 

cost of john’s 2wk holiday in gran canaria

6 Mar


john who went for a 2wk holiday in gran canaria in feb 2014 sent me the cost of his holiday there. 

Total spent Gran Canaria hol  £802  including 
Flights              118
Accom                247
Camera                86
Stolen                120
Bank charges      14
Sundries            217

not counting the money stolen and the camera he had to buy to replace his stolen one, he spent about £600 all in. £300 a week. £15daily expense. 

I think that would be the normal amount one would spend on a holiday like that. for a 2wk stay that is quite good. i would discount the £200 lost as that is a one off expense, due to theft. 

so it looks like if i want a winter sun holiday that is the amount to budget for. i think i can do it for less because his sundries (all those  drinks you have to buy to get into sexclubs there) are peculiar to gran canaria and its gay scene.

airfares now make up quite a large amount of the cost. it was not so in the past when i got us tickets rtn to alicante for £35. those were the days. I doubt such cheap airfares will ever come back.

I am not persuaded to go abroad. I only have to consider what i spend at home, only £200 a month all in for the basic services, ( electricity £20, council tax £70, water £25, servicecharge for the flat £83, telephone and broadband £13) no rent and mortgage to pay; to put me off the idea of going abroad.

the only way i shall go abroad is if i can find a guy who would let me swap holiday accommodation free, and even then not sure if i would go unless he stays in naturist places like vera playa.( John reminded me that vera may be too quiet in winter, which is true. so maybe i wont even bother to go.) 

after all i can go to malaysia and stay free at our family home in petaling jaya, near kuala lumpur and i still do not go. and airfares can be low if u take the middle eastern airlines with one stopover. as low as £450 rtn .

the only thing is i have been there(malaysia) before and find not much to do apart from eating out at the hawker stalls, the food is delicious, but after some time, i crave my own cooking. a far cry from in the past when i would make a pig of myself whenver i go back.

then, i visit my parents which is the sole reason for going there. now they are both dead, i have not gone back since.

But i might consider going away to europe , esp vera playa if i can find a swap stay for free. then the only cost will be the airfare and flying in winter will theoretically be cheaper. I guess this is possible only if there are good friends to go with. 

though if the budget airlines  stop flying to the area in winter to save money then airfares will not be cheap.

i think the airfares will be the one big factor discouraging me to fly abroad. when it was £35 rtn, it seems a sin not to fly, but now it can be £100 or more. i think it will affect those who have holiday lets abroad. there must be fewer people wanting to travel because of the expensive airfares nowadays.