Tag Archives: holidays

nectar points

27 May

london 11.57am 18C sunny bank holiday monday 2019

a sunny day , perfect for a bbq if u have a garden.

yesterday i got a free bag of teabags, and ginger biscuits from sainsburys when i went there to buy £1 worth of stuff… this time it was a brocolli 60p and 5bananas,62p. and when i was going out, there was a lady at the entrance giving those two things away, with the message to have tea on them, and to share with the neighbours to celebrate their 150th anniversary.  its rather nice, not so much the tea bags, because i give it to simon to bring to work,so i dont know what they are like; as i have tea leaves usually. the ginger biscuits were very nice though. crisp and crunchy with a hint of ginger.

today i shall most probably go again to sainsburys to buy something. so their promotion certainly is working to get me to buy something from them. normally i find their prices too high really.

and this morning simon had gone to the sainsburys express store near us to buy bread. he does that often, and have been piling up the points for me.  recently i got an email from the nectar points people saying i am one of  their best customer for bacon at their marsham st store, the nearest sainsburys express store near me. i realise it is not me, but simon, he tends to buy lots of bacon from them.

ever since i gave him a nectar card to use in sainsburys he has been the main provider of points to my card. and with it recently i have swap nectar points for 2 packs of frozen giant prawns, 225mg usually £4 each. so i consider that a perk to get this luxury item free. these frozen big prawns are very easy to cook esp in stir fries with veg, or in chinese noodles like char kuey teoh or soup noodles; they give flavour to the dish.

the frozen fish is also a good one for these quick dishes. no discounts there but they are quite cheap anyway at £2.20 for 520mg.  so i buy them a lot.

it is quite easy to find items to buy that will get me the points while this promotion is going on. it ends today. well, now you know what fills my days haha and what i like to do for activity. most people would think it dull. not me though. haha. i am so happy not to have to work and having to get up daily to go to work that everyday i dont work is a great bonus for me. i like my work when i was younger, but when i got to 50yrs old, i find it quite tiring to do it. some might say others might not be so lucky to be able to stop work at 50yrs old. but it is all relative, in that since i only have to feed myself, it does not take a lot of money to upkeep myself. and so i can stop work without any problems.

when you are retired you dont really have work to fill a lot of your time, and i think a lot of people cannot cope with retirement because they want to be doing things, and many things dont seem very urgent to do once you are not working.

holidays are meaningless when you are not working, in that you always have free days, and since you dont need holidays to do anything that u want to do,  the urgency to do them is gone.

for eg, travelling for short city breaks. that is always something you are eagerly looking forward to when you get a bank holiday coming up, to jet off somewhere out of the country to taste the sights of a foreign city. but now i am retired, that has lost all its excitement. haha.

you might say dont you feel sad that you dont have that excitement to travel abroad anymore? hmm, i might feel sad about it if i have never done it before, but i have and gone to many countries and cities and i think i have got it out of my system. it is not as great to go travelling  i have found… the hassles nowadays of travelling, the airport checks, and the crowded flights and unfavourable exchange rates with the £, many other factors seem to me outweighs any enjoyment.

or perhaps as i grow older i find local adventures more to my liking where i can stay in my own flat and enjoy it and appreciate staying put a lot more. 

bus and train fares

28 Jul

london 3.16pm 19.3C rain friday 2017

i happened to click onto the megabus website, and was surprised to find that there are no more £1 fares to bournemouth by train. and their bookings are only up to 4aug. in the past they would allow u to book 6wks ahead and u can get £1 one way fares on the train to there if u catch it quick enough. but now the cheapest fare is £9 and even then, there are only about 4 trains to chose from per day.  it could be they are so busy because of the school holidays they have stopped the £1 fares for now.

for comparison i googled trainline for their normal price, and found it is £53 one way to go there, and £49 for the one way fare back. almost £100 return and this by train to bournemouth , a 2hr journey. it brings forcefully to me how expensive train fares are.

national express bus company are doing the one way fares for about £10. (£15 now it seems,)so i suppose u could say the train megabus fares are good value. train journeys are quicker than buses. but they are either very early or very late in the day. 

i am glad i am not interested in going to bournemouth… i was reminded of all this when i saw this article about increasing cost of train fares next month. those are commuter fares increases paid yearly though. and i think those £53 fares are commuter fares too. (season ticket bournemouth=london is £6320 a year. will rise another £152 from jan 2018 £24.30 a day if u take it 5days a week. ) 

added 17.8.17 thursday . found a article about the train fares increase by simon calder, who gave a rather intersting perspective on it. he suggests fares should be subjected to demand pricing… like the airline fares. it might work. he says the fact that even with the fare going up to £5000 , £10,000 a year, the trains are still crowded with standing room only. the high fares are not deterring people from travelling at those times. he says those times should have even higher increases, whilst reducing the off peak times. that is in the morning, but in the evening when they go home, the peak trains are empty, whilst everyone crowds into the off peak ones at 7pm. 

 if there are £10 fares by bus, (£15 now, it seems) how come the trains can charge £50? who are so desperate as to buy them?  it would seem business people will pay them. and when we hear of big crowds at the railway stations in the morning and after work in the evening, standing room only on the trains coming in to london and going out …there are no shortage of such people.

 suppose now we have the school holidays even the coaches are increasing their fare…  usually the buses/coaches cost £5, or £8 one way. all those families with children on holiday must have to find something to amuse their little darlings i suppose. so travelling and sight seeing and seaside holidays might be  they might be wanting.

actually, now i think of it, it is still quite reasonable fare even though it is higher than the usual fare. and when u consider the hotel accommodation will be much higher, as a percentage of the total cost of the holiday the transport fare is not really very much. lets face it, if u are going there for a holiday, you must resign yourself to spending money. 

added 12.8.17. found out today when i tried to get into megabus that there is no more £1 fares to bournemouth. in fact bournemouth has completely disappeared as a destination for the megabuses. weird or what… the company has contracted a lot. national express fortunately still continue to have £5 one way fares to many destinations , bournemouth included. though any journeys in august are still very expensive even on national express. you can pay as much as £28 one way, the cheapest is £17.50 one way. 

warm weather here now

16 Jun

london 1.47pm 21.9C sunny friday 2017

6.25pm 24C sunny

its been like the mediterranean all day… i suppose this weather makes people think of holidays.

yesterday i was with a fellow naturist, he is visiting london from devon, where he lives. and he mentioned he is thinking of holidaying in vera playa for 2wks in september. he has just retired in march this year. he has travelled mainly in europe, when he takes his holidays from work.  he says he has been working non stop since the time he started working.   but he has not been to any naturist place.

i seem to be meeting quite a lot of guys who are retiring… it is inevitable i guess, more people are now coming up to retirement age. so there are long days stretching out in front of him where he will have no need to do anything. travelling is a good way of filling up the time, and for most people that is the popular option. i hope he does go to vera playa as i would like to know how it is now, and whether it has retained its naturist ways. 

i have been seeing tv programs about buying property in europe, and i find they are becoming irrelevant, now that we are leaving the EU. i think those programs will be abandoned in future. does any brit still want to buy properties there when it is so uncertain if they will be allowed to live there… or when their  health care is not free any more?

after we leave ,  we can only go there for short visits, though if they give 6month visitors visas like they do when foreigners visit the uk, ( i think it is very generous to give visitors 6months stays) even a visitors visa is long enough really.  and so maybe a tv program about places to rent might be more relevant. haha. though not so exciting to watch.

i have done all my travelling when i was working, so i dont feel that travel bug anymore. just as well, isn’t it? its quite expensive to fly to europe. in the past we could fly for £30 rtn, that is now impossible to get.

people complain that old people always say it was better in the olden days, but it really is. i suppose it could be said that we (oh look, i said we, does that mean i have finally acknowledge i am an old man then?) tend to look on the olden days with rose tinted glasses… but i try hard to find fault with the olden days and i find it difficult. it really is better in the olden days. and this is not only because all of us were younger and healthier too , bursting with good health, and so why shouldn’t we look at those days as being better.





thai new year today

13 Apr

london 11.27am 12C cloudy thursday 2017

i got today in my calendar as songkran, which i remember as a day when they throw water over you. but i found out later that today is the start of the thai new year. that sounds to me much more important. surely it is an important date for the thais. it is always a significant date for any country to celebrate  the start of a new year. but there are no festivities planned for this weekend in trafalgar square. i wonder why, as london is always eager to celebrate the world’s festivals. maybe londoners just dont like getting wet. we get wet all year round as it is.

instead some thai restaurants are having specials for today. this year it coincided with the easter weekend too. but trafalgar square is also not having anything to do with easter this weekend. not that it has ever done anything for easter in the past.  maybe it is celebrated country wide. but it is a muted celebration, maybe it happens in churches and such like, because there is no parade, (which reminds me of the film easter parade with judy garland, so it must be a big celebration in america) or street festival, or food festival. in fact the only way we know it is happening is the 4 day holiday we get, and also the big traffic jams that seem to accompany it. 

added 11.47am, wait, i have just seen in my calendar a short note saying enactment of the crucifixion in trafalgar square on friday or at least that is what i assume. they call it passion of christ. i googled it and found  a number of entries. one of them here.  they have been doing this play for 8yrs. how strange that i have never gone to see it. or maybe not so strange as these religious enactments dont interest me. and if they are realistic they will really bang the nail on the actor’s hands to hang him up, i am too squeamish to want to see that. 

we are feeling smug today

30 May

london 6.27am 12.8C cloudy bank holiday monday 2016

today is the spring bank holiday. the one on 1st May was labour day, but i dont see that name being mentioned much nowadays. i wonder why.

this one only serves to remind me of all the horrible things that i have missed by living in london and not going anywhere.the news is full of  huge traffic jams on the roads, and clog up in euston train station. and french strikes petrol shortage making it hell for travellers. not to mention the weather not doing its part, but raining down on everyone. haha. the forecast got it wrong, as usual. scorching, it says. but those of us who live here long enough realise it will never happen as predicted, the gulf stream will put paid to any prediction.

well, it makes me very smug that i chose not to go anywhere haha. i get to feel this way every year, because it always happens like this every year. people dont seem to learn from it, or expect it to be different.  or they forget. or the craving for some hot sun on a sandy beach is too strong to resist. haha.

those who managed to get to their resort early and so are there  today  and have it hot there must be just as smug as me… haha. nothing like doubling the pleasure of a hot holiday abroad when u hear people in uk are having a right old miserable time with pouring rain. haha. so that is two lot of people who will be feeling very smug today.


a kebab shop called lolita, in paddington. bus advert for teenage mutant ninja turtles. i find the title amusing… i dont think they will have this bizarre combination nowadays as a title to anything. in fact, i know so, as there are no new titles with such a strange combination of words.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a film series based on the comic book characters of the same name created by Kevin Eastmanand Peter Laird. The first film in the series, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 1990 at the height of the franchise’s popularity and was a commercial success. The success of the film garnered two direct sequels, respectively released in 1991 and1993, and a CGI animated film in 2007 billed as TMNT building on the success of the 2003–09 TV series. The series was rebooted in a new film made by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, released on August 8, 2014. The sequel will be released on June 3, 2016. (from wikipedia). though the film is now being shown in uk today, 30may.

dreaming of holidays

29 Apr

london 9.42am 8.3C sunny , gusts of strong wind makes it feel colder outside. friday 2016

found this book in the library yesterday and borrowed it. it contained all three of the trilogy of durrell’s stay in corfu. such a lovely cover picture. it is blue sky this morning and even though i dont intend to go abroad, i still like to read about it.funny isn’t it? 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

yesterday i read that people were queueing for the £49 return flight tickets to bangkok that was a promotion by a student travel company in victoria. u have to travel between may 1 to 30june. is this time the low season for thailand i wonder?


Off season:

March to May is when Bangkok is unbearably hot for most people, so it’s best to avoid flights to Bangkok at that time of year if you hate the heat. May to October is rainy season, throughout which it is hot and humid, but not uncomfortably so making it an ideal time to find a cheap flights to Bangkok. During the summer in the UK is when you’ll find great deals on flight tickets for Bangkok and you’ll find cheaper accommodation due to less tourists flocking.


i wonder if travel to thailand had dropped off after the publicity of murders in koh samui. and now this report of a family in their 60s, and son 43, being attacked in hua hin. it was captured on film and posted on the internet. that draws attention to it…

violence against tourists  is not something we associate with thailand, but maybe people are beginning to suspect there is a rising trend that not all thais are peaceful nor that it is an unspoken rule amongst thais that you  dont attack foreigners to safeguard  the tourist trade and it is being broken. i wonder what has changed to make the thais even think of it. those guys said they were drunk, but in the old days even drunks know enough that tourists are out of bounds.

perhaps resentment had built up at so many of these tourists flashing their cash and buying their way through the land. i think it is always bad for a country to rely too much on tourism. 

there will be two bank holidays next month,May,  and people will be dreaming of going abroad. they must be wondering where to go that is safe. i think spain will benefit. 

added. i just realised today is the start of the long weekend , the first of the public bank holidays in May. there will be long traffic jams to get out of london this afternoon. funny that no one is queueing the incoming lane to come into london. unless we are not taking into account air traffic into the airporsts carrying long weekenders from abroad coming on a quick trip to london. are there many do u think? somehow i think more will be leaving the country than coming into it. and what about businesses in london, will there be a drop in customers over this long weekend or not?

the supermarkets are all keeping open on monday , usual hours in fact, not even early closing time or keeping sunday hours. so they obviously think there will be customers as usual. many of them are cutting overtime rates when they bring in that higher minimum wage rate… so many of those working on bank holiday monday may be on normal rates. they have lost out in the money game.

somehow being human i would prefer to get the double rate for working on weekends, or holidays. and if i were allready on higher rates of pay and not on minimum wage, i would have lost out. though i dont know why i am saying what i prefer, because when i was working i was self employed and so dont get paid by the hour. haha. 

i guess this is the thing that stuck in the craw of the junior doctors. the new contract says they have to work weekends like a normal day … no overtime. and with no new doctors they will be even more stretched and lose sleep  having to cover weekends like normal days. no wonder they dont like it. 

added. 9.41pm 8.8C looks like the country is divided into two halves, a northern half getting snow and cold, and southern half where it is quite nice. well, that is normal then. haha.

thinking of your holiday abroad?

5 Jan

london 9.37pm 9.9C tuesday 2016 it says fog, but when i look outside, it does not look foggy. sky looks clear, the road is wet which suggests that it rained earlier.

i am sure it cannot be busy in town tonight. certainly when i take a look at the outside through my window, i dont feel any urge to go out. i am glad to be indoors and not outside.

and people are skint, and want to lose weight, or so i gather from reading in the newspapers… all those articles about dieting, and having a dry january, or having a veganuary.

someone mentioned that not every person who  is skint is because they have overspent over christmas, so they say dont criticise these people as  feckless people who bring misfortune on themselves … some are skint because their income had dropped due to not working over the christmas and new year break. many businesses take extended holidays and so are not opened and the workers are not earning, or if they are self employed no one is giving them any work. so for these people the extended holidays are a poor time. 

the evening standard have a article saying next, the clothes chain of shops reported poor earnings over the christmas period. Next the clothes chain, it seems, have not  reported a drop in sales before. and they suspect other high street chains will be reporting the same.

well january will be even bleaker, or will it? i was up on the bus crawling along regent street to oxford circus this afternoon, and it did seem less crowded than usual. 

Next blames the mild weather… whilst acknowledging that it is a poor excuse to blame the weather. i should think so too. i mean if it is snowing will they blame the bad weather? though we would most probably look more kindly on that excuse as blaming it on  snow sounds a better excuse than mild weather for bad sales.

it must be very tiring to be always chasing sales, and always wanting sales to go up and up. what an awful way to live.

i do enjoy this weather we are having. it is cooling down now. still mild as far as i am concerned. but my friends dont like the cold, saying they are going away ,one to malaysia, the other to goa, india; to get some warm weather. another is allready in mexico. so most of them have their thoughts turned to planning their holidays abroad.

they still like travelling abroad. i am glad i dont like that anymore, so i dont feel envious of them. all i can think of when i hear them, is silently saying to myself, rather they then me. haha.

the papers are full of adverts for holidays. and cruises. and the weekend newspapers are full of travel articles.

i suppose it can bring on depression for those who are allready thinking their lives are dull, to read all these people supposedly having a wonderful time abroad, and they are stuck in cold grey london. one of my friends feel that way. i tell him otherwise, but of course he dont believe me. 


a ship cruise

21 Dec

london 1.37pm,

i have been on a ship cruise before,in fact twice, once on the queen elizabeth 2, on its 5day voyage to new york, the other on a gay cruise in the caribbean, leaving from fort lauderdale, florida.  . i think i did not appreciate it both times. maybe u need to be a certain age to enjoy it? to this day, i dontknow why i did not enjoy those cruises. you would think being on a gay ship with all the gay guys sailing in warm seas would be ideal, wouldn’t you? i wanted something more active,(but really that gay ship was very active though i did not join in the activities; so that cannot be the reason.  

but ships are not places to run around and see new sights. but places to relax, chill out. that is why maybe i am thinking now that i am older, i might realise what they are about and get to enjoy one. who knows right?

anyway, i got a invite for two to see the telegraph ship cruise exhibition in the excel, in the royal victoria docks. on 8-10jan2016. u can enter competitions for a free cruise, that will be the only time i get to a cruise these days, as i dont want to pay for one. memories of those olden day cruises i went to does not encourage me to spend money on them. but i still harbour hopes of really enjoying one. one day. 

dancing and walking

12 Aug

london 5.58pm 23.4C sunny wednesday 2015

i am lying in my bed looking out of the window at the setting sun over the luxury block of flats across the way. two trees are blocking the way with their foliage, these trees being part of the wayside trees that line the roads around here. it is very pleasant and peaceful and very nice. i was thinking i could be on holiday here, instead i live here. haha.

i suppose plenty of people would love to be me, spending their holiday in london. Whilst people here dream of a holiday abroad. haha. everyone dreaming of going anywhere but where they are. but not me. i am very happy to be here. and since i dont work, this place has an air of me being on holiday anyway.

it is the holiday period now, and i notice it because i was earlier in the sports complex, and on entering it, i can over look the swimming pool and there were hardly anyone there.

now that school is closed the swimming pool is not full of student groups using the pool. there was only  some families with young children playing about . and the adult section of the lane swimming is also quiet, with hardly any adults swimming. there was no one in the changing room when i entered it, and the showers were empty too, with only one kid there when i entered , soon followed by his dad.

maybe august is a quiet time in london, even the primary school opposite my flat is dead… the school yard empty and quiet, without any school children making a noise while they played.

i think even the traffic is less, without all those school trips by the mothers ferrying their kids about. and hardly any kids on the buses too. quite blissful really when i come to think of it.

even the news is subdued, the lack of drama being evident when there is no big headlines to grab attention. some talk of china devalueing its remimbi, and trying to gain advantage from the $ by doing that, and giving every economy in the asian region a cold. haha. all their stock exchanges going down as a result.

and another batch of tube strikes in london, at the end of this month. with the strikers aiming for maximum disruption by striking on two days, a day apart. tough on the businesses that rely on the nighttime trade. london can be a ghost town on those strike nights. i think if they were to ask londoners if they want a 24 hr tube service over the weekend, and have these strikes and have to pay higher fares as a result, i think a lot would say forget it, and lets just have the night buses instead.

and to top it all, we read that nightclubbing is on the decline. i myself dont go clubbing , unlike in my young days when hi -energy music makes it so danceable,and when pubs are forced to close at 11pm, the only way to continue is to go to a club.

i thought it was just me , who am not going clubbing but it seems the younger generation are also not doing it.

i am really glad i came out  during the 80s and 90s, when clubbing and dancing were so enjoyable, (because the music was so danceable) and everyone was doing it; fond memories i got of those times. the young nowadays dont  seem to have as much fun as us it seems. 

Tourist hotspots around the world are crowded with new visitors – but are they all welcome? | Business | The Guardian

26 Jul

Tourist hotspots around the world are crowded with new visitors – but are they all welcome? | Business | The Guardian.

a good account of the dangers of too many tourists.

it mentioned bad behaviour by the tourists.

it did not mention that the host is also guilty, of fleecing the tourists, and enabling such things as the pedicab rider in london recently filmed whilst asking over £200 for a short pedicab ride to a family.

it also did not mention the prices to eat in the restaurants, or to buy from the shops, will inevitably rise to the disadvantage of the locals, as tourists are more willing to pay the exorbitant prices.

and the locals changing their behaviour to accommodate foreigners , like learning to speak english , or creating some festival, and dressing up just to keep the tourists entertained, and selling international stuff, rather than local stuff , because international by definition has more appeal to tourists. or even changing the taste of their local cuisine to suit the tourists.

i think it is long gone those days when travel is an education, and broaden the minds.

nowadays it is getting to  cheaper places with lots of cheap booze and lots of sun.

personally i think it is just modern life, and though i dont like it, ( that is why i dont travel anymore) i think it is here to stay and i can see the advantages to everyone, as it keeps the economy rolling.

i think it sad that barcelona is banning nudity. spanish laws are liberal and allow nudity in public. i would have thought that is a nice local tradition to keep to distinguish spain from everywhere else, but i guess barcelona is so crowded, they are trying to find ways to stop poor tourists from coming. haha. they want rich tourists who stay a short while, and spend lots and create the least trouble, and then fxxk off. and that is what will happen more and more as towns and cities get overcrowded with tourists.

i think with airbnb, so many will be able to by- pass paying to stay in expensive hotels and crowd even more the cities that are popular to start with.  the authorities cannot manipulate the type of visitors they want to encourage, the rich ones who stay in expensive hotels.

yesterday i was in that stretch of london between trafalgar square and parliament square, and it was just full of tourists and foreigners. i would imagine practically everyone on the street was a tourist. i was a local who was just passing through on the bus. i bet there are very few british born people there. if i were british born, i would feel i am the odd one out. in fact there have been some complaints about that, some were saying they dont hear english spoken in the streets in these places, as there are so many foreigners talking their lingo amongst themselves. i would say to them, dont get upset about it, treat them like they are guests of your country whilst taking their money selling them some junk, haha.