Tag Archives: john lewis

a free coffee and cake from john lewis

10 Jan

london 3.30pm 8C cloudy friday 2020 john lewis cafe oxford st

start of the weekend, and i got a email from john lewis , it is their monthly newsletter, and inside it tells me that i can find out my rewards if i log into my account with them. luckily they provide a link, because i have forgotten how the url of my account. and there i found they have given me a free cake and coffee. i felt like it, so i went today.

sitting now in their cafe, having eaten my cheesecake and coffee. very nice , with the cashier laughing when i showed her the email on my chrome book. she said it was a huge gadget, and it was, being 14inch screen size. there is a plug socket nearby too so i can charge up my chromebook as well. 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

i was surprised that they are still giving me free coffee and cakes. i have not heard from them for sometime .  i expected them to send me a letter like they did before, and have not got any letter from them, so i assumed they have stopped doing it.   but they have changed it to email notification, which is much cheaper for them than sending me a letter. i must have got an email from them last month, but did not read it and so must have miss out on that months free coffee and cake… assuming they give me one each month rather than one each 3 months.

also, i read recently that they have to sack their CEO, because they have made a loss or something this year. for years they have always reported massive profits, so i wonder what is happening now with them making a loss. i guess i will never be a good business man, as i have no idea why some businesses do such good trade, whilst others fail.

i am glad i dont have to work anymore and can stop work so early.so all this profit and loss of businesses i dont have to bother about haha.  

christmas advert

14 Nov

london 10.20am 6C sunny thursday 2019 . pimlico library

i got a email from john lewis telling me about their advert for christmas. and giving me the link. it is rather funny with the little dragon burning things uncontrollably, until the end when he miraculously was able to fine tune his fire breathing;  the little girl looked like an angry greta, she just makes me laugh every time i see her expression.

this library is very warm, and i have to start getting rid of my outer clothing. it looks like they have switched the heating on. and i saw this book, duck’s, newburyport. i have seen it before and had a glance inside and it was written without any paragraph or heading or breaks. one long continuous passage of words, so i did not borrow it. the long continuous words put me off. 

however, i read that it got a prize, not the booker, which it was entered for, but another one, with a cash prize of 10000, i forgot if it is £, or $. i think it is an american prize.

added   i was wrong, i googled it and came up with this link. it is a british prize. so it is in £s.

what is interesting is this time when i am again in the library and knowing it won this prize,  i took it from the shelf, there were 3 copies of this thick book on it. and began to read it, and found it is quite interesting… a string of consciousness put down on paper, of a rambling mind. 

added. 2.29pm home . i did not borrow it then. it is a very thick book and i was in two minds about borrowing it.  then, still in the library, i happen to check the lidl website to see what specials they got, as thursday is when they change their offers. and i saw whole chicken for £1.45/kg, and they have 1.65kg for £2.39. that is a bargain. so i left the library and took the bus to the nearest branch, in stockwell, and bought two. and their loss leader ploy worked on me, because whilst there i bought a lot more stuff, vegetables, like garlic , onions, spring onions, ginger, pointed cabbage, carrots, satsumas and even yoghurt, and cheesecake. it came to £10.

just goes to show they have got it right, and enticed me in there with the chicken and once in there i just bought other things that i wanted. and it was a heavy load to carry back, so now i think of it, i am glad i did not borrow that book.  but it is only a straight bus 88 ride right to my doorstep as it were. so this is a very convenient store for me. unlike the tesco or sainsburys, which used to be my usual shop. 

i am making hainanese chicken now. for this you need  a big enough pot to submerge all the chicken. i shall see how it turns out.

now that i got all that shopping done and brought it back, i am thinking of going back to the library later to borrow that book. it is a book that u would dip in and out, and read at random pages and the author have created a character with a very magpie mind, and have a mind that can play with word associations, so she leads from a word conveying one thing, to another thought , another word, that swings off at a tangent,and that triggers off another word…  very interesting, but i think have to be read in small doses, as it can get very overwhelming otherwise. i would imagine if this is a real person, she must be exhausted with all these thoughts going through her head all the time, seemingly without any rest from these noises in her head. i wonder if later, i find the story goes on to make us come to realise that this character is a woman on the verge of dementia, and progressively we shall be witness to her deterioration … i am just guessing how the story will go, as i have not read it all yet. i am hoping it wont come to it, as i find the word and free association and stream of consciousness is very clever and interesting, maybe not for the person but for me reading it. and i want a happy ending… but stories in a book must go somewhere, or there will be no reason to write the book, so i figure that something bad will happen to this character as the book progresses. 


do you like shopping?

11 Mar

london 3.12pm 11.9C cloudy sunday 2018

john lewis sent me a free cake and coffee voucher recently. they have stopped giving me a voucher, each month, so this one came out of the blue. i have heard they are losing money with sales down, so maybe this is a promotion. there were a lot of others in the queue also redeeming the voucher. they all look like mixed male couples… white guy and asian… or perhaps it is just happen to be so at the time i went. 

i got only one voucher this time, valid for 3months. used to be they gave me a voucher for each month. haha.

ah well, just as well, because the cakes are so sweet, it is really not healthy.

they have been doing good business before but i have to admit i cannot see how anyone can sell so many goods. surely everyone would have bought enough.  i mean how many kitchen appliances, or bedroom stuff and household stuff or furniture, can you sell to each person? i got all that i need, and have not needed to buy any new thing for ages. lets hope for all these business’ sake that no one is like me. haha.

today simon took it to his mind to clean up his closet and got rid of a lot of clothing that dont fit anymore to give to charity. one of his trousers he ask me if ian my other friend, an ex boyfriend actually, would like it, as he had given one pair of trousers like that to him and he liked it a lot. so here we have someone who is clearing his wardrobe and getting rid of his clothes. i suppose elsewhere there will be people buying new clothes haha. thus completing the cycle of life.

i happen to take the tube today at edgeware station, and it was crammed full of passengers with no one getting off at the station, and practically emptying when we stopped at oxford circus. so many shoppers on the pavement of regent st and oxford st. but not many carrying shopping bags. they must be there to buy things, but it is not clear what they are buying. i was tempted to ask everyone at the carriage i was in to ask them where they are going and why… so many people , it was about 12pm. i saw only one instance of a full tube load of people, but it might be just possible that it is always like this. huge crowds coming to oxford st. that mightbe why it has such a formidable reputation as the best shopping st in the world. 

added. 9.50pm, 9.7C dry. just now saw an article about a blackout in soho which is going on now. but my place is ok, we have electricity… really strange to have a blackout in soho and not here. it seems to be a very small area of leicester square. but an area that have lots of businesses and theatres, all of whom will be severely affected unlike if it had happened in my area, which is residential. 


how to change your duvet cover

2 Nov

london 3.05pm 11C sunny wednesday 2016

this method seems very easy to do and takes the hassle out of changing your duvet cover. she rolls the duvet bolster -like and then evert the duvet and roll it out right side out. 

though i have my own method which i have been using all these years and it is quite a quick method , much quicker than this one , it does require some dexterity and a bit of strength, esp as my duvet is a king size double duvet, two duvets in one, and is thus quite bulky. it is bulky but quite light, being made of down and feathers. 

i turn the duvet cover inside out, and then reach inside right to the other end to the two corners, and then through the two corners grip each corner of the duvet and then flip the duvet cover over the duvet and let it roll over and down the whole duvet. and that is it, all left to do is to button up and flap the duvet so that everything settles inside the cover. it is very quick unlike this folding of the duvet into a bolster… 

day of the dead celebration at the chelsea school of arts, which is near the tate britain. i happen to pass by on my way to the tesco, and on the way back saw a bit of this projection on the facade.

this morning i went to see the nurse in my gp practise for a checkup. they offer this checkup to any one of their patients who are 40-75yrs old. i have been getting quite a lot of phelgm and a chronic cough for some time, the phelgm getting more noticeable but did not feel i want to bother the doctor about it.  it seems rather trivial.

so i was rather glad that they have this checkup to give us. the nurse seem to think it serious, she told me i should see the doctor, and also to get a resting blood test. luckily the receptionist told me i can see the doctor now, as there has been a cancellation. so i am glad i dont have to wait. the doctor sent me upstairs to get an xray. this branch seem to have quite a lot of departments for testing. which is great as it saves me having to make another appointment with the hospital to get the chest xray. and the nurse told me to give a sample of phlegm which i try to cough up and drop it off at the box for them to test it.  so i am rather glad that i am being seen to and so quickly too. the xray will take a week for the result to come back. 

well, i felt quite unsettled after the appointment, not so much for myself but thinking about how health and bad health can really make a person feel very sad. esp as after the checkup i read a post by garfield hugs talking about the pain she is having. she seldom talks about the pain, so this one must be real bad for her to mention it.  i know how sad it makes me if i have loved ones feel pain or suffer bad health because there is nothing we can do about it to relieve that pain. i wish i got a magic wand that i can wave and make pain disappear. though i do am aware that pain is a good indicator of something going wrong, and so can be an early warning. but long term chronic pain is something else entirely. 

anyway, i remembered i have the john lewis free voucher for a cake and coffee  and it expires soon, so i decided i shall cheer myself up and go to their sloane square branch where they have cheese cake. their other branch in oxford st dont have cheese cake and i fancy cheese cake for some reason. so here i am sitting in the top floor cafe, under the skylight which is bright with the setting sun, and a grand view overlooking london and on the other side looking down the air well, with their christmas hangings. 

in a way it is just as well i dont get a lot of these free vouchers for free cake and coffee. they are just full of suger and not very healthy. but the few times i get them is just right, enough to make me enjoy them butnot that often that i get unhealthy amount of suger in me.

the store is putting out its christmas decorations for sale. amazing how every year they do this and there are still customers who buy them. i would have thought people would have built up a huge amount of these decorations and can reuse them every year so that there is never any need to buy any more. but it does not work that way. maybe just as well there are so many willing to buy them every year and keep the profits coming and make businesses still stay open instead of closing. 

events comes around every year in a very predictable way

7 Nov


most things comes around regularly every year and it seems people like it. it is predictable and familiar.

so yesterday it was the switchingon of the oxford street lights for christmas. it seems quite a crowd went there to see it, though from what i saw of the lights decorations when i was there in the day it looked very plain.

just white globes strung across the street. maybe it looks better when they are lit up. i got a look at the picture of it when it was lit, and it still looked like white globes. i thought they might give it some colour and light them up with mulitcoloured lights.  

and i got an email from john lewis telling me of their new christmas advert and saying i can be among the first to view it before it gets aired. maybe they hope i will put it up in facebook or something. some people have said they are moved to tears by it, but i guess i am more cynical. haha. it did not do anything for me other than to see it as a clever ploy to get children to pester their parents to buy things. i understand that it is an important time for businesses, as most of their profits are made during this christmas period and the run up to it. so good luck to them.

the more sensible people like me will just enjoy the sights and sounds whilst not contributing to it. haha. a freebie and i love freebies.

i am just glad there are other people who like spending on christmas. i am reminded again that it is the spendthrift ways of a minority that helps pay for services. there was a tv program last night about energy bills (it is another of those programs about heating that comes on like clockwork at this time of year) and people cannot afford to heat their houses.

it seems the profit is from a few who uses huge amounts of energy. they say the average bill for gas and electricity is about £1300 a year. i wonder how many people have that kind of bill. mine is £230 a year for electricity. i dont use gas.

  so there must be quite a number who uses way more than the average and they are the ones who are paying so the people like me can get the service. if not for these high usage people,  supplying electricity or gas to households becomes so unprofitable that the companies will go bankrupt.

so all i am saying is thanks guys for using so much electricity and keeping  the companies in business.

in the tv program they mentioned and showed two families who live next door to each other, same numbers of people and houses,and yet one household pays £800 more than the other. they did not go into their lifestyles to find out why… that would be more interesting to me….instead they put their reporter in a room at 12C without any warm clothing and let him freeze and film him for us to see him shivering away. haha. and then warn us that will happen to us if we keep our rooms at 12C. they have not heard of warm clothing obviously. but u can see if not for those households who just either carelessly or ignorantly ring up huge electricity bills, and they must outnumber people like me who dont use much; we may not even have companies wanting to supply electricity to people like me, as it is a loss maker to them.

i cannot imagine what profit they can make out of me ( after all, half of that £1200 annual cost is incurred by expenses in supplying it) so if not for the many others who cannot bring their usage down i doubt they would be interested in supplying me.

 many of those featured seem to think just because they have a medical condition,are old,  or have children , they must put up the heat or they will die or something. that is a fallacy. but no one dares tell them, because depand on it, they will die (of their condition but who is to say it is not brought about by it) and whoever gives that advise will be sued. that is why so many of these public annoucements dare not say it.

but if u use a bit of common sense, cold temperatures by itself wont kill you if u know how to keep yourself warm. afterall the eskimos are a good example of that. i am a good example of that too. i have not need to have any heating in my flat for years. and i am still alive and healthy. and i might add i dont even notice the cold nowadays.

tell me is it cold at this time of year? to me it is very mild. 

i thought i shall post something

18 Aug

london sunday 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

monday 2014, 18.8.14 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




9 Jul


You heard of the advise that u seek experiences rather than things. so u spend money on experiences like holidays, or travelling, or hearing a concert, or musical , or play, or seeing a cinema film. people say experiences last a lifetime of memories, whilst things after u acquire them the novelty rubs off quite soon.

maybe this advise do not apply to buying a chromebook (or laptop) as it enables me to experience lots of things on the internet. so right away i can prove that buying things can be worthwhile so there is an exception to that advise.

Anyway, i thought i shall get the experience of going to a cafe and having a cake and coffee just like what so many experience all over this city of london and which most people enjoy everyday. I thought i shall see what it is all about as i have not done this for ages. i felt it was not worth the money.

 a few days ago on the day i received the john lewis vouchers for free cake and coffee in their cafe, i redeemed the july voucher and had my first free cake and coffee with them at the oxford st store.

(today i read that oxford st has the highest recorded amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air of all the places in the world. oh dear. am i worried? should i be? how dangerous is nitrogen dioxide? nitrogen is the largest amount that constitutes the air we breathe.  wikipedia says nitrogen dioxide has an acrid smell and is a intermediate product in the production of nitric acid. but when i ws in oxford st i did not smell anything acrid in the oxford st air. they said the high amounts was caused by  the NO2 spewed from the engines of the  buses that jam up the street everyday. )

but lets get back to the cafe experience. well, it is a nice experience, though i will be happy to get it once a month using the vouchers rather than everyday. i suppose it is the location too which enhance the experience. i am sure it is more of an experience to have that on a sidewalk table in paris, say, or even along the old compton st in soho than up on the 4th floor in john lewis, even though u can chose a window seat and look out over the roof tops.

 i had cheesecake and a cappuccino , though the cappuccino is not really like a normal one. not frothy enough. it would cost about £6 i think. it is an average price for london i think. not really worth it if i have to pay that but can’t complain if it is free.

There is no wifi in that cafe so there was nothing to make u linger there, unlike a side walk cafe. I am not the only one using the voucher. a elderly couple were ahead of me and they handed over the voucher expecting it to apply to both their cakes and coffee but of course it did not. it only applies to one. but they also selected sandwiches and barquettes for lunch so i guess the aim of the free vouchers has been fulfilled. it is to bring people to the store and to the cafe and hope they will buy lunch there. The cashier showed them a voucher meant for two, but theirs is like mine, and it is for one.

maybe for my next voucher redemption i shall go to their store in westfield stratford and see if they have a better selection of cakes and coffee there. it is also redeemable in the store in kings road, in chelsea. That is a much posher store, so maybe their cakes and coffee is much better. 

Talking of experiences, there is the one about watching a football match on tv. last night was the life broadcast at 9pm on my tv of the brazil -germany match. quite a shocker , simon was watching it, and he told me germany scored 4 goals in quick succession. it must be quite a sight to see, though i missed it. haha;. i dont mind. but it must be terrible for the brazilian fans. after that i had a look in, and i can see the brazilian players were just demoralised. 

john lewis membership card

7 Jul


I am at the library and charging the chromebook and i have read the telegraph and the times and glanced through the daily mirror (the latter because they sometimes feature the special offers by supermarkets which enable me to get down there and buy it before it runs out).

this library dont have the mail. that newspaper also have adverts by supermarkets. it was the one where i found out about morrisons latest chicken offer of £1.75/kg. i bought 4 that time, and roasted two and cut up the other 2 and freezed them. at that price they are the same price as frozen chicken pieces except they are better as they have breast meat.

one advantage of reading the actual newspaper instead of online is the adverts of these special supermarket offers.

there are the guardian and independent newspapers too in the library  but i had enough of reading for now and thought i shall write a post instead.

So u must be asking what is all this john lewis thingy then?This morning i got the john lewis membership card sent to me by post after i got an email from them asking me to join. I knew of this membership card sometime ago and wanted to join it for its free cake and coffee once a month. haha. but for some reason i could not find it online.

this email came after i spent £230 on the chromebook last month in their john lewis store in westfield shopping complex in stratford.  i wonder if that is the reason why i got that email. i was thinking i could have put that purchase on the card if i had it then.

there dont seem to be any advantage to having the card apart from the free cake and coffee and even then it is only once a month .they said they can monitor us and give us special offers according to what we buy… which is certainly not calculated to entice people to join does it? they said each purchase earns an entry for each £1 spent to a monthly prize draw which is a £250 voucher to spend in john lewis.

 i have a waitrose card but that card does give better value as it gives u free coffee everyday and also 10% off all purchases. Anyway, in the letter they sent me, in an envelope that looks like a cd case, i got 3vouchers , one each month till sept to use for my cake and coffee. i am looking forwrd to those. haha.

I recently went into their store in oxford st, and saw the cafe on the top floor, and it was rather nice. too bad they dont sell the security lock for my chromebook otherwise i would buy it now and use my membership card. (but since i now cannot find any less than £10 unless i go online, i doubt i shall buy it now).

i wish the chromebook has a slot with a hidden hole, so we can use our own chain or lock instead of having to buy a special lock to fit the custom made socket in the chromebook. but i shall keep an eye out for a security lock that costs less than £10 in the shops.

its not really a big concern, as the library is quite safe to leave things alone for a short while. and there is always the option of putting the whole thing, adapter(still plugged in the charger socket) and chromebook inside a bag and lock that and secure the bag to the table. so i guess you can prevent someone stealing the adaptor which must cost a bit if you have to buy it on its own. I mean the only reason why anyone wants to leave the chrome book unattended is when  you are charging it in a public space and the security lock do not safeguard the adaptor.

other than that there is nothing i want to buy in john lewis. in fact, i remember looking for the price tag in their sports clothes section and could not find any. they make it hard to find the price.  

i picked up a pack of ankle socks , 4pairs all of different colours, and could not find the price. so i asked one of the servers, a lady who looked like she is a supervisor, rather than a shop assistant, and asked her and i made a comment saying i hate this store for making it so difficult to find the price. she agreed with me as she could not find the price on the tag either; and went away with the socks to find the price and came back and said it was £10, and i said i feel real embarrassed having to ask you for the price. it makes me feel the store is hinting that if you have to ask the price,(and here i can see her nodding as she knows the saying well)  you cannot afford it.

maybe it is a temporary glitch because it was a few days into their sales, and these socks may have been brought from outside ( as special purchase) and not their usual goods. anyway i doubt i will buy them as ankle socks are £2 for 3 pairs in primark.