Tag Archives: leisure

things are quite ordinary now

1 Nov

london 6.58pm 9C dark dry night thursday 2018

it seems time goes very slowly now. its dark outside and looks like it is 9pm, or should be. but it is only about 7pm. that is the effect of having sunset at about 4.30pm. i keep thinking it is late enough now to take my medicine. i have a 2nd lot of medicine i take about 8or 9pm.

and also i keep thinking it is time for the tv program that i want to see which start at 8pm. it is called shop smart and save money for christmas. such a long title and so specific. but it means that the countdown to christmas has started. after halloween, which was yesterday, people now look forward to christmas as the next binge time.

halloween is quite a boring thing to celebrate, at least for me. all that dressing up and fake blood. luckily this year no one came ringing our door bell asking for trick or treats.  one good thing about living in a block of flats. i read in the papers that someone gave ecstacy tablets to the kids, and luckily the mother checked them and found them. just goes to show you cannot accept sweets from strangers nowadays. 

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leisure time

14 Oct

london 3.15pm 12.4C rain sunday 2018

rainy day today.

there is a half marathon being run in central london around trafalgar square. so i am avoiding that area.

fortunately i am going to the paddington library, and that route by- pass the centre of town. things are quiet all along the route. i did not see any runners even though the route goes through hydepark corner. with this weather people will just endup inside the buildings, like inside coffee shops rather than walk about outdoors.

it might explain why the library was so busy. hardly any empty seats. though nobody reading the books. it is long gone are those days when people actually go to a library to read books. they were all at the study desks, maybe reading their school books, or like the guy sitting next to me, watching or listening to music on his chromebook. whereas i am half watching and listening to pal joey, a film starring sinatra, and rita hayworth on tv which i can get on my chromebook; whilst also surfing the internet.

i dont know what other people get up to on a sunday, apart from running a half marathon.this long article tells me of a guy who is addicted to video games. so that is one way of whiling away the time.

i am watching antz on tv now that i am back home. so that is another way to while away the time. in fact i would say watching tv must take up a lot of people’s leisure time. 

the sunday paper is full of  travel news, one feature they are doing today is  on the start of the longest non stop SIA flights to usa; personally i am not too keen on such long flights. 13hrs is about my limit really.and that is the time of flights to kl from london non stop.  so london to kl is about the non stop limit i can take.   

i did not read the article in the sunday times, so i googled it, and found sia is giving a special promotion fare of about $1500. it doesnot say if it is US$ or singapore $. most probably US$. everything is quoted in US$ nowadays.(it is a one way fare,i think). it does not say how long the flight. added, here is a link to a report that does give the flying time. though it is a misleading time, usually it takes 19hrs.

added. 11.28pm . i went into the SIA website and see they have now clarified the price and it is in SGD. and it is return fare. at current exchange rate it is about £830 return. and it is to los angeles. 

i read also that the bankof england is going to bring in a new £50 note, sometime  after 2020 and  it will be plastic. it is an attempt to stop forgeries, and also money laundering with these high value notes. in fact, they were thinking of getting rid of £50 notes completely, but parliament revolted against that idea. how come the EU can get away with its 500Eu notes then? that must be a moneylaunderer’s wet dream. 

 

why do people travel?

24 Sep

london 9.28am 16.7C sunny sunday 2017

i was reading a post by someone , an american male who has gone to france to live with his partner, and he mentioned that he can get travel on  the train for only 1 euro. that sounds great, i thought. and i imagined myself living there and taking the train to the seaside on a day trip and making it part of the living there. sounds wonderful. than i began to look at what we got here in uk, and checked megabus, as they have a £1 fare to bournemouth by train. it is the only £1 train fare in the whole of uk i think. or was, because i see when i checked it now that it has gone. they still have £1 fares on their buses, on very selected routes and times.

so that era is gone, £1 train fares; where it was so cheap to go travelling. to bournemouth…but in that part of france where the two american guys live, (the south centred around beziers) it is still in operation. they use it to go visit restaurants and take the wine of the various places they visit as well as do a bit of sightseeing. they are not into the beach life, as they have not been doing that at all. or they dont mention it, so it cannot loom very large in their interests. they are very much into the drinking though, which makes me wonder if there is the danger of being alcoholics without realising…

i was thinking what i would do if i were to go live in france and use that £1 fare and go to those places, and i find i dont really do much, except go to the beach. and even then, i have a feeling i wont like doing it too often as i dont really like baking in the sun. 

i dont like eating in restaurants nowadays, nor do i take wine, so those two pastimes are not for me. it is a pity that, because france is a great place to be if u like gourmet food, and drinking wine.

what else, sightseeing? maybe for the first time, but i have realised that can soon get boring if repeated.  so really, eating, and drinking wine are the two real good reasons to live in france, and neither of which are my interests. there are other reasons of course but you have to admit those two trumps them all.

so just as here, where even though i get that £1 fare to bournemouth, i seldom make use of it and dont go there, (i have a friend who lives there and so it is free to stay with him, so i could not even give as an excuse the cost of hotel accommodation).

i can see that just making it cheap to travel is not really going to tempt me to travel. you have to find something to do there that appeals to you, otherwise you wont bother to go.

but i think that applies only to us old guys… who have travelled and seen most of it. to the young, (or even to the old ones who have not travelled before) as i know from my younger days, curiosity and wanting to try something new will always be a draw and it will make young people want to travel. 

added 11.35am paddington library. i was reading yesterday’s times, because yesterday victoria library where i go usually to read the saturday papers did not have any delivered. and i read in the travel section that norwegian.com in conjunction with easyjet , where u can book it with a easyjet connecting flight , costs only £180 one way to singapore, but it does not include food, luggage or seat allocation, £50 extra for each. so the basic price of £390 will be increased by £100 if u want food and luggage. so i remember malaysia airlines was giving away £450 return flights in their sale earlier this year  and it is a direct flight to kl. added. 6.07pm, i went to their website out of curiosity and found there is a £149 flight on 25nov2017, going there, and £149 flight coming back on 26jan2018. so for the really determined, you could get a trip there for £350 rtn, if u just have food, and forget about stored luggage. free hand luggage 10kg should be enough really .you can buy everything else there. i suppose not many can go there for so long except for the retired like me. but even then, it does not tempt me at all.

added 3.10.17. i saw this article account in the independent of someone who was given a complimentary trip on the first flight by norwegian to singapore. she was put in their premium class seats, so it is not a account of what economy is like. so not a typical flight for someone paying the £150 one way fare. 

added 4.16pm 21.7C sunny i was at the japanese matsuri (which means festival ) in trafalgar square just now, and saw this cute boy eating frm a huge noodle pot. he was oblivious to everything around him. 

Digital StillCamera

 

its a nice day again

28 Mar

london 11.02am 11.1C brilliant sunshine blue sky tuesday 2017

might be the first chance i can get to sit outside and soak up the sun without feeling cold. yesterday started cloudy and then brightened up but not much. previous days there was bright sun but a cold wind makes it too cold to sit outside.

added 12.20pm 13.5C sunny

well, i have been sitting out in the sun, but only for about 10mins. as long as it takes for me todrink my cup of coffee. i brought a book with me, thinking i shall read that. but in the end, i did not read it.i know, it is laughable, but the sun was too strong for me. what to do right? it is either too cold to sit out, or too hot to sit out. either way, it looks like this idea of mine of sitting basking in the sun is not a starter. haha. i think the only way i can sit out in the sun is being completely wrapped in winter clothes to shield me from the wind, so that only my face is exposed. that way i can quite happily sit out for a bit longer than 10mins. haha.

ah well, my being brought up in a tropical country like malaysia makes me want to avoid the sun. when i was younger i was able to sunbathe quite a long time… in europe, not malaysia… that one is still a sun to avoid…i avoid the burn by putting 50 strength suntan lotion on.

but now i am getting older i am less tolerant of the pain that comes from sitting out in the sun. and let me tell you straight … sitting out in the sun is painful. there is no two ways about it.

i can stand a lot of pain, as evidenced by this painful foot where i dont take any pain medicine for it. but pain from the sun ? my mind dont seem to accept that so easily . that seems to be the opposite of what others experience. for them, they would take pain medicine at the drop of a hat, but sit for hours out in the blazing sun…? that is fine.

ah ha, i look out of the window and see the sun clouding over. the sky is more cloudy now. so i suppose it will be more comfortable to sit outside now. but i am quite over moving in and out of the flat and shall be happy to stay indoors and surf the internet. haha.

stuck in a bus because of a demostration in parliament square

9 Mar

 

london 12.26pm rain 10C wednesday 2016

i am sitting in the bus 88, in trafalgar square stuck here because of a demonstration in parliament square. the whole area is grid locked. and we dont know when the demo will end. 

oh, 3 police on horses went by , on the pavement too. haha. democracy is all very well, but these pointless demonstrations just makes inconvenience to the travelling public.

what about our right not to support whatever u are demonstrating against huh? i hope the demonstrators get very wet, because it is pouring down with rain. hoho.

the newspapers never report these things, so as not to encourage them. no one other than us here trapped in traffic knows there is a demo going on. and even then, we dont know what they are demonstrating against. and when we do finally get to them, and find out from their banners, it is very likely we will be against them. out of sheer irritation at them for disrupting our journey. so it kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? but then we all know demonstrators are people who just like to hear themselves speak.

oh we are moving now, and at a rapid rate too. so looks like the demonstrators have finished.

i have just been to chinatown to buy cuttlefish balls and steamboat pack. i first saw it when i went there yesterday to buy black soya sauce. and bought  a pack of the cuttlefish balls, costing only 99p for 200mg. i have not bought these before, usually i buy fish balls. these frozen cuttlefish balls normally costs £1.85, compared to the frozen fish balls @£1.65 and the fresh fish balls at £2.20. but i have not bought these things for quite some time now. partly because at their normal price it is not worth it. i can get frozen fish in the supermarket for £1.70 for 520mg, and it is all fish, unlike fishballs, which donthave 100% fish, but other things to bulk them up, and they are very salty. which makes them delicious of course, salt is a great appetizer, but i try not to have too much of them. they were selling pot noodles for 10p each too. quite a bargain, they were near their expiring date, 1 month from now, but i did not buy any as i am not too keen on the artificial flavour of them. when i went there this morning, all the pot noodles have been sold out, though they have lots of packs of instant noodles. all 10p each. 

last night i got back and cooked half of it,the cuttleballs,  and it was quite nice, very firm and quite big, those balls, and so i decided to go back today and buy some more. this time when i arrived ,there were only 4 packs left , so i bought them all. i daresay they will replenish it as the day go by. because that was what happened to the steamboat pack of assorted things yesterday. in fact, when i got there a man was replenishing the steamboat assorted packs. so they must be very popular. 

anyway this time i bought the 4 packs of cuttlefish balls and one pack of the steamboat selection500mg. (weight for weight, the assorted steamboat pack is better value i guess) .they go very well in noodle soups. and because they are frozen they can keep in the freezer. 99p each.

well, the rain has stopped, but we are not even at parliament square and stuck again. ah well, since i am in no hurry i shall just stay here. i could get out and walk back, as it is quite near , and the sun is out again. but there is no rush …. my whole life now is leisurely , quite nice in some ways but if u are the kind of person who likes to have a purpose in life, or want meaning in your life you might get restless at the aimlessness of it. haha.

i am trying to get a glimpse of the demonstrators to see what they are against. but no sign of them. the sun is out but it is still raining. well i see a group of them just outside the gates to the house of parliament, but they could be tourists,(ya, they are tourists) it looks like the demonstrators have gone. ya, they are gone, and nothing is happening except for the traffic jams. i realised i might have missed seeing them, as i was sitting on the lower deck of the bus. i forgot or rather could not be bothered to walk upstairs and get a birds eye view when we were stuck earlier. 

the bus is diverted to run up to lambeth bridge, and along the river. instead of the road behind the houses that runs behind the tate millbank. so we are clear of the jam and on our way. ha. it is now 12.53pm.

added 3.24pm i thought i shall check the evening standard website to see if they have any news of this demonstration. well they have. it is by black cab drivers protesting against uber . they were blocking whitehall,so not in parliament square as such. it started at 11am and i suppose when i was there, it was the tail end of it, as it was for 2hrs duration. i can sympathise with them actually, these people have invested a lot of time and effort and money learning the road map of london and taking the test to qualify as black cab drivers, and it must be a heartache to see uber drivers just come along and steal their business.

(the video they show seem to be doing the typical advert thing. showing a bit and then bringing the advert on . as usual i cannot stand it, and just stop the advert and not see the rest of the video. maybe u have more patience to see the advert and continue to see the rest of the video about the demonstrators. )

but it is a hard lesson that technology is destroying a lot of traditional jobs, and it is tough that it is their job that is being hit. in the past they have been holding the capital to ransom as it were, being picky who they pick up, and always going off shift and not stopping when u want them, or not being available when it rains, or refusing to take u south of the river if it suits them. and charging quite a lot  and still expect to be tipped… but at least they know the best routes and black cabs can use the bus lanes, which can be used to avoid a lot of jams.

well, it is like bnb stealing business from B&B and hotel owners, i guess. 

Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed – Business News – Business – The Independent

12 Dec

Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed – Business News – Business – The Independent.

this one is a bombshell to me, and must be so to emirates. they have a whole fleet of them, and options to buy more so why are there no more orders for the A380?

no other airlines have a demand for 500seater planes? why? are they proving difficult to fill?? is the mass movement of people coming to an end and we have reached the peak? quite possible as terrorism scares (MH17 being shot down over ukraine… )and ebola may put a lot of people off flying for the sake of flying. and does it mean from now on, there will be less people travelling?? so does it mean there is no need to expand heathrow or gatwick?

such a strange outcome this A380, so different from the boeing 747 when it was introduced and triggering a huge expansion of mass air travelling. i thought this A380 will usher in a 2nd wind, lifting mass travel to new heights. 

i think people may have reached the limit of what they would like, being stuck in a airplane with 500 others is not so appealing really when in an emergency crash landing.  

not to mention just waiting for your meal to be served must take a long time. and it must take a long time to embark and disembark, and also the huge crowd to claim baggage, and long queues to get through immigration when two or 3 of these behemoths land close to each other.

we dont hear of these long waiting times but i for one will get fed up of it.

the dailymail has more reasons for the decline in orders.

nothing to rant about

12 Jan

london

I have been looking around to see what will fill my time. Most of the time, i read, or go on the internet, and swim, or go to the library, but i have borrowed so many books from the library that i thought i better not go so often , or if i do, not to borrow books; or i shall borrow even more books and i just could not read them fast enough.

Another way to while away the time is to go grocery shopping, but i have allready bought enough, more than i can finish so no point going to the supermarket.

So I thought i shall take the bus and wander around soho, and pop into the chinese grocery stores to see if there are any reductions. or to buy staple items but I have allready bought all i need. i dont know where else to hang around. Long ago, i used to hang around old compton st, the gay part of soho, sit in the coffee shops and chat to people who are sitting nearby. It was quite cheap to do so, until they start putting up the price of coffee, and cakes, and so even less local people hang around there; only tourists do so now. And though it is nice to meet visitors, they are here only for a few days whilst what we want is to make friends who live here. long ago when coffee was cheaper u get locals who are regulars in the coffee shops in old compton  st, and you can always see them to chat with if u happen to pass by. not any more. I suppose u could say i was one of the regulars, but i have stopped going, and i daresay so have all the other regulars.

now, i get small mishaps in my life to keep me occupied. recently, we bought a 40inch tv screen, but it developed a problem. without any reason, it would say there is no signal. I thought our aeriel was acting up and dropped by the local housing estate office to tell them to get the engineer to look at it. They made an appointment for the engineer to come to my flat . he did not come, but luckily, simon fiddled with the lead that connect with the aeriel socket and the picture came on. so that was how we found out it was the lead that they supply with the tv to connect to the aeriel socket. We should have guessed it is not the aeriel, because we asked our downstairs neighbour and she said she have no trouble with the tv transmission.

We often hear of old people ranting and raving when things go wrong, and complaining at the slowness of the engineers to come and fix it. Well, all i can say is i am glad i did not make a fuss. haha it would be terribly embarrassing to have the engineer come and find this. it is like some old fart forgetting to switch on the tv and complaining it does not work. 

so now the tv works fine, and i am enjoying seeing the films again with the added novelty of this bigger screen. there are a lot of repeats nowadays. It’s not so much fun to see old films as they only fill up half the screen. 

Added. simon tells me he had found out from someone he was chatting to online that the screen we got is not the one he bought. it is not a smart tv. that is why it wont take a dongle and connect to the internet for him to get bbc iplayer which will enable him to get the high definition program. 

Talking of this urge to chat with people, we hear so much of that about old people being isolated and have no one to chat to, but i have realised that it isn’t so much no one to chat to, but no one that we like to chat to. that is harder to find. Ah well, just as well we gay people have the internet and gay websites to get in contact with other gay guys. I recently sent a message to a guy who lives in manchester and who i thought looked rather sexy and he is interested in jacking off too. jacking off is something that i thought i shall get interested in again. Normally if someone is not in london, i would not have bothered , but he did say in his profile that he comes often to london. and just now he sent me a message saying he will here visiting london on feb13th. so that would be  nice to meet up and get to know each other. thank goodness for being gay. dont you think? it is real easy to meet other gay guys.

I like to chat with people and often do with strangers i meet on the bus or waiting in the bus stop or just on the street. I like being on my own, but sometimes i like interacting with other people. i prefer these casual contacts rather than have a friend. partly because i dont like to arrange to meet , i like the casual , accidental meets with strangers. 

that was what i was doing when i chatted with a guy in the same gay website . he is a belgium guy who comes to visit london 4/5 times in a year. he said he stays with friends and they keep busy doing things. so i asked him what he do, as i thought i might get some ideas from him. he said they walk, go on daytrips, give dinners. (not very useful things to me as i dont fancy any of that) and he says i sound lonely and wonders if i am.

I suppose i might give others the impression that i am lonely, when i told him i was wandering around soho and suggested to him that it would be nice to  meet up for a coffee  in soho when he is here in london. I replied to him I am not lonely, but i do miss my young days when i would have friends hang around the coffee shop in old compton st, and we would invariably find one of us there whenever we go to soho, and so always have company. and also we are able to meet and make friends on a casual basis with other gay guys there who hang out in all hours like us. it was a lovely time i remember. it does not happen anymore. 

I think the internet may well account for that , not many of us now hang around coffee shops in soho, because we can make contact via the gay network. maybe it is something you do when you are young. Not to mention when you are young more people are attracted to you physically and you get approached more often, or if u approach someone you often than not get welcomed or get an encouraging response.

The thing about going old is that you realise so many things in your youth will not come again. I was seeing a tv program about the songs of the 70s, and saw the carpenters singing ‘close to you’, and 10cc singing ‘another love’, and realise those feelings that the songs evoked in me will not be retrieved by anything sung nowadays. I doubt any of the songs now will evoke the same feelings in me years from now.