Tag Archives: life

the greatest prize

5 Aug

london 6.30am 17.1C cloudybright saturday 2017

this article in the daily mail reminds me how much i like living here. dominic sandbrook has turned a review of a book the last wolf by robert winder, to remind us of what england is. the book is about someone who is the great wolf hunter, eliminating the wolf from england, and thereby, he argues starting what we are all so familiar with… the english landscape. he enabled sheep to be reared ,giving rise to wool, which was the basis of england’s wealth and that influenced the way the english countryside turned out. and so evolved the idea of england. 

It is not very fashionable these days — especially among those on the Left — to quote the controversial empire-builder Cecil Rhodes, but nobody put it better than he did. To have been born an Englishman, he once said, was to have ‘drawn the greatest prize in the lottery of life’.

he was referring to himself and his times. those were the days of empire building where a few individuals can form an empire.

i think it can also apply to these times now. in a slightly different way, not empire building but way of life and opportunities as well as climate and environment.


i wonder where our tv remote went?

4 Jul

london 23.2C sunny tuesday 2017 9pm

i think humans are constantly looking for novelty and new things. and always not satisfied with what they have. it is a human thing i think. which may be a survival trait, as all those disastisfied human beings force new discoveries and inventions and made us progress to what we are today.

the reason why i say this is because i felt a bit like that today. even though it is quite a pleasant day and i did some nice things but was still left feeling rather disastisfied.

ah well, one big fly in the ointment is losing the remote to the tv. i came back at the same time as simon and he asked me what i did with the remote. it seems he woke up after i had left for the library, and he could not find the remote. i know i left it on the side table before i went to sleep last night, which i always do because i am very methodical with leaving it in the same place all the time. simon leaves it all over the place, and it is because i dont like having to search all over the place that i develop this habit of keeping it in one place. but this morning it was not there. it is very strange and i cannot explain it. who could take it, only myself and simon lives here. it makes me sometimes wonder if there is a mischievious ghost doing these things.

anyway luckily the tv can be operated manually by pushing buttons on the machine itself, so we can still watch tv. simon went online to buy another one. for about £8. hope it arrives and works on our tv box. but it is rather an irritating thing, even though small problem. but it does unsettle the rest of the day. times like this i always keep reminding myself to keep things in perspective. in the wider range of things it is a minor mishap. normally, we will mislay things, and it will appear again some time later so we are hoping it will do so again, most probably just when the new remote arrives. i went to the marylebone library this morning. to see the new place it relocated to, round the corner from the old place. the old place is much bigger, 4 floors, this one is two floors and very small. so a bit unsettling, because i am so used to the old one, with its spaciousness. it seems the owners of the old place wants to reconvert it back to flats. it was originally flats and there was a downturn it seems in the housing market then, so they leased it out to the library, which was looking for a temporary home until their permanent home is ready. but i think the dateline for the new permanent home kept being put back, it is now 2020 before it is ready. so they have to find another temporary home. the new place got only one toilet and that is a disabled person’s toilet. perhaps they want everyone to use it. this new one dont have lifts to the downstairs basement floor. so that is going to restrict disabled people from using the computers downstairs.

life is free

25 Jun

Everyone complains about anything they can and say nothing is free. Think again, are you sure nothing in this world is free? Can you think of anything in your life that was free and you didn’t have to pay a single cent for it? I can think of one very important thing. It has four […]

via Quote 17 — Chaotic Shapes

we all know of the saying, nothing in life is free… but life itself is free. it is a gift bequeath by our parents. 

an idle life

31 May

london 4.53pm 22.2C cloudy wednesday 2017

yesterday, i had a really long sleep. went to bed at about 9pm and slept till about 9.30am this morning. hmm, it is rare to sleep for 12 hrs and i really love it. so restful.

and that is why i did not blog yesterday. not that there was anything to say haha. i went to sainsburys and bought a chicken just to make a curry out of it to try out the  curry pack that i bought recently. hmm, not enough chili in it, so i shall add chili powder next time. i do like a spicy hot curry.

today is also the same, uneventful. and very peaceful just enjoying the day and having no plans, or obligations. i have a feeling many people get a bit restless, anxious , if they dont have anything planned. they cannot handle a day when there is nothing they need to do. just sit back and enjoy it.

but i think many get really stressed about it, feeling they are missing something, or that their life is not exciting enough, or they are wasting their life, that they are stagnating. it seems to me that society has imprinted this into everyone’s minds. society frowns on an idle life.

olden days

18 May

london 5.57am 9C cloudy/sunny thursday 2017

interesting things that the internet can throw up. i had this posted by twistedsifter on my wordpress reader. a carved lion from a single tree trunk, and may be the longest such carving. the previous holder was this carved tree trunk depicting the scenes in a famous chinese scroll painting featuring scenes along the river during ching ming. and it led me to see the wikipedia entry showing the scroll and it is possible to enlarge it and see it in great detail… something which i would imagine is quite difficult to do with the original scroll. there seem to be a lot of commerce going on, with people buying and selling, and transporting stuff, and also a lot of restaurants with tables set out for customers to eat. in fact there is no scenes of people eating or cooking in their own homes…it would seem all the buildings lining the river bank are commercial buildings no private housing at all. maybe the old days are not so different from nowadays where commerce will take over the river banks and only the rich can afford to build housing with water views.

Ching ming is when people clean the graves and happen around 4-5april. interesting that in the scroll all the trees are bare of leaves. and this is in april, does it mean winter lasts till then in the old days? (more likely that city is quite far north and so winter is later there) and no scenes of anyone cleaning graves in that scroll painting. it looks like any ordinary day in fact…nothing special to distinguish it as ching ming. makes u wonder why it was titled a day in ching ming. (i know they spell it with qing ming. but i really cannot pronounce anything beginning with q. and for that matter anything with x either. ) for an english speaker, the q is pronounced like que, as in queen, queer, queue. so qing would be pronounced quing. i wonder who first determines the transfer of chinese words into the alphabet. to introduce x, q, is crazy.

its a nice life being retired

4 May

london 11.09am 12C cloudy thursday 2017

yesterday was a cloudy day, so i stayed in all day, and felt sleepy at about 8.30pm and thought i shall just take a short nap, but when i next woke up it was 3am, and noticed simon sleeping next to me. he must have  come back from essex. at least i thought he went yesterday and i thought he would be gone for a few days, as he tends to do when his work shift allows him. but i dont really know his schedule of work, so he might have gone to work and it might be this shift is a long 10hour shift, who knows really…  

this morning, i woke to find he has gone. i am glad he did it so quietly that it did not wake me up. not sure if this time he has gone to essex, leaving before the traffic charge imposed by us being in zone one kicks in at 7am. i must say i dont bother to keep up with his work shift patterns, that way i dont have to worry about him. i always believe a person must be free to go and come whenever he likes.

 my friend john had gone too, back to the usa. i think he enjoys staying here, because i dont place any restrictions on him about when he comes or goes. and he is not expected to tell me what he is doing either. haha. i am very easy about these things. 

 anyway i went online for about an hour after i woke up  and then went back to sleep and woke up now and it is about 11am. what a nice long sleep i had. very refreshing and i can do it because i dont have any appointments etc anymore. isn’t it great? one of the joys of retirement. and one of the joys of not needing to work.

in case u think i must have a big pension, to be able to afford it, i can tell you it is not necessary to have a lot of money to retire. so many times we hear of financial experts saying u need a large pension pot to be able to sustain the lifestyle u are used to. but i say you will not want to live that kind of lifestyle u had whilst working. the travelling, or spending. like me , you might find you dont fancy doing those things or buying those things anymore. those who lie awake worrying about it can rest easy. my own experience tells me there is no need to have a large amount of money to live a happy retirement.

though i must make one caveat, you must be living in the uk after retirement. this is because u have the nhs. and if u receive your pension in £s , then at least the exchange rate wont affect u too much. as people retiring in europe now realise, the drop in the exchange rate can affect their income significantly. of course the £ could go up too, but i think i can predict that the trend is a lower £. it is traditionally the only way a country can offset its overspending. by letting the value of its currency slowly drift down. you might say that is cheating its people but it is a way of collectively allowing everyone to pay for it. haha.

though not businesses, because they can raise their prices and maintain the profit. i have noticed that in this system the companies gain a lot , they never have to pay inheritance taxes, and they can find lots of ways to offset tax. and what is more they are subjected to a fix rate of tax, the business tax of 15% or so. and likely to go down too. unlike personal taxes that can go high to as much as 50% or more, if u include national insurance. the playing field is skewed towards companies and businesses.

it pays for any rich person to make himself into a business. i can foresee a time when there wont be any rich person as such. he will be a family business. and all the sons and daughters will be named as beneficiaries of that company, maybe with shares to it. or with trusts created for them that will ring fence the amount of tax they pay.

but as for us individuals , we continue to enjoy our lives because wealth is not a big factor in how much u enjoy it. once u reach a certain point in income, your happiness does not increase in proportion after that. if u still think it does, i hope u do find out one day that it does not and that u can be very happy even though u dont earn a lot of money. 

added. of course i just realise that your idea of retirement may be entirely different to what u read here about what i do. to you, what i am doing may be a living hell . haha. looking at what i do, it is not a lot. a lot of things happen in my mind. i have long ago stopped measuring my life by how much and how many things i do or see or how busy i am. to me being busy is hell… to have every sec on my life accounted for and planned for is hell. but maybe not to you. to have nothing planned or to have no goals may be hell to you. in which case of course my kind of life will not be for you. 


a good word for celebration

12 Feb

london 4.53pm 4.4C cloudy sunday 2017

rather nice of sainsburys to give us all a bit of light relief, with this gift for valentine’s day.

i think i can see how these marketting ploys can make it useful for people to find things to do and make their lives filled with something to celebrate. hence we have this coming valentine day for lovers; other countries might fill it with saint’s days so make it link to a religious figure, and it might be practically every month has some saints to commemorate and so an excuse to feast or run up a procession. it punctuates the existence of their lives with celebration. and it allows each month to be sprinkled with special days that lifts them above the normal.

its quite a good ploy to mark a special day and make life for everyone a bit more interesting. anniversaries are another way to make a day special. food days are also another ploy. like the coming pancake day. it is joined up with a religious day, called shrove tuesday. its the day before the start of lent. and it has shades of mardi gras. (fat tuesday) . maybe in other countries it is called mardi gras. who knows really. but both celebrates the last day u can feast and indulge yourself before lent brings in fasting etc. you might call it the christian equivalent of ramadan. but it does make for variety in the year, breaking it from being just day in and day out of monotonous existence for people.

if it gets people buying and consuming, so much the better for the economy and the merchants. its a good excuse to persuade people to consume. and consumption is the bed rock of our economy really. it literally makes the world go round.

for eg,i see on the tv, lidl advertising 12 roses for £3. at this time of year , roses are not in season, and no one normally would be buying them. but hey, we have a day when it is nice to give it to a loved one and though spending £3 wont break the bank for an individual, but when these individuals add up to many, many doing it,  it can be a life saver for the florists and people involved in their production and their livelihood. it may well sustain a large proportion of their families and relations and friends that get the bounty that spreads from it.

sigh, it is just having something to do. really. it kinds of reinforces for me my theory that life is just trying to amuse yourself and find something to do in that interval between being born and dying. being alive and coming into existence really is the only thing. it is so amazing, many dont realise it. life is amazing. just being born and having life is the pinnacle of life. after that it is all downhill really… haha. in a manner of speaking. by that i mean nothing else to do after that but  just spend it enjoying it from then on.

it is 11.07pm 6.3C now. this post has taken that long to write, because i went to bed and slept in between. haha.