Tag Archives: lifestyle

out and about

6 Jul

london 8.39pm 25.7C sunny (high was 29.5C at 3.45pm thursday 2017

i have been out and about a lot today. very early on at about 7am i went to the chikn new branch near baker st to see if i am among the first 50 customers to get a free chicken meal once a week for a year. it is a promotion of theirs to celebrate their opening this branch. but when i arrived there , a long queue allready formed, and when i asked the last person whether we can still make it, he said no, they have been told the 50 people are allready taken. later as i was leaving i went passed the head of the queue and asked one of them how long they have waited. she said since 6am.

i ask him why is he still waiting for, and we saw staff handing out free coffee, so i said oh all right i shall wait a bit if i can get a free coffee. haha. but he said they might give out gold cards to the rest if there is a big media response to their opening. i did not want to wait for that, so after i drank my coffee and have a chat with the guy, i left and went home. but not before the staff gave me a flyer for half price chicken during their soft launch 6th-12th july and it can be used multiple times.

(he is from colombia and works for a french bank, clearing their cheques. he works for himself and subcontracts the work at the bank. he lives in islington and tells me there he can get a chicken sandwich for about £4 when i told him it is likely the chikn shop will charge about £6. i ask him why he eats out for lunch, because he told me that is what he and his work colleagues do, i said he could make his own lunch, but he said he gets bored eating sandwiches he makes. haha. so that is why these office workers dont bother to make their own lunch but prefer to spend money buying it. i think it is silly, because you can make lots of diffrent things not just sandwiches, but even sandwiches can be made wiht lots of different ingredients of leftover dinners the night before. and it all costs pennies. imagine, every day spending about £5 for lunch, £25 a week, £100 or so a month. all for not making your own lunch which wont be so full of salt also. it would seem people are not interested in saving £1200 a year. or they might think life is short, why waste it taking care of the pennies, might as well spend the £s and live it up; for tomorrow they might die. i wonder if they might be right. why bother to eat healthy, and deprive yourself of the pleasure of eating lots of fat and salt and suger. and eat and drink as much as u like, for tomorrow you might die. as a philosophy i suppose it has its logic of sorts.

anyway, the next time i went out was to brixton, to buy ginger. it was not a lot of ginger , this time … wonder why there is no glut of ginger, seeing it is the summer. but there you are, 50p did not get me much ginger, but it should last about 3wks i think. i am glad i dont have to buy chili, as i got so much allready. so back i went home. 

then the final time i left home was to visit my friend, my long lost friend who i have not seen for 10yrs. i had arranged to go to his flat at 2pm. i have forgotten how his flat entrance looks like, so it was with a certain interest that i saw it again. it is a basement flat in W1. that is really central,  the inside has not changed, looks exactly as i remember it, very cluttered because he collects lots of what he calls antiques, which i call clutter, but he makes a bit of income from selling them at car boot sales etc. lots of teacups and teapots, and porcelain figurines. he had another friend come round and we have a bit of fun.

his thai husband who is younger than him,( i did not ask how much younger haha). is working in a thai restaurant, today, so was not around. i have not met the thai boy so it would be nice to meet him . he is off work on tuesdays. they had been married 2yrs, and it seems he had to pay something like £12000 to get him over and pay his health insurance and visas and stuff for the 2 yrs visa period and it is not over yet, he has to pay some more for the next 2 yrs… and then again for the extension of another 2yrs.

but luckily the boy can work. i thought he is not allowed to work if he is here on a spouse visa. but apparently he can work. which is just as well, as it would be really boring if the boy cannot earn money while here. anyway my friend likes the naked lifestyle too, so that is nice to befriend someone with similar interests to me.

 oh yes, the postman came today and we got the new tv remote that simon ordered. they are really quick with sending the order, and it works but simon put it behind the tv and not bother to use it. we got the old one . i had thought he and i could have our own tv remote to keep at our side and not have to pass it around… 

being rich. the french politics.

7 May

london 2.45pm 15C sunny. sunday 2017

the sunday times got a booklet today listing the richest people this year. it seems quite a lot of britishers have got more money from the rise in the stock market since brexit. i did not bother to look through the list as it has no interest for me. and anyway with so many being so rich, there dont seem to be any cache to being the richest anymore. any tom dick and harry can be rich nowadays. haha.

what is missing are the few who are rich and knows how to enjoy their money. i think there are very few of those people left. they have died off… haha most probably they drank themselves to an early death. 

however, i was wondering is there anything in the world that a rich person can get that is not available to everyone else and that only they can enjoy? so that it makes it worthwhile to have so much money.

what can they have that the rest of us can never hope to get or to experience? i was racking my brain trying all the outlandish situations that a really rich person can experience that is unique to them and that no one else who is not fabulously rich can ever experience.  but i cannot think of anything. maybe some one can tell us.

i dont mean sending off for oysters (or fish and chips)from the other side of the world and have it flown to you… that is just an indulgence, really, as anyone could just walk down to the nearest market, or even just order it online and buy them and have them delivered. so that is nothing unique anymore.  

something or some experience that is uniquely one rich person’s way of showing how rich they are… and i dont mean buying or commissioning the most expensive object… like 2 silly looking yachts.

 any ideas? 

added. 7.05am 8C cloudy 8.5.17 monday. here is an article about the life of a rich family. the usual lifestyle , but nothing there that makes me feel they are doing anything that is special with all that money. perhaps there just isn’t anything. after all, it is not that all that wealth will allow them to make a trip to the moon. or buy them good health. 

added. 9.02pm 15C dry. the french president election results are out, and it seems macron won and very decisively too it seems. it has been predicted and turned out to be correct. i expected it because i cannot see france voting to leave the EU. it is in too deep and also have benefited a lot from being a founding member. not to mention losing your currency is a big factor in keeping you in. that is why i dont foresee france ever leaving the EU.

greece would be better off leaving the eu, but without a currency of its own, it is too scared to take that step. in fact, i would say without a currency of its own, it is impossible for any of those countries to leave the EU. and after seeing the threats the brussels bureaucrats have thrown at uk, it will take even more courage for them to take that final step. 

it will be the first time that a french president is elected without a power base. in the past the president belonged to either one of the two parties that form the govt. its a strange system. maybe the french realise the president is irrelevant, that is why a quarter did not bother to vote. the next important post is prime minister. maybe he is the real power behind it all. who is the prime minister of france now? and which of the main parties does he belong to… he is josplin, a socialist. he is in charge of domestic policy and day to day governing. the president is in charge of foreign policy and defense. in a month there will be general election in france and that is when a president can build his power base… so macron must hope his new party gets a majority. but none of his candidates  have experience of government.

thoughts of going old

27 Oct

london 5.50pm 15.2C  dry thursday 2016 sunset is 5.41pm

i think there is something saddening about a sunset, whilst a sunrise seem to be more uplifting. maybe it is just me, but that is how it affects me now. or maybe it is something that we feel more strongly as we go old.

i think when i was young i dont feel anything at all about sunsets or sunrise. dont think i associate it with anything really when i am young. just noticing a sunset if it is spectacularly beautiful and enjoying it. now even if i am enjoying it, the thought is always there that it is not going to last, and that the days of such sunsets are coming closer to an end, because the sunset reminds me of my days ending too. the sense that my days are numbered is there. 

i wonder if that is something that is quite common amongst those of us who are growing old… we are more aware of our health getting less healthy with signs of bad health cropping up. i dont have any health problems, at least not yet, even so i still feel this. 

vaguely we are aware the body is not so healthy as before where we are so healthy we dont even think about it.

i do admire old people who remain optimistic even in advance old age. the grumbling old person is not a stereotype. it really is what we all become sooner or later. ah well, it is only in a blog that i can say it. one tries not to say it in our normal conversation with others, but inwardly we think it… grumble grumble, haha. the only thing i try to do is to laugh at myself when i catch myself thinking like that. it is so easy to fall into that habit of grumbling about everything. especially about other people’s behaviour. so i try to stop myself and just fall back on my constant refrain, their souls wants it. that way i can brush it off and forget it. otherwise u can get involved in long standing disputes with another old person who is just as stubborn as u. thankfully i dont have that. but now and then u can see it crop up in the news of long standing dispute between neighbours. two old people fighting over something trivial.

perhaps travelling can make someone less introspective about their life. whilst you are on the move, u get caught up in the logistics of it, and so less time to contemplate your inner life. and the new sights and sounds of new places and things to see and eat and people u meet can be a nice distraction. i am too aware of it as a means of taking myself out of myself, to be soothed by it. i know it for what a distraction it is. so i shall not bother to travel to escape myself and stay here and work it out by other means.

reading i find can be a nice distraction. esp if u pick up a novel that carries u to another world.  

and there is the soothing effect of habits, doing things that are established routine so that there is an order and narrative about it that u can live with, without having to trouble yourself to reinvent everytime. and then to inject into it now and then, something that is out of the ordinary just to give you some variety. its quite  a nice way to live actually. 



trying to drum up some enthusiasm

29 Aug


for doing things, i mean. 

yesterday i met up with a guy who i first met in a gay naked clubnight. i gave him my gaydar name and he found me there and asked if we can meet. then he disappeared, i got no reply to my agreeing  to meet , giving him my email address as i dont log onto gaydar much and i am limited in the messages i can write there) and he should name a day and time. well it is not unusual in these cases that the person just goes off. haha.  so i did not think anymore of it. 

out of the blue he sent an email to me a few days ago, saying he had health problems and was out of action. well, i am rather understanding of this, as sometimes i too dont feel like meeting people, (it turned out he really did have gut trouble) so our meet up was on again. i am glad i dont have pretensions and act like a diva. haha. i often hear people who experience these gay websites that they got rude people, but it maybe they were too sensitive and that the person really did have a good reason to not reply for ages. 

finally we met. and went to a coffee shop after his work. he works near me, it turned out. 

i enjoyed the chat, and later he went to the gay gym nearby and i met the owner and found out i was the 6th customer who signed up long ago when he first started. interesting that. i left after 3 or 4 yrs i think, no particular reason really just wanted a change of scene. my new found friend suggest i come along one weekend as his guest. the place has been extended and there are a lot more heavy duty weight machines now. 

the coffee must be very strong, because that night i could not sleep. i was tired but still could not sleep. later, in the morning after a sleepless night, i emailed him to thank him for a nice social time, and he said he too did not sleep. i never knew coffee to affect me like that. we even chosed a one shot, when the barrista asked us one shot or two. if that is a one shot it is hell of a potent shot. 

i guess i shall chose chocolate drink next time i go into a coffee shop. my friend said he will chose tea. but somehow i get the impression coffee shops dont do very good teas. 

anyway, i am trying to make myself interested in things. 

i met a long time neighbour this morning coming back from the library, and she asked me if i am interested in the proms. i told her no. i like classical music but only the nice bits haha. but inbetween the nice bits u can get really boring stuff. i know it is my ignorance speaking, those who appreciate music will never agree with me. but i seem to have stopped listening to music some time ago. i dont switch on the radio any more. 

even the news i tend to skim through, and skip the pages. 

i was walking back and wondering why i dont seem to bother with a lot of things or want to do new things and looking up at the sky and the things around me i realise it is not really necessary to be doing things. i enjoy being alive and being in relatively good health and have all my facillities to observe and see all around me, and to live in the moment savouring everything about being alive now. just the fact i am alive and breathing and able to see and feel and taste and touch all these things is a miracle to me. 

i know the advise to people is to learn a new thing everyday, if u want to live, but i think be aware of the now and the things that are around you now and live for the moment and savour it with all your senses.

that is  really all you need to know; it is a simple way to live for the moment and just enjoy being alive and in good health and be able to breath in and out and have not a worry in the world. 

Added. 3.7.14 i read this in this The meaning of life is just to be alive’. seems like i have discovered this without realising it. 


how do the rich live?

23 Jan

I am reading this book which I borrowed from the library yesterday. It is ‘crazy rich Asians’ by Kevin kwan.
I was curious to see how he depicts the wealth and lifestyle of these rich Asians.
When u think about it, really rich people don’t really flash their cash about. Their houses are furnished in quite conservative ways. You just have to look at pictures of the queen receiving foreign dignitaries in Buckingham palace and see how ordinary (almost old fashioned) are the sofas and lampshades. There was even a 2bar electric heater in the fireplace. And that got quite a lot of comments. Haha.

So how would the author put the wealth of these rich people in Singapore on display?
Singapore is a small country so land is a premium, so the author put the hero growing up in a huge house in a huge estate in the middle of Singapore, in prime land. It is a description of a country estate in England, but plonked down in Singapore and hidden away so that even those who live there and deal in real estate were not aware of its existence. It is a fairy tale allright, but rather appropriate in the context of the novel.

Now I come to think of it, it really is difficult to show by sight, how wealthy a family is. Short of covering them in diamonds and precious stones the size of hen’s eggs, or drape them head to toe in designer apparel, name dropping like crazy all the well known as well as not so well known designers (unknown except to the elite of course); and even do a reverse snobbery by disowning Gucci and burberry as too common, haha. What else can one do to show how rich people live?

You can throw in the names of all the expensive car marques ,which is all very vulgar really. No wonder the really rich just don’t bother to put on this kind of show and dress very unobtrusively, in custom made clothes rather than branded ones.

It is the nouveau riche who put gold and gilt everywhere. And the author gave a good example of such a family, the Gohs. I think it stretches credibility a bit on the part of the reader to pretend these are really old rich families with pedigree. Singapore is such a young country, (about 50yrs old I think)even the old rich families are not that old rich really. I mean all of them stretches as far back as the great grandfather of these so called old families who would be from poor backgrounds who made their fortunes in the last 30-40yrs.
This context of old family might play better in Hongkong, which has a longer history and has the allure of the big kongsi houses as the origin of the great wealth amassed by the old families. Hongkong has a longer history. 

It is a good read, with the usual mix of unfaithful husbands, and one upmanships and status conscious mentality.

It made me suspect that really the rich dont live any more richer lives than ordinary people. granted there will be more expensive stuff around them, but really like the queen they will still eat their breakfast cereals just like any one of the poorer families. Nobody goes round eating caviar everyday, or drinking champagne like tea. haha. I suppose they can jet off at a whim, to any part of the world for a day or two, but i should imagine it loses its novelty after a bit. 




naked bike ride london 2013

9 Jun

We had the naked bike ride in London yesterday.
The one day in the year when u can be naked in the centre of London in public and not get arrested. Haha.

Again, we were lucky to get very good weather. The day before and today, it is dull and cloudy. But the day of the ride it dawned bright and sunny and stayed that way all day.

There was a breeze though, so it did feel chilly when we rode in shadow.

This year, there were many feeder routes and not just one, so it was not so big a crowd at the marble arch starting point. That is the most central of all the feeder starting points, so that was the one my friends from new Zealand and john and I joined.

As usual, the photographers were crowding us, but I guess that is par for the course. Haha.

There was a delay in starting as they did not heed any of the shouted instructions to clear the way. Of course, the cyclists colluded at the delay, in that they could just move their bikes forward and hit the photographers ,accidentally on purpose, and that would move them without even having to say anything. Haha.
Perhaps the organisers would use that tactic next time.

But so many of us really are in no hurry to move , we just like the excuse to hang around and naked.

The batch of riders I was with left so late that when we arrived at the strand, it was already 4.30pm, so I think that was why the decision was made to skip the st paul route and cut across to Lincoln inn fields.

I was surprised when they directed us up to it, but rather glad to skip the st paul’s route. It is a very long ride to go there and back.

It was fun because of that, and the loo stop in Lincoln inns field was welcomed and rather nice… there were kids and families sitting in the field in the middle of the square at Lincoln inn fields, and they must have been surprised at this influx of naked people invading their square.

Lots of cocks galore throughout the ride . haha.

I arrived at the Wellington arch at about 5.30pm. And it was still sunny so we were able to linger there for a bit. But it got chilly at about 6pm, so john and I decided to ride back, rather than wait for the others.

With such a large crowd it was difficult to meet up with the others, even if they have arrived at the arch.

I think it a lot of fun to join in this once a year. Not sure it would be that interesting if it were to take place more often.
Today, the ride is on in brighton, but I think they wont have such nice weather for it.

Many people will post pics of the event, this one is a video and i think shows a good take on it. 

ordinary things

24 May

I know we have a lot of leisure time as we don’t need to grow our own food or hunt game for our meat to survive, anymore.

So what do we do with this time?

We invent new gadgets to play with. Like
google glass

We eat out like james pembroke

We kill each other. (no need to provide a link because news of this is everywhere).

We work. That has replaced leisure time, for some people and they will be bereft if they don’t have that because it fills their time, as well as give them money, which they think provides them with future security to retire and have time to do whatever they like, which they will find is to get back to work. Haha.

We do extreme sports and workouts. Some of us anyway. extreme outdoor gym

There are other ways which I wont bother to enumerate.

What I would like to know is what is there for me to do?

I could visit museums and art galleries, in fact just across the street is the tate Britain and they have done a complete new re-hang of all their art works. So I guess it is worth a look. I have not been in there yet.

In the end, I find books gives me more variety than anything I can visit or go to.

But it is not good to be too fixated on one thing only. Books are the only things that I find I like to do that does not bore me because there is infinite variety in that one blanket term ’books’.

Sex is another.
What else???

Seeing films I suppose could be another.

Some might say travel. And in the past I would agree, but nowadays I seem to have lost all appetite for that.

Some have gone on long stays in another country, and in a way, I suppose I am doing that, living in uk, which is not my country of origin. Though I have lived so long here that I count myself a native now. And I don’t notice the quirks of this society , considering them to be normal instead and not worthy of writing about. I guess if I have been newer to this country, I could be noting down the funny habits of the English.

Another way to while away the time is to observe human nature and all its variety. But I guess I get impatient with the senselessness of it, some of the things that humans do are so stupid that I have lost patience with seeing it. And just want to forget them.

I sound like a jaded old man, perhaps I am.

So for now, I guess I shall have to be content with pottering around my part of London, minding my own business, (though there is no business as such, it is just a saying) and trying to glean as much enjoyment doing ordinary things out of it. See the beauty in ordinary things and smell the flowers. I am grateful to be able to do that without any worries, financial or otherwise. That is something to be really grateful for when all is said and done.






fingerless mittens

28 Feb


I was waiting at the bus stop and saw these fingerless gloves on the ground. Someone have dropped them. this happened some time ago, and i was reminded of them when i made a comment on somone’s blog who said it was cold in their flat, and in the course of the chitchat to and fro, she said she works from home and use the computer a lot and cannot type if it is too cold. that was when i suggested she use fingerless gloves. 

I picked them up, because I tend to collect gloves that people drop on the ground. i know, funny hobby. They are very useful.  

Usually I find only one pair, but this time, they were a matched pair. And it was only afterwards when I had a good look at them did I find they have an unusual cap to cover the fingers and which can be buttoned down when not in use. The thumbs are covered which i think is a really good thing. most fingerless gloves uncover the thumb as well. 

They were very well knitted though they have been well worn, because some of the threads were coming loose.

Fingerless gloves are excellent to keep the hands warm whilst typing. And these have the caps to cover the fingers when not typing. They are called capped mittens i think. 

You don’t see these kinds of gloves much nowadays. I googled it and found amazon were selling them at £13 a pair. Made of alpaca wool , I don’t know what these I found are made of but it might well be alpaca wool. There was no information inside the gloves.



do without heating in the home

27 Feb


I practise this, and have not had the heating on for 4winters now. i am so used to it, that i dont notice the cold anymore when i am in the flat. i dont even bother to buy a thermometer to find out what the temperature is in my flat. 

but a year ago, friends have given me a nhs thermometer, a very simple one on a leaflet that shows the temperature using some mechanism that is not mercury. 

a digital thermometer. 

and i found out that even in the coldest night, the lowest it has gone is 12C. though since the thermometer is graded only to register 9C, and nothing below, i guess i wont know if it does go below 9C. haha.

We have been so brainwashed to believe that we will die if we dont have the house heated up.

As u can see in the leaflet , it warns that 12C is ‘too cold, increased risk of heart attack and strokes in vulnerable people’. It conveniently do not mention who are at risk. i think very few. but that warning will frighten everyone who are not strong minded enough to test it for themselves. The danger of these blanket warnings, is that it caters to the lowest denomination and for simplicity’s sake do not list who they are. 

now i know that you wont die from low temperatures if u are kept warm with appropriate clothing. as long as there is no wind u can survive even if the temperature is at 0C. the cold wind chill is a big factor in how cold u feel. 


anyway below is the link to someone who also practises the same thing as me and who asked this question in the guardian . 

This year I’ve gone without heating apart from the rare use of a wood-burning stove. I’ve managed well, but friends and family take a dim view of my low indoor temperatures. Meanwhile I find their homes intolerably overheated. Can you back up my assertion that my way is the ethical way?