Tag Archives: london

chinese wedding photos with london as the backdrop

22 Jun

london 4.50pm 22.7C sunny friday 2018

i live in london and i forget how exciting it can be for those who have never come here before. and it is nice to be reminded of it when i read this article about chinese couples , men and women, coming to london in their wedding finery to take pictures posing in front of london’s, and uk’s scenery as background.

i have seen these couples of course, when i am out and about… though usually on a gloomy day, with the bride carrying her wedding gown waist high to avoid it dragging on the ground, whilst  a man carrying camera equipment and woman fussing around them taking pictures. the groom usually is not dressed well, looking scruffy, only the woman looking all dressed up; and very often i see the white gown having very muddy hems, looking very soiled from being dragged around so much. haha. i hope their photo comes out nicer than it looked… and they are able to hide all the mud. perhaps it is a bride only photo shoot , so the groom need not look his best yet. 

i used to think when i see these couples out and about, trying to take pictures amidst all the other tourists milling about the area that they have gotten married recently  and so taken some of the time to go round the london landmarks to take after -wedding photos. but this article tells me that actually they come here to take photos before they are engaged even, going through the whole thing just so they can show these photos during their wedding day in china or hongkong. it seems there is some kind of social cachet to it. and looking at one of these links, the photos look very classy, makes the bride and groom look real romantic and dashing… come to think of it, i am sure they must go all round the world doing this, taking wedding pictures in all the famous landmarks all over the world. or is it something they do only in london and uk… because london has a special meaning for them…? i am thinking it might work well if they use them as honeymoon pictures, to show when they get back from their honeymoon.  it must be something to show to the people back home when you come back from the honeymoon. even though the pictures are taken before the engagement even. 

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life

21 Apr

london 2pm 22.5C sunny saturday 2018

7.23pm 19.1C sunny sunset at 8.07pm.sunrise 5.52am.

i think the heat is abated. highest temp today was 23.4C . its very pleasant. not too hot .

it was very sunny in the morning, so i went walkabout, doing my migratory route daily to the library, today i went to the marylebone library. after which i went into the waitrose nearby just to see what is there. i had a sample of japanese sushi rice they they were giving out to taste. very nice of course . it was supposed to have avocado inside, but i could not taste it, not that avocado has any taste… this sample has chili powder on it , which is not usual in japanese cuisine. but nowadays we have fusion style cuisine, so anything goes really. 

the store was quite busy, i guess people were enticed to come out of their houses and flats, by the good weather.

on the way back, the bus swept by a  crowd demonstrating and marching on the side of park lane. protesting against the genocide in algeria,armenia, according to the placards. (thank goodness they were not blocking off the road for it) and in the green grass of hyde park on the other side there may well be men on horseback gathering around, still there from earlier this morning, when i saw them. i guess to celebrate the queen’s 92nd birthday today. it is her real birthday, not the official one which is in june. added 24.4.18 tuesday . i read that armenia’s president has resigned because of strong protest against him extending his tenure beyond the 2 terms. he resigned in today’s news.(i got it from the new york times newsletter… did u know that cher, and the kardarsians are descended from armenians?)  so it could be the protest is about that, and the placards may be referring to the  genocide of armenians by the ottoman empire. 

there is a very nice sunset that i can see from my kitchen window. the rosy tinge is making everything inside the flat take on a glow. and i got to borrow this book about pooh bear, called the best bear in the world.a collection of four stories inspired by aa milne. i think people like those pooh bear stories so much that they want more of it. and they illustrate it in the style of the original too.

 

 

a page from the best bear in all the world

added. i see in the daily mail a report that the next generation may lose its ability to cook, because takeaway meals are so popular. i remember when i was growing up in malaysia, i did not learn how to cook. firstly my mother did all the cooking, and we never did need to learn how. also hawker foods were so cheap that hardly anyone wants to cook at home. so i know what that society is like, where no one cooks at home or at least most dont. i know my family is an outlier, because my mum cooks for us and hardly buys from hawkers. when i came to london it was so expensive to eat out all the time… even in those days when price wise it is quite cheap compared to the average wage; but we are fresh from malaysia, and in those days when we convert to ringgits it sounds very expensive as the exchange rate was like £1=Rm8 (i think). now it is Rm5. but if what they say now is correct, that the young generation are buying home delivered meals, instead of cooking themselves, are we breeding a whole bunch of people who dont cook at home any more? i dont think so, because it is still more expensive to buy food to be delivered… rather than just cook the food from scratch. but it is a circular arguement, it might well be if u dont know how to cook, you will not find it cheaper to make food from scratch because u dont know how. so we might have a generation that is forced to buy meals to be delivered, and forced to spend more on meals than if they can eat cheaply cooking it themselves. but, you know what? i think people will learn to cook if they have to, just like i did when i came to london. there are cook books, so people can learn from them. the skills of cooking wont get lost.

 

i enjoy just being in london

2 Feb

london 11.35am 6C sunny friday 2018 pimlico library

me just enjoying the simple life in london. everyone seem to think when in london you have to go everywhere, see everything, and not miss out, but to me it is just nice enjoying just being in london. haha.

i while away the time by going to the once weekly circuit class, which is now getting busier. the last one had 8 people attending. that is by far the most numbers since it started about a year ago, when only myself and another were there. since then it was about 3or4 people each time.

i was so used to such small numbers that when 8 came i was rather put off… it seems too crowded. but i got used to it after a while and adjust to it. it is one of those things really where u are used to one thing and when it changes you resist it. i think most people resist change.

anyway another way of enjoying myself is to go to the virgin lounge near piccadilly circus. it is very enjoyable to go there, not least because there is free unlimited amounts of coffee, tea, chocolate drinks, fruits, newspapers… haha. better than the library actually, which is another place i go to often, though nowadays less often than before. esp now that i have the virgin lounge.

oh, i remember another pastime is going to the various supermarkets for bargains. that reminds me  i should be going to the lidls for more pork. difficult to decide which branch to go to. its sunny today so going out is a pleasure.

they are saying it is going to get cold, and the weather website i trust seems to confirm it. -3C at one stage , on friday.

it seems to be all over europe this cold weather, extending down as far south as portugal. well, i shall see if it comes true. not that it will affect me much. i am confident my flat will be warm enough and it will be nice to go out as i am always wrapped up warm when i go out. 

2.26pm cloudy 

got back from shopping. went to the lidl at clapham junction, and bought a 1.39kg pork shoulder @£2.79/kg. it is the same cost as aldi, which is next door, but aldi only have very large 2kg packs. the thing about these cuts is that they are meant to be for roasting, so they put in a big layer of fat over it, whereas i stir fry so i prefer if they dont have that fat. still, i use the fat to make crackling, just fry it in oil till crisp, you can use the oil left over to cook to give it flavour, whilst storing the crackling for garnishing.

on the way back i passed a house that have jasmine growing over the fence in the front yard. and allready some of the buds are flowering and giving off its scent.now all i need is another house to plant honeysuckle . those two flowers and their heady scent signify summer to me. 

 

peppa gris

27 Jan

london 6.17pm 10.6C dry nightnow. overcast all day saturday 2018

11.4C 8.17pm rain.

i wonder how everyone’s day have been today. mine is pleasant as always. nothing much happens to me, which i consider a blessing. haha. i love a pleasant uneventful day. there is a freebie breakfast in shoreditch and a free doughnut near portobello market, but i did not feel like going so did not.

i just went to the marylebone library to read the papers,  where i noticed a number of men looking after their little kids there.  i wonder if it is father’s day for kid’s care today at that library. haha. one of these fathers came to sit on the sofa where i was sitting, and his kid was looking through a children’s book in that aimless way that kids have, and he was talking  in baby talk, well it sounds like it,  but for all i know, it might be in proper words in his  foreign language. i dont recognise it, but it sounds swedish or one of those scandinavian language , though i would not swear to it. the kid ( dont know if it was a boy or girl as at that age it is not obvious what sex they are, and their clothes are all unisex now. i dont think i have seen a little girl wearing a dress at all. they are all in toddler pants now. ) was pointing to a drawing of a penguin and he said something i presumed what it was called in his language, but when she pointed to a drawing of peppa pig, he said peppa pig, but in a foreign accent. haha. i asked him oh, you use peppa pig, you dont call her in your language? and he said no. well, you might say that was a stupid question, but why not call it peppa gris (that is what pig means in swedish, which i googled). see if u can pronounce that word gris. even hearing it in google i could not make it out… can you. it makes me convinced it is impossible for me to learn to speak another language. why they dont pronounce it like they spell it… but wait, i keep thinking of it in english. when obviously it is pronounced like their language rules says it should be pronounced. but i could not even mimick that sound far less make it out when it is spoken by google. added. i had a listen to the google pronounciation for pig, and it sounded wrong … it stretched the i sound to sound like peeg, instead of a shortish i . 

and then i  got the bus back. did not feel like making the trip to portobello market to get that free doughnut. it was actually just one bus trip away as i was allready up in that part of town to get there with one bus. in the old days i would have taken the trouble, if only to explore portobello market and browse its bricbrac. in the past i had enjoyed going to these street markets, because in those days things were relatively cheap. nowadays even charity shops are expensive. do you know that charity shops have half price sales? i was so surprised when i saw it. 

but nowadays i dont buy anything anymore, far less the knick knacks there. also they are expensive knick knacks they sell there. 

talking of doughnuts reminds me i still got that email from krispy creme givng me a free doughnut on them. rather nice of them. i shall redeem it on monday i think. 

 

 

please hold on, the bus is about to move.

15 Jan

london 11.34am 10.2C rain 2018 monday

yesterday i was on the bus and heard the announcement that the bus is going to move and to hold on… presumably to something. it is not coordinated to the bus’ movement, so it may allready be moving before that announcement came on. and it does this announcement everytime it stops at the bus stop and move on.

i hope it is just an experiment and it wont last and they stop it.

there was a time when the rear doors will announce very loudly to mind the inward opening doors, but they have muted that now so it is not so irritating. haha. 

there was a time on the c10 bus when they   would announce please stay with your child’s buggy for your safety… or something like that, and i thought it is a good excuse for mothers who enter via the exit doors, not to come forward to the driver where there is a oyster reader and pay their fare haha. if the inspector catches them they can always say, but you told me to stay with my child’s buggy… the management  might have realised that because i dont hear that announcement anymore. haha. you can bet if it interferes with profit, all that safety nonsense goes out the door at once.

there must be a limit to how much u can nanny people. why not an announcement to say the bus is going to stop? because i would have thought a lot of accidents come from the bus stopping, usually with people coming down the stairs of those double decker buses; rather than moving. but u can see how ridiculous it is to announce it every time the driver presses his brakes or approaches a bus stop. 

added. 7.43pm 8.3C dry now. i am back now. earlier i went to that free lunch near liverpool st station. i got there about 12.40pm and there was a queue. but it was moving fast. i got chatting to this guy who came just behind me. he works in a office nearby that sells office furniture. very good business he said. and no wonder, with all those offices sprouting up in that area.

well, i got my free lunch and went nearby to eat it. but i am afraid i dont really find it exciting. there was black noodles in there, and i chose the chick pea option, there was sweet potatoes and there was lentils, the other options. i find not very exciting these vegetarian meals. it is either lentils or chick peas or potatoes. so boring. anyway it is free so cant really argue . normally it costs £7.25 according to the menu board.

i could not finish it , too dry and was wishing there was curry gravy over it… and took it with me to visit my friend, the 80yr old who ask me for help with his computer. interestingly, he ate it all and seem to like it. so it must be me.

we chatted about his affairs, he wanted me to help with his tax affairs from his two paris properties. obviously i am no use there, as it is all in french. i tried to persuade him to get a french tax accountant who can help him better but he did not want to spend money. i told him dont u be one of those old people who refuse to pay some money to get help whilst losing hell of lot of money doing it on their own and failing badly at it. he begrudge paying his uk accountant, £1000 a year to do his tax affairs… i told him dont be silly, it is low what he is charging, and it is all tax deductable anyway. and it would remove all the headaches he is getting himself into trying to do it himself, when he is so doo lally… i reminded him he is a millionaire , with his london property and his two parisien flats, and £1000 a month from the two lodgers… i said he should look on them as giving him free money and he dont have to do a thing… instead of grumbling about how they keep the lights on and not switch off the heating… he seems to think they should switch off the heating that he has turned on. what a strange way of thinking… usually the lodger dont interfere with the heating at all. he wants all those ceiling lights that he has installed, but grumbles about it when the lodgers leave it switched on. i ask him why not just remove some of those lights. it is always a silly thing in my opinion for people to put so much of those ceiling lights on the ceiling… rows of it god knows why they do it. but he says he dont like that… so i told him stop grumbling about the lights if u want them bright. you want these things and you are getting the lodgers to pay for it, so if u look at it that way u should be grateful to them for paying for something you want. it is the same with the heating, he wants it warm, and would switch it on all day. ( he showed me his smart meter, showing it allready cost him £2.88 for his heating today…(damn stupid meter, as if it is going to get him to switch off the heating… what a hope! that is why i think these smart meters are hopeless. it is not cold at all today…) i was thinking it is not fair on the lodgers who have to pay part of it, when they only are in at night and yet have to pay for the whole day he is in… i could not let him see this side of it. and he should be grateful they dont mind… so anyway i told him stop thinking you cant afford it… you are like that man who grumbles about how poor he is, whilst sitting on a chest of gold coins worth £1million . i think i managed to at least make him realise it.

we are rich men you know. just by buying our flats when we did we are sitting on a fortune, and did not do anything to deserve it either. just luck really. my generation is fortunate. and that is why i say all those nephews and nieces of gay guys, go now and butter him up, and u might be given some of that fortune in his will, when he dies. haha. us gay guys with no dependants have no one to give it to when we make a will. with me i give it all to simon, but after him, i dont really care who gets it. most of us gay guys have distanced ourselves from immediate family… so we are more likely to give to nephews and nieces, but if we dont know them, we are not going to give them. so go and butter up your single gay uncle or aunt. haha. come to think of it, they need not be gay either, because if they are not married, they wont have anyone to give it to and will be likely to give to you if u butter them up nicely.

ex swimming pool buildings

20 Dec

london 1.23pm 10.1C rain wednesday 2017

i can miss seeing things in london, even though i pass by it on the bus all the time… and i am talking of this carvings above the entrance to this building, which used to be swimming pools. i first found out about it via this article by londonist. about buildings that have been converted from their original swimming pools. when you go inside that building in the abbey centre, you would never have guessed it used to be a swimming pool. they have very cleverly converted it. 

prudential bike ride

30 Jul

london 6.11pm 20.1C sunny sunday 2017

I have been looking at the webcam on trafalgar square just now, and i see no buses at all on the road, until just now when a red bus came into view. so it looks like the road blocks put in place for the road race is now removed and the buses are running again.

it has been drastic stoppage of the buses. none are running into the centre of london, the area around trafalgar square. for me, the 88, 36 stoppage are the ones most affecting me. i had wanted to go to the virgin lounge at the haymarket, but decided not to bother. perhaps it is just me, reluctant to do anything that is not bus related. i m so used to the convenience of the buses, they set u down so near your destination, unlike the tube where there is a lot of walking both underground between platforms and also above ground to your destination. it could be a age related thing. as i have gone older i find i like the buses more than the tube. even though the tube is faster.

but needs must and so i did take the tube this morning to the paddington library to read the sunday papers. it involved 3 changes of tube trains, victoria line, than the bakerloo line, and then the hammersmith/circle line to royal oak station.  compare that to my normal route by bus taking just one bus the 36 and it set me down right by the library too. its interesting in its own way, because it is so rare i take the tube it is like i am doing something new. 

ah well, it is still very bright outside, it was light drizzling rain on and off earlier but now all is clear. i had a nap, thinking of going to the tesco later tonight as i suspect there might be bargains to be had if no one can travel due to the buses being so disrupted. but i forgot that the supermarkets close early today… still thinking of the late closing, and had in mind going at about 8pm.

when i woke, it was 5.30pm, too late to go as they mostly close at about 4pm. or at the latest 5pm.

this prudential bike thing comes round every year and is the most disruptive of all the races they run in and around london. does anyone enjoy it i wonder? it is not much of a spectator sport,the route runs near me, by the river at vauxhall bridge, but i dont see anything on it, the bikers come in drips and drabs… and there is a lot of hanging around where nothing happens. imagine closing the bridge for the whole day just for the odd biker coming along.

 but maybe it is exciting… to participate.

i was wondering how the people who live along the bus 36 route further south of the river , from vauxhall all the way to lewisham; cope. there are no tubes run through there, and the rail is limited. but i think the buses do run there but not as frequent. it is only disrupted  just in the centre between vauxhall and marble arch. the centre has the tube, so people are not so inconvenienced really, but if u live in the outskirts and have to rely on the buses , it must be a real pain. 

correction. i had a look at the buses running on the end route of the 36 and found that there are lots of other buses that are running. so those living there are not really inconvenienced at all, they have a lot of other bus services to chose from.

it just goes to show there is no second guessing what others feel about anything. two different people experiencing the same thing may have very opposite reactions to it, with one feeling hard done by , the other enjoying it.

i mean if u read all this , me talking about this buses disruption to my travels, you might get the impression i am really pissed off about it. but it is not so. and if it does not piss me off, i dont know why i assumed others will be pissed off by this… granted there are lots of traffic jams, so that traffic is at a standstill… but for us without a car, it is nothing to bother us, really.

i assume car owners caught in the jam will be upset, but i dont know. for all i know, they might be calm about it, and accept it. certainly on the bus looking at the cars sitting there becalmed, no one acted impatient , no one hooted their horn, or cut into others or make rude gestures or shouted at anybody… everyone was very polite and calm and gave way to others. it is something that we might not appreciate about car drivers here in london. everyone is very polite and there is no ridiculous hooting of the horn or shouting.