Tag Archives: london

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. 


bargain london

23 Jul

london 2.45pm 18.1C

it’s very pleasant to spent time in this virgin lounge. there is a film show on now , da vinci code, (2006). they have been showing films every sunday for july. though it is difficult to hear what is said, as the volume is set low. or it maybe i am a bit deaf and so dont hear it. but the films are not what i am here for anyway. so it does not matter than i cannot hear much of it. 

nowadays i have to rely on the subtitles to know what is being said on tv. thank goodness for it really. my enjoyment of the tv is made more so because i can read what is said and so i dont miss much of the dialogue. 

added. am writing this on the bus 88 now. there is no wifi here, but it does not matter as my chrome book allows me to write things offline. i checked earlier with the tfl website to see if this bus is coming, and it did not say it was. that is why i was real surprised to see it when i left the virgin lounge. i had intended to take another bus, but this one came along just in time. i wanted to take it to the tesco just to see what is on bargain offer there. it is early closing on sunday.

i think the timetable of the bus has been disturbed and made unreliable because the whole of regent st is closed to traffic because of this time of year, when every year in july, the whole of regent st is pedestrianised. 

its quite sunny now looking out of the bus. earlier it was drizzling. which made up my mind for me not to bother going to tower bridge to see the indonesian festival there. but it seems it is quite sunny now but it is allready 3.16pm so the festival would be near its closing time.

i was reading this morning about how venice residents are real fed up of the huge amount of tourists in their city and wanting to limit the numbers going there. well, here in london we get roads closed for events so that is the effect the tourists and catering to them have on the locals living in london. but london is big enough so the effect is quite small.

i was in venice many years ago, in the 90s, and i noticed if u just go a little bit off the main tourist routes , the city can be remarkably desserted… even in peak season. but maybe now even those out of the way spots are full of tourists, who knows right? i think every tourist attraction is now full of people. which makes me glad i saw them before they got so crowded.

then there is that japanese article about the birth rate falling in japan and that is because the men are unable to get permanent full time jobs. and so are not good prospects for marriage, or want to have babies. and there is another phenomenon…  it seems there are lots of single men who dont want to have sex at all and hide out in their parents home completely cutting themselves  off from society. its a strange society that one in japan.

 i got to the tesco at 3.30pm and just in time to get all the reductions. a whole free range chicken from £6 to £1.50. and 2packs of chicken drumsticks reduced by 3/4 to 37p a pack. that seems to be the prevailing rate of final reductions. 25% of the original price. it is another of the fun things about living in london. i got an email offering me a monthly subscription to the empire cinema chain . unlimited film shows for £20 a month if i want to go to the central london cinemas of that chain. that is a nice bargain price i think. so now if u like to watch films on the big screen, it is quite affordable now.

seems to me it is not that expensive to get your entertainment and stuff in london after all. and there is all kinds of free vouchers for free food or reduced dining in london as well. i got the voucher for free hamburger from primeburgers. it is the last of their free monday offers, it seems. so i am looking forward to this monday (tomorrow) when i shall be able to get it. they have certainly made mondays a lot more attractive these past month or two. 

added. wed 26.7.17. it seems paris is the most touristy city, (7 visitor to 1 parisien)according to this report. surprising to me, kuala lumpur is 2nd. london is 13th. (1.5visitors to 1 londoner). i am surprised  venice is not in there,it has been ruled out because most of the visitors are day trippers and from cruise ships, rather than those who stay at least a night there.

good news

19 Jul

london 11.58am 22.5C cloudybright wednesday 2017

i found something nice today. i collect sainsburys points via their nectar cards, the good thing is that u can get points not only by shopping at sainsburys, but also from other sources, esp the daily mail points in future, when they change their system to link it with the sainsburys points system.

i thought i can only redeem the points by changing them to cafe nero free coffees, or by shopping online, as well as other outlets like pizza express etc… (which i have no interest in) but i asked the lady at the help desk in the sainsburys shop whether i could redeem them in the store itself and she said i can if i ask them to do it at the cashier desk. so i bought a £2 frozen fish, which i wanted anyway, and approached the manned cashier checkout but she said i have to have a minimum of £2.50 before i can get the money from the nectar card points. it is good to know i can redeem it at the store. this is something they dont mention at the website. they dont publicise it. i guess they dont want people to just redeem the points by spending it at sainsburys as they want their partners to benefit as well.

what is also rather nice is that nectar card has been giving me extra points for shopping at sainsburys. for every shop i do, even if it is only for 1 point, meaning i just buy £1 worth, i get 10points bonus, and on the 6th shop, i get 100points. that is generous dont you think?

so that is good news for me. haha. it would certainly give me an incentive to get nectar points. i think it is another fun thing about staying and living in the uk.

another nice thing is this virgin lounge i am in now. it is really a very nice place to hang around. and they dont mind me coming in wearing football shorts and t-shirt. and you can stay as long as u like too. and they provide fruits , as much as u like, as long as u dont take it away, but eat them in. fair enough i think. and they even allow u to bring in a guest. at least it says so in their website. so far i have not got anyone who wants to come in, but it is a great place to meet up. 


some kind of luxury car gathering.

added.20.7.17 i saw this article listing the advantages of the various store cards. i got tesco, nectar and waitrose cards. 

added. 29.7.17 saturday 18.2C rain. earlier i bought frozen prawns 250mg £2.50 and celery 55p from sainsburys and i thought the whole amount can be paid for by the nectar card, but it seems it can only be redeemed in £2.50 amounts, because i think it came to 500 nectar points and redemption is in multiples of that amount. so i have to pay 55p in cash. still it is nice to know i can redeem the points in groceries. though they are doing a promotion now where u can redeem 1000 nectar points for two Vue cinema tickets , or for 2 pizzas at pizza express. hmm, i must find out if the coupons for pizzas are for two people for a meal, or can it be used for any size pizzas…that would be great bargain…  and can i use it for takeaway for one pizza at a time. 

why london?

9 Jul

london 6.43pm 25.7C sunny sunday 2017

its pleasant to potter around london in the airconditioned buses.

 i live so long in london,  sight seeing and visiting museums or any of the tourists sights that people come from all over the world to see is not so important to me now. in the past that is what i like about london. not now.

i value the joy of just going around the place, and enjoying the normal life and busy -ness of a thriving world city with its cosmopolitan facillities. its not overtly touristy, in that no place caters to tourists exclusively.  by that i mean a place that exist only because the tourists sustain it.

with london i dont get that impression where things are cooked up specially for the tourists. but of course it is only an impression i got from just looking at the outside of places, of these eating places that are so busy with customers. or places of attraction that are so full of people. i have no way of course of knowing if all of them are from other countries and whether there are  local people who live and work in london.  

or whether they are british people  from other parts of the uk. you might even say those latter are visitors to london and not locals. and you will be right of course. but at least i dont get the impression that london is just only for tourists and that it exists solely because of them.

it does not die down outside a tourist season for one thing. places where it is busy in   summer and is dead in winter. now that would really be the sign of a tourist town.

but anyway i went pottering today to my usual destination on a sunday, the library in paddington. haha. i would have gone into the centre of town, by that i mean soho and its environments but today there is a 10km run so the centre is road blocked.

i could of course go in there by tube,my freedom pass allows me to do so free. but there are signs everywhere saying bus tickets are accepted for travel by tube in zone 1 for today. so bus travellers  people who have to pay for travelling, are not out of pocket from the lack of buses operating because of that event. and in fact for most people that would be the attraction to get them going there in the first place. but i guess the sign of a true local is someone who would avoid that area when it is going on. haha.

but i do like being in london. it is strange i know and there is no one thing or things that i can point out to explain to others why i like it. i think it all comes down to being at ease in it and feeling it is my kind of town. i think a big reason why i like london must be that english is spoken here. i like living in a big city, and london is the biggest city in uk.

it is not even because that you can get free stuff handed out to you in the street. just this morning i saw guys setting up a cart by the baby ben clocktower in victoria… and giving out free blackberry robinson squash drinks to all and sundry. no idea why they are doing it, haha, but they are promoting something i am sure. but it was very low key and no sign to say what it is. but it was very nice nonetheless, to get a soft drink just when i was feeling thirsty. 

there are plenty of big cities like london,in other parts of the world;  busy with a life of its own that is not depandant on tourists, and have their own atmosphere, but not for me, because if they dont have english, that rules them out for me. haha. i am sure everyone will say i will miss the experience, and i am sure they are right, because it is so. but well, my feeling is it is not possible to experience everything in one life time… so as i believe in many lifetimes, i am sure i shall experience them all given time. this lifetime i know english and so i live in london and like it.  was wondering if i would like living in singapore, where you can live with english alone… but it is not big enough for me. what other cities in the world have about 8million population and where english is a common language i wonder? oh usa, canada, australia might have good examples. perhaps in another life i will like living in new york. or san francisco or los angeles, or miami. but for now all cities in europe are out of the running. no english spoken widely there. you will be right to say it is limiting to restrict your choices to english speaking cities. but for now in this life, i can only speak english and i know for a fact i will never like living in a place where english is not widely spoken. you truly feel foreign when u are in a place where they speak another language you dont know. it is hell to live long time in such a place, no matter what they say about being open to new experiences etc. i can say you will feel really pulled down if u live there long enough. short term visits is fine, then the different language is a novelty… but dont ever live there long time. unless you are very good at languages and learn it well . 

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.

bus rides, bus jams, free birthday doughnut,but no free hamburger

7 Jun

london 4.47pm 20C cloudy/sunny wednesday 2017

saw lots of leaves and branches on the sidewalk around this estate as i waited for the bus to the library this morning. the estate  roads are lined with trees, and the pavements are littered with leaves , green leaves too which suggest that they have been forced to fall off the trees. must be some wind yesterday or last night. 

yesterday one of the branches fell across the road blocking the bus 88 ahead of mine, forcing the bus driver and a black cab driver who was behind him to get out and move the branch to the side walk. that was the first evidence to me that the wind must have been very strong at one time.

so there must have been a strong wind yesterday when it rained all morning… but i cant say i noticed it. inside my flat i dont hear anything. i only noticed it raining practically the whole morning…

i was out too yesterday, wanting to go and get my free hamburgers, in a pop up restaurant, called biteme, who are having their soft opening of 3 days inside a chinese restaurant near holborn.

when i arrived there about 2pm, i went downstairs , it was in the basement, but it was so deserted, no one inside, that i chickened out and climbed back up the stairs. haha.

well today i thought i shall try them again but at 12pm … thinking they might have more customers … but i was too early, i went at 12.30pm, or rather i went at 12pm but it was so deserted looking that i decided to go to the nearby krispy kreme to get my free birthday doughnut which they gave me via a email voucher. it was just because my birthday is soon. i got a cream doughnut with very sweet cream filling…it reminds me they are so sweet…once a year is enough for me.

at 12.30pm i tried them again, and saw a woman come out of the place as i approached, so thinking it might be more open now i went down, and saw 3 people huddling over a laptop, and i saw the counter with the biteme name on it, with two cooks there, and fresh minced meat on the counter… all ready to make up into patties and fry in the flat hot top behind them. but there was no one to serve me, i asked the cooks and they say take a seat, and i saw a group of people come in and they were taken to their table by a waiter who  appeared. there was a single guy who came and he too got taken to a table. i unfortunately was allready seated at a table, and i know a lot of waiters dont like u to just take a table without their permission, so i got up and walked forward, but the waiter was no where to be seen, so after a bit, i got a bit embarrassed and decided i shall give up on it… haha. the voucher is for 2 of their mini hamburgers, and i cant help thinking it cannot make much of a meal. normally it costs about £8, but this is a soft launch so u can get it for halfpriced. anyway i think i have made enough of an effort and can with good conscience cross it off my list to do. i think fate is  telling me i am not going to have that hamburger. haha. they want u to sit down and have a meal in the restaurant. it seems a lot of bother for two small patties of hamburgers. the selling point of the restaurant is that they make smaller hamburgers so u can order a variety of it and have different tastes and different hamburgers to enjoy. 

i find i enjoy travelling on the buses… usually it would be pointless to just take a bus ride without a destination, so this aborted aim is something to go for, just to let me have an excuse to ride the buses. now that my foot is so much better, and i can make my way easily without aid, i am enjoying being out and about in london.

i have noticed it is very slow going on the buses at the top end of tottenham court road and holborn. so many buses with a huge bottle neck near the centre point intersection, and also cambridge circus. it must be the traffic lights, causing all this jams, because once clear of cambridge circus , it is empty roads. i got the 38, and i can see behind me a row of 38s, stretching out along the road, a string of them… all catching up with each other on this stretch.

i went back to chinatown to that shop that was selling the reduced foods, and bought a 12pack carton of that instant noodle. i have allready finished the 5packs i bought last time. it is rather nice, made of rice noodles instead of that instant mee, and i find it much more to my liking than the instant mee. and at 10p each for 70mg it is great value for money. 

my induction stove went wrong and righted itself without any help.

16 May

lolondon 12.05pm 20C sunny tuesday 2017 thunderstorms forecast, but does not look likely here. rain would be good as they have predicted a drought.

yesterday i went to lidl’s to buy their special , £1.29 for 500mg minced beef. i bought 3 packs and split them up into two 250mg bits and frozed them, so i would have 6 portions. used to be these packs were sold for £1 each. normal lowest price now is £1.70 (tesco basic minced beef 20% fat). it seems so long ago that they were 50p each(15%fat). (actually it was about 2-3yrs ago)we shall never see those days again. haha. but that is life, prices just rise all the time. partly due to inflation, and also exchange rates with the £ drifting lower as the years go by. money is slowly losing its value, and this is all over the world, not just in uk.

yesterday also i was resigned to my induction stove being kaput. i boiled spaghetti and left it on the stew button and on the timer (that timer is so useful), and the water spilled over (which it tends to do esp if u put the lid on) and it must be quite a lot of water, because it the induction hob was sitting on a lake of water on  top of the conventional hob, where i put the induction stove. i did not realise it at the time, but it flooded the bottom of the induction stove and must have affected the fan, because it stopped heating up the pan once the fan stopped working. it did not heat up even though everything else seems to work.

so i told  simon about it when he came back from his mum’s, intending to ask him if his mum has a spare induction hob;  with news that his mum is finally going to sell her house in essex, (she does not live there, preferring to live with her boyfriend of many years in his house). they assessed the house as worth £400,000. it has 3bedrooms and end of terrace. simon grew up in it and has fond memories of it, as he says it is surrounded by the countryside, whilst still 10mins between two tube stations. such a low price i thought, but than it is only relative. living in central london i am rather used to high prices, as central london prices are so inflated it is quite unreal. i mean my own two bed flat here is £700,000. u have to admit it is quite unreal, when i bought it for £85,000 (though that was 25yrs ago).

the maintainance of the house is high, simon says, her water rates are £1000 a year. which surprised me because mine is about £340 and i am not on a meter. 

 but guess what, this morning, i saw it was used to cook something, by simon. he had a frying pan on it, with oil inside.  so  it works now, but how did that happen? what did simon do i wonder to get it working again. (he tells me he did nothing).

 when i switched it on, i can hear the fan working and everything seems to get back to normal. so i cooked my breakfast of two eggs, and mushrooms on it and quite happy to have it working again, because i am so used to the quick way it cook things, that i would feel a bit bereft if i have to go back to the electric  stove of my conventional hob.

that is the funny thing about electrical appliances. it goes wrong, but u just have to leave it for a bit, and it seems to right itself. well, i am rather glad it got better without me having to bring it to the store. and as usual, it has just passed its 1 yr guarantee. i looked back on my weblog, and saw i bought it 22april last year. in fact, i went looking for the receipt, but could not find it, so i could not claim the guarantee even if it is within the year… so just as well the stove righted itself.