Tag Archives: london

mundane things

27 Aug

london 18C dry bank holiday monday 2018

i just had a thought, just now. i was thinking if i were in malaysia now, i would be thinking of going out to eat, and deciding which of the many hawker centres that i can go and maybe even thinking of calling some buddies to see if they will join me. but here i am in london, and i was wondering what places will be open on this bank holiday monday and cannot think of any except the chain restaurants like kfc, or macdonalds, or pizza places like pizza hut, pizza express. but the choice will be limited . as for calling friends to join me, forget it. here if u dont make an appointment days in advance, no one seem able to just join you on the spur of the moment… you could say it is because most of us here will have plans allready made, unlike most malaysians who are not so organised, nor want their days planned so well, so they can allow for friends calling them up on the spur, or even they themselves doing it. that i notice is the difference between people in s.e.asia, and over here. perhaps life has changed for people in malaysia now, and that kind of impromptu calling up and meeting up is no more. but i dont think so, somehow i have a feeling that people are more people orientated in the east. we like the face to face meetup i think. or at least that is what i think i would do if i were ever to find myself living there.

its possible that people like to meet up because  the tv programs in malaysia are awful, so that is another reason not to stay at home. here, it is not so, the tv guide does throw up some interesting films or programs that i find i would stay in for.

also i think in malaysia, people are not so tied to a fixed tv schedule. they can watch films on demand, or buy dvds. in other words they can stop and view at a time of their choosing. here we can do it too if we subscribe. but spur of the moment phone calls to meet up are not encouraged here. at least in my experience.

one thing i suspect might affect meeting up in malaysia, is if it is rainy season, when it is too wet to be going to the late night hawker stalls and drinking teh tarik and gossip.

but i wonder if that is a vision that i have that dont exist anymore in malaysia, and people there are just like here… keeping isolated and surfing the internet for porn and finding sexual contacts to fill their leisure time. haha. 

added 9.33pm hmm, i am seeing a tv program on bbc2 by adrian chiles about his drinking. i dont drink, but i can see how most people here will be like him, socialising in the pub with friends and drinking heavily. or rather, drinking normally, because if he were not questioning it all, he would have considered he is normal and have no drinking problem. because the old idea of alcoholism, is some one waking up in the gutter and not knowing what happened. during the program they were drinking 7pints in the pub. each. how anyone can drink that much water is beyond me… the trouble is , even on his high drinking, his liver function is normal… only on scanning do they find his liver has fibrosis, and fat. so i can see why others watching this might say all those scientist saying only allowed 14units a week, may not be correct. and it seems different countries advocate different limits. which suggest no one knows really what is the optimum limit. (some of us might say no alcohol is the only limit to say to people. that alcohol has no health benefits at all.) but i can see the socialising is all centred round pubs, and if u stop drinking, your social life may die, just like that.

28.8.18 added here is a review of that program.

Advertisements
15 Aug

london 12.13pm 21C cloudy wednesday 2018

i am waiting now for the talktalk manager to call me to ask how the problem with my landline went. actually it is all solved and no problemo. my broadband is back and the phone is working as normal now… and i hope to tell him to stop the call divert on my landline, if they had not allready found it out and stopped it allready. 

if i dont hear from him, i shall call the helpline myself to ask them to close it. then the phone saga will end and life goes back to normal.

and i hope simon will finish his cleaning mania and stop cleaning the kitchen. and i can get into it to cook my lunch. i suppose it is nice to have a grease free kitchen. but it will all get greasy again.

life here in london is very quiet until yesterday when i saw live on tv, in the good morning broadcast on itv, where they caught the assault on parliament live on tv. it is quite a coup by itv, to have a reporter and tv cameras so nearby, to be able to catch it all live as it happens. fortunately no one got killed, and the assault does not seem to be planned very well, with the car stopped by the barrier, and luckily no bombs involved.

life goes on as usual with us meeting up at the pub for our usual old ex members of a east west club get together. and because august is a dead time, with no news, the car incident took up a lot of news space. thank goodness in a way it is such a minor episode. unlike that bridge in genoa collapsing and killing so many. how is it possible to have such a thing happen in this day and age… bridge building must be so old technology, we should be able to build a bridge without it falling down nowadays. that bridge is only 50yrs old. its 12.30pm now and still no ringing from the talktalk people. looks like they have forgotten… or maybe they assume everything is fine and so no need to call me for feedback.

i am hesitant whether to call the helpline and tell them of the call divert. if i do and they call, that call will be diverted to my mobile and register as engaged. ah well, it is a small problem. 

added 12.49pm. i got a call just now and i thought it was the talktalk people, but it was from brilliant energy… my electricity supplier, and they were calling me to give them my meter reading. i have been trying to avoid doing it, because i have been using a lot more than they have guessed, and i had hoped that if i delayed it for another quarter, my usage would have dropped to compensate for the excess usage i have been doing for the spring and summer quarter. ah well, once they got me with this call, i cannot avoid giving it to them and so i gave to them. but fortunately, i have reduced my usage a lot and so the figures now conform to their estimate. for the previous two readings i have gone over by about 30kwh , but now i have gone under by 30kwh. and i think the next quarter, the autumn , i shall use less too and that would square me with the total for the year. it is about 1200kwh a year. 

that means that they will continue with the direct debit of £15.59 that i have been paying monthly instead of increasing it. i have a feeling i shall be using even less electricity this autumn. 

added 1.57pm. well finally the talktalk manager called me. and i asked him to remove the call divert which he did there and then. so that saga is now completely resolved to our satisfaction.

also, i see that this company is giving away free coffee… they call it vegan coffee, but really all coffee is vegan. when i first heard that term i thought they did something special to it to make it vegan… until i realise hang on, coffee beans are vegan… there is no meat in it. but if u put cow’s milk in it… can u call it vegan? or is vegan means it includes dairy products… 

 

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian. … Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. quote from wikipedia.

so when they say vegan coffee, they must mean they use soya milk or almond milk, not cow’s milk. i wonder if it will affect the taste of that coffee.

 

travel

20 Jul

london 11.25am 25C cloudy friday 2018

a random shelf in the library travel section.

everywhere u can see signs of travel, urgeing you  to go wandering, seeing new places, it makes people feel they should be out there doing all those things, so that anyone who likes to stay put is made to feel they are missing out. it does not surprise me if the number one desire nowadays when u ask people what they want to do, is to travel and see the world. 

6.43pm 20C cloudy .

I have been to the age uk canteen to meet with ian. we usually meet once a month. he had just got back from a holiday in croatia. on the bus there i noticed the roads are uncrowded and no traffic jams; and i realised today is the beginning of the long summer holidays. why it should bring fewer traffic in london is a mystery. surely there are not that many who have school kids doing the school run, and are now all on holiday and left london. and it seems not only traffic is less, but places are less crowded too… restaurants, etc seem to have lots of tables free. i dont personally know of it, as i dont eat in restaurants or go to places of entertainment, but i read in the newspapers articles from writers of the social pages saying so.

its a cloudy day but it was warm so we decided to go to tavistock square nearby rather than stay indoors. and sat on one of the benches there and talked whilst being entertained by two squirrels, cavorting about under the base of a maple tree, under a sign that says  it had been planted on a year of peace in 1986. the squirrels are grey, but have tinges of red breast on their bellies. ian has a theory that grey squirrels gradually evolve into red squirrels over time as they adapt to the local colours. sounds like a nice idea. certainly these ones we see are a mix of grey and red fur and are full of life.

 

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. 

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.