Tag Archives: london

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. 

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.