Tag Archives: old buildings

normal way of spending our time

30 Oct

london 8.23pm 8.5C dry tuesday 2018

my friend ian came to visit me at about 3pm. we meet up about once a month, and usually we meet at the ageuk canteen in their headquarters building in tavistock square. but this time he suggested we meet at my place.

i bought a swiss roll from tesco for him, but he came with lots of sweet eats, marzipan, and madelaines… he asked me why i bought the swiss roll because he always buys eats when he visits me. i said i forgot. it has been quite some time since he last visited me. anyway it is a chance to eat those things he bought. but there was lots left over, so i ask him to bring them back to his place. both simon and i dont eat a lot of sweet things. as it is, my swiss roll was intact, no one ate it, so simon and i  shall have to force ourselves to finish it off over the course of the days that follow. fortunately i bought a small one, it cost only 65p instead of the one that serves 8 which cost £1. i bought gala apples6 for 80p and greens 500mg for 61p, both of which i consider better value for money and most probably i will enjoy eating them more. 

 my wordpress reader has this blog about flooding in venice. it is partof the fierce weather that italy is having. it seems venice flooding happens every year, so that is not unusual, but what is unusual this year is the water  is very high. it reaches a height of 5feet this year. and reaches thigh height from the pictures they posted. must be very damp in the houses there.

venice is a special case anyway. it is slowly sinking.

but generally i think it is very costly to maintain  man made structures no matter where it is anywhere in the world. every man -made object cost a lot to upkeep. and the cost is proportionate to the age of the object. old houses, cars, ships, anything built by man you can think of cost more to upkeep as they grow older.

i remember reading of an article mentioning that the cost to repair the old queen mary liner has just increased so much that they have run out of funds. and just look at the house of parliament renovation , that is going to cost billions…now it is all covered in scaffolding, so not a pretty sight for tourists to photograph. it is more logical to pull them down and rebuild with a modern building… but i guess no one will even think of tearing the house of parliament down.

looking at it, you would wonder why it cost so much to repair. it dont look run down, or falling apart… but maybe it is old asbestos in the walls, and that costs a lot to remove, and disturbing it requires very careful and costly precautions. though why not just leave them be. if u dont disturb them they are not a health hazard. sometimes i wonder whether all those who tender for the work may be over pricing it, because they are uncertain what horrors they might uncover when they actually start the job. 

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. 


12 Dec

london 1.39pm 13c cloudy, monday 2016

i have just been to lidl and asda to shop. bought  1kg of tagliatelle from asda for £1. i am thinking it can be used as flat noodles too and i can stir fry it. (after softening it of course). usually tagliatelle is expensive, but these were two 500mg packs for £ 1.

i remember when i was on holiday with my friend in pulau langkawi, i ordered tagliatelle in a restaurant, and was rather miffed that the noodles were actually chinese flat noodles being used like pasta. and if you eat out, you will know that  pasta dishes are very expensive if u have them in a restaurant. (the profit margin must be very high, similar to pizza i think).

now i can turn the tables on that and use these pasta tagliatelle like chinese flat noodles. haha.

i have noticed even the dried tagliatelle pasta sold here in london is expensive , even at supermarket prices. the asda ones i bought are the exception. why are they so expensive i wonder? are they very difficult to make? (correction. it is not expensive. i checked with tesco online and found their tagliatelle is about the same price. £1.20/kg. i wonder where i got this impression it is expensive. maybe because i have been looking at the fresh tagliatelle, perhaps.) i think the stores dont seem to stock enough of them. they may be featured online but when u go to the store they are never to be found.

the chinese flat noodles are even more expensive at  £1.25 for 400mg in chinatown. if after i have made a dish with these pasta and i find they are suitable for being treated like chinese flat noodles i shall get some more and substitute them . but perhaps durum wheat will  taste so different to rice noodles that it cannot be done. we shall see. one thing the size of the flat noodles are bigger than these tagliatelle size. 

you can see the pasta is not very wide. quite narrow in fact. like the narrow flat noodles. when i buy flat noodles i chose the extra large ones. the other picture is one i took on the way to the lidl in clapham junction. it is premier inn, renovating a row of old shop houses which used to have  very nice plaster work on the facade.  they have removed quite a lot of it, leaving only the central bits. and putting stucco on the front walls to cover the brick work. behind this facade they have built a huge tall building stretching quite a way back. in a way it is sad that they cannot repair the old plaster work, and have to remove them. but i can understand it will be difficult to restore them even if u can find workmen skilled in that kind of work nowadays. old buildings are expensive to adapt to new use, i can understand why in malaysia and singapore, we dont retain old buildings and prefer new modern ones. growing up i never feel we should preserve the old… all of us who grew up in malaysia, (and i should also say s.e.asia) i think have bad experience with old buildings and anything old. they are cold and damp and smell rotten and wormy. we dont have that reverence for old buildings like they do here in uk. i think because in the tropics anything is attacked by all kinds of creatures who thrive on that hot moist environment and so they get rotten real quick.

 what is authentic? and is it that desirable? people i think have mixed feelings about it.