Tag Archives: ordinary

a mundane life really but i like it

14 Jul

london 7.16pm 20.8C sunny/cloudy friday 2017

i read in my newsfeed that the diner is giving away free milk shake today from 11am-12pm. well, i thought i had not been to the liverpool st area for some time and so i went.

they are in spitalfields market. it may have been an old market place long ago selling fresh produce but now it is just a food court. lots of restaurants and also food vans, that are like hawker food stalls that we see in s.e.asia. here it is more hygienic. (hmm, when i read back and see that comment, that it is more hygienic i wonder why i assume they are compared to the hawker stalls. prejudice i suppose that we tend to think western places are more hygienic than any place in s.e.asia. in all my years of living in s.e.asia i have never heard of food poisoning from the hawker foods. yet here in uk i have heard reports of foodpoisoning from these so called hygienic places , not the food vans, but proper restaurants too, ones that we should expect not to happen. that are supposedly strongly regulated by health laws and inspectors that watch over them. just goes to show how prejudiced we can be. 

 though i dont see any water to wash dishes. and this is because they use disposable plates and cutlery. life now is just full of  these disposables, everyone is using them it seems. makes me wonder at  the amount of such waste must be enormous.

i suppose even in s.e.asia disposables are becoming the norm now. adding to the worldwide mountain of such trash.

i remember in the old days,hawker stalls in the food courts in s.e.asia. and by that i mean specifically malaysia and singapore have access to clean water to wash their dishes. perhaps they have all moved to providing disposable plates and cutlery now.

anyway, when i went there to get the milkshake, there were only a bunch of school kids and a adult man and woman in the queue. i dont know if the milk shake i got is their regular offering, but purely judging from the one i got, it is not really very nice. mine was chocolate with peanut butter. there was not much choice. my standard to judge these things is the prime burger milk shake which i now see in retrospect is very nice indeed. oh, i got another email from them for next monday’s freebie. it is fries, which i shall have the same as before, with cheese and bacon. that one is lovely, even though i dont eat much of those dishes. i dont eat fries normally. 

anyway i got back to my part of london and put in the points to the daily mail promotion and got a free £5 voucher from the daily mail promotion where they give one for just 1000 points instead of normally 2000. today i accummulated enough points to fulfil their requirements. you have to add numbers for a month to get it. it is a marks and spencer voucher, which i later went to redeem for a fresh 1.5kg chicken which i have now in my oven cooking away. haha. i would not have bought that chicken normally as at £5 it is very expensive. and it is very wet too, suggesting that it has water added to it. the wetness wont roast well, it wont produce a nice crisp skin. i should rest it out of its plastic covering, to dry it out. but i dont want to wait. 

a normal priced one in tesco would be about £3.00. which is quite dry too and roasts very nicely. tesco’s is £1.99/kg, this one is £3.33/kg. you can see it is not very good value and i would never have bought it if i have to use my own money. i think they dont expect people to buy it either, because it is vacuumed pack with the plastic tightly pressing against the chicken, and squashing the chicken. it does not look very appetising actually, unlike the normal unpressed packing where the chicken looks plump and shapely. 

but since it is free money… and i have to spend it there, i bought it. they have a promotion where for £10 u can get a chicken, nicely seasoned too and about 1.6kg, plus dessert, and side dish for two. and a bottle of wine. so it is good value if u like wine. unfortunately, or fortunately for my liver, i dont like wine. haha. nor anything sweet. these promotions are tempting and i am sure will be popular with the usual customer. 

ah well, you can see what i get up to and it is all very mundane i am sure. haha. i kind of like it. it’s  a bit of fun these free food offers.  thank goodness it is not a matter of life or death. i am glad  i am not so poor i have to rely on these promotions to survive. if there are anyone who are in this dire straits i pity them. it is not a nice life if they are that desperate for food.

but food is cheap as long as u shop carefully and buy unprocessed fresh meat and vegetables. i live here and shop here, for my food, and so i am very puzzled when i hear people say it is expensive to eat. that food costs are high and they cannot afford to eat. i have to ask myself do we live in the same london? which alternate universe are they in. maybe they dont have a oven, or cooking stove. so have to rely on ready made packaged foods. or simply they dont know how to cook. though that is not a good excuse. even a fool can put some salt on a whole chicken and put it in the oven and set it to 200C and take it out 1hr later. how difficult is that? i ask you. well my chicken is cooked and here is it. quite nicely golden and the chicken wings are crispy. it is so easy to do, and the result is very nice. roast chicken is one of the joys of life. 

the chicken looks like it got feathers still sticking out of its breast. but it is only a photo effect. the skin is stretched and the streaks make it look like feathers. when i took the photo the chicken looks nice, but now i have a look at my photo, it does look rather obscene doesn’t it? haha. is this what they mean by food porn? haha. actually despite that picture of it, the chicken came out well, nicely crispy skin, and plump looking when it came out of the oven. and nice colour. the picture does not do it justice. the lowlying sunset streaming in through the kitchen window gives out shadows on the chicken that makes it look odd.

retire too young?

27 Feb

london 5.54pm 6.7C dry saturday 2016

i went to lidl’s in the old kent road, to buy their veg, 29p each. and on the way back i bought pork at asda, it is because they were still selling it for £2/kg. i still have some pork in the freezer from my last time , when i bought it on 4th feb, but it can keep so i better buy now . who knows next month it might not be on sale for £2/kg.

i cut out the skin and made crackling out of it. it is real easy to do. just cut it into small pieces and fry. then drain off the fat that comes out of it,( i use it for cooking to add =flavour to the cooking oil ) and there u have it , the left over is crackling. they impart a lovely flavour and crunch to anything, if u add it as a garnish on top of the dish at the end of the cooking.

i have found a nice way to get there. by train from victoria, to peckham rye and then take the bus p12 . it was a very smooth flow from train to bus , the bus came very soon after i arrived at the bus stop. the train leaves victoria every half hourly. the station is very near the library which i go to every day.

coming back i found it is better for me to take the bus back, take the 53 and change at elephant and castle for the c10 and that drops me right outside my flat nearly.

these are all the travelling i get up to these days, unlike these young retired couple who are travelling the world, having saved enough and be self sufficient. they were featured in the daily mail website, and it seems that is what the daily mail do online now.they seem to  feature bloggers and grab stuff from them,(maybe by linking to their blog those guys can earn money from it, is that so i wonder? is that how the daily mail persuade them to allow their blog to be featured? or do they demand a fee from the daily mail?) or utube, there are plenty of articles about best of… this or that. of nine ways to do this or that…is that what the newspapers do when they are online nowadays? i noticed the independant do that too. in fact all of them… 

i know a lot of people seem to like retiring early. or that is the conventional wisdom. and the couple seem to be enjoying themselves, but i bet they will be bored with it, and when the kid grows up and have to go to school, and so need a long term stay- put- in- one- place situation, they will be relieved, (secretly) that they dont have to be nomads anymore and give it up without having to admit it.  haha. 

frankly i dont think that is a good idea (retiring early). 30s is too young.  u can go off and take a sabbatical for a year or two, of course, and that is a better route. i know for a fact i got bored if i go for a long break. i do it regularly when i was working, but only for about 2-3months, when i travel and loaf around, but after that i get bored and go back to work again. so for me, i found 2-3 months is more than i can stand not to be working. i like my work, because i am very good at it. haha.

lucky i can do it, being selfemployed and single and can relocate to anywhere in london and work was easy to get. retire when u are 50yrs old, that is a feasible thing to do, as you will find your body and mind are not as good for the work as it used to be and u get tired easily. at least that was what happened to me. that was why i stopped work at 50. 

i think when u are young, u are so full of energy. you want to do something that exploits your skill. if u are good at doing something u really want to do it, not only for the money , and that can be a lot if your skills are sought after, (so u can have the satisfaction that what u do is making u lots of money as well) but also the satisfaction of doing something well, and useful. that is why i dont think retiring so young is a good idea.

one other thing, when u are young and can make so much money, u should do it rather than let it slip by. make hay while the sun shines is what i always believe.

more thoughts of the day

14 Sep

london 5.38pm rainy 14.8C monday 2015

i noticed it is so easy to read of news happening all over the world and also in our own city. all these bad news come into our laptops piling up one way or another …  it makes u think a lot of nasty things are happening all the time, and seeing videos of people doing nasty things to each other must make u think it is dangerous and horrible world out there.

but i look at my life and see it is quite ordinary and safe and nothing happens to me. so how come so much bad things are happening to others? and then i come to realise it is not really happening to the majority of us. most of us lead very ordinary unhappening lives, it is just that the news coming at us all the time makes us think the whole world is full of danger and everyone is going to get robbed, or killed, or whatever.

it might be a good time to pause and get things in perspective.

planes will crash, people will drown, lots of others will get killed, but as far as your own life is concerned, it wont happen to you.

i am seeing a film on tv now, showing people with swords killing each other, it is a old fashioned swashbuckling film called saraband, a ealing studios film made in the 50’s, but so much violence and even though we all know it is make believe but it does give the impression violence is commonplace and is everywhere.

it is about sophie dorothea, wife of king george I and mother of george II. 

it has got really nice well made costumes though… which looked so clean and unwrinkled.

but i guess it is easy to get caught up, so that after being bombarded with all these depiction of violence it is easy to  think violence is everywhere and feel unsafe. but remember it is all make believe and  dont you believe it.

most of our lives are really very ordinary and non violent and hence safe. if anything, it is bad health that is more common with us all, rather than being killed or knifed or shot.

bad health is what we should all be afraid of. but no one is. we just dont notice it, until we get struck down with bad health. and if we are lucky to get well again , we soon forget that bad health and carry on doing all those unhealthy habits.