Tag Archives: service charge

service charge for next year £1293.00

10 Mar

london 3.01pm 16C cloudy tuesday 2020


two plants in our courtyard. a lemon tree just outside the door to the block of my flat, and a camelia potted plant near the garden bench. 

its quite a mild day actually. 16C at this time of year, early march is a heat wave haha.

if not for the news i read in the online papers i would not know that italy is now in total lock down, which is a first for a whole country. i wonder how it will be implemented and whether it will do what is hoped, to stop any more infections. they must see what wuhan did to control the spread and thought they will have to do it to prevent more spread, for which the hospitals are totally unprepared and will be overwhelmed. unlike the chinese who can conjure up a hospital in a short time, europe cannot do that kind of thing. perhaps they should follow singapore, and see how they do it instead of following wuhan. 

and also that our stockmarket has fallen by 8%. 

here in the uk, we hope to stop the spread by asking people to self isolate. even those with colds and flu- like symptoms, because it is difficult to tell the difference. it would require everyone to cooperate, because it just needs one person to break that to be a superspreader to a lot of people. the trouble is u can be infected and not show symptoms. so maybe self isolate even if u are healthy and show no symptoms. just limit the time you mix with big crowds, and confined spaces.

if everyone does this, businesses will suffer. but they are allready suffering now, so it is something they will all have to tolerate till this is over. the online businesses and deliveries wont be affected so those will continue. 

i am glad we here in uk are not in lockdown. and i hope it wont be necessary. 

added. as usual life still need to go on, and so today i got the bill for the service charge for the next year for my flat. £1293. usually they charge me half yearly, but they change it this year and charge the full amount for the year. it is an estimate bill, they will adjust in sept once they know the exact cost. but they want us to pay it in advance now. some might be able to pay it in monthly installments. it is about £100 a month. 

carluccios free breakfast

31 Mar

london 10.15am macdonalds in victoria place. 6.1C sunny? cloudy maybe. saturday 2018

its so early and allready i have been to places. haha. i went at about 8.30am to the carluccio free breakfast offer. i went to the waterloo branch, wearing my bathrobe. haha. it can double as a dressing gown. anyway i think i was the only one wearing such things, when i arrived. and the staff were very welcoming… the maitre d even said i look the part. it was a really nice full traditional breakfast… coffee, juice  and they even ask how i want my eggs. sunny side up i said. and cappuccino and orange juice. it was lovely.

Digital StillCamera

the cup have their name on it, so maybe i should have turned it round to show it. the eggs are beautiful, i would not be able to do it like that if i were to make it myself. so white, the egg white part of it. 

it is a wonderful promotion. and with all such promotions it really is free… there is nothing to pay. it is what i like about the uk promotions. i think everywhere else , i am thinking of america here, you would be expected to pay something. but not here, in good ol’ uk. i wonder if steve will be going to this… maybe not, as i dont think he likes to dress up. haha. waterloo is very near me… (wait…  everything is near me!.) but the waterloo branch is not very posh or at least not to me… most of those in there that morning were travellers i think. some of their branches in covent gdn, or south kensington, or marylebone have customers that look very rich…at least that is how they look when i pass by and peek inside the shop windows… so i daresay it will feel strange to walk in there wearing a dressing gown. esp when the only people wearing dressing gowns in london are tramps , rough looking old men, sleeping rough and dragging a lot of baggage with them… haha. 

anyway it was a lovely breakfast, and then i went to victoria station, on the shuttle bus that ply its route between the two stations. and now here i am in the macdonalds using their wifi. and i found today’s daily telegraph too so i shall read it in these quiet and pleasant surroundings… i know, no one would describe a macdonalds place as pleasant… haha. but it is really. the papers are a great find, as the libraries are closed this easter weekend… and i can get the tv guide now for my weekend viewing.

added. the service charge estimated bill for my flat for 6 months april18-sept18 came today. £683.16  just for the record. 

free food and origin

2 Oct

london 1.38pm 17.5C sunny monday 2017 virgin lounge haymarket


raise the red lanterns in chinatown in preparation for the moon cake festival on 4oct.

i have just had a free pie from the hope pub in fitzrovia. (near goodge st station) . i was the first customer there, arriving at 12pm, there was no queue.

i wonder how come no one seems to know of it.

there was a limited choice of free pie, a beef, chicken and vegetarian. i chose the beef, and it was very nice, very meaty, with the beef chunky so that u can really see it and feel the texture of it.

i got the email from them that contain the free offer . you have to show it to the staff to get the free pie.

i was notified of this free offer from the londonist , i read it last night and clicked on the link and got my free voucher sent to me in my email very quickly that night.

but this morning , whilst i was hanging around waiting for the pub to open, i actually  saw two of their staff outside the street ,carrying tablets, and appear to be asking people to join. i approached them and asked is it true you are giving away free pies? they said yes, asked me if i got a phone, which the company will send me the voucher to claim it…though on the tablet they showed me , they ask for the email, not a phone number. 

the email i got last night said they are only giving 100 free pies… but from what they said, it seems not many people know of it, and there are lots of spaces left… either that or they are just wanting to give to everyone.  


they were strangely not busy. no one approached them to find out what they are offering…  there were lots of people sitting on the benches nearby, it was a communal garden that surrounds the cafe nero building…  i wonder whether people here in london are so flooded with free food offers they dont bother anymore. haha. can that be possible? we are so jaded by free food offers, we just could not be bothered? it might be the londonist newsletter came late, it only appeared late at night in my email box, so a lot of people would only have read it this morning, if that. maybe no time to get down there during 12-2pm. perhaps tomorrow they will be busier when more would have heard of it. 

and it is a generous offer… they told me that i can use the email voucher for everyday of this week, as long as the offer lasts, till friday… that means i can go there every day at about 12-2pm and get a free pie. (not that i will of course) very generous of them i think. this was not mentioned in the email they send me with the voucher. 

i was looking at all those people sitting on the benches in the garden, nearby, and wondered how come they dont know about it?

when i was there, and finished the pie, there was still no one came in. then finally two men, who look like business men came in and they ordered alcohol drinks, but they did not seem to want the free pie… they must be aware of the offer because there was a sign on the door of the pub advertising it.

i think the businesses want our emails… so that they can send offers. for eg, recently i was at the victoria place area, accessing the costa coffee , trying to get online to access the voucher i got, and it seems i got onto the ed diner restaurant nearby because the next day they send me a email saying they want to give me a free hamburger, all i have to do is order a drink from them. so that seems to be the business modus operandi. haha. well, i dont mind, after all, who dont mind getting free hamburger right? i think there is a glut of these hamburger restaurants. 

hmm, i m seeing this live report and seeing this video of the mass shooting in las vegas, on the big screen in the lounge here. 50 people killed. it was at an open air concert.

and then there is the catalonia independance vote and the police action against it. i have been reading dan brown , origin, and it is set in barcelona. it is not connected of course, though it is in that area of spain that is receiving so much attention now. 

when i first read the book, i was rather impatient to read the ending, so i skipped the middle bit and went straight to the end. haha. he likes to go all over the place with his setting of the scene, and it can get rather tedious, it is all the cliff hangers that he ends every chapter . haha. it reminds me of this friend of mine, who wont answer my question straightaway but goes all over the place taking his time to get to the point.

 i was not very impressed with the plot, he makes as if the final revelation will be mindblowing and blows religions out of the water… and the final revelation is not really… unlike the last one i read of his… inferno, where the final revelation was a huge surprise to me and very thought provoking…

 but then i decided to go back and read the bits i missed and it is much more enjoyable re reading it. 

monarch airlines have gone bankrupt. all flights are cancelled. after all that trouble with ryanair, and now a whole airline gone tits up. who will be next, i wonder?

added. 4.20pm, the post arrived and i saw i got a bill for my service charge , 1oct17-31mar18. £593.62. this is the half yearly bill, so i suppose the annual cost is about £1,200. it is a good figure, low for living in the centre of london. i put it here just so i can have some record of it. to compare years later , hopefully i live that long. haha. 


electricity bill july-sept2015, half year flat service charge estimate oct2015-april2016

8 Oct

london 1.31pm sunny 16.7C thursday

two bills came in the post today. i am posting them for my own reference. just to see what the cost of my living is like if i look back from the future.

my electricity bill 2 july-1oct 2015 256kwh over 92 days@16.67p/kwh = £42.68

0.46p per day

2.78kwh per day 

it’s gone up from the 2.59kwh per day last time. the only change i have done is to switch on the defrost button on my fridge. ice still formed on the sides of the freezer box, so i am wondering if it is that effective. i might just switch it off and manually defrost it myself.

estimated charge for service charge of my flat 1oct 2015-31march2016 =£776.28

it is an estimated charge, so i hope it will be reduced when the final figures comes in. 

with the half yearly water bill of £153 due this month, it is a heavy outgoing month. there is also the monthly council tax of £67. fortunately these are bills that i know i will incur and so can pay them.

cost of maintaining a flat in westminster, london

2 Apr



Strange, i wrote the post but it disappeared when i posted it.So here goes again.

this is for my own reference though it might interest those curious to know how much it actually costs to live in london in a 2bdroom flat on first floor in borough of westminster, london.

Council tax for westminster for 2014-2015 £676.74

Service charge for my block and estate. £1200 a year (I pay 4% of my block charges, 0.25% of the estate charges). We dont have lifts thank goodness. 

bbc tv license £145 a year. everyone pays this if they have a colour tv.

water bill £308 a year. we share a communal water tank, so cannot instal individual water meters.

Telephone £120 a year line rental £50 a year broadbandpackage, total £170. 

Total fixed costs £2499.74 or £208.25 a month.

Not bad really considering i am living in central london in a spacious flat.

I have not included electricity charges , food bill etc, as they are variable and under each person’s control. 

Added. For really a comprehensive cost analysis, i should add the 10 yrly requirement to repair/repaint the exterior of the block of flats and that comes to about £70 a month spread out over 10yrs; (£7000 which was the cost last time it was done 2yrs ago).

added.23.4.14 the reason that prompted this post is because this month, april, i was suddenly lumped with a huge bill for these costs. the half yearly water bill, the half yearly service charge bill, the first of the monthly direct debits for the council tax bill. it totaled about £800 for this month. i can see how such sudden jump in costs can derail a person’s budget and throw them into deep debt if they are not the kind of people who save. fortunately i always save so this did not cripple me. not for the first time i am glad i am frugal and save money even if at the time there dont seem any reason for it.instead of spending it because i thought i got lots of money i am glad i did not … now i reap the reward of my frugality. 

service charge for a 2bd flat in london

28 Sep

My AVG2013 free virus protection is now being upgraded to 2014 and it is taking some time.
I got notice of it when the message came up in a box telling me to install this upgrade. It first asked me a few days ago but I ignored it. I did not realise it was to upgrade it to 2014 and I was a bit wary of it. You know how it is, we have fears of downloading some virus and are rather suspicious of anything that tells us to download things.

But when it happened just now, I thought I better download this AVG and take the risk, and so now it is doing it, installing the program, but it sure is taking a long time. I wonder why it is taking such a long time. I already had the program so why should it take such a long time to install a newer version and clear it for 2014… ?Hope it is not installing lots of spy ware.
Added. It is downloaded now so I am protected for 2014. I am rather grateful to AVG for letting me have it for free.

added. i dont mind if they get other benefits from giving it to me free. after all, it does not affect me if they mine my surfing for their own advantage. why grudge them making money out of any information they can get out of my surfing behaviour.  

I use chrome as my default browser, and now it has updated, and make everything so slow.
Before the search engine do not come up, now it does. But it makes everything so slow.

Today the postman came and he delivered a demand for my service charge for this flat. it is a 2bdroom, and it came to £763.04 for next halfyearly estimated cost.
This is the estimated costs for 1oct2013-31 march2014
My share of the cost for my block £246.97
My share for the costs of management £393.31
Adjustment of cost for actual cost £122.76

I noticed the cost for management have gone up a lot. Ah well, all you house owners, this is to let u know that owning a flat is not without cost. But looking on the bright side, it could be worse. At least the cost is shared with others living in the block and the whole estate. And at least I don’t have to bother with the day to day running of the estate or the block.

It is still cheaper than renting. As it is I dont have a mortgage so am effectively living here free as it were, just have to pay these service charge, the council tax £700 a year and that is it. Then every 8yrs or so, there is a big major works to clean the brick work and paint the windows and repair the roof if needed, and that cost £6,500 my share when it was done about 2yrs ago.

As long as u slot in the future costs, it should be easy to keep out of debt living here.

these are estimated costs but they are fairly accurate. it would appear the cost to me of having this flat ,including the future major works every 8yrs or so, will come to about £3000 a year. (or £250 a month). I consider that very cheap to live in central london in a 2bd flat, don’t you?

And it is really very nice to live here. So central and pleasant, this area, with tree lined streets, no shops around,(so u don’t get the mess or noise of streets with bars and cafes and restaurants and the people it attracts) yet close to good shopping nearby and good transport links.

And the thames is nearby, so u can walk out and look at the ebb and flow of the river and partake of the mood of the river in all weathers and seasons.

I was in the earls court area recently, went there to meet someone who contacted me in a gay website.

I have not been to the earls court area SW5 for a long time. It used to be a big gay area, with a leather bar and many gay pubs and clubs. Then Old Compton street in Soho usurped its position as a premier gay area, this was in the 90s, and now Soho shares the crown with Vauxhall.

Now there are no gay clubs or pubs in earls court. We went to a straight pub to chat.

Lots of backpackers and travellers on the street. Saw a hostel offering from £20 accommodation. I guess it must be dormitories, though it did not say how many in a room. No big supermarkets, just small outlets, with 2lit milk 1%fat reduced to 28p in one of these shops.

It is rather sad that Earls court is not so gay anymore.