Tag Archives: shopping

a new hoover

19 Dec

london 9.56am 7.5C cloudy monday 2016

i read a blog this morning that says all m&S (mark and spencer ) international stores will close. the guy is in holland and showed a picture of the store in dan hag . i remember malaysia have its M&S stores and wondered if that will close too. so that brand name stores are quite familiar to us living overseas, and they are more so if u live in uk.

i know them as being good for food. esp ready to eat foods. they are very tempting.

their clothes division is not doing well that is why they are making all these cuts.

this news actually is quite old, it came out in november. but did not impinge on me till now. they are now concentrating on their food outlets. M&S is one of the names that is familiar to me during my time in london. i dont shop there though. but it was quite famous for its underwear during my hey day. in those days, people just bought white y-fronts. now we all want more colourful underwear. and in those days their clothes were accepted and known to be solidly made and good quality , classic styles.

but i think people are wanting more excitement in their clothes these days… more fashionable but cheap. so they can wear for a season and cheap to just throw it aside when the fashion moves on. 

and of course it has always been famous for its food. they were the ones who made  ready to eat foods so popular.

i think online shopping is changing the whole retail scene. just look at simon, in these few days he had bought an oven and then a hoover vacuum cleaner all done online.

12.40pm and just now i heard my doorbell buzz and it was the delivery man, with that hoover. it is really the brand name, too. i did not know that company still exists. i thought simon told me it will be delivered next week. but i guess they are all thinking everyone will want it before christmas. the courier system must be really good if they can do all that delivery in such a quick time. no wonder people prefer to buy online. how can retail stores compete? they just cannot. they have every reason to be worried about their business. last night simon said he was going to his mum’s. so i thought he will be there for a few days. but this morning i saw him in bed with me. he must have come back when i was asleep. he is nice to  not wake me up. i do like my sleep haha. i hope the fact he is back before planned does not mean he had a quarrel with his mother. she was not too happy at hearing he has married me. it seems what he thought she had threatened to do and done, to cut him out of her will, she had reinstated him without telling him. now she says she will have to rewrite her will. it all sounds silly to me, but then that is what people are like isn’t it? esp parents with children and favouring one child over another as to who to leave their property and money. 

usually i will be out, in the library. i used to go there first thing when it opens. but i have changed my habit and maybe just as well. for bulky items like this it is nice to have it delivered to the house. but it will be very frustrating if no one is in to open the door to it and then have to rearrange another delivery or something. 

found a link to that model here. about £79. a bagless vacuum, thank goodness because i cant stand those that need  bags, which are very costly. 

added. 9.59am 6.3C sunny tuesday 20.12.16

i realised why i dont like buying new appliances. u have to assemble them and it can be a real pain. as we found out with this one. there was one part, the handle, that they did not pack , and there is one part that dont seem to fit anywhere.

this reminds me that i like getting ikea stuff that is recycled. because they are all fitted allready. if u buy new from ikea they all come in bits and u have to assemble them. it can be a real pain. 




roast turkey

18 Dec

london 8.24C 7.8C fog sunday 2016
yesterday I halved the turkey and simon roasted one half.

the oven did not work at low temperatures, so he put it to full blast and it barely got to 200C. even then, by having a halved turkey reduced the cooking time a lot.

simon is really quite good at roasting. he said he had a lot of practise. it was quite delicious , the turkey meat just right, and the roast veg perfect. i enjoyed eating it. esp when i did not have to do a thing haha

afterwards simon said he had ordered a new oven online. cost £250. and they will deliver the next day… that is today sunday. i must say those online companies have really got their act together. imagine next day delivery!! and so near christmas time too. no wonder people prefer to buy online.
anyway he added £15 so they will take the old oven away. that one is really on its last leg, the stove top has only one ring working. i was reluctant to replace it as i allready bought an induction stove and i like that.

and when simon first suggested getting a new oven, i said i would prefer a halogen oven. we had one before and it was so useful, and cooks things using less electricity. though their small size does mean u cannot roast too many veg in them if u cook a bird, and a whole turkey will definitely be too big for it.
but anyway simon preferred a traditional electric oven.

then he decided to clean the area round it, in preparation for the new oven. and he said one thing led to another, and he ended up cleaning the whole kitchen. haha. so now the kitchen is very clean of grease. quite a nice change actually.

Digital StillCamera

you know if being married makes simon clean up the kitchen, whereas in the past i am the one who always do it, i am all for married life. why no one told me of it, i would have got married sooner. haha. 

whilst he was cleaning the kitchen, i was out meeting up with a friend in soho. he called and asked to meet as he was feeling a bit depressed. i had just woken up actually, but fortunately he had some way to travel, he was going to take his car, and so arranged to meet one and half hour later.

it took me about 15minutes to get there by bus, and even then he was late. he said traffic just stood still near marble arch. i dont mind, as it was a chance to look at people in old compton st. it used to be very gay, but i am not sure all the crowd there are gay now. whilst i was standing at a corner, a man approached me and whispered, ‘girls, boys , want sex? dont want sex?’. haha. i have never been approached by a pimp in all the years i have been cruising in that street. i find it quite amusing.

is it a sign that the place is not as gay as it used to be? i know soho has historically been a red light district, and that is associated with straight prostitution, but never have i really brushed up with it in all the years of cruising it in the past. u see discreet signs beside the doorways leading upstairs, and that is all u notice of the brothels , so they dont really impinge on us gay guys walking about the street. but here is a pimp working his usual way… ! how times have changed!

and then there are the beggars. a young man approached us and asked for change, my friend took out some coins and gave him a 50p, and he asked for more. my friend said i control how much i spend. you are a nice man, just accept it. later a man with an accordion walked across to us, and started to play. my friend ask for some requests, and he played it, and it was only a short piece, and he expect to be tipped . my friend gave him a £ coin. 

it must be quite lucrative this busking, and beggaring. i was coming back in the bus and saw a man, carrying bags, who leapt out of the bus when it was open at a bus stop and picked up a cigarette on the pavement and leapt back in again before the door closed. i saw him sitting across the aisle from me, pulling out fistful of coins, quite a lot of £ coins which he transfered to his pocket, and then later a lot of silver coins. i was wondering whether he had been begging and this is his haul. quite a good haul for a night’s work. i was thinking so this is how they manage to survive. on the pickings and leavings of the crowds who come to the westend. good luck to them i say. 

are there people like my friend, who said he gets money from his flats that he lets , and his spareroom that he lets. he hardly have to work at it, so he said he dont mind giving some of it away.

hmm, my friend is 71yrs old and looking for companionship. at the moment he is trying to persuade a young 30 yr old bulgarian to live with him. rent free, but the price is to have him impose conditions by being his boyfriend.  the price is too high, the boy is not willing to submit to it and so far has resisted moving in.

i asked him what if he wants to have sex with others? there was a time in the past when i had this conversation with him and he had been adamant he will not allow it. but tonight  i hear him say he will allow it. just not to bring anyone back. does it mean he wont have sex with him anymore? because i know he is very afraid of getting std. (sexually transmitted disease). he said yes. but ,i said, what is the point of it then. he said he loves him.

i can see it is his attitude that is preventing anyone from being with him.

i remember i was pursued like this when i migrated to australia. this was long ago. this guy was really smitten by me, i dont know why, because i did not even know he existed, until he came onto me.  he was asking me to be his boyfriend and was generous. but it just was not on. partly because i have allready made up my mind not to stay in australia but to return to london.  he was puzzled like anything why i did not jump at it. he got a lovely flat on the top floor of a block overlooking the sydney opera house, across the water from it. it has such a lovely view of the coathanger bridge on one side, and the sydney opera house right in front across the bay.)

i did say to my friend the guy is only 30. he is young still. and i cited as an example myself.   if i meet such a millionaire now… that i am older and seen the world enough allready i might take up his offer. haha. after all , it is a nice life to have a suger daddy. (though on second thoughts maybe not even that. i like my freedom and that is quite difficult to give up).  but of course youth is a precious commodity, and once u are old, that is gone so no one will come begging to be your suger daddy. such is life. isn’t it? when u have youth u never appreciate it, and spurns all offers. then u get old. 

that is why i think my friend is so wanting human interactions… even beggars are better than nothing. he says he is so lonely.

i dont really understand why he wants these human interactions so much. maybe it is that i do get some interactions with people so dont feel that intense desire for more. or maybe i am just a hermit at heart and can stand only  a limited interaction with my fellow humans. and that is as much as i can take of my fellow humans. whereas he is someone who likes a lot of it, and of a certain kind, a serviceable kind of relationship. i just have a thought, maybe that is why there are some rich people who loves to engage with waiters and waitresses, and who eat out a lot just so they can interact with them. the feeling of being pampered and catered to and obeyed. and that is a feeling anyone who eats at a restaurant gets, doesn’t it? but perhaps i am mistaken, and there are more subtle reasonings as to why people crave human interactions. 


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. 

just sunday outing

24 Jul

london 11.22pm 19.2C dry sunday 2016

i read somewhere that they have found that people who do things they like get to treat their depression as much as those who undergo cognitive behaviour therapy. one method is external, using the outside world to make a person less depressed, whilst the other method is internal changing the way the mind thinks and working from the inside out. i think i use both methods. i find things to enjoy even  though they might appear to be quite trivial;  whilst also controlling my mind to look at things in a positive way. 

i had an enjoyable time today going to the aldi in the old kent road to buy vegetables when i saw online that they are selling veg for 39p. it was quite a nice exercise to figure out the best way to get there. i finally decided to go for the number 36, to peckham, and from there the p12 to the aldi store. i got celery, nectarines,carrots,2cauliflowers, and courgettes all for 39p each. i wish i got the tomatoes too… even though they are rather small ones on the vine. anyway coming back it was a toss up which bus came first, if it is the p12, then i shall go back the way i came, but the 453 bus came first, so i took that to elephant and castle , got off there hoping to catch the c10, but from the timetable there was nothing arriving in less than 10mins, so i took the next bus which came along, the bus 12 as it happens, to westminster and then from there the bus 87 to the tate britain. i know it is rather a convoluted route, but it went quite smoothly because the connections came without much waiting time. i know all this is very trivial but it did give me rather a lot of pleasure. maybe the secret is to find pleasure in small things like this. i enjoy watching the world go by on top of the bus, and seeing people about me doing their thing. the day was rather cloudy and cool with a light breeze which added to the enjoyment as it was so pleasant and comfortable. 

on the old kent road i see lots of people wearing very colourful sunday best clothes. the costumes looks like what i see nigerians (in a documentary) wearing, very colourful matching dresses with headdresses, for the women, with some men wearing long gowns of plain white or light colours. i missed the chance of taking pictures of them, esp the women, because their costumes were so colourful and striking. 

wheels of business

26 May

london 8.33am 13.2C sunny thursday 2016

i thought i shall post buildings , otherwise i would get bored with all those flower pictures. this morning i saw that belgravia is having its own belgravia in bloom show too. belgravia includes that area around belgrave square.

i shall go look around there later today.  it is a nice change of scene. in fact a change of scene is really what makes life interesting. at least for me. and there is no need to go to another country for a change of scene.

i mean just look at me. within a short walking distance, there is the river scene, the thames is just nearby, then allthe houses in pimlico,and belgravia, looking like terraces of wedding cakes, and of course all those flowers and garden squares with their flowers bursting in bloom.

 further afield, in clerkenwell, they are having a design exhibition. in fact, there are so many things all screaming to gain your attention, u will be very frazzled if u go to them all. of course all these businesses putting on the show is to try to get u to go to that area and hope u will stay and look at their goods and buy something. if nothing else u will have tea there. or eat lunch or dinner there. (unlike me who bring my own packed lunch.haha)

whatever u do, as long as u buy from them, they will be glad of your custom. and i think the good thing about london is that there are enough people who would do it, and so make it worthwhile for the businesses to do it every year. all this keeps people who have the money or the time to do something to amuse themselves as well as provide a lot of others with work. remember that all of them will be pricey… but dont get envious if u cannot afford it. just think of it as the rich being fleeced and their money will subsidise all these stuff for u to browse along and enjoy their presentation without needing to buy anything.

u dont know how important it all is until u go to some village in another country ( i am thinking of a blog of a guy in pakistan who was lamenting that he could not find a job where he is) where the young people just cannot find work, and have nothing to do. no new businesses come into that area and the old, existent businesses just mark time, earning just enough business and profit to keep running to stand still, and keep only their old employees at work and not recruiting. there is no growth. nothing is going on there,  its frustrating for those young people.

it is very unlike london. how much of it is due to influx of visitors easily able to come from europe? perhaps quite a lot. that might explain why londoners lead the uk in the vote to remain.


this is pimlico, showing typical terrace houses in that area.

eating and shopping

7 May

london6.33pm sunny 22.2C saturday 2016

it looks like the main activities with us humans are eating and shopping. at least that is what a person sitting on top of the bus will conclude.

sitting on top of the bus, i notice eating places are  full of people and regent street full of shoppers. trafalgar square was crowded too, presumably by shoppers taking a rest from shopping. haha.

it is quite predictable how a nice sunny day brings people out and about. i dont see many of those people walking on the pavement in regent st carrying shopping bags. so maybe they are just out to enjoy the sun and going into the shops for the airconditioning. i wonder what other things other people in other lands may be doing to while away the time? maybe with the world being so globalised, many of them will be doing the same thing as we here in london, eating and shopping. 


23 Apr

london 11.23am grey clouds but sunny , must be gaps in the clouds to allow the sun through. 9.4C saturday 2016

london 12.36pm 13.3C grey clouds friday 2016

i felt so gloomy yesterday , friday, because of all those deaths in the papers.

after i got home and had my lunch, which did cheer me up a bit, as it was a chicken curry that simon made from curry sauce in a jar;

 i thought i shall go out , even though there are grey clouds, but i thought getting out might cheer me up; and where else to go but to the aldi in old kent road. just for a destination, but also to buy … it is on the tip of my tongue, oh yes, cornflour.

i saw in the website that aldi is selling 500mg cornflour, for 62p, reduced from 65p. when u consider i have been buying tesco basic cornflour 250mg for 75p, i felt miffed that there is this one so cheap at aldi’s and i have not found it, even though i have been shopping there for a long time now.  anyway, when i did get to aldi, they have sold out of the cornflour, so i shall have to go another time, but i did manage to buy some veg, celery and cabbage, and cheap oranges 7 for 59p. so the journey was not completely wasted. haha.

but really it was just to get me out, and so when we hit a bad traffic jam near the roundabout where old kent road meets tower bridge road i was not too bothered and was able to figure out why there was such a jam. it was all due to a solid mass of traffic going up tower bridge road. as to why it was so, became clear only when i was on the way back and found whitehall completely lined with barriers. they were preparing for the london marathon on sunday and that was the reason for the traffic jam on the tower bridge road.

traffic was stopped to make it possible for the workmen to install and lay out all those steel barriers along the roads. it must be frustrating for the drivers… solid non moving traffic at a standstill all the way back to the elephant and castle when i was coming back on the other side of the road which was fortunately moving. it makes me scold myself for being depressed , when u can see all those people’s day being ruined.

maybe that little boy of 10 who said he was depressed might like to ask himself what in his short life is so bad to get depressed about. i think now and then a little kid can get frightened at all the doom and gloom stories he hears, from the news or from what he overhears his parents say. i remember once being quite disturbed by something, but luckily some one told me what is the worst that can happen, and what can i do about it, and when i said not a lot, he said then why worry about it? if it happens it happens, if not , not. either way worrying about it wont do anything.  it certainly cleared up that for me and i continued on my blissfully happy state having put it out of my mind. 


Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

national portrait gallery in the background. this was on the lamp posts. the words below it are st.martin-in-the-fields. which is the church on the corner of trafalgar square.