Tag Archives: shopping


23 Nov

london 11.01am 8.2C cloudy friday 2018

today is supposed to be black friday, a day of supposedly big discounts to entice people to spend money before the big spending binge for christmas.

as a ploy to slot in a big shopping binge in november, when retail business is usually dead is quite a genius idea for the retail industry. and it seem to have spread outside america into the rest of the world, or so it seems.

actually now i come to think of it, shopping as an interactive activity is quite a good one. traditionally people do face to face bargaining with the shop keeper, and it can be very ritualistic involving cups of tea and bluff and counter bluff with all concerned whiling away a few happy hours interacting with their fellow men. after all you could spend a whole afternoon or morning bargaining if u make a number of purchases during the course of the day.

perhaps nowadays with the internet, you dont get that personal interaction with another human being so something might be lost. it might explain why people seek bargains and buy stuff so much, they are yearning to find that person to person interaction and unable to get it but still continue to buy hoping to get a different result. 

oh, the postman just came and i got a letter stating my winter payment is on the way to my account. lovely i think. to get £200 every year like this. it is only for us uk old people. i think if u are in europe u can get too, but it is meant to be for countries that are cold in winter. it will go towards my whole electricity bill.(about £260 a year).

and my flat is so warm and cosy now even though i dont have heating. it has been this cosy all the time. i was wondering if it might be too cold for my friends , who are now staying with me on a 3day visit. but it has been so cosy that i dont have to give them a hot water bottle for their bed.

and now that i am indoors all the time, it is really lovely to stay in the flat with the flat so warm. 

my friends are now gone out for the day, they are going to the ideal home exhibition in olympia, and then they will be going into a gay sauna and take up the sauna’s  special weekend offer of £20 each and that includes  free multiple entries from friday to sunday. and they intend to spend the nights there instead of coming back to my flat. haha. i thought it a excellent idea, and so good value for money. its like having a hotel room for 3nights for £20. plus all the gay activities of a sauna included all weekend. so i wont be seeing them again till sunday afternoon. 

i am hearing reports of the new wordpress editor, one of the bloggers i follow accidentally clicked on it to try it, and he said it was such a bother. he managed to get back  his old editor, but the experience has made him rather put off the new editor. can it really be that bad? surely wordpress cannot change the whole editor that much? but it does bodes ill for when they force all of us to change to the new editor.

i see right at the bottom of the page here a box saying ‘a new editor is coming to level up your layout. learn more. ‘ well i shall not be hitting that button till i am forced to take it up. 




23 Aug

london 7.44pm 19C sunny thursday 2018

i am too full now so that i dont feel like going to the tesco to see if there are any reductions in food. simon cooked a bolognaise sauce with minced beef and i thought i shall have a meal of that , over sphagetti, before i go to the tescos, as i know if u go food shopping when hungry you will end up buying more than you want. but i did not reckon on being so full after eating the meal that i dont feel like going out even. haha. such are the paradoxes of life.

i saw in the metro free newspaper this morning, that iceland is selling rump steak 228mg for £2 instead of the usual £3. it is quite a good price. and i like rump steak , i think it tastes better than sirloin. but i just could not be bothered to go and buy it. maybe tomorrow if it is still available. i know from past experience, that even though they limit each customer to two packs, it can get all sold out quite quickly. the thing is i am not short of food in the fridge, that is why i am not so anxious to go buying more. in fact, it is vegetables that i seem to crave now rather than meat. i can buy that tomorrow. i saw an advert by a supermarket chain showing their reductions, and was surprised to see nescafe gold blend featured with half priced reduction from about £8 to £4 for 200mg. its been so long since i even look at other coffee brands, that i forgot how expensive they are. in fact, when i googled it, i find that the usual price of that coffee is about £4.50for 200mg, so the reduction is not half priced as such.  it is still expensive even after the reduction. when i think that it cost me £1.45 for 200mg of my cheap coffee from aldi, it makes me wonder. you can make the cost of living as cheap or as expensive as you want.

added 10.46am friday 24.8.18. read this article about the measurement of poverty, to mean anyone living on less than $1.90 a day… on that measure there are very few people on it, and no one in uk is on it. but relative poverty measured as those ‘living on less than 60% of median household income (adjusted for household size)’ now that is a measure of inequality, not poverty. and many articles about poverty measure inequality, but they dont tell you that is what they are measureing. instead they hoodwink you by equating it with poverty. now it makes sense to me. when i hear a chap say he is unable to live after paying for his car, his broadband, his smartphone, his wide screen tv, etc… some poverty, he got more things than i have even.



pedestrianisation of oxford st is cancelled.

8 Jun

london 8.51am 15.2C sunny friday 2018

i was very surprised to see this headline today, that the pedestrianisation of oxford st is cancelled. i thought pedestrianisation of the street was inevitable. they all talk of it as if it is a done deal.  even though for selfish reasons i would not like it. it is a luxury to be able to get a bus direct to where u want to go in oxford st, or get from one end to the other by bus without needing to walk away from it to the next street to catch a bus.

but westminster council has said they will cancel it. it seems the residents think the same way as me too, for it seems they objected. i did not vote, as i dont live there and i wont be affected. also i am not sure either way which is better, no traffic or keep it with traffic. 

if they wish to reduce traffic pollution , it might not work, as they will simply transfer the pollution to wigmore st , at the detriment to all those living there. as it is , there are very few residents living on oxford st itself so if u are going to have a polluted st, might as well make it oxford st, haha. as to shoppers being put off by the pollution, maybe not, after all, shoppers dont stay long, nor do they go there every day to shop.

maybe reducing the number of buses that go through oxford st might be the better option.  and they have done it, they have cancelled bus routes 73 and c2 which normally goes through oxford st to victoria, by getting them to terminate at oxford circus. and a better way is to changing the way  buses run , get them on electricity rather than diesel. 

 would people stop shopping in oxford st if it is fully pedestrianised? i think some of the businesses there might be afraid that making it people only will destroy it as a shopping st. somehow i feel a street becomes more dead when u stop buses going through it. if u are laden with shopping do u really want to have to walk all the way along it, rather than be able to get a taxi or bus? or walk to the next street a block away to catch a taxi or bus? it just seems a lot of effort , esp after you are tired out allready walking so much whilst shopping. making it pedestrian only means hanging outside in the street is more pleasant, and the unexpected consequence is that you get people not going into the shops but hanging about outside. you will attract a certain kind of people, people who use it as a place to promenade and walk about to meet and greet friends… not something you want for a shopping st, because you want people to go into the shops and buy stuff. 

boxing day

26 Dec

london 7.08pm 7.8C rain tuesday 2017

its really lovely that the buses are running and the shops are open. i can see why it can be nice , shopping, and transport , it is a way of having things to do, and finding new things to see. all those items for sale, and the buzz of all those people have its own stimulation. it seems to me life is  having stimulations… and there is nothing like things, food, sightseeing, to fill up our senses of sight, touch, taste, emotions, hearing, and what is the other one, i forgot.

yesterday where there was nothing to do, is nice, but i can see it can get boring if it is everyday. so thank goodness it is only one day of the year we get this day when everything in  the country  stops and is shut. some might say it is one day too many.  i dont think any other country does this, shut down the country like the uk does with christmas. though come to think of it, with online commerce still open on christmas day, even then it is no more that the uk is close for shopping.

i was out today, just happy to be able to go out and catch a bus and get to soho, and look at people shopping. i went into that department store in picadilly circus, lillywhites. been ages since i go in there. the first thing i saw was a huge pile of discarded shoe boxes by the entrance, and i saw the street sweeper telling people not to dump it there because he has to clear it… in the end he still have to deal with that pile. when i came out he was putting them in huge plastic bags. i only went in to the ground floor, just to see what is it like. one section was shoes, trainers, the other section was men clothing… i did not see a lot of sales reductions. the prices seem to be normal… at least i did not see any with slashed prices and showing the new lower prices. there were only a price for one item, and a buy 2 for a lower price but not by much. i did not go into the trainers shoes section. maybe the prices there are slashed more , if those dumped shoe boxes are any indication.

it does seem a waste to give a shoe box with every  sale of trainers. people will just throw it away. not much other use for shoe boxes is there. they are so well made, that somehow you feel you should make them have other uses, not just throw them away. 

going through phases.

16 Dec

london 10am 3.5C (lowest 1.5C) sunny saturday 2017. sunrise is 8am, sunset 3.51pm.

1.28pm it is cloudy now, rain earlier, and the website temperature is all over the place. some said 8C, even 12C which must be wrong. 

i was out earlier, to the marylebone library, and it was mild.

wordpress posted something i wrote at 10am, just the weather ; without me knowing of it. it does that sometimes.

now i had my lunch, just a bowl of the beef curry i made with 2 pieces of toast with margarine on it. the beef is tender, i cooked it with the pressure cooker and now i am lying on the couch with a cup of coffee near me. it is rather blissful.

when i was younger i would spend saturday shopping for high fashion clothes, i used to be a ridiculous fashion victim in those days. and would buy t shirts by versace for £80… now i recently found out his t shirts go for £500 or more. it is sure expensive to be a fashion victim now. it has taken all the fun out of being a fashion victim. but i think nowadays people get their kicks out of finding bargains and reduced priced sales. so they are able to get a lot more for their money instead of just one or two high end items. i think everyone seems to go through a phase of shopping ( some dont even leave that phase behind,) at least once in their life. 


points for shopping

7 Dec

london 12.22pm 11.8C slight rain. thursday 2017

this mild weather continues today, but it will end early tomorrow. so might as well enjoy it while we can.

i just got 200 points given to me as a bonus by the nectar card people. now that my mail points are added to nectar i find i am accumulating points very quickly…also i have given simon a extra card so he can use it when he goes shopping at sainsburys, and he certainly has been using it. there is a sainsburys near us and he goes there often, because it is so convenient. so it looks like nectar joining up with the daily mail points system has brought in a lot more people into their nectar system. in that sense they are better than the tesco points . i got those too , but since the only way of getting points is to shop at tescos, it is quite limited. the tescos points is more generous in that each point is worth 1p, instead of the nectar where it is worth half of that. but nectar can jerk off more spending, by offering double points… a clever marketing ploy actually. somehow when they do that, there is more fun in playing along with it. they certainly know about human psychology…

and now they have a advent calendar. every day you answer a question and get into a draw for points … so really when you think of it, you dont get anything really, because how slim are the chances of winning that draw? but it is still fun to play… those guys really know how to push our buttons, and even though we can see them and know it, we still string along, haha. i find it a bit of fun. and i think plenty of nectar members think so too. and i bet many of us will shop at sainsburys , all else being equal…rather than at other stores. i find i do. so if it has affected how i shop, i can bet plenty of others are roped in too. haha. 

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.