Tag Archives: shopping

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.



john lewis membership card

7 Jul


I am at the library and charging the chromebook and i have read the telegraph and the times and glanced through the daily mirror (the latter because they sometimes feature the special offers by supermarkets which enable me to get down there and buy it before it runs out).

this library dont have the mail. that newspaper also have adverts by supermarkets. it was the one where i found out about morrisons latest chicken offer of £1.75/kg. i bought 4 that time, and roasted two and cut up the other 2 and freezed them. at that price they are the same price as frozen chicken pieces except they are better as they have breast meat.

one advantage of reading the actual newspaper instead of online is the adverts of these special supermarket offers.

there are the guardian and independent newspapers too in the library  but i had enough of reading for now and thought i shall write a post instead.

So u must be asking what is all this john lewis thingy then?This morning i got the john lewis membership card sent to me by post after i got an email from them asking me to join. I knew of this membership card sometime ago and wanted to join it for its free cake and coffee once a month. haha. but for some reason i could not find it online.

this email came after i spent £230 on the chromebook last month in their john lewis store in westfield shopping complex in stratford.  i wonder if that is the reason why i got that email. i was thinking i could have put that purchase on the card if i had it then.

there dont seem to be any advantage to having the card apart from the free cake and coffee and even then it is only once a month .they said they can monitor us and give us special offers according to what we buy… which is certainly not calculated to entice people to join does it? they said each purchase earns an entry for each £1 spent to a monthly prize draw which is a £250 voucher to spend in john lewis.

 i have a waitrose card but that card does give better value as it gives u free coffee everyday and also 10% off all purchases. Anyway, in the letter they sent me, in an envelope that looks like a cd case, i got 3vouchers , one each month till sept to use for my cake and coffee. i am looking forwrd to those. haha.

I recently went into their store in oxford st, and saw the cafe on the top floor, and it was rather nice. too bad they dont sell the security lock for my chromebook otherwise i would buy it now and use my membership card. (but since i now cannot find any less than £10 unless i go online, i doubt i shall buy it now).

i wish the chromebook has a slot with a hidden hole, so we can use our own chain or lock instead of having to buy a special lock to fit the custom made socket in the chromebook. but i shall keep an eye out for a security lock that costs less than £10 in the shops.

its not really a big concern, as the library is quite safe to leave things alone for a short while. and there is always the option of putting the whole thing, adapter(still plugged in the charger socket) and chromebook inside a bag and lock that and secure the bag to the table. so i guess you can prevent someone stealing the adaptor which must cost a bit if you have to buy it on its own. I mean the only reason why anyone wants to leave the chrome book unattended is when  you are charging it in a public space and the security lock do not safeguard the adaptor.

other than that there is nothing i want to buy in john lewis. in fact, i remember looking for the price tag in their sports clothes section and could not find any. they make it hard to find the price.  

i picked up a pack of ankle socks , 4pairs all of different colours, and could not find the price. so i asked one of the servers, a lady who looked like she is a supervisor, rather than a shop assistant, and asked her and i made a comment saying i hate this store for making it so difficult to find the price. she agreed with me as she could not find the price on the tag either; and went away with the socks to find the price and came back and said it was £10, and i said i feel real embarrassed having to ask you for the price. it makes me feel the store is hinting that if you have to ask the price,(and here i can see her nodding as she knows the saying well)  you cannot afford it.

maybe it is a temporary glitch because it was a few days into their sales, and these socks may have been brought from outside ( as special purchase) and not their usual goods. anyway i doubt i will buy them as ankle socks are £2 for 3 pairs in primark. 



a sunny day in london

3 Jul


 really sunny day today so i went to oxford st and selfridges and tried out the new way of posting pics. pity i could not do it like this guy here who seem to be able to post pics with the original size. 

with the pics here i was hoping they would make it one frame and have the pics run like a slide show. instead they open another window and show the pics oneby one , without any way of making it run like a slideshow and there is no way of enlarging the pics to their original size.

Added I have found the help page that tells me how to do the slide. as for the size, i think i shall have to take a really large size pic and post it and see if it will keep its original size. as usual when there is a change in format, users get upset because they dont know how to use it and it is human to  blame the new design instead of themselves for not troubling to find out how to do it. i can understand why users dont want to learn new ways to do things, because it is a lot of bother. haha.  


entertaining friends

10 Jun

So today, Monday, all my guests have gone. They have come to stay for the naked bike ride in London on 8june, and now they have moved on.

My two guests from new Zealand are now in paris, staying with other naturist friends and continuing their European tour.

My friend john will have just caught his train to poole.

Yesterday, john and I were wondering where to go and decided on visiting Portobello street market, in notting hill, but we found out when we were on the bus 148 that the buses are not running there, as there is a huge burst water pipe. There was a similar incident in regents street some time ago, which disrupted bus traffic too.

So we ended up in shepherd’s bush, and decided to go to the Westfield shopping complex there. It is a pleasant place, with lots of chairs where a lot of people were sitting on and sleeping on it even.

I wonder if they might have made it too comfortable, so that shoppers become disinclined to visit the shop and prefer to just sit there.

It is tough to shop keepers to get people to buy your stuff, at least that is the impression I got, from the many shoppers there who seem to just enjoy the place without any evidence of shopping bags to show they are actually buying stuff.

That day, it was cloudy and chilly, so it was ideal to get indoors into a warm sheltered shopping complex.

I confess I find it difficult to recommend any place to bring visitors to in London. Maybe I am just jaded, or that my interests do not involve eating out and shopping, which are the biggest way (and sometimes seems to me to be the only way)to entertain yourself in London.

If u are not interested in those things, and not interested in seeing old pictures and furniture and things in museums etc you will find it rather difficult to find things to do.

I guess just wander around the little villages, like soho, Chelsea, hampstead, spitalfields, Camden, borough, etc just to see the people doing their thing and people watch.

Though even then, u might most probably find your fellow countrymen doing the same thing, and no locals in sight but lots of foreigners who have come to work here, or are visiting like you.

We met two Malaysian girls looking at the menu in a Malaysian restaurant , (named penang, they do a free cocktail class weekdays at 5or 6pm ), in the alley leading to the Westfield centre. They were visiting from leeds, (and come from penang in Malaysia) and when I said I like the curry laksa instead of the vinegarish penang laksa; they recommended the laksa in a restaurant in Chinatown. She only knows its Chinese name and wrote it down for me, but it is in Chinese. And she did not know its English name, but she did say it was in an alley off the eastern end of gerrard st. she said they do very good curry laksa there and will be there that evening.
It only occurred to me much later that I guess if I were straight it would be a hint to go there to meet them and make friends with some girls.Haha. But at that time, I did not really think of it that way.
I am sure the girls did not think of it as a come on either… they really were talking only of telling me of the restaurant so I can try the laksa there.

Later I googled it, and found out it was C&R restaurant in 4,Rupert Court. I have eaten the laksa there long ago and it was very nice. It cost £8.50 then, (about 5-10yrs ago I cannot remember exactly) but get this, the menu online now showed the price now is £6.50… Amazing, it‘s cheaper… but maybe the ingredients are less.

But it kind of illustrate that in London, u are more likely to meet your fellow countrymen than the locals.

I find it really hard pressed to recommend where to go for visitors.

My friends from new Zealand knew where to go, and have their plans, so thank goodness I don’t have to exert myself to entertain them.

They went to a afternoon coach trip to Stonehenge, costing £24 each.(reduced £5 because they book online) Includes entry fee. And they went on another day to the tower of London to see the jewels. Which when I saw it a long time ago, looked very fake, because they were so huge. Haha. If I did not see them in the context of the tower of London, I would have thought they were very good replicas. Haha. It is just that such huge diamonds are so rare, u just cannot believe they are real.

Actually for all we know, they might well be replicas, and the real thing is kept under lock and key in a security vault. It wont surprise me at all if that is the case.

I have a friend who is registered disabled, and he asked me to go see it, and do you know carers can get in free, if going with a disabled person. And u jump the queue too… but even that did not tempt me to go join the crowd to see it.

I know, I come across as a bloody jaded old man, and maybe I am. Haha. But just pottering around London, and my area is very pleasant experience for me, which I enjoy a lot and satisfies me . It is all the excitement I want. I am afraid as I go older, I find I don’t like excitement very much. Because I know from experience that ‘excitement’ means a lot of bother…
Like this latest excitement we are experience in the flat now… the old washing machine had conked out and cannot be repaired and we have to buy a new one… and it will be delivered in 18june. Such excitements I can do without frankly. I hope once we got the new one, I wont have to go through another one like it for another 10yrs at least, that is how long I expect any new electrical appliance to last me.

(my soul dont want to be bothered with it, because it was simon who found it not working, and he is the one who had to go through the bother of trying to repair it, took the whole thing apart it seems and found it could not be repaired…and he ordered the new washing machine too. i did not have to do anything.haha.)

So keep all that ‘excitement‘… give me a nice quiet life without them. Haha.

I happen to read this article in quartz, about how to make yourself employable.

Often u hear people say , I have years of experience and good at my job but nobody wants to hire me because I am too old, etc.
This article gives a very unusual take on that.

Quote an extract from it  ‘For example, if the problem is that I am being discriminated against because of my age, then I cannot fix that problem without changing the minds of billions. But if my failures are my fault, then all I have to do is change my own mind. This is one of those general rules I have come up with in my old age, even though I cannot remember the specifics of how I came by it.’ unquote.

read the rest here

added. my friends bought me carnation evaporated milk. 2cans. they are v expensive , double what the aldi, or tesco ones. i thought they will be nice and taste exactly like those evaporated milk that i tasted in my childhood in malaysia. but it is not so. they dont have that taste at all. i thought the aldi , and tesco milk dont taste like the malaysian ones because they were cheap, but if the carnation milk tastes just the same as the aldi, i dont think i shall bother buying the carnation at all. thanks to my friends, i am able to judge for myself the carnation milk without having to buy it. 

added. 12.37pm 2016 paddington library london 19.1C cloudy. saw this article on my wordpress recommend . it is 3 yrs now, and that washing machine is still going strong. but then i would expect it to, as it is only 3yrs old. at one stage it acted up and did not spin strong enough to dry the clothes. but after a bit, with us doing nothing to it, it corrected itself. at that stage we thought we had to replace it with a new one. but glad it got over itself and started working again.

its a jungle out there

18 May

I always say the urban environment we live in is like a jungle , instead of predatory animals lying in ambush to kill and eat prey, we have shops and businesses waiting to take cash from us.

The latest whiz is the contact less cards. They allow payment without even needing to swipe the cards on a reader. The oyster card is an example, but now they even have a Barclay card that u can use on the buses.

You might think that is a great idea, but it seems they extend the range of these cards in stores (like Marks and spencers) so that even cards that are in your purse, near the reader can have the money taken from them, and without need to tap in your pin number.

The article reports it happening to some customers in M&S store.

I am not affected as I don’t have these contact less credit cards.correction 21.5.13 i have them, except i dont know which ones are contactless, but since i never carry them around with me, it does not affect me.

Some people don’t check their statements so may never realise it is happening to them.

Another way they try to screw money out of you is in the check out till in supermarkets. The amount may not be the same as advertised. This may be due to the till not being adjusted for the new price, or the goods are placed in the wrong shelf, (either by staff or by careless/lazy customers who return the goods to the wrong place) and what u thought is the price turns out not to be.

I always take this as the fun of living in a city or town. It keeps you on your toes to avoid such things, and makes life a bit more exciting. Haha.

Once, I put two oyster cards in the same card carrier, and placed it against the reader on the bus and found that the reader had taken the fare money from both the cards. So that made me realise never to put the spare oyster cards together.

(oyster cards are the name of the contact less cards used by tfl, transport for London, to pay for fares in the tubes, buses and trains. They are cheaper than using cash)

added. heard a bbc report saying be careful when u put your wallet with other credit cards and oyster card to the bus or tube reader, as it can take the money from all the credit cards in the wallet which allow contactless payments.

No wonder i have noticed no one put their oyster card or freedom card in the wallet and present that. Instead people take out the card and present it and i used to think that is quite inefficient.

I myself put it in a airline toiletry pouch round my neck. i use it as a wallet, but i have no credit card in there. 

You soon learn by trial and error what the pitfalls are.

I was watching this tv program, idiot abroad, about ricky gervaise playing a trick on karl Pilkington, sending him abroad and putting him through awful touristy ordeals.

This one showed him in china, and some of his observations are really spot on, showing all the awfulness of visiting a place just for the sake of it.

One thing he said while standing on the great wall of china, quoting from a guide book that that section he was on was refurbished in the 80s and he said what is the point of coming here to look at something that had been built in modern times, or something like that… and I thought very true really.

A lot of old things have been refurbished because old things do crumble away, not to mention all those footfalls by tourists hasten their crumbling even more. Haha. And if u think they should have left the wall alone, and not try to improve it, u might change your mind when u do see the original state of it. Karl was sent to walk the wall, and we are shown the bits of the wall that is crumbling away, and believe me when I say it was very unimpressive. Haha.

Gervaise wants us to laugh at karl not appreciating travelling , and telling us they want to show him that travelling improves the mind, but I think the program really shows the opposite. That travelling is pointless really if u force it on someone who is not interested. U end up making him really upset at all the weird things these foreigners get up to. And come away convinced that they are all mad. Its all very well seeing their culture, but it is never going to make u like doing some of the extreme things they do and eating the things they do.

It looks like they are bullying karl.

It might even make him go away thinking these foreigners are a bunch of mad people . That is to say, it might make him more intolerant of their culture and habits.

Normally this program is on sky tv, and I don’t subscribe to sky tv. But this one was shown on pick tv, which sometimes show selected sky programs for free.

I think seeing it once or twice is enough for me. It is not much fun for me to see the poor guy being subjected to these awful experiences. Too much like bullying. though I suspect it is all acted out, and karl is simply following a script. Though those bits showing him enduring all the things cooked up for him does not looked acted. 



the experience of travel

14 Mar


12.3.13 Wednesday

These few days have been really wonderful to be in London.
It has been about 2C in the day, and windy, but it has been sunny and blue.

This kind of weather is excellent for walking. I am always wrapped up warm so the cold is not a deterrant. In fact, it can be really nice to walk in this cold weather.

I read in the papers of snow in other parts of uk, but nothing like that in London. We do get the occasional hail, or tiny bits of snow flakes, which melts the instant it hit’s the ground.

As usual, if all you get is information from newspapers u would think we are being snow bound and trapped in traffic. But it is nothing like that in London.

0C is not uncomfortable, when u consider people in Canada, or usa suffering -10C or -20C. That is cold.

Even if the day is not sunny, like that day a few days ago, it is still very pleasant to go out. Then head for an indoor attraction. I went to Westfield in shepherd’s bush. It is the first time I went there, even though they have been opened about 3yrs ago, and it is quite a nice shopping complex.

It has glass ceiling which allows natural light to come in. I like that. And it is a vast space, so u don’t feel cooped up. And there are lots of seating, and not only at the coffee shops. No one hassles u if u just sit and have a rest. U can even have a short nap.

It is a rare shopping complex which provides so many seats for just resting instead of forcing u to keep moving or buy something. I see people on their laptops, so wifi is available. Not sure if it is free but it should be.

A warm shopping complex with its controlled environment is ideal for a cold day with strong winds outside. You would think all the people here would go to these shopping malls. But we have only this one built not long ago. Shopping malls like the big ones in asia don’t seem to catch on here in uk. I wonder why?

In s.e.asia. I know people like to go to the air-conditioned malls just to hang around in the cool. In fact, we have to because it can be really uncomfortable to be outdoors in that heat, but in uk, it is pleasant to be outdoors even if it is cold. So there is no great incentive to hang around these shopping malls.

Sometimes inside department stores, it can get so hot, I am glad to get out.

It is a fact that with the cold u can dress warmly , but when it is hot, there is nothing u can do. Even being naked is no help. In fact it may be better to wear something white and cover yourself all over, rather like the arab men do. White reflects the heat. But their women wear black. It must be really hot under their black covering.

When the sun is shining, even though cold, it is much nicer to be outside. Maybe that is why oxford st is still very popular as a shopping street, even though u can have a long walk between shops. And u can get a snow shower , as happened when I walked there recently.

London is blessed with lots of public open spaces, like the parks, and the squares where u can sit without having to pay for it. In the park, u can see the flowers , though the daffodils in st james are not yet in full bloom. You can watch the public. Leicester square is a good place to sit and watch people. There is that marble seating all round the perimeter of the square, as well as benches inside the square garden. Just chose a spot that the sun shines on. It is a nice spot to eat your packed lunch too.

I went inside one of the cinema complexes in Leicester square and noticed that the cinema tickets cost £14. That is why I have not gone to see a film for ages.

You might ask yourself what can a person do if they don’t want to spend anything?

U can pack a lunch and a thermos, and go window shopping.

It can be fun, I was passing this place in the haymarket, a street that leads off picadilly circus, and saw a group of Japanese going inside and followed them. It was a department store with all the English goods in one roof. All the things that Japanese tourists thing is typically English. All the clothing in small sizes too. Haha. And even shopping bags with the harrods logo and name on them. And all the shop assistants were Japanese looking and speaks Japanese, even to me.

The tourists could have gone to the harrods shop, itself, or Fortnum and mason to buy the tea, and get the full experience of shopping in the real thing. After all didn’t they come all this way to experience that?

But I guess when it is about the serious business of buying the stuff, they much prefer coming here and getting it all in one stop and be able to be served by Japanese speaking shop assistants.

I found out regent street is closed to buses. So if ever your bus route go through there, avoid that bus.

I made a mistake with the bus 88. It goes pass my place so I usually take that bus. But I made the mistake of going to oxford circus to catch the bus rather than go down to haymarket. And so I was stuck in the bus whilst it went along lower oxford st, to Bloomsbury and then swung round back to piccadilly. It took an age. I could have walked quicker. Ah well, I was not thinking.

It was not that awful, because I am in no hurry to get anywhere.

If u are thinking of going the full length of the bus route, it might be better to just get off at both ends of regent st, walk along regent st and catch the bus further up.

Well, that is a bit of local information for you.haha.

13.3.13 Thursday
I read this ‘lovely girls, very cheap’ by decca aitkenhead. It is an except in the new granta book of travel, 2011, which I borrowed from the library.

‘Everyone who came to Thailand to spend foreign earnings on fun was defined by the gap between their wealth and Thailand’s poverty. Despite the backpackers’ belief in their own poverty, what they actually take from Thailand is the experience of being immensely rich. They behave in the same careless, bored and discontented way as rich people anywhere, with no purpose but their own amusement. Guarding their money like their own. It is a cruel irony for those who set off imagining they will find themselves by travelling, and find instead their identities are reduced to the sum of their traveller’s cheques’.

I think that really hit the nail on the head. It encapsulates what the travelling is to many people especially to those who travel to the world’s poor areas.







mark up on retail goods

27 Jan


26.1.13 saturday

I picked up a brochure when I was in north west London that afternoon I was there on a shag date. it was lying on the pavement on the high street. It was a trade pricing sheet for autumn winter 2013 by ruby + ed. A company I have not heard of but seem to do a lot of faux fur items. Even hot water bottle covers.

For eg, it lists a jet hooded coat, also a mink hooded coat trade £110 RRP £275
Pack price £330 I like the hoodie on it.
Does it mean if u sell one item at the full price, u will have covered your cost? I wonder how many items in the pack? It seems depand on the items.
For eg, for clothing and coats, there are 3 items, one each of small, medium and large size.

There was a mink hooded jacket ( a shorter version of the above mink hooded coat) which might be more practical and which I quite fancy, trade £98 RRP £245 pack price £294. There is no reduction for buying the pack. If I were a buyer, I would not bother to buy the pack but order just 3 of the coats 2 of the medium and 1 of large size.

I think the small size may not sell so well. With coats anyone can wear a bigger size, and still look good, whilst if u get a small size, not many can wear it, and also it looks real cramped. And you might find the small size don’t sell at all and u would have lost money there.

On the tube train going to north London on Friday, sitting across me was a foreigner, a guy , wearing a really tight fitting down jacket, and it was stretched and looked like he was constricted under there. And I doubt he could wear a sweater or anything underneath it. Layering would keep him warmer too. It looked as if the down jacket was too small for him, and he was a slim guy too.

Coming back on the bus that same day, I saw a lady came on board and she was wearing a real nice looking fur like coat. it must be a fake fur, and it has a hoodie of fur, and I thought that is a nice thing to get. I wonder if I can find it in the recycling bins, but I doubt it, as it is not the kind of thing that is thrown away. Haha. It was knee length which makes it rather voluminous. I wonder if that cost her £275. If so it is rather a lot to pay for a coat. and if she can afford that kind of money what is she doing on a bus? Haha. (Maybe she got a freedom pass, because I have noticed quite a lot of richly dressed people taking the bus in my area. You can tell they don’t take the bus much, because they got up and stood by the exit, but did not press the bell to stop the bus, and got upset when the bus sailed right pass their stop.)She got off at the st johns residential block. It used to be Westminster hospital turned into luxury flats.

I saw the fake fur jackets in that brochure I picked up and it looked good. They are for women, but I dare say a man can wear it if he is daring enough.haha.
There is a bear fur jacket which I thought would suit a man. It is trade £79.60 RRP £199 pack price £238.80 no hoodie though.





The company was called ruby + ed.
And there I saw their jaguar fur boot reduced from £40 to £16 which is really a very good bargain buy as from the brochure I found the trade price is the same amount. But there is a £5.50 delivery charge.

All that fake fur looks very enticing esp since the weather had been rather chilly. But all is going to change and the temperature is rising from today. Already it is 8C. Good ol uk, esp London, where the temp is never cold for long. So it looks like all those who got fake fur coats will have to put it back to storage for another year.

I think I will still be able to use the beanies I found. We might still get some cold weather in February.

As usual, so much of these clothing is not necessary.

It is not usual for me to devote so much space to writing about clothes. I guess I am fascinated by the faux fur.

I found a blanket like that. It is made of fleece which is what I think these faux fur coats are made of. Like cotton, fleece comes in different qualities. And that fake fur blanket I found does feel really nice. So I imagine the faux fur coat must feel even better.

On another note, I went to the library this morning to read the Saturday papers, and saw they have been putting out a fresh batch of new books. One of them is ‘les miserable‘, the book. I have not read the book, and not seen the musical nor film, (and don’t intend to do so) and at first I was not going to borrow that book as I am put off by all the hype over the film and musical. But I read the first page of it and it looks promising. The translation from the French is quite readable. So I borrowed it. I am prepared to read the book, rather than go see the film or musical when they do change things or place different emphasis on things.








just a picture of the noodle soup that i made . i just post it for fun. the noodle in chinese is called hor fun.

all kinds of random thoughts

18 Dec


17.12.12 Monday.

Went to Brixton to the 99p store today to try to find socks for 99p. But there are none to be had. I may have to go to Bournemouth to the 99p stores there to get them. Or wait till the new year sales at primark.

Whilst I was at the 99p shop I bought Johnson’s baby oil 200mg. I have run out of baby oil. Very useful to moisturise the skin after a shower.

There is no rush as socks are something that have no urgency. Haha.

Seeing I was in Brixton, I went to the market to buy ginger and garlic.

Here in uk, the shops put out plastic bowls where they fill it with fruits, etc to sell all for £1 each.
I saw a shop selling quite a large amount of ginger in the £1 container outside the store. Must be quite the biggest amount I have seen.

The ginger was not only huge but there were two big bunch of them. So I bought it. And they are not old either which usually they are when they are put out like that in the containers to be sold at £1.

The shop which I usually go to, where the owner gives me a 10% discount is manned by a young guy this morning when I went there. He did not seem interested in my custom. So I figured I wont be able to get him to give me any discounts.

So I went elsewhere to buy the garlic. I bought 5 small bulbs for 69p at another store. Yet, his store was selling 7 bulbs of garlic for the same price. I know I should have bought from him, but it just goes to show how an uninterested shopkeeper can influence your decision to buy from him or not.

Then I stop by a store where I know they sell 6 onions for 50p. Quite cheaper than in the supermarkets for sure. There was no price notice and I would not have known about it. Except last time I visited I saw a woman gave him 50p for them, and that made me realise they are quite a good price. So I go there to get my onions now. Haha.

U might well say stop boring us with these prices of ordinary foodstuffs. I know it is boring if u don’t live here(in London or uk), or even if u do haha. But I like talking about it. Haha.

Most people talk of frugality, but not mention much about the small transactions like these, 50p here, £1 there may not sound like a lot, but they mount up.

But the most important thing they do is to tune your mindset to a less expensive mode.

For eg, if u are used to buying stuff at £5 or so, anything less and u think is a bargain. for me who buy things at £1 or less, only 20-50p will be a bargain.

That is why when I went to primark and saw their £5 packs of socks, my initial reaction was ‘that is cheap’ until I realise that it comes to £1 a pair of socks. That is not cheap. Remember these are run of the mill socks. And not even pure cotton either.

I think I can easily expect them to be reduced come the boxing day sales. I read that the tube is going on strike on boxing day. Hmm, might it be less crowded and so be worth going there on that day?? I might go there by bus in the morning and see what I can find. Might escape the big crush later on in the day.

And as they say, take care of the pennies, and the £ will take care of itself.

(added. Google provides an app called Finance41 f41 (finance-for-one, geddit?) and I have been using it to track my outgoings. It is the middle of the month and already I have spent £27 and it is from buying small items. Only two items are about £3 . One on pork2.8kg, the other on frozen fish1kg.

I know my expenses are very small, but I can see it is the little bits of 50p , £1 that mounts up. My usual spend a month is about £50-£60. It was half in the past, when I was less spendthrift, haha. I have loosened up a bit these days.)

I forgot to look out for a plumber’s plunger, to unblock my kitchen sink. For some reason, the cold spell had caused a blockage.

I have a plunger but the rubber tip is eroding and melting. It must be about 20yrs old. I like to make things last and really use them till their last dying breath. Haha.

I think there are no plungers to be sold in Brixton area. I have to go to balham and the hardware stores there. I saw plungers for sale there the last time I visited the area. Cant remember how much they cost.

Added 10pm. I got back from the supermarket having gone there hoping to find 10p bread. Well, I was lucky. When I arrive, the bread were there, by the entrance, and they must have been hauled there only recently, as there were plenty of hovis wholemeal multi seeded bread800mg for 10p each. So I bought 3.

It being Monday, the usual hordes of shoppers like me were not around so that might account for me being able to get these multiseeded bread.


There were lots of white bread, wholemeal own brand bread, etc too. Sometimes I buy Warburton’s white bread. simon likes them.

My freezer is not very big, so I cannot really stock up with a lot of bread as they take up so much room.


Added. Read this ,


I have been there years ago, mid 90s, and did wonder than why they have this peculiar law that insists that the centre of the town is not nudist. So we had this strange situation when we walk to the centre of town naked, and once there have to put on a slip of clothing. In an island that is supposed to be a naturist place.

I thought that part of ile du levant have been bought from the army which occupies the rest of the island and made into a naturist place and so is private land. But it seems the town centre is subject to French laws.

Why now have it come to arrests? those nudists have been arrested for being nude there Usually people observe the law, esp the locals who live and work there.

The local shopkeeper was fined for being naked in the terrace of his shop. And a local refused to cover up when told to.

So many places that are naked have been subjected to this sort of harrassment. In the past the law was usually unenforced. Now there seem to be some people who deliberately go there to enforce the law and make naked people forced to get dressed. It seems to be a sign of the increasing intolerance of nudity that seem to be the trend these days.