Tag Archives: spring

first day of spring

20 Mar

london 10.37am sunny tuesday 6.1C officially first day of spring2018

sunshine streaming into the flat, from my two windows in the lounge. first time i think this year that it has been so strong. and quite fitting too, as this is the first day of spring. the changing seasons is one of the nicest things about living in these temperate latitudes.

i made a pot of tea just now. and drinking it now i realise it is just as nice , this assam tea, as the darjeeling tea that i used to have before. i find i am wanting stronger tea now. i drink it without suger or milk. i think as i go older, i like bitter tastes, then vinegarish tastes  more than sugery, or salty tastes. but i would not generalise and say all old people tend to go that route. i know lots of friends who are getting old and still like their suger and lots of it.

i seem to have rediscovered how nice crackers biscuits are. i used to buy rich tea biscuits, and digestives , but now i think i shall go for cream crackers. why they use the word cream is a mystery to me. there is no cream in it. in fact i think i like it because it is not sweet, unlike most biscuits. each cream cracker has 1.2g of fat though. it is one biscuit that i can eat a lot of in one sitting, (just this month i have finished off 500mg of it. and the month is not even over. whilst i still got some rich tea biscuits lying around that has been in its container for ages.) so that is something to be aware of and guard against. seem we are allowed to eat 44g – 78g of fat a day. 

they recommend it be eaten with cheese. i dont think so, it has allready a lot of fat, without adding more. and it is very nice on its own anyway. it smells very nice too. 

spring seems to be here.

13 Mar

london 5.12pm 14.3C sunny . its the highest temp today. monday 2017

its a very pleasant day, blue sky and sunny all day. a good day to sit out in the sun and enjoy the vit D being made by the body. but i have so gotten into the habit of not doing it, that i did not sit out in the sun today. habits die hard.

i was in the bus to brixton, as i have run out of ginger and so went there to buy some. and the only sun i got is the one streaming in through the huge glass window in the front on the top deck.

coming back i thought of making a pot of tea and bring it outside to the courtyard and sit there drinking it. and just have some quiet time where i dont do anything but sit there with the sun full on me and just soak it up. but somehow when i got into the flat, i got distracted which happens to me a lot and my good intentions just flies out of the window. and i stay in and potter around.

i am hoping that the sun stays out for the rest of the month, so i gradually get to break the habit of staying in. its been so long since i sit out in the sun just doing nothing but enjoy the sun on me. i am talking of years here… i have to resort to seeking to stand in the unshaded part near the bus stop, so that i can get some sun whilst waiting for the bus, or walk on the sunny side of the street when i am walking about just to be able to get some vit D.

but definitely there are all the signs that the weather is becoming spring like now. it is rather fun these changing seasons. one of the joys of living here. 

added. today is holi, celebrated by hindus, but malaysia dont celebrate it much. that is why i am not familiar with it. here in london, all festivals are celebrated and so there is a place which have an organised celebration, where they throw the coloured water, or powder. u have to buy a ticket to join. i guess just as well, as not everyone enjoys being splattered with coloured powder (or water… or have i confused it with the thai new year celebration?)   when they are just minding their own business or just walking about in london. 

added 7.32pm 14.2C night . i have noticed a new format for writing the post. it says a lot for the new layout that it was seamless with the old format, and very intuitive, so that it was easy to use it, things were clearly signposted and the old functions were easily spotted. i was able to find out all the new changes even before i read the post by the wordpress people about it. so that is a huge plus. there were none of that hiatus and confusion and frustration when u cannot find those buttons u used to find so easily. haha. so i would say this change has been very well done. congrats guys. not often we can say it but this one deserves an accolade.


a severe pruning this winter, that would lead to a great outburst of new growths in spring

1 Feb

london 4.44pm 10.9C cloudy wednesday 2017

6.40pm 10.8C rain.

we are now moving into february. i enjoy flipping the page over in the desk calendars i have amassed by one page. and seeing a new picture for the month. and it is nice to know that this month is a really short one, and so one can anticipate winter to end sooner when march comes. some will say spring dont come till the spring equinox, but you can always make believe it to come earlier by saying spring comes on 1st march. so there!! haha.

though it is so mild now that it might as well be spring actually. 

and i can see the magnolia bushes near the bus stop in the community garden have lots of buds, and one flower allready coming to bloom. that means we can look forward to a huge harvest of blooms later , which would make for a very cheerful display.

usually by now it would have a mass of flowers blooming, but they trimmed the bushes very severely 2years ago and it took this time to start budding again and it promises to be an abundance of flowers if we judge from the numbers of buds.

this year, in a frenzy of pruning, practically all the other bushes that line the garden have been severely trimmed until they are all bald. haha. the garden is now very open on all sides now. you would think that will kill the plants, but nature does not work that way. the more u prune, the better the new growth.

that is the thing about nature. you can find something that devastates everything for eg, an erupting volcano, or a big big storm that blows down everything and breaks lots of branches, or a very cold spell that stuns everything… and you would think that is it, nothing can survive this onslaught… and you would be terribly depressed and despair …for so much destruction.

but hey, a few months later, u will see such a vast growth and exuberant flowering you can not imagine how you could have thought nature was finished. and i think that is the similar thing with human beings and their affairs. dont get depressed at what is happening now in the political scene with brexit, and trump… the world could do with the equivalent of a pruning. and boy are we having a great chopping haha. !! but i am optimistic.

Digital StillCamera


a normal spring day in london

14 May

london 8.24pm 13.4C saturday 2016

its been quite cold today, the weather website says it is 12.8C now, but i dont think i shall pay it much attention. haha. the average high for this time of year is 11C. so by rights it is normal for this time of year, but i felt cold so there. haha. my fault really.

i was walking about earlier today and i felt cold, but that is because i have been rather foolishly misjudged it and walked out with only a wool jacket, and shorts.!!.

i dont know what i was thinking of haha. i must have been fooled by yesterday’s warm temperature when it was so hot i had to shed my two layers of clothes. but that is our english weather for you. lovely isn’t it? i say it without irony, it is genuinely lovely. i love this weather.

the sun has just set and it is cosy in my flat, no heating but even then it is pleasant in the flat, because once u are sheltered from the wind, as i am inside myflat, it can be very pleasant. in fact i am wearing shorts in my flat now. in all those weather forecasts, they were comparing the last few days of a heat wave so that this temperature now is lamented as being a cold spell, when actually it is the normal for this time of year. the last few days of high temperature was the abnormal ones.



Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

3 books i borrowed from the library yesterday. geek love by katherine dunn was the one i went in to get, but found the other two to my liking as well.

basking in the sun

19 Apr

london 5.12pm 21.9C sunny tuesday 2016

first time this year that i sat out in the sun and basked in the warmth of it. it was about 3pm i think when i did it. the sun was shining strong enough to make me take the collapsible garden chair that i found a long time ago, and set it up in the courtyard facing the sun and sit there to enjoy the full blast of heat . and took along a book, two books in fact, because it was two sessions of heat  interrupted in between by a period when the sun got hid behind a big cloud that make me go in.

sometimes i think that is all life is about, to be able to sit in the sun and just enjoy its heat. just like those lizards we see in nature programs; and this we do in these northern climates, when winter is over and the sun sheds its welcome heat on to us.

very different from the fierce heat of sun in the tropical countries, when everyone flees from the sun if they can help it and hide away in the deep dark shades.

the temperature i see in the weather website now for london is 21.9C. i wonder if there is some mistake. looking at the various locations in london in westminster,as shown in the website  it ranges from 12.8C to 23C.

times like this when i would like to have my own thermometer to record the actual temperature outside my flat.

here is to all of us people all over the world who are enjoying just sitting in the sun, wherever they may be, and in all types of surroundings , whether sitting by the sea, on a sandy beach and hearing the sound of the waves, or in the countryside, with lush vegetation and birds singing. whether sitting in the sun, or in the shade of whatever trees there are, with fruits or without. all of us having this one thing in common, enjoying the sun.


Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera


tulips coming up to take its turn now to bloom. the daffodils are on the way out. that is a war memorial to commemorate the animals that are used in war.


spring flowers and root veg

5 Apr

london 12.44pm sunny tuesday 2016 13.9C


aldi selling root veg for 39p each. 2.5kg of potatoes, 1kg of carrots , red onions. nice bargain. i shall roast them i think. the sandwich is made from home made grated carrot and celery coleslaw. 

i was going to cook soya sauce chicken today, so decided to add some root veg in it. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

there are chicken pieces in there. haha.

To see the world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour (william blake)

it seems princess charlotte have a chrysanthemum named after her, and it is going on sale for £8 on may 2 in waitrose,( her birthday) its quite a pretty flower, pink with green tips. 

The unique pink and green chrysanthemum produced by Dutch company Deliflor.

spring, flowers, saffron, thoughts

20 Mar

london 7pm 9.9C sunday 2016.

its always nice to see the plants waking up and sprouting buds and putting out early flowers. they certainly get a lot of attention, each flower is a the bright spot appearing in the general greyness, nice for us humans to see, but i wonder how useful it is to the plants… there cannot be that many insects so early in the year to pollinate them. and it’s not not that many plants nowadays ever get a chance to bear fruits either. all that effort and energy spent to produce flowers when we humans grow them just for the show.

i mean just take cherry blossoms, so many of them blooming in japan, but we dont hear of any   corresponding glut of cherries harvested later in the year , do we? so all those blossoms produce sterile results. it is the same here in london, all the cherry blossoms never produce any fruits at all. we would go through alot of trouble and selection to plant cherry blossoms just for their blooms at the spring time only… and we are not even interested in the fruits, so that we deliberately select sterile plants to propagate.

but when we look at farming and how we rear sheep, and cows very selectively, to eat and not for show, it tells me that we are meat eaters, and not fruit eaters. and too right … you have never heard of a fruitarian have you? someone who only eats fruits.

we also grow other spring flowers, daffodils and crocuses. but have u noticed the crocuses we grow are not the same variety that gives us stamens that we can dry to make saffron?

when i first heard that saffron is the stamen of crocuses i thought i could harvest that from all the crocuses that i see growing everywhere in spring in the parks in london. but it seems the variety grown is not the one that saffron is harvested. i wonder why? surely it would be great to kill two birds with one stone, to grow them for beauty as well as harvest them for the saffron. it must be a win win for everyone…. but no… why is that? anyone can explain? is there a body trying to monopolise saffron? to keep its price high? it cannot be difficult to cultivate the crocus sativus, which is the one that produces the saffron stamens and plant them in the parks and fields. added. i had a re-read, and noticed me using the saying… killing two birds… hmm, these sayings are so commonplace, that i tend to use them without thinking, but perhaps they are a product of an olden day when people are quite practical, and hunting birds for food is a survival thing rather than sport, and is part of people’s everyday life. 

some pictures in london

16 Apr

london thursday 2015 3pm tate britain millbank gdns

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today is 12hrs long

18 Mar

london 9.21pm wednesday 2015

i happened to look at the weather website and see that today is 12hrs long. so night and day are equal today. that is the spring equinox , yet they all tell us it is supposed to occur on 20march. 

Mar. 18, 2015 Rise Set
Actual Time 6:08 AM GMT 6:09 PM GMT
Civil Twilight 5:35 AM GMT 6:42 PM GMT
Nautical Twilight 4:56 AM GMT 7:22 PM GMT
Astronomical Twilight 4:15 AM GMT 8:02 PM GMT
Moon 4:56 AM GMT 3:54 PM GMT
Length of Visible Light 13h 07m
Length of Day
12h 00m
Tomorrow will be 3m57s longer.

living in london pt 7

19 May






the white flowers are rhododendrons. found out they are hydrangeas.

I saw the gardener in this housing estate planting the plants in the container just outside the front door entrance to the block of my flat.

this is like instant garden; with the flowers blooming away. its great for people who dont like to wait for the flowers to appear. it is pretty and i suppose it is one of the advantages of modern life. we dont have to plant seeds and plan ahead and wait ages for them to grow for the flowers to arrive. instead, one day there is a bare flower bed, the next, everything is blooming like crazy. haha. i think i like that. so now with the weekend of high temperatures, it feels like spring. it fact it feels like summer. flowers everywhere i go. 

even the roses are coming out in bloom  . I always thought they come out in august but no. there are huge varieties of roses.

I was at a friend’s garden yesterday, i got a call from him out of the blue yesterday, inviting me to visit him, enticing me by saying we could sun bathe naked in his garden. he lives near manor house, north london, and it was true, we can sun bathe naked. His is a rare garden, because no where in london can anyone sun bathe naked without the neighbours seeing. but what i want to say is that he had a huge white rose bush in his garden but practically all of it shows signs of remnants of a prolific blooming. now there are only a few flowers, so that bush has bloomed and gone. 

I got a email from waitrose telling me they have roses to sell. i thought they sell  the flowers, but it seems it is the whole bush plant. i suppose if u buy them and plant them in the garden u would be enjoying them for years to come. 

this blog that i follow  talks of musk roses. he lives in indonesia, and i wonder if that picture is of a rose in indonesia. it is not something i associate with s.e.asia but of course rose do grow in highland areas in the tropics.

i have not heard of that term (musk in relation to roses) before. i have heard of tea roses. i wonder why they are called tea roses. well, i googled it and found this link which gives an explanation. it seems they smell of tea.

And it seems musk roses smell of musk. i have to admit i did not notice the difference when i smell a rose.  rather, i mean when i smell a rose, i dont notice that it smells of tea. haha. to me it smells of rose. maybe my sense of smell is not acute.