Tag Archives: summer

just to chat

27 Jul

london 12noon monday 2015 17.7C cloudy with occasional sun.

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

this was my birthday card given to me by simon when i had my birthday in june. he stills likes to give cards, he used to live with a woman, and has been properly housetrained. haha. the seaside scene is happy making. usually i would throw it away by now, but the scene is rather summer-like.

it is also the america cup yacht  race going on now. the first leg is in the solent, uk. was rained off on the weekend, and is now catching up today with a life broadcast on bbc2.   it just goes to show these racing yachts are no use when the seas are a bit rough. such namby pamby things, rich man’s playthings, and not real ocean going yacht. now i am seeing them, and they all look like catamarans. is that it? i thought they are proper yachts. i remember seeing it in the past and they are proper racing yachts. have i mistaken it for another cup? difficult to google it, as i dont remember what that cup was called. australia won it i remember. well googling it, i found alan bond won it in 1983. goodness gracious, as they say… i seem to remember things long ago and forget things that happen recently. not sure the catamarans make it interesting to watch. not the same as real yachts. 

it has been raining in london, but it is not cold even though it is 17C. sometimes i really think the thermometer dont really tell how cold it is, because you would expect 17C to be cold, but it is not a bit like that in real life. it is really very pleasant. dont think when u read the headlines that this summer is a washout, that it is so. i can tell you as a person who is really living through it , it is really very pleasant. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

start of school holidays in uk

18 Jul

london 12.33pm saturday 2015

i was at victoria station this morning, hoping to see the buskers, as this weekend there is a busker’s competition and lots of them are playing at various places in london, but i was too early it starts at 12pm.

even so, victoria station was crowded with people, unusually so, why? i wondered… the taxis did not have to wait in a queue like they normally do, there was a long queue of people wanting to take the taxis, and the entrance to victoria tube station was jammed with people …

added. just an observation about that taxi queue. long line of customers waiting but instead of them going to the taxi behind the first one, they all wait patiently for the first one to negotiate loading up with passengers and moving off before they then take the next taxi. why dont they all go and negotiate and take the taxis that are lined up behind the first? so even if the ones in front take their time to load up, you can be on your way… is it taking queueing to insane levels? 

until i came back and remembered it is the start of the school holidays… i expected a motorway queue, but it seems as many are coming into london as going out of london.

actually i googled it and it says it starts on 11.7.15 -31.8 15. so why do they all say it started yesterday? which is 17.7.15. unless they all have the same idea, thinking to delay travel until a week later to avoid the rush;  and find lots of others had the same idea too and they all end up in traffic jams anyway. haha. how nice to have such a long break… 7weeks!!!

i am sure all of the kids would have forgotten their lessons when they return to school again. i strongly suspect this is the reason why the kids here are all falling behind kids in places like singapore where there are no long breaks.

i wonder where did this tradition of long summer holidays ever got started. i dont think that it happens anywhere else in the world. the british brought their system of education to malaysia, and singapore(when it was part of malaysia then) and i dont recall we had such long holidays… so they obviously did not bring in this long summer breaks into the malaysian education system when they set it up.  

added 5.55pm. i have been thinking about it, and i think it is a throwback from  the boarding school system that they send their children to. and i think that is a throwback to a time when there are many working in far flung areas of the british empire, and would want their children educated in the mother country.

long summer holidays will be a way for the school to shut down over the summer months and give everyone, staff as well as pupils a long break. the children could see their parents too ,i expect it may be  the only time in a year they can spend time with their parents. 

no flies yet

11 Jul

london 7.22pm 2015 saturday.

its really very nice weather we are getting in london now, and what surprised me is that there are no flies about, at least where i live in central london.

i wonder why? usually when it is this good , the flies start hatching from  their eggs which have been lying dormant all through winter…and u get a lot of them coming into the flat. but i look around me in my flat and there is no flies at all. not a single one. i daresay having said that i will be proved wrong tomorrow when my place will be invaded with them. haha. but for now i shall enjoy not having them around.

the absence of something is not noticeable, and people tend not to appreciate their absence. for eg i am really very glad that we dont have midges in london. there are tons of them in scotland, poor them. but we in london dont know how fortunate we are that we dont have them.

this also applies to good health, when we are healthy we dont think of it, and never pause to consider it and reallly appreciate it. it is only when we get ill, and than we appreciate its absence. then we look back on those days when we are well and realise how much we like those days and wished we were more appreciative of it. and then we get well, and promptly forget all about appreciating our good health. we start taking it for granted. haha. 

did u got woken up by the electricial storm last night?

18 Jul

london

That was what simon asked me just now. he said he got up at about 5am to go to work, and suddenly there was sudden huge pouring of rain and bright lights and thunder that shook the windows of the flat and flooded the flat with light. and it was over in 2 or 3mins.

I slept through it all. If he had not told me that he saw it, i could scarcely believe it.

when i read of it here, showing photos of the lightning flashes over london, i thought it cannot be happening in my area and must be localised elsewhere in london.

Not the first time i thought that what they said happened did not happen where i live. But after hearing what simon said, i guess i shall have to change my views about these things and just accept that i tend to sleep through the most momentous happenings. 

there is a video that they were showing in that article of the path of the lightning storm, and from it i can see why it lasted only a few minutes as it was a fast moving broad front heading across  england from south to north with the front bringing in torrential rain and lightning and thunder and passing over very quickly.

But i slept through it all. Next morning i did see the road was wet, and i thought a gentle rain had fallen last night. haha.

today is hot, 31.8C at 2.43pm according to this chart i follow. But it was very pleasant in my flat as my flat seem to be cooler. I was indoors.

I can take these temperatures without going mad and rushing out and sitting in the sun just because it is hot. most people are starved for days like these and cannot get enough of it, but i know better. haha. being from a hot country i dont worship the sun so much and want to avoid it.

in winter I will join everyone and walk in the sun and avoid the shady parts, every chance i get. because then, the sun is warming and welcomed.

but not in temperatures like today. thank goodness it is forecast that it will come down as soon as tomorrow.

the nice thing is that i dont have hay fever. i guess the pollen from that particular plant that i suffer from has gone. i think it is from grass, and most of the grass is turning to hay now. good. 

I saw a tv program about our discarded clothes that we give to charity, thinking that they are all sold in charity shops here, but it seems 80% are packed and sent to ghana, and places like that in africa. where the locals fight each other to get it to sell on. and it seems it has destroyed the local traditional clothes industry of the region. now they all wear western style clothes rather than their traditonal clothes.

it seems the people in africa like british second hand clothes, because the size suits them, unlike american sizes which are too large . and i read here that americans put their old clothes into landfill. and recycle the clothes by breaking them down. 

it is something i have noticed happening all over the world, traditional clothes giving way to western style clothes; in malaysia we dont see anyone wearing the traditional clothes for day to day wear, they are worn only on special occasions like weddings, or funerals, or birthdays or new year days. 

housing…rent or buy?

14 Jul

london

I was reading in the newspaper about a family who got evicted after 13yrs in a low rent accommodation. their landlord finally decided to sell. so now the family cannot afford to rent other flats as prices have gone up so much.

 it makes me realise that if they had a high rent from the start, they might be forced to be homeless 13yrs ago where it was so much easier to get onto council’s housing list and they might be in a council house now, where rents are more stable.

here is a case of what seems to be  good fortune to get a low rent accommodation and a low rent landlord makes them lose out on a council flat, or  even buy a flat in those times when flats, especially ex council flats, are really cheap.

That is why i am glad i got evicted from my bedsit in 1991. I was living in balham, the landlord was selling up to a housing association and all of us have to move.

that was when i decided to look for a flat to buy and i was sure glad i did because i caught the housing just when it went down to the lowest slump in ages. the stock market crash of 1989 caused house prices to drop drastically right through the early ’90s. it was a good time to buy. Though i did not realise it then. 

I think this is a very good reason why it is better to buy than to rent. Rents can and will go up. whereas if u buy, u can pay off the mortgage when u retire, and so live practically free.

I have a feeling that the system is geared towards companies … if a person dies that property is lost , sold off. and subjected to inheritance tax, whilst if it is a company there is no inheritance tax and the heirs can still use the property as they will control the company. company tax is always lower than personal tax too.

That property will keep its value and over time increase in value. it is  inevitable, even though they keep telling u properties can go up as well as down. over a long period, it always go up.

And when we are talking of companies, the time scale is vast, we are talking of generations and it is easy to imagine that prices must go up.

 That is why the rich form companies so that their heirs can enjoy the wealth.  it will also prevent any one heir from wasting the inheritance. 

now that the football world cup is over, people will not know what to take its place. summer is here and i suppose people should be out and about and enjoying london instead of being glued to the telly.

maybe that is why the summer tv schedule is always full of repeats and is dull. 

There is no shortage of things to do in london.

Tomorrow i shall most probably go to trafalgar square and watch the 2nd opera BP sponsored showing ( it is la boheme )to the public on the big screen there. 

 

 

there is something about swimming

1 Sep

London
It is September now, but if we did not have calendars, I would never have suspected that it is any different from august.

But I guess that is what having time and dates makes us… we are more aware of the passing of time.

It is a nice sunny day and judging from today, it seems the nice weather we were having all august may continue through sept too.
But of course, it might not be. Either way it is ok. I don’t mind.

My friend who visited me and left about a week ago called me yesterday to say that he had been out of action for 2 or 3days, laid down by a abscess. It seems someone  hit him in the face a few weeks ago, and it had broken a molar. That caused an infection for which he had been suffering all that migraine and swollen glands when he was visiting me. He is now on a 7day course of amoxyciline.. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic, taken 3times a day.

And he will have to get that root taken out in future.

I guess the dentist will be a bit concerned about his high blood pressure that must be why he was told it will be a bit complicated. Not the actual surgery but potential risks.

Ah well, so now I know what was the cause of all that pain.

I wonder why my friend’s soul wants him to have such a lot of bother in his life. I know, u will say don’t be ridiculous, as if we have a say in what happens in our lives. It is fate! Or it is God’s will…

But when he left, I found he had forgotten to take with him a bottle of flavoured water that he bought. It was a Sainsbury still water strawberry and kiwi flavoured drink.

Waste of money , then he waste some more money by forgetting to bring it with him and suffer not having anything to drink during his journey.

But why , you will ask(or maybe u dont ask because you buy these things too?), does he waste his money on buying these sweet things? It says in bold letters there is no suger added, but they mean there is a lot of sweeteners, which they conveniently do not publish in big letters.

Why do u think these things a so sweet? Haha. Did you think there is something in rocks  that when water seeps through them that  naturally sweetens the water? A spring that in some mysterious way got sweetened by the rocks it flows through? Haha.

Ah well, people’s souls do take them through strange routes. My friend’s route in life is rocky all right and not at all sweet.

Anyway, my soul has taken me to finding a rather nice discovery recently.

I go swimming regularly, as I get a card that allows me to swim free at the local swimming pool.
I know I can swim with my eyes open underwater, but somehow got the impression that it stings the eye, or something.

it does not help matters when i see practically everyone wears goggles in the swimming pool. though i did see one guy swimming with his glasses… obviously he have to swim with his head always out of water.

In the past, I have swum in Malaysian public swimming pools and I notice that the chlorine they put in it is so strong u can smell it as soon as u enter the pool area. So it does sting the eyes.

But this public swimming pool I go to don’t seem to have that strong chlorine smell. They periodically come and collect samples of water, and don’t seem to put in a lot of chlorine and so when I finally decided the other day to open my eyes underwater, when swimming, I was really pleasantly surprised to discover it is very pleasant.

A little water leaking into the goggles seem to be really uncomfortable and disturbing, which makes u think it must be horrible to open the eyes underwater…. but a lot of water underwater is fine.

Granted you cannot see so well , unlike if u wear goggles but u can see enough to make out objects and that is fine.

Well, this is quite a revelation. And it means I don’t have to buy a new pair of goggles. Haha.
And I can do the crawl, and keep my head level when swimming, which does help with the neck muscles not being strained.

It is a thrill to discover something like this, by my own volition, and dare is say it, bravery…
I know , plenty of u will have known this already and are laughing now at this silly person discovering the wheel , as it were.

But it is a great feeling, all the same. That is why I advocate letting someone find out for themselves rather than spoon feed them with facts or advise all the time.

I have also discovered a revelation with deep water, it is so much easier to keep afloat in deep water. Somehow it is more buoyant… seems so counter intuitive, in that if u cannot swim, being in deep water is rather frightening… so u stick to the shallow end, when really that end makes it even more difficult to keep afloat…

hottest day in 7yrs

23 Jul

London Tuesday,

Yesterday, Monday, was supposed to be the hottest day for 7yrs. 33C or so(since july 2006) .

I cannot remember what it was like in july 2006, cant say it was particularly hot for me to remember. I daresay when anyone asked us what were we doing on the hottest day in july 2013 I bet none of us will remember. Haha.

I remembered I got a blog during that time 2006, so I went back to it, and read it. Nothing very memorable. Just me saying I don’t like this hot weather even though I am a nudist. And that I shall stay indoors.

And on the actual day when it hit a high, I did not say how I spent that day. Must be quite an ordinary day. Haha. I did mention I was not affected by hay fever, and it is still so this day. I would guess this is because I am not allergic to the grass pollen at this time; unlike earlier on in the year.

Well, this time let me put it on record so that I can comeback to it years and years from now to find out how I felt about it.

Not really very much happened yesterday. It was warm, but to me, it was nothing different from the day before. That is the thing with our obsession with measuring things. If we have no instruments to tell us we would never know that day was the highest on record.

I went swimming at the queen mother swimming pool. It must be around 2.30pm. So I suppose I was in there during the hottest time of 3pm according to the online website when it hit 34C.

I remember I went to the library earlier on in the morning, and was staying on the shady side of the street and taking a route under the trees. Usually I like to walk on the sunny side.

There are lots of trees here, around where I live, so it was v cool under the trees. My flat is cool because it is shaded by the trees. The other side of my flat facing the courtyard is much warmer as the sun shines right through , so much so that I kept the curtains drawn on one window which gets the direct rays of the sun.

It felt very Mediterranean. It reminds me of the time I was in cap d’agde, the nudist town in the south of france. Then I was naked and it felt great. And it brought back rememberance of things past. Wishing it could be so now.

The Mediterranean gets this kind of heat every summer, whilst we in London only gets this every 7 yrs , if at all.

I think this time is memorable because it is for quite a long period that we are getting these temperatures in the very high 20s.… 3wks or so… that we are getting these temperatures. Other summers we get this temperature for a few days only.

Even so, it is nothing like in Malaysia. Though u wont have thought it if u hear people here complaining haha.

The library was cool making it very pleasant to stay there. After reading the papers, and borrowing a book, (clive barker, Abarat)I went to the queen mum centre and swam.

There is the initial shiver as I touched the water, then it is very pleasant. And I would swim and stay in the water, until my fingers start feeling wrinkled.

Then I would walk back after a shower there, and take a route that goes by the corner shop near me, where I wanted to get the evening standard. Its free and this shop stocks it. Usually it is handed out in tube stations. But it was too early she said, it comes after 4pm.

Then I must have slept when I came back, because the next I knew it is was about 7.30pm and I fancied walking to the supermarket to buy bread if it was going cheap.

There was Warburton bread half and half, in a different wrapper, so it must be a new line, which I found was hiding a 750mg loaf, instead of the normal 800mg ones. I bought it anyway as I like that kind of bread. It is half wholemeal , half white flour. Gone are the days when breads used to be reduced to 10p. Now they are 34p.

On the way back from the supermarket I walked through a lane, and the smell of the drains reminds me of Malaysia. U get this kind of smell only when the weather is v hot, as it always is in Malaysia, but not so common in London. Drains here don’t smell so this smell is unusual.

Anyway , that was that… hottest day in july for 7yrs.

a hot day in london

8 Jul

London
Its nice and warm now in London. There were a few blue bottle flies in the flat a few days ago. Now there are none to be seen. That is the good thing about London. We don’t get a lot of creepy crawlies. Now and then we get flies, but no ants, or cockroaches, or mosquitos… the latter is something I really am grateful for.

In Malaysia, we get mosquitos and it is really awful to get bitten by them, or to hear their whine near your ear in the dark when u are about to sleep and expecting to get bitten.

Those rackets that are electrified by batteries are something that I thought was a brilliant invention. U just wave them about your head and if there is a mosquito it will set it off crackling and zapping telling u that you got one of them. No need to catch them sitting on the walls and hitting them with a newspaper, or trying to clap them between your hands when they are flying about.

But I am glad I don’t need them , or mosquito coils or sprays here in London.

I was at the Trafalgar square yesterday, Sunday. It was a really hot day and first time I was able to walk around in sandals and shorts; and was surprised at the long lines of Italian students snaking their way all over the place and in Leicester square. One of them told me he was from naples.

Do Europeans organise school trips to bring students to London? The exchange rate must be very favourable for these students to do it for their parents to still be able to afford it.

added.20.7.13 read in a blog why there are so many of these italian students around. They come here for their summer camp staying with local families. 

I read in the papers that the top deck of the new buses with the open platform at the back which are used for the route 24 from Pimlico to hampstead heath are having very hot interiors in the upper deck, but I was on one yesterday, and it was fine. Quite cool, the temperature on the upper deck considering the back platform was open to the outside and allowing all the cold air to get out.

Added. 9.7.13 i saw a advert for bus assistants, who will be acting as conductors in these buses. maybe for now they are using drivers to alternate the roles, until they can fill it with these bus assistants. it is a cushy job, most probably the salary wont be as much. the best job in the buses is to be a driver, but it would suit people who are calm and collected under pressure as driving in london is a real hassle if u are impatient.

added.15.7.13 read today in this article about the advert for a passenger assistant. i dont recall the advert i read using the words customer-facing experience.  Maybe it did, and i am so used to this kind of double speak, that it is beginning to make a kind of sense and in fact may express what it want to say in a very effective way. it just goes to show george orwell has got it right that we can get used to double speak and prefer it to ordinary words.

I went into the waitrose recently opened on 2nd july beneath city hall in victoria st, hoping to get a free coffee. I saw they have reduced the prices for the sandwiches, 19p for a ham and cheese sandwich and even though I was not hungry I took one pack intending to buy it and eat with my coffee. When I went to get the coffee, the security guard told me it was not working, and then I saw a big sign over it saying it was out of order, being cleaned. Its rather soon to be cleaning it, but then maybe people were complaining of the coffee. When I drank it last time it was ok, but then I am no judge of good coffee.

Well if there was coffee, I would have bought the sandwich.As it is, I did not buy it.

Interesting that they would reduce the price of the sandwich to 19p. That is a low price.There were lots of people there buying things to eat. Do u think everyone knows that waitrose reduce its prices for these things at about 2pm on Sunday? It is news to me. I had the impression waitrose is an upmarket supermarket and those dont reduce their prices do they?

I think I may have confused them with marks and spencer because I read somewhere that M&S don’t do that, reduce their prices I mean.

But sandwiches are not really that healthy for you. Cheeses are not really that healthy for anyone. Really. Though of course, once in a while it is fine. Just as eating burgers are fine once in a while. But I was wondering with these prices it is no wonder people buy them, rather than vegetables.

Added.14.7.13 i re-read that last bit and realise i am being pedantic , saying this food or that food is not good for you. of course all foods are good for us, as it provides nutrition for our bodies. whether they are bad for you  depands on the amount you eat. any foods eaten in huge amounts at the exclusion of others (in other words, a balanced diet is what u need) will be bad for you. 

Murray finally won his first Wimbledon title. About time too, the poor chap had been thwarted in previous years by federer, but luckily for him, both nadel and federer got knocked out on the early stages by relative unknowns who were themselves gone so left the field clear for murray with only the previous holder to beat. I did not follow the matches. Just listened to the results as that was all I was interested in.
I suppose he will be in the queens birthday list next year for a knighthood. Haha.

as it happens

4 Jun

London
Such a lovely day today. All that sunshine is making me see my windows are obviously dirty. Haha.

So I decided to clean them. I haven’t cleaned them for years.

My views on cleaning is that after a few years the dust don’t get any thicker.

Anyway, it is quite easy to clean these windows. I say easy to clean, but not easy to clean well. I use a very dilute washing up liquid, and spray it on and wipe it with pieces of newspaper. Very easy, even though it means hanging outside the windows whilst twisting the body to get at the glass. And it is because of this contortion that it is not easy to give it a thoroughly good clean. So there are smears on the window glass, but I am not too bothered with them.
After they dry off, the smears are not noticeable.haha.

My view is it is not necessary to do a thorough good job when it comes to cleaning especially with things that will need cleaning again.

The downside to a hot sunny day is the pollen in the air. But not only pollen, for some reason the trees are shedding bits of flowers that have dried up and these bits get blown about in the wind and right into my eyes. Then there is the allergic reaction to the pollen which causes the eye to itch as well as makes the throat itchy. (though the hay fever is not that bad yet) So u can well imagine it is not really very pleasant for me to be outdoors.

That is why I view these hot summer days that are now upon us with mixed feelings.
I also find I cannot sit in the sun for too long. I get burnt, and that sensation is not pleasant… so what to do…

Now you know why I am not too bothered about warm weather, or not. Any weather in London is great to me, they all have their plus side.

In the end, I stay indoors, even though it is so glorious out there.

For the first time this year, I went out walking to the library with shorts and sandals and t shirt. But it was quite a cold wind blowing giving me goose bumps.

Anyway, when I arrived at the library to read the papers , I found that my reading glasses which I always keep in my gym bag was missing, so I had to glance through the telegraph and not bother to read anything else.

I came back, passing by the Pimlico station to grab the free metro newspaper.

When I reached home I looked around to see where the glasses were. I thought I had dropped them somewhere but luckily I found them under a pair of pants that I had took out of my gym bag earlier.

Hmm, it sometimes makes me wonder of all the sheenanigans going on, what makes those glasses get entangled with the pants to make them come out of the bag with the pants? Ah well, I found them in the end, so that is allright.

I am glad I found them as even though they are quite cheap to buy (only £1 from the 99p store) it is a bother to go and buy them…

And anyway, £1 here and £1 there can add up to a lot of money if I get into the habit of losing my glasses.

Now I am waiting for a call from my friends who are arriving today from Istanbul. It is 8pm and they have not arrived yet. Even though they tell me their heathrow flight arrives at 5.40pm. Wonder what happened to them.