Tag Archives: swimming

i have rejoined the sports centre

7 Aug

london 3.53pm 20.9C cloudybright monday 2017

i used to be a member,it is in a sports centre near me and it enabled me to use their swimming pool free , and to use their showers too, which was a real plus, because the water jet was hot and gushing…. that was about 2yrs ago when i just stopped going. too lazy i guess.

but now i am kick starting my fitness regime, with a all men only circuit training, and the shower in that gym reminded me what i was missing… those showers are real refreshing.  i thought i better rejoin.

i had lost the membership card i had last time, but fortunately heard from my friend from usa who on his visit here, managed to get the free membership and it is opened to westminster residents. the swimming is free, and the gym sessions are £3.50 which is something new because when i got that free membership last time, there was no such reduced entry to the gym.

it was a very quick painless affair to register for the membership card. all i had to do was let them see a utility bill, i gave them my electric bill, showing my home address… and my passport. and that is it. i got a card that presumably let me in free. i have yet to use it, as i decided, instead of going in to swim straightaway,  i thought i shall go see the hokusai exhibition at the japan embassy, and i am glad i took the passport along, because to get inside i have to show them a photo id, and have my bags scanned. wanting to see photo id is not usual practise to see an exhibition. the advert whcih told me of them did not mention this.

the exhibition is showing the original prints that he did. so not what  we would think of as original art, as it is reproductions from woodscreen. and not all the scenes that he made of mt fuji were shown. i dont suppose they got the original drawings that he must have made before they were transferred to the woodscreen. now those would be extremely precious, if they exist at all.

it featured the great wave, and the red fuji. the great wave is well known. some would know the red fuji too. 

this article shows how people use it in street art . some artist painting it on the wall of his house in camberwell.  and the article also mentioned a hokusai exhibition going on at the british museum now till 13aug. i did not know that. you have to buy a ticket to see it, and you have to get a time slot. but it seems according to their website, advance tickets are all sold out and u have to buy the daily tickets, a limited amount each day and u got to queue up each day… whilst the exhibition in the japanese embassy is free and when i went this morning, not many people. it goes on for a week i think. perhaps i am a phillistine, and dont know how to appreciate art, but when i see the woodcuts prints they look like prints… i mean you can see them in pictures and they wont look different. they dont have the texture of drawings and paintings on paper… which gives that special effect to viewers. these look like printed works, which of course they are… so seeing the original printed works dont really strike you. only when u remember that these prints were produced in the early 1800s, they are very old, and their colour is still so vibrant, that it catches you , or it did me. they look like they were done recently and that is why it does not strike me at first… it is a strange feeling you get, looking at them, thinking what is so great about them? i mean apart from their subject matter and the skill in the execution which is really striking , until you remember these are 200 or more years old and their colours are still so vibrant and  look like they were printed yesterday.

screening for health

11 Aug

london 20.7C 1.40pm thursday 2016

went to chinatown to buy black soya sauce, and there i see reduced price dry indo instant mee, 50p for 5packs, (from £2). so i bought it, as it is only 10p a pack. cant get that price nowadays for plain instant noodles. and these include sachets of seasoning, oil, etc. and 80gms too. when i got back , i tried one. and it is really very good. so much so that i am tempted to go back and buy some more. they are real convenient for when u are hungry and just want something to eat in a hurry. 

i decided to go to the pimlico library and there saw a desk with some volunteers offering to find your blood pressure readings…. so i got my blood pressure taken, the first reading came to 135/92, which was rather high i thought. well, it is on the border of getting into the borderline shaded area.

the 2nd reading came to 121/82…well within the normal area.  big difference. it seems it always happen like that… they blame the subject for being a bit excited at first, before calming down. but such a big difference? hmm, i sometimes wonder how exact this so called science of reading the blood pressure. a machine read it, on this occasion. if it can flunctuate so much how accurate is it then… and also can one mindfully control the blood pressure . i mean by mind alone? didn’t someone say meditation alone can reduce blood pressure? i actually tried it when the second reading was taken, but not sure if my mindfulness lowered my blood pressure. 

they ask me to sign a petition to ask the govt not to reduce funding for stroke care. which i was glad to sign actually. he said there is less funds for care of stroke patients. i can see it will be a problem, finding carers for them, not to mention dementia patients as well.

 i asked about prevention of stroke,because i always like prevention rather than wait to get it and deal with the consequences of it;  but it seems they dont really know what is best… only suggesting general ideas like exercise, being active, and diet i suppose. but no one seem to know really how to prevent it. why some people get it and others dont… as i understand it strokes are caused when something blocks small blood vessels in the brain… and that area of the brain dies from lack of blood. i heard that aspirins can be taken as a preventive measure for those who suffer their first stroke, to prevent another. also anticoagulants… esp after an operation. but no one seem to be talking of aspirins nowadays. so maybe gastric bleeding as a side effect of it may have dampen their enthusiasm for it. as usual u take one medication to prevent something, and it will cause a lot of other problems. i mean they are having doubts about statins now… 

chatting to them reminds me that i should really get back to swimming regularly… i have stopped doing that for about a year. must get into that habit again i think.

this afternoon i shall be going to another check up .the good thing about living in central london is that everything is near me, and this place holding the screening is a short walk from where i live.

 the nhs contacted me for it. it is abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. it is the weakening of the wall of the aorta, which is the blood vessel that takes blood from the heart and send it all over the body. if weakened, the wall can balloon out. it looks like they screen everyone over 65yrs old. i wonder what caused that weakening of the wall. ah well, if all this make me start exercising more, it can only be a good thing.

added 4.12pm got my screening, and everything is fine. he used a ultra scan to see into my abdomen and look for the widening of the abdominal aorta. but it seems even if they find something, there is not a lot they can do. they can only slow the decline, and even then the advise is to stop smoking, reduce weight… so really nothing that we dont know about. when he said to stop smoking, i thought it is like a knee jerk reaction. you got this,whatever it is, stop smoking… so what is the point of this screening  other than to worry someone out of their minds by letting them know they got a slowly widening walls of their aorta that can kill them? i would have thought in this case where nothing can be done anyway, ignorance may be bliss. unless it is just an exercise to get more funding for the GP haha. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

can u guess where this is taken? bet u cannot haha. looks a bit like the lower end of the star wars imperial war machines. it is really vauxhall bus station

sampling london

30 Oct

london thursday 2014

i can see a real autumnal change in the leaves around me now. the leaves are turning yellow. and littering the ground. so it has taken them this long to get going. and the temperature is still very mild. its really very nice.

recently i have been sampling a little bit of fast food eating by joining the queue for a free lunch at lobster kitchen. they opened a new branch, near the central ymca in tottenham court road, and wanted to publicise it. it is a very small outlet.

after quite a long time queueing, about 2hrs , it was a warm sunny day so it was no hardship;  with two guys who were behind me leaving because they have to get back to work, and a guy from the ymca giving me a free 3day pass to the ymca; me chatting to a woman who came from epsom, and when i asked her how she got to know of this offer, she said she asked people in the queue who told her of it.

she is quite a bossy woman, in that she was urging me to volunteer at the british museum, to conduct the tours. even gave me a brochure from the museum and she telling me i will feel good about volunteering and giving something back to society. later she told me her husband who is spanish had gone back to spain to live with his parents rather than stay in london with her. haha. i am not surprised as she is so bossy. 

the food was quite disappointing. but i realise it is because we did not know how to order. but still, let me say what happened and u decide. they have lobster rolls prepared and so we just ordered the topping that goes with it. there were a choice of toppings. the lobster pieces were not many, only 3 i think but smothered in the topping, which in our case was thousand island dressing, or what looks like it. they call it by some other name which i forgot.

but while we were sitting on the bench eating it, we heard a woman at the counter asking for whole lobster. the person said they dont normally include that but will make it an exception for them. (it was the end of the queue, no one else behind her) and when we saw the order that they got, i was surprised. it was lots of lobster pieces on top of salad. i asked the girl cleaning up the tables what it is called, she said it was lobster sides, the menu says the small is £6,large £11. our rolls was listed as £15, which at first i thought was a mistake but it is not so. i said to the girl, the lobster sides are better value. i cannot believe that our rolls normally cost £15.

perhaps the amount given to the women was not the normal amount for the sides. as she did say she wanted a whole lobster. so maybe the normal lobster sides are not as good as what she got. 

just goes to show if u are brazen enough with these free lunch offers,where there is no mention of what u can order, u can get a whole lobster for free. haha.

i saw in my reader the next day a blog talking of a singapore restaurant with S$21.50 lobster meal consisting of lobster roll, a side dish and chips. it is about £11. so i think a better value than what we can get in london.

added.8.11.14 sat. this article says there is a glut of lobsters now so wholesale prices have gone down by 70%. that might explain why there are these lobster fast food places opening up now. 

afterwards the woman and i went to waitrose for our free cup of coffee. haha. she did not know of that branch near goodge st, and she did not know how to operate the machine, so i taught her. she says she usually go to john lewis in oxford st, to get her free coffee from the waitrose there. 

the next day i thought i shall go to the ymca and try out the free 3day pass. i went in the afternoon. it was easy to get the pass, and i saw the swimming pool from the coffee shop as there was clear glass windows overlooking the pool and the swimmers. rather nice i thought, though it did put the swimmers on show.

the cafe got free computers to log on and get free wifi or u can use your own laptop. there is even a free library. 

i went to the men changing room but could not quite figure out how to get to the pool or the gym. so i walked back to the cafe, and asked a woman who looked like she is a member how to get to the pool. she said it is through the changing room . and i found out that the £1 coin is returnable for the lockers.

the pool is very nice, not as long as the queen mum swimming pool which i normally go to, but nice enough. and i saw a guy coming out of glass doors on the side of the pool and it turned out they are steam room, and there is a sauna further along too. it was very nice to alternate swimming with the steam room and sauna. 

later as i was lookng at their website, i saw there is a over 60 rate, £30 annual fee plus £2 per visit, or £100 for 6months. off peak though, which means last entry is 3.45pm and must get out by 4.30pm. for normal rate it is £580 a year.

it is very good value but i allready got free swimming at the queen mum, so if i join here it will be for the gym and their classes and the sauna and steam room.

i have not used their weights so i shall go again and try those. 

update 2.11.14 i went again a day later, but did not try the weights. instead went swimming and using the steam room and sauna. the weights area was not very inviting. i could see it as there is a central well, with the basketball and tennis courts on the lowest level and rising all round it are the floors carrying the running machines and at the far corner the group of weights machines. there dont seem to be any free weights area. it looked a very small area for weights and that means  i felt there will be a lot of waiting for others to finish. there were more areas for running machines and cycling machines.

i decided that i still prefer going to the queen mother’s sports swimming pool. it has natural daylight and very high ceilings which gives it a spaciousness that is lacking here. as for the steam room and sauna, i realise it is a distraction from the swimming. somehow with them being available, i dont feel like swimming that much. the tendency is to succumb to the temptation of being lazy and just flop down in there and vegetate in the heat. 

swimming in my local swimming pool

20 Jul

london

I went swimming this morning. it is a short walk from my flat, and there were not many people there because i was there quite early at about 10am, early for a sunday.

I have the whole of the slow lane to myself.  when i left it was getting more crowded. it is always very easy to swim in my local pool.

now that they have made the lockers take £1 coins, i think it makes them more secure, because i have not have anything stolen from them.

i hope so, because nowadays i bring my chromebook with me, as i usually go to the swimming pool after i go to the library… i wuld not like it at all if someone broke into the lockers and steal my chromebook. I make sure i chose the lockers in the area that everyone has to pass by, just in case there is a thief about, they might not target those lockers that everyone passes by constantly.

there are no ctv cameras in changing rooms so it is difficult to catch any thief. 

so if there is a thief that thief can operate without any fear of being caught. it just takes one thief to make everyone’s life a misery. so if u catch one in action, haul them to the desk and insist on the police being called. you will be doing everyone a great favour.

 in the past this was not so, and i had things stolen when someone had picked the lock. in the past it took 20p coins. they are all returnable, but now if u forget to take them back, u lose £1. haha. or if u get these coins, u gain an extra £1. quite a lot of money to lose, or to find. 

but i read this account of how people have to queue in new delhi just to get to apply for the membership to use the swimming pool and i realised again how fortunate i live in london. There are so many things i take for granted in london that people find it a luxury in so called developing countries.

makes us who live in london quite complacent and it takes this article to make us realise how very nice it is to live here. 

 

a surprise phone call from florida

9 Nov

London
I just had a call from a friend in fort Lauderdale, florida. it is 8.14 pm here and I googled it and found it is 3.14 pm for him. It was a surprise that call, as my friends don’t call me. We usually email each other.

We have been friends when he came to live in London so many years ago. Like so many who come to London attracted to its cosmopolitan life; but he has advanced in his career, as one of the vice presidents in a huge international hotel chain.

Now he is based in fort Lauderdale, and have bought a house there, with his partner. He tells me the americans are very willing to spend, and on organic food and luxury items. He was based in germany once upon a time, and he tells me the germans are not so willing to try new things.

I said maybe the germans are not so susceptible to the marketing hype. It sounds like the americans are influenced by the advertising, and pressure from their peers, willing to take on 3 jobs just so they can spend.
After all it says it all when people will buy coffee at a star bucks at 10times the cost of making it at home. I wonder if there are also that many of those types of people in London as well.

Those customers must be a dream to have. And it seems americans are like that.

Being in the hotel trade he is able to say it is doing well. People are willing to indulge themselves and treat themselves.

Well, even though I am thrifty I can see the economy loves people who buy and spend, and I am all for those people doing it. Haha. It gives the place a buzz and makes things busy and companies are able to keep in business. Lots of people buying and spending means the place is providing jobs and services and they feed on each other.

I have been to fort Lauderdale, and it is a lovely place, rather similar to south beach in miami, (though not many art décor buildings like south beach and south beach might be more vibrant). But the ambience is the same, with a beach culture.

It is difficult to keep away from the beach, as it is the centre of things. Not such a good thing for those of us who don’t like the sun, like my friend, and I. I told him just slap on factor 50 sun screen. Haha.

There are a lot of cruises depart from fort Lauderdale. I think Americans are mad about ship cruises. There are cruises catering to gays. I went on one once. it was a gay cruise to the caribbean.

My friend says there are lots of Cubans there who provide the cheap labour and make things cheap for the rest. We all know food, eating out , fresh produce etc are cheaper in usa than in uk or Europe. And of course their junk food is cheaper than in uk or Europe.

Though I still prefer living in London. Haha. Maybe I am biased, but I like the tv here. My friend says the tv there is dire. He gets the news on internet and use kindle to read the economist and other papers.

I don’t know if he read novels on his kindle. I told him I love being able to borrow new and latest books from the library. I don’t think they have that in the states.

Ah well, the usa is up and coming now, he says. Everyone ones to invest there. And when I read that china , asia , India , are all going through a potential downturn, it is not surprising usa is attractive to park your money. That might explain why twitter can be valued so high, even though it is not making a profit.

Even the eurozone is not so good it seems. Though we hope uk is still good.

I am glad to be living in London. It might rain here and we might panic over the odd hurricane, but it is nothing like what is happening in phillipines now.

Our rain only dampens the odd procession, like today, when it rained on the lord mayor’s parade. Haha.

I went to the library, to read the Saturday papers. Returned 3 books, Saw the new style independent(newspaper) with the title all down the left hand side; and noticed the size of the words in the main body of the paper is so small, I gave up reading it. They will have to do something about that I should think.

Then I went swimming and the pool water temperature is so warm, quite lovely even though it is not very good for serious swimming. I left my swim trunks in the shower area and only realised I don’t have it when I came back and have to walk all the way back there. I figured no one will take my swim trunks, they are size small, and they will be wet and I was right . Haha. They were still there when I went back about 1hr later. The place is heaving with people so I am glad I had my swim earlier.

I started my swim at about 11am, finished swimming at 11.30, showered , came out and stayed in the cafe (croissant/ bagel /cereal plus tea/coffee for £2.99. buy them if u can to give them some business; fortunately they did not mind me waiting in there till the rain eased up.) because it was raining heavily. I forgot my raincoat. It was hanging to dry at home. When the rain lessened , walked back and returned around 12.30pm. So u can judge from this that I live very nearby.

After that, I went home and stayed in. didn’t feel like going out in the rain. I do think the rain must affect custom, there must be less customers if it rains.

It’s a nice life. Even though reading this u might not think so. Haha.

BT(British Telecoms) used to be a telephone company but today it has gone big time. it has bought for $1billion over 3years the broadcasting rights for live football beating Itv and sky… it doubled sky’s $500million bid. Since BT started giving away free sports coverage with its broadband package, it is wanting such a deal, and it being so rich, $14 billion turnover, compared to sky at half that, it can easily out bid both. So does it mean no more live football matches on tv? hooray…haha.

the clubs in uk share this jackpot with the uefa. when chelsea won the champion league in 2012, they got 60million euros. and each country has its own jackpot. no wonder no club wants to upset uefa. the winning money will double now.

(i know it is about $900million, but it just goes to show how blase i have become about these big numbers, so that  it being out by $100million i can ignore. haha.

Digital StillCameramy speedos.

i have often wondered why no one had bought the FA matches. maybe they do not belong to  uefa. yet FA matches are more thrilling because more liable to upsets. like wigan beating manchester united. in this year’s FA cup final. i only know of it because i was reading the comments on the BT buy. maybe that is why the big football clubs dont like the FA cup. haha. the winner of the FA cup gets about £2million.

Correction. it seems BT allready has the right to broadcast FA cup for 2013/14. by buying ESPN.  

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…

getting in shape and fitness

23 Aug

London
This weekend will be the last bank holiday weekend till dec when Christmas/new year comes.

So enjoy it while it lasts.haha.
This does not apply to me of course as I am in the wonderful position of being off the mainstream of society. Everyday to me is a holiday.

Its been very warm today, but I see from the forecast that here in London it will rain. Again not a matter of much concern to me. Haha.

I daresay most of us in London are not dependant on the weather so I think we shall not be too bothered if it rains or is overcast. This is not a seaside town and there are plenty of things to do indoors.

Certainly when I went to the sainsburys this evening to buy bargain loaves of bread (I bought two for34p each of 800mg hovis granary wholemeal) the restaurants near the supermarket were packed with customers.

The supermarket itself had lots of empty shelves so it looked like not many bargain meats will be left over for reduced sale after the holidays. I suppose the good weather have encouraged people to buy meat for barbeques.

I don’t mind that the bargain reduced priced for meats are not available anymore. as I have decided to reduce my food intake. Just to get back into shape. I noticed I have been putting on weight eating pork. I still got a lot of pork in the freezer but shall eat them in small amounts and finish them over a longer period.
This warm weather makes me less wanting meat.

Saw a tv program called the men who make us thin, showing a guy with an operation on his stomach whereby a tube leads out where he can drain a third of the food he has eaten into the toilet. Rather wasteful I thought, throwing away food like that.

This is rather an extreme alternative to those buliemic people who induce vomiting after a meal. it works for him because his before and after photos show a loss of weight.

Someone said in the program that the way to lose weight is to eat less, and then he adds, that is not possible.

I disagree … of course it is possible. In fact it is the most sensible way. You don’t eat so much, u save lots of money and u lose weight , and if u couple that with exercise you will feel fit too. and fitness may turn out to be more important than weight.
What that program concluded is that it is not the weight that is the end and be all, but the level of fitness, and fitness is not equal to thin. Thin people can be very unfit, whilst the converse is true too… not all fat people are unfit. Fitness is measured by stamina… how long u can do some exercise without stopping exhausted. If u run for the bus and find yourself gasping for breathe and feeling faint, u are unfit, no matter what u weigh.

Eating less is better than going on those diets, or drain the food away , or eat 2 meals of kelloggs super k cereals, which was one of the diets featured in the program.

So I am just gradually reducing my food. I usually have breakfast of porridge, and I eat more vegetables, less meat (chicken mainly) more fish, and one main meal a day… I find it quite easy to do. And I go swimming everyday. i noticed that i can swim more laps more continously now. 

I thought I shall just do some body shaping, my shoulders and lats are getting bigger from the swimming, which I do mainly breast strokes, so I thought I shall trim the waist with my reduced food intake just to get that v shape look.
Also this way I get fitter which may be the most important aspect of exercise.

jacques peretti

the bbc episode3 (expires in 13days and u might not be able to see it if u are not in the uk.)

 what i found revelatory was him doing exercises with two big size ladies, and they were out performing him, continueing long after he became exhausted and had to stop. it shows that fitness is more important than weight. 

 

 Added.18.9.13 i saw this post about sumo wrestlers , the video show one of them lifting the other and so end the fight. these guys are fat yet he must be quite strong to be able to lift the opponent. u might think they are fit, but i wonder. strength and weight are the requirements for this sport, but not fitness, as in stamina because the contest is over quite quickly.  the sport favours those who are very heavy yet strong