Tag Archives: tea

dust storm over the caribbean

25 Jun

london 5.17pm 32C sunny thursday 2020


oh, very hot day today , again. very nice blue sky and all that, and does not feel hot, at least inside my flat, because my flat keeps cool i noticed, maybe because it is an old flat, built in 1898, and in those days they do have very thick outside walls of brick. but whatever the reason, it keeps its temperature even throughout the year. and i dont need a fan, just the small breeze coming in through the slightly open windows is enough to keep it cool. 

i read there is a huge dust cloud overlying all of the caribbean, that cloud having floated across the atlantic all the way from the sahara. it seems it is quite a regular thing for dust storms to go across the atlantic , but usually they float over the amazon, and is a big factor in fertilising it. but  this year they seem to have floated further north, and not only that but it is a particularly huge one, so that it becomes noticeable, by bringing a yellowish haze all over that region, and now approaching usa coast even. and another big one is following this one.

i daresay there is another dust storm over the amazon too, but it is not big enough to make us notice it. even now i bet there are dust from the sahara falling down on us in europe and uk, but it is not noticeable that is all. 

we here in uk do get such dust storms from the sahara , quite often too, but this year they have all been diverted across the atlantic. or rather there is the dust here as well but not enough to be noticed by us.  so at least we dont have to have red dust coating everything, to add to our covid troubles. but this serve to remind us that the earth is quite closely connected.

talk about pollution, this dust cloud must dwarf all our puny polluting efforts, dont you think? are there anyone demonstrating against it,… anyone? fists raised in the air, and shouting, down with the sahara, stop polluting our air.

down here in uk, we are hopping about complaining of the crowds that go to bournemouth beaches, because of this sunny weather, and littering the place and breaking the 2meter apart rule.

it is so hot, and yet i am drinking hot tea from a pot of tea that i made just now. you might think me silly to be drinking a hot drink, but i believe it does cool us down. but right now i am craving a ginger biscuit, which i dont have because i forgot to buy a pack when i was in tesco last. 

fortunately i got lots of cream crackers, a smear of apricot jam on it seems to work wonders.

18 Sep

london 2.55pm 22.4C cloudy tuesday 2018

i bought fairtrade assam tea 125mg today. from sainsburys. it is still very good price, at £1.50 for 125mg.

when i checked my shopping weblist, it seems i last bought a pack on jan2018. so that lasted me 9months. and it still hasn’t been used up yet.

when it is loose tea, you can take a long time to finish a pack. they are very good value for money. and preparing it and drinking it gives me such a lot of pleasure. it really embodies that saying that enjoyment is not proportionate to cost.

though nowadays the preparing of it takes second place to the drinking of it. in the past i drink my tea with milk and liked the ritual of preparation but nowadays i dont seem to like that process anymore and have reduced it so much so that i dont drink it with milk anymore. i dont even use a filter to separate the tea leaves. i just let the tea pot settle down so that all the tea leaves lie at the bottom of the pot, and then pour the tea. and since there are no tea dusts , the tea dont get suspended and when the tea water level falls and some tea leaves get poured out, they all fall to the bottom of the cup, so i dont ever get tea bits when i drink it.

and i drink tea like the chinese of old used to do, let the tea leaves stay in the pot. and i fill it just once more with hot water, so reuse the tea leaves for another pot full, and when that is finished ,  i discard all the tea leaves and make another fresh pot. that was the way it was done when i was a kid. 

house guest

3 Jan

london 4.57pm 10.2C night wednesday 2017 2018

its been extra mild these few days. just as well, for my friend, because i dont have the heating , and i dont have hot water bottles ever since the last one sprung a leak and i could not find any hot water bottles on sale cheap anymore. there seem to be a built in leakage design in hot water bottles. they dont seem to last long. i dont suppose anyone will design a leak proof hot water bottle as they wont be in business for long if they do. but it has been so mild i dont feel the need to have one so that is good. 

my friend had gone back now. he left at about 1pm, to catch his bus at 2pm. he was not well the whole time he was here. so he stayed in and just rested which i think is best for him because he got better at the end of his stay. he told me he is glad to be able to rest here, because he is going back to lots of things to do, appointments and what not, but i think a lot of it is just his own doing. he is not working and survives on benefit, so i dont quite see what is there for him to be busy about. and this is not being sarcastic or anything. i think the other side of the coin to being on benefits which a lot of people dont talk about is that you dont really have work stress. you just have to learn how to manage the money you get from the govt. 

but when i see his spending i can see why people keep saying they dont have any money… he buys a lot of rubbish and very expensive rubbish at that… mainly sweet things, and processed foods. fizzy drinks too. but i guess that is how he wants to live his life. of course i dont tell him not to do it, it is not my place to tell him how to live his life. he is gone now so i can get back to my routine. lovely.

 today i went to meet up with a bunch of ex chinese and western guys , who were ex members of a defunct club we belonged to for gay east -west people. most of them seem to have holidays booked. haha. i dont envy them, as i like living in london. but some of them are going to singapore/malaysia, thailand, south cyprus. others have comeback from their holidays. so lots of that going on in the group. travel is a big thing to while the time away for so many people. 

after the meetup, i decided to go to the sainsbury to redeem my nectar points. i got 5000points and i shall use up 2000 , because if you dont use them up after a year, they take it away. haha. so 2000 points equals £10. i got a huge pack of shoulder pork, 2.3kg, as well as milk powder, asam loose tea125mg for £1.50 (they expire in nov 2018 that is why. used to be the normal price was £1.50, but now the price has been increased to £1.75). my usual darjeeling tea is now £1.75. i shall try this asam, and see if i like it. but it takes me quite a long time to finish this loose tea pack. 8months i think. added. i looked up the expense account, and find that it is actually 15months. so this pack that is now finishing has lasted me that long a time. it is amazing that it lasts so long. but i have my tea very weak and i like it. so that means i use only one small teaspoon of tea everytime i make a pot. and even then i have a refill of the whole pot again before the tea loses its strength. i find very strong tea is not delicious. the acidity in it is too pronounced and the subtle flavour of it is lost. i would even go to say that a real tea drinker who appreciates tea will not drink very strong tea.

and definitely will not add milk or suger to it. and now i shall be pedantic and say anyone who adds milk and suger to the tea is not a serious tea drinker. haha. (hides behind a wall as pots and pans come crashing towards me from irate tea drinkers.hehe.)

i got a spare pack of that darjeeling tea  but unfortunately simon got to it, and he uses a lot of tea… so much so that when i went looking for it, i find he has used up the whole pack. that is why i am buying a new pack today… 


2 Nov

london 7.11am 7.8C sunny thursday 2017

have you notice that hotmail has changed their email presentation? just now when i went into my hotmail mail box instead of the adverts on the right hand side, and quite unobtrusive, they now put it at the bottom, and occupy almost a third of the screen. horrible.  as you now have less space to see your emails.

and they still allow spam to get through.

unlike gmail which never gets spam in all the time i have been using it. and it has no adverts either. or if they have, i have totally missed seeing it as it must be very unobtrusive.correction… i just noticed that my magnification for the page is 150, and when i brought it down to 125, the whole thing reverted to before, with the advert at the bottom disappearing to be replace with the usual ones on the right hand side. hmm, interesting that. well, i am glad they did not put the advert at the bottom for the lower magnifications. in fact, i find out that if u reduce the magnification to 50, the advert takes up only half the right hand side, but of course the words are so small, it will be difficult to read your emails. i find 125 is a good magnification for me.

added. i noticed on the top, they ask me to try their beta. haven’t noticed that before. it must have been there for a long time, but i dont see it. i have trained my eye not to see adverts so that i now dont see any new stuff they put on the top line now. haha. i dare not click on it to try their beta. i just know it wont be good.

added 12.57pm 12.5C cloudy . i went again to get the free sandwich at shoreditch. and who was next in the queue,but my friend whose hobby it is to go to these freebies. his lady friend was not with him. he said she will be joining him tomorrow for this. its nice to meet a regular on these freebie jaunts. i told him of the free tea that this company is giving out today… tea pigs they are called and they have a pop up in a shop called west elm near goodge st. they normally charge £2.50 for the tea. it is tea bags in a paper cup. hmm, it would be nice if it is in a teapot, with loose leaves. but i guess it would be very expensive to do, all that crockery and washing up to do…

just tea by itself is not very satisfying, unlike coffee. with tea somehow you want to be eating cake or something with it. haha. or in my case something fried and oily… i was thinking  pisang goreng (banana fritters) will be perfect accompaniment to boh tea. 

well, i did not know of these places till they give out this promotion. so i guess it serves its purpose if they want to let people know of them. they have a lot of teas, i thought the rhubarb and ginger sounds interesting… but it is not really very nice. haha. we get all these speciality teas with their strange combinations but eventually i think we all go for the tried and true, plain teas … i myself just use darjeeling. maybe that explains why tea is not such a big market as coffee. and why they play so much on the ritual of the process of the tea making… when u finally get to drink the tea, it is not distinctive really. partly because if it is strong it is bitter, and if it is weak it does not taste of anything really. the aroma might be distinctive… but when i drink my tea, i dont smell it first…or rather i simply smell it if i happen to breathe in when i am sipping it…  funny that… to me tea leaves just colour the water and remove the tasteless taste of hot water. haha. and make the water look nice. 



23 Jun

london 12.31pm 23.2C sunny friday 2017

its very nice to have biscuits with tea or coffee.


added. 6.03pm 23C cloudy but quite bright. i just got a phone call from np my electric company provider. asking for the electric meter reading. i am afraid i told him no and put the phone down on him. haha. i am so wary of giving out any information over the phone that i just refuse any request.

this guy had a difficult accent, so i have to concentrate to understand him. so i did not quite hear him when he was talking. it was only after i put the phone down on him, that i realised he might be legit, and is from the company to get my meter reading. it is due for one. usually i like to give them the reading at the end of 3months. it is not quite that now, as i intend to give them the reading on 1july. that way the bill is easier to compare as it is for the same number of days. but i can understand the company doing this as a favour to their customers, to get the reading so that they dont give an estimated bill. i suppose when they install smart meters to everyone, this wont be necessary anymore. there cannot be many people nowadays who know how to read the electric meter. it takes some skill to read it correctly. the other alternative is to send in a human being to read the meter. that must be costly i suppose. and maybe not easy to find people who can read the meter. certainly in the past i have known a number of them who reads it wrong.

how to change your duvet cover

2 Nov

london 3.05pm 11C sunny wednesday 2016

this method seems very easy to do and takes the hassle out of changing your duvet cover. she rolls the duvet bolster -like and then evert the duvet and roll it out right side out. 

though i have my own method which i have been using all these years and it is quite a quick method , much quicker than this one , it does require some dexterity and a bit of strength, esp as my duvet is a king size double duvet, two duvets in one, and is thus quite bulky. it is bulky but quite light, being made of down and feathers. 

i turn the duvet cover inside out, and then reach inside right to the other end to the two corners, and then through the two corners grip each corner of the duvet and then flip the duvet cover over the duvet and let it roll over and down the whole duvet. and that is it, all left to do is to button up and flap the duvet so that everything settles inside the cover. it is very quick unlike this folding of the duvet into a bolster… 

day of the dead celebration at the chelsea school of arts, which is near the tate britain. i happen to pass by on my way to the tesco, and on the way back saw a bit of this projection on the facade.

this morning i went to see the nurse in my gp practise for a checkup. they offer this checkup to any one of their patients who are 40-75yrs old. i have been getting quite a lot of phelgm and a chronic cough for some time, the phelgm getting more noticeable but did not feel i want to bother the doctor about it.  it seems rather trivial.

so i was rather glad that they have this checkup to give us. the nurse seem to think it serious, she told me i should see the doctor, and also to get a resting blood test. luckily the receptionist told me i can see the doctor now, as there has been a cancellation. so i am glad i dont have to wait. the doctor sent me upstairs to get an xray. this branch seem to have quite a lot of departments for testing. which is great as it saves me having to make another appointment with the hospital to get the chest xray. and the nurse told me to give a sample of phlegm which i try to cough up and drop it off at the box for them to test it.  so i am rather glad that i am being seen to and so quickly too. the xray will take a week for the result to come back. 

well, i felt quite unsettled after the appointment, not so much for myself but thinking about how health and bad health can really make a person feel very sad. esp as after the checkup i read a post by garfield hugs talking about the pain she is having. she seldom talks about the pain, so this one must be real bad for her to mention it.  i know how sad it makes me if i have loved ones feel pain or suffer bad health because there is nothing we can do about it to relieve that pain. i wish i got a magic wand that i can wave and make pain disappear. though i do am aware that pain is a good indicator of something going wrong, and so can be an early warning. but long term chronic pain is something else entirely. 

anyway, i remembered i have the john lewis free voucher for a cake and coffee  and it expires soon, so i decided i shall cheer myself up and go to their sloane square branch where they have cheese cake. their other branch in oxford st dont have cheese cake and i fancy cheese cake for some reason. so here i am sitting in the top floor cafe, under the skylight which is bright with the setting sun, and a grand view overlooking london and on the other side looking down the air well, with their christmas hangings. 

in a way it is just as well i dont get a lot of these free vouchers for free cake and coffee. they are just full of suger and not very healthy. but the few times i get them is just right, enough to make me enjoy them butnot that often that i get unhealthy amount of suger in me.

the store is putting out its christmas decorations for sale. amazing how every year they do this and there are still customers who buy them. i would have thought people would have built up a huge amount of these decorations and can reuse them every year so that there is never any need to buy any more. but it does not work that way. maybe just as well there are so many willing to buy them every year and keep the profits coming and make businesses still stay open instead of closing. 

Boiling point: redesigning the kettle for the 21st century | Business | The Guardian

9 Feb

Boiling point: redesigning the kettle for the 21st century | Business | The Guardian.

this is using induction plate, to  heat a iron rod in the cup of water to get hot water. it costs £80.

i was thinking why not use the microwave to heat the water in the cup?

funny enough i still use a kettle for hot water. even though i just use a small amount of water enough for a cup, it is quite difficult to get the exact amount and there is always some excess water. so theoretically i am wasting electricity heating more water than i need.

i wonder why i dont use the microwave.

added. 13.2.15 how strange, i said i shall use the microwave but i still havent. haha. it is so right to use the kettle that i think there is more to it than just convenience. there is a therapeutic benefit i think to using the kettle to boil water for tea or coffee. i call it therapeutic because i feel so good doing it. haha. such joy to get the kettle boiling and pouring it over tea or coffee. one of the simple pleasures of life i think.

maybe i shall start doing so from now on.

but the kettle does gives me psychological satisfaction. nothing like a bubbling kettle and pouring steaming hot water into my teapot or onto my instant coffee in the cup.