Tag Archives: westfield

into the woods -movie

14 Apr

london tuesday 10.50am 2015

sitting in the cinema now in the westfield ,shepherds bush.  waiting for the movie to start. i am really surprised at this cheap £3.55 seat, for seniors, and they throw in a free coffee and biscuits too. is that being pampered or what!!! and free wifi too whilst u wait for the film to start. there were not many seeing the movie about 9 of us with 3 or 4 coming in late. 


the sound is surprisingly good, i could hear the words of the songs very clearly. that is a nice change from the usual, when the actors seem to mumble their words. i have seen the musical on stage a long time ago in london, and was not terribly impressed by the songs. the words are very good, very meaningful but there is no catchy tunes to them. i confess i dont remember much of the stage musical, and i could not make out the words then.

the film follows the common trend nowadays, to mish mash various fairy tales and make them interact and try to form a plot. i think it fails. but i think sondheim’s aim is to show there is no black and white, good or bad to the tales. unlike the traditional tales which has heroes that are good, and villains that are bad and no grey in between. ( until i recalled this musical began long ago, so the trend is following it, rather than the other way round)

as a child i like when things are spelt out plainly in the fairy tales. so this one with all the grey areas is aimed at adults. do adults really like all these grey areas?  i am an adult now and i still dont like it that things are so woozy. haha.

in real life, things are woozy. we escape into fairy tales because they are not real life. at least that is what i would do. no need to modernise it and make it relevant to now. but of course there is no point in retelling the tale if u dont add something to it to make it fresh. 

it went on too long i think and should have ended with the’and they lived happily ever after’. but it did not and we have to sit through another seemingly interminable time of cinematic pyrotechnics just to show off the very clever filmatics they can get up to.

its a nice change for me to get out and see a film. something i dont do much of and from this, i think i know why. haha.  

added 2.38pm shepherds bush library. quite a modern one, built as part of the condition for Digital StillCamera Digital StillCamera Digital StillCamera Digital StillCamerapermission to revamp the area when they built the westfield complex. the plugs are on the floor, sunken in square pits. lots of students here and the tables are fully occupied but there is space for me. looking out of the big glass windows here, i can see it is very sunny and bright outside.so a good day to be out and about. the library has its own wifi but u have to be a member to get on it, and it is a different borough to me, so i dont have a library membership number. however, the westfield free wifi seems to penetrate to this place so i am using that. 

added 16.4.15 10.30am, it took me this long to realise there is something strange about the wifi in that shepherd bush library. i am at my library and using the wifi, and here we just have to log on to wcc-guest and it just ask us to put in our email and phone number and that is it, we get a daily password to get online. so what is the shepherd bush library asking us for the library membership number?? that is only needed if we use their computers, like in this library here. i wonder if the council is labour. haha. they do things in a very silly way sometimes. haha. i will have egg in my face if they turn out to be conservative council, but somehow i am confident it wont be.

added 19.4.15 7.30pm home, sure enough i checked and it is a majority labour council as of now. but their majority is slim, 26 to 20. the borough straddles hammersmith and fulham. i bet the 20 conservatives come from fulham. haha. 

here is a better review of this movie . he adds his personal experiences which makes it very different and more enjoyable to me, than the usual reviewers.

a slow day in london

3 Feb


just want to chat really , on nothing in particular.

as usual i had a very enjoyable, pleasant day just pottering around my area. as is my usual routine i took the bus to the library this morning.

now that there is the online bus countdown, it is easy to find out when the next bus is arriving, and to just walk out near the time to catch it, so dont have to wait too long at the bus stop. this is a real good technology that makes life quite pleasant.

and buses come quite close to where i live, so unlike the tube, there is not a long walk to get to the bus stop.

and at the library i get to read all the papers while my chromebook charges up.

i find i like reading the paper editions as well as read them online. i find there are a lot of things in the papers that are not easy to find online. and also adverts that tells me about special offers in the supermarkets can be found in the papers, and not online.

it is also worth going online to read the news because there are items there that dont appear in the paper editions.

so the time spent in the library is well spent, and of course not to forget that there are books to borrow in the library. like today i found a georgette heyer book, ‘cousin kate’.

i find for nostalgia reasons, i like occasionally  to read, or re-read her books.

i came back by bus to have lunch before taking the bus again to victoria to catch the 148 to shepherd’s bush. i wanted to go to the morrisons there to see if they have bargain basmati rice. i just missed their special offer of £9 for 10kg. it was all sold out. so i went to the westfield shopping centre to get a waitrose coffee (still free if u takeaway) and enjoy just sitting under the glass dome in the shopping centre, and read the evening standard.

it is a very nice environment to while away some time. and you can see the sky and natural light shining through the glass on the roof.

i am afraid i did not buy anything there but there were plenty of people eating in the restaurants, and hopefully others patronising the shops as i do wish them well and have lotsof customers buying their things.

there were plenty just sitting about like me because this shopping complex is very people friendly in that they provide lots of seats. and with it being quite cold outside, it is very pleasant to be sitting there indoors out of the cold. i would imagine if u have friends it would be a great place to meet up and chitchat. 

shopping complexes in asia dont have seats so that if u are tired and want to sit u have to buy something to sit in the coffee shops. but this one is rather good about it. in the past there was wifi, but i could not get online today.

the bus ride there and back was very enjoyable, being able to see the life that goes on when sitting on the top deck of the bus. and we were skirting hyde park, practically all the way and it is rather a marvel to see the open spaces and trees of hydepark and u can almost imagine yourself in the country. just no snow though, and not likely to be much snow as there is no forecast of rain in london. the journey would be magical if the landscape is covered in snow.

it is thaipusam today but nothing to show it here in london, though in malaysia it will be observed by lots of people, notable for its  body piercings.

living in london pt 9

24 May

london saturday

i suspect my heading is not very inspiring, nor original, and is downright boring, but if i dont use it, i cant think of what to put in it, because most of these posts are meanderings in the byways of my mind picking and chosing at random the things i do, or thought as it comes to me. 

I have been sent an email from westfield the supermall people, giving me a vip pass for 2wks.

i entered a competition for a free year’s cinema pass, and i think my chinese name makes them think i am a chinese tourist from china.

everyone here knows chinese from mainland china are big spenders and wealthy.

i suspect that is the reason why i got this vip pass, because when i went to the westfield mall to collect it, i found it gives 10-20% on certain stores and eating places there plus how to claim my vat refund from the store straightaway. and asking me which country i come from. 

recently my friends from usa came and bought things and asked me how to claim the VAT refund.

i did not know, but guessed that maybe they have to ask at the airport and then send them their receipts etc and after a bit of time, they will get the refund.

They are gone now, back to the usa, hope they will write and tell me what happened to the refund and what they have to do to get it.

but from what i read from this vip pass booklet, it seems u can get the refund immediately on day of purchase at the mall itself. You just have to ask for the tax free shopping receipt when you buy.

unfortunately i wont be spending any money buying goods from them to take advantage of it,  but i wish i had known of this when my friends were here. they might be able to take advantage of it or maybe not as it says only i am able to make use of the discount no one else.

I am tempted to use the discounts for the food. i am quite tempted to eating in yo sushi, one of the eating places offering 20% discounts. i like sashimi more than sushi, but i guess no one gives discounts for sashimi, so sushi will have to do. haha. ( i had a google of yo sushi website and found that in their menu they have sashimi, tuna and salmon.)

i was browsing the westfield website, and found they have a kids offer of £1.75 for anyone with a kid to see a film in the vue cinema . the catch is that it will be kiddies films. haha. 

they have a senior club, for over 60 year olds and that is better value, u can see a film on their special days for £3.55. and get a free cup of coffee/tea and biscuit too.

rather good i think. but this feature disappeared from the website when i went in to check recently. but i have an email from them which says it is still on. i must say they are very good to give this offer to oldies.

it is very pleasant here in london now, it is 17C now and very sunny and blue skies with wisps of clouds. my ideal kind of weather and temperature. and flowers bursting out everywhere.

I got an email from ikea, telling me they are selling white orchids for £3.50 special for members only, instead of their usual £4.50. quite tempted to go there, their store in wembley, and buy one.

but there are lots of flowers all around me, esp roses, which is what i like as they have both a scent and have lots of varieties, and i can see them for free and smell and touch them too in the gardens hereabouts every time i go out and about everyday.

whilst orchids dont have any scent. 

there is a whole bed of roses now starting to bloom in the garden of the tate britain, just down the road from me. they will afford plenty of days of smelling and touching and seeing for me. haha. 

which reminds me i still have not seen the matisse exhibition of his cut outs in the tate modern now showing. and i got a free pass to see it too as much as i like. i think i shall go today just to be out in the sunshine and use it as an excuse to go somewhere. 



westfield and knorr stock pots promotions and i won a ladle!

7 Mar


I went to the westfield shopping centre in shepherds bush as i like going there and i got an email from them saying there is a promotion by knorr with free samples of their new range of stock (cubes) pots. it used to be stock cubes comes in cubes and in ordinary flavours like chicken, beef, fish , but knorr are using pots, making it liquid,  and having other flavours like mild chili, garlic mixed herbs , 3peppercorns, curry flavours by putting some water in them to make them liquid. they have a sample of soup to taste, presumably using the stock pots; they were using a ladle like the one i won pictured below when i  played a simple computer game in their prize draw entry for tefal pots. rather a nice concept, 6pots of various sizes with detachable handle. 

i like the ladle , rather a nice colour though some might think it rather lurid, haha. the promotion carrys on this weekend. 

i will try the samples but i am not sure it is really enough to flavour my stew. the pots are rather small, 23g, you will need  a lot of them and i wonder why use them  when it is so easy to just use dried herbs or curry powder, or chilli powder or grind pepper corns or use the fresh garlic, fresh chili, at much less costs.

i can understand people wanting to use chicken stock or beef stock or fish stock cubes or pots as it is really difficult to make those stock… hours and hours of simmering bones so throw in a stock cube appeases our conscience haha. there is actually really no need to do it if u allready use chicken or beef or fish in the dish. but i think it is a psychological thing.  i understand it is satisfying to throw in a stock cube just in case. haha. I think u can achieve the same aim by throwing in salt, or suger.

I just have a thought. what if using chemicals to mimic flavour and smell and put them in  stock cubes ; or use artificial flavours to mimic beef, or chicken or fish or garlic. the artificial flavours are much more effective in giving of that smell of beef etc. nowadays u can get chemicals to give off any smell of anything you like. not that i am saying knorr does it, but i think if someone can come up with a chemical that gives off a freshly brewed coffee smell… they would make a fortune. haha. i like the smell of freshly brewed coffee but not too keen on the taste of coffee itself. i bet it is not beyond the ingenuity of man to invent a chemical that mimics smell and taste of freshly brewed coffee. one day i think coffee will be entirely man made. 




the experience of travel

14 Mar


12.3.13 Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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