Day 226 of retirement

Hi All

Sunday19th September

Usual Sunday activities today. Guy’s Mahjong and my expat gathering.

Guy is feeling a little better today so hopefully the antibiotics are kicking in and she is on the mend. The fact that it is Mahjong day might help a bit tooooo.

Washed the Thunder Monster before we headed into Gasan. Gave her an extra special treat today with a wax job after the wash. Waxed the tank, side panels, front mudguard and exhaust just to give them a little extra protection from the sun and salty sea air. Will slowly work over her and get everything waxed that I can. You can never have too much protection…..

Had an interesting day at the expat gathering. Today it was the Germans stirring up the Poms. All in good fun of course but as you can imagine some very “entertaining” moments for the aussie boy sitting back taking it all in. Just remember these are all older retired gents who have been around and know a thing or two.

And Guy had her first win today at Mahjong.WWwwwooo hhhoooo. Not a big one but her first here so she is feeling very happy with herself and rightly so.

For dinner tonight we had the Trevor Filipino Rice Special.

You get the left over rice and spread it out on the plate. You place some cream cheese lumps (or any grated cheese of your choice) on the rice (as little or as much as you wish) and heat up in the microwave for a minute or so. Then add some Soya Sauce and mix up the rice, melted cheese and Soya Sauce. While mixing add some Kalamansi (Squeezed Lime Juice) to taste.

And there you have my Sunday night special rice dish. Pretty exotic hey???

Monday 20th September:

Up early today as John the Pom is arriving at 9:00am for a visit and a tea. It’s the done thing here that you hop on your bike and go visit people (arranging it before hand). He is here at 9:00am then goes to Jeff (another Pom) and then Kevin (the aussie), all just down the road from us.

Lucky I was up early as John arrived at 8:30am. Stayed for a cup of tea and a chat and left at 10:00am ish. Just after he left the sky opened up and we had a huge down pour. I think he would have gotten very wet by the time he got to Jeff’s.

Guy is feeling a little better today but we stayed in to let her rest. I did my usual walk down to the fresh food vendors and came back with some freshly cooked delicacies. Lunch and then a siesta was in order.

Made a fresh batch of Buko juice and then a couple hours more on the landscaping. Slowly getting there after many more buckets full of pebbles.

And to finish the day a cup of Buko went down a treat followed by a nice cool shower.

Tuesday 21st September:

Guy is off playing Mahjong with Vicky at midday so got the afternoon to myself. Quick trip into Barbarossa for Wi-Fi to catch up on the happenings of the world then off to Boac and try my luck at the ATM machines (we gave up last week as only one was working).

All good and had no issues at all with the ATMs today as they all were working. All cashed up again so got to be happy with that.

Quick wander round the Boac markets and then an afternoon storm hit. I waited for the heavy rain to stop before heading back to Gasan. Got wet but it was sunshine by the time I hit Gasan,

Into the Gasan markets for some fresh corn and Lansones and once again just as I was riding off another downpour hit so wet again. Ooohhh well at least it isn’t cold and it does offer a brief respite from the heat.

Guy returned from her Mahjong and sadly was unable to continue her winning streak of Sunday.

Brown out greeted us for dinner but was only about an hour so didn’t have to eat by headlight.

Wednesday 22nd September:

Usual Cherry day today. She did the washing and cleaned the bathroom. Love that woman.

She finished just after midday so we sent her home. She hasn’t been feeling well lately so any rest she can get is a bonus. She has been to the doctor and is waiting on some test results.

I headed for the block in the morning and did another couple of hours burning up the piles of cleared vegetation and slashing back the jungle regrowth. This is hard work especially in the heat and humidity. Two hours of sweating profusely and I’m done. The cool shower on my return home is grand.

Guy made a 2:00pm appointment in Gasan for her usual manicure and pedicure pampering and all for the princely sum of P80 ($2.00 AUS). I headed for Barbarossa for the Wi-Fi and a nice cold Coke.

Quick trip to the market and then home before the afternoon storm. Oohhh and brownout later in the evening, but we had eaten by then so all good.

Thursday 23rd September:

Due to the Manila trip on Saturday Guy played Mahjong this afternoon and I went exploring down round Mt Malindig, the highest point on the island, which is about 20km from here.

Was quite cool up in the mountains compared to the humid coast. Really want to climb this baby as I recon that the eco system on the summit would be very interesting. The summit is often clouded in mist and cooler so will get there one day and see for myself.

Rode over the top of the pass and down the other side till I hit the coast then back. Great ride on the Thunder Monster dodging chickens, goats, buffalos, dogs, cows and even a snake. Lots of “Hi Joe” in the villages on the way.

Also found the Sulphur Springs that people had told us about. But sadly they are run down and in need of repair work. Pity really as they have potential in the same vein as the Hot Springs just up the road from them.

Kept my eye open for the any Puggots but didn’t see any Benny.

Love exploring where you get on the bike, ride, take the camera and get some great pics. The ultimate retirement adventure……

Called into Gasan markets on the way home and got some nice fresh Tuna steaks for P50 ($1.25 AUS). Simmered them in Soya Sauce, Calamansi and a bit of water then eaten with rice. Very yummy. Bit like Adobo Tuna. Another of my Filipino specials.

Ooohhh and Guy had her first good win today at Mahjong. She won P500 ($12.50 AUS) so is very pleased with herself and rightly so.

Friday 24th September:

Up early (7:00am) as we were meeting Yolanda to pay the rent. Her and Guy had a good old chin wag before she headed back to her farm.

And of course a brownout at about 8:30am. So we decided to head into the Gasan markets for some more fresh fish. Passed the power line workers replacing a transformer hence the brownout. Got some nice fresh Tuna steaks again and cooked them up the same as yesterday. Heated up the rice by steaming it on top of the cooking fish. Tasted even better than yesterday.

Power came back on at about 1:00pm so another quick trip into Gasan for Wi-Fi as we head for Manila tomorrow. It’s a 10-12 hour trip consisting of a Jeepney, Ro-Ro and Bus ride, leaving the cottage at 10:00am.

Also gave the Thunder Monster a wash and wax and she now sits inside our little lounge room all clean, shiny and smelling nice and ready for her two week sleep. She will be safe, out of the rain and salty spray here. Always wanted to have my bike in the lounge room so I can just sit and stare, Yea I know, eccentricity is kicking in…….

Saturday 25th September:

Off to Manila and the usual 12-hour road trip consisting of a Jeepney ride, Ro-Ro cruise and bus trip. Made it safe and sound and even managed to get a few hours sleep. We snagged two padded bench seats in the air-conditioned section on the Ro-Ro. They were quite comfy so got a bit of sleep in the 3.5-hour crossing.

We are staying in a hotel just down the road from Guy’s sisters/mums place as Guy’s other two sisters (plus kids) from Australia and NZ are here as well for a family reunion.

Sunday 26th Sunday:

Family reunion day today. With all 23 of us loaded into three mini vans, we headed for the cemetery where Guy’s dad is buried.

The tradition is to setup round the gravesite with food and drink. You serve up a plate of food and a drink for the deceased, say the prayers (Catholic) and then everybody sits round and eats and drinks and has a great family gathering.

Today is rather special as it is the first time in many years that the whole of Guy’s family are together. She has two brothers (both in the Philippines), and three sisters (one in the Philippines, one in NZ & one in Aus (Qld)) who are all here with their kids. Was a great day for her mum with all the kids and grand kids round her while next to her husband.

Then we all loaded up into the vans again and headed for Rizal Park in downtown Manila. Went for a wander round the park and also visited the Chinese gardens.

Dinner was a stop off at Chow King for Halo-Halo and Cokes. With 23 in the party it was a military operation to get everybody organized and orders placed but all proved successful. Nobody went hungry or thirsty all day.

Guy awaits the arrival of her 15-year-old son tomorrow to spend two weeks with his cousins and us. Needless to say she is excited.

Exhausted tonight and I shall sleep well after a great day.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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