Day 317 of retirement

December 26, 2010

Hi All

Sunday 19th December:

Usual Sunday. Washed and waxed the Thunder Monster before heading into Gasan where Guy went to the office (play Mahjong) and I hit Barbarossa for the expats gathering.

Big crowd today with 11 expats turning up including aussies Gary and Lindsay who I met yesterday.

It was Geoff’s (the Pom) birthday so Ron had a big chocolate cake made in the shape of the union jack. All the staff at Barbarossa also joined us all in singing happy birthday. We were unable to eat all the cake so the remainder was taken to the “office” (Mahjong / card den) where it was consumed by all the gamblers.

Home in time to see the news and Australia win the third test. Needless to say the Englishmen here are giving the aussies a bit of curry at the moment.

Monday 20th December:

Up and off to Gasan for some supplies and Wi-Fi. Picked up some nice fresh cooked corn at the market for lunch.

Guy was once again off to Mahjong at Midday and I was going to go exploring but it drizzled rain so opted for a siesta instead (loving this siesta thing). Then a nice long leisurely stroll up the beach to clear the cobwebs as the rain had cleared.

Home and cooked up some Pork mince and pasta sauce for dinner followed by fresh Papaya for desert.

Guy had a win today at Mahjong so a very nice day all round.

Ooohhh the Xmas carol singing kids were back with their musical instruments to serenade us and earn a few more Pesos.

Tuesday 21st December:

Guy was back playing Mahjong at midday so I headed to Boac to get cashed up for Xmas as we are heading for Manila and Guy’s family on Thursday. And with the ATMs under a bit of pressure at the moment I gave myself a couple of days to get the cash due to breakdowns. One in three times I go to the ATM, it is out of order. But all good as the ATM worked fine so cashed up.

Stopped into the Goat Place and got some Kari-Kari (grounded Pork in Pork blood) for dinner. It actually tastes better than it sounds.

And of course had to stop by the bakery and get some Pandecoco buns. I could live on these things.

Back just before noon and as Guy hadn’t caught a Jeepney yet, I ran her into the “office”.

Back home for lunch and a siesta. Then into Barbarossa for some Wi-Fi and a chat to Geoff, the pom, who was also there. As it was a beautiful afternoon (Sunny but not too sunny and the humidity has dropped a bit) I cruised down south on the Thunder Monster. Was a nice slow pleasant ride enjoying the cool of the sea breeze and the coastal views. Don’t get much better than this.

Nice relaxing evening as we start planning our Manila Xmas.

And the Xmas carol singers were back in force tonight. Kids and adults. The go is they sing and you pay any where from P5 – P100 ($0.12 to $2.50 AUS). And when you do pay they sing a “Thank you” song, which is very sweet.

Wednesday 22nd December:

Busy day as it is our last before heading to Manila for Xmas. Guy had a hair colour booking for 9:30am and when we rocked up, Rose was triple booked and Guy was at the end of the queue.

As I had to go to Boac to pay our PilHealth (Private medical coverage for P300 ($7.50 AUS) per ¼ ), Guy came along for the ride. Also dropped into Starbike, where I purchased the Thunder Monster, to see if my number plate had turned up yet. And nope after 5 months still no plate. Ooohhhhh well it will get here when it gets here.

Also went past the ATM and the line was about 1.5 hours long snaking up the street. Sooooooo glad I cashed up yesterday.

Back to Rose and still no joy so checked out the other hairdresser and she was also booked solid. So home we came.

Guy had her nails booked for 1:00pm so after lunch I dropped her off and headed to Barbarossa for some Wi-Fi. Fifteen minutes later Guy turned up with no nails done. The manicurist didn’t turn up. So Guy headed over to the second hairdresser just to see if she could get in. An hour or so later she returned to Barbarossa with her colour done.

I guess one out of two isn’t too bad……..

Had a chat to Geoff and Dave (the Canadian) who turned up for a cup of coffee. Interesting fact we found in the newspaper is that the Philippines have 21 public holidays. And this excludes the “local” public holidays in each province.

Back home and started organizing our gear for the trip back to Manila where we will be till the 9th of January. Guy’s kids Jo and Jordan are arriving on the 3rd of January.

The carol singers were back again, especially the kids. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Pesos we give them?????…….

Thursday 23rd December:

All packed up and ready to go. Ron picked us up at 10:30am and delivered us to Kawit Port to catch the Ro-Ro. Off to a good start with the Ro-Ro being late.

At this time of the year everybody is headed to the provinces from the mainland to be with family. So when the Ro-Ro arrived I have never seen so many people get off one boat. Lots of vehicles as well. Anyway the crew did a great job getting everybody off and herding us on so that we were only a half hour late (12:30pm instead of 12:00 noon) in leaving. As the Ro-Ro was only about 2/3 full going back we had plenty of room to stretch out (We had a bench seat each).

Arrived in Lucena at 3:30pm and onto the bus. Now this is where things slowed down. The traffic was chaos all the way to Manila. Our 5-6 hour bus trip took 8 hours. And it didn’t help with a kid throwing up in the aisle of the bus about an hour before we arrived. Luckily the bus is air-conditioned and they keep it very cool so the vomit didn’t have time to ferment.

So 13 hours after leaving we arrived at Guy’s sister’s (Beth) house. Wasn’t too bad as we did manage to get some sleep on the boat and bus. We are both pretty lucky that we can sleep pretty much anywhere.

We both crashed and burnt in a nice soft bed.

Friday 24th December:

Off to the mall for some supplies as Guy needs a yellowish/gold-ish dress and I a red shirt for her 35 high school reunion gathering on Monday – family day and Tuesday – dance night. The colour coding is so that everybody knows that if you’re in red you’re a spouse, the alumni are in blue/white, children are green and guests are in yellow.  Guy needed a dress for their alumni batch dance night for Tuesday with a shade of gold as the theme colour (gold as in golden years). Managed to find both in the crowds of Christmas shoppers.

The mall here is like any other mall in the world at Christmas Eve. Organized chaos. Ooohhhh and the mall is even open on Christmas day from midday for those who missed or to exchange presents or use their mall vouchers received as presents. The only day the mall is closed in New Year’s day. Never been shopping on Christmas day before so could be a new experience to ponder.

Christmas is a big family affair here. Everybody is off to mass this evening. I left a little early, as it was just too crowded. We were all out in the street and Guy said that the road was eventually closed right off with all the worshippers.

Once everybody was home the food came out and the feasting began. My favourite is the Buko salad. It is like fruit salad with shredded sweet coconut flesh in a creamy mixture. Love it and of course ate tooooo much.

Ooohhh and fireworks is a large part of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. There are stores in the mall that sell just about anything that you want. So pretty much the whole night is fireworks going off (bombs to sky rockets), especially at midnight. Got a couple of hours respite in the early hours of the morning.

Saturday 25th December:

Leisurely morning as we waited for one of Guy’s brothers to arrive to begin the celebrations. In the mean time we did a quick trip to get some Lechon for lunch.

Now if there is a traditional Filipino Christmas food it is Lechon. That is a suckling pig that has been roasted whole on a spit. You can buy a whole pig starting from P4,800 ($120.00 AUS) for a 7kg morsel or they will cut up a section of a pig for you at P750 ($18.75 AUS) per Kilo. Even a small Lechon was too big for us so we got 3kgs cut up, crackling, dipping sauce and all.

And man it is good, sweet, tender and juicy.

Presents were handed out to one and all as everybody had now arrived. A great long leisurely lunch was enjoyed by all and finished off with my favourite, Buko Salad. Then a siesta was in order after our hectic morning…….

And still more eating for dinner with the entire family around.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 310 of retirement

December 19, 2010

Hi All

Sunday 12th December:

Usual Sunday. I cleaned and waxed the Thunder Monster then we headed for Gasan where Guy played Mahjong at the “office” and I caught up with the expats at the Barbarossa for the afternoon.

Miracles do happen. Wi-Fi just started working again at Barbarossa for my MacBook. Have no idea what I did but after a very frustrating month or so it now works again (touch wood).

Met two new aussies, John & Geoff. Geoff is married to a local gal and they have a block behind the airport where they intend to build eventually. They are only here till the New Year visiting family.

Guy had a little loss today. Can’t win them all.

A very pleasant relaxing day indeed.

Monday 13th December:

Time for a visit to the market in Gasan as the cupboard is getting a little bare. We were well and truly loaded up on the Thunder Monster by the time we were finished. Guy had a backpack full along with two “Woolies” carry bags and I had a full shoulder bag slung over my shoulder.

Ooohhh the total cost of our major buy up was P1,200 ($30.00 AUS).

Nice leisurely lunch and we then watched an afternoon movie while resting after our hectic morning’s shopping.

Had an afternoon visit from Geoff and Dave (Canadian) who is here for Xmas with his fiancée, Ellie. She lives here on Marinduque while Dave works in Canada up north in the Tar sands oil business.

Dave is only 46 so got s few years yet to go to retirement. But he has built his house here (over Mogpog way) where Ellie lives while he is away working. Ron and I visited Ellie some time ago and had a look at the house. It is small but very nice and it is back from the coast at the foothills of the mountains.

Had our usual beach walk before dinner and we were able to deliver some more photos to a family up the beach (gave them to two of the kids). The pics were of the kids and adults taken during a party that was on the go as I was walking past. The kids loved the pics of themselves and ran off to show the adults, full of huge grins.

Tuesday 14th December:

Geoff was supposed to come by at 8:30am as we were heading off to try and find the Paadyao water falls that I haven’t been able to find twice before. Well he arrived at 7:45am, just a tad early. Now some of you may remember that I had a bit of a reputation for being “early”. Well I have finally met my match with Geoff and John (the Poms). They are always early, very early.

Anyway after a tea & coffee we headed off Mogpog way. Stopped into Dave’s (the Canadian) place to see if he wanted to join us. He was busy doing house stuff so Geoff and I headed off.

We found the correct road and into the mountains we went following the river. Little chats to locals along with Geoff seeing some familiar landmarks (he was here about 5 years ago) put us on the right track.

I had my first little “off” on the Thunder Monster on the road in. Tried to take a short cut along a wet muddy riverbank and the nice slick road tires just slipped away and down we went. Ego hurt more than anything. Bent the left foot peg a little along with the gear lever. The bend in the gear lever actually makes it easier for gear changes with my bigger feet so going to leave the bend as is.

Finally found the correct spot so we parked the bikes and followed a small track back up a side creek.

About 1km later we were rewarded with this beautiful waterfall. We had found it. We explored round the base and as it was pretty hot and sweaty I went for a swim in the deep pool at the foot of the falls. Very refreshing.

Then back to Boac for a nice cold Coke before arriving back home at 1:00pm ish. Late lunch and an afternoon siesta were a great way to end the adventure.

Guy and I made a late afternoon trip into Barbarossa for some Wi-Fi as I have now fixed the issue I was having with connecting. No idea what I did but the MacBook is now connecting.

Home in time to get some freshly cooked sweet corn from the supermarket and to see another stunning sunset and relax for the evening.

Wednesday 15th December:

Today is dedicated to my adventurer niece Nicola who 12 months ago was taken from us tragically in the prime of her life. It is a sad day but also a great remembrance of Nic who touched the hearts of many while encouraged them to pursue their dreams. Nic was a fellow adventurer who climbed mountains, mountain biked, rock climbed, hiked, rode motorbikes and loved the great outdoors. See you out on the trails Nic……

Leisurely morning as Guy is off to Mahjong with Vicki at midday. I was going to go exploring but with rain showers about decided to watch the midday movie and then have a little siesta.

The rain was reduced to showers so decided to walk the long way along the beach to the supermarket. Once I dropped off the supplies at the cottage I kept walking down the beach in the opposite direction. Finished up walking for a couple of hours and it was rather enjoyable. Nice refreshing shower and a cold Coke in the Nipa Hut toasting Nicola as the sun set over the sea.

Thursday 16th December:

Guy is off to Mahjong with Vicki and Ron and I are off to Boac and to call into Geoff & John’s (aussies) place behind the airport.

I meet John and Geoff at Barbarossa last Sunday. They are both from Bundaburg in Queensland and married to Filipinos. Geoff’s wife is from the Boac area and they have a block on the beach where they are planning to build a house. Currently building the fence and storage shed. Geoff has a small vegetable farm and is semi retired. He spends his time between here and AUS as he is only 63 so not quite at the retirement age of 65.

John is retired back in AUS and is here looking round with the possibility of also retiring here on Marinduque.

We had a good old chat to them before heading to Boac where I got some very nice Mangoes for dinner. They are very soft and very very sweet and at P80 ($2.00 AUS) per kilo, a bargain.

Back home at 4:00pm where I managed a little siesta before Guy returned home from her Mahjong.

Friday 17th December:

Rest day today after our busy week. Quick trip to the Gasan markets in the morning for some Pork Sinigang ingredients for tomorrow. Followed by a leisurely lunch. Then back to Barbarossa for a few hours in the afternoon for some Wi-Fi to sort out emails and web stuff.

And back home for a very quiet evening.

A very restful day and it was kind of nice to not do much.

Saturday 18th December:

Early 5:30am start as I was meeting up with Gerald at sunrise and we were heading off on a 4-hour hike (about 12km). Meet Gerald and we headed down the main road hoping to catch a Jeepney for the 4km trip to the start of the walk.

2km and no Jeepney but along came Ron so he gave us a lift. We walked in on a road past the big status up on the hill that Guy and I visited a few weeks ago. Then followed a creek, crossed a ridge and back onto another road into a little township.

Out the other side and up the riverbed looking for a turn off that leads to a waterfall. We got a bit bushed at this stage and headed up the wrong turnoff. The jungle was rather thick and it was hard to tell where the river went, as there were lots of side streams.

But it was a great walk following the river / creek beds and not to hot that early. We walked out following the main road into the township and about half way out we came across two aussies (Gary and (can’t remember his name)) in a new house. Turns out Gary is married to a local and they spend a few months each year here. Their house is out of the way and well off the main road so they don’t get to mix much with the other expats.

Home in time for a nice cool refreshing shower and hot Pork Sinigang that Guy had just cooked.

Cherry was also here doing the washing and she also gave the floors a Xmas wash and cleaned the bathroom. We pay her P170 ($4.25 AUS) for her days work and as it is Xmas we also gave her a bonus of P200 ($5.00 AUS) as is customary here.

Nice siesta in the afternoon and a very relaxed evening.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 303 of retirement

December 12, 2010

Hi All

Sunday 5th December:

To all my ex Civica work mates I trust you had a great Xmas party up on the Gold Coast last night. I raised a nice cold Coke to you all. Happy hangovers…….

Usual Sunday. I cleaned and waxed the Thunder Monster then we headed for Gasan where Guy played Mahjong at the “office” and I caught up with the expats at the Barbarossa for the afternoon.

Guy had a win, which was a great way to finish off the day.

A very pleasant relaxing day indeed.

Monday 6th December:

Visited Gerard and his wife Juliet this morning and spent a couple of hours looking at his pictures and trinkets and listened to his stories from working in the middle east for 20 odd years as a micro biologist working in hospitals. He spent most of his time in Oman, Yemen, Bahrain & UAE back in the good old days.

This is where he met Juliet (a Filipino) who was also working there at the time. Juliet is actually from Marinduque and their retirement house is only about 1km from where she grew up.

In her retirement she wanted to give something back so went to teacher’s school as a mature aged student for 1.5 years, passed the exam and became a teacher. Juliet is now teaching part time (3 days a week) in a local school.

Back home for lunch and a siesta in the afternoon as we had a short rainstorm. The wet is slowly subsiding.

Then off for a nice long walk up the beach and back along the road before dinner.

Tuesday 7th December:

Off to the Bridge club this morning back at Terry and Nanette’s place. It was John and I against Guy and Terry. They beat us severely last time but at the end of play today it was 2 games apiece.

I am the learner and must say it is a pretty steep learning curve but I am enjoying it. Good way to keep the brain active.

Back home for a bit of a late lunch and as we had some rain storms come through the only thing to do was a siesta for us both. Loving this siesta thing.

A walk followed this to the “supermarket” to grab a couple of nice cool Cokes and some freshly cooked sweet corn. Walked home along the beach as the sun was setting.

Guy cooked up a nice banana heart veggie dish for dinner to go with the corn. It was an all-vegetarian meal tonight. Must say that it is quite easy to be a part time vegetarian here with all the fresh local produce.

Wednesday 8th December:

Guy is off to Mahjong with Vicki at midday so I decided to go exploring. I left at 10:00am and headed up Boac way. Got just outside Boac and the road became very very wet with some more big black clouds forming. So decided to head back home where the sun was shining.

Quick lunch with Guy before she left. I received a text from Gerald (Pom) re an 8km jungle hike on Friday morning. As I have been a little lazy lately (and loving it) I decided to go for an 8km walk to get myself back into hiking mode.

Walked to Kevin’s (Aussie) block with a pit stop at Ron’s place for a cold drink and to get out of a rain shower. Kevin has put a good old aussie windmill to pump water for his rice paddies. Diesel pumps are the norm here to pump water onto the rice paddies in some circumstances so a windmill is rather a novelty.

Walked back home along the beach which is quite soft at the moment so was a good workout.

Then off in the other direction to the “supermarket” for some freshly cooked sweet corn for dinner. Finished up walking about 8km all up and feels great.

We are leaving at 6:30am on Friday to avoid the midday heat and humidity and will hike for 3-4 hours or so depending how muddy it is. Looking forward to the little hike and getting down and dirty.

Guy had a small loss at Mahjong today. Going back tomorrow to win it all back……

Thursday 9th December:

As we stayed up till midnight last watching a movie we had a sleep in till 10:00am this morning. That’s one of the things I love about this retirement thing. Go to bed when you want and sleep till you want.

Guy headed off with Vicki at midday to play Mahjong and Ron and I headed for Boac first and then over Mogpog way to try and find the big waterfalls I miss last week.

The weather has all gone to crap as it has rained on and off for the last two days. As we headed up the river to look for the falls it got wetter and wetter so we turned around while we could and headed for home. Last thing we wanted was to be bogged up some remote jungle path.

Ron had met another aussie in the bank in Boac during the week so we decided to see if we could find where he lived as all we knew was that he lived west of Boac. We stopped at the bank and as Ron knows everybody they provided him with directions to Wayne (Aussie from Brisbane) and Grace’s (Local from here) house.

We followed the instructions and found their house first off. Had a chat to Wayne and he will come along on Sunday to Barbarossa on Sunday and meet the rest of the expat gang. He moved here a few months ago with his wife from Manila where they have lived for the last 18 months. They didn’t like the city living and much prefer the quiet life of Marinduque.

Home with a quick stop for some more freshly cooked sweet corn for dinner.

Friday 10th December:

Real early start this morning (up at 5:30am) as I was heading to Gerald’s place for a hike up the escarpment behind his house. We left so early to avoid the heat and humidity of midday. It is about 4km to the top with the first 2km being on a rough track and the last 2km through the jungle and following a very overgrown muddy creek. And we both forgot to bring a Bolo to slash a path so suffered from vines that held you tight and other plants with big thorns and things that stung you when touched.

Gerald was last up this track about 6 years ago so with the jungle swallowing the old track he knew, it was a bit of a bush bash to get to the top. On the slopes the ground wasn’t too muddy but as we got to the top and flat ground the mud got thicker and softer.

Made it to the top and was presented with fantastic views of the valley and range that runs up the centre of the island. The two-hour trek turned into 3 ½ hours but I really enjoyed it. Home for a nice refreshing shower to wash the mud off and lunch cooked by Guy.

After lunch we headed to the Municipal Offices (Assessors Office) to pickup our final signed block paper work. Welllllll after 3 hours ish of Guy pushing and prodding and a trip into Boac (to get a few supplies while we waited) we finally have the completed registered paperwork. No more paper work for the block. We have the title and it is now registered and all the fees are paid. Yyyeeeaaaaaa…..

OOohhhh and while Guy was doing her thing I was able to avail myself to the free Wi-Fi across the road at Joseph’s Mini-Mart.

Headed home with a quick stop for some more fresh cooked sweet corn. Man this stuff is good. So much sweeter and tender than I remember back in AUS.

Saturday 11th December:

Cherry here for our washing day and a fine day it is. The rain maybe finally abating as we have had a couple of nice sunny days with fine afternoons.

The Papaya’s are ripening again in our “garden” so picked three this morning and had one for desert for lunch. Very sweet. Cherry also gave us one from her garden so looks like plenty of fresh fruit for a few days.

Guy cooked up some chicken rice for lunch and then off to see Rose the hairdresser for a hair cut for us both (P50 each ($1.25 AUS)). My first cut in nine months as I was starting to look a little feral. And as it is Guy’s 35th school reunion back in Manila between Xmas and New Year, figured I better tidy myself up a bit.

Now Rose is a Bading (pronounced Baaaa-ding) which translates to a male gay person. The gay community is very open and accepted here. Much more so than back in AUS.

Once I had my cut I headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and Guy caught the Jeepney to join me once her cut was completed. While Guy was emailing I headed into Boac and had some more pics printed to be delivered to various folks once I see them again. Everybody loves their pics when I deliver them and it’s great to see the huge smiles and laughter they bring.

Nice leisurely stroll up the beach before dinner and just after we finished dinner a brownout hit for a couple of hours. It has been a few days since the last one so was expecting one at anytime.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 296 of retirement

December 5, 2010

Hi All

Sunday 28th November:

Bit of a sleep in and then off to see Ron as it his 76th Birthday today. Meet him on the road and wished him a happy birthday. Back home till 11:00am and off to Gasan to join Ron, Vicki and her family at a lunch party for Ron. No shortage of food at the party – roasted chicken, spaghetti, buko salad and custard cake.

I then headed to Barbarossa to meet the expats and Guy was off to Mahjong. Watch the afternoon rain but all cleared up by the time Guy finished Mahjong and we headed home.

Nice quiet evening and a usually Sunday dinner of leftovers.

Monday 29th November:

Well another public holiday today. This one is to celebrate a Filipino hero named Andres Bonifacio who was a rebel in the fight against Spain many years ago.

So we had a day of rest. As it was a very nice warm sunny day I broke out the moldy stuff (leather belt, Macpac 90L backpack, two tee-shirts) and placed it in the sun for the day. Only a little rain shower at midday so a good de-molding day.

I washed and waxed the Thunder Monster, as I was too busy to do it yesterday… A nice relaxed long lunch and then some landscaping works round the cottage. And a nice evening walk (up the road and back along the beach) to the supermarket to get some Coke.

For dinner Guy cooked a very yummy green Papaya and Malungay (both from our yard) dish to go with some Adobo chicken that I cooked at lunchtime.

Ripe Papaya for desert also from the trees in our yard and all washed down with a nice hot cup of tea.

Tuesday 30th November:

Stunning day today. The sun is out and it is hot but not too hot and humid but not too humid. First day with no rain for weeks.

Market day in Gasan so quick trip to stock up on supplies for the next few days.

Ron picked us up at midday and we headed for White Beach on the other side of the island (by Torrijos) for a swim on the only white sandy beach on the island. The road to white Beach goes over the mountains on the southern tip of the island and with the clear day it was quite nice admiring the view on the trip over and back.

Was great as we had the entire beach to ourselves (being a work & school day) apart from one small birthday party. As you can imagine this beach gets very busy on weekends and holidays, but not today.

The water is nice and warm so we spent the afternoon swimming and sitting under a Nipa Hut enjoying the sea breeze. Very pleasant indeed.

Back home to a nice cool shower and wash the salt off and dinner of some corn and Adobo chicken.

Wednesday 1st December:

Another glorious day in paradise. Guy was off to Mahjong with Vicki so I decided it was time to go exploring.

I headed north up Mogpog way to look for a small waterfall and the Tarug Caves.

The waterfall directions were to go to the steel span bridge and then come back towards Boac till you see a road going off at 90 degrees to the main road. Then follow the river and find the side stream with the falls.

Found the road okay and followed the river up stream for 6km or so. Ask one of the locals and he said you go 1.5km to the shelter shed then walk to the falls. Well, 500m up the road came to the shelter shed and followed the creek for 200m to the falls. Only small falls but a very nice peaceful place.

Then back on the main road to the Tarug Caves turnoff. Followed this goat track up the mountainside and it was indeed a goat track (rough rocky road). Made it up to the top of the mountain and then everything turned to slippery black mud. The slicks on the Thunder Monster made going very interesting (slipping all over the place).

After about 4km I asked a local where the caves were and they just pointed along the track. I suspect they had no idea what I said.

Kept going till the track started to drop down the other side of the mountain and it was getting even more slippery. So while I could, I turned around and head back for the main road. No caves found sadly. Will take Guy with me next time so she can talk to the locals and find out where the caves are.

Made it back to the main road as a very menacing afternoon storm was forming. It chased me all the way home (about 30km) with some large raindrops hitting me from time to time. I managed to make it home (4:30pm) just as an afternoon rainstorm hit so all good.

Guy arrived not long after with a Mahjong small win under her belt so she was happy.

Thursday 2nd December:

Early start as John swung by at 9:00am and we all headed for Terry (Welsh) & Nanette’s (Filipino) house which is called “Swansea” and is just up the road from our block. They spend their time between the Philippines (Manila & Marinduque), Wales and Canada.

They have a very nice house (10 years old) here on 5,000sqm of land on the beach and it is also very nicely landscaped. They are considering selling the house here as they are looking at settling in Manila. So we had a good look at the property and are waiting on a selling price should they proceed with the sale.

Spent a great couple of hours chatting under the pergola and enjoying some iced tea.

We are actually heading back there tomorrow for a bridge game with John. John, Terry and Guy have all played before but this will be a new experience for me. We shall see.

Guy off the Mahjong at midday with Vicki and I meet Ron and Geoff as we proceeded to try and fix Ron’s pressure pump. The cut in/out relay had burnt out so we got a new one in Gasan but had real trouble trying to get the setting right so it cut in at 40psi and cut out at 60psi. After 3 hours we gave up and headed to Barbarossa to drown our sorrows and get a plumber.

Ron found a local plumber and they all headed back to Ron’s as was dropped off at home. Guy arrived soon after and sadly had a loss today. Ooohhhhh  well can’t win them all……

Friday 3rd December:

Nice quiet morning with chicken rice for lunch. At 2:00pm we headed back to Terry’ and Nanette’s place for the first gathering of the Marinduque Bridge Club.

John, Terry and Guy have all played Bridge before but this is a new experience for me. We spent the afternoon in the garden shade, with a cool sea breeze, playing Bridge (which was rather enjoyable). Even had an afternoon tea break with iced tea and sandwiches all round. All very British.

Back home just in time for a stroll along the beach. A very pleasant day indeed.

Saturday 4th December:

Cherry turned up for the washing and clean day.

Guy was cooking so I was dispatched to the Gasan market for some supplies. Very comfortable shopping by myself now. We do most of our shopping at a few of the stalls and the people now know me there and know how to tell me the prices so that I understand them.

Quick visit to our favorite bakery for some fresh Pan de coco buns (little buns filled with coconut and very yummy). Also some freshly cooked corn on the cob just happened to fall into my bag.

A nice leisurely afternoon was had by all.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy