Day 554 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 13th August:

Guy off to Gasan at 9:00am to meet Juliet (Gerald’s wife) and have a look at a house for rent. Turns out to be three houses (1 large & 2 smaller) in one on a large fenced block. It is smaller than the cottage and not on the beach so will give it a miss. A nice place though.

Then Guy had a manicure booked for 10:00am and the lady didn’t show up. So she headed for the market and texted me. But the SMART mobile network has been playing up the last few days and her texts didn’t get through.

As I hadn’t heard from Guy at 11:00am I headed into Gasan and caught up with her at the market. Her three texts arrived just as we meet up.

Got our supplies and back home for lunch. After lunch off to the Tahanan Sa Isok Hotel in Boac to post the blog and check emails. Back home at 3:30pm (with a quick stop to get some Mangoes) to a brownout. Power back on at 4:15pm then off again from 7:00pm till 9:00pm as the evening storm goes through.

At 5:00pm our next-door neighbors (the Priest and parents) were having a traditional ‘Putong’ ceremony (literally translated as ‘crowning one’s head) for their guests (parents and two kids) from South Africa who are visiting. It involves you sitting in front of a group who sing a welcoming song to you and adorn you with “crowns”.

And finally you throw coins and or sweets into the crowd (mainly for the kids) for all to scramble for. We were invited over for dinner but as we had already eaten we visited and chatted for a while.

The drum kit the singers were using was a real beauty. It consisted of three plastic buckets with lids and a piece of flatten tin for the drums and cymbal. And the base drum was a twenty-litre plastic water container. The sound was actually very very good.

Sunday 14th August:

Thunder Monster wash and wax day. Gave her a good going over today especially with the wax. All nice and shiny and protected once again.

Guy off to 10:00am Mahjong and I left for Barbarossa for the expat gathering at noon. Usual crowd who solved all the problems of the world.

Back home in time to watch the MotoGP at Brno, Czech Republic. Great to see Casey Stoner win once again and extend his lead in the world championship.

And a monumental day today as we had power on for the whole 24-hours. First time in many weeks.

Monday 15th August:

Off to Gerald’s for our 6:00am walk. As it has rained quite heavily the last few days, going back into the boondocks and the Peaks is out of the question (too muddy and slippery). We went for a walk down to and then along the beach towards Buenavista. Then back partway on the beach and the remainder along the road. A good 2-hour walk to stretch the legs was enjoyed.

Guy has picked up a bit of a cold (probably from Manila last week as her sister Beth had it) so is not feeling the best. After lunch we headed off to see Rose our hairdresser.

I had a haircut and Guy was in for a cut and colour and even managed to get her nails done as well. Cheered her up a bit.

Then at 2:00pm we had a brownout till 3:30pm, which is very acceptable given the last few weeks.

Broke out the good old “Codral” (courtesy of my son Jas from AUS) tonight for Guy. Hopefully will help her get some sleep.

Tuesday 16th August:

Guy had a rough night last night with her cold (coughed most of the night). And I think that I have also caught it as well now. Headache and feeling very flat this morning.

After a slow rise we headed for the market (Gasan market day) for some supplies for the next few days. Stocked up and back home for a late breakfast at 10:00am.

I had a bit of an early siesta before lunch, which helped the cold. Guy cooked up a big pot of beef (Buffalo I’m thinking) Sinigang that will do us for the next few days.

Then she was off to Mahjong for the afternoon.

It rained steadily for pretty much the whole afternoon so I settled into a DVD and reading my 6th book of the year, “The Fourth Protocol” by Frederick Forsyth.

There was a short break in the rain for a half hour so I cleaned up the yard of the fallen coconut palms. I stacked them up next to the incinerator to dry out and then be used to help burn up the rubbish as they burn really well.

Wednesday 17th August:

Guy had a rough night coughing so a very easy day at home (no Mahjong so she must be sick….).

Spent the day mostly reading and finished my 6th book of the year, “The Fourth Protocol” by Frederick Forsyth. A good read once again.

Guy had a few good siestas in between the cold and flu drugs and she is starting to loose her voice now as well.

Afternoon storm hit at 3:30pm for a couple of hours and cooled things down a little.

A very nice quiet relaxing day was had by all.

Thursday 18th August:

Guy had a reasonable night last night and is feeling a little better this morning.

Into the market after breakfast and then she was off to Mahjong at midday (she must be feeling better).

Now to all you people who are sitting at your PCs connected to your fast broadband, I envy you.

After lunch I had a 46km round trip which included three Wi-Fi stops to get everything done I needed to.

Firstly went to Joseph’s Mini-Mart and managed a connection which lasted for an hour then it crashed. I proceeded to Tahanan Sa Isok (in Boac) and their Wi-Fi was “broken”. So next stop was the Boac Hotel. Their Wi-Fi was on and working, all be it rather slowwwwww. At least I was able to complete my web business there.

Then headed for home and a walk up the beach to work off my lack of Wi-Fi frustrations. Just one of the joys of living on Marinduque. Hey at the end of the day I was able to get done what I wanted to, so all good.

Friday 19th August:

Up early for our walk but it is still raining as it has been all night. So the walk is called off. Gerald caught the Jeepney to our place instead of the walk at 6:30am for a cup of tea, a chat and to drop off a book for John, which I will give to him Sunday at Barbarossa.

Zieyrish here at 8:00am ish for the washing and cleaning. The rain stopped at 9:00am and stayed away for the rest of the day so got the washing done and dried.

Guy still has her head cold so another quiet day. She is taking Codral night and day drugs, which tend to make her a little sleepy. She slept for a good part of the day so is getting good rest and recovery from the cold.

Must say I too managed a little siesta as well as I also have a touch of the cold but nothing like Guy has.

I’m reading my 7th book of the year, “The Dogs of War” by Frederick Forsyth. Another great read.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Other Stuff:

Marcopper Mine Marinduque:

Back on the 24th July 2011 – Day 527 blog I gave a brief history of the Marcopper / Placer Dome mining disaster on Marinduque.

In 1996 a Tailings Dam failed and deposited 1.2M cubic metres of Tailings into the Boac River (Tailings contained heavy metals) causing a huge environmental catastrophe for those living on the river.

Thanks to Brian (my brother in-law) I have some links to documents on the whole disaster, which make for some very interesting reading.

This the 2005 Mining Ombudsman Report and is the best one to read to give you an overall perspective on the incident:

http://www.oxfam.org.au/resources/filestore/originals/OAus-MiningOmbudsmanMarinduque-0305.pdf

There’s also the scientific report from 2004:

http://www.oxfam.org.au/resources/filestore/originals/OAus-WaterQualityMogpogRiver-0904.pdf

And another from 2005

http://www.oxfam.org.au/resources/filestore/originals/OAus-AssessmentAcidEcosystem-0405.pdf

Plus the summary OXFAM page:

http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/mining/our-work-with-communities/marinduque-island-the-philippines

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