Day 623 of retirement

October 28, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 22nd October:

My sore eye is better this morning but still feels like I have sandpaper under my eyelid. So another quiet day in order.

A bit of a sleep in then off to Goodchow in Boac for some Wi-Fi. We had a very nice Pansit for lunch with an even better Halo-Halo for desserts.

As we cruised home we just managed to miss the afternoon storms. I got a little wet as we neared home and it rained heavily after we were inside.

Relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon.

Sunday 23rd October:

My eye is much better today and on the mend.

After breakfast it was time for the Thunder Monster wash and wax. Then we headed to the market to see our local butcher.

A few days ago he reckoned he could get us some good fresh tenderloin steak. So we had a look at the steak and as it looked okay we bought a kilo. So tomorrow I shall have a go at cooking our steak in the new fry pan.

I dropped Guy off at her 10:30am Mahjong game and then home. At midday I made my way to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Small crowd today (6 in all).

I arrived home in time to watch the Sepang (Malaysia) MotoGP and saw the horrible crash in the second lap that very sadly took the life of Marco Simoncellie. Rightly so the MotoGP was cancelled after the crash and it was about two hours after the crash that I heard of the fatality on the AUS news. A sad sad day for motorcycle racing. RIP MC…..

We tried a bit of the steak for dinner and it is a little tough so going to marinade the rest for tomorrow.

Monday 24th October:

Up early for my morning walk with Gerald. We did the beach walk this morning, as it is pretty wet back in the boondocks after a heavy rainstorm last night.

Guy did her morning Zumba routine and upon my return we had breakfast and relaxed after our hectic morning. Rainstorms off and on all day so things are a little wet at the moment. Some reading, the afternoon movie and a siesta were in order for the rest of the day.

Tuesday 25th October:

Awoke to a glorious day after the storms of yesterday. For lunch I cooked up the remainder of the steak but sadly it was still a little tough. Tasted great but just tough. Ooohhh well it will be good in Adobo and or Sinigang.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I cruised up the coast to Boac (22km away). Stopped off at Goodchow for a couple hours of Wi-Fi and then cruised home on the Thunder Monster.

Quick stop at the bakery for some fresh Pandecoco buns then home for a nice hot cup of tea with the buns.

Wednesday 26th October:

Liesurely morning then off to the market for some supplies. Got some chicken for tomorrow (Chicken Rice dish) and found some Perlas (deep sea fish) that we have had before. It has thick, sweet, moist fillets and the big bones can easily be removed (I have a thing about fish bones). You don’t always see this fish in the market so we bought a slab.

Fried (in the new pan) it up for lunch and dinner and very nice indeed (cooked with some garlic and ginger) with some rice.

Some reading and siesta were the order for the afternoon.

Thursday 27th October:

After breakfast we rode up to our block to have a look at the progress of the Japanese house next door. Had a look at our Nipa Hut as some of the builders are using it to live in while the building is going on. All good as they are keeping it clean and have cleared the vegetation around it.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I decided to walk into Gasan. Stopped in at Barbarossa and had a chat to Geoff and John (both Poms) who were passing through.

Took the MacBook and my USB modem and managed to get a sloowwwww connection which enabled me to wish my twin sons (Adric & Jason) a happy 29th birthday for today. They are both currently in Cusco (Peru) with Mike (Jason’s partner) traveling round South America. Great place to enjoy your Birthday I reckon.

Walked back home along the beach so did about 12km all up. Was a bit hot and sweaty by the time I got home but a nice cool refreshing shower fixed that.

Some chicken rice with snake beans and a hot cup of tea finished off the day very nicely.

Ooohhhhh and a brownout at 7:30pm till 9:00pm. It has been a while since the last one.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

Day 617 of retirement

October 22, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 15th October:

A nice fine day greeted us with sunshine and a gentle breeze. Late morning we headed to “Goodchow” in Boac for some lunch and Wi-Fi. Had a pizza for lunch and it was pretty good. Not as good as Shakey’s but close.

Cruised home mid afternoon and picked up a nice bag of fresh Rambutan’s (P30 ($0.72 AUS) per kilo) as they are in season at the moment.

Afternoon tea was a nice hot cup of tea and Rambutan’s. Yummmm…

Sat on the beach and watched the sunset to conclude a “busy” day.

Sunday 16th October:

The Thunder Monster got her usual wash and wax this morning.

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:00am and I hit Barbarossa at midday for the expat gathering. Another good crowd today of nine, all up.

Home by 3:00pm as we are heading to Manila tonight on the 8:00pm Ro-Ro from Cawit Port (10km north of us). The Thunder Monster was parked inside and tucked in for a rest while we are away. We will be back by next weekend.

We are picking up my ACR card (identity card) and seeing Guy’s sister (Marites) and nephew (Jonathan) who are visiting from New Zealand.

We headed for Cawit Port at 5:30pm on a Trike and upon arriving discovered that the Ro-Ro had broken down and will not be operating tonight.

So the only other option is to get to Balanacan Port (45 minutes away) and catch the 10:00pm Ro-Ro. So after lots of “negotiations” between Guy and various transport operators (and waiting around) we caught a mini van (14 seater) and finally arrived at Balanacan at 9:00pm.

Well wouldn’t you know it, the Ro-Ro was late arriving at Balanacan so we didn’t get to leave till 11:30pm.

Monday 16th October:

We arrived at Lucena at 2:30pm (a nice smooth crossing) and hit the JAC Liner bus. We had the seats behind the driver and discovered that when you held the recline lever the seats actually “reclined” all the way back to form a bed (the seats were actually broken as they shouldn’t go that far). So with only a few people on the bus we managed to get some sleep on our beds for a couple of hours.

As we got closer to Manila they started to pick up more passengers so the beds had to come back up. It was a nice quick trip and we arrived in Manila at 6:00am (3.5 hour trip).

A nice early morning stroll to Guy’s sister’s place just round the corner from the bus depot and we hit the hay for a few hours shuteye. We both crashed till 10:30am and then joined Guy’s Mum for a late breakfast.

For lunch we caught a cab to Greenhill’s Mall as there were a few things I needed from there. We hit Shakey’s for Mojo’s and Pizza for lunch and finished it off with a Chai Latte and Raspberry Cheesecake at the Tea Leaf & Coffee Shop. Had my sugar fix now.

Guy’s Mum cooked up some Tilapia fish for dinner tonight. I love the way she cooks them so they were heartily enjoyed.

I now (finally) have my ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) in my hot little hands so my Filipino residency is now complete. We started the process last December so 10 months isn’t too bad.

Tuesday 17th October:

Slept like a log last night with the fan gently blowing over us.

We faced trying to do our AUS eTax and you could probably hear my cursing back in AUS. Dam ATO don’t support MAC so no eTax. We borrowed Guy’s sister’s Windows PC and couldn’t download the MSI for the eTax install (it kept bombing out).

So I managed to download the Tax pack and printed out the tax form. We’re doing paper tax returns and will courier them to the ATO along with a letter of our frustrations in their archaic system. Needs a good usability expert to look at their online processing (hey James….).

We hit the mall for a late-ish lunch and stocked up on the last of our supplies with a relaxing Chai Latte in Starbucks to finish the day. Guy’s family was also at the mall and we caught up with them.

Guy off to Mahjong tonight. She found a game happening just down the road so “had” to attend. I am sure if we had an asteroid hit the Philippines she would find a game somewhere and get there come hell or high water.

Oohhhhh and one bonus that Guy’s sister (Marites) has provided is good chocolate from NZ. Yuuummmm……. Nearly as good as Haighe’s.

Wednesday 18th October:

Up and off to the mall to complete out 2010-11 tax returns. Got the final documents printed, checked the lodgments and off to the photocopiers to get a copy of both of them at the other end of the mall.

Then back down the mall and over to the next mall (there are three malls next to each other here) to go to the couriers. There are two couriers here (couriers are the safest / quickest sending option) and we discovered that they will not send to a PO Box. And of course the ATO requires all overseas lodgments to go to a PO Box in Sydney.

So after a final Chai Latte it was back to Beth’s (Guy’s sisters), dropped off our stuff and caught a Trike to the local post office down the road and round the corner. And of course we had a tropical downpour as we left and had the umbrella up in the Trike to try and keep dry.

But our tax is now done and dusted and on its way to AUS so we shall see what the ATO does with us now…..

Had a very late lunch at Guy’s Mum’s of Pork in blood jelly with rice. Very very nice as she cooks it so well. At 3:30pm we said our goodbyes and headed for the JAC liner bus station (down around the corner) to make our way home to the island.

The bus we caught takes us right to our front door so very handy. At 4:00am (12.5-hours later) we arrive home after a smooth trip on the bus, Ro-Ro and bus again.

Nice hot cup of tea to unwind, unpack a few things and off to bed at 5:00am.

Ooohhh we added to our collection of worldly possessions in Manila. We finally found a good fry pan that can be used for cooking fish, meat and Pancit (Noodles). We have been looking for a fry pan with solid base (to help with even cooking on the gas stove), high sides (for the Pancit) and glass lid (to see).

So Pork chops and mash potatoes were on the menu for dinner.

Thursday 20th October:

I was up at 9:30am with Guy a little time after. After a wakeup coffee and tea we headed off to the market to restock up on supplies.

Spent the afternoon cleaning all my camera gear (got a new cleaner in Manila), putting up the clothes lines (we had one nicked previously) and doing a rubbish burn up. Spent an hour cleaning up the beach as well.

Had my first run-in with a syringe today on the beach. I was cleaning up along the rubbish line from the last Typhoon, which was right back in the yard, and as I scooped up some coconut bits there it was. I incinerated it well and truly and will have to keep my eye out when cleaning up in future after a Typhoon.

Tried out the new fry pan tonight with some marinated Pork chops (Guy’s special marinade) and some green beans cooked in the Pork chop juices. Some mashed potatoes completed this delectable dish. Yummmmm….

Friday 21st October:

I’ve managed to finish up with a sore right eye after the Manila trip. I have a small growth in my eye and every now and then it gets aggravated and feels like I have sand paper in my eyelid. I have seen an eye doctor in the past and they won’t do anything unless it affects my vision, which it doesn’t. Got some eye drops, which help. It will go away in a few days.

Up early for my walk with Gerald. As it was relatively dry we headed back into the boondocks to try and find the “missing track” up to the Grotto. I have GPS readings on the Grotto and the start of the track on top of the ridge so as we walked up the valley we knew where we were.

We found another track up the ridge past the Grotto and so walked back to the GPS point for the start of the good track down. And sure enough, it came out in the valley below right where we thought it did. Problem was the entrance to the track in the valley floor was hidden by the jungle. We had walked past it ten times previously.

So now that we have found the original track we have a nice loop walk. You go up the valley first, then straight up to the ridge top and back to the Grotto and down the good track.

Home and Zieyrish was here for the cleaning & washing.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday with Vicki. I stayed out the bright sunlight and rested up my sore eye with a siesta and a bit of TV.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 610 of retirement

October 15, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 8th October:

The rain eased over night and we awoke to a cloudy day. Things have cooled down a bit and the humidity has dissipated a little, so very pleasant. Although it was 11:30am when we did get up…….

After brunch we headed for Boac to the Goodchow restaurant for some Wi-Fi and a real home cooked burger. The steady rain started just as we arrived and drizzled for the rest of the day. On the way home we dodged most of the showers and picked up some fresh Rambutan’s and Pandecoco’s.

The tropical rainstorms play havoc with our satellite TV signal so we started watching “Underbelly – Season 1 – Melbourne 1999-2004”. Great series.

Power went off at 10:30pm so off to bed.

Sunday 9th October:

Power back on at 3:00am. Had some heavy rain during the night as well.

Guy off to manicure / pedicure at 9:45am with Mahjong to follow.

As the rain held off I washed the Thunder Monster and got her tucked away under her cover before the rain returned. I caught a Jeepney to the midday expat gathering as it was raining once again.

With a break in the weather at 3:00pm ish I walked back home (5km walk). And a very pleasant walk it was.

Power off at 7:00pm and back on at 8:45pm.

Monday 10th October:

Up and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. Very wet after the weekend rain so, a walk up the road to Kalong and back was in order. Even the road was slippery in places.

Guy walked into the market in Gasan (6km) for some supplies and caught the Jeepney back home.

Beautiful sunny day, so time for some de-molding of my backpack and camera bag. Also had my Leica 90mm and 15mm lens out in the direct sun to help with the fungi that have been growing on the lens. The fungi are not affecting the quality of the pics taken with them…. Yet…. Hopefully I now have it under control as I keep the lens in an airtight container with a large amount of Silica Gel.

Early siesta mid morning was the order of the day. After lunch, time for the weekly rubbish burn up and beach cleanup. The rubbish took a bit of messing round with to burn and it was still a little damp from the weekend rain but got it all burnt up. The beach was pretty clean so nice and easy to keep it that way.

Looks like we have another Typhoon arriving at the end of the week so shall stock up on water and supplies tomorrow.

Tuesday 11th October:

Checked the weather this morning and Typhoon “Ramon” is now forecast to pass over us some time on Friday. Beautiful morning (calm before the storm) but expect that that will start to change by tomorrow night. So time for our Typhoon check plan to be put into action.

Our Typhoon readiness check, consists of:

  • Checking our rice and food supplies (tinned and packet) – Hit the market this morning and top up all our supplies.
  • Filled up the Thunder Monster with gas – Check
  • Have an extra full gas cylinder for cooking – Done last week so all good.
  • Ordered container/s of drinking water to ensure we have 80L in total – Check
  • Checked batteries for our head torches – Check
  • Filled outside water barrels (washing and flushing water) – Check
  • Have extra cash to buy stuff if required (ATM’s could be off line for a while) – Check
  • Get some fresh fruit and bakery stuff  – Check
  • Charge up all our phones (both batteries and credit) camera and laptop batteries – Check
  • Backup the Laptop to an external USB 1TB drive  – Check
  • Break out the “Dry Bags” ready to protect all electronic gadgets – Check
  • Thunder Monster inside – Check
  • Quick check for loose objects outside – Check

Guy off to Mahjong at midday. I had a little siesta and then back into Gasan to fuel up the Thunder Monster, hit the ATM for some cash, get some spare mobile phone recharge cards and of course some fresh Pandecoco buns.

Dropped into the store that is selling a 5KVA Diesel generator and measured it up for size to see where it will fit at the cottage. The pump-shed door is narrow but the generator will fit in, just. Might just have to buy one and stop procrastinating.

It drizzled on and off all afternoon so not sure if this is the beginning of “Ramon”. Just watched the evening Filipino news and looks like “Ramon” will arrive here tomorrow and they are forecasting lots of rain.

I had the nose pad drop off my good reading glasses this morning. The tiny screw fell out and luckily I found it. Broke out the good old Victorinox Swiss army knife and used the tweezers and magnifying glass to place the tiny screw back in the housing and the miniature screwdriver to do it up. Great tool, don’t leave home without one….

Wednesday 12th October:

We awoke to a glorious morning. The sky is very stormy looking (I can look at stormy sky’s all day), there is a gentle cooler breeze blowing and the humidity is down. So we set about our chores knowing that it wasn’t going to last.

I scrubbed the veranda as it has become all moldy and slippery once again with all the rain and sunshine. Once we get some fine weather again, I’ll hit it with some bleach and that will sort out the mold for a month or so.

Guy cooked up a big pot of adobo that will last for the next few days. The water boys turned up and we now have our full 80L of drinking water, which will last for a few weeks.

We both had our showers late morning and settled in for the wait knowing that the power could go off at any time and be off for some time.

Checking the weather this morning and Marinduque is now a Signal 1 (45-60kph winds) for Typhoon “Ramon”.

At 10:00am the rain started, just a gentle drizzle and still very calm. This is part of the weather forecast:

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10 – 30 mm per hour (heavy) within the 400 km diameter of the Tropical Storm.

Further update this afternoon:

“RAMON” has weakened into a Tropical Depression after interacting with the landmass of Eastern Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao.

So looks like it will be tomorrow before the main weakened body of “Ramon” arrives now. Steady rain and calm all day. The temperature and humidity were very pleasant as well.

The afternoon was spent reading, snoozing and a DVD (We watched the last 3 episodes of “Underbelly – Season 1 – Melbourne 1999-2004”.

Very relaxing.

Thursday 13th October:

It rained steadily for most of the night and the sea has come up with the wind from the south now. Checked the weather forecast and we are still at a Signal 1 (45-60kph winds – we have had nothing like that so far) so no Ro-Ro’s will be operating to and from the island.

From the weather forecast this morning:

Estimated rainfall amount is from 5 – 25 mm per hour (moderate – heavy) within the 300 km diameter of the Tropical Depression.

So looks like all is good as the tropical depression now moves off to the west of us. We can expect some more rain over the next few days with only a slight wind blowing and moderate seas.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and as the rain had eased I walked into Gasan to stretch my legs after being cooped up for a couple of days. I meet up with Geoff and John (Poms) for an Iced Tea at Barbarossa.

As the rain was still holding off I walked back home as well (12km round trip). A nice cup of tea with some fresh Pandecoco’s was my reward for the walk.

Checked the weather forecast tonight and the Signal 1 has now been removed from Marinduque. Back to normal again.

Friday 14th October:

Up early for morning walk with Gerald. Very wet so a walk up to Kalong and back on the fire trail was in order. Nice brisk walk in the humidity to work up a sweat.

Guy walked into the market for our supplies and caught the Jeepney back home just in time to meet Zieyrish for the washing and cleaning.

Leisurely afternoon pottering round the house with a little siesta. As it was a nice sunny day I “Bleached” the veranda to help hold the slippery mold at bay, for a while anyway.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 603 of retirement

October 8, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 1st October:

The tail of Typhoon Quiel is upon us this morning. The sea is quite rough and it is a little windy. No rain though.

Late morning we headed for Boac for some Wi-Fi. One of our tasks was to do our AUS Tax.

Even though we are no longer residents of AUS we still have to do a tax return each year for any interest income we receive from banks. And the penalty for not being a resident is that we do not get a free tax threshold at all and have to pay a flat 10% on all income.

We were going to do our return via e-Tax (Online) but wouldn’t you know it, it doesn’t work with a Mac. Windows OS only. Damn ATO get with the program…..

So looking at our options. Sent an email to our tax agent in Sydney (who has been doing our tax) re him doing it for us. We shall see.

While Guy Wi-Fi’d, I went for a walk round Boac and found a new free Wi-Fi restaurant called “Goodchow”. Will try them out next week and hope that their food and Wi-Fi measure up…..

Cruised home in time to see the last two quarters of the AFL grand final. Bit of run away in the last quarter.

Went for a walk on the beach to see the damage outcome from the Typhoon earlier in the week. Some damage but minimal.

Watched the MotoGP qualifying in Motegi Japan and great to see Casey Stoner take out pole position.

Sunday 2nd October:

Power off at 9:15am and back on at 10:15am.

We are still experiencing the tail aftermath of Typhoon Quiel which is passing way north of us. Seas are very rough and it is a bit blustery but no rain.

The Thunder Monster got a sponge bath this morning. The power was off and I didn’t know when it would be back on hence the sponge bath.

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:30am and I headed up to Ron’s (Yank) as his workers were thrashing rice and I wanted to see how it was done. Interesting process.

At midday off to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering.

Monday 3rd October:

Up early for our Monday morning hike. Gerald and I are looking for a track over the second ridge, which comes out at the Grotto. We have done this walk twice before. The first time we found this good track up the steep ridge. The second time we couldn’t find the good track and had to bush bash our way up.

Today we still couldn’t find the track and had to turn back because of the dense jungle.  Still had a great walk but we both were suffering a bit in the dense humidity in the jungle gullies.

Figure that next time we will go to the Grotto first and back track and see if we can find the track from the top down.

Guy walked into the market for some supplies for the next few days. She caught the Jeepney back home.

She cooked up some Pork Adobo with carrots and for the first time since arriving here we had some mashed potatoes. I used some margarine (to replace the butter) and powered milk (to replace real milk) and a hand masher (Just like my Mum used to use) and they turned out pretty dam good (didn’t realize how much we missed mashed potatoes, even Guy had seconds and I had thirds).

After lunch it was rubbish burn up time, which included all the trash from the beach. The beach rubbish had all been washed up into the fence with the storm surge earlier this week so it was nice and easy to clean up.

A nice cool shower and I settled in for the MotoGP delayed telecast from Motegi, Japan. Some excitement with a jump start, crashes, near crashes, run offs and a bit of biff. Great to see Casey Stoner recover after a bit of brake failure and run off the track to then come in 3rd. He is still leading the leader board by 40 points as the MotoGP heads to Phillip Island in AUS.

Tuesday 4th October:

Woke to a beautiful day today. First calm days in just over a week.

Power went off at 9:00am this morning. Guy and I were scheduled to go to Boac for some Wi-Fi as we had some banking stuff to sort out. So at 9:30am we headed for Boac and decided to try our luck that there would be power in Boac.

Power was on in Boac so all good. We hit the “Goodchow” restaurant for the first time to see how the food and Wi-Fi was. All good (fast Wi-Fi (for the island)) and the restaurant is air-conditioned (bonus). After hamburgers for lunch Guy caught a Jeepney back to Gasan and Mahjong and I stayed on for a while and caught up on Wi-Fi stuff.

Pickup a “Marinduque Roast Chicken” on the way home for dinner and called into Barbarossa and had a Coke with Geoff (Pom).

Arrived home to find the boys removing the last of the coconut trees that are overhanging one of the out buildings. They moved my satellite dish just incase the tree fell off the mark. This then meant that I had to re-tune the dish once again (had to do the same the other day). Getting good at it now and found the satellite signal after a bit of moving about.

Wednesday 5th October:

John (Pom) dropped in for a cup of tea and a morning chat. After he left we cruised into the market for our usual supplies and a few little delicacies.

Got home just on midday and it was a brownout but luckily it only lasted for 10 minutes and then back on so all good.

The Gas shop now has fresh supplies so after lunch we caught a Trike into Gasan and replaced our spare empty gas bottle. All gassed up again and ready for the next Typhoon…..

An afternoon siesta was then in order and enjoyed by all. A late afternoon thunderstorm hit for about 30 minutes which cooled things down and cleared the air.

Thursday 6th October:

Leisurely morning. At midday Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and I caught up with Ron. Now we had heard that one of the Canadians (there are two of them) from over Mogpog / Santa Cruz way were back in town.

As we weren’t sure which one it was we decided to pay both their houses a visit and see who was about.

Dave in Mogpog was our first port of call and there was nobody home and the house was all locked up. So off to Santa Cruz where we caught up with Ray and Ellie (local gal). Ray is a mining engineer who is a very spritely 75 years old. He has worked in many places round the world (including AUS) and has lots of great stories.

They have a house in Vancouver (Canada) as well as Santa Cruz and spend their time between both places. They have three grown up kids who all live in Canada.

Had a great chat along with snacks and a cup of tea.

Friday 7th October:

Steady rain started in the early hours of the morning but stopped just in time for our (Gerald and I) early morning walk. Too wet and slippery to go bush so we walked up the road (fire trail) to Kalong. Even the road was a little slippery in places so a good call.

Home and Zieyrish here for the washing and cleaning. Guy and I cruised into the market mid morning for our supplies for a big pot of Pork Sinigang. It was good to see some fresh produce back in the market after the two Typhoons have now passed and the floods up north are subsiding (some of our veggies come from up north Eg: Carrots).

Just after lunch the rain pretty much set in for the afternoon. So time for a siesta, some reading and a couple of DVD’s. The washing got a very thorough rinse….

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 596 of retirement

October 1, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 24th September:

Mid morning we headed for Boac for some Wi-Fi and lunch. Had a lovely Lomi with iced tea for lunch at the Boac Hotel. Got the blog posted and emails sorted.

On the way home we called into the Gasan bakery for some goodies and I then dropped Guy off at the Mahjong house for a manicure / pedicure (P80 ($2.00 AUS)) at 2:30pm. The beautician was servicing the other players so Guy was able to get in at the last minute.

Guy cooked up a very nice pot of pumpkin soup for dinner.

Sunday 25th September:

Brownout from 9:00am to 10:30am. The power supply has been great these last few weeks so when it went off this morning we started to wonder how long it would be off……

Ron (Yank) dropped by at 9:30am for a chat. As he and Vicki (wife) hadn’t seen our block and were interested to see the Japanese block we headed up for a look see picking up Vicki on the way. Seems to be a little confusion on exactly where the Japanese house is going but it doesn’t affect our block at all.

Being Sunday the Thunder Monster had a wipe over and shine as it has been dry this week.

I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at midday and I hit the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Crowd of seven today (4 AUS, 2 Poms, 1 Dutch).

John (Pom) has returned from a visit to Angeles (large expat community north of Manila by the old American Clark Air Force Base) where he has some mates. Douggie Dave is one of his mates who downloads just about any movie / series from the net so all you need to do is place your order.

I was talking to John before he left re: the “Under Belly” series from AUS. We saw seasons 1 & 2 and part of season 3 before we left. John got the whole series so we can see the finish of season 3.

Monday 26th September:

Up early (5:00am) for my Monday hike with Gerald and was greeted by the tail of Typhon “Pedring”. The eye of the tropical depression is going well north of us but we have been hit by rough seas, windy conditions and drizzling rain.

By the afternoon Marinduque was at a Signal 1 (45-60 km/hr winds). This shuts down all Ro-Ro (boat) traffic and can also suspend air traffic as well till it is lifted.

So the walk was called off for today and back to bed at 6:00am.

Power went off at 10:00am and back on at 12:00noon. Off at 1:00pm and back on at 6:00pm. Off at 10:00pm and on at 11:30pm.

With the tail of “Pedring” upon us we wondered if we were in for an extended brownout as the power is usually cut during Signals on the island.

After lunch I headed up to Gerald’s for a cup of tea and a chat. I was going to walk (4km) but the drizzle just wouldn’t let up so a Jeepney ride it was. Same coming home so Jeepney once again.

Started my 11th book of the year “Life” the Keith Richards story. Great read so far.

Dinner was by LED headlight.

Tuesday 27th September:

Power off at 8:00am and back on at 10:30am. Off again at 5:15pm and back on at 10:30pm. Off again at 11:30pm.

Typhon Predring’s tail has hit us with a little more vengeance today. The wind has swung round to the south and picked up quite a bit so the sea is very rough today. It hasn’t stopped raining (steady rain so is okay) for the last 24 hours and looks like it won’t clear anytime soon, so looks like a relaxing reading day indoors with a book and DVD’s.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday (no Typhoon can stop her) and I settled in for a DVD afternoon while the power lasted. Watched the two Underbelly movies, “Infiltration” and “Tell Them Lucifer Was Here”.

Guy and I are also watching Underbelly Season 3 (The Golden Mile) as we only saw the first 3 episodes before we left AUS last year. Be great to see how it finished.

During a lull in the rain I had a quick wander down to the beach and watched the storm for a while. Something mesmerizing about a rough stormy sea.

Dinner by LED headlight once again.

Wednesday 28th September:

Power on at 7:00am and off at 4:30pm. Back on at 6:30pm till ????.

We had one of the wildest nights since being here in the Philippines last night. For about 4-hours it blew its guts out accompanied by horizontal rain. Only damage this morning is a sheet of iron on Yolanda’s little cottage next to ours has come loose and the bamboo floating Nipa Hut on the beach is no more (wind and tidal surge demolished it).

There is quite an amount of coconut palms and crap in the yard but that can be easily cleaned up once the Typhoon passes.

The tide last night is the highest I have ever seen it with stuff washed up into our yard through the fence. The fence will need a few minor repairs in a couple of spots as well.

Still blowing this morning but has abated a bit and no more rain.

Guy and I off into the market with a stop over to see Laura (lady we bought our land from) for a chat. All supplied up once again ready for the next Typhoon which they say could be Saturday…….

Yolanda and the boys arrived and it was decided to remove the two coconut trees that are overhanging the roof of our cottage. With the strong winds it was a little un-nerving knowing they were hanging over us.

So the boys, with the aid of a long rope and a bolo, removed the trees. They firstly removed all the coconuts and palm leaves from the top and then cut through the trunk with a bolo while three of them pulled on the rope tied to the top. No chainsaws, or safety gear here.

Both trees fell right where they were supposed to fall, missing verandas and other trees. These boys knew what they were doing.

I did a quick trip up to our block to see how it faired after the storm and tidal surge. All good. The ocean did come right up the beach but didn’t breach the beachhead. The sand is gone again off the beach (rocky beach now) but it will be back as it has before.

The Thunder Monster had a little hiccup as I left for the block today. She stopped just outside our gate. Sounded like she ran out of fuel. Pushed her back and broke out the tools. She had spark, fuel from the tank to the carburetor was getting through (drained the carbi bowl) so it looked like some gunk in the jet.

Played with things for a while and then cranked her over and slowly she came back to life. After the run to the block and back she was back to normal. I think she coughed up what ever was stuck in her throat…….

Busy day.

Thursday 29th September:

Power off when we got up at 11:00am but back on at 12:30pm.

Up at 11:00am this morning as we had a bit of a late one last night. We had a session from 6:00pm to 3:00am where we watched 9 episodes of the Australian series “Underbelly Season 3 – The Golden Mile”. We started watching this series when we left AUS and never saw the conclusion. Great series.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I headed for Boac for some Wi-Fi as I have been off the air for 5-days due to sitting out Typhoon Pedring. I dropped into Marelco (Electricty Supplier) on the way and paid one of our two monthly bills (rent the other one). We average about 130KWH (P1,600 ($40.00 AUS)) per month. This is for the essentials like electric pump for our water supply, lights, TV, Video, Satellite TV Box, Fridge, Microwave, Laptop, Phones, Cameras and Fans. No air-conditioning or hot water system here.

Also hit the ATM as it was off line during the Typhoon so all cashed up once again.

Got my dose of Wi-Fi and a few supplies from downtown Boac.

Also discovered that two of my previous Wi-Fi places no longer have Wi-Fi (Joseph’s Mini-Mart and Tahanan Sa Isok). Only have the Boac Hotel at the moment so will need to suss out some new sites.

Friday 30th September:

Up early and off for my morning walk with Gerald. After all the rain we did a beach walk today and avoided the boondocks. Beautiful morning as the storm has cleared the air so the humidity isn’t too bad at the moment.

The sea was flat calm so all the fishermen are out after no fishing since last Sunday.

Guy walked into the market (6km) for some supplies and caught the Jeepney back in time to meet Zieyrish, our cleaning & washing lady. A late morning siesta was then enjoyed.

After lunch a trip up to the block where we meet the Japanese guy’s wife, Tess. The Japanese guy only speaks Japanese so he would tell Tess, she would tell Guy in Filipino and would translate to me in English. Interesting conversation.

Home and we loaded up the empty drinking water containers and the LPG bottle into a Trike and into Gasan to exchange them for full ones. The water was fine but due to Typhoon Pedring there has been no Ro-Ro’s running so gas deliveries to the island have been nil. And all the gas in Gasan has been sold out.

We are using our spare gas bottle so no problem but will need to wait till next week for a delivery to replace our spare. The total cost of the Trike trip into Gasan and back with our containers was P70 ($1.70 AUS).

Spent 1.5-hours down on our front fence cleaning away rubbish (litter, coconuts, bamboo & drift wood) and propping up a couple of places that suffered some damage.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy