Day 806 of retirement

April 28, 2012

To view the photo descriptions please click on the “Permalink” at the bottom right hand corner of the pic in the slide show. Once in the descriptions slide show you can view the full size pic by clicking on it.

Hi All

Saturday 21st April:

Gerald and I left at 6:00am for our walk (2.5-hours) up to Meadow Peak. We haven’t been up there for a while and as it is nice and dry back in the boondocks it was a good time to visit one of our favorite places minus the muddy trail.

You are some 300m ish above sea level and about 3-4km back from the coast so you get a fantastic panoramic view of the coast including Mount Malindig off to the left. Would be a great place to live with that view……

After a nice cold iced tea I arrive back home at 9:30am to find Guy fast asleep after her final all nighter Mahjong game at the Engineer’s wake.

At 10:00am John (Pom) turned up for a chat and a cup of tea while Guy arose from her early morning siesta at just after 11:00am.

At 1:00pm I dropped Guy off at the Catholic Cathedral for the Engineer’s funeral and I grabbed some Wi-Fi before heading home to a little siesta.

Sunday 22nd April:

Light rain falling this morning. Enough to be annoying, but not enough to water the garden. Ooohhh well the “wet” will be here soon enough.

Guy still got a nasty cough with her cold. Drugs are helping and she did manage to sleep till 11:15am this morning so getting some rest.

The Thunder Monster got a wipe over rather than the usual as she was still clean due to no rain all week.

Midday and Guy off to Mahjong and I hit the Barbarossa for the expat gathering.

Finished reading my 24th book of the year “The Accountant’s Story” by Roberto Escobar & David Fisher (Kindle Book). A good read about Pablo Escobar (the Cocaine King in Columbia) written by his brother.

Monday 23rd April:

Busy day today. Up at 5:00am with Ron picking us up at 5:50am, and off to Balanacan Port to catch the 8:00am Ro-Ro to Lucena on the mainland. Arrived in Lucena at 11:30am and onto the JAC Liner (Bus) for Manila.

We arrived in Manila just after 3:30pm. We dumped our bags at Beth’s (Guy’s sister) place and off to the air-conditioned mall (It was dam hot in the streets).

We purchased the bulk of our supplies that we can’t get on the island (Meat tenderizer, Balsamic Vinegar, Cheese, Photo Magazines, etc.) before settling back for my first Chai Latte in 3 months and man it was good.

Back to Guy’s mum’s place (next door to Beth’s place) for dinner and crashed at 10:00pm.

Tuesday 24th April:

After breakfast with the family we caught a cab to the YKL (Fuji Distributor in the Philippines) which is up and over towards the mall. We got caught in a traffic jam (due to road works) and it took us an hour to approximately move 1km but we finally got there.

The reason for this trip was to have them have a look at my Fuji X100 camera as I have a tiny dust spot on the sensor and it is about to run out of warranty. Normally I would remove the lens and clean it myself but as the lens is fixed on the X100, no can do. I use my X100 pretty much daily in all conditions (I don’t baby the camera) so not surprised it has happened as the camera isn’t weather proofed.

It only affects about 1 in 300 pics and only when I shoot at f11 to f16 and even then only under certain conditions. And I can fix it via my editing software if required.

So I show the service tec guy the issue and he got it straight away. Fifteen minutes later he informed me that they will replace the whole camera with a new one and was I happy with that?

Dam straight I was happy. I expected them to tell me to leave it with them for 4 weeks while they cleaned it. So 1-hour after arriving at YKL I was walking out with a brand new X100. Now that is great service….

Into another cab and off to the mall round the back streets to bypass the roadworks we hit getting there. At the mall we had lunch at Shakeys (Mo Jo’s and pizza as they make the best) and then purchased the last few luxuries for the island.

Back to Beth’s to pack and arrived at the JAC Liner bus terminal at 3:30pm for the bus that will drop us off at out front door. We left Manila at 5:30pm and arrived in Lucena Port at 11:00pm (5.5 – hours).

At 12:00 midnight we left on the Ro-Ro and arrived at Cawit Port at 3:15am (a smoooooth trip of 3 ¼ – hours).

Wednesday 25th April:

At 4:30am we arrived home with all our luxuries intack, some 13-hours after leaving Manila. We both managed a few hours snoozing in that time so not too bad.

After a quick unpack to put the perishables in the fridge and have a cup of tea we hit the hay just as the sun was rising at 5:30am. I arose at 9:00am and Guy at 10:00am.

After lunch a quick trip into the market was in order to top up on some supplies for the next few days. Then a very quiet relaxing afternoon, while I finished setting up my new camera and Guy had a long siesta.

Another hot one today.

Thursday 26th April:

Up and ready for my massage with Ailyn at 9:00am. At 10:00am she still hadn’t arrived so after some texts and a call from Guy it was discovered that Ailyn had heard from somebody that we were away so she decided not to come.

Anyway it was all cleared up and she arrived at 10:30am for my 2-hour massage. Guy headed off to her Mahjong at midday.

After a later lunch and a bit of a rest I headed into town to the Google IT café for some Wi-Fi. Back home at 5:00pm with Guy arriving at 6:00pm for a relaxing evening.

I cooked up some Longanisa Sausages (smoke Pork with herbs & spices) which were very very nice with some rice and Mungo Beans (Legume). Dessert was fresh mangoes.

Finished reading my 25th book of the year “Along Came A Spider” by James Patterson (Kindle Book). A good thriller with twists and turns.

Friday 27th April:

Up nice and early and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk. We left at 5:45am (as the sun was coming up) to beat the heat and humidity as best we could.

Today we walked up to the Calong village (in the boondock behind Gerald’s) and then carried on straight ahead up a gully towards the ridgeline. At Calong you can turn right and this will take you to Meadow Peak and left will bring you round back to Gerald’s but we had not explore the straight ahead bit yet.

We made our way up the gully and got about half way to the ridge top and turned back. We did see some great limestone cliffs off in the distance so planning to go back up there on Monday and see if we can get to the base of the cliffs and maybe some caves.

I’m still looking for that pirate treasure in a cave……….

Back home and after a nice cool shower, Guy and I headed into the market for some supplies. Once back home a late breakfast was had consisting of real cheese (purchased in Manila earlier this week) on whole wheat crackers with tomato and balsamic vinegar and washed down with tea (me) and coffee (Guy). Aaahhhhhh life’s little luxuries are grand.

A relaxing afternoon out of the heat and humidity under the fan.

After dinner (7:00pm) we cruised into Gasan and the Google IT café for some Wi-Fi in the cool of the evening (not many kids there at that time either). It was a slow cruise as the headlight on the Thunder Monster isn’t the best and my night blindness isn’t getting any better either. Must see if I can get a better headlight globe.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 799 of retirement

April 20, 2012

To view the photo descriptions please click on the “Permalink” at the bottom right hand corner of the pic in the slide show. Once in the descriptions slide show you can view the full size pic by clicking on it.

Hi All

Saturday 14th April:

Guy got home at 6:30am after another all-nighter at Mahjong at the funeral wake. We finally both arose at 11:00am after a solid sleep. After a latish lunch and a little siesta, we made our way to the Google It Wi-Fi café at 3:00pm.

We got all our web stuff done and the blog posted and were back home by 4:30pm. I went for a walk up the beach for a few kms. It was too hot and humid to go further so made my way back for a quiet evening.

Sunday 15th April

The Thunder Monster got her usual wash and wax this morning. She is all nice and shiny once again.

At 11:00am we made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Guy a little banking matter to take care of. She then headed off to Mahjong for the day and night. She is doing another all-nighter tonight in memory of the Engineer.

At midday I hit the expat gathering at the Barbarossa for the afternoon. Another good crowd today.

Home and a quiet evening, reading and watching a special about the Titanic which was lost 100-years ago.

Monday 16th April:

Up and away by 6:00am this morning for my walk with Gerald. We tackled a few hills this morning by going up and across to the Grotto and then back down the ridgeline. We were back just before 8:00am so missed the heat and humidity that was starting to build up. A nice cold iced tea followed by a cup of hot tea concluded the walk very nicely.

I arrived home 8:30am ish and Guy was home from her all-nighter Mahjong game and fast asleep in bed. I had a nice cool refreshing shower and prepared myself for a relaxing morning of reading followed by a siesta.

Guy slept till 1:00pm and then made her way up for a late ish lunch. Late afternoon we headed into the Google IT café and Guy was able to Skype her kids (Jo & Jordan) who are currently all together in Canberra. Jo is Canberra based and Jordan is Sydney based but he is in Canberra at the moment on school holidays.

I finished reading my 20th book of the year “Rainbow Six” by Tom Clancy (Kindle Book). A great read about biological terrorism.

Tuesday 17th April:

Market day today so in we went to get some supplies before it got too hot. For the first time today there were a lot of stalls missing. Mainly the clothes, shoes, pots and pans stalls. Don’t know where they were.

At 9:30am, I picked up Gerald (Pom) on the Thunder Monster and we headed off to Boac to see the Pulis (to thank them for their support on our across the island walk) and the tourism people (to get some info on the Moriones Festival as Gerald is doing an article for the “Enrich” magazine with some of my pics).

The Pulis we wanted to see weren’t there so we made our way to the municipal offices and had a chat to a number of the tourism people. They were able to provide Gerald with a complete definitive history of the Moriones Festival but it is in Tagalog so he will have to get Juliet (wife) to translate the relevant bits. The book he has is actually a Thesis completed by one of the locals so should be very interesting to see the complete history.

The tourism people were a really great bunch and nothing was too much trouble for them. When we return the Moriones Festival Thesis to them in a few weeks, we are going to share some GPS waypoints on certain prominent spots round the island. I feel some more exploring coming on.

Back home by midday just as Guy was heading off to Mahjong.

I had a relaxing afternoon in the heat and humidity. After lunch a siesta under the fan was enjoyed.

Then a quick trip into Gasan for a few more supplies and low and behold some ice cream. The store had a fresh batch of ice cream. One of the few luxuries we indulge in periodically when it is available.

I finsihed reading my 21st book of the year “Blackwater” by Jeremy Scahill (Kindle Book). This is a summary version about “Blackwater” a private American security company (Mercenary company) operating in Iraq and some of the incidents it is responsible for.

Wednesday 18th April:

Leisurely morning. At 10:15am we rode up to Boac and settled ourselves in the café at the Boac Hotel. After an early lunch of Pancit and deep fried pig intestines (taste and texture like squid and very nice) we Skyped Jo and Jordan (Guy’s kids) back in Aussie. Got an issue where we can see them but they can’t see us so some debugging required in Skype. It used to work until I upgraded Skype. GGggrrrrrrr.

While Guy did her email stuff I went for a wander and got a few supplies. I have been trying to get some Balsamic Vinegar on the island and no luck so far. We are going to Manila next week so will stock up then.

Home by 1:30pm and the afternoon heat and humidity had well and truly hit, so a relaxing time under the fan was had by all.

At 6:00pm I dropped Guy back off at the Engineer’s wake for another all night Mahjong game.

Finished reading my 22nd book of the year “Attack on the DEA” by Edgar Escobar (Kindle Book). Don’t bother reading it.

Thursday 19th April:

Guy arrived home at 6:30am after her Mahjong all nighter. She managed to get a couple of hours sleep before Ailyn, the massage lady, arrived at 9:30am for her massage.

We had a “rest day” for the remainder of the day (a little TV, reading and the odd siesta thrown in). I did a bit of a rubbish cleanup in the morning before it got too hot and humid.

Finished reading my 23rd book of the year “No Way Down : Life and Death on K2” by Graham Bowley (Kindle Book). All about the tragic climbing season on K2 (Pakistan) in August 2008 when 11 mountaineers died over a two-day period.

Friday 20th April:

Guy had a rough night last night as she has got herself a cold and a nasty cough along with it. So out with the cold and flu drugs and a quiet day to be had.

Cherry here at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning day. I did a run into the market to get supplies for the next three days as we are off to Manila on Monday for a few days.

After lunch we both had a very nice siesta under the fan, as it is another hot one today.

At 7:00pm I dropped Guy at the Engineers house for the final all night wake Mahjong game. The funeral is at 1:00pm tomorrow.

While it was cooler I dropped into the Google IT café and posted the blog before heading back home for a quiet evening.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 792 of retirement

April 14, 2012

To view the photo descriptions please click on the “Permalink” at the bottom right hand corner of the pic in the slide show. Once in the descriptions slide show you can view the full size pic by clicking on it.

The Sunday Grand Parade pics will be posted next week.

Hi All

Saturday 7th April:

Leisurely morning with Guy cooking up some Chicken Rice for the next few days and I did a rubbish burn up followed by a nice cool refreshing shower. Guy off to Mahjong at 10:30am and I made my way to Google IT (Wi-Fi) to post the blog and check emails as they have been closed the last two days because of Easter.

They celebrate Easter Thursday and Friday here and not Monday like back in AUS.

Got everything done and cruised back home past the bakery where they were taking out of the oven a fresh batch of Pandecoco (little buns full of sweet coconut flesh for P1 each (2.5 cents AUS)). Very yummy with a nice hot cup of tea at home.

Sunday 8th April:

It is the Moriones Festival Grand parade day, so Guy and I headed into Gasan at 7:30am. The Grand Parade is made up of each Barangay putting together a group of people (young & older) who dress up in very colorful outfits and do a dance routine to their own group of rhythmic drummers.

It is my favorite part of the Moriones Festival with all the sounds, color, dancing and everybody just out for a damn good time. There is something about rhythmic drumming that I could listen to all day. As the drummers passed you by, the vibrations reverberate right through your whole body.

After the parade Guy was off to Mahjong at 10:30am and I made my way to the new DJ’s restaurant on the fifth floor of the tallest building in Gasan. It had a very nice cool breeze blowing through and I was able to connect to their Wi-Fi (first time I have used it), which was nice and quick.

A Pork hamburger was devoured for lunch and it was very nice. I had a chat to Gil (the owner who is a local but has spent many years in USA) and they are closing tonight to complete the restaurant’s building works. He will have the grand opening in mid May at Gasan festival time so looking forward to it.

He has good food and good Wi-Fi, all we need really.

At midday I made my way to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. It was busy today with parade and this being the final day of Easter / Moriones Festival celebrations.

I left early (1:00pm) as the MotoGP (Qatar) qualifying session was scheduled for the afternoon. But of course the programming was wrong (only a few hours out) and then we had a brownout from 2:00pm to 3:30pm just to add insult to injury.

Luckily just as the power came back, the MotoGP qualifying session started, so perfect timing.

Monday 9th April:

The Qatar MotoGP race didn’t start till 3:00am so I stayed up and watched Casey Stoner (Current world champ and aussie) come in third after leading the race most of the way. A good start to the season.

I finally made it to bed at 4:00am.

The alarm was set for 6:30am as Guy and I were going to visit the Port of Balanacan to see the masses of people catching the Ro-Ro after the Easter / Moriones Festival week of festivities. Unfortunately after hitting the alarm’s off button, we went back to sleep and arose just after 10:00am.

OOohhhhh well, one of the benefits of being retired I guess…….

After lunch it was into Google IT Wi-Fi to sort out web stuff. Guy used one of their PCs and I the MacBook so a very productive few hours.

Back home to a brownout but the power was back again a half hour after we arrived home so all good.

Tuesday 10th April:

Market day, so we made our way for some fresh supplies (meat & mangoes) for the next few days.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday. I waited round while the electrician finally arrived to fix our ceiling fan switch. And of course just as he started we had a brownout for an hour. But it is now all fixed.

I did a quick trip into the Google IT café for some Wi-Fi as I had to update the MacBook. Got that all done and home for a rest before dinner…..

Wednesday 11th April:

A sad day today as Guy received a message that her long time fellow Mahjong player, The Engineer, died last night at the tender age of 84. He died of a heart attack in the early hours of the morning.

The Mahjong crowd is looking at an all nighter game to commemorate The Engineer.

Mid morning we made our way to Boac and the PNB bank to get my web access reset after being locked out last week. The people at the bank are extremely helpful (They want to help you…) and had it all done for us by early afternoon.

We then went exploring on the Thunder Monster up on the north end of the island. Guy had heard of a secondary road being upgraded and extended through the mountain that hooks up with the main round the island road over Mogpog way.

We found the road and followed it till the concrete surface ran out. We had a chat to one of the workers working on the road and learnt that it does go all the way through the mountains but gets pretty rough on the last bit before the national road junction. I shall come back another day and explore the rough section and see how rough it is.

The scenery was fantastic as you wound your way through the mountains. A great ride on the bike on the twisty road.

We then headed to Goodchow in Boac for lunch consisting of real burgers and fries. A nice cruise home along the coast followed lunch.

Late afternoon I did a beach cleanup in front of the cottage while Guy had a siesta. It is quite hot here in the afternoons now, so once the cleanup was completed I went for a swim. Very refreshing as the water is quite warm by AUS standards.

At 6:30pm I dropped Guy off The Engineer’s house for the all night wake / Mahjong game.

I finished reading my 19th book of the year “Assholes Finish First” by Tucker Max (Kindle Book), A sexist trash read about a guy full of himself. An interesting read none the less.

Thursday 12th April:

At 6:30am Guy arrived back home (she walked home (5km)) after the all night Mahjong game at The Engineer’s wake. And she had a win so happy with that.

Ailyn arrived at 9:30am for my 2-hour massage. At 11:30am after my massage John (Pom) arrived to go through my Moriones Festival photos as he is going to use some of them for his Xmas cards this year.

He picked out five of his favorites but has forgotten his USB stick so will sort that out tomorrow. He will take them to a printer in Boac who will use the pics and add the text for his Xmas cards.

Guy back off to Mahjong at midday after a few hours sleep. Now that is dedication to the sport…….

After lunch and a little siesta, I went cruising on the Thunder Monster down south past Buenavista in the western shadow of Mount Malindig. There have been a lot of new concrete road works carried out, so that there is now concrete all the way to Yook (10km south of Buenavista).

I then cruised back to Gasan and the Barbarossa for a nice cold iced tea. I meet Geoff (Pom) and an English gentleman with his wife (Filipino) who are visiting the island. They currently live in Thailand where he works in the ship brokerage industry.

Home late afternoon with Guy arriving at 5:30pm and losing all her winnings of yesterday. Oohhh well can’t win them all.

Friday 13th April:

Off to Gerald’s for an early morning walk, after having a month off. We did a short one (1.5-hours) along the beach today to get back into the swing of things. Our Monday and Friday walks are back on the agenda once again.

Back home and Cherry is here for our washing and cleaning day. Guy and I did a market run to get some supplies for the next few days.

The weather is getting hot and humid once again. The afternoons are not much good for anything other than relaxing, reading and grabbing a siesta. Guy caught up on some missed sleep from the last few days and I siesta-ed in sympathy on the other couch.

A very nice relaxed day.

At 7:00pm I ran Guy back into another all night Mahjong game at the Engineers wake. Gambling at a wake is actually one of the few times it is legal to do so in one’s home here in the Philippines.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 785 of retirement

April 7, 2012

To view the photo descriptions please click on the “Permalink” at the bottom right hand corner of the pic in the slide show. Once in the descriptions slide show you can view the full size pic by clicking on it.

Hi All

Sunday 1st April:

I got a text from Gerald last night to say that our article (his words & my pics) on our around the island walk (Marinduque) from last December has been published by the April edition of the “Enrich” magazine (A Healthy Lifestyle & Living magazine). It is distributed in the Philippines, USA, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

And to top it all off, one of my photos made the front cover. The cover photo has Geoff (Pom) and Wayne (Aussie) in it so they were pleasantly surprised to see themselves on the front page at the expat gathering.

The magazine is distributed by “Mercury Drug” stores here in the Philippines so I headed off to Boac at 5:30am for the 6:00am opening to get a few copies for us all. I arrived right on opening but they only had one copy left so got that one.

The only other Mercury Drug store on the island is in Santa Cruz, which is another 30km round the island. So off I went and caught them just as they opened at 7:00am. Luckily they had plenty of copies so was able to get the required number of magazines for us all.

Made it home at 9:00am after some 100km on the Thunder monster chasing down “our” magazine.

Late morning I headed to the Google IT Wi-Fi café in Gasan to post the blog and do email stuff and Guy made her way to Mahjong. Then off to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Eleven expats in attendance today, so quite a crowd.

Monday 2nd April:

A rest day today at home. As the Thunder Monster missed her wash and wax yesterday she got the works today.

After a wash and dry I removed the side panels and seat and cleaned up under them. I topped up the battery liquid, which requires some getting into. I then waxed all the panels, tank, instruments, exhaust and some engine bits.

And lastly I went over the bike with a small paint brush with WD-40 and touched up any bits that even looked like they had rust on them.

All this took a couple of hours.

After lunch it was rubbish burn up time followed by a nice refreshing shower to cool off.

John (Pom) dropped in for an afternoon chat for an hour or so. We then headed to the Google IT café for some Wi-Fi. An hour later we both had caught up on web stuff so we cruised home for a relaxing evening.

I finished reading my 17th book of the year “The Cobra Event” by Richard Preston (Kindle Book). A great read about biological terrorism in NYC.

Tuesday 3rd April:

Market day, so off to the market for our supplies. At midday Guy was off to Mahjong and I walked into Gasan to catch up with John & Geoff (Poms) at a new restaurant called DJs that has opened in Gasan.

On the way in our local Trike young man stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride into Gasan (about 2.4km away). I said thanks but no thanks. He said it was a free ride. I had to explain to him I wanted to walk for the exercise. The local don’t get it why I walk into town when I have the funds to ride.

I caught up with John and Geoff at DJ’s for a pineapple juice and a chat. Between the cooks and waitresses there were eight of them and three customers. So the service was very good to say the least. Hope they get more customers as the week progresses.

At 2:30pm there was a Moriones Festival parade so wandered down and got some pics. Then walked back home once again in the late afternoon in time for a nice little siesta.

Wednesday 4th April:

Busy day today. Up and into Gasan for the 8:30am Moriones Festival parade. We arrived at 8:45am only to discover that the parade has just finished. The program says it starts at 8:30am but it actually starts at 8:00am. Ooohhh well it goes for the rest of the week so will try another day.

Off to Google IT Wi-Fi as Guy needed to organize a bus ticket for Jordan to go to Canberra to visit his sister Jo as it is school holidays in AUS now. I also got the man to scan the “Enrich” magazine cover and the story (4 pages) for the blog as they have a good new Canon scanner there.

Guy grabbed a few things from the market across the road and back home we went. Once we got home I realized that the scanner guy has given me 2 copies of page 4 and none of page 3 of the article. OOooohhhhh not our day.

Guy was off to Mahjong just before midday as they were having lunch at the “office” today. I had a quick lunch and then back to the Google IT café and got page 3 of the Enrich article scanner.

I then tried to check the transactions on one of our bank accounts (Filipino account) and it kept asking to enter my password using the secure keypad, which I couldn’t see on my Mac. It then locked me out of the account all together so looks like a visit to the bank (In Boac) is now in order. Double aaahhhhh…..

I gave up and took a cruise up to Boac to see Wayne (Aussie) and give him an electronic copy of the Enrich magazine as he is one of the people featured on the cover. Had a chat to him and Grace (wife) while enjoying an iced tea and some freshly cooked potato fries that Grace cooked up. Whenever you visit, she always comes out with something to nibble on. The perfect hostess.

I cruised back along the coast on the Thunder Monster escaping the crowds of visitors in Boac and Gasan who are here for the Moriones Festival.

Thursday 5th April:

Ailyn the massage lady arrived a half hour early this morning for Guy’s 2-hour massage. During Guy’s massage I rode over to see Gerald for a cup of tea and a chat and arrived back home just as she was finishing.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and after a little siesta I walked into Gasan at a leisurely pace to have a look at some more Moriones Festivities. The Wi-Fi café was closed, as it is a public holiday here today and tomorrow, so no Wi-Fi.

I had a bit of a wander round Gasan and ran into John and Geoff (Pom’s) on their motorbikes. They were heading out to the cottage as John was catching up with Yolanda (his wife and our landlord) as she and the boys were working there today.

I hitched a ride with John on the back of his bike back to the cottage. We sat in the Nipa Hut and enjoyed the afternoon sea breeze with a chat and a cup of tea / coffee.

A short brownout occurred from 6:45pm to 7:45pm just to keep us on our toes. And it then went off again at 11:30pm so we went to bed.

Friday 6th April:

The power was back on when we got up this morning, so all good.

Cherry is here for the washing and cleaning day. Once we had her organized we headed into Gasan for the Moriones parade. They do two parades a day (morning & afternoon) with the morning one including the large Moriones statues and the dressed up soldiers.

After the parade we made our way up to the new DJ’s restaurant, which is up five flights of stairs. There are great views of the Gasan Port and township with a nice breeze being five floors up. I had a very nice Omelet and Guy had real Pancakes with Maple Syrup. It is run by two brothers, who are returned locals (balikbayan), who spent many years working in the USA.

A quick stop at the market for some supplies and back home to the cottage.

At 6:00pm we made our way back to Gasan for the Good Friday grand parade for both the Catholic and Aglipay churches with all the Carosa floats (hand drawn floats with religious statues of Saints). These are lit up with lights, which make it quite spectacular in the evening darkness.

I finished reading my 18th book of the year “Windstorm” by Bob Curby (Kindle Book). All about a mercenary mission in South Africa and Thermo Nuclear Devices (TNDs).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 779 of retirement

April 1, 2012

To view the photo descriptions please click on the “Permalink” at the bottom right hand corner of the pic in the slide show. Once in the descriptions slide show you can view the full size pic by clicking on it.

Day 2 of the walk photos are in this week’s blog. Day 1 photos were posted last week.

Hi All

Sunday 25th March:

The Thunder Monster just got a wipe over today, as she is till nice and shiny for her shine last week.

At 10:30am we made our way into Gasan where I dropped Guy off at Mahjong for her 11:00am start and I hit the “Google IT Café” (The new Wi-Fi place opposite the Gasan market) to post the blog, catch up on emails. And download some more free Kindle books (Thanks heaps too James R).

At 12:00noon I made my way to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Nice crowd today with nine members turning up.

The rain was back by 2:00pm and rained for the rest of the afternoon. At 4:00pm I did a dash for home and made it without getting too wet.

At 4:50pm we had a brownout till 6:00pm then off again at 10:00pm. It was till off when Guy went to bed at midnight, but was back on in the morning.

Monday 26th March:

Awoke to grey skies, looked like rain was going to be the order of the day. So we did a quick trip to the market for some supplies.

While there I went across the road to pay our electricity bill (we are billed monthly here) as the meter is read on the 22nd of each month and the bill is ready to pay a couple of days after.

Well they are a bit behind so bill hasn’t been processed yet. I’ll check back later this week and we shall see.

After lunch and a siesta I set about to fix the hose joint from a tap to the toilet cistern. And of course nothing is a standard size. The fitting that was leaking isn’t available from any of the Gasan hardware stores. So we sacrificed the hand basin fittings and got the cistern back in action only to find that the hose now leaked.

So back to the hardware for a new hose. Finally all fixed. Now we have no water to the hand basin but the cistern works. I will have a look in Boac tomorrow for the required fitting and get the hand basin back in action.

The afternoon rain came so a quiet one at home.

We had an evening brownout from 7:00pm to 7:45pm.

I finished reading the 13th book of the year “Dude Where Is My Country?” by Michael Moore (Kindle Book). An interesting and frustrating read.

Tuesday 27th March:

Market day, so into the Gasan markets as we had some fresh beef ordered at the butcher shop. Picked a few extra goodies and home for breakfast.

At 10:00am we made our way down the road about 4km and up a side road to see John (Aussie from Darwin) and his wife Nerissa (Local). We had a look at their new house which is very nice.

John is going back to Australia on Thursday as he is still working. Nerissa will stay on to finish off the house and then she will be back in Australia in May ish. They plan to retire here probably in twelve months or so. John is about to turn 65 later this year.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I walked into Gasan to the Google IT Wi-Fi café. Just as I arrived at 2:00pm the rain was back so I caught the Jeepney back home at 4:30pm (I was going to walk home).

I finished my 14th book of the year “2nd Chance” by James Patterson (Kindle Book). A good murder mystery.

Wednesday 28th March:

Up at 10:30am only to be greeted by a brownout. The power did come back on at 11:00am as we headed off to Boac.

We set ourselves up in the Boac Hotel for lunch and some Wi-Fi. And wouldn’t you know it the power then went off at 12:00noon.But it only lasted for 20 minutes so all good. Just before lunch we Skyped Guy’s daughter Jo, Dave (her partner) and Jordan (her son) in Canberra, AUS.

Jo had just returned from her graduation ceremony for a “Bachelor of Interior Design” course. Jordan was visiting for the day to celebrate with her and get a day off school (he’s in year 11). Video was working on their end so it was great to be able to see them all and also Jo’s “bump” (Grandchild on the way).

After a very nice lunch of Pancit, Guy hit the drug store for a few supplies and I found the plumbing bits I needed to fix the leak in the bathroom. I am replacing the whole tap / hose setup with a standard sized one.

With rain looming once again we packed up and made our way home by 3:00pm with just a few misty showers encountered on the way.

A relaxing late afternoon of siestas, reading and fixing the plumbing in the bathroom completed the day.

Thursday 29th March:

The steady rain started early last night and it rained all night till 10:30am this morning.

Ailyn the massage lady was an hour late so Guy had a one-hour massage (then she had to head off to Mahjong) and I took up the other hour. I had Ailyn concentrate on my lower back and legs.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and after I had lunch, I walked into Gasan (5km) as it was a nice “cool” (I wore a tee-shirt instead of a singlet) overcast day and the humidity wasn’t too bad.

I grabbed a quick hours of Wi-Fi at the Google It café opposite the market and then walked back home (6km – I went the long way). Only had a bit of drizzle rain today so all good.

I finished my 15th book of the year “3rd Degree” by James Patterson (Kindle Book). Another good murder mystery.

Friday 30th March:

Off to see Gerald at 8:00am for a cup of tea and a chat (no walk this morning). With Easter and the Moriones Festival and his visitors the week after Easter, we have put our walks on hold till the end of April when things get back to normal.

We had a brownout at 8:30am with the power back on at 9:15am.

Cherry here this morning for the washing and cleaning. Guy had been to the market by the time I got home so we had supplies for the next few days.

Quiet morning and after lunch we hit the Google It café for some Wi-Fi for Guy to catch up on emails.

Saturday 31st March:

John (Pom) dropped by at 9:00am for a chat and a cup of tea. Guy was off to Mahjong at 10:00am and John left soon after.

I had an early lunch and then headed to see Ivan (Aussie chicken farmer) up by Boac. Ivan has joined the 21st century and got himself a laptop. I took up my SMART USB Broadband stick to see if he could get a signal on his farm.

Sadly no go. He is in a bit of a valley so no line of sight with the towers in Boac which is about 4km away as the crow flies. Ooohhh well he will have to utilize the Wi-Fi establishments in Boac and Gasan.

He is going to have a chat to PLDT (Philippines Telecom) and see if it would be possible to get a line into his farm from the main road as he is about 1km in. We shall see.

Mid afternoon, I cruised back home and managed to get wet in one of the afternoon storms. It was dry at the cottage and the rain was actually quite refreshing.

Guy arrived home with another win at Mahjong so very pleased with herself.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy