Day 897 of retirement

July 28, 2012

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Hi All

Sunday 22nd July:

Brownout during the early hours of the morning with the power coming back on at 8:30am. Raining on and off all day as we are currently under the influence of Tropical Depression “FERDIE”.

At 10:00am Guy caught the Jeepney into Mahjong and I decided to walk into town to Google IT (6km). I broke out the large umbrella and headed off. It wasn’t windy, just steady rain so the umbrella worked a treat.

Once I posted the blog and did my Internet stuff I made my way to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. The rain kept the crowds away today. There were only four of us today.

At 3:00pm I made my way back to Google IT for a quick Wi-Fi catch up and then walked back home (6km).

I managed to walk home in between showers so all good. Guy walked home from Mahjong (5km) and also managed to miss the rain.

I also got a call from Dave the Canadian (works in the oil sand fields in northern Canada & married to Crissa (local) living in Mogpog past Boac). He is back on the island till late December so it will be good to catch up with them again.

I finished reading my 51st book of the year “2nd Chance” by James Patterson (Paperback Book). A good murder mystery.

This was actually the 14th Kindle book I read but the Kindle version was corrupted and had the last bit of the book missing.

Amazon didn’t have the Kindle version for sale so I found a secondhand copy (P125 ($3.00 AUS)) in a bookshop in Manila. It’s a good book so I wanted to know the ending. It was worth reading it again and now knowing the ending.

Monday 23rd July:

Up and off for my morning walk with Gerald at 6:00am. After all the rain yesterday we elected to do the beach walk today, as the boondocks will be too wet and slippery. It was blowing a gale on the beach and quite humid so by the time I got home I was very “sticky”.

After a nice refreshing shower and a latish breakfast I rode over to see Bertholt (German) who lives by the airport (15 minutes ride away). He had downloaded a series for me as he has the same fast Internet connection at his house as Google IT. He loaded it up on a USB stick for me and I was back home for lunch.

On the way home I picked up a fresh pineapple and some mangoes.

A little siesta followed a leisurely lunch. At 2:30pm we headed into Google It for some Wi-Fi. Guy was able to Skype Jo (daughter) and had a good chat to her, as the birth of her first child (and our first grandchild) is due in two weeks ish.

Tuesday 24th July:

Market day today. We were going to walk in but had a bit of a sleep in instead. At 9:00am we rode in and bought our supplies for the next few days.

Mid morning it was rubbish burn up time along with a quick clean up of the beach.

The rest of the day was a rest day. We read our Kindle’s and had the odd siesta or two.

Wednesday 25th July:

Woke up with a bung left eye this morning. It is puffy, itchy, bloodshot and teary. Bit like hay fever. I’ve had it before and had some drops to put in which helped. So a quiet morning was had by all.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and I had a little siesta. After the siesta the eye felt a little better so I walked into Gasan (6km) along the road and dropped into Google IT for some quick Wi-Fi and then called into Barbarossa for a few cold iced teas with Geoff (Pom) and Lindon (Aussie visitor).

Late afternoon and I walked back home along the beach (6km) in the sea breeze. The eye is much better tonight.

Thursday 26th July:

The eye is much better today so all good.

Ailyn was due here for Guy’s massage but she didn’t turn up. Guy left a message for her on her mobile to come tomorrow if she can. Where she lives back in the boondocks she has no mobile coverage so only get messages when she comes down to the coast.

Cherry was a day early for our washing and cleaning as we were away in Manila last week and had a bit of a load to wash.

The rest of the day was our rest day. A day where we stay in and eat, read, siesta and potter round the cottage. A very relaxing day indeed.

We had a brownout from 5:30pm to just before 7:00pm. We had the rice cooked before it went off so all good for dinner.

Friday 27th July:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our walk. When I arrived Juliet met me at the gate to say that Gerald has been sick (vomiting) overnight so isn’t up for our walk. I headed back home and decided to go for a walk back in the boondocks behind the cottage.

I had seen some kids disappear up a track previously so decided to see where it went. It made its way up onto a long mountain meadow with the odd family living up there. I followed it for a while but as it turned back further into the interior I turned round and headed back home as it started to rain.

Definitely further exploring required.

After lunch we made our way into Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Guy was able to Skype Jo (her daughter) who is due in 2-weeks. Getting close now.

I finished reading my 52nd book of the year “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind (Kindle Book). This is the first “Fantasy” book I have ever read and I loved it. It’s a loooonng book to read but it kept me very interested all the way through.

This is the first book in an eleven book series (The Sword Of Truth Series). I have started reading the second book “Stone of Tears”.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 891 of retirement

July 22, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 14th July:

Feeling 95% today after the bug I had during the week. At 10:00am I walked into Gasan and Google IT to post the blog. Felt good to be back walking again.

Guy left for Mahjong at midday.

I walked back home at 2:00pm after a big afternoon rainstorm. I made it before it got too humid.

Sunday 15th July:

Leisurely morning. The Thunder Monster just got a wipe over today.

At 10:00am Guy was off to Mahjong. At 11:30am I dropped into Goggle IT for some Wi-Fi before hitting the expat gathering at midday.

Back home to watch the Italian MotoGP at Mugello. Casey Stoner struggled all weekend and after running off the track (but got back on) he came in 8th. Not so good for the world championship points.

Monday 16th July:

Was going to walk this morning but it was raining at 5:30am so texted Gerald and cancelled.

Mid morning Guy and I made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. A quick visit to the market across the road and back home for lunch.

Mid afternoon I made my way into Gasan to fuel up the Thunder Monster and get some cash from the ATM. Gas all sorted but the ATM was out of cash so no luck there. Ooohhh well 1 out of 2 isn’t tooooo bad.

I dropped by Gerald’s for a chat and a cup of tea. He wants a muzzle (as we are in Manila latter this week I’ll get him one) for his young Labrador pup “Hermione” so we tried to measure her snout. I eventually got what I needed but it was a challenge as she thought it was a big game.

I finished reading my 50th book of the year “Compromised” by Derek Keyte  (Kindle Book). A good fiction read about a British soldier captured and tortured by the IRA and his final revenge.

Tuesday 17th July:

No market this morning as we leave for Manila tomorrow so eating the last few bits of leftovers in the fridge.

I gave the Thunder Monster a good wash and wax as she will be tucked up alone in the cottage for the next 5-days while we are away.

At midday I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I caught some Wi-Fi at Google IT. I also hit the ATM for some cash as it was stocked up today after running out yesterday.

Home mid afternoon, and started going through all our paperwork to take to Manila with us to finalize my residency.

Wednesday 18th July:

Up at 5:00am and Ron picked us up at 6:00am and off to Balanacan port we went (1-hour trip). We arrived at 7:00am and purchased our tickets for the Ro-Ro and waited for the 8:00am departure.

The Ro-Ro left just after 8:00am and though it was crowded, Guy and I had a 4-person padded bench seat to ourselves, which meant we could lay down and snooze. The 3-hour crossing was nice and smooth as we arrived at Lucena Port at 11:00am.

It was straight onto the JAC Liner bus and off to Manila. 5-hours later we arrived at Guy’s sister’s and Mum’s house round the corner from the bus depot. After 10-hours traveling it was good to arrive.

We dumped our gear and headed straight for the Mall and a Chai Latte. We sorted out our shopping list while sipping a Chai and managed to get our few little luxuries (Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, etc.) to take back to the island.

We arrived back at Guy’s mum’s place for dinner at 7:00pm where she cooked a very very nice Pork sinigang (My favorite).

An early night as we have a busy day tomorrow at the immigration office finalizing my residency.

Thursday 19th July:

Up and out the door at 7:00am on our way to immigration across the other side of the city. After a Trike, LRT (Train) and Jeepney ride we arrived right on 8:00am as they opened up for business.

We gathered all the paper work (Some in triplicate) and then had to get it “Notarised” (witnessed by a JP like back in AUS). Now the immigration usually does this in house for free but all the notary staff today were away doing an exam.

So we had to go outside the building and get swamped by people “selling” us their notary services. We chose this one lady who then lead us down the road, through a tiny car park and alley way into a lean-to behind an old building.

There, we were looked after by this great young lady and this old guy on a really old PC with an equally old printer who printed out the form letter we required and they stamped and witnessed them all. Absolutely great service and all accepted by immigration.

Back to immigration and we presented all the paper work and had it all accepted by 10:00am. Then we got the bad news.

We were told that we had to come back in 5 or 10 days for an interview and to collect my biometrics (finger prints and face recognition photo). Then back again some weeks after that to pick up my ID card.

In checking with various staff we learnt that if we get a notarized letter asking to move the interview and biometrics to ASAP (Because we live far away from Manila on an island) and paying P1,000 ($24,00 AUS) we may get it done today. So our great notary lady did another letter for us and we paid the P1,000 to the immigration cashier and we waited and waited.

We spent most of the waiting time across the road from immigration at Starbucks and to add insult to injury I spilt a ¼ cup of hot Chai Latte down my front into my lap when the lid came adrift. AAaaahhhhhhh.

Finally at 2:00pm we were asked to go up stairs as our letter had been accepted. On arrival we were informed that this practice is an old one that they no long support. So Guy with some gentle persuasion (She was very good) convinced them that we really need to do it today.

We meet the attorney for our interview which took all of 2-minutes and then proceeded to the Biometric collection window. Here we had a pleasant discovery as I had done my Biometrics 12-months ago for my temporary card I wouldn’t need to do it again. So at 3:00pm we were done, some 7-hours (And P10,350 ($250.00 AUS)) after starting the process.

In 3-5 weeks time once my Biometrics ID card is ready we will need to return to pick it up and get my passport stamped that I am a permanent resident.

On the way home we dropped into the Mega Mall to pick up a few last minute things. There was the annual gun & defense (Home defense) show on in the mall so I had a look at that while Guy wandered. It was amazing to see what weapons you can buy here for “home” defense.

Back to Beth’s (Guy’s sister) for an early night (it was an exhausting day) as we are up at 5:30am tomorrow to make our way back to the island.

Friday 20th July:

Up and off to the JAC Liner bus depot arriving at 6:15am. Within two minutes of boarding the bus, we were off to Lucena, so good timing.

Well, as it turned out we should have caught the next bus as this bus driver was the worst one we have had yet. He would speed up and stop very quickly and he was weaving in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow. The bus was all over the place, which made snoozing almost impossible.

And for the first time ever on the bus an elderly lady and a young child threw up (Vomited). The lady managed to catch hers in a shopping bag but the kid deposited his load on the floor. Guy and I were okay, thank goodness.

We arrived at Lucena port at 11:15am and caught the midday Ro-Ro to Balancan Port on the island. The trip over was rougher than usual but I had taken a pill and was also able to lie down (not many passengers) so I was fine.

Ron picked us up from the port and we made our way home (1-hour trip) in the pickup limo. A quick stop at the market for a few supplies and home sweet home at last with us both feeling quite exhausted. But ooohhhh so glad to be home.

Saturday 21st July:

It was going to be a leisurely morning but Guy got a text that her Mahjong game starts at 9:30am. I dropped her off and made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Didn’t post the blog as I’m not quite ready after our trip away so tomorrow.

Back home for lunch and caught up with Yolanda our landlord for a chat and to give her back all the cushions and bedding we borrowed when Sandy and Brian were here.

A little siesta after lunch, and a quick trip to the market for a few supplies for dinner, as I’m cooking (Pork Spare Ribs with Beans and Rice).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 883 of retirement

July 14, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 7th July:

Guy had an early start to Mahjong today so I dropped her off at 9:30am at the office.

I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi to post the blog and catch up on emails. Just got everything done and we were hit with a brownout at 11:00am. So I made my way back home and still no power so it was rubbish burn up / beach cleanup time.

Due to the rain yesterday things were a little damp so it took a little longer to get things burnt up, finally managed to do so with the help of some dried coconut palms.

The power came back on at 12:00noon just in time for a nice cool shower after the burn up.

John (Pom) arrived at 1:00pm as he is having his first massage from Ailyn, our massage lady. At 3:00pm he finished up….

Sunday 8th July:

The Thunder Monster just got a wipe over this morning, as she is still nice and shiny. She didn’t have to venture out in the rain this last week so all good.

I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at 10:30am and made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi prior to the expat gathering at Barbarossa at midday.

Had a good crowd of expats today at the gathering (9 all up).

Back home and watched the MotoGP at the Sachsenring in Germany. It was a really good race but not good for Casey Stoner who lost it on the last lap (while running second) so failed to finish. Bummer……

Monday 9th July:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. It was pretty humid so a beach walk was the order of the day, followed by some nice cold iced tea.

After lunch we cruised into Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Guy was able to Skype Jo who is due to give birth to her first child (Guy’s grandchild) on the 5th of August. Getting close now…..

Back home and an afternoon where we read and each had a nice siesta.

I finished dreading my 47th book of the year “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson (Kindle Book). Another awesome read (Highly recommended) and follows on from “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.

Tuesday 10th July:

Market day but as we had a bit of a sleep in we rode the bike in (too hot and humid to walk). Got all of our supplies for the next few days and home for a relaxing afternoon.

Mid afternoon I went for a walk back into the boondocks behind the cottage to the last house at the end of the road and dropped off some photos I had taken a few weeks ago of the family. They loved them all and lots of smiles and thank you’s.

I finished reading my 48th book of the year “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest” by Stieg Larsson (Kindle Book). Guy and I have been totally engrossed in the three books of the Millennium series from Stieg Larsson so lots of reading has been happening.

The three books are the best crime mystery series that Guy and I have read yet. Highly highly recommended. It’s a real pity that Stieg died in 2004.

Wednesday 11th July:

Feeling a bit crook this morning. I went to bed last night feeling a little light headed and woke up this morning still feeling light headed and like I was sea sick.

It last pretty much all day so I have a couple of siestas on the couch and read some. Guy was off to Mahjong at midday. At 3:30pm I was feeling a little better so cruised into Google IT for a quick email check and then meet John (Pom), Bertholt (German) and Gil (Local) at Gil’s restaurant at 4:00pm for dinner and a chat.

Guy arrived at 5:30pm after a win at Mahjong today so a good day for her.

We were back home by 7:00pm to a nice hot cup of tea and a lay down.

Thursday 12th July:

Still feeling under the weather this morning. Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for my 2-hour massage and I must say that it was very very nice given the circumstances.

We had a quiet morning relaxing and reading. After lunch we did a quick trip to Boac (44km round trip) for a few supplies. I was mainly after some Dream (Satellite TV) recharge cards. They have been out of stock for the last few weeks and as this month runs out on Saturday we were leaving it a bit fine.

But all was good as they had the P650 cards in so I bought a few spares.

After our little outing I was feeling a bit better with being out in the fresh air.

Friday 13th July:

No walk this morning as I’m recovering from my bug. Got a text from Gerald last night that he has been crook this week so must be something doing the rounds.

I am feeling much better this morning so all-good. Cherry arrived at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning day.

After lunch we cruised into Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Guy was once again able to Skye Jo and had a good old chat about baby stuff.

I finished reading my 49th book of the year “One Shot (A Reacher Novel)” by Lee Child  (Kindle Book). A good murder mystery.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 876 of retirement

July 7, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 30th June:

Up and off to the market for some supplies for the next few days. Back home and time to wash Thunder Monster 2 (John’s bike) as John is back on the island tomorrow after being back in England for the month.

I gave her a good wash and wax, changed the oil and a good going over ensuring that she is ready for John’s return.

At midday Guy was off to Mahjong and after a little siesta I headed to Google IT for some Wi-Fi to post the blog and check out some Kindle books.

Back home to cook up a pan of Pork spare ribs for dinner.

Finished the day off with a hot cup of tea watching the Netherlands MotoGP at Assen. Good to see Casey Stoner win the race and become equal top (With Lorenzo) on the MotoGP world ranking.

Sunday 1st July 2012:

It was my Thunder Monster’s turn for her wash and wax today. She got an extra wax today where I waxed all the plastic bits, the tank, the exhaust and the seat. It will probably rain now…..

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:15am and I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi before the expat gathering at midday.

A small group today so we didn’t manage to solve all the problems of the world today. We shall complete the process next week…….  J

Monday 2nd July:

Up early (back into our Monday and Friday walks) and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. As it had rained overnight, we did a beach walk this morning.

Back home for a leisurely morning with a siesta thrown in before lunch.

After lunch the rain came on and hung round most of the afternoon. We caught a Jeepney into Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Guy Skype’d Jo and Jordan in Canberra for a good chat.

Jordan is on school holidays at the moment and arrived in Canberra yesterday from Sydney for a three-day visit with his sister and Dave (Jo’s partner).

We caught the Jeepney back home as it was still raining which cooled things down a little.

I finished reading my 45th book of the year “Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell & John Bruning (Kindle Book). A great read about Sean Parnell who is a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger who served in the legendary 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan.

Tuesday 3rd July:

Rain, rain and more rain last night. We are under a tropical Low pressure hence all the rain but at least it is calm (No wind) and the rain is steady.

Market day but with it raining we caught the Jeepney into town. A quick stop at Google IT for some Wi-Fi proved frustrating as the DSL signal kept dropping out every few minutes due to “the weather”. So we gave that up.

Bought our supplies and back home for a relaxing afternoon. The rain stopped for a while in the afternoon so a little walk on the beach was in order to clear the head after a siesta.

Wednesday 4th July:

Up and off to town at 10:00am where Guy and I are meeting Gerald at Gil’s new restaurant for brunch and some Wi-Fi. Gerald is installing the Kindle app on his Windows laptop and setting up an Amazon account to look at some books.

Once he managed to get the app installed and the Amazon account setup we worked through searching and finding eBooks. He found one he was interested in so we did a purchase (it was a free book) and completed the download to his laptop successfully.

Guy and I had a couple of very nice omelets for brunch. Guy also Skype’d Jordan and Jo in Canberra once again for a chat. At midday I dropped her off at Mahjong.

Early afternoon I made a quick run to the market to get a long handled stiff bristled broom to scrub the green fungi off the veranda at the cottage. With the rainy season back with us so comes the fungi.

Previously I have had to get down on my hands and knees to scrub. The old body doesn’t like that too much, so a brush with a handle was the order of the day. It worked heaps better and I got the veranda clean in about a third of the time.

We had a brownout from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Thursday 5th July:

Massage day today with Guy getting hers from Ailyn in the morning.

At 10:00am John (Pom) arrived to pick up the Thunder Monster 2 (his bike). He and Yolanda (his wife and our landlord) are back from the UK after their month long holiday there. It was a monumental holiday for John as he met his daughter for the first time in 43 years (she is 45 years old).

John’s marriage ended 43 years ago (with a 2 year old daughter) and he never saw his daughter again. Earlier this year he received a letter from his daughter Emma through the Salvation Army in the UK where his daughter was trying to track him down.

They exchanged letters and John let her know, through the Salvos, that he would be in the UK in June and offered her the opportunity to talk and catch up if she wanted to do so.

Well, it all went extremely well with John and Emma talking on the phone first then catching up with her. Emma got to meet the “other side” of her new family (John’s brother and his two kids). Looking at the pics it looks like a great time was had by all. John is over the moon that he now has a “new” daughter and sounds like Emma feels the same with a “new” dad.

After lunch I did a quick trip to Boac (44km round trip) for a few supplies. I managed to get about half of what I wanted so looks like another trip back again next week.

Late afternoon and Guy and I did a quick trip to Google IT for some Wi-Fi before all the school kids turned up at 4:30pm once school was out.

Friday 6th July:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk. We hiked back into the boondocks to Calong and back. It is about a 7km round trip with a nice steep climb all the way up. Back in 1 ¾ hours for some nice cool iced tea.

Home and Cherry here for the washing and cleaning day.

After lunch the rain set in for the afternoon so it was siesta and reading time.

I finished reading my 46th book of the year “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson (Kindle Book). This is one of the best murder mystery books I have read so far. A complex mystery but even I was able to follow the plot.

Guy and I are reading the next two books in the series “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”.

As we both have now read “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” we watched the DVD movie. It is quite different to the book in places. The book obviously is way better than the movie.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy