Day 953 of retirement

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Hi All

Saturday 15th September:

We are still under the influence of Typhoon “Karen” (the outer edge) hence the rain and rough seas. It rained all last night but has been fine most of the day. The wind has now come up rather strong so very rough seas. Would hate to be on a Ro-Ro about now (That is if they are running….).

Ailyn here this morning for my massage. She couldn’t make it on Thursday as she had function to attend for her local church. I think the Archbishop was visiting her Barangay.

Guy off to Mahjong at 11:00am with my massage finishing just on 12:00noon. After lunch it was off to see if I could get the blog posted.

Now Google IT’s Wi-Fi is still off the air. There are two other Internet Cafes in Gasan but neither of them have Wi-Fi. Barbarossa has Wi-Fi but I haven’t been able to connect to it for over twelve months (They have an old Router).

Gil has Wi-Fi at his upstairs restaurant but its really for paying customers only. Google IT does have another Internet Café a couple of Barangay’s away towards Boac so I set off to find that one as they have Wi-Fi that works.

I couldn’t find the Google IT Café but in the process I came across this little Internet Café with a dozen PC’s in it and the guy said Wi-Fi was all good.

So anyway (a little skeptical of it being “all good”) I connected and it was actually pretty good. I got the blog posted and other stuff done so all good. I now have an alternative to Google IT for Wi-Fi.

My last resort is to go to Boac (22km away) as there are a few Wi-Fi places there that are fine.

I washed the Thunder Monster (no wax) as she was filthy from all the riding in the rain this week. I just couldn’t stand see her so muddy……..

The power went off at 10:00pm and was back on sometime before 2:00am. There is tsismis (pronounced tis-miss and means gossip) going round the island that due to a fuel shortage for the generators we will be having brownouts from 6-12 hours duration for the next week. We shall see……

Sunday 16th September:

Much better day today with the rain gone and the wind has abated from Typhoon “Karen”.

Today is the 7-year anniversary of Guy (my beautiful wife) and I meeting in a coffee shop in Chatswood, Sydney. Who would have thought that it will lead to one of the greatest adventures of our lives with many more great years to come.

Meeting Guy has enabled me to fulfill one of my life long dreams. When I was 19-years old I had a dream of retiring (or even semi retiring) at 55. I never thought it would happen but Guy and I worked together and made it happen (with huge support from Guy).

We love living the simple life in our little piece of paradise and feel happier, healthier and wiser for it.

Some people dream of doing great things
Others stay awake and do them
Stay awake people.…

At 10:30am Guy was off to Mahjong and at 11:00am I decided to walk into Gasan (1-hour) for the expat gathering.

We had quite a crowd today with 11 expats all up. I meet a new aussie who has just arrived on the island to retire. Arthur (ex Sydney) aged 40 has arrived with his wife (originally from Marinduque but spent the last 20 years in AUS). He was working in the telecommunications industry. I only had time for a short chat so will catch up with him later in the week.

At 3:30pm I walked back home along the coast in a nice pleasant sea breeze.

I finished off the day by watching the start of the San Marino MotoGP and then we had a brownout at 6:00pm. So didn’t see the race after all.

No Casey Stoner back yet after his ankle operation but hopefully within the next two races he’ll be back.

The power came back on at 11:00pm (5-hour brownout) but we were both in bed by then.

Monday 17th September:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk. A quick one today up to Kalong and back (1 ½ hours with a nice big climb). After a nice cold iced tea and a hot cup of tea I arrived home just after 8:00am and we had a brownout. It lasted till 4:30pm (8.5-hours). Ooohhh well at least I got the fridge defrosted.

A scoop shower was in order, followed by breakfast and a little siesta. At 11:00am we made our way to our block as we have two local workers (living next door to our block) clearing away all the undergrowth and tidying up round the trees.

I showed them the boundary markers and Guy explained what we wanted done, so all good. We have employed them for 3-days at P200 ($4.80 AUS) each per day so should get the block cleared (the 1,600sqm by the beach) for under $30.00 AUS.

Then off to the market for some supplies. We bought some rice and a vegetarian bitter apple dish to go with our chicken adobo (warmed up on the gas stove) that we had to eat today, as we have no fridge all day.

We dropped into the Marelco Office (Power Cooperative) to see what was the go with the brownouts. We are back on rolling brownouts for the next few days (maybe longer) due to lack of fuel for the generator plant (Somebody needs to pay the fuel bill….).

It is basically 8-hours on and 8 hours off (give or take an hour or two). So in one 48-hour period you get through one cycle. This gives you power during one day and not the next. Once you know when it will be off, you can plan round it okay.

Cooking is all gas so no problem there. But anything in the fridge needs to be

eaten within 24-hours.

The afternoon’s activities were Kindle reading and a siesta. Late in the afternoon I rode into Gasan and admired (and take a few pics) the engineering feat of the construction of the concrete wall being built to protect the market from the river.

Then it was up to the block to see how our workers were going on the clearing. They are doing a great job. One of the workers asked for his day’s pay today. As they are doing a good job and it was 4:00pm I paid him his P200 for the day’s work. The other guy will wait till Wednesday for his P600 in one go.

With the power back on at 4:30pm I was able to catch the MotoGP repeat of the race from yesterday that I missed due to the brownout. Really bad day for poor old Danny Pedrosa. But great to see Rossi take out second.

Tuesday 18th September:

The power went off just after midnight (Guy got to watch the finish of her movie) and came back on at 8:30am ish (8.5-hour brownout).

Market day so off to the market. Some very nice fresh “big” fish (big fish as I’m not a fan of little fish bones) so we got the fisherman to fillet a nice big one for us (same as the fish we bought last week).

On the way home we dropped into Google IT opposite the market and their Wi-Fi isn’t fixed yet. But Guy was able to get detailed instructions on where their other café is in the Barangay just north of us. We rode down and sure enough there it was hidden behind a big water tank.

So I now have two other options for Wi-Fi other than Google IT in Gasan. Always good to have options……

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and I headed up to the block to see the workers. All good at the block so I made my way to the Google IT in Barangay “Bangbang”, about 5km north of Gasan and their second Internet Café.

At first I couldn’t connect and once the boss arrived we discovered that they had missed a letter out of the password.

Once connected with the correct password it was all good and reasonably fast.

At 3:00pm I did a quick swing past the block once again to see how the boys had progressed (they were doing good) then home and a shower before the power went of at 4:00pm for the evening (power off for 8-hours ish).

I finished reading my 61st book of the year “Life After War: Book 1 – The Survivors” by Angela White (Kindle Book). A good read about the good, the bad and the ugly of a group of people drawn together after a Nuclear War in the USA. Has a little black magic thrown in to add a bit of spice to the story.

I am reading the second book now “Life After War: Book 2 – On The Road”.

Wednesday 19th September:

The power was back on just after midnight ish and went off at 8:00am. I got up at 6:00am and filled all the used water containers and did the dinner dishes from last night so all good for the day.

Then surprise surprise the power came back on at 12:30pm (4.5-hours brownout). Somebody must have paid the fuel bill and a new delivery delivered (hopefully…..).

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong at 1:00pm. I was going to go to Boac but there was a big black storm looming and it was already raining in Gasan so I turned round and came back home.

I watched the midday movie and then have another go for Boac (the storm had passed by now). I found the supplies I was after and called into the Boac Hotel for some Wi-Fi before heading back home.

I rode straight to the block and had a look at the boys clearing work. I have employed them for one extra day (4-days in total) as the undergrowth has been pretty hard going. Hopefully tomorrow should see it out.

Thursday 20th September:

We had another brownout during the night for 3-4 hours but it was back on again by the time we got up.

Cherry arrived at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning day. I did a quick trip to the block to see the boy’s clearing handy work and let them know that it is their last day and I’ll be back at 4:00pm to pay them.

Ailyn was supposed to arrive for Guy’s massage but she texted Guy to say she couldn’t come because they had heavy rains (with heavy flooding) over night back in the hills where she lives (Gerald registered 135mm in 7-hours). She couldn’t get across the river to come on down.

After lunch I dropped Guy off at Google IT for some Skype with Jo and Zali in Canberra. I made my way to see Berthold for a couple of things. He is interested in a Kindle as he is a bit of reader as well. So I showed him my Kindle Touch and I was able to answer his questions. He is sold and is going to get one.

There is a Swedish mini series (it’s in Swedish but has English subtitles) called “The Millennium” by Stieg Larsson. It follows his three books “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest”. Berthold had downloaded the series for me previously but I was missing the subtitles and the first book “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”,

Berthold had everything on disk so we just had to transfer it to a USB stick.

The Americans made the movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” with Daniel Craig but it was crap and nothing like the book.

We watched the Swedish version “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” today with the subtitles and it is almost exactly like the book (about 95% correct) and goes for just over 3-hours. But I must say that this Swedish mini series is just as riveting as the book even though you know what is happening.

Highly recommended. Looking forward to the other two movies.

I dropped back into Google IT on the way home to pick up Guy. Google IT have now got their Wi-Fi fixed so I did a quick connection to check it if all good. And it was.

After dropping Guy off at the cottage it was back to the block to pay the two workers for their clearing work. I paid each guy P800 ($19.00 AUS) for 4-days work, which is above the normal rate of P720 ($17.15 AUS) for 4-days work.

Been a busy day.

Friday 21st September:

Up early and off for my morning walk with Gerald. We did a beach walk today, as the boondocks are far too wet from the deluge on Wednesday night. An iced tea followed by a hot cup of tea was enjoyed by all at the end of the walk.

While at Gerald’s I texted Arthur (New Aussie on the island) to see if he was going to be about later this afternoon for a visit from Gerald and I. I got a text back early afternoon to say that he is feeling a bit crook so can we take a rain check till next week.

After lunch the drizzle rain was back so Guy and I watched the second Millennium series movie “The Girl Who Played With Fire” (3 ¼ hours long) in Swedish with English subtitles. Another great movie and very close to the book.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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