Day 1051 of retirement

December 29, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 22nd December:

Mid morning Guy and I dropped Sandy off at her coffee morning and we picked up Rik (son) and made our way across town to Jas (son) and Mike’s (partner) place.

We went for a 20-minute wander to a very nice little café for brunch. Then back to Jas and Mike’s place to play cards. We played a very politically incorrect card game called “Cards Against Humanity”. It was hilarious and Mike was the winner.

Mid afternoon it was back to Sandy and Brian’s for a siesta (We are missing our siestas) before catching up with Deb (cousin) and Pam (friend) for dinner. Deb and Pam have visited us in the Philippines last year so it was great to be able to talk island stuff with them and they knew what we are on about.

We had dinner at a Moroccan restaurant and the food and company was awesome.

We arrived home at 10:30pm and I decided to test out my Plustek 8100 slide scanner to make sure it worked okay. Got it all working and before I knew it, it was just after midnight so off to bed.

Sunday 23rd December:

Leisurely morning this morning. We walked a couple of streets over to the Adelaide Central market for some Xmas supplies for the next 4 days. I came home with all the meat to put in the fridge as it was hovering round the 40 degree C mark.

We watched an old Betty Davis movie after lunch in the air-conditioning of Sandy and Brian’s place. At 3:30pm Sandy dropped Brian off at the train station as he was heading down to Port Willunga to open up the beach house for us arriving later in the evening.

At 4:30pm Guy and I made our way to Doug and Bec’s (Plus their two girls) place for a Barbie dinner. Ray and Trish (plus their two boys) joined us as well, we chatted and catch up over some very yummy food.

At 8:00pm we made our way back to Sandy’s place and load up the car with all our supplies and headed off to Port Willunga arriving 9:30pm ish. We are settled in at Port Will for the next 3 days till we leave SA on the 27th December.

Monday 24th December:

A very leisurely morning with us all enjoying a bit of a sleep in. Sandy and Brian made a trip to the local supermarket for a few last minute supplies and Lotto tickets. It’s a big $30M draw this Saturday night so you got to be in it to win it…….

I dug out a box and bag of stuff we left here three years ago when we went to the Philippines. It was most interesting going through it all. I had a good cleanout and threw out a lot of stuff. Still a small amount of stuff (mainly clothes) left here for use when we come back next time.

After lunch it was a leisurely afternoon. Sandy and Brian went for a swim later in the afternoon, I went for a walk up the beach and Guy “rested”.

Dinner was smoked salmon, French stick bread, capers, cream cheese and lemon juice squeezed all over. One of my all time favorite meals.

After dark Guy and I wandered down to the beach and the old Jetty ruins to try some “Light Photos”. This is where you lock the camera shutter open and “paint” objects with light from a powerful LED light. I use a LED Lense M14 torch for this purpose.

You’re never quite sure what your photograph will turn out like but it is fun.

Tuesday 25th December:

Merry Xmas every body.

A leisurely morning as Sandy and Guy cooked up simple Xmas lunch of roast lamb, roast veggies and gravy. Mango yogurt for desert followed by a very nice cup of tea. All the rest of the family will be here tomorrow for our family Xmas day.

After a siesta Sandy and Brian went for a swim, Guy curled up on the lounge with the Kindle and I wandered down to the beach with the Infrared filter on the camera and took some pics.

After dinner I wandered down to the beach once again with the camera, tripod and LED torch for some more “Light Photos” in the dark.

Wednesday 26th December:

Today is the Kloeden family Xmas day. Sandy and Guy cooked up a storm in the morning before the clan arrived.

Present were my Mum (About to turn 90), Sandy (Sister), Brian (Bro-in-law), Simon (Their son), Craig (Brother), Rae (Partner), Jessa (Daughter), Jared (Son) and Guy and I.

A huge lunch was consumed by all with a relaxing afternoon catching up, before having leftovers for dinner. Once the clan had gone Guy and I packed as we are off to Canberra tomorrow to see Jo (Guy’s daughter), Dave (Partner) and Zali (our new granddaughter).

Thursday 27th December:

Up at 4:30am, left Sandy and Brian’s beach house for the airport at 5:00am. Arrived at 6:00pm and on the plane to Sydney at 7:00am. Arrived in Sydney at 9:15am and collected baggage.

Off to Thrifty to get our hire car. Now my Australian drivers license has expired but I can drive legally in AUS on my Philippines license. I handed over my Filipino license and AUS credit card and the guy looked a little concerned.

I then showed him my Filipino ACR (Identity card which shows I am a Filipino resident) and explained the situation and all good. He was very courteous and once he understood the situation it all happened very quickly.

First stop was in downtown Sydney to get copies of our marriage certificate (We forgot to bring our original copy) for Guy so she can change her name at a couple of her bank accounts. They needed certified originals.

We found the Births, Deaths and Marriages building easily but we had to drive around a bit to try and find parking. Ended up I parked in a loading zone across the road. I stayed with the car while Guy went in.

I had my eye out for a parking inspector (I would have driven round the block if I saw one) but none came and after 20 minutes Guy arrived back with her three copies of our marriage certificate so all good.

Then off to the other side of town (We drove across the spectacular Sydney Harbor Bridge) to the RTA in Frenchs Forest to renew my AUS drivers license. When we arrived it was closed for the holidays. OOoohhh well we shall have to do it in one of our trips back to Sydney over the next few weeks.

We then picked up Jordan (Guy’s son) and headed off to Canberra to stay with Jo (Guy’s daughter), Dave (Partner) and Zali our new granddaughter.

We arrived in Canberra at 6:15am and we were finally able to see Zali in the flesh after 4.5 months of Skyping.

Zali is gorgeous and got lots of cuddles.

Friday 28th December:

Very leisurely morning this morning. At midday Guy, Jordan, Jo, Zali and I all piled into the rental car and headed off for the afternoon. Luckily we were able to fix the car baby seat correctly into the rental car so Jo and Zali could join us.

First stop was the RTA office in Queanbeyan. Now Queanbeyan is just outside of the ACT (Where Canberra lies) in NSW so I was able to renew my NSW driver’s license for another 5 years.

That done, we were off to a place a little further past Queanbeyan to pick up a “Door to Door Box”. Now these boxes are supplies by a company that ships their boxes of what ever you can stuff in them to the Philippines. I have retrieved my hiking and climbing gear and am sending it over to Marinduque so I can use it over there.

We dropped the box off at Jo’s then it was off to the Mall to get a few things. We arrived back home just on 6:00pm all feeling a little bushed. Zali was really good for being “out” for 6-hours going here, there and everywhere.

We had a quiet evening going through some very old pics of Guy, Jo and Jordan. We separated the negatives which we will take with us to the Philippines and I’ll scan them so they will last forever.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 1044 of retirement

December 22, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 15th December:

A leisurely morning. We packed up Rebecca’s wings as we are bringing them with us to AUS. Guy did her repack and managed to get all her stuff into one suitcase. It was touch and go there for a while.

At 11:00am she was off to the beauty parlor as she has a school reunion function this afternoon / evening. She left at 1:00pm and I proceeded to do my repack, which included some of Guy’s clothes as we put all the presents (Food and DVDs) in her bag so they will be easy to get to at customs in AUS.

I watched a movie and surfed the web aimlessly for a few hours looking at crap I wouldn’t normally look at.

Guy arrived home after midnight from her function.

Sunday 16th December:

A lazy morning as we did our final pack ready to go.

Guy had to complete some paperwork as she has new tenants in her apartment next door to her Mum’s and Beth’s (Sister) apartments (It’s a block of three apartments).

We had a final shower at 1:00pm and made ready to leave at 2:00pm for the airport. We had a storm and downpour at 1:30pm so waited till that clear before getting a taxi to the airport at 2:30pm.

We arrived at 3:30pm and once we sorted out my ACR (Residency) exit tax, immigration and customs (1 hour process) we were in and relaxed for the 7:00pm flight, which left on time and arrived in Singapore at 10:45pm.

Monday 17th December:

We wandered round the terminal for a while and boarded the new A380 ready for our 12:45am flight.

All passengers were on board, the doors closed and the safety blurb was under way on the TV screen when it happened……. We had a brownout on the A380. Guy and I looked at each other and just laughed. From the simple life on Marinduque to one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, the brownouts have followed us.

Yep all the lights went out, the air-conditioning stopped and it was deadly silent. The only lights on were the emergency exits and strip lighting leading you to them (They do work with no power…..).

Everybody just sat there not sure what was happening in the silent semi darkness. The pilot came on after a couple of minutes to say that the external power source for the plane has been disconnected and would be restored in a few minutes.

Sure enough everything came back a couple of minutes later. The pilot announced that we would be a little late leaving, as they had to check all their systems after the brownout.

Then ten minutes later we had another brownout (everything died again). The pilot came back on very apologetic that it happened again and that they were getting another external power source for the plane and there would a further delay.

After ten minutes we all noticed that it was getting very warm and stuffy in the plane. The pilot was back on saying the air-conditioning wasn’t working and they had a truck on the way to fix it.

Twenty minutes later it was getting very hot and stuffy in the cabin with no air-conditioning. Forty minutes later and it was very very stuffy and hot and getting unbearable. Some of the passengers were very flushed.

Then the air-conditioning came back on to everybody’s relief. We were now over an hour late leaving Singapore. This put us an hour late arriving in Sydney. We declared all our food and after a quick look and a few questions we were back in AUS with all our goodies.

Luckily I had allowed a four-hour stop over in Sydney between our flights from Sydney to Adelaide so we made it in plenty of time. At 4:05pm we were on our way to Adelaide.

We arrived in Adelaide at 6:00pm ish and were met by my sister Sandy and went back to her and Brian’s place for the night. At 9:00pm my other sister Lyn arrived from Perth so it was a mini family reunion.

Tuesday 18th December:

A bit of a sleep in this morning. We both slept like logs.

After breakfast Guy and I walked into the Adelaide city centre stopping along the way twice for Guy to visit financial institutions to sort out her name change stuff.

After we hit the Rundle Mall we organized a pre-paid Vodafone mobile card and got ourselves connected once again. For a latish lunch it was a Laksa (At a little known great Laksa place), our first since our last visit to AUS back in March 2011. And it was dam good.

At 4:00pm we all arrived at my brother’s place up in the hill for our Kloeden Xmas. My 89 year old mum had a day out from the old folks’ home with all her kids and grandkids.

We all ate toooo much but a great time was had by all.

Wednesday 19th December:

After breakfast and a load of washing were hung up, we walked a couple of blocks with my sister Sandy to the big food market in Adelaide. We purchased some very nice smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and baguettes for dinner tonight.

Sandy headed off to work and Guy and I proceeded on our day of work. Our stops were:

  • ATO (Tax office). To change Guy’s name. A very helpful young man fixed it all for us on the spot.
  • Medicare. To get two replacement cards as they sent our previous ones (from March 2012) to an old address so they disappeared. All fixed very promptly.
  • Westpac. When you are a non-resident of AUS you have to notify you bank and they deduct a flat 10% from any interest. The ATO are also taking out With Holding Tax as they say my bank does not have my overseas address. Well as it turned out they do, so the bank lady gave me a copy of their records so next year I will send it to them to clear it all up.
  • My Superannuation Fund. I have been unable to access my super on the web. It turned out that they had an old mail address of mine and as they had sent me mail and it had been returned, they had locked my account.
    Now that I have indentified myself to them it has now been released and I can access it when I want to.
    Moral of this story is make sure all your super funds have your latest address or it will be locked away from you.

We had lunch in the mall and wandered, did some shopping then back to my sister’s place for a rest up before the smoked salmon dinner.

Sandy, Guy and I visited my mum at her old folks’ home after dinner before retiring after a busy day.

Thursday 20th December:

Up and off to complete some more paperwork this morning. Guy finally got her credit card name change done by some very helpful staff at GE Money in Adelaide.

Then we continued into the centre of Adelaide for a bit of a wander. At midday we walked back to my sister’s Sandy’s place and meet my other sister Lyn (From Perth) there who stayed at my brother Craig’s place last night.

We spent the afternoon chatting to Lyn, catching up. I drove her to a hospital on the other side of the city for a short visit to her ex father in-law.

This was my first drive of a car since March 2011 and on the wrong side of the road. But all good. Just like riding a bike…. You never forget.

At 4:00pm was drove up to the Adelaide Hills (Blackwood) to stay with Craig (Brother) and Rae (Partner) for the night. We had an early ish night as we all were feeling a little bushed.

Friday 21st December:

Up a bit early this morning as we need to get back at my sister Sandy’s place by 8:00am as they need the car to take my other sister Lyn to the airport.

We arrived back at 8:20am so plenty of time.

Guy and I were then off back to the ATO office for one more tax issue and bank accounts. Then off to the Rundle Mall for me to do my outdoor gear shopping.

I got a new GPS (Garmin eTrex 30), an MSR Hyperflow Microfilter (Water filter) and a few other odds and ends to take back to the Philippines for our hikes back into the jungle.

The last purchase was a Plustek 8100 film and slide scanner. I am going to collect all my old slides and negatives I have stored in Sydney and take them back to the island and scan them to JPG files before they all deteriorate badly. It will take a while but hey, I have plenty of time…….

We arrived back at Sandy’s and Brian’s place late afternoon so I firstly checked the GPS that it was all fine. I loaded up the Garmin Base Map software and connect the GPS and it was all working fine.

Tomorrow morning I will setup and test the scanner with some slide from my brother Craig.

At 6:00pm ish Jason (son), Mike (Jas’ partner), Rik (son) and Dan (Rik’s partner) all meet at my sister’s place for a dinner of home made pizza’s. A great evening was had by all.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 1037 of retirement

December 15, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 8th December:

At 10:00am I made my way into Gasan to Gil’s place where the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM) was having its monthly meeting. Present was Gerald, Gil, Manny and myself with Gil’s visitor Colin (American) sitting in for a while.

We discussed ways to inform and encourage visitors to the island to see the countryside that you don’t see from a vehicle. We talked of ways to advertise, accommodate and provide a great experience for visitors while making it sustainable and beneficial for locals in the villages.

The outcome for today is for Gil to design our HAM logo (for tee shirts and advertising material), Gerald to formulate a walks program we can put on the website (, Manny to prepare a short YouTube video and I will gather info from other hiking websites that we may be able to use.

Gil described it well by saying that at the moment we have a bowl of spaghetti in front of us and are now slowly sorting out the noodles.

I arrived home at midday just as Guy was off to Mahjong.

After lunch I made my way to Google IT to post the blog.

I finished reading my 74th book of the year “AirFrame” by Michael Crichton (Kindle Book). A great story about aircraft incident investigation and corruption.

Sunday 9th December:

No Thunder Monster wash today. She will get her makeover on Tuesday just before we leave for AUS.

I headed to Google IT at 11:15am but they we closed (don’t know why) so it was back to the cottage.

I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at midday and made my way to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. I had forgotten that it was the Manny Pacquiao (Filipino boxer) fight in Las Vegas today. The Barbarossa had two TVs setup and was full of locals watching the fight.

After a few texts the expats moved our gathering across the road to a nice quiet café. And to make things worse Manny was knocked out so the Philippines are in mourning tonight.

We had a brownout from 5:45pm to 8:45pm (3-hours) to finish off the night. Guy arrived home just after midnight from her Mahjong game.

Monday 10th December:

A leisurely morning as I laid out my stuff for the AUS trip (We leave the island on Wednesday and the Philippines on Sunday). Has been a while since I’ve had to pack for a trip away that required something more than shorts and tee shirt. I actually broke out a jumper that I haven’t worn in nearly 3-years.

Guy will do her packing tomorrow (she’s not as anally retentive as me)…

After lunch we rode into town and she made a hairdresser appointment for tomorrow morning. I then dropped her of at Mahjong for the afternoon / evening.

I cruised up and saw Ron (Yank). He is just back from Manila from one of his checkups and is feeling a bit crook. He had a bit of a cold and now has high blood pressure so isn’t the best. He is 78 years old mind you.

Then off to Google IT and got all our travel documents printed off ready for the trip. Some quick Wi-Fi and it was back home to back up my MacBook.

Once backed up to a 1TB USB drive I took it up to Gerald’s and swapped it for drive number two. Number one will stay here (with Gerald) and number 2 will come with us to AUS and used to do periodic back ups while we are there.

Guy arrived home just after 12:30am from her Mahjong game.

Tuesday 11th December:

We had a visit from John (Pom) at 9:00am for a cup of tea and a chat. At 10:00am Manny dropped in to deliver me a video clip to post on YouTube from one of our walks.

At 10:30am Guy was off to the hairdresser for a cut and colour. The boys left at the same time.

I gave the Thunder Monster a good wash and wax and tucked her away in the cottage for the next 6 weeks. Also defrosted the fridge and sorted out the last of my packing for AUS.

Guy was back at 1:00pm with lunch. We had a lovely little brownout at 2:00pm, which lasted till 2:30pm (30 minutes).

We were all packed up by 3:30pm so decided to catch the JAC Liner bus on the road at 4:30pm (and travel all night) rather than wait till the morning.

So just after 4:30pm we caught the bus and headed off to Cawit Port. The Ro-Ro was an hour later leaving so it was 9:00pm by the time we left. There was also another brownout from 5:30pm to 8:00pm (2.5 hours) but didn’t worry us this time.

Just after midnight we arrived in Lucena Port and it was back on the bus for the trip to Manila. We arrived at 4:00am ish and managed to get a Trike to Guy’s Mum’s / Sister’s place. We crashed at 4:30am some 12 hours after leaving the cottage.

Wednesday 12th December:

We slept till 10:30am and with us both managing some snoozing on the bus / Ro-Ro we didn’t feel too bad.

After brunch with Guy’s mum we made our way to the Quezon City Malls (3 Malls in one place). We need to visit all three malls to get done what we wanted to do which turned into a bit of a hike.

At 5:00pm we caught a cab back to Guy’s mums and dumped all our gear. We decided to go into Makati to see the Xmas lights and had the choice of spending 2-hours in a cab (Rush hour) or catch the MRT (Light Rail Train) which would only take 30 minutes but spend that time like a sardine packed into the train.

We opted for the MRT and it was a wise choice as we passed the gridlocked traffic below us. We wandered round Makati and looked at all the lights and enjoyed a fantastic light show that was set to Xmas carols music and lasted about 10 minutes.

On our way back to the train station we indulged in Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. We arrived back home at 9:30pm starting to feel just a little bushed so an early night was had by all as we have another big day out tomorrow.

Thursday 13th December:

Up and off to Divisoria this morning with Anajoy (Guy’s niece) and Remy (Guy’s cousin). We are training up Anajoy as an angel wing buyer for Rebecca back in Adelaide (AUS) who sells them on her website for kids’ clothes.

After a Trike, LRT (Train) and Jeepney ride we arrived in Divisoria. Now this is a part of Manila where you can buy anything from food to building fixtures to clothes to medical supplies and of course angel wings. OOohhh today’s special was a pack of 100 urine specimen containers.

It is wall to wall people and prime pickpocket territory. I had my decoy wallet setup in place but it wasn’t needed. Remy was our guide and after forging our way through the crowds we finally found the wings.

It was lunch at Jollibee’s and then Anajoy and Remy stayed on in Divisoria and Guy and I tried to walk out to find a cab. After some wandering we weren’t sure where we were so we caught a pedal trike that took us out of the market area to catch a cab to Greenhills Mall.

Once at Greenhills we got what we were after which was mainly DVDs for Jo and Jordan in AUS. We went back to the same guys we have been seeing for the past 3 years as they now know us and look after us and give a “good” price and tell us if a DVD is sub standard……. We left with another 60 odd DVD’s for the kids.

After a yummy Thai dinner at “The Banana Leaf”, we made our way home (after waiting for over an hour in the cab rank).

On the Jeepney today going to Divisoria a 12 year old ish beggar boy got on and handed everybody a little red envelope to put “donations” in.

Everybody just sat there thinking why would I give to this kid.

The boy then sat down at the back of the Jeepney and started singing.

He had the most amazing voice that stunned us all. It was beautiful.

Needless to say, we all put coins in the envelopes for this amazing young man. He then disappeared back into the traffic never to be seen again.

Every one on the Jeepney smiled at each other (All strangers) as it made our day.

I’ll never forget this young talented man……..

Friday 14th December:

After breakfast it was off to the bank round the corner as Guy have issues with her ATM card. Had a chat to the bank and it turned out to be a combination of the banks ATM system being down and Guy using the wrong PIN. Luckily she didn’t loose her card as she only tried twice with the wrong PIN. Apparently it is three wrong PINs and the card is captured by the ATM.

Then in a cab off to the three Malls in Quezon City. We started at the Trinoma Mall first.

It is four levels and is shaped a bit like a wagon wheel with corridors going everywhere. We split up and while Guy shopped I wandered through the whole complex, as I have never actually done this before. It was an interesting walk.

We meet up for lunch in mall two (EDSA North) and then set ourselves up in Starbucks for the afternoon with very slow Wi-Fi and Chai Lattes.

We had a smallish dinner and hit the cab line at 6:00pm to go home. Well it was approximately a two-hour wait in the cab line (It was longgggg) so we went back inside to a little café (They served real tea) and waited.

At 8:15pm we tried again for a cab and after an hours wait we managed to get a cab home.

Three more sleeps and we are in AUS.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 1030 of retirement

December 8, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 1st December:

A quiet morning, reading and relaxing. At 11:30am Guy and I made our way to Google IT. Guy had to pay her 2011-12 tax online as she is a few days late with payment.

She then walked to Mahjong and I stayed to post the blog. It took a bit longer than usual today as wordpress has “altered” the photo loading process. Aaahhhhhh why do people have to mess with things that works, as there was nothing wrong with the old system.

Anyway got the blog posted and also update the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM) web site as well.

Back to the cottage for a latish lunch followed by a siesta as it was hot and humid this afternoon.

At 4:00pm I did a rubbish burn up along with a beach clean up as well.

Guy played a late game so was home at 8:00pm.

Sunday 2nd December:

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

At 11:30am Guy and I made our way to Google IT for some quick Wi-Fi before Mahjong and the expat gathering at midday.

Small crowd today at the expat gathering. The main discussion was about Typhoon “Pablo” which is heading our way and will hit in a couple of days. If it tracks as forecast then we will only get the edge of it but if it shifts its track to the north we will be right in the middle of it.

We will know in the next few days where it is going track. So I left the expat gathering a little early and came home to check my Typhoon checklist of supplies.

I made my way back into town with a list of supplies to top up our cache. The hardest thing to find was AAA batteries (For our head torches). My usual supplier was out so after a bit of a look round I found some Energizers at a hardware store.

The ATM was working so I got cashed up with a bit extra for possible emergencies.

Tomorrow we will top up the rice and replace our spare empty gas cylinder. I will also top up the petrol in the Thunder Monster. Then we shall be prepared for what eventuates.

I spent the rest of the afternoon backing up all electronic devices (2 x Kindle’s, 1 x Nintendo, 2 x Mobile Phones and the MacBook) and charging up all electronic devices and re-chargeable batteries.

A quick check of all our water storage barrels confirmed they are all full.

Monday 3rd December:

No walk this morning as everybody is busy, so postponed till Friday (Weather permitting).

I managed to get a quick check on Typhoon “Pablo” and it looks like we will start to feel the effects of it tomorrow as it goes south of us.

I did a quick run into the market for a few more last minute supplies. I hit the ATM (it was still working) for the rent, which is due at the end of the week. Figured to get the cash now just in case things go pear shaped in the next few days.

After lunch we grabbed two empty drinking water containers (20L each) and our empty 11.0kg gas cylinder and caught a Trike into town to replace them with full ones. Once back at the cottage we rode the Thunder Monster back into town to Google IT. Guy was able to Skye the gang in Canberra and I got the latest update on Typhoon “Pablo”.

On the way home we bought a few fresh goodies from the bakery and filled the Thunder Monster with gas.

We are now ready for “Pablo” to visit us.

Tuesday 4th December:

We awoke to a perfectly still morning (no wind and the sea was mirror smooth). The calm before the storm………

We watched the TV news for the latest update on Typhoon “Pablo” and it is still tracking west with the eye of the storm well south of us. It has hit the southern Philippines and is making its way across the islands.

I did a market trip for some fresh fruit and got a hair cut from Rose whose shop is just across from the market while there.

On the way home I dropped into our new bakery which does a really good Banana bread and Spanish bread. The Spanish bread is a sweet bread which is more like a bun.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday. As the afternoon was fairly calm as the clouds rolled in, I went for a ride to Boac and dropped in to see Wayne (AUS) and Grace (Local wife). I had a good chat to them and then cruised back to Google IT in Gasan for a quick checkup on Typhoon “Pablo”. “Pablo” has remained well south of us and it now looks like we will only get the edge of the storm some time later tonight. So all good.

Guy had a late game and played till midnight. When she does play late the house owner delivers her to the cottage on his motorbike, so it works well.

Wednesday 5th December:

Well Typhoon “Pablo” has been and gone. It continued to stay well south of us so we were fine. The islands down south didn’t fair so well. Just watching the news here and there are some 400 dead so far with the flooding and landslides.

We had a bit of a sleep in this morning only rising at 11:30am. We decided today was to be one of our rest days as we now had no Typhoon to worry about.

After lunch I did a quick trip to Goggle IT to check on the Typhoon but it has well and truly passed us now.

I finished reading my 73rd book of the year “The Remaining: Refugees” by D. J Molles (Kindle Book) which is the third book in the series about a solider who comes out of his bunker to the aftermath of a Pandemic. Book four is in the works by the author so hope it comes out soon.

Thursday 6th December:

We awoke to a brownout at 8:30am and it lasted till 1:30pm (5-hours). Cherry arrived at 9:00am for the washing and cleaning. As there was no power for the water pump she had to use the water on one of our storage barrels so the washing was all done.

Ailyn arrived at 9:30am for Guy’s 2-hour massage. I did a run into the market for some supplies and cooked up a big pot of Pork mince spaghetti. The butcher at the market minced the Pork by chopping it up very finely with a big meat bolo. They are really good at it and the mince was real mince.

After lunch while Guy rested, I did a trip into town for some quick Wi-Fi at Google IT then dropped in the Barbarossa to see Geoff (Pom) for an iced tea. Geoff has been pretty crook lately and it was good to see him looking on the mend.

On the way home I also dropped into Gil’s and meet a friend of his visiting from the USA. They are both joining us for our early morning walk tomorrow.

Another brownout hit at 5:30pm and lasted till 9:00pm (3.5-hours).

I delivered Guy to the Mahjong house at 6:45pm as she was playing a night game tonight. She arrived back home just after 5:00am as I was getting up for my morning walk.

Friday 7th December:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. We had five hikers today. There was Gerald, Gil, Manny, Colin (An American visitor of Gil’s) and myself. Our biggest gathering so far of the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM).

As Colin isn’t a hiker we did a leisurely walk up past Kalong to Bilog Peak over looking the interior of the island. After a nice rest on top of the peak admiring the view we made our way back via our loop track.

Once back at Kalong Manny had organized five fresh Buko (coconuts) to be waiting for us. Manny sliced off the tops so we could all enjoy some nice sweet fresh coconut juice, which is full of electrolytes.

We made our way back to Gerald’s for some cold iced tea and a good old chinwag.

Then home for a refreshing shower and a relaxing afternoon with a siesta thrown in.

After dinner I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at 6:45pm for a night game. I called into Google IT for some Wi-Fi on the way home. Once home I dropped off the laptop, grabbed the camera and went back towards town checking out the Xmas lights.

We then had a short brownout from 9:30pm to 10:30pm (1-hour).

Guy arrived back home just after midnight from her late game.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 1023 of retirement

December 1, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 24th November:

A quiet morning’s reading where I finished my 70th book of the year. Guy off to Mahjong at 11:00am and we had a brownout from 12:00 noon to 1:00pm (1-hour).

After lunch (And the brownout) I hit Google IT to post the blog. I also read some more of a travel blog of an old work friend of mine (From my council days back in Cummins where I was born) who tracked me down via facebook (Yes you Smithy).

Kylie, husband Ted and three kids are on a 3-year round Australia trip in a customized greyhound bus. They are home schooling the kids with web contact with a teacher in Adelaide. I think it’s awesome what they are doing and wish them well in their adventure.

On the way home I picked up 5kgs (Yes five kilo’s) of fresh sweet lansones. They should last us till tomorrow…….

My 70th book of the year, “How to Analyze People on Sight ” by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict (Kindle Book). A very interesting read written back in the 1920’s (before all the airy fairy stuff of today) about all human beings fall into five definite divisions according to their biological evolution.

It looks at all our traits, what we are best at and what we should avoid (The usual stuff but very interesting nonetheless).

Sunday 25th November:

The Thunder Monster got a good wash and extra careful wax this morning. Then it was a quick trip into Gasan for 3kgs of lansones. We have about 1kg left from yesterday so that with the new batch should get us through to tomorrow.

At 11:30am we headed into town where I dropped Guy off at Mahjong. I hit Google IT for a quick half hour of Wi-Fi before making my way to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering.

I finished reading my 71st book of the year “The Remaining” by D. J Molles (Kindle Book). This is book 1 (3 books in all) about a soldier who emerges from his bunker to a pandemic and tries to rally survivors.

Monday 26th November:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk. Only the two of us today. We walked up to Calong and then veered left onto a new track we have seen in the past.

We eventually finished up with a big cliff in front of us that dropped into the valley past Bilog Peak. So a bit of a dead end on this walk.

Home for a nice cool refreshing shower and a nice little siesta. Brunch was at 11:00am. A quick trip into the market for some supplies and then a late ish lunch/afternoon tea.

At 2:00pm we cruised to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Guy was able to Skype the gang back in Canberra AUS and ran over some plans for our visit.

I also downloaded the other 2 books of “The Remaining” series (Aftermath & Refugees) to our Kindles.

Tuesday 27th November:

A leisurely morning reading was the order of the day. Guy was off to Mahjong just after midday.

I did a trip to Boac (44km round trip) for a re-charge card for our satellite TV. We pay P650 ($16.00 AUS) per month for some 50 channels including the Australia channel, which has the ABC News so we can keep abreast of news back in AUS.

Once back at the cottage, I grabbed the laptop and cruised back into Gasan to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Once back home I got a message from Guy to say that our lansones lady had a fresh shipment in of the really good ones.

I did a trip back into Gasan and picked up 5kgs of the sweet lansones.

Guy played Mahjong till 8:00pm tonight.

I finished reading my 72nd book of the year “The Remaining: Aftermath” by D. J Molles (Kindle Book). This is book 2 in the 3 book series about a soldier who emerges from his bunker to a pandemic and tries to rally survivors.

Wednesday 28th November:

We had Ron (YANK) and John (Pom) dropped in for a morning chat. It was actually Ron’s 78th birthday today so birthday congrats all round. We all had a good old chinwag and caught up on all the island tsismis (pronounced “cheese-miss” and means gossip).

After they left we did a quick run into Gasan for another 3kgs of Lansones. Our supplier lady isn’t sure when the next shipment will be as the season is coming to an end.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday. Once I dropped her off I came back to the cottage, grabbed my pack and walked into Google IT for some Wi-Fi.

For the last few months I have been trying to track down an old friend of mine, Bruce, from when I was living in Canada in the mid to late 70s. I came back to AUS in 1978 and we lost contact. Then we hooked up in 1998 but lost contact once again.

So I have been searching for him on the web (Google, facebook, etc.). The problem is that he has a very common name so you get thousands of hits. I also have his wife and kids names but once again you get thousands of hits on their names.

Today I was scrolling through the thousands of hits on his son’s name on facebook. By sheer luck (A needle in a hay stack find) I just happened to see his son’s name that had his place of residence which was the last known residence of Bruce. A bit more checking and his birthday matched what I knew. He listed a sister that matched her birthday.

I then found his mum but she had a different surname. A bit more digging and she listed her old married name, which matched. Now I was unable to send a message to the son or daughter via facebook but was able to send a message to his wife/ex-wife.

I then bundled up all the info I had and sent it to my friend Andrea who lives in Calgary (Canada), which is just up the road from Liethbridge where Bruce lived.

So I’m hoping that with facebook and Andrea’s help I might find out what has happened to Bruce.

After all this flurry of activity I walked back home (6km) along the coast to ponder.

Guy had a late one and played Mahjong till midnight.

Thursday 29th November:

Cherry arrived at 8:30am for the washing and cleaning day. Ailyn (The massage lady) also arrived at 9:30am for my massage. It has been a few weeks with her being away so I was ready to enjoy it even more today.

After lunch and Cherry finishing her chores we made our way to Google IT at 2:00pm for some Wi-Fi. Guy was able to Skype the family in Canberra and had a good chat.

Home at 4:30pm for a relaxing evening.

Friday 30th November:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. Gil was back with us today as we made our way up to Kalong, Meadow Peak and back round the back way.

This was our first time at Meadow Peak since the Typhoon so we were keen to see how the tracks fared. They were pretty good and apart from one big fallen tree we had to navigate round, we had a good run. This also was Gil’s first time to Meadow Peak so we rested up on the peak to let him soak up the sweeping views of Mt Malindig and the coastal island.

Back to Gerald’s for some nice cold iced tea followed by a nice hot cup of tea. Then back home for a nice cool refreshing shower. After lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and picked up some more lansones. Only 2kgs today as the good ones are getting harder to get hold of now.

I had a nice early afternoon siesta then it was time for the Thunder Monster to have her oil and filter changed and the carbie drained. I do this about every 3,000km or 3 months (Whichever comes first) just to keep her in good shape. The hot and humid conditions here are pretty hard on the machinery.

Mid afternoon I rode the fully serviced Thunder Monster to Google IT. I had to search for the best deal and book a hire car for our Sydney visit, pay my 2011-12 tax (All $6.90 of it) and continue updating some of the programs I use on my MacBook Pro.

I religiously update the Mac itself but have been a little lax with other programs I use. So I am working through them getting them all to the latest versions.

Guy played late once again so a quiet evening at home was enjoyed. We had a half hour brownout at 8:45pm just to keep us on our toes.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy