Day 1079 of retirement

January 26, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 19th January:

Awoke to a very nice cool morning after the last few days of scorchers.

As we are now in the last two days of our holiday (Leave Monday) it is time to clean out the fridge and eat all the “leftovers” so Jo and Dave don’t have to take anything back to Canberra.

After lunch Guy and I took Zali for a long walk (to get her to sleep) and explored Sanctuary Cove. Interesting to note that in every street we walked there were houses for sale. Some old, some new, some single storey, some two storeys, some big, some small, some with pools, some with 3 & 4 garages. You name it, you can find it, for a price of course.

A quiet evening was had by all after watching the Australian Tennis Open.

Sunday 20th January:

It’s our last day at the holiday house so everybody had a bit of a sleep-in today. Before lunch Guy and I went for a drive to the ATM and supermarket for a few supplies.

Guy wanted to drive, as it has been nearly three years since she last drove a vehicle. She was a little tentative at first but it soon came back and she was fine.

After lunch it was packing time. After some delicate jostling of all our stuff we had it all packed into our two bags with a little room to spare. Luckily we sent most of our bulky and heavy stuff in the Door to Door box otherwise we would have been in trouble getting it all in.

After a nice little siesta we went for a drive and found a very lovely ice cream shop with some very yummy flavors. On the way back home we stopped at a beach for a stroll in the very white sand.

Dinner tonight was hamburgers and fish and chips. Being our last night we weren’t in the mood to cook.

The gang decided to stay up as we are leaving at 2:00am in the morning. I managed to catch an hour’s sleep before we headed off.

Monday 21st January:

We left Jervis Bay at 2:00am and headed for Sydney. The roads were nice and quiet but I didn’t realize how much my night vision has deteriorated. Driving round streets with streetlights is fine but on country roads with no lights I find it a struggle with my depth perception. At least there wasn’t any traffic on the roads at this hour of the morning.

Anyway we made it safely to Carly’s place to drop off Jordan and her at 4:30am. Back to the Sydney International Airport, dropped off the hire car and into Singapore Airlines for check in. We were a little early (Surprise surprise) but were at the front of the line.

The check in lady had to get some help to override the fact that I had no return ticket to AUS because I’m a Filipino resident but all sorted.

The trip from Sydney to Manila was eight hours with the last four being quite bumpy. So I wasn’t feeling the best at this stage (Motion sickness).

I was glad to have the three hours layover in Singapore where I took drugs and we had a very nice cold iced minted tea with one of the best chicken laksa’s ever.

I was nicely revitalized when we boarded for the three-hour trip to Manila. This trip was fine and I slept a lot on the way.

On arrival and through immigration Ed (Guy’s Police Chief friend) meet us. Once we had our bags he guided us straight through customs and up to meet Beth (Guy’s sister) and Albert (Husband).

Ed had organized for them to be able to park in the two minute loading zone right next to departures while they waited for us to arrive. We were ferried back to Beth’s house and we crashed big time.

Tuesday 22nd January:

We both had a great sleep after a big day yesterday. After a slow morning we headed to the mall at 10:30am. We got the few things we needed to take back to the island and chilled at Starbucks with a nice Chai Latte.

We had an early dinner at Shakey’s and back to Beth’s for an early night. We decided to stay an extra night in Manila to meet up with guy’s cousin and her American fiancé tomorrow.

Wednesday 23rd January:

Up and off to the mall at 11:00am as we are meeting Remy (Guy’s cousin) and Joseph (Her American fiancé (Ohio)) for lunch. They meet over the Internet and this is Joseph’s first visit to the Philippines to meet her family and he proposed to her as well. They both have kids from pervious relationships that are somewhat grown up.

Joseph is looking at getting work in the Philippines either with the existing company he works for or something new up in the Clark area. Clark was the old American airbase that was abandoned in the Marcos era but is slowly being repopulated by the Americans once again. Joseph is an okay guy and gets our approval…..

They came back to Guy’s mum’s house with us to meet one of Remy’s nephew who was staying there temporarily while trying to find work. We packed our bags and off to the JAC Liner bus depot for the trip home.

We left Manila at 5:30pm and after a bus, Ro-Ro and bus ride we were home at 4:30am (11 hours later). We both managed to get some sleep on the bus and Ro-Ro (We each had a padded bench seat to sleep on).

Thursday 24th January:

When we opened the house we were greeted by shall we say a large number of dead cockroaches (The big ones). I gave the place a good spray before we left and it did the job. A quick sweep and they were all gone. The rest of the house was fine after six weeks away.

After a cup of tea it was off to bed. Guy slept but I was wide-awake. So after 1.5-hours of tossing and turning I got up and started the unpacking. Our bags seemed like the Tardis (From Dr Who) where the more I took out, the more seemed to grow in the bags.

Then it was time to crank up the Thunder Monster. She has been idle for the last 6 weeks so she took a bit to get going. I forgot to disconnect the battery so it was struggling on the starter. A few kicks on the foot crank and off she went. She was running a little rough so a quick burst up the road fixed that.

The Thunder Monster is a go……

After lunch I dropped Guy at Rose’s the hairdresser for a cut and I stopped in at Google IT (Just up the road from Rose) for some Wi-Fi. Guy joined me after her cut for some Skype with Jo and Zali.

But wouldn’t you know it we were welcomed back to the island with a nice little brownout which lasted from 2:00pm to 4:00pm ish. So no Skype today.

I did a visit to see Gerald (Pom) for a catch up on the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM) and other happenings on the island. He has walks organized for Monday and Tuesday so time to work off those extra kilos I caught in AUS.

Friday 25th January:

Well, as of last night we have decided to put our retirement on hold and come back to Australia for a couple of years to support Guy’s son Jordan (17 years old).

For the full story, see below “Moving Back To AUS”.

At 9:00am John (Pom) and Yolanda (Wife and our landlord) arrived. We told them of our return to Australia, which stunned them a bit. But they were great.

We can stay at the cottage on a weekly rent till it is time to leave.

John will buy the Thunder Monster so we can ride it till the day we leave.

And they have offered to store anything we want to leave here. We may take them up on that and leave all our pots, pans, tools and anything non-perishable here in one of our water barrels (It isn’t much). Saves sending it back to Manila.

Yolanda has also offered to look after our block and have her boys clear it twice a year while we are away. So that is one less thing to worry about.

A quick trip to the market was in order for some supplies.

At midday I dropped Guy off at Mahjong (She hasn’t played since mid December so the hands were a little twitchy…..) and I hit Google IT to send off the emails to let my family know what our plans are.

During the afternoon I caught up with Ron (Yank) and Gerald (Pom hiking partner) and told them of our plans. Gerald also offered to store stuff for us if required.

They are sad to see us go but we will be back in a few years so all good.

To finish off the night we had a brownout from 8:45pm to 9:45pm. Then the power went off again at 11:00pm so we went to bed. It came back on sometime in the middle of the night.

Life is good, challenges and all….

Trevor & Guy

Moving Back To AUS:

Well, how things can change in an instant. We are coming back to Australia for a few years.

Jordan (Guy’s 17 year old son) has been living with his Dad Michael, his partner Cat and their 3 kids (2 boys age 7 & 6 & 1 girl aged 3).

When we were in Jervis Bay it became apparent that things were not going too well with this arrangement.

Jordan has had great support from Carly (His girlfriend) and other school friends but there is only so much they can do in this situation.

So after much discussion with Jo, Jordan and us, we have decided to come back to AUS and support Jordan for his year 12 this year and for however long it takes to get him on his feet and independence. We suspect it will be a few years.

Having lived the simple life for nearly 3 years, we know we can do it anywhere in the world now. Luckily Jo has a 2-bedroom unit in Dee Why (currently rented), Sydney. She is giving the tenants notice to leave (90 days notice required) and then Guy and I will be back and move in with Jordan.

It is a bit of a wait but it will give us time to move our stuff back to Manila (Beth’s place) and sort out what we need to bring back to AUS. The rest will stay at Beth’s for our return. Luckily we don’t have much to sort out so all good.

Jordan is a lot happier now that he knows we are coming back and is happy to survive for the next little while.

Also luckily we have 80% of the household furniture, cutlery and crockery in the unit’s garage as we left it there for Jordan for when he gets a place of his own. So we just need to move it upstairs.

We will get a small secondhand car (Like a Yaris…….) and a few white goods which we may just rent or source secondhand from the local papers. It can then all be left to Jordan when we leave to continue our retirement.

We will both then get work. We are not going back into the corporate thing unless we really really have to. All we want is the simple life with simple jobs.

The upsides of this are pretty good.

  • We help Jordan through year 12 and be there for his graduation.
  • We see more of Jo, Dave and Zali as she grows over the next few years.
  • We will be there for Jo and Dave’s wedding at the end of 2014.
  • We get to see more of you all back in AUS (Including my family in Adelaide).
  • We get a top up on our Superannuation a bit more while working.
  • We have our retirement simple life place sorted and will be back (We are keeping our land here).

The aim is to come back to Marinduque once Jordan is independent and settled and continue our retirement.

Having lived the simple life for the last 3 years and having meager possessions makes this move a simpler one for us. And it will be easy for us to come back to Marinduque as well.

So there you go, how things can change, hey.

Guy and I are in full support of each other and the whole adventure and see this as just another of life’s little challenges. Who knows what new exciting adventures it will bring us.

As someone once said:
“Do one thing each day that scares you”.
Today’s scare has been fulfilled….

PS: And for those of you that know me too well, the Excel spreadsheet and Word document has been created with all we have to do here and in AUS for the move……


Day 1072 of retirement

January 19, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 12th January:

We stayed the night at Checkers Motel in Terry Hills and managed to get an 11:00am checkout so a bit of sleep-in was in order. After checkout we cruised down the road to the Terry Hills Tavern for a steak lunch but we were too early for the cooks.

We made our way to the Belrose Supa Centre (Shopping Mall with mainly building / household stuff) for a look while we waited. While there we found a great little Laksa place so opted for Laksa for lunch, which was a good move as the Laksa was awesome.

We were waiting for Jordan and Carly (Carly had to work this morning) so we could pick them up and all of us head back to Canberra. At 1:30pm Jordan texted to say they were ready to go.

On the way to Canberra we were held up by an accident (Truck jackknifed but everybody was okay). So after some 4-hours (Should have been 3-hours) we arrived in Canberra at 5:30pm and back to see Zali.

Sunday 13th January:

Zali’s christening day today. We all got ourselves spruced up and were off to the church at 11:45am. After the service we made our way across Canberra to Dave’s uncle’s place for lunch.

After a yummy lunch the christening cake as cut and enjoyed by all. The crowd dispersed at 4:30pm ish and we made our way back to Jo and Dave’s place for a relaxing evening.

Tomorrow we pack up and all head to a Jervis Bay holiday house for a week of R&R before we make our way back to our island paradise.

Monday 14th January:

Guy and I were up early ish as she had some more paperwork to complete and get off in the post today before we head for Jervis Bay for our last week in AUS.

We finally got the convoy (two cars loaded up) underway at 12:30pm and arrived at Jervis Bay at 4:30pm ish.

The house is great being two stories with four bedrooms and huge living area.

So with Jo, Dave, Zali, Jordan, Carly, Guy and I we all had our own rooms. Dave’s mum and sister are also in Jervis Bay but staying with friends and will be visiting us during the day.

It is only a short walk from the bay but as it was raining and cold when we arrived, the beach walk will have to wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday 15th January:

A lazy morning was had by all. When Guy and I got up we discovered that Jordan and Dave had hidden all the tea bags in the house so we couldn’t have our first cup of tea. Little did they know that I always carry an emergency supply of tea bags so we were sipping our nice hot teas when Dave came upstairs hoping to see us in pain…..

Lola Marlene (Dave’s mum) and Aunty Belinda (Dave’s sister) arrived for the day to a big brunch of pancakes, eggs, bacon, fried tomatoes and mushrooms. Marlene and I went for a walk to the local shops and found a bakery with fresh vanilla slices and carrot cake. So an early afternoon tea was had by all with the goodies.

After a rest and a little siesta Guy and I went for a drive to check out the local area and beaches. The evening’s entertainment was playing cards.

Wednesday 16th January:

We finished up the card marathon at 2:30am so we were a bit slow arising this morning. After brunch we packed up at 1:00pm and headed for Hyams Beach some 20 minutes away.

We spent the afternoon there and made our way back to the house at 4:30pm ish. Dave and Jo called in and got some yummy fish and chips for snacks that turned into an early dinner.

Thursday 17th January:

A leisurely morning was had by all. After our usual brunch we went for a drive to Mollymook Beach about 45km away. We stopped at a lovely old country bakery in Milton for pies for lunch.

We arrived at Mollymook Beach to find it very windy and with no shade for Zali. After a wander up the beach while Jo feed Zali we meet them at the café.

Jo knew of another beach called Moona Moona only 15 minutes from the holiday house so we made our way there. This one was much better with a protected lagoon and shade by big old gum trees.

Back home for Tacos for dinner and then we all watched the first double episode of American Idol. Interesting…

Then it was time for another card playing marathon.

Friday 18th January:

I went to bed at 1:00am ish, Carly at 2:00pm ish and Guy finally hit the sack at 3:30am.

We awoke to a stinker of a day. By 1:00pm it was 44 degrees C. Jo, Zali and Dave had gone off cruising in their vehicle with the aircon (No aircon at the house) so we decided to make our way back to Moona Moona Beach.

When we arrived, the temperature at the beach was 33 degrees C (11 degrees C cooler). Jo, Zali and Dave joined us for a swim at Moona Moona Beach.

At about 4:00pm ish the cool change hit and the temperature dropped to 30 degrees C ish. Back to the house at 5:30pm and opened it up to a cool 29 degrees C breeze.

More American Idol tonight.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 1065 of retirement

January 12, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 5th January:

A hot one today so we spent most of the day keeping cool in the lounge with the portable air-conditioner.

Late afternoon it was a quick trip to the mall for some supplies. When we arrived home there was a big thunderstorm that cooled things down quite nicely.

Sunday 6th January:

Another hot one so we all congregated in the lounge room, played with Zali and watched DVD’s. Guy and I did a quick run to the mall for some supplies late in the afternoon.

Once the sun started to go down at 8:00pm ish the coolish breeze arrived and we opened up the house. At least it does cool down overnight in Canberra.

The next few days are going to be scorchers by the looks of it as well.

Monday 7th January:

Off to the mall and Medicare first thing to finalize our new Medicare cards. They lost the last ones we ordered last year when Guy and I merged and had Jordan (Guy’s son) included.

A bit cooler today so lounged around the house once again.

Late afternoon the “Door to Door” man arrived to pick up our box of goodies for the Philippines. In about 6 weeks time we should see it on Marinduque delivered to a friend of ours in Gasan where we will pick it up.

The box has all my remaining hiking gear, a heap of photo negatives and slides (for me to scan) and some condiments from AUS.

Tuesday 8th January:

It’s a real stinker today with the temperature reaching 38 degrees C. We all camped in the lounge room under the air-conditioner for the day. There are no bushfires near us thankfully. But the poor folks down in Tasmania are really suffering from the fires down there.

I did do 3 loads of washing (Ours and Jo’s) which was great as each load was dry by the time the next load was ready to hang. So a quick washing and drying day.

Wednesday 9th January:

Up and off to Sydney at 8:00am from Canberra. Arrived at the Sydney Olympic Park at Home Bush (Some 3.5 hours later) for lunch with Kim, an old friend of ours.

Then over to Dee Why where Guy caught up with friends and I made a trip to Jo’s garage (Just round the corner) to retrieve a couple of things I forgot to get in our last visit. They were only small things so will go in my bag as our Door to Door box has already been sent.

At 5:45pm we made our way across the city to stay with my niece Petrina and her partner Benjie for the night. Jacki (Petrina’s sister) Jonathan (Her partner) and Stephanie (A friend staying at Petrina’s) also joined us for a great aussie barbecue dinner and a catch up on family news. A great night was had by all as it has been three years ish since we were last all together.

Thursday 10th January:

After we arose I dropped Guy off in the city late morning to catch up with Naty (An old friend). I made my way through the city to the Civica offices in Mascot (Where I used to work). I had a great catch up with my old work colleagues and lunch with Christine H.

Mid afternoon I picked up Guy from the city (I really do hate Sydney driving) and we escaped the city and drove to Gosford to stay with Mark and Julie (Old Ducati riding mates) at Woy Woy.

At 5:30pm Julie, Guy and I made our way back to Sydney to pick up Mark from work in the city and headed to Leichardt for dinner and a catch up with my old Ducati riding mates. It was a great turn out and great to see some old faces once again along with their shiny Ducati’s. I got my fix of Ducati bling for the next few years.

Friday 11th January:

Mark and Julie took us to Pearl Beach for a very yummy breakfast. On the way back to their place they gave us the guided tour of the area with some great views from the cliff tops.

We then made our way back towards Sydney (Waitara to be exact) where I dropped Guy off at her old work place. While she caught up with them, I went to the Westfield at Hornsby and wandered round for a few hours.

At 1:30pm I picked her up and we drove to Frenchs Forest where Guy caught up with Karen and Libby who are her old Sydney Mahjong mates and they also know each through Jordan (Guy’s son) who is friends with their sons.

While they caught up I checked into Checker Hotel in Terry Hills as we have decided to stay in Sydney tonight because Jordan’s girlfriend Carly has to work tomorrow.

Once she is off work at midday we will pick Carly and Jordan up and head back to Canberra.

We had dinner tonight in Crows Nest with a group of my outdoor friends at a very nice Nepalese place called the Mustang. Present were Gina (Adventure Racer), George (Her partner), Mark (Mountain biker), Ian (Bushwalker), Ros (His fiancée), Ivan (Mountain biker), Jonathan (Mountain biker) and Natalie (His wife).

A great night was had by all as we all swapped old war stories with lots of laughter.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 1058 of retirement

January 5, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 29th December:

A quiet rest day today. We slept in a little and had a late lunch of barbeque Steak and Lamb chops. Man, they were good……

We then settled in and watched three DVDs in the afternoon. After a light dinner we went for a drive to see some Xmas lights across town. The first lot was only half alight as the owner has already started to take them down.

The next lots were amazing and well worth the visit.

Sunday 30th December:

Guy, Jo, Jordan, Zali and I all pilled into the hire car just after 7:00am and headed off to Sydney for the day (300km ish away). We swung by Jordan’s Dad’s place to dump his gear and then dropped Jordan, Jo and Zali off at Warringah Mall to meet a girlfriend of Jo’s for the afternoon.

Guy and I caught up with an old friend Ben, Samantha (His fiancée we’re meeting for the first time), Milla, Taylor, Kyle and Lilly (the Brady bunch kids) and Samantha’s Mum Lorraine who was visiting from WA.

We had a great lunch and afternoon with them catching up. At 4:00pm we left Ben and Samantha’s for the Forest Way Mall where Guy met up with Boots, a great friend of hers.

At 5:30pm Jo, Zali, Jordan and Jenna (Jo’s friend) meet us at the mall also. At 6:15pm we left Sydney (After dropping off Jordan once again at his Dad’s) and cruised back to Canberra arriving at 9:15pm.

We had a quick stop to feed Zali about 40km out of Canberra. She didn’t quite make it home. She was really good considering she was on the go for 14-hours. She slept most of the time in the car so didn’t get grumpy at all.

We covered some 700km today so coming from our island where 70km is a big day out, we were exhausted.

Monday 31st December:

Quiet morning. Dave off to work early but back at 2:00pm.

I did a quick run to the mall to the post office only to hit gridlock in the car park. I finished up parking in a “shopping trolly” bay and rushed in only to discover that the PO was closed. Ooohhh well at least I didn’t get a ticket for my parking.

At 3:00pm Jo, Zali and Dave wanted to go to the mall so I dropped them off and picked them up a couple of hours later. Easier that way to avoid trying to park.

After dinner we all piled into the car and drove to the outskirts of the city centre and parked off the road on a grassy centre of an off ramp (with lots of others) to watch the 9:00am fireworks. It was a pretty good display I must say.

We left Dave in the city and came back home with Jo and Zali. Jo feed Zali and put her to sleep and then I drove her back into the city to meet up with Dave round 10:30pm for the midnight celebrations.

Guy and I babysat Zali for the night.

Tuesday 1st January 2013:

Happy New Year everybody and may 2013 bring you many great new adventures.

Zali’s feeds were at 2:00am, 4:00am, 6:00am, 8:00am and 10:00am, so with “waiting” for her to wake for a feed Guy and I didn’t get much sleep at all. Plus this was her first time on the bottle (So we were a bit worried) but she was fine.

Jo and Dave arrived home at 4:00am ish and didn’t rise till 11:00am ish just a little worse for wear. Zali was getting rather restless at this stage as the bottles of expressed milk had run out. Jo was fine for breast-feeding by then so Zali was a happy camper.

A leisurely afternoon was had by all with a few siestas’ being had by all.

Wednesday 2nd January:

A leisurely morning once again. After a latish breakfast I did a trip to the mall to post a box of camera stuff to Jason (Son) back in Adelaide. The line up to the Post Office was rather long as it took me 30-minutes to get served. Also picked up another box to send all my old pics to Jason.

Back home and packed up all my old photos. I have now sorted through all my photos and slides and packed up the slides to send to the Philippines. I went through a big box of pics, took what I wanted, also took out all the negatives (Sending to the Philippines and will scan them) and packed them up to be sent to Adric and Jason (Sons).

After lunch Jo, Zali, Guy and I loaded ourselves into the car and went for a drive across town as Jo was after some curtains for Zali’s room. A successful trip with some new curtains purchased. Then off to the mall near Jo’s for a bamboo steamer as we have been unable to get one in the Philippines (Well the one we want).

I also posted the box of photos to Jason to sort out with Adric and then send any left over kid pics left to Robin (Their mother).

Thursday 3rd January:

Very nice sleep-in this morning. We finally arose at 10:30am. Late morning Guy and I were off to Office Works to get some documents printed for her name change with a financial institution.

We are nearly there with all our address / name changes / overseas notification paperwork. It has been a bit of an ordeal. We stopped off at the mall for some food and back for a quiet afternoon with Zali.

And talking of malls!!! There is this great mall with lots of shops just down the road from Jo’s but the big problem is parking. There are just not enough spaces. Every time we have been there it is chaos / gridlock trying to find a park. Aaahhhhhh give me the simple island life please…

Late afternoon we all piled into the hire car and went to the Catholic Church across town to hand in the paperwork for Zali’s christening next Sunday.

Friday 4th January:

Got up this morning and the internet was down. Tried the usual resets but to no avail. I waited for Dave to come home from work and have a look but it looks like the problem is at the providers end.

Bit of a stinker today (up to 38 degrees C). So after lunch we headed for the mall in downtown Canberra and hung out there till 5:00pm in the air-conditioning. Very bearable.

Once the sun went down it did cool off somewhat so all good.

Still no Internet tonight (Almost feeling like back on the island…..).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy