Day 564 of retirement

December 31, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 24thDecember 2018:

Very nice sleep in this morning before John (Pom) arrived for his Sunday morning coffee. Then off to the market to get supplies for the next few days.

John is joining us for Xmas lunch tomorrow as he is alone at the moment. His girlfriend is back in Thailand. So, a quiet affair for Xmas lunch will be had by all.

At 3:00pm it was back to the block to pay the boys their Xmas bonus which is a day’s wages which covers Xmas day as they have it off.

Back to work on Wednesday.

Tuesday 25thDecember 2018:

Merry Xmas and all the very best for the New Year. 2018 has been an awesome year for us and 2019 isn’t looking like slowing down. May you all have awesome adventures in 2019.

We had a quiet Xmas lunch. It was Guy and I along with John (Pom) as his girlfriend was back in Thailand.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and John and I visited the local cemetery.

We said hello to Geoff (Pom who died a few years ago) and Yolanda (John’s wife who died in a motorcycle accident a few years ago also.

Wednesday 26thDecember 2018:

Off to Buenavista to get some timesheets printed for the boys so we can keep track of them all for payday on Saturday.

Dropped the timesheets into the block and had a look at the back wall and back veranda footings. Coming along nicely.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I caught up with John (Pom). A siesta followed John’s visit.

Then gave Ruby a bit of a service in the afternoon.

Thursday 27thDecember 2018:

The house grows. Walls are going up.
Guy off to Mahjong after lunch. I visited the block and called in to see Gerald (Pom) for an iced tea on the way home.

We have a tropical depression hitting us tomorrow (Friday). Forecast is heavy rain. Might have to be a relaxing day in.

Friday 28thDecember 2018:

Meet the plumber at our apartment this morning. Ran through the whole plumbing plan and now happy with the work he is proposing.

Guy off to Mahjong after lunch and I enjoyed a nice siesta and catch up with John (Pom) later in the afternoon.

The tropical storm hasn’t really eventuated. Some rain with a bit of wind but nothing serious.

Saturday 29thDecember 2018:

Well the tropical depression hit with a vengeance last night. Strong winds and horizontal rain and no power (brownout).

Luckily DJ Plaza (where we are staying) has a generator which came on at 8:30am and off at 11:30am. We had our tea and coffee and charged up all our devices (laptop, 3 phones and power block) while we had power.

Guy off to Mahjong after lunch while I had my afternoon siesta and caught up on paper/blog work as it rained all afternoon.

Finished the day with a 2-hour massage each from Ailyn (cost per person is P350 – $9.20 AUS).

Sunday 30thDecember 2018:

Today we had rain, sunshine and power brownouts. Much nicer day than yesterday. Started the day with our weekly manicure/pedicure each.

Got in a trip to the block and all good. The boys are back to work tomorrow (Monday). Also, payday as we missed Saturday due to the storm.

Guy off to Mahjong after lunch.
PS: Ruby got a wash and wax as well.

Monday 31stDecember 2018:

Early trip to the block to catch up with the boys. All good as they are back to work.

Caught up with Wayne (Aussie) and Grace (Aussie now) who are back visiting the island to see Grace’s family. We meet them when they lived here 7 years ago. Great to see them and catch up.

At 4:00pm it was back to the block as it is payday. We missed the Saturday payday due to the storm.

Also paid the boys for tomorrow (New Year’s Day) even though they have the day off.

Huge Happy New Year to you all. Hope you all have awesome adventures is 2019.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 556 of retirement

December 23, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 17thDecember 2018:

Poor Ruby has been a little deflated these past few days. She picked up a piece of wire in her rear tire. As I have no tools and even if I did, fixing her tubeless tire is all the more difficult compared to a tubed tire (of which 95% of the island motorbikes are tubed).
So rang the Yamaha dealership and they said drop Ruby right in and one of the boys will take her to one of the few island tire places that can fix tubeless tires. 20 minutes later Ruby is all fixed and we are back on the road again. Awesome service Yamaha in Boac.
And all for the cost of P50 ($1.32 AUS)

Called in to see our furniture man today. He is going to custom make our dining room table (8-seater) and a coffee table out of the wood from our big tree we had to cut down.

8 x chairs – Using his wood. P2,500 each ($66 AUS)

1 x 8-seater custom made dining room table (we supply the wood. Made up of 4 slabs joined together). P5,000 ($132 AUS).

1 x Custom made coffee table (We supply the wood. Made up of 2 slabs joined together). P3,000 ($79 AUS)

Tuesday 18thDecember 2018:

Caught up with our electrician this morning. Ran over the plans to make sure we had everything covered (power points, light switches, lights, fuse box and getting a connection to the mains).

Called into the block and the boys are powering ahead. All 19 columns are done. They have started the beams in the footings for the walls. The south side of the house has hollow blocks (bricks) up to the floor level which is 1 metre above existing ground level.

Once the wall has been completed all the way round the floor it will be filled with gravel to get it up to the actual floor level of the house.

Thursday 20thDecember 2018:
Visited the aluminium window man today in Boac (20km round trip). Ran through the plans with him and he will give us an estimate in the new year.
All he needs is three weeks from when we order to build, deliver and install the windows.
Back to the block and the back wall of the house is now built up with hollow blocks to floor level. We have a crew of 11 boys working 6 days a week at present. Doing an awesome job.

Guy off to Mahjong after lunch.

Friday 21stDecember 2018:
Called in to see our carpenter today to select the timber slabs (From our tree we had to cut down) for the coffee table and dining room table. All sorted and the carpenter can now start the drying/curing process on the timber.
The boys at the block now have three sides of the house hollow blocked in. Only the front to go and then they can start filling in the space with gravel up to floor level.

Saturday 22ndDecember 2018:

Off to Buenavista this morning (28km round trip) to see Montemayor and the plumber (Jun). Ran through the plans with him and we are all now clear (as can be expected) on the plumbing (water, sewerage & waste water) requirements for our house

Then off to Boac (40km round trip) for a few supplies for Xmas lunch. The supermarket in Boac has got in some cheese and small leg hams which is a real luxury here on the island. So, we now have a ham, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes for Xmas lunch along with fruit salad for desert. Even found some long-life cream for the fruit salad. Bonus.

Payday at the block for the boys and contractors. Everybody paid for the last week’s mighty effort along with a bonus.

At 4:00pm it was off to see John (Pom) on the other side of town to help him with his Xmas party for the locals where he lives. He did food and presents for the kids and adults. A great fun time was had by all.

Sunday 23rdDecember 2018:

Rainy day as it drizzled nonstop.

Had a visit from John (Pom) for a coffee followed by our weekly manicure/pedicure each.

Guy off to Mahjong in the afternoon while I went for a walk and did some shopping for supplies.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 549 of retirement

December 16, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 10thDecember 2018:

Spent half a day at the block today as we pegged the layout of the house. Once all pegged and happy, the boys started digging the footings.

Gravel and reinforcing rods also arrived. Hopefully pouring footings/columns by the end of the week.

Tuesday 11thDecember 2018:
Busy day at the block. They have started fabricating the column reinforcing structures to go in the concrete. Need 19 of them in total to support the concrete roof.

Wednesday 12thDecember 2018:

At 10:00am Marichu (Guy’s mahjong mate from Sydney) arrived in a jeepney with her family from Balanacan (an hour’s drive away). She is visiting from AUS and wanted to see the block/house before spending the day at the Sulphur Springs about 6km from us.

Arrived at the block to scatter coins (bring the owner’s prosperity) and chicken blood (make the foundations extra strong) into the 19 pillar foundations of our house to follow the traditional beliefs of the locals. The chickens are then eaten by the workers and never by the owners (don’t ask us why!)

All done and dusted and the first shovel of concrete was placed.

Off to the Sulphur Springs with Marichu and family for a very yummy lunch and swim in the stinky springs. Very refreshing.

Thursday 13thDecember 2018:

Back to the block twice this morning. The Well man and his crew were late as they have to get some materials.

Four pillars are up and they should get four more up today.

Back to the market for some yummy food before Guy was off to mahjong for the afternoon. I had my afternoon siesta before working on some paperwork for the block and bank stuff.

Friday 14thDecember 2018:
We have a working manual water pump, yay! The Well man transformed a ragged hole in the ground with a couple of culverts stuffed in it to a lined, capped, plumbed and working pump overnight.
Guy and I had our doubts yesterday that he would deliver, but he did. The concrete boys need the water for the columns so full steam ahead once again.

After the block visit it was a quick trip into Boac (36km round trip) to the bank and the hardware shop to look at kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

Guy off to mahjong after lunch and I went and visited expat Gerald (Pom) who lives 2km from the block. Got caught in a storm on the way home. Was saturated but didn’t take long to dry out. Was rather refreshing actually.

Saturday 15thDecember 2018:

Had our regular Saturday morning manicure/pedicure each. Then after lunch a siesta was in order before heading for the block at 3:00pm.
Payday for the workers, contractors & suppliers. Guy’s accountant skills are coming in very handy as we need to keep a set of books to record all the materials delivered and used.
Also need to run a payroll, accounts receivable & accounts payable as we are paying everybody (workers, suppliers & contractors) directly.
I have a spreadsheet which is a summary of the above.

Sunday 16thDecember 2018:

Rest day today. Guy off to mahjong at 10:00am. I caught up with John (Pom) for a coffee/tea.

Late in the afternoon I discovered that Ruby had a puncture in the rear tire. Need to get that fixed in the morning.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 542 of retirement

December 9, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 3rdDecember 2018:

Off to Boac this morning to get Guy’s new ATM card and a SMART phone. The SMART phone is for communicating with our architect and foreman as we are on Globe and it costs them to talk and or text us. Our Globe numbers are still our main contact.

Tuesday 4thDecember 2018:

Even though there is nothing happening at the block there are lots happening behind the scenes. This morning we meet with the architect, site foreman (finalise power and plumbing plans), hollow block supplier (bricks for the walls), coco lumber supplier (for all the supports of the frame work), the well man (digging the well for water) and the aluminium fabricator man (windows & doors). Great meeting with all and the house construction is starting to make some sense.

The first consignment of hollow blocks will be delivered over the next few days and we will pay once done. We have lucked out with storage of materials onsite. There is a partially built house next to our block and belongs to an Italian couple who are away at the moment. They are happy for us to store our supplies in their yard and building. And the Canadians living next to us both will keep an eye on the goods for us.

The coco lumber is being cut and dried at the moment. Delivery later. Meeting the well man tomorrow morning at the block to start the well digging at the selected site.

Paid our council rates today for the next 12 months. Total cost P49 ($1.30 AUS) for our 2,903 square metre block. Bargain!

Nice lunch of tender flavoursome Pork Adobo from a local canteen (P139 ($3.66 AUS = 2 orders of Adobo and rice and a Coke)).

Guy off to Mah-jong for the afternoon (as she does most afternoons) while I gave Ruby her first wash (got caught in a rain storm this morning) followed by a siesta.

Busy busy busy.

Wednesday 5thDecember 2018:

Out to the block to measure up where the house, well and septic will go.

The well construction gang arrived and once the well location was set, they started digging.

The first truck load of 5” hollow bricks arrived. These are for the outside walls with 4” blocks being used on the inside walls.

Thursday 6thDecember 2018:

Off to the block first thing to sort out some materials required for the well. Once all sorted it was off to Boac where we had an early lunch. Back to Gasan and Guy was off to Mah-jong for the afternoon.

Ruby and I went cruising down the coast looking at the local Xmas decorations made from local materials (coconuts, twine, drink bottles, straws, tinsel, CDs, coloured paper, rocks, styrofoam, wire, etc.). Amazing what you can do with an imagination and local materials.

Friday 7thDecember 2018:

60km round trip on Ruby today. Into Boac for her 500km first service then the block for the works in progress.

Guy off to Mahjong after lunch and I had my regular siesta and then caught up on paper work for our block works.

At 5:30pm Ailyn arrived to give Guy and myself our weekly 2 hour massage (cost per person is P350  $9.20 AUS). The first couple of massages did hurt a little as we both were tense. Must say I did enjoy tonight’s as my poor old body is starting to loosen up at last.

Saturday 8thDecember 2018:

Started the day with a pedicure/manicure for us both. The lady does an awesome job with my crusty old toes and finger nails (P120 each $3.16 AUS).

Off to the block to check up on the ongoing works. All good.

At midday it was off to see Gary (AUS) and Rexy (local) who have a house 6 km away from our block back in the hills. They don’t live here but do visit regularly from VIC back in AUS. Had a great lunch and chat with them.

At 4:00pm it was back to the block to pay the workers and contractors for the week’s work.

Sunday 9thDecember 2018:

At last a rest day. Nothing on today so having a very relaxed day. After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong for the afternoon.

I had my siesta, went for a walk to the market for some fresh produce and caught up with John (Pom) for an afternoon tea.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 535 of retirement

December 2, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 26thNovember 2018:

Took Ruby for a bit of a run today. Rode her down to Buenavista to see the boys on the block, catch up with Montemayor and dropped in to see our Mayor for the Buenavista area.

Then north to Boac (the capital) to print off some documents re the subdivision around our land and finalise our Phil Health membership (private health insurance).

The round trip was 70km and Ruby lapped it up.

Tuesday 27thNovember 2018:

Market day in Gasan today. So off to the market first thing for some fresh fruit and supplies.

Quick trip to the block to sort out a few things. Back for lunch and Guy off to play Mahjong for the afternoon.

I gave Ruby a bit of a service and check over followed by a nice siesta.

Wednesday 28thNovember 2018:

Dropped in to see John (Pom) as we left three barrels full of stuff with him when we left 5 years ago. Opened them up and found all sorts of goodies (ice cube trays, sandwich bags, cutting board, Ruby’s cleaning gear etc). Bit like opening a time capsule.

Then dropped in to see Ron (USA) as it is his 84thbirthday today. Ron and Vicki have helped us heaps here on the island and for those of you who have met him, he has a weak heart (pacemaker) and is going blind but still manages to chat up the young girls. They all know him and his antics so all good.

Off to Buenavista to get two approval papers (Barangay and Municipal clearances) signed and stamped permitting us to chop down trees on our block. All done and now just one more visit to Boac (DENR) tomorrow to get the final tree cutting approval.

Thursday 29thNovember 2018:

Off to Boac to get our land title authenticated by the Deeds office then drop all the paper work into the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) for our tree clearing permit.

Looks like it will be a couple of weeks before we get it approved. Aaaahhhhh what’s another delay.

Friday 30thNovember 2018:
My head hurts. We have spent the last few days going over the house construction plans looking at the water, sewage, electrical, foundations, walls, ceiling beams and the flat concrete roof.
I just couldn’t get my head round the 252 square metres of roof (30 cubic metres ish of concrete). How do you setup the scaffolding so it doesn’t collapse into a big heap when poured. Also the roof has to be poured continuously which is estimated to be a 36 hour job. And all that concrete is mixed in a concrete mixer by hand (No concrete trucks on the island) and man handled up onto the roof by 20-30 guys with buckets.
Today we spent 1.5 hours with our architect and site foreman going through everything. They were great and took us to see a house that they are currently building using the same techniques as ours.
Glad to say that they put us both at ease on how our house will be build.
Full steam ahead once we get the tree clearing permit.

Ailyn, our massage lady arrived at 6:00pm to give Guy and myself a massage (Guy 2 hours and myself 1 hour).

Saturday 1stDecember 2018:

Bit of a mix-up with our manicurist/pedicurist this morning. She was supposed to arrive at 10:00am but only turned up at 1:00pm. All good as we both still got our manicure/pedicure (P120 each $3.16 AUS).

Guy also squeezed in a hair cut before lunch (P50 $1.32 AUS).

I caught up with John (Pom) along with Gary (Aussie) and his wife, Rexy(local gal) for an iced tea and a chin wag. Gary and Rexy are only here for a couple of weeks then back to AUS (Victoria). Doing lunch with them next Saturday. Their house is across the road and a bit from our block.

At 3:30pm it was off to the block to pay the workers for the week’s work.

On dusk there was a parade in Gasan to then turn on the Xmas Tree lights for the municipality. Happens every year on December 1st. Nothing like a good parade.

Sunday 2ndDecember 2018:

Expat gathering today. We caught up with John (Pom) at Berthold’s (German) place 8km out of Gasan. Great to catch up on all the local gossip.

Guy off to Mah-jong for the afternoon. I had a nice siesta, meet John (Pom) again at Darkylocks, a local Thai restaurant for a cold drink at 4:00pm.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.