Day 710 of retirement

May 26, 2019

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Hi All

Tuesday 21stMay 2019:
The door to door van (10-seater van) picked us in Manila and some 14 hours later (3:30am) delivered us to our front door on the island.

The trip included:

~ 6 hour Van ride to the port

~ 3 hour wait at the port for the Ro Ro (Ferry)

~ 3 hour Ro Ro crossing to Marinduque

~ 2 hours van ride to home

The door to door van is excellent in they will pick you up in Manila/Marinduque and deliver you to your front door at the other end. Great if you have lots of stuff/luggage.

And the van only had 6 passengers for the trip so we were able to spread out.

Wednesday 22ndMay 2019:

After a nice cool shower, it was off to bed for 3 hours as the power was due to go off again at 8:00am. It went off at 7:30am. It came back on a midday for a few hours but then off and on for the afternoon. We went to the Marelco office (power supplier) in Buenavista (4km away) and they informed us that repairs should be completed by tomorrow (Thursday) night. Fingers and toes crossed.

Awesome sunset again tonight.

Thursday 23rdMay 2019:

Power was on all day today then went off at 5:00pm. Off till 2:00am tomorrow morning then on till 8:00am.

I have the new schedule of brownouts that goes to Saturday. We shall see what happens after Saturday.

Friday 24thMay 2019:

Nothing like a two-hour massage on our new massage table (bought in Manila) on the veranda in the cool sea breeze as a thunder storm rages in the distance (great lightning show).
New power brownout schedule for the next two days is out. Currently not being followed at all. Power is on when it is on and off when it is off. All good though as we are prepared.

Did manage to get the washing done and give Ruby a service, wash and shine.

Saturday 25thMay 2019:

Got the washing down and down it came. The rainy season has arrived after weeks of build-up. Rained on and off all day. We received 27mm in our area (Gerald the Pom measures it).

Settled the dust very nicely and gave the washing a great rinse.

Sunday 26thMay 2019:

Off to our local market in Buenavista (5km away) this morning for the first time. Sunday is their market day. It isn’t as big as the Gasan market but has pretty much all we need.

Into Gasan at 11:00am for lunch at a canteen. Unfortunately, we got caught in a thunderstorm and I got soaked but Guy wasn’t too bad. After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I came along and had my usual weekly manicure/pedicure at the Mahjong house.

Later in the afternoon I caught up with John (Pom) who is back from a 2-month holiday in Thailand.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 704 of retirement

May 20, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 13thMay 2019:
Back to the block and started sorting some of the stuff we have transported. I had a play with the 250 ish satellite TV channels. A pretty good selection of channels I must say.

Back for lunch and Guy off to Mahjong. After my siesta I went shopping at the market for a few kitchen items.

Tuesday 14thMay 2019:

Back to the block at 8:00am as we met the plumber there to fix a water leak on the guest toilet. Took a while as he had to dismantle the whole system but all fixed.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I packed up the apartment ready for the big move tomorrow.

It is amazing how much stuff we have accumulated although in all fairness we have had to outfit a whole house starting from nothing.

Soooooooo looking forward to tomorrow. Finally, our own little piece of paradise to do what we want when we want.

Wednesday 15thMay 2019:

Our first evening at The Castle with a fantastic welcome sunset from the front veranda.
All moved in today. One slight issue with the water heater in the guest bathroom. A call to the plumber and he was here in 20 minutes. He needed the electrician so 20 minutes later the electrician was also here. All fixed. Awesome service from the tradies.

Thursday 16thMay 2019:

The weather is foul at the moment. Mid to high 30C with 90% humidity. And no storms in the immediate future.

Quick trip into Buenavista (4km) away which is now our local township. Checked out one of the canteens for food. Bought some very yummy selections for lunch.

After lunch we headed for Boac (now a 60km round trip from home) to get some cash from the bank and a few things for the house. No Mahjong for Guy today.

Friday 17thMay 2019:

Started the day with a two-hour massage each from our masseuse Ailyn. She is quite happy to come to us from Gasan and do our massages. Have locked her in for 7:30am each Friday.

Tried out the “new” washing machine today. It is an old fashioned twin tubs like my mum used to use.
You bucket water into the wash tub from the well, wash the clothes, rinse them in a laundry tub, spin dry them in the spin dryer and then hang them on a clothesline erected between two trees.
Repeat as many times as required using the original wash/rinse water. Very efficient.
Just like my mum used to do many years ago. My mum would be proud of our efforts.

Saturday 18thMay 2019:

After a 1.5-hour Jeepney ride, a 3-hour Ro Ro (ferry) trip and 6 hours on the bus we arrived in Manila. Here for a few days sorting stuff.

Sunday 19thMay 2019:

Up and off to see Guy’s family and meet up with two of our island workers.

You see Guy has three apartments in Quezon City where her mum lives in one, sister (and family) in another and rents out the third. As it is vacant at the moment, we decided to renovate it.

And as it is so hard to find workers in Manila, we are using some of our boys from the island. Two of them came to Manila overnight and assessed the job.

They can do the work and left us with a list of materials to get. More work for a great bunch of workers.

We were then off to the hardware shop to get the tiles and toilet and have them delivered at the end of the week ready for the boys who will be back in a couple of weeks to do the work.

We bought a few things from the mall for us as well.

Also switched mobile phone carriers as our new supplier has coverage at our house on the island. So might get my internet back. Wednesday will tell.

Monday 20thMay 2019:

Very hot and humid in Manila. Fortunately, we spent most of the day in the mall getting lots of little things for the house.

Had a quick trip up the road to a huge Home Depot warehouse for some plumbing supplies.

Going home tomorrow night to rolling brown outs on Marinduque. One of the island generators has failed so no power for 6-8-hour periods at a time. Will be interesting.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 696 of retirement

May 13, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 6thMay 2019:
We are in the hottest time of the year at present. It is hot, humid and dry. Very unpleasant in the afternoons.

We get all our jobs done before midday then rest up in the afternoon.

Back to the block this morning to meet the gravel man (need three loads of gravel in front of the house to finish it off), curtain/cushion man (brought our couch cushions dinner table seat cushions and curtains for fitting), plumber (fit two shower curtain rails and fix a couple of leaks) and our foreman (to discuss the building of a car shed).

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and after a trip back to the block it was siesta time in the airconditioned apartment.

Tuesday 7thMay 2019:

Extremely humid all day today. We walked to the market for some supplies (Tuesday is market day in Gasan).

Then off to Boac (capital & 20km round trip) to get some more curtain and cushion materials. On the way home we dropped it off at the curtain/cushion man.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I caught up with Dave (Aussie). He wants some of our old coco lumber so let him know we are finished with it.

A quick trip to the block then siesta time under the air conditioner.

Wednesday 8thMay 2019:

It’s locked in. We move into our new house next Wednesday 15th May. Today we commandeered Ron’s (American) pickup along with Willie the driver to transport a load of household stuff from the apartment in Gasan to the block. Cristian (local lad) helped us with the “big” move.
Over the next week we hope to have most of the remaining house issues fixed ready for the final move.
The weather here at the moment is foul as it’s the hottest time of the year and is in build-up mode for the wet season. It means that it is hot, humid and dry, day and night. I normally don’t sweat much but when outside I am sweating big time. Need a good thunderstorm to clear the air.

Thursday 9thMay 2019:

Off to Buenavista (15km south) to organise our satellite installation at the house. Going with Cignal (most popular supplier round here).

We are meeting the installer tomorrow morning at 8:00am at the shop and we will then take him to the house for the install.

We spent some time at the house where we emptied the 3 barrels, we had from our last stay here on the island. In them where pots and pans, other kitchen utensils and some towels. Sadly, we had to throw half of it out. Things don’t store too well in tropical conditions. The barrels were in storage for 5.5 years.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I prepared some diagrams of the pump shed pipe/valves layout and electrical fuse box diagram fuse runs. Got them printed and laminated for the house.

Had a nice little siesta thrown in for good measure.

Friday 10thMay 2019:
It has been a busy couple of days. Into Buenavista yesterday (4km from the house and our new local town) to organise our satellite TV installation. All organised for today.
Then organised our drinking water delivery. You pay an initial P200 ($5.40 AUS) for the 20L container and then get it refilled thereafter for P20 per 20L ($0.50 AUS). This price includes delivery to our front door. This water will be used for drinking and cooking. The well water for everything else.
Today we spent half a day at the house as the satellite TV was installed and setup. I now have 250 ish channels to choose from. They do have an Australian channel which is basically the ABC.
The curtains arrived and were installed in all four rooms. They turned out even better than expected. The curtains will give us privacy with all that glass open to the sea shore and reflect a bit of heat in the afternoon sun.
Time for a cup of tea and a lay down.
PS: Can’t wait to move in. Getting very exciting day by day.

Saturday 11thMay 2019:

This morning it was off to the market to get plates, bowls, cups, glasses, kettle, general kitchen stuff & light quilts for the beds. Managed to find everything we were after to outfit the house.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I caught up with Dave (Aussie) at the block, who is interested in some of the left over coco lumber from the build. He picked over the best of it (a lot has nails in and warped) and will be back to pick it up.

Finished up the day with a two-hour massage each.

Sunday 12thMay 2019:

Off shopping again this morning. Purchased a bed for the second guest bedroom (same as the first guest bedroom), AVR (Voltage regulator to protect the TV, washing machine (8kg manual) and 3 x deck chairs.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I went for a ride back to the block and played round with getting Ruby into the pump shed.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 689 of retirement

May 6, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 29thApril 2019:
After a quick trip to the block it was off to Boac (40km round trip) to see PLDT (Telecom provider) on what services, if any, we have in our area.
We were told that there are 10 DSL connections in our area and they are all taken. There are no plans to expand DSL in the near future.
So this means that we will not have any internet at our house which we knew anyway. Only thing we did was put our name down so if any of the 10 existing services come up we can take it over.
Back to the block after lunch (Guy off to Mahjong) and we now have all three bedrooms air-conditioned.
The aim of only doing the bedrooms is that you can cool down the room for getting a comfortable sleep. The lounge/kitchen is a large area and very open and picks up the nice sea breeze so we decided not to put one there.

Tuesday 30thApril 2019:

Up early as we are meeting John’s (Pom) brother in-law Ed, at John’s place (he is away) to retrieve 3 barrels of stuff we left there when we went back to Australia in 2013. Ed has a tricycle, so he transported the barrels to the block for us. They mainly have pots and pans in them and a thousand coat hangers (maybe not a thousand but heaps). The things we keep.

They are in storage at the block now till we move in in a couple of weeks.

Then into Buenavista (4km away and our new local town) to organise a gas cylinder, regulator, hose and installation of our gas stove. All up the total cost came to P2,935 ($80 AUS).

We now have an operational gas stove.

Back to Gasan and a quick visit to our curtain guy as he is making some door stop sandbags for us. Will have a sample for us tomorrow.

Lunch and Guy off to Mahjong and after an afternoon visit to the block, I had my siesta.

Wednesday 1stMay 2019:

Usual block visit to see the painters. Also called in to see our cushion/curtain man for an update.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I had my siesta followed by an afternoon visit back to the block.

Thursday 2ndMay 2019:

Off to Boac (40km round trip) to make the final payment to the aluminium window/door man. They finished all the sealing and cleaning of all windows and doors yesterday.
Did some further exploring at the Boac market for curtain and cushion material and pillows. Found some promising material and bought 4 light pillows. Once we are living in the house, we will explore these further.
Had lunch in Boac. Guy off to Mahjong at midday. I caught up with Gerald (Pom) and dropped into the block. Painting is scheduled to be completed on Saturday.

Friday 3rdMay 2019:

Off to Buenavista to meet up a group of locals who are going to supply all the food and drink for the workers’ party we are throwing on Sunday. All our workers and contractors are invited to the local sulphur springs for some food, drink and a swim in the springs.

Our way of saying thank you for all their awesome service.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I caught up with Ron (Yank) for a chin wag.

Saturday 4thMay 2019:

Yea the painting has finished, all the scaffolding removed and rubbish cleaned up. Still got a few things to finish up inside but our move in date of 15th May is looking good. The house looks very “pretty” all painted up.

Finished the day with our usual two hour massage each.

Sunday 5thMay 2019:

Today we threw a party for all our workers, contractors, tradies and suppliers along with their partners and kids to celebrate a job well done in building our house for us (70 attendees).

We hired a large covered area at the local sulphur springs. On one side was a sulphur pool for the kids to swim and on the other side a couple of nipa huts for the boys to enjoy a drink or two.

We got a local caterer in to cook all the food and also had a 36-kilo pig roasted on the spit (Lechon). All the food was awesome and the drink flowed freely. A great time was had by all. We also printed off and gave each one of them the pic we took on the last day at the block.

Did I tell you that these guys were awesome?

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy