Day 808 of retirement

September 1, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 12thAugust 2019:
A nice fine day so, clean up time. Hosed off the front veranda and cleaned all the windows.

Also got Emma to the carwash for a scrub clean.

Tuesday 13thAugust 2019:

The Habagat is back again. The fine weather only lasted a day. Only a mild Habagat at present, so all good.

Ruby got her wash and clean today. Took her for a good run as well, as she is feeling a little neglected over these last few weeks of rough weather.

Friday 16thAugust 2019:

Started the day with our two-hour massage each.

Cherry the maid was here to clean as well.

I spent the afternoon cleaning up the beach. Firstly, I picked up all the trash (man-made) and got a fire going and burnt up the trash.

All the vegetation trash is still on the beach as there is just too much to gather up and burn in one go. Estimating a week’s work for me to clean up.

Saturday 17thAugust 2019:

The maid was here for cloths washing day.

I took Emma to the car wash for her weekly wash and shine.

After lunch, Guy was off to Mahjong and I caught up with Ron (American) for several hours.

Sunday 18thAugust 2019:

Off to the market for some supplies for lunch.

Came to Guy’s Mahjong house for my manicure/pedicure.

The Habagat has dissipated, so nice and calm, hot and humid. So time for a nice afternoon siesta.

Monday 19thAugust 2019:

Last night whilst cleaning my teeth I finished up with a whole filling with some tooth fragment in my hand and a hole in my top gum.

First thing this morning we called a dentist in Boac who we saw 7 years ago when we lived here. She said come on up (45-minute drive) and she would fit me in straight away.

45 minutes after arriving she had cleaned up the remaining tooth and filled it all up back to new. Will need to have an x-ray in the future to see what tooth I have left but all good for now.

Awesome service once again.

Total cost was P700 ($20.00 AUS).

Wednesday 21stAugust 2019:

Went for a walk round the beach today while it is overcast and a little cooler.

Tropical Storm “INENG” is sliding north of us. Shouldn’t affect us too much.

Thursday 22ndAugust 2019:

Started the day with a 2-hour massage each.

In the afternoon the local school kids cleaned up the beach as part of their science course on keeping our environment clean. They did a great job.

Friday 23rdAugust 2019:

After yesterday’s great effort by the local school kids to pile up the coconut, bamboo and banana vegetation, we had the local council workers come along and burn up the piles today.

As this vegetation had been submerged in sea water it is very hard to burn. But with lots of poking the fires, 95% of the vegetation burnt up to give us our beach back.

Tuesday 27thAugust 2019:

Massages, pedicure/manicure, Mahjong, pottering round the Castle and cruising on Ruby have consumed the last 5 days.

Off to Manila tomorrow till Saturday. Visiting Guy’s family especially her sister visiting from Queensland, Australia.

Flying over and back as the airport is now open once again. Only a 45 minute flight which beats the Ro Ro and bus (10 hours ish).

Wednesday 28thAugust 2019:

In Manila for a few days. Only took 2 hours from home to hotel as we flew (the airport on the island is now open). So rather than 10 hours (bus, Ro Ro) a very pleasant 2 hours is grand.

I love shopping at the malls here in Manila. When you walk in you are met by numerous staff who are there to help you. If they can’t help you, they will direct you to somebody who can.

Awesome customer service.

Thursday 29thAugust 2019:

A very successful day as we got everything done, we had to.

Managed to do some shopping for small stuff at the mall. Restricted to 20kg each on the flight home so have to watch what we buy.

Friday 30thAugust 2019:

Busy day doing some shopping and catching up with Guy’s family especially her sister Nida visiting from Brisbane in Aus.

Saturday 31stAugust 2019:

Up at 2:30am to get to the airport for our 5:45am flight home to the island. This afternoon’s siesta is looking good.

Back home to the Castle after a slight delay at the airport. Now sitting on the front veranda with warm buns from the bakery with vegemite and a cup of tea/coffee. Mmmmmmm. Vegemite courtesy of Guys sister from Brisbane (AUS) who is visiting Manila.

Sunday 1stSeptember 2019:

Huge happy birthday to my beautiful wife. It’s been an awesome adventure so far and looking forward to many more awesome years ahead. Love my Guy. Xxxooo

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 752 of retirement

July 7, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 24thJune 2019:
Leisurely morning. After dropping Guy off at Mahjong I caught up with Gerald (Pom) and later in the afternoon John (Pom).

Tuesday 25thJune 2019:

Cherry the maid back again today and worked her magic.

Wednesday 26thJune 2019:

Leisurely morning with Guy off to Mahjong after lunch. I spent the afternoon clearing away regrowth jungle from the back of our block.

At 4:45pm a monsoon storm hit and dumped a heap of rain. All good as we need it.

Marinduque roughly get 1.8m of rain over 12 months. According to records that Gerald keep we have only had 0.8m of rain in the last 18 months. So, it is badly needed.

Remembering that it is the tropics and you can have all that rain in one typhoon.

Thursday 27thJune 2019:

Started the day with a 2-hour massage each. Cherry our maid was back as well.

Heavy rain monsoon shower hit and dumped 12mm of rain in one shower.

Friday 28thJune 2019:

Off to the market first thing for some supplies for the next few days. After lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong in Gasan (11km away).

Emma (Toyota Rush) got her first carwash today. Went down to the local carwash and had one of the boys wash and vacuum clean Emma (all by hand).
Now I am a bit particular with the high standard of washing/cleaning of my motor vehicles. But I must say that my washer man did an excellent job. Nothing left for me to clean.
And all for P200 ($5.60 AUS). Will definitely be going back for all my washes and vacuum cleans.

Saturday 29thJune 2019:

Leisurely morning. After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I spent the afternoon doing a rubbish run on the beach, some weeding in the garden and hacking back the jungle in the back yard.

Sunday 30thJune 1029:

Off to the Buenavista market as it is market day. Topped up on fresh supplies for the next few days.

After lunch into Gasan to Guy’s Mahjong house for my pedicure/manicure.

Monday 1stJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” has hit well and truly today. Strong winds, rain and high rough seas. The tide is coming in and being pushed up by a southerly wind.
Local fishing village came awful close to being flooded. But all good here.

PS: And the house is singing.

Tuesday 2ndJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” eased overnight. The tide is back to normal and the wind has dropped.

Another couple of days and should be back to normal.

Wednesday 3rdJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” has gone. Beautiful day today with bright blue skies and brilliant sunset.

One of the downfalls of having lots of glass doors/windows facing the beach is that after a storm they need cleaning from all the salt spray in the air. Ooohhh well that was my afternoon job sorted while Guy was at Mahjong.

Friday 5thJuly 2019:

Busy day.

Up at 3:30am to meet Willie (our driver) at The Castle to pick up Emma and head for the Toyota service centre on the mainland (San Pablo) for her first service (1-hour drive, 3.0 hours Ro Ro, 2-hour drive and the same on the way back).

Back to bed then up at 7:30am for Ailyn and a 2-hour massage each.

During my massage some friends from Guy’s Mahjong group arrived to salvage some of our coco lumber. Great to see it being recycled.

Willie arrived back at 11:00pm so a long day for him (19 hours). Once again awesome service for P2,400 ($69.00 AUS).

Saturday 6thJuly 2019:

Cherry the awesome maid waved her magic once again.

The coco lumber recyclers were back for load two today. Slowly getting the heap down.

After lunch dropped Guy off at Mahjong and got Emma washed at the local carwash.

Sunday 7thJuly 2019:

Market day in Buenavista (5km away) so off to the market this morning for some fresh supplies.

Our usual market breakfast of deep-fried bananas. Very yummy.

Off to the Mahjong house at midday for our pedicure/manicure.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


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 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


Day 682 of retirement

April 28, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 22ndApril 2019:
Had our start of week meeting at the site this morning (painter, plumber, electrician & foreman). Set for the rest of the week all be it with a much smaller crew.
After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I made a mid-afternoon visit back to the block.

At 5:00pm ish we had an earthquake. The building swayed as it lasted for a minute ish. A very weird feeling watching and feeling your surroundings swaying.

Tuesday 23rdApril 2019:

Family and friends, we are all okay following yesterday’s earthquake. The quake was well north of us but we did feel it. No damage here on the island.

Sweltered in our apartment today. Work was being carried out on some rewiring in the building which meant disconnecting from the mains and no generator. No power from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

I opened up the windows and the door and at least there was a breeze 3 floors up.

Guy was off to Mahjong after lunch.

Thursday 25th April 2019:

We have the well water pressure pump/tank setup and pumping. The plumber has setup 4 separate lines off the pump so we can isolate the outside taps, the master bathroom, the kitchen/laundry and the second bedroom. Also, some more isolation valves in these lines so part sections can be shut down.

If we do have any issues in any part of the house, we can shut it down and not affect the rest of the house.

Slight issue with the 3 air conditioners. The holes we left are the right size but nobody told us the unit sits in a rack so needs a further 2” clearance. The installer was prepared and has a diamond concrete cutter so can fix it. Just one of those things where one little piece of information not conveyed means more work.

Just one of those things that happen on a new house build.

Friday 26thApril 2019:

After an early block visit it was off to Boac the capital (40km round trip on Ruby). First stop, the bank to get some cash for the payroll tomorrow.
Then curtain/cushion material shopping. Found some material and will drop them off to our curtain man tomorrow for sewing.
Back at the block late afternoon to see how the airconditioner boys were doing. They had to expand each of the three mounting holes by 2″ on the bottom and on the side.
Our nice clean finished bedrooms are now a mess again. But all good and they will have it all fixed in a day ish.

Saturday 27thApril 2019:

Another sad day today as we said goodbye to our foreman and the last of our original boys. The boys did an excellent job of finishing all their work and cleaning up round the house.

At 3:00pm the boys retrieved our bamboo bed, foot locker and couch from the Italian house and placed it in our house. They also placed the dining room table and chairs along with the coffee table in the lounge room. It is starting to look and feel like a house.

Tomorrow we have the fridge, gas stove, fans, etc. arriving.

The only people left are the painters (contractors who are awesome to work with) who will be there for another week to finish off some inside and outside painting.

Still some minor things to be finished off by the plumber and these should be done in the next weeks as well (shower curtains, stainless steel fittings).

We are now looking at a moving in date of May 15thall things being equal.

Sunday 28thApril 2019:

Out to the block at 8:00am as we have a major delivery happening this morning.

We had delivered:

~ Our master bed mattress

~ Samsung TV

~ Bed and base for guest room two

~ 4 x electric fans

~ Rice cooker

~ Electric kettle

~ Samsung Fridge

~ Gas stove

~ Plastic picnic table and 2 x chairs

We bought everything locally as they gave us a good deal, delivery was free, they unpacked everything, set it all up, tested it and took away all the packaging. These are the same folks we bought the 3 aircons off as well. They are in the process of installing the aircons as we speak. Awesome service.

So slowly but surely the house is coming together. Just need the painting to finish and move in time (2 weeks ish).

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I had a lovely siesta as it is pretty hot and humid here at the moment. We need rain as it is very dry.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy



Day 675 of retirement

April 21, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 15thApril 2019:
Quick trip to the block. Everything is progressing at a rapid pace.

After an awesome pizza lunch (best pizza in the Philippines) Guy was off to Mahjong and I went for a ride to see Gerald (Pom) for a catch-up.

Tuesday 16thApril 2019:

It is Holy Week presently and the Moriones Festival is on.

One of the oldest religious festivals in the Philippines is the Moriones Festival (only on Marinduque).

It is a dedication to the half-blind Roman soldier, Longinus, who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance while he was on the cross. Legend has it that when some of the blood of Jesus fell into his eyes his sight returned. Upon experiencing this miracle, Longinus became convinced that Jesus was truly the son of God and converted to Christianity.

The festival re-enacts the search for Longinus by centurions adorned in colourful costumes. For this crime, with one member of the local community playing Longinus who is captured and recaptured several times over the course of the festival in a playful game of cat and mouse.

Wednesday 17thApril 2019:

A very exciting and sad day all in one.
The exciting part was we received the keys to the castle today. The house is now at lockup stage. All the windows and doors lock. We also had our first delivery of furniture. The table & chairs and coffee table arrived. This is the furniture made from the Acacia tree we cut down to build the house.
The sad part was that this is the last day that all the workers, contractors and tradies are together. Over the next few weeks there will be a skeleton crew finishing off bits and pieces. The painting alone will take 2-3 weeks to complete.
These guys are the best group of workers we have ever had the pleasure to work with. Awesome honest hard workers every one of them.

Thursday 18thApril 2019:

No work at the block/house till Monday now. Easter break.
After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I couldn’t resist a ride out to the block. It was strange being there with nobody about. The site is usually a hive of activity. It was great wandering round the house and block looking at the potential of the site.
Can’t wait to move in in 4 weeks ish time. Want to make sure everything is functional before moving in.

Friday 19thApril 2019:

Nice quiet day. After lunch Guy off to Mahjong while I had my siesta and then a walk to the market.

In the evening we enjoyed the Easter parade in downtown Gasan. There some very elaborate floats and they are lit up in the evening darkness. Quite spectacular.

Saturday 20thApril 2019:

Leisurely day. We did a trip out to the block/house. We spent some time going through how we will set the house up and started looking at the landscaping.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I had my usual siesta with a walk to the market.

To finish the day I had a two hours massage while Guy wandered across the road to the municipal square to watch a local Easter play.

Sunday 21stApril 2019:

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I went for a ride back to the block for a wander round.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy