A quick update…

Just to say that there is a bigger update to come soon!

Recent adventures include; My third Philippine Christmas, moving house, a trip back to the UK, negotiating Philippine and Singapore Immigration, freezing snowy weather in England, the last train out of London, too many hours sat on an airplane and the realities of living away from the bustle of Davao City…

Stay tuned, some of it is fun, some of it is frustrating, some of it you people simply wouldn’t believe!

Later alligator ūüėČ


A new home out of Davao City.

If you know me on Facebook then you’ll have picked up on the fact that I am in the midst of buying a house with my partner Jhune.

there has been a lot of paperwork, endless forms Jhune has had to sign, an uncomfortable morning being shuttled from one property to another by minivan, money exchanged, deeds drawn up, induction meetings attended and the inevitable visits to DIY and furniture stores… I’ve already bought a brand new fridge/freezer!

What we don’t have, as yet, is a date to move.

Currently we’re in an area of Davao City called Matina, GSIS to be exact, it’s about a 20 minute cab ride from the city centre, a nice, if noisy area, the apartment is actually 2 floors, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, way to big for just us although the extra space has been handy now and then for visitors. As with all things, you get what you pay for, I get a nice big apartment, I pay a bloody fortune for it, comparatively speaking.

For the amount I pay here for the monthly rent, 15,000 pesos (about ¬£220) I could get a single small room in a shared house in the UK, I know that is true because it’s exactly what I was paying for a single small room in a shared house before I left the UK to come and live here in Davao!

That said, this property is rented, it’s not like I can paint and decorate, drill holes to mount my TV on the wall, convert a bedroom to a home office, change the furniture or anything like that, so Jhune and I determined to buy a house of our own, nothing big or fancy, just an affordable small house we could call ours as a place to start.

Keep in mind that as a foreigner I’m technically not allowed to own property here in the Philippines, everything has to be in Jhunes name!

The house we’re buying is about a 30 minute drive out of the heat, dust and noise of Davao proper, in an area called Mintal, north of the city, the development is all affordable housing so they are small, simple houses, the site does boast a residents pool, community centre, picnic areas, a wake-boarding lake and fishing pond, it’s cooler than Davao, so far, and I’m looking forward to moving.

Make no mistake, there is a lot to do, painting, decorating, putting in a kitchen and plumbing, furniture, getting the cable-TV, phone and Internet installed and working, we have big plans for improvements in the future as well but at the moment the most important thing is that it is ours, it belongs to Jhune and I and is a big step for our future together… I’m excited!

Here are a few pictures to be going on with… Look out for more updates!

Later alligator ūüėČ

And so Christmas approaches!

Not that you could get away from it here in the Philippines, the country is on record as celebrating the yuletide season for longer than any other nation on earth!

It starts with the first “ber” month, September, and is a relentless tirade of good cheer and seasonal greetings for what feels like an eternity until the actual day…

I’ve read a lot of posts from my friends in the UK about how they object to Christmas songs on the radio and in department stores and malls and shops, how they don’t like to see decorations in the shops before they’ve even celebrated Halloween and Guy Fawkes night…

Hah! Try putting up with it from September you amateurs!

50 days and counting!

Later alligator ūüėČ

How long? Nah… That can’t be right!

My last update was February? Just after my birthday? How did that happen?

Well I’m back now, sorry for the lack of updates but it’s been a¬† pretty busy time here on Ceti-Alpha 5!..

Back in March I became aware that my visa wasn’t up to date. And not just by a little, by a lot, I’m not going into details on here but suffice to say it took a handful of e-mails, two trips to the central Bureau of Immigration offices in Manila, a visit to a notary, thousands of pesos in fees and charges and lots of standing in queues in order to get things sorted out.

But hey, my perseverance was rewarded with a new visa and a new ID card, and a promise on my part to make sure I renew my visa every two months like I’m supposed to do. It’s due again in about a weeks time!

While that was going on I got some very sad news from home, my elderly father had passed away, he was 85 and had been in poor health for over a year so his passing wasn’t really a shock to me, all the same being so far from home left me feeling oddly disconnected from the situation.

As my passport was in Manila and a plane-ticket back to the UK was beyond my budget at the time I was forced to do my grieving largely alone, helped by Jhunes support and kind wishes from many of my online friends all over the world.

I plan to return to the UK in late September or early October to pay my respects at the family plot at the cemetery.

Putting it bluntly I knew my father had been unhappy for more than 10 years since my mother passed away, he told me once that he had no quality of life after that, I take some comfort in knowing that if there is anything after we pass then at least they are together now.

I’m not a religious man, I don’t have a problem with people having a faith, but I tend to view organised religions and mass worship with scepticism, I’m not really the type to dwell on loss and grief, too practical I guess.

All the same, I spent a lot of time with Dad before I left the UK to come to the Philippines, we talked a lot, he was pleased and excited that I had decided to take this adventure, I shall miss him, his cheeky attitude and his occasionally grumpy moods, I wonder where I get them from? RIP Dad.

With that sadness a little behind me I’ve tried to concentrate on Jhune, and on growing my business, happier and more exciting things to fill my time and stop me becoming too engrossed with the subject of mortality.

As I write this Jhunes birthday is a few days away, he’ll be an ancient 24! I can’t even remember being 24! A point I mention to him every time he starts getting maudlin about his age ūüėČ

Friends are coming to celebrate with us at the weekend, he’ll be cooking seafood and lashings of rice, not sure if I have to cook at all, I guess he’ll tell me when the time comes!

Aside from those ups and downs life on Ceti-Alpha 5 has trundled along.

Hot, sweaty days… Hot, sweaty nights with thunderstorms, I think I’ve got used to the weather now, or at least I don’t notice it which is much the same thing, when I return to England in a couple of months I expect the approaching winter will snap me back to the reality that not everywhere is a tropical paradise!

I’ll do my best to update the blog again soon but don’t hold your breath…

Later alligator ūüėČ


Another trip around the sun!

So, February then, and another birthday under my belt, it was on Valentines Day actually, February 14th! There is an unfortunate coincidence! Or at least it used to be…

My birthdays used to be pretty subdued, most of my pals were out with their wives or partners and I’d find it nearly impossible to book a table at a restaurant or get into a pub on the actual day so I took to having a days leave before or after the nearest weekend and hammering down plenty of Guinness and Jim Beam by way of celebration! The extra days leave usually gave me enough time to recover from my hangover…

Of course as I got older the urge for beer lessened, the pain of a hangover grew and I just sort of lost interest in partying hard like I did in my younger days… In other words I got to be a bit of an old fart on my birthday!

Jhune has taken it on himself it seems to ensure my birthdays are no longer quiet periods of introspection and navel-gazing!

This year a week of celebration kicked off on my birthday night with a splendid meal at a very up-market French restaurant right here in Davao City!

He took me too the Caf√© de Flor√©¬†on F. Torres St¬† where we received a friendly greeting, quickly seated and provided with a very nice glass of red wine while we waited a short while for our starters to arrive, a fresh shrimp salad for Jhune, and a delicious rich tomato soup for me with cream and croutons…

Neither lasted long before we were ready for our main course. Mmmmm, Asparagus wrapped in bacon with a selection of grilled vegetables, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, shallots and a rich sauce liberally applied all over, it was truly delicious, personally such a meal would have been the last thing I would have chosen for myself, I can be a bit traditional at a restaurant and would normally go for a good steak, but Jhune had ordered the food in advance and his selection was simply marvellous!

Dessert consisted of a rich fruit topped chocolate mousse for Jhune and I tucked into a cherry sponge confection served up with lashings of chocolate sauce and fresh cream.

While we ate the owner of the establishment, an elderly Englishman, came and asked us how we liked the food and if we were enjoying our visit. His attention, the friendly atmosphere, attentive staff and the great food made it a night to remember though I’m afraid Jhune has made a bit of a rod for his own back, I can hardly wait to see what he’s going to feed me for my next birthday!

Of course, this being the Philippines and my partner being the man he is my birthday celebrations didn’t end on Valentines night, oh no, all through the week Jhune made me feel special culminating in a small Friday night get together with some of our friends…

But that can wait until next time!

Later alligator ūüėČ


So, into 2017, we learn by doing!

If you’ve followed me for the past year or so then thanks and a, slightly belated,¬†¬†Happy New Year, I hope the holidays were good to you, your family and your friends?

So what’s next for me? Here we are, halfway through January 2017 and I’m wondering what to write about, a new year is always about change for me, and some people can be very frightened of change…

I was the same for a long time until I made the decision to literally uproot myself from the life and country I had known for over 50 years and relocate to the other side of the world…

18 months later, have I learned anything? Does it still make sense?

I’ve learned, despite my irritation, that life in the Philippines will go on at it’s own pace no matter what I might have to say on the matter! Everything, from buying groceries to phoning the cable supplier, happens at a sedate pace, I guess 50-odd years of a frantic western lifestyle takes time to wear off, I’m gradually getting used to the slower pace here, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be very frustrating sometimes!

I’ve learned that sometimes your gut instinct can’t be trusted, especially when it comes to people, I knew that already of course, no matter where you are in the world rest assured that not too far away there is someone that is acting like a dick, but having been burned a few times in the past you’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson by now!

I’ve learned that you can make something good out of something bad, that’s not to say I accept the notion that it’s possible to pick up a turd by the clean end, quite the contrary, sometime shit happens and all you can do is accept it, but sometime shit happens because there is something, or someone, better waiting for you in the future.

I’ve learned that Filipinos will put sugar in pretty much everything, even the mayo!

I’ve learned that the Philippine postal service is the closest thing we can get to a black-hole here on Earth, these boys need to sub-contract to CERN! Almost every bit of post I get out here seems to drop out of reality in Manila for a week, 10 days, whatever, only to resurface, as if nothing had ever happened, at some point further down the line… C’est la vie!

I’ve learned that despite living in a tropical paradise you can still catch a nasty head-cold!

I’ve learned that you can run a small software house from just about anywhere in the world with nothing more than a laptop and a decent Internet connection, though “decent” can be a bit hard to quantify given my local providers struggles with infrastructure, it rains, the connection goes off, its sunny, the connection goes off, basically, it can go off at any time, but on the other hand, it can also work flawlessly at any time to!

I’ve learned not to leave it too long between gym sessions, a few days is OK, a few months means starting all over again, and with Christmas in between that means there is an extra 20 pounds that need to be dealt with too!

Finally, I’ve learned that to make the most of life you really have to find someone you can share it with, my life has never been about wild romances and crazy liaisons, but until Jhune came along it was definitely lacking something, and for all this time, I hadn’t realised. His presence, his smile, his attention and affection and honest, open personality has woken me up to how much more I can enjoy myself doing the simple things in life, wild romance and crazy liaisons were never needed…

I think all that counts as learning, I feel that since I relocated to Davao City I’ve grown, and right now, that is a good thing, now if only I could learn some Tagalog!

That was a long way!..

I know! Another long wait for¬†an update! What can I say? Between the demands of my clients, testing my first ecommerce app and coping with getting back to the gym it’s been a busy few weeks, but hey, here we are, at last!

Just to make up for my laziness this update is a big one and it’s¬†full of images ūüėČ

October was getting a bit stressful, family issues in the UK, financial concerns, rain and heat and to cap it all off a nasty bug-bite I picked up somewhere along the line rapidly became an infection needing treatment with pretty strong antibiotics!

You can probably understand that when the chance of a short break to a white, sandy beach in a delightful island cove came along I grabbed it with both hands!

Sohoton Cove  was our destination. One of Jhunes pals had arranged a deal on some tickets for a weekend of travel, accommodation and various excursion around the lagoons of Siargao Island off the North-East coast of Mindanao.

As Jhune offered to pay for my ticket, and as I really needed a break, I happily agreed to squeeze into the jump-seat of a cramped, but air-conditioned minibus for the 8 hour drive north up the entire length of Mindanao, almost 400Kms!

We left Davao City at about 10:45 in the evening, maybe a little later and the plan was to travel through the night getting to Sohoton by about 7:00am, travelling along the rather grandly titled “Pan Philippine Highway” from Davao to Tagum, up through the Compostela Valley into Angusan, passing San Francisco and Bayugan City, to Butuan City, we passed Lake Mainit in the dead of night before finally leaving the highway as dawn was breaking and heading back on ourselves down the Suriago-Davao Coastal Road to Hayanggabon Port.

After a night of steady rain-showers the heavens really opened up as we prepared to board a boat for the crossing to Siargao Island but despite a soaking we were soon bouncing across a choppy bay towards our destination.

The boats used were typical Filipino Banca boats, built of wood with outriggers and, apparently, all powered by Toyota or Isuzu diesel truck engines, colourful canopies protect the passengers from the squally downpours that seem common in the area, but as its the rainy season the stormy weather was expected!

The morning quickly brightened up as we got closer to the island and the sun broke through at last. A blessing in disguise because things soon got pretty warm and the clear blue waters looked very cool and inviting as I sat sweating trying to take pictures of the little islets around Siargao…

We got ashore at the resort at about 8:30am, and at that point I was all for a shower and some sleep but the organisers had other plans for us and the group was swiftly transferred to another boat for a bit of island hopping… First stop an anonymous little island with a stretch of white sandy beach, crystal clear water and some big starfish!

The rains quickly returned and, thankfully, the rest of the mornings island hopping adventures were cut short, after another couple of boat transfers we finally made it back to the resort for some lunch and at that point exhaustion took over. I think that sometimes Jhune forgets I’m more than twice his age and while I did my best to keep going, after the food all I wanted was to have a shower and fall into bed… Of course it wasn’t quite that simple!

I haven’t slept in a dormitory since I was a schoolchild, and then only briefly, but when I got to our accommodation that is exactly what I discovered, we would all be showering and sleeping in an open, communal dorm, and by open I mean no walls and no windows, not just between the boys and girls, oh no… There were¬†no walls or windows at all, the whole room was open to the outside and while this kept the temperature tolerable it also let in all kinds of tiny biting and itching bugs, ants, mosquitos, something big and buzzy that kept flitting around my head and a couple of¬†huge spiders that had set up home outside the showers… Need I say more?

On the positive side the view from the dorms balcony more than made up for the pretty basic level of comfort…

Overlooking a beautiful green placid lagoon, calming and serene. A little later it started to rain quite softly and that just made the whole vista all the more beautiful to look at. The combination of the rain falling on the roof of the dorm and the quiet surroundings soon lulled me off to a much needed nap until late afternoon when Jhune and the rest of the group returned from a visit to the Sohoton cave complex. I missed out unfortunately but I think if I had joined the trip somebody would have had to drag my sleeping body out of the boat at some point!

We had a so-so dinner before Jhune and I retired to our bunk for the night, complete with¬†that variety of biting bugs and¬†ants I mentioned, and surrounded by all the sounds of nature going on a few feet outside the room, not to mention 20-odd sleeping, coughing, snoring and¬†farting young Filipinos spread out across the dorm…

The night was sweaty and not that comfortable¬†to be honest,¬†but after all the travelling it didn’t make much difference, I was asleep in minutes and stayed that way until about 6:00AM in the morning when Jhune woke me for an early shower…

I say shower, what I actually mean is a concrete/cinder-block construction with a tap, a bucket¬†and a big plastic ladle inside, fill the bucket with cold water from the tap, then ladle the water over yourself after washing to rinse off the soap… I’d had similar experiences at other places here in the Philippines so it wasn’t a surprise, all the same the dousing with cold water at 6:00AM certainly woke me up!

Following a quick breakfast we were all ushered to more waiting boats for a trip to another complex of caves, a dip in a lagoon full of little jellyfish and then back to the resort to spend the rest of the morning having a very relaxing swim before we all got ready to leave and travel back to Davao at about lunchtime…

The trip back was as long and tiring as the trip to Sohoton, across the bay, this time in the midst of a pelting rainstorm, then to the minibus for another 8 hours driving south. The big difference this time was that the scenery we’d all missed on the way up on Friday night was now all on display.

The ocean, distant mountains, green valleys, the huge Lake Mainit, The Philippines are blessed with an abundance of wildly varying scenery and the views on the coast road and then once we were back on the highway were breath-taking.

We stopped a few of times on the way home, to eat, deal with a minor collision, and a toilet break, but eventually we got back to Davao at about 8:00PM and grabbed a cab home.

It was a long tiring journey in both directions, but all in all well worth it to see a very different part of these islands, green forests, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, mysterious caves and a variety of wildlife, mostly biting bugs but nice to see all the same.

Would I do it again?.. No, emphatically, definitely no… Well, maybe. If it was a longer trip, a week or¬†a long weekend, but travelling all that way and back in 2 days was a real strain and I spent much of Monday in bed recovering!

So that was my adventure to Sohoton Cove. I hope you like the pictures!

To round off this update, I mentioned last time that there might be a surprise of a porcine nature… Well here it is! Let me introduce Bacon, my pig.

I have to admit I don’t know which is which, and no, they’re not pets, they are most definitely eating pigs, bacon on the hoof, Jhune and I bought one each and we’re hoping to sell them as pork over the coming Christmas season.

So now I can add pig-farmer (pig-trader?) to my CV alongside adventurer and software engineer!

Later alligator ūüėČ

Wow, October already!

Hate to admit I’ve been a bit lax in bringing this page up to date but earning a crust and keeping a roof over my head have been the priority lately.

So, what’s been going on with me then?

It was Jhunes birthday in early August so I decided to give him a treat and we spent a long weekend at a 5 star hotel, the Radisson Park-Inn Davao enjoying the food, pool and gym, it was great! Especially the all-you-can-eat breakfasts!

The broadband upgrade I mentioned last time happened in mid August, it was both efficient and uneventful, a few issues with PLDTs selected DNS but that was soon fixed and the new service has, so far, proven to be very reliable. Why it needed 3 big sweating Filipinos to install a telephone and Wi-Fi hub on a sticky Saturday afternoon is beyond me but it seems to be the way things work here. Why send one man to do a job when you can send several!

August¬†28th saw¬†the anniversary of my first meeting with Jhune so we celebrated in grand, and typical, Philippine¬†style with a fabulous dinner and cold beer…

Tragically, on the night of September 2nd a bomb was set off in one of the cities busiest night-markets claiming 14 lives with nearly 70 injured!

I’ve visited the Roxas night-market a few times, a bustling area with¬†an atmosphere¬†more like¬†a huge street-party, colourful stalls and vendors, fresh-cooked food, the people going about their business and enjoying the typical 24/7 lifestyle that exists here.

It saddens me to think that the ordinary people of the city were indiscriminately targeted by those responsible for this terrible act, a message sent directly to the recently elected Philippine President, Rody Duterte. The President was formerly Mayor of Davao for four separate terms and his influence is widely acknowledged for the relative peace and lack of criminality the city enjoys.

The bombing initially seemed to have been a response to a government crackdown on the Islamic extremist organisation Abu-Sayyaf, despite initially claiming responsibility the group have subsequently denied being involved and the suspects now in custody over the attack are allegedly part of an allied group of militant extremists called the Maute Group…

No doubt as trial proceedings get underway more information about those responsible will become available.

As for the cities inhabitants, they have demonstrated a tremendous amount of strength and resilience after the bombing with huge crowds being drawn to a night-long vigil at the scene of the attack offering flowers, prayers and comfort to the victims and their families. I’m not a religious man but all the same, my best wishes go out to those involved in this event, I hope the future will bring them some peace.

On a happier note, the beginning of September marks the official start of Filipino Christmas celebrations… Yeah, September! I kid you not!

Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but I’ve never been all that keen of the over commercialisation that accompanies it, nor¬†a big a fan of popular Christmas songs.

I’m not talking about carols and hymns, nope, I’m talking about popular music. The Hollywood produced ballads, the yearly pop-chart Christmas hits, I’m talking about things like “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Last Christmas” by George Michael and the ultimate horror “Mistletoe and Wine” by Cliff Richards… These and similar tunes all now echo around the local malls and supermarkets incessantly!..

If only I knew a decent dentist here in Davao I might not be so concerned about the way such overproduced musical cacophonies lead me to grind my teeth!

At least my adventures with Filipino cooking are giving me something more to bite and chew on than my own tongue!

Lately seafood, fish and spicy, citrus soaked salads have joined my more usual dishes such as Adobo and curry. I’ve never been all that enthusiastic about fish but I must admit after local fresh Tuna and Milkfish I’m becoming a convert, even though I doubt I’ll ever happily consume whole fresh-cooked Crab!

Another recent dish I discovered, which is pretty simple to cook, the main quality I look for in cooking, is Gising-gising.

Gising-gising is basically saut√©ed onions and garlic, lean fried pork cooked with chopped green beans (Baguio¬†beans are best but string-beans will do as well) in a mixture of shrimp paste and coconut milk, serve it, as always, with plenty of soft white rice. It’s easy and filling and creamy, a perfect dinner that I heartily recommend to anyone wanting to try cooking a Filipino meal, you don’t even have to look far for the shrimp paste, most supermarkets carry it, even Tesco, just make sure it says “Bagoong” on the label but do show it some respect when you add it to a hot pan, the stink it gives off as it cooks has forced me to open windows and doors and ultimately run outside just to get some fresh air!

Now we’re into October and work is again going to be occupying a fair bit of my time, I’m hoping for a break at the end of the month to travel and explore some of the islands off the North-West coast of Mindanao, if it happens the next update will include pictures from my adventure, and maybe a surprise of a porcine nature if you’re lucky!

Later alligator ūüėČ


Well I’ve been a bit busy!

Over two months since my last update, wow! My only excuse is that my work has kept me very busy with new development and design work for my clients and a big update to the company website that I rebuilt only a few months ago! These things tend to be cyclic, normally not quite so often but this time I needed to act on some of my users feedback.

When I rebuilt the site I made use of new tools and standards but I let things slip a little when it came to making it all work on a mobile device, a smartphone or tablet. This is what’s known as “responsive design”, you cut one set of pages and if you get it right, i.e. start with a mobile-friendly version first, then what you end up with is a site that works across all sorts of devices from Android smartphones to Apple iPads to Windows PCs and laptops.

Lets just say that when I got stuck into coding my new site I let my priorities slip a little and while it all worked on multiple devices, it wasn’t always that nice to look at, extra work was needed, which meant extra research and learning more new tools!

After a few extra days of effort I’m happy to say the site is now “responsive” and the techniques and tricks I’ve learned are now a part of my toolkit for other design and development work, a result all round!

Take a look and see what you think; http://www.comdotty.com

With that work and my new client sending me plenty of e-mails with tasks to complete I’ve been pretty wrapped up in the whole rat-race to earn a living once again, I’ve tried to put it behind me a couple of times now but I just can’t leave well enough alone, my UK contacts keep putting little jobs my way and as long as people are will to pay for my time then I might as well make the most of the opportunities!

August has the makings of being a more relaxing month though, despite having plenty to do. For one thing it’s my partners birthday, after asking what was wanted in the way of a birthday present it seems that a bathroom with a tub and hot water was highest on the list!

So, that means¬†we’ll be away at the beginning of the month for a long weekend in a nice hotel, here in Davao but a nice hotel anyway, big bed, hot and cold running water and a big comfortable tub for some long relaxing soaks…

Later in August we’ll be upgrading our broadband service, I say upgrading, the idea is to reduce our costs, although the current subscription is for the fastest service PLDT offer after a year of use it’s pretty obvious that despite my work and the occasional streaming movie I’m paying way over the odds for what I’m using. Ergo, as the contract is up for renewal its out with the big expensive service and in with a much more modest provision for a cost of 1/3rd of what I’ve been paying up to now!

Of course it means PLDT need to come change out the Wi-Fi router, change the landline number and ¬†then I will have to spend a happy afternoon changing passwords and IP leases on my computers, printer, tablet and smartphones but you can’t win them all I suppose!

More on the upgrade once we have a date from PLDT.

Later alligator ūüėČ



1 year on…

May 17th was the first anniversary of my arrival in the Philippines, if you check out some of my earliest posts you can read the story of my flight from Heathrow to Singapore and on to Davao City, it is hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly or that things in my life would have changed so much!

So what has happened? Hmmmm, it’s not really a long story so if you’re sitting comfortably I shall begin.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

Nah, I’m not like that! Can you imagine?..

To get to the point, I came to the Philippines, well specifically Davao City, for a number of reasons, to climb the volcano, to support my partner in further education, to take semi-retirement, and to travel, see a new culture and meet new people on the opposite side of the world, it makes me smile when I think that I live in Asia, the Western Pacific.

Of those plans two have fallen apart, first somebody set fire to the damned volcano, it is now off-limits to climbers and hikers for the foreseeable future, maybe 3 years, maybe 5, so that aspect of my Far East adventure was shot down before I even had a chance to get started!

The second broken dream is far more personal and closer to my heart, without giving up too much detail the person I came here to spend the rest of my life with has moved on, it’s not something I either want or need to dwell on, they broke my trust and left for another part of the Philippines.

If I were a younger and more emotional man then I might feel betrayed or heart-broken, I guess with the passing years I have come to expect a certain amount of disappointment in life, I hadn’t thought for a moment that the promises we made each¬†other would be so quickly broken, nor that the dreams and hopes we talked about for so long would be abandoned so easily, but if there is anything I have learned in nearly 60 years then it’s that shit happens, and most of the time you can’t do a damned thing about it no matter how much you might want to.

All is not doom and gloom here though, in spite of the betrayal, broken promises and lost dreams¬†I find that I¬†must be grateful to my ex-partner for at least one thing, if I hadn’t travelled halfway round the world to make a life with them then I would never have met my new love, someone who has healed the wounds, offered me love and affection and friendship during a very dark time in my life and drawn me back to join them in the light, someone who has¬†not only already proven they¬†deserve my love but also that they love me.

Life is full of highs and lows for all of us, nobody is immune, sometimes you really have to hit a low in order to truly appreciate the highs. At the moment I am experiencing a high point with the love of my life, long may it last!

Later alligator ūüėČ