Foggy days, rainy days, writing, housekeeping and global warming

We never thought we’d willingly do it but we did. We’ve been without air-conditioning for 12 days and we don’t mind. I don’t care if it makes Meralco unhappy. I’m happy if Meralco’s unhappy. I’m happy that I contribute less to the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. The view from one of the windows of my second floor study/office

It isn’t just because it’s been cloudy, foggy, gray and raining for the past few days. That’s a factor, I’m sure, but the real deal is that ventilation in this house is just so great and we don’t miss the air-con at all. We’re getting the most of the cool air up on the hill. This is the reason we moved to the suburb, the cool air and the smell of trees and the chirping birds and singing of the crickets. It’s something we lost and missed when the old neighborhood went bad. Now, we have it again and we’re loving it.

And another miracle has happened. I’ve mentioned several times before that I’m really not a morning person. I was practically a zombie before 9.00 a.m. Even on schooldays when I got up at dawn to prepare the kids’ packed lunches, most days I went right back to sleep as soon as they were off. But since moving… darn, I wake up before the sun is fully up. I bake, I cook, I take photos… By 7.30 a.m., I start writing. My twice weekly newspaper column? I can write two in one sitting. No sweat. And still get the blogging done. Damn, I love this house. I love the space, the quiet, the super productive ambience that is every writer’s dream. Working on the veranda

Speedy has become less grouchy too. I suppose it has to do with each of us now having our own space for our personal activities. I don’t have to work on a desk in the bedroom when he wants to sleep or watch TV. Even Sam and Alex… I don’t think it’s just my imagination but it seems that there is less bickering between them. I can only hope that all of this is not simply an association with the novelty of the experience of living here. I hope all this becomes the actual state of things rather than a phase.

Sounds surreal? Unbelievably perfect?

Not perfect. Of course, there are little things. Like the bathroom plumbing. Water leaking under the sink in Alex’s bathroom. Sluggish drainage in Sam’s bathroom. Our bath tub isn’t working because the water keeps draining off. Then, there’s the faucet in the kitchen sink with its water that smells of rusty pipes. And the windows that don’t close snugly so that when the rains are accompanied by strong winds, everyone scampers to do what he can to prevent the rains from drenching the wooden floors upstairs.

Nothing that can’t be fixed, for sure, and there’s a plumber and all sorts of construction people to do the job without costing us anything — all part of the renovation package included in the sale. It’s not a brand new house and we’re not the first owners. It’s a five-year-old house and, if the neighbor’s little boy has been telling an accurate story, the previous owners gave it up because they could no longer pay the electric bill and Meralco cut off their power line. Boy, oh boy, when Speedy first heard that about a week before we were due to move in, I thought he was going to call the whole thing off. It’s like his knees buckled from beneath him and he sat on the sidewalk beside the clubhouse and broke in cold sweat. His response, of course, was to get rid of most of the halogen lamps that the previous owners seem to have been fond of and install those energy-saving lights. He had long and very detailed discussions with the electricians, believe me. The little boy’s story upset him so.

Ergo, the house having been in existence for a few years, and having weathered the wear and tear inflicted by the previous owners, there are little things that a fresh coat of paint and repolishing of the wooden parquet flooring won’t be able to hide. Not that they were purposely hidden from us. We inspected this house many times before we signed the documents but there are things you don’t discover until you’re actually living in the house. Our previous house was brand new when we bought it and there were too many problematic things too. So, I suppose this house’s little imperfections are a reality check, and effective reminders that there’s no such thing as a perfect house and we’ll really have to work on the upkeep of this one. Sam and our Persian cat, Pepper

In addition to all that, there’s the stupid router that is incapable of transmitting signal over the entire house. There’s wifi internet only on a portion of the second floor. I don’t know if a booster will do the trick. Meanwhile, Sam is complaining. She has brought her laptop out of her bedroom and has been surfing on the corridor where the signal is better. Speedy’s not too happy about the lack of wifi downstairs either… When the signal in Alex’s room goes down, she shouts out loud that she’s losing her signal. It just seems to me that there’s an unspoken command that I run and capture the signal with my bare hands and transport it to her bedroom.

Oh well, anyway… I was just going to write about how much better I am writing these days and look how much I’ve written. Like I said, the house is just so conducive for writing. :wink:


  1. cats says

    Hi Connie, have you tried changing your router to a higher model so that the covered range for signal would be better?

  2. says

    Hi ate connie, the view from your new home looks priceless. This story reminds me of when we moved in to our new home. Before we bought the house, it seems that everything is perfect but only when we moved in have we discovered the little things that needed our attention. As you say, we need to work on maintaining our homes. Good luck with fixing the rest of your home!

  3. says

    Hi Connie – big fan ako ng blog mo. I am from Antipolo too, sa bayan, I like reading this ‘coz it makes me go back to my roots. Just curious lang, PM me if you want, did you move somewhere in Antipolo or sa malapit din? We are planning to invest sa real estate na, na and basing from your pictures, mukhang maganda ang neihgborhood ng bagong place mo, at malapit pa sa bundok. I will appreciate if you can respond to me privately. TY

  4. says

    Love that view. When it’s raining or foggy like that, I just want to look out the window and daydream or meditate.

    …and, how come the wives always get to select the best, in this case the best location/view?

  5. says

    Connie, I had that same wifi router for 4 years and it had the worst signal! We live in a 2 story house (no concrete walls tho) and I still couldn’t get a good signal upstairs in my room. When it finally died on me, I looked up the reviews on cuz I was going to reorder it. Turns out, it’s not a very good router in terms of signal! I ended up going with a different model that was so much stronger in signal.

    It could be the metal rods they use in the concrete walls that is making it harder for the signal to penetrate? Also, maybe there are some electrical appliances or machines that are blocking the signal?

    You could try a wifi booster or you could get those longer antennas that boost the signal. Linksys makes them for their routers.

  6. says

    Gina, I e-mailed you. :)

    JMonreal, because the wife is the real boss in a Filipino home? hehehehe

    Nikita, wow, asar ah. I have another router that’s been configured for the DSL. I didn’t use it for the SMart Bro connection because I’m hoping we can still get the old DSL line transferred. But, thanks, I’ll start scouting around for another router. If Airport Extreme weren’t so darn expensive…

  7. says

    Linksys Wireless-G? Same router that I have. When I had difficulty connecting the laptop, I called the 800 number and guess what? A Philippine call center. The lady and I talked politics for over an hour and I loved every minute of it. My router problem was eventually solved by a lady from India.

    Nice place you got.

  8. says

    Oh I live in Antipolo too and I havent even used the fan in years! I even use thick blankets and comforters and warmers inside my room. I love the weather especially in the months of Jan – Feb. Whenever I invite friends over, I always ask them to open the car windows while climbing up from Tikling towards Beverly Hills, they say the wind slapping their faces is priceless. Hahaha , I agree. Meralco is one unhappy company. Hehehehe.

  9. says

    The chanced encounter with that pinay at the call center was priceless.

    You see, until we the PEOPLE recognize and acknowledge that this IT was designed to empower us, all these gadgetry would be for naught.

    Instead of a JOB (just over broke), WE THE PEOPLE should be establishing FINANCIAL and as important TIME INDEPENDENCE to do what WE REALLY WANT TO DO. Imagine how much more productive WE would be given that option.

  10. says

    It’s just a good feeling when you hear or read positive comments about Antipolo from other people. I agree with ex-art student – it’s priceless!

    I look forward to when my wife and I will be spending our time a couple of months in Antipolo two or three times a year.

  11. says

    ex-art student, you know, we had to have the comforters dry cleaned right after we moved. I figured the girls wouldn’t miss theirs because we’re aircon-less now. Surprisingly or not, my younger daughter Alex had been pining for hers. LOL And I agree that January to February are the best months.

  12. Miguk says

    I am scandalized by my electric bill here. Even in the dead of winter in the U.S. I rarely spent more than $200. Last month my bill here was almost $800!!!!

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