So I'm no John Evelyn, no Samuel Pepys......but now the Philippines blog makes a comeback. The only vaguely interesting news here, and that will be very questionable for many, is that the relief map of Mindanao, possibly only the second ever in the whole wide world, after the Jose Rizal-inspired one in Dapitan in the late 19th century, has had a spruce up. To see it in its former glory, have a look on Google Earth. Just type in 'Colupan', and there's a photo of it. In its glory days, the map featured coloured lights to indicate the 15 major cities. Sadly, after a few years of attempting to sustain what must have been a very dubious underwater wiring network, the map's maintenance team - me - has decided that the lighting had to go, and the wiring was covered over with quick-drying cement.
The last straw, was coming back this year to discover a scene of desolation - see above - a relief map in sad repair. None of the 15 lights worked - in fact, none of the bulbs was intact. A high level enquiry has concluded that the culprits have been narrowed down to about twelve 2-8 year old children, who sadly lacking Dinky Toys, Hornby train sets, even ghastly computer games, take their juvenile kicks from stomping all over the map, and knocking the crap out of it. (They have been rewarded with food, drink, medicine and our loving support, through gnashing teeth, in my case)
To compensate for this sad reduction in night-time visual impact, I have re-painted the map, to reflect the latest political boundaries, though proximity to the actual colours needed has been compromised by my lack of paint-mixing skills. (actually white latex, with a combination of tinting colours). The fountain still works, as does the light at the top of the flag post. (The Philippine flag is raised whenever the Queen of Colupan - Bing - is in residence, and lowered on her departure, which this year will be on 30th April 2013, just in time to avoid the excesses of the barrio fiesta and local mayoral elections)
Well, diary, that is all for now. I have to upgrade the drainage of the front balcony, and then finish off "Oliver Twist", part of a complete set of Dickens inherited from my grandparents.