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Going Over to Suzette’s House

05 Apr

The jeepney rumbled off and we were left to soak in the peaceful atmosphere, hardly anyone around, no bustle of any kind ,just peace and the glorious knowledge of being in parts less travelled. As luck would have it – or should I say the kindness of Anne and Louie, who sorted this adventure out for us as a wedding gift – we landed in Suzette’s homestay which had the best view of the rice terraces.

It is certainly a place conducive to writing, especially on the balcony where all the residents can gather and load up on the free coffee, encouraged by the friendly and welcoming staff.  That first afternoon – just before a generously proportioned meal of chicken and rice – I sat to reflect on our first short walk just taken and the journey that we undertook to get here.  The view (below) was what met my gaze.  A gentle breeze was blowing, a few birds and crickets making their own casual noise, a distant bark of one of the many dogs that roam free up here and plenty of sunshine, It is just the sort of place one would come to write a novel.

With homestays and hostels, there is always a high chance of meeting some really interesting people and as the sun went down, we made the acquaintance of good number of such people.  Plenty of stories of past hikes were being exchanged, mostly in Tagalog which was fine, I got the gist but also enjoyed the game of working out what was being said and piecing sentences together as the rapid fire of conversation bounces around me.

I let the back-and-forths wash over me, keeping only half an ear on its progress, as I gazed out at the darkening scene, the hills slowly becoming mysterious, looming silhouettes.  Every so often a lone traveller’s light would be seen somewhere out in the darkness cautiously making its way over the path between the rice terraces from one of the houses dotted sparingly about.  It reminded me of a book I had when I was young, featuring a memorable story of Will-o’-the-Wisp who lured a small boy to a cruel fate.  The only other thing I remember about that book is the cover which had a central picture backed by a tasteless bright orange border. The association with my current surroundings and the heat from the coffee, as the weather started to close in made me extremely happy and fortunate.

Heading to bed to catch up on some much-needed, uninterrupted sleep, we looked forward to the adventures of the next day which I shall in a symmetrical fashion reveal to you the next day.

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34 Comments

Posted by on 05/04/2018 in The Philippines, Travel

 

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34 responses to “Going Over to Suzette’s House

  1. Jill Weatherholt

    05/04/2018 at 07:03

    Free coffee and a great view…what more could you ask for? Great photographs, Ste J. Thanks so much for sharing with us. We’ll be waiting on that novel! 🙂

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    • Ste J

      05/04/2018 at 07:07

      Haha, it is coming along steadily, what with structure and timelines getting possibly overly complicated in the planning. It was a wonderful place to sit nd enjoy but the real fun was in the exploring.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Jill Weatherholt

        05/04/2018 at 07:08

        It looks great! Derek really enjoyed your pictures, too.

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        • Ste J

          05/04/2018 at 07:18

          Thank you, I am planning to post my final selection tomorrow from the hike we went on, which I think will please your eye.

          Like

           
  2. writersideup

    05/04/2018 at 08:13

    OK, Ste J—WAIT a minute! I’ve been SO removed from SO many things for SO long, I’m feeling like I’m in the Twilight Zone right now. YOU GOT MARRIED?!!! I didn’t even know you were seeing someone lol I just knew you took a break for a while. If this is true and I read this right—CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 oxox

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    • Ste J

      05/04/2018 at 08:22

      Thank you! You read it right, I am happily married and currently sat in The Philippines getting a tan, too much of a tan after the hike I think haha. Life changes quickly sometimes but I seized my chance and am really happy!

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  3. shadowoperator

    05/04/2018 at 09:21

    Hi, Ste J. So, the novel is now underway. I can’t wait to buy it from Amazon. I mean, that’s where I buy a lot of books, and I hope you get a publisher who will sell to them, because disgusting, disreputable giant that they are, they get stuff to me on time. The photos are great, but you know, once again I didn’t get the post, only the comments, even though I’ve always listed as “following” on your website. Of course, I was able to go through the comments and read the post and see the photos, but I don’t understand why the post didn’t come directly as they usually do. Anyway, I watch out for you regularly, so never fear, I’ll get it some way or other. I’m going to try to start posting on my site again, in a couple of weeks, maybe. I really miss doing it, but life just gets in the way sometimes. I’m glad you had fun on your trip. Keep travelling and shooting photos and doing posts. You supply a need for adventure for us all. Hi to Chrissy and the menagerie.

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    • Ste J

      05/04/2018 at 18:34

      Yes underway and coming together well so far. I am happy in the knowledge that first drafts are supposed to be a bit rubbish haha. Maybe you could try the subscribe button on the right hand side of the blog, that will hopefully give direct emails to you, I always find WP a bit hit and miss with emails, sometimes finding emails from bloggers I haven’t visited in ages and wondering where those emails got to. I look forward to your posts and will be keeping my own up as well, the next one should be in a few days and will be the final travel post of this jaunt.

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  4. Carolyn Page

    05/04/2018 at 11:05

    Oh, I’m there, sipping coffee and enjoying the view! A great read, Ste J.
    I understand now the travelling involved in getting to this destination. Totally worth it… 🙂

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    • Ste J

      05/04/2018 at 18:35

      A car would be easier but there is something fun about the long days wandering, the ordeal of getting there, it makes it more rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Liz Dexter

    05/04/2018 at 17:12

    Lovely pictures and what an amazing place. Lovely that your language learning is coming along so well, too – immersion in that sort of experience will really help.

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    • Ste J

      05/04/2018 at 18:30

      I want to be a part of it, it is frustrating that I am not yet but I quite like people watching as well so it works out well both ways.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. macjam47

    05/04/2018 at 20:29

    Amazing views! I wouldn’t be able to get much reading or writing done – the views would have me captivated.

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    • Ste J

      06/04/2018 at 05:56

      It was a challenge to look away from, I tended to write in short bursts with long looks at the scenery in between.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. Liz

    05/04/2018 at 22:10

    This makes you sound like Hemingway or Forster or someone like that – what a wonderful way to experience one’s writing life. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/04/2018 at 05:58

      I will take that compliment! A week or two in the mountains would be great to really have quality writing and exercise time. I think I prefer the mountains to the beach but that depends on where I am at the time I decide.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Liz

        06/04/2018 at 16:50

        I can relate to that – my favourite season is always the one that is next emerging.

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        • Ste J

          11/04/2018 at 07:17

          Yes, it’s the anticipation and those first few days when it fully becomes the next season is great.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  8. Clare Pooley

    06/04/2018 at 08:56

    What a wonderful place to stay! That view!

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 06:50

      We were so lucky to experience it. We just sat and looked at the view for a long while when we arrived, my notebook was filled up that day with thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Lyn

    06/04/2018 at 20:08

    You always give us such beautiful photos, Steve. Looking forward to the next instalment 😀

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 07:04

      Crissy has helped by pointing out framing techniques and such to help my photos. Having said that with the scenery it is hard to do a bad photo.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Sherri Matthews

    06/04/2018 at 23:11

    A perfect place to write a novel! Wow…so you’re really going for it. Fantastic. Now to your next post…

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 07:13

      It is coming along, I am structuring it, asking those difficult plot questions and drafting bits and bons but I hope to be making good headway soon.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. Sherri Matthews

    06/04/2018 at 23:12

    I thought I saw one after this…sorry! So will continue here to say lovely photos and sounds like you’re having a grand adventure my friend 🙂

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 07:02

      I certainly am and have even more to report, this month is insanely busy with doing stuff. Lots of photos will follow.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. Bespoke Traveler

    07/04/2018 at 04:19

    What a grand place in which to write a novel! I love that the landscape reminded you of a book you’d read in childhood.

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 07:27

      I hadn’t thought of that book for years so it was really strange (and welcome) to have it pop into my head. I really want to live in the mountains now, although internet connection is a problem and that is why I couldn’t sulk too much about leaving them.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. LuAnn

    08/04/2018 at 20:27

    Those views look very inviting. Looking forward to hearing more about this adventure.

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    • Ste J

      11/04/2018 at 07:12

      It was a great place and a good primer for the next hike.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • LuAnn

        11/04/2018 at 07:32

        Love to hear about your hikes. 🙂

        Like

         

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