‘Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)’ in Ambergris Caye,Belize.

Weather this morning although not starting out bright,sunny and hot ( wore a sweat top until around 11 am) was a vast improvement when compared to the previous few days. It looked good for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. An opportunity to claw back some of the time lost to the heavy rain.

Feeling good – and everybody is free here to feel good – I thought I would spend a little time whilst drinking my early morning cup of coffee on the veranda reflecting on the progress of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize versus the forty week schedule as the time lapsed has just edged over the thirty percent mark ( for those with a statistical bent today sees us (excluding public holidays from the calculations) hit the thirty-two point nine percent mark).

We have experienced one or two interruptions. Not surprising really when one considers that the build started on 5 November which was slap bang in the rainy season. So to only lose a couple of days to inclement weather is pretty good going. Hope that I am not tempting providence with this!

We have also changed the design/build specifications for the Ground Floor with the addition of a bedroom en-suite and a move of position for the store room. Oh, and we have also changed the design/build for the ground to Ground Floor stairs and the golf cart ramp.

All in all I estimate that we are around two weeks behind where we should have been. Bloody good under the circumstances and a performance by Daniel Camal, our building contractor, and his team that Rose and I are very pleased with. We are also quietly confident that the ‘lost’ time will be recovered.

Anyway, enough of this period of reflection on my part and back to the present, progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today.

Rose and got to the build at around 3 pm and just as I had finished locking the golf cart the rain started to come down. I could see Anhill and Alfredo in the distance working on a form at the front (eastern) side of the house.


Anhill and Alfredo feel the first drops of rain.

The rain then started to really come down and it came down hard. So hard we didn’t make it to the evolving house but only to the bodega ( I, even though Rose had suggested I take it with me, did not have my raincoat – another case of Rose being right!).

The bodega is nothing special. Somewhere to store the tools and for the guys to hang their clothes and rucksacks but boy did it feel special today.


Shovels ready for action – if only!

We could hear the sound of hammers hitting nails in the distance but then the rain got too much for the guys and they retreated to take cover in the water tank. We made entreaties to them to join us in the bodega but only Anhill and Alfredo took up the invitations. Everyone though was in the dry whilst the rain came pouring down.


Looking eastwards from the doorway of the bodega. Our swamp grows!


Wisely the cement is protected with plastic sheeting.

After around 40 minutes the rain started to ease slightly and the guys started to emerge from the water tank but I am sorry to report that I didn’t get any pictures (I will carry a raincoat at all times now). Soon after we could hear the sounds of hammers at work.


Alfredo looking at the wimps in the bodega sheltering from the rain.


A focused Anhill after his respite in the bodega.

Not being as hardy as the guys ( and because I stupidly did not take a raincoat with me) Rose and I left the site to return home for our 5pm meeting with Daniel which was a good one. The major point for us was to ensure that Daniel knows exactly the kind of ‘look’ we want for the internal stairs.


The look we are aiming for – the stairs, not the wall!

Daniel pleasingly confirmed that he will be able to construct the internal staircase in line with our aspiration. He also provided us with a couple of colour treatments for the wood for our kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.


A bit too light for us.


Darker but not quite there.

Daniel will now provide us with a couple more samples with darker treatment.

Saturday, weather permitting, the concrete beams to support the First Floor will be poured.

The headline is based on the 1991 single by Rozalla which reached number six in the UK Singles Chart and number 37 in the US Billboard Hot 100. Pleased to report ( a bit of name dropping here) that Rose and I used to socialise occasionally with Rozalla and her husband Alan Brydon when we lived in the UK.


  1. Harriette says:

    When the weather dries up for a few days so you have some drainage I would like to stop by. You two seem to have similar tastes to me. I have the open plank style stairs from my 2nd level to the loft. Some people here call it level one and what I call the 1st level they call the ground level. It’s always about getting feedback and being clear.
    I also like you idea of dark wood. I’m not sure if you are talking about the treads on the stairs or some thing else but I used Bullet Tree Wood. It is very dark, heavy and strong. It took the boiled linseed oil nicely.
    I like you report on you changes. That is the joy of being on-site. My workers all joked about me always changing things but I always asked “what do you think?” and sometimes they came up with even better ideas..
    I enjoy reading your progress notes, makes me feel not so alone.

    1. Harriette, you are more than welcome to stop by. Suggest you wait until the first floor boards are in. Or the first floor itself. You will know when from the blog. As to the wood samples, they are for cabinets. We haven’t decided on the colour for the stairs yet. It’s on the list though! Regards John

  2. Mike says:

    I really like the stair design. The lack of bulk will really contribute to an open feel.

    1. That is what appeals to us .

  3. Harry the Hornet says:

    And what a wonderful song that was performed by a marvellous singer (shame about her husband!)

    1. Agreed. On all counts.

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