“The Tide Is High” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Regular readers know the score ((if you are not a regular reader then just choose a previous edition -or loads of them (please)). Up early, coffee, blah, blah.

So what did yesterday hold? Well it rained. Nothing new there, it feels like it has been raining for ever. But yesterday wasn’t too bad because when it stopped it was a beautiful, sunny day.

I am not an expert on the subject – in fact I know nothing – but when Rose and I were standing on the veranda yesterday morning (I’m not always out there on my own) we looked out at Lloyd’s guys working on filling our lot that is immediately south of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and it was obvious that the flooding of our waterlogged lot and that of our neighbour, Jason, had been caused by more than the rain. I mentioned this to Rose and quick as a flash she replied “The tide is high“. There’s a lot more to Rose than meets the eye!



Difficult to discern where the land ends (should) and the lagoon begins.

Do you remember the concrete hatches that we had for the water tank under the house and the septic tank by the side of it? You know the ones that we had replaced with the lightweight aluminium ones made by Victor (the welder).


Old concrete hatch for the water tank.

We’d got Lloyd to get his guys to move them to the north side of our lot with the intention that they would form a base for the two foot high rock wall that we are going to have built in a few weeks. That all changed yesterday morning when inspiration ‘hit’ me. Why not use them to fill the gap between the ramp and the front garden.


The ‘cart can get up there but …

So I had a word with Lloyd and within minutes his guys were ‘on the case’.




Three smaller hatches moved.

And then to the big one – the one that had been on the water tank.


“It’s heavy, we need help”.


“That’s better”.


“Phew I’m glad that’s over”.

Three of the guys then went back to land filling leaving their colleague to move the old hatch covers in to position.



Just the big one to go.



It’s in!



It looked like my idea had worked but there was only one way to find out. Drive the golf cart up the ramp.





Mission accomplished!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single by Blondie which was released in 1980 which reached number one in both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Chose a different position this morning to take my coffee (black), my iPad and myself. The rain was coming down (again) when I got up at 05.45 hours this morning (I think that because I have to go up the stairs to go to bed it is making me tireder!) but had stopped by the time I had made my coffee ( black) so I decided to take my chair to the front of the house. First Floor veranda, near the door.


View from my chair.

Now where was I? In yesterday’s edition I got as far as telling you what progress had been made on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize up to Tuesday lunchtime. Today’s edition brings you (and me for that matter) up-to-date.

Around 13.00 hours Charlie and Jerome arrived to finish off the carpentry that had been so abruptly brought to an end on the previous Saturday when they punctured the water pipe in the Utility Room. .

In no time at all they had fitted the shelf and hanging rack


and within minutes we were testing the shelf’s strength with storage bags containing sheets and towels!

They then moved downstairs to fit the hanging rack in the larger of the bedrooms in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment.


Now our guests have somewhere to hang their clothes!

Rafael (aka The Frog) also arrived with Charlie and Jerome and he had come to apply (or so I thought) cement sealant to the patch in the wall in the Utility Room after the shelf had been fitted.

It didn’t take him too long and within minutes he was loading his golf cart ready to depart. But something didn’t feel right. So I ran (I still can) down the stairs to catch him and then I saw it. A can of emulsion. Not cement sealant.

Using a combination of gesticulation and monosyllabic speech I let him know that something was wrong. But what? I then had a brain wave and went to the Store Room/Garage (well it will serve as a garage when we have emptied all of the boxes of our stuff from the UK) and got a tub of cement sealant. Pointing at the can of emulsion and shaking my head in a negative fashion and then pointing at the tub of ‘sealant and nodding my head in a positive fashion he got the message.

Grabbing the sealant he returned upstairs and sponged the emulsion from the affected area and then dried it off (with his ‘T’ shirt no less!) and within minutes the coat of sealant had been applied.


Yesterday (Wednesday in case I have managed to confuse you with my attempt to ‘play’ catch-up) morning Rolando and Rafael (aka The Frog) turned up. Rolando to fix one of the down lights in the living area that wasn’t working (loose connection)


and then the pair of them set about fitting extensions to the drain pipes set in the walls for the Second Floor veranda/roof terrace (the pipes in place were not long enough to clear the walls of the First Floor veranda below).


Northern side.


Southern side.

With a length of pipe, a hacksaw and some adhesive they very quickly set about solving the problem.


Rolando obviously had his mind on other things because I heard Rafael exclaim “Come on Rolando give me the adhesive” (OK he doesn’t speak English but I need a headline) ” You keep me hangin’ on“.

Within no time at all they had fitted extensions for all of the pipes and the water (it was raining again) was clearing the walls of the veranda below.


It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing image but it is effective.


Southern side finished.

Whilst the guys were at work Rose and I spent time in the Store Room/Garage opening crates from the UK and reacquainting ourselves with some of our old ‘friends’ and then carrying them up the two flights of stairs to the First Floor. Again and again. And again.

At around 17.15 hours I thought I deserved a break so I took the camera up to the roof to watch the sunset.


I wasn’t the only one to think that the rooftop was THE place to be!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1966 (the year, co-incidentally, that England won the World Cup) by The Supremes which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eight in the UK Singles Chart.

“The Way We Were” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Now we have moved up to the First and Second Floors (we moved up there after the burst pipe incident on Saturday) I have really been trying to get back in to my routine. You know. Get up early. Make a mug of coffee (black). Grab the iPad and go sit on the veranda.

I’ve got the coffee worked out. I know where the essential ingredients are -coffee, water, kettle, spoon and mug- and I know where I keep the iPad. But the dilemma is which veranda? The heavy rain of the last few days though has made the choice a little easier. The veranda with the best cover – the western (lagoon) facing one on the First Floor.

Decision taken -literally for me- it’s time to move one of the two chairs (fit for purpose) that we have until our patio furniture arrives (more about that in a future edition).


Chair in position.


Coffee (black) at the ready.


And the view was there waiting for me!

Given my irregularity in publishing editions just lately I’m not too sure what I have and haven’t told you. I know I’ve told you that they graded the road. I’ve also let you know that the incessant rain has undone much of this good work. I haven’t though let you know that one plus point of the rain is that last Saturday the water tank (45,000 gallon capacity) became full and the tank overflow pipes went in to action.



Every day since Saturday the overflow pipes have ‘gone’ to work. We use some water and the rain comes along and replenishes it.

Oh the bodega eventually disappeared as well. Not before we had secured the ‘permission to build board’ though.


We don’t know where we are going to place/hang it yet but we intend to find a ‘home’ for it somewhere.


Bodega-less area. Just doesn’t look the same.Currently it feels like we have lost an old friend!

On Monday morning Nicholas came to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to continue (Rafael -aka The Frog- had started the process on Sunday) to finish making good around the pipe that had burst in the Utility Room.


Looking better.

And then he went to the smaller bedroom in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment to re-fit the down light that the water had gushed through on Saturday.


Back where it belongs!

Whilst I was down there with Nicholas (he is a very nice young man and I enjoy talking with him) I noticed that we had another problem. The door to the en-suite for the smaller bedroom could not clear the toilet to shut.


Looks OK doesn’t it.


Not the kind of privacy you need! Time to contact Daniel Camal, our building contractor!

In the afternoon Nicholas returned to apply the finishing coat of cement for the wall in the Utility Room.


Starting to look much better.

Yesterday morning Rolando turned up with a replacement toilet seat. A smaller one that would (hopefully) solve the problem of the non-closing door.


Will it?


Yes! Problem solved.

It was starting to feel like the way we were before the accident.

Read tomorrow’s edition for the remainder of what took place. And what today unfolds!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single by Barbra Streisand which, in 1974, reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number thirty-one in the UK Singles Chart.

“Heroes and Villains” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I will open up today’s edition by apologising to regular readers for the couple of days absence. When I started the blog at the end of October last year I never intended that it would be a daily blog but that I would try to publish a minimum of six editions a week. I haven’t always stuck to this self-made promise but the weeks when I haven’t have been few and far between.

Last week though I just knew that I would struggle. There was just too much going on. In fact even when I have published I have forgotten to include things that I thought might be of interest. For example I had so much on my mind last week that I forgot to mention that someone, somewhere must have known that Rose and I had moved in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Why? Did someone send us a “Welcome to your new home” (we did receive one from my sister Chris)? No, but it was something equally as nice as that. The San Pedro Town Council sent out a team of guys to fill the many and deep potholes of the road north of the bridge. I don’t know how far north of us they went (a bit selfish I know ) but it made the drive back and forth to ‘Town so much more pleasurable. That was until the heavy rains started (and we have had some really rainy days and nights) and I am sorry to ‘say’ that the potholes are already back!


The grader at work at the end of our front garden.

Thursday and Friday were general cleaning up days with only Alfredo and Rafael (a new guy) working on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.. Applying more grout around the windows and sliding doors, painting over dirty/scuff marks, clearing rubbish from the garden and generally tidying up the First and Second Floors.


Alfredo painting near the Pump Room.


Freshly painted base “wall” for the first flight of the entrance stairs.


And the second flight.


Clean up of the bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) on the First Floor.

And Friday Alfredo and Rafael were joined by Rafael (aka The Frog) to start dismantling the bodega. It’s had been in our front garden for nearly a year and had started to look little worse for wear and I thought that it would come down really easily. In fact I thought with a little bit of hammering in the right places it would all down. But I was wrong. The three guys spent the whole afternoon on it and still didn’t manage to dismantle it completely.



Not quite goodbye bodega but …

On Saturday morning Charlie and Jerome, the carpenters, turned up with the remaining bits of woodwork.


Chest of drawers for my walk-in closet.


Supports for the last shelf for the Utility Room.


The remaining shelf!

Around thirty minutes later Rolando and Nicholas turned up with the ‘missing’ toilets. One for Rose’s bathroom, one for my bathroom and one for the en-suite for the smaller bedroom in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment.


Alfredo carrying Rose’s toilet up the stairs.


Nicholas and Rolando taking my toilet up the stairs.


Nearly there.

It was all going so well. And then. Charlie and Jerome became the villains when, in fitting the shelf for the Utility Room, they burst the water pipe for the toilet in the bathroom for the smaller bedroom in the apartment. And then our heroes appeared. Nicholas and Rolando very quickly turned off the water and went in to action.

By removing the light fitting that water was gushing through in the small bedroom in the apartment.



And sticking a bucket under it to catch the water.

Very quickly Nicholas set about exposing the pipe that Charlie and Jerome had punctured.



Go Nicholas, go.

And in no time at all the damaged section had been replaced and covered with a first coat of cement.



We knew who the heroes and villains were on the day!

Oh, by the way, Charlie and Jerome did manage to install my chest of drawers.


The headline for today’s edition is based on the single by The Beach Boys which was released in 1967 and reached number twelve in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eight in the UK Singles Chart.

“Casino Royale” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

After four nights in our new home (albeit in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and not the First and Second Floors that we will eventually move to) I am gradually becoming accustomed to our new surroundings. I now don’t have to think twice about where the coffee is, where my mug is, etc.

I also have decided where my favourite location is to take the coffee and iPad to first thing in the morning. The small flight of steps at the front of the house that lead to the apartment. Its not the most comfortable seating position but the breeze is great.

That’s where I went yesterday morning when I got up shortly after 04.00 hours. A quick read of The Times on-line (I didn’t want to dwell too long on Arsenal’s loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League) and then straight in to producing yesterday’ edition of the blog.

It took me slightly longer than usual to pull the edition together. Covering more typical blogger subject matter (food being yesterday’s choice) required a greater level of thought on my part. I am sure though that with a few editions under my belt it will flow a lot more easily.

After publishing the edition I showered, shaved and got dressed and headed to Estel’s for breakfast (told you things were starting to get back to normal). I didn’t dwell there as long as usual though, I had things to do, people to see.

With breakfast finished I went to the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) office in Pescador Drive to organise the switch of ‘name of account’ from Daniel Camal, our building contractor, to my name. The whole process took around fifteen minutes -partly because the system ‘froze’ but primarily because the lady attending to me took a personal call during which (even with my extremely limited understanding of Spanish) she had a conversation about the refrigerator she is about to buy. With all of the information entered she told me that there was a fee of BZ$ 240 (BZ$200 deposit and BZ$ 40 connection/transfer charge) which I had to pay at Milo’s. Fortunately the office is also located in Pescador Drive so, following a short walk, five minutes later the fee had been paid. BEL will now send someone to read the meter so that a final invoice can be issued to Daniel.

Although I was busy I took time out on the journey home to take a closer look at a building that is under construction north of the bridge just behind the Paradise Theatre.

I was happily snapping away with the camera (getting like a real blogger now because I take the camera out with me!) when I saw a ‘face’ I knew on the building site. It was John Harvey of Robin’s Kitchen.


A familiar ‘action’ shot of John.

Seeing me, John came over for a chat and told me that he is working on the build installing the plumbing ( I had no conception that he was a plumber – you learn something every day!) for what is going to be an office complex and spa – with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. And apparently, when this is built, a casino is going to be constructed. Casino Royale maybe?


Look hard and you can just see the project behind the Paradise Theatre.




Knowing that I had to get back to the house I brought my interlude to an end and got home at 10.45 hours to find the place a hive of activity, Daniel’s guys were working their way through the list of forty-one items that we had sent to him the previous day.

As I parked the ‘cart I saw the chest of drawers for the larger of the apartment’s bedrooms had been finished and delivered.


A quality finish.


And the back too.

The Millenium Ultimate door locks were being fitted to the relevant doors on the Ground Floor,


Lock for the apartment’s front door being being fitted.

As the day progressed the items on the list started to be ‘ticked off’.


Pump Room door lock fitted.


Store Room/Garage door lock fitted.


José bolting the Ground Floor railings and balustrades in place.


Alfredo giving the concrete table on the Second Floor a fresh coat of paint.




Rafael (aka The Frog) on site clean up.


Removing a stubborn post.


And it’s out!


José carrying out repairs on the steps to the Ground Floor apartment.


Clean up around the septic tank and soak-away.



Starting to look tidy.

By the end of the day there were only ten items remaining on the list. Just need our toilets to arrive from Belize City!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1967 by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass which reached number twenty-seven in both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

“Food, Glorious Food” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I am still finding it slightly strange when waking up at our new home. Finding that I veer off in the wrong direction until I remember that we are no longer in the condo we rented during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Can’t remember immediately which kitchen cupboard we have stored the coffee and mugs in.

Remembering takes a little longer when you have more choices. We have more cupboards and drawers in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment we are using until our two floors are completed. There is a greater choice of where to go sit with my first mug of coffee of the day and my iPad when I get up in the morning. No chairs at the moment but a lot more places where it would be great to have one!

After showering, etc yesterday morning and then having breakfast (haven’t made the trip south yet to Estel’s – just know that I will soon though!) Rose tried out the washing machine for the first time. This took a little longer than it should have done because the users manual had ‘gone missing’ (one of the guys on a well meaning tidy-up?) and she had to research via the Internet. It didn’t take her long though because -unlike me- she is a very practical person. AND she understands and PAYS attention to the technical stuff. Me ? My approach is to press buttons (sometimes very randomly) until something happens. Sometimes this approach works but sometimes it can have horrible consequences (or good ones if I want to get out of doing something!).

With the washing done it was great to be able to ‘hang’ it in direct sunlight (for seventeen months the veranda of the condo we rented was where it would hang to dry).


So much space to choose from.


Here will do!

At around 06.45 hours José arrived and he and I had a chat whilst he ate his breakfast before starting work and I (doing so covertly) looked over his shoulder to see the other guys arrive. But nothing. No-one else arrived. Just José. When I asked him where Angel and Alfredo were he told me that they had been moved to Grand Bayman, another project that Daniel is working on. José is good but there is still a fair bit to do before the house can be ‘signed off’ with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, as being complete. This wouldn’t do. We have had enough of waiting. Time for action.

So Rose and I decided to undertake a thorough inspection of the house and compile a comprehensive list of the things still needing to be completed. We started off (armed with a pad, pen and spirit level) at ground level and worked our way, room by room, veranda by veranda, in and around the house.

It took us quite a time but by the time we had finished we had drawn up a list of forty-one items ranging from light switches not being level, to door locks not being fitted, to toilets not installed, missing grouting between tiles, to clearing the rubbish from our lot. We then went in to the apartment and I sent an email to Daniel with out list.

The email brought almost immediate action because within around forty-five minutes Alfredo arrived to take care of the jobs requiring painting. Around fifteen minutes after that Rafael (aka The Frog) turned up to start taking rubbish away. And within thirty minutes of that Daniel arrived accompanied by Rolando and Nicholas.

We then took a tour of the house with Daniel reviewing the items on our list seeing guys on our way around already working on the outstanding items (Daniel had given them copies of my email with their respective tasks highlighted).


Toilet seat fitted for Powder Room.


Rubbish removal from inside the house begins.

In the evening Rose and I decided that we would ‘treat’ ourselves and go out to eat and Rose chose The Reef Restaurant (in Pescador Drive) as the venue.


Brightly coloured, Caribbean themed, exterior.

It’s not the plushest of eateries – simple but very well cooked and presented food served by eager and attentive staff- but does have a decor that cannot fail to remind you of the ‘Sea.


Not the greatest photo but hopefully you get the idea.


It has been some time since we last ate there and the obvious difference we noticed was a bar in the corner (purchased we were told from the now closed Ambergris Delight). The bar is not open for business yet but will be soon. This will bring it closer to what it was when Rose and I first went there perhaps around ten years ago. Why? Well there was a bar in exactly the same spot!


The bar. Not open yet but…

I chose grilled shrimp, rice and beans with green salad


My choice.

I must remember (now that I am moving to mainstream blogging!) to take a photo before I start eating!

And Rose’s


Grilled snapper, rice and beans and green salad.

It was either very good or I was extremely hungry. Or both.


My plate at the finish.

The price? An exceptionally reasonable BZ$ 57 for the two meals, two Belikins and the service tax. Not bad eh?

On the way home we drove down Caribena Street and noticed a frenzy of activity in a brightly lit shop unit. Being the inquisitive (or is it just plain nosey?) type I stopped the ‘cart to take a better look. It’s a new restaurant. Jerri Jonh. An Italian restaurant that opens today (you read it here first).

Rose and I will give it a try soon but in the meantime here’s a look at what’s on offer from the menu.



It just goes to show that there is never a problem finding food, glorious food in San Pedro!

Today’s headline is based on the opening song of Oliver, the musical written by Lionel Bart which premièred in London’s West End in 1960.

“Above the Clouds” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I slept like a baby (or maybe I didn’t? Well I didn’t wake up crying. Or needing to be changed. Or a feed. So why do people use this expression to describe a good sleep?) on our first night in our new home.

OK, so we are currently living in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment whilst the First and Second Floors get finished (still waiting for three toilets to arrive (one for the apartment and the other two for Rose’s and my bathroom), the remaining door locks to be fitted, the closets to be finished (the larger bedroom in the apartment, the bedroom on the First Floor (Rose’s handicraft room) and mine) and the general snagging and tidy up of our lot. But we don’t care too much because we are in.

I wasn’t up as early this morning (told you I slept like a baby) but I was out on the front step (chose a different location to yesterday) with my mug of coffee and the iPad just before 05.00 hours. I mention the step because until we get patio chairs (must get around to placing the Miami shipment order today!) steps are likely to be what I sit on when I venture outside. It’s a hard life!

No reading The Times on-line for me today because I have lots to do so I concentrated for a while on getting today’s edition published but never quite managed to finish it quickly (or by the 06.30 hours target I set for myself some weeks ago).

So what did yesterday hold for us? Well, after publishing yesterday’s edition I showered (and the shower I am using in the apartment is so much better than the one I have been using for the last seventeen months), shaved, got dressed and had breakfast (was tempted to go to Estel’s but I had too much to do) and then drove to town (it seemed really strange going in the opposite direction) to settle the final electricity and water bills for the condo we had been renting.

To do this I had to go to the Belize Water Services office( their offices are very close to Tropic Air Cargo) with the meter reading we had taken and then do the same for Belize Electricity Limited office in Pescador Drive.

With final invoices produced within forty minutes (long queues at both offices) I went to the Atlantic International Bank Limited branch in Pescador Drive (I sensibly went to Belize Electricity Limited last because their offices are virtually next door to the bank) and joined the long queue there. It eventually became my turn and I paid the bills and made a withdrawal.

On leaving the bank though things just didn’t seem right. I didn’t feel that I had fully settled the invoices. A quick look at them told me that my instincts were right. The bank had only taken the money for the previous month’s usage and not up to the point of our departure from the condo we had been renting. Damn. Only one thing for it. Join the queue again!

Around twenty-five minutes later I had accomplished what I set out to do so I set off for home. In Tres Cocos that is! And when I got there the new guy who was working on the soak-away was making good progress on the penultimate coat of cement.


Angel and Alfredo had cleared all of the rubbish from in front of the Ground Floor apartment and it looked much more presentable.



Inside the house José had applied a fresh coat of paint to cover up the marks made when the stair railings had been installed.


After lunch Victor (the welder) and his son Michael turned up with the work that we had commissioned and they set about immediately installing it.



First was the door for the pump area of the well which is at the end of our front garden.



And then set about removing the concrete hatch covers of the septic tank and fitting the new aluminium ones.


Not only do they look good but I can lift them on my own!

He and his son then set about removing the very heavy hatch cover of the water tank.


Seriously heavy hatch cover.


The much lighter replacement.


Old one out, new one in.

They then moved up to the Second Floor’s roof terrace to fit the ladder so that we have access to the roof that is our rainwater collection roof.


The ladder.


Being bolted to the roof by Victor.



With the ladder fitted I just had to try it out and within less than a minute I was up on the roof and feeling like I was above the clouds over the sun setting on another day.


By the time I got back down to ground level the guy who had been working on the soak-away had gone but he had applied the finishing coat of cement.


The headline for today’s (later than normal) edition is based on the title of track seven of the A New World Record album by Electric Light Orchestra in 1976 which reached number five in the US Billboard Hot 200 and number six in the UK Albums Chart.

“Goodbye” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

At long last the BIG day eventually arrived, we moved in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Fifty weeks after breaking ground Rose and I have eventually moved in to our new home. OK, so we have had to move in to the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and not in to our ‘living’ areas on the First and Second Floors (still waiting for the toilets for our bathrooms to be installed, cabinetry in the First Floor bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) to be finished, snagging (levelling light switches and power sockets, painting over scuff marks, cleaning up our lot, etc) to be done. But we are IN.

We know that there is still stuff to be completed in the apartment we are living in too – for example the toilet for the en-suite for the smaller of the two bedrooms has to be installed- but it doesn’t matter too much because. Well, just because.

Yesterday I was up around 04.30 hours and, although I knew we had quite a lot to do I just had to spend some time on the veranda. The veranda that I have grown so attached to over the last seventeen months. So it was me, my iPad and a mug of black coffee.

I spent some time reading The Sunday Times on-line (and particularly the Sports section to read about Arsenal’s latest victory) and then focused (it might not have appeared that way when you read it but I did focus) on creating yesterday’s edition.

Even though there was so much to do I took time out to savour the views that I have enjoyed on so many mornings.


Looking south.


Looking east. The view may not have been much but the sound of the wind rustling the fronds was, at times, mesmerising.

I could have sat there for hours but I couldn’t. Too much to do. So, indoors to finish off the packing and ‘say’ goodbye to the condo that has been our home since we arrived on Ambergris Caye on 31 May 2012.


Kitchen/living area.


Some of the remaining stuff (where did it all come from?) to go on the golf cart.


The last look (the centre of the first floor) at the condo we have called home.

Driving very slowly and carefully so as not to lose any of the bags and boxes loaded on the golf cart we arrived at our house. It sounds so good I am going to ‘say’ that again, “we arrived at our house”, just before 10.00 hours to find the security guard and one guy working all on his own on the landfill for our adjacent lot.


Moving the boards for the next section.

Rose and I then spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon finding places for the stuff we will need until we move upstairs and then we showered (the first use of them in the apartment) and got dressed and went out for a well deserved Belikin (or four) and a Bar-B-Q lunch.

When we got home (I am really enjoying writing ‘home’) we weren’t up for too long before the events of the day caught up with us so we went to bed early.

The problem with going to bed early though is that I then wake up really early and that was the case this morning. Up and outside by 02.50 hours. No iPad. No The Times on-line. Just the mug of black coffee. But it was great. Sitting (OK on a packing crate and not a chair) at the top of the ramp.


Rose joined me at around 05.15 hours and we decided to go up to the Second Floor to see what our views look like at that time of day.


Looking west.


Looking south-west.


Looking north-west.


Looking east.

And then the sun started to rise.


Some view!

Got to bring today’s edition to a close now because I have lots to do.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 2009 by Kristina DeBarge which reached number fifteen in the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Some Girls” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Up before 05.00 yesterday for what I knew was going to be a very busy day. Not so busy though that I couldn’t spend some time on the veranda. I had to drink my coffee somewhere and obviously I had yesterday’s edition of the blog to produce.

Not enough time though to let things distract me. No stopping to ‘people watch’ the locals and tourists out on the beach for their early morning exercise. No gazing out at the ‘Sea watching the fisherman trawling for bait. Or the dive boats loading up with tanks of air. No, this was a day for action.

With the blog completed and published I made and ate breakfast and then Rose and I focused on assembling and packing the remainder of the stuff for our move. We had already decided that although we had arranged for Tony ‘Brown’ to move our stuff for us we would move anything of a fragile/easily breakable nature ourselves.

In between packing I did switch the TV on just before 08.00 hours in the hope that Arsenal’s game against Norwich City would be on. But no. NBC in its wisdom (!!!) had elected to broadcast Manchester United’s game against Southampton. Ludicrous. Who wants to watch Manchester United stutter and stumble again. The good news is that -even without the ‘support’ of NBC – Arsenal won by four goals to one and remain at the top of the Premier League.

Anyway, back to the packing and our move.

After showering, shaving (me that is and not Rose) and dressing we loaded the golf cart and headed up to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 10.45 hours and on our arrival we found Angel hard at work cleaning the floors of the Ground Floor self-contained apartment (our temporary home until the remaining work on the First and Second Floors is completed).

Our first job was to wash the insides of the kitchen cupboards and drawers (the guys had already done this but …) and then the same for the refrigerator, oven (range for non UK readers) and microwave. With this done we carried in, emptied and stored the contents of the boxes we had brought with us.

With that completed we then headed off to Victor’s (the welder) workshop to look at the door for the well and hatches for the septic and water tanks that he and his son Michael are making for us. They are all ‘coming along’ nicely and the door for the well should be ready for fitting on Tuesday.

Back to the condo we have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize for more packing until Tony arrived at 13.00 hours with his two loaders. Two young girls! He must have seen the concern (or was it doubt) on our faces because he very quickly assured us that they were very strong and ‘up’ for the job. And they were. Any doubts I had were dispelled as soon as I saw the smaller of the girls grab a suitcase and fairly fly down the stairs to the waiting trailer. Just goes to show the strength of some girls!

They cleared the suitcases, bags and boxes in double quick time and by shortly after 14.00 hours everything had been unloaded (the girls did get the help of the guys at our house – chivalry isn’t dead) and stored in the house.


Trailer emptied and the loaders (not a bead of sweat to be seen) pose for a photo.


Job done!

With our stuff in the house and a pot plant on the Ground Floor veranda



I took a break to see how the landfill for our adjacent lot was progressing.



On the northern side of the house work was continuing on the soak-away.



Alfredo finishing off the rebar (had to get this in for all of you that found rebar so fascinating!) in readiness for the concrete pour.

Just as we were leaving Rafael (aka The Frog) arrived with the shingle for the pour.


Racing (well you can’t really call it racing when you are in a golf cart but …) back to the condo we loaded some more stuff and then made a return visit to the house and by the time we returned we saw what the guys had accomplished during our absence.


Mirror fitted in the en-suite for the larger of the apartment’s two bedrooms.


And in the other en-suite too.

Remaining shelving installed in the Utility Room (my room)



And the first of the Millennium Ultimate door locks had been fitted by Moses.



Outside the house the pour for the soak-away had been completed.



The headline for today’s edition is based on the title of the album released by The Rolling Stones in 1978 which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 200 and number two in the UK Top 75 Albums chart.

“Movin’ Out” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Conscious of the fact that our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize is drawing to a close. OK we haven’t moved in yet and we have a large garden to landscape.We also have to get the fence erected and have to decide if we are going to have a swimming pool. But one thing is for sure, I cannot continue to write about our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize for too much longer. So, if I want to continue blogging I am going to have to change the subject matter and, maybe, my writing style.

Do I need to become more sensationalistic? More provocative? Does everything I come across need to be AWESOME (it needs to be in upper case so that you know that I seriously care (or do I?)), Is it cute? Will I have to expand coverage to include restaurants, bars, beaches, etc ?

Whoops. Sorry. I started today’s edition before I had my early morning fix of black coffee. Major faux pas. Normal routine resumed (but will it last?). It’s 04.50 hours and I am out on the veranda of the condo we have been renting since we relocated to Ambergris Caye in May last year and I have been reflecting on the fact that we are movin’ out. But I’m rushing ahead of myself. I haven’t told you about what yesterday held for me.

Well. I was up before 05.00 hours and spent some time on the veranda sipping coffee (black) and catching up with the news on the Internet. I then spent some time writing yesterday’s edition of the blog and then published (OK so I just pressed the ‘button’) it.

It was then time to shower, shave and get dressed because Rose and I had a breakfast ‘appointment’ with Kris who is over on Ambergris Caye from his home in Valdosta, Georgia for a few days to monitor progress on the home that Daniel Camal (our building contractor too) is building for him and his brother. Throughout our respective builds Kris and I have exchanged emails and this was an opportunity to meet face -to-face for the first time.

We met Estel’s (where else?) at 08.00 hours and within minutes of introducing ourselves Kris very kindly gave us a bottle of red wine (good stuff that he had bought before leaving America!) to toast our move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

We spent ninety minutes or so talking about the experience of building here (Kris is doing so remotely but he and his brother make fairly frequent visits to monitor progress) and generally getting to know each other a lot better.

After breakfast we ‘ran’ Kris to Graniel’s Dreamland in Pescador Drive so that he could take a look at the furniture that he is having made. Before saying goodbye though we arranged to meet up again at 15.00 hours so that we could look at each other’s builds.

When Rose and I got home she got on the ‘phone to Tony ‘Brown’ (a guy we met around six months ago) to try to organise the move of our stuff from the condo to our new home. Within minutes Rose had managed to agree a fee of BZ$ 150 but Tony wanted to come and look at what needs to be moved to determine if he could get it all on his truck or if he needed to use a trailer too. If he did then the price would need to go up. Whilst we waited for Tony to arrive we emptied a few more drawers and packed a few more boxes.

Tony arrived shortly after 11.00 hours and after a quick look at the six suitcases, three carry-ons, many, many boxes decided that he would use the trailer too. Fearing that the fee might go up Rose went in to overdrive and with a combination of feminine charm and skilled negotiating persuaded Tony to leave the price at BZ$ 150. Tony agreed (I think he feared that if he stayed much longer the fee was only going to go down!) and said that he would have his guys arrive at around 14.00 hours on Saturday.

With the negotiation successfully completed Rose and I loaded the golf cart with some of the more fragile items and drove to our house and got there shortly after 12.30 hours.

After unloading and storing the stuff we took a quick walk-around and seeing that there were still lights to be fitted for the hallway and smaller bedroom of the Ground Floor apartment and a toilet for the bathroom for the smaller of the two bedrooms we would delay our move until Sunday morning. We’ll move our stuff but we will have one more night in the (much emptier) condo.

Back home we had a light snack and then went to collect Kris from the Blue Tang Inn and then drove straight to his build (which is also in Tres Cocos) where he walked us around and explained the layout.

We then drove to our house but before taking the tour Kris took a photo of Rose and I (one of the few photos of us together at the house).


With the ‘photo call’ out of the way we gave Kris a tour of our house with me stopping along the way so that I could take a few photos for today’s edition (dedication eh?).

At ground level the guys had made great progress on the soak-away and leach field with the soak-away pipe having been fitted and buried on a bed of shingle.


Pipe buried.


Soak-away nearing completion.

I noticed that the guys had also started to make good the northern exterior walls where the pipes enter/exit the house.


On the southern side of the house work was continuing on filling our other lot with the guys starting to make an impression on the heavily waterlogged areas.


After a tour of the Ground Floor self-contained apartment we moved up to the First Floor where I saw that Moses had started fitting the remaining shelving for the Utility Room (my room).


To the right of the washing machine and dryer.


Remaining shelf that will be fitted to the right of the sink.

Up to the Second Floor where Moses had fitted the hanging rails for my walk-in closet.



With the tour over we spent some time on the veranda/roof terrace just enjoying the view.


Kris enjoying the view. Well he did have Rose in front of him!

By the time we left our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize it was around 17.50 hours and we took a walk down to the beach where I took a few more photos.




The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1977 by Billy Joel which reached number seventeen in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number thirty-five in the UK Singles Chart.

“One Day at a Time” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The exertion of packing so much stuff on Wednesday must have got to me because I didn’t wake up until around 04.45 hours yesterday. Still early but…

Out on to the veranda with my iPad and a mug of black coffee for a couple of hours of ‘me’ time before Rose got up.Spent a bit of time reading The Times on-line and then focused on finishing off yesterday’s edition of the blog.

After a shower and a shave I got dressed and had breakfast (and another mug of black coffee) by which time Rose was up and ready for us to resume packing. This time the focus was on the paraphernalia we have managed to accumulate since relocating to Ambergris Caye.

Going through the cupboards and drawers I was amazed by just how much stuff we have managed to accumulate in just seventeen months. We came across stuff that we brought with us from the UK but there was still a hell of a lot of stuff that we have acquired since being here.

Working as a team we filled box after box clearing a drawer or a cupboard at a time and as each one was filled, strapped and stacked the condo we have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize looked more and more like a storage facility.

I took time out to make contact with (Ismael) Milin Gomez who we have decided we want to appoint as our Customs Broker for the shipment we are going to organise from Miami. After a couple of attempts I managed to get through to Milin and he explained what I need to do -essentially get my list of purchases formally approved by the Belize Tourism Board – and what his and the other fees will be (between BZ$ 300-500 for him and then fees for an inspection by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (I don’t why but this body is required to ‘clear’ imports), a fee from Customs (storing/handling the container) a fee for the inspection by the Customs officials and then a fee for a truck to take the container to our chosen barge operator. All up these fees will add up to over BZ$1,000. Then, of course, is the charge for barging the container to Ambergris Caye and delivering it to our home.

With Milin appointed I resumed working with Rose to clear a few more cupboards then we freshened ourselves up, had a late lunch and at around 14.15 hours headed off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize stopping on the way at numerous stores so that Rose could compare prices for the buckets, mops and brooms that we need for our new home (the guys are doing a good job cleaning the house up but…).

After what seemed like an age Rose had made her decisions and with a few purchases made at Riches Supermarket and a few in Castillo Hardware we had what we needed and eventually got to the house around 15.30 hours.

We went straight up the stairs to the First Floor and in to the hallway where we saw that Moses had started fitting the shelving in the hall closet (our mud room).


Just the hanging rail (for our raincoats) to go.

In to the kitchen where we saw that Moses (he has been a busy boy) had fitted the remaining handles for the cabinets.




Up the stairs to the Second Floor where I found that Moses had also ‘found’ time to install the second of the shelving units for my walk-in closet.



With the shelving units in place they can now fit the skirting (base tiles) and Jose at ground level was cutting the tiles to size for this.


Back down to the First Floor where we found Alfredo in the north-west corner of the veranda applying a tidy-up coat of emulsion to the walls.


Looking out at the Caribbean I saw some holidaymakers enjoying some fishing.


Recognise anyone you know?

Down below work had started on the soak-away and leach field for the septic tank.



Ground level views.



To the south of the house work continues on land filling the other lot that we have.


Working their way towards the waterlogged section.

And then they can tackle the area near the lagoon.


With our move so close Rose and I have decided that it is no use panicking. We will approach things one day at a time.

As we were leaving the sun was just setting.


The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1979 by Christy Lane which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The song was also released in the same year by Lena Martell and her version reached number one in the UK Singles Chart.

“Golden Years” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Up just before 04.00 hours yesterday morning to find when I got out on the veranda with my coffee (black) and iPad that it had rained during the night/ early morning (couldn’t tell you which because the sound of rain has no chance of waking me from my sleep).

Straight to The Times on-line to read the various articles covering England’s victory the previous day over Poland. I know that I watched the game but …

I then set about producing yesterday’s edition of the blog and finished pulling it together and publishing it around 06.00 hours when I showered, shaved and dressed. I had to get out early so that I could meet Victor (the welder) to give him the money for the materials he needs to buy for the hatch covers for the septic tank that he is going to make for us before he caught the 07.30 hours Belize Water Taxi to Belize City. I did this with time to spare – met him at 06.45 hours – and then headed off to Estel’s for (in my opinion) a well deserved breakfast. And, while I was there, started to write today’s edition.

With breakfast finished I went to Atlantic International Bank‘s branch in Pescador Drive to make a withdrawal (yes another one) and then went to the San Pedro Town Council‘s offices to enquire about the requirements for the occupancy of our new home.

In the “San Pedro Town Council Local Building Authority Policies” leaflet that it issues it advises that an Occupancy Permit is required. Not wishing to be in breach of any rules or regulations I wanted to apply for such a permit. I got a very quick (and helpful) response when I was informed that they are not issuing them currently because they do not have a Building Inspector. The position is currently vacant.

Whilst in the offices I also asked about the Clean Up Campaign that commenced on 7 October for one week that was subsequently extended by a further week. In a effort to clean up the lots and streets of San Pedro the ‘Council is operating a free clean up service and I thought that this would be ideal for the three adjacent lots that we have in Fire Coral Street in San Pablo.

Richard, the young man at the Reception Desk, was extremely courteous and told me that if there was rubbish there he would personally go to carry out an inspection and determine what would be required to remove it and he gave me his telephone number to contact him.

It’s some considerable time since I have been to Fire Coral Street so I had no real idea if rubbish was still an issue. So, only one thing to do and that was drive there. But I still had loads of things to do. And then I had a brainwave. Contact Laurie (aka Tacogirl) who lives very close to our lots and ask her if she would take a look for me. She readily agreed and within minutes had sent me photographs. Photographs that quite clearly show that our lots are not the rubbish tip that I feared that they would be.


Car parts near the brush and trees that we had cleared.



I didn’t get around to ‘phoning Richard back but will do today because once the car parts and rubbish bags are removed we will burn the brush, etc and have a fence erected. Thanks Tacogirl for your help.

I got back to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize shortly after 09.00 hours and then , with Rose, set about packing our stuff.

We went at it with real determination and, working as a team, systematically filled up the suitcases. All six of them. We then filled the carry-on bags (three) and then started to fill up the boxes. We still have some remaining items to pack but there’s little doubt that we have ‘broken the back’ of it.

Pleased with our efforts we had a light snack for lunch, freshened up and drove to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 15.15 hours.

Starting off in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment we saw that Angel had been at work with the paintbrush and roller in the kitchen/living room.



Gleaming white walls.

In the kitchen area Moses had finished fitting the cabinet handles.


And in the en-suite for the larger of the two bedrooms the first toilet seat had been fitted.


Up to the First Floor where we saw that Alfredo had finished varnishing the staircase.




A few feet away from us Moses had started applying the finishing coat for the kitchen wall cabinets.



Having finished varnishing the stairs Alfredo had turned his attention to cleaning up and was busily sweeping the western (lagoon side) veranda.


With the stairs varnished we were able to go up to the Second Floor and I was pleased that we could because I was able to see that Moses had started work on fitting out my walk -in closet.


There’s still quite a lot to do before we move in to the Ground Floor self-contained apartment on Saturday but we know that we are temptingly close to being able to spend our golden years in our new home in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1975 by David Bowie which reached number eight in the UK Singles Chart and number ten in the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Another Day in Paradise” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Up just before 04.00 hours yesterday morning and on the veranda with my coffee and iPad within minutes of this (well it doesn’t take too long to make instant coffee – really good coffee is sadly wasted on me).

Straight to The Times on-line to read the pre match articles about England’s all important World Cup qualification Group H game versus Poland later in the day. The consensus of opinion was that we should win it but would it be a nail biter?

I then spent a bit of time looking at forward predictions for exchange rates for sterling versus the US dollar. When you live in a foreign country and your assets are in a different country the exchange rate you achieve can have an important bearing on your standard of living. We don’t have to exchange any sterling just yet awhile but if the market moves favourably then it makes sense to convert sterling to US dollars. The rate has improved lately but I have a gut feeling that it may improve a bit more so I am going to hold fast just a little bit longer. Time will tell , of course, if my instincts proved to be correct.

With this decision taken I turned my attention to creating (sounds very artistic, or should it be pretentious, doesn’t it ) yesterday’s edition of the blog. This took me an unusually long time ( around ninety minutes – if you read it I know that this will be hard to believe but it’s true …) to complete and I didn’t finish it until just before 06.30 hours. I think I allowed myself to be distracted too easily by people walking the beach. People watching can be fun (I suppose there is a bit of voyeurism in all of us) but sometimes -if you allow it (and I did) – it can be all consuming.

With the blog published I showered, shaved, got dressed and made myself some breakfast and not long after I had finished it Rose had joined me ‘in the land of the living’ so that we could resume and complete our selection of the items that we are going to purchase in and ship from Miami for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

This took us around ninety minutes but it was time well spent. We now have to type up the list so that we can send it to our Customs Broker for submission to the Belize Tourism Board so that we can import under the auspices of the Qualified Retirement Programme and have duties and taxes waived. Having already checked with Roshel Godfrey of the Belize Tourism Board we will also place our orders in anticipation of the purchases being approved.

We completed our ‘shopping’ expedition’ and then focused on packing but in what seemed no time at all the time had come to set off for Pedro’s Hotel for the lunch that Pedro (aka Peter Lawrence) had organised as a pre-cursor to the England game.

There were nine of us for lunch and four of us were English but those that aren’t wanted England to win (well at least they said they did). And they did but it was a nail biting affair. We (well four of us at least) were on tenterhooks until with two minutes of the game remaining Steve Gerrard broke forward and scored the second , and clinching, goal. England is going to Brazil next year!

Feeling very elated Rose and I made our thanks to Peter for another great lunch (would it have been as good though if England hadn’t won?) and said our goodbyes to everyone and set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there shortly after 15.15 hours.

As we approached the house we could see that Victor (the welder) and his son Michael had not only finished welding the remaining railings and balustrades but had also sprayed and bolted them in place.


View looking west.


View looking north-east.


View looking south.

With the railings in place Angel was busily applying a ‘touch up’ coat of emulsion to cover up the scuff and dirt marks on the exterior walls of the self-contained apartment.


Walls starting to gleam.

In the apartment we found Moses , happily recovered from his fever, fitting the handles for the cupboard doors and drawers.


Up the stairs to the First Floor and in to the Utility Room where I found that I had been wrong. When I had seen slatted shelving on the previous visit I had assumed that they were for my walk-in closet.


Well, I was wrong because Moses had fitted them in the Utility Room. Just where they were intended for!




Around in the living room area we found Alfredo lying down on the job. He was varnishing the underneath of the treads of the stairs!


Where else would you get paid for lying down on the job!

Alfredo had already varnished the tops of the treads so we couldn’t go up to the Second Floor. And nor could Moses to actually fit the shelving for my walk-in closet!

Before leaving our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we (well Rose actually because she ‘takes no prisoners’) spent a bit of time with Victor (the welder) negotiating a price for three stainless steel hatch covers to replace the concrete ones currently on the septic tank.


With the successful (well we think it was) negotiation completed we took one last look at our house


and set off for ‘home’ having enjoyed another day in paradise.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1989 by Phil Collins which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two in the UK Singles Chart.

“Another Day” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

With just under a week to go before we move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize I was out on the veranda yesterday morning with my mug of black coffee and a pad. Not the iPad this time but a writing pad. Time to start writing the list for the things we have to do in preparation for the move.

We have already cancelled our cable TV and Internet services with Coral Cable for the condo we are renting and made arrangements with Coral Cable for a TV service for our new home and have replaced the Internet service provider by moving to Smart.

We have also organised meter readings with BEL for electricity and BWS for water for this Friday so that on moving we can settle these bills.

Now though is the time to finalise arrangements for our move. Time to start clearing out the cupboards and drawers. Time to start packing the suitcases and bags. Oh and the boxes that Rose has very sensibly been collecting for the last few months.

We know that we have six suitcases and three ‘carry-ons’. We are also fairly well convinced that we will fill at least four to five boxes. Far too much to fit on the back of the golf cart. Even with the back seat folded down. A lot of stuff to carry down two flights of stairs and then walk fifty to six yards to get to the golf cart. So, we have decided to make life easier for ourselves and hire a removal guy.

There are one or two guys on Ambergris Caye that do this and you see them in their trucks -normally pulling a trailer behind them – but I stupidly have never bothered to take a note of their telephone numbers. So, now I am frantically (well a bit of an overstatement but you know what I mean) watching to see one of them on the streets around and about Ambergris Caye. Like the proverbial London bus though its proving to be a case of “you never see one for ages and then …”. I’m just waiting for the “and then”!

With a start on the packing made – two suitcases filled with clothes – I decided that I had done enough to deserve a breakfast at Estel’s so showered, shaved, got dressed, grabbed the iPad, said goodbye to Rose and drove to town.

On the way there I saw Mose’s colleague and we waved and shouted “good morning” to each other. I drove down an unusually quiet Barrier Reef Drive and saw Victor (the welder) and his son Michael. Strange. Why weren’t they working on our build in Ambergris. Caye, Belize?

I parked the ‘cart and walked down the alley to Estel’s ready for my breakfast and then … The doors were locked. Estel’s wasn’t open. But it was Monday. They close on Tuesday. And then it ‘hit’ me. This wasn’t just another day. It was Columbus Day, a public holiday.

Feeling disappointed I got back in to the cart and returned to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and then made breakfast. Not as good as it would have been at Estel’s but …

Rose and I then knuckled down to finalising the list for the purchases we are going to make in Miami and ship to Belize. After spending nearly four hours on this we are nearly there. Just a few remaining items to make selections for and we can start the ordering process (after I let our bank know first!).

With our eyes tired and our finger tips tingling we then had lunch and decided that even though it was a public holiday we would go visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize anyway.

On the way there we drove down (or up?) Angel Coral Street (back street) and saw a brightly coloured trailer adorned with brightly coloured balloons. What could this be for?


Stopping to ask one of the many adults shepherding the children we found out that they were going to take part in a parade on Columbus Day to celebrate Dias de las Biblia (the day of the bible).



He couldn’t wait for it to start.

Continuing on way we got to the house around 15.15 hours and not surprisingly found only the security guards but we could see evidence that not everyone had taken the day off.

To our left (looking south) it was obvious that Lloyd’s guys had been at work with the landfill for the ‘spare’ lot that we have.



Aerial shot.

In front of the Store Room /Garage we could see that Victor (the welder) and his son Michael had made a good start on the remaining railings.



The section of the Ground Floor that the railings are for.

There was also evidence that Moses had been at work. The carpentry for my walk-in closet had been delivered.




Top shelf. Useful for storing suitcases.


Slatted shelving for my T shirts. Hopefully this will allow the air to flow through.

Inside the self-contained apartment Moses had started work on applying varnish for the cabinets.


There had also been a delivery of the concrete blocks that will be required for the soak-away for the septic tank.


There wasn’t a lot to see but more than we had expected once we realised that it was a public holiday.

On the way home we stopped off at the Boca del Rio Park to take a look at the assembly for the parade to Central Park.







The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1971 by Paul McCartney which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and number five in the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Higher and Higher” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

With an appointment at The Dental Center yesterday at 10.00 hours I took an executive decision (sounds grand and terribly important doesn’t it) not to publish an edition.

I was up before 05.00 hours and didn’t have to leave home until around 07.45 hours so I had time to produce an edition but I just wanted to chill out. So I did.

When it was time to go Rose took me to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal and I caught the 08.00 service and arrived in Belize City shortly after 09.30 hours and, given that I had a little time to spare, I made the short walk to Brodies in Albert Street to pick up a couple of grocery items and then took a taxi to Mercy Lane for my dental appointment.

First off Doctor Pedro Habet removed the seven stitches that had been inserted last Friday when the bone for the remaining implant had been grafted. With this completed he then did three fillings and then finished off the session by giving my teeth a thorough clean and polish. That’s it now until next April/May when I will return to have the implant fitted.

Leaving the surgery around 12.15 hours I knew that I had plenty of time on my hands before the 13.30 hours water taxi back to Ambergris Caye so I got a taxi to the food stand located south of the Swing Bridge where I bought a couple of (huge) cheese rolls and a bottle of water. A bargain at BZ$ 5.

The time passed fairly quickly at the terminal – I managed to complete the book I have been reading for a few weeks – and with adroitness (and a degree of cunning) I secured a seat near one of the doors on the packed boat for my return journey.

Before we set off though they drew the raffle (they had given all travellers a ticket) for the prize of a bottle of tequila . I missed winning the prize by two numbers but have to compliment Caye Caulker Water Taxis for this nice touch.

Given the amount of luggage that had to be stored on the ‘taxi (shrubs, dog food, boxes of fruit, wood, chairs, get the picture?) we departed later than scheduled (not at all uncommon) and as a consequence didn’t arrive in San Pedro until 15.15 hours.

I took the short walk to Barrier Reef Drive where I found Rose waiting for me (I had ‘phoned her when we set off from Caye Caulker) and we headed straight to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to drop off the stuff I had bought at Brodies and we then drove straight to our house.

On arrival we went straight in to the Ground Floor self-contained apartment to find that Edgar (the granite man) had fitted the granite for the island cum table.


And he had started to fit the backsplash.


Walking through the apartment we found Alfredo who had been busily varnishing the doors.


Door for the en-suite of the larger of the two bedrooms.


Door for the larger bedroom.

We then went up the stairs to the First Floor and found evidence of what Moses had been concentrating on. Fitting the handles for the cabinets in the kitchen.





Kitchen island.

Moses still has some handles to fit but this shouldn’t take too long because he has already drilled the holes.


Pantry doors ready for the handles.

On the other side of the room Mose’s colleague (haven’t found out his name yet) was applying sealant (three coats of this before the varnish will be applied) to the stairs.


And Angel was applying emulsion to the walls surrounding the stairs to cover up the handprints and scuffs that had been made when the staircase was fitted.


With the staircase in place we just had to go up to the Second Floor if only because it’s so nice to be able to go higher and higher without using the scaffold!

On the way out we took a quick look in the Ground Floor apartment and saw that Edgar (the granite man) had fitted some more of the splashback.



Wall around the splashback and socket now needs to be ‘made good’.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1967 which reached number six in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eleven in the UK Singles Chart.

A “Happy Birthday” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Another rainy start to the day (well the start of my day anyway) when I got up yesterday just before 05.00 hours.

The rain wasn’t strong enough to stop me from taking my mug of black coffee and iPad out on to the veranda. Well not initially at least. Time enough to scan read The Times on-line and make a start (a later than I wanted to) on yesterday’s edition of the blog. But then it changed and the rain really came down and the wind drove it in to the covered veranda. Time for a quick retreat in to the condo.

Being ever flexible in my approach to how I am going to spend any day I decided that I would shower, shave, etc and head to Estel’s for breakfast and finish off the blog there. I know that a short while ago I said I would try to publish by 06.30 hours but its not set in stone!

It was rainy when I set off from the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize so the raincoat came out (again) and when I got to Estel’s the tables that provide cover from the rain were all taken so I was ‘forced’ to sit inside. Not the biggest hardship in the world but not as good a view as you get from the ‘deck’ outside. There was a bonus though. With the view not being as good I did focus on the blog and managed to complete the edition, albeit a few hours later than my target time.


Beats a café in London.

When I got ‘home’ I spent some time taking care of emails with the most important being an exchange with Hyde Shipping which revealed that the cost of shipping a twenty foot container from Miami to Belize City will be US$ 1,335. Now just need to finalise what Rose and I will fill it with!

After a light lunch Rose and I headed north to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and pulled in to our lot around 15.30 hours.

Our inclination was to go straight up to the First Floor to see how work on the internal stairs had progressed but we ‘forced’ ourselves first to take a look in the self-contained apartment on the Ground Floor to see if any further work had been done in there. We knew – because the granite for the kitchen cum table was still on the workbench in front of the house – that Edgar (the granite man) had not turned in for work again but that didn’t mean that other stuff might not have been done. And we were right because Rolando and Nicholas had started fitting the four inch diameter down lights in the kitchen/living room.


Some of the lights fitted.


Slightly larger but a good ‘match’ with the other lights.

Up the external stairs to the First Floor where we saw that the down lights had been installed in the bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room).


And in the Powder Room too.


All very illuminating (sorry about the pun) but what about the internal stairs?

As we got to the end of the hallway we saw it. Victor and his son Michael had fitted the handrail and balusters for the top flight of the stairs.


We had got there just in time because – to provide better access – the scaffolding (which has been in situ for months – had to come down.


Moses supervising the dismantling.



One section to go.


And it’s gone!

With the area cleared of the scaffolding Victor and Michael commenced installing the handrails and balusters for the first flight.




Last section welded in to place.

Seeing that the sun was about to set (two hours had passed since Rose and I had arrived) we went outside on the veranda).


Sun sets over Pirate Villas.

By the time we got back inside the house Moses and his colleagues had nearly finished positioning the treads in place.


Alfredo putting the last tread in place.

Although the treads still needed to be screwed in to position we could at long last see what the stairs are going to look like.


Looking down from the landing on the Second Floor.


Another view from the landing.


View from the First Floor. Nicholas trying out the stairs!

With this edition ‘out of the way’ I can now turn my thoughts and energy to making this a super day for Rose. Why? I ‘hear’ you say. Well because thirty-nine years ago today (I did say I am going to make it a super day!) she was born and I am determined that she has a happy birthday.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1981 by Altered Images which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart.

“Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Up at around 04.00 hours yesterday morning and managed to spend a bit of time on the veranda before the rain started and I had to move inside.

It didn’t last too long though and I was able to complete yesterday’s edition in the fresh breeze that followed the rain.

With the edition out of the way I started ‘work’ on the clean-up/packing that we have to go through before moving from the condo we have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. I must have been making a bit too much noise (or just enough noise, if you know what I mean!) because it wasn’t long before Rose joined me and then it was a case of ‘many hands make light work’!

After showering, shaving and dressing I had time for a late breakfast before Rose took me to the Maya Island Air terminal to catch the 12.00 hour flight to Belize City’s Municipal Airport. Maya is running a promotional offer during the month of October and my single ticket cost me BZ$63 in stead of the usual BZ$89.

We landed shortly after 12.30 hours – after dropping off three passengers at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport – and within ten minutes Jose Gomez of Belize Logistics Services Limited collected me and we went straight to the Customs Department to obtain permission to move the two crates of personal stuff that we had shipped from the UK.


Customs Department building

We started off at the Cashier’s to locate the consignment


and then went from corridor to corridor, to empty office after empty office (well it was lunch time)


until we found a Custom’s official who had authority to sign off the paperwork.

With the paperwork signed we headed across the road to the warehouse where I found out that there was an invoice for the sum of BZ$ 143.50 to be paid (storage and loading charges) to the Port of Belize Limited before the consignment would be released. I tried- aimlessly- to argue that the invoice value was incorrect but ultimately I paid the price. I wanted our stuff!

We were then allowed in to the warehouse where we quite quickly found our crates



We now had to get them moved to the Krystal Shipping barge and after what seemed an age (probably because it was) the crates were loaded on to a lorry (truck for non UK readers).


Small crate on.


Large crate exiting the warehouse on a forklift.


Large crate loaded.


And we’re off!

Straight to Krystal Shipping’s barge where we sat and we sat waiting for a forklift to unload the crates. The time was getting closer and closer to 17.00 hours, four hours after arriving at the Port, and I was starting to get worried that I would miss the last flight of the day (17.30 hours) back to Ambergris Caye. Jose though came to the rescue when he managed to persuade Caribbean Depot and Shipping Services ( a rival barge operator) to use their forklift.


Large crate off the truck.


And on to the barge.


Small crate on its way to the barge.

With the crates safely loaded Jose displayed Formula 1 type skills to get me to the Municipal Airport with five minutes to spare.

The barge will leave Belize City some time today and we should (fingers crossed) get our stuff delivered to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize tomorrow.

At long last this saga appears to be coming to an end and I am mightily relieved because it seems like I have wasted days and wasted nights on what should have been a relatively simple matter.

Rose was waiting for me when the plane landed around 17.50 hours and we decided to head north and see what had been done during the day at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

As we approached the house we saw that quite a few of the lights were on. What were the security guards doing? As we drew closer though we just knew that Moses was installing the internal stairs so we made our way up to the First Floor to find that our assumption was correct.


Stringer for the second flight being presented to the wall.



Moses making a few adjustments before presenting the stringer again.


Hopefully it will fit this time.

Before leaving the guys to finish the stairs we took the opportunity to try out the lighting on the First Floor veranda because we had never been at the house after dark.


Northern side veranda.


Western (lagoon) side veranda.

When leaving we also got to see how the lights in front of the Ground Floor self-contained apartment work.


It’s dark up north!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1975 by Freddy Fender which reached number eight in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one in the US Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Interestingly Fender originally released the song as a single in 1959.

“Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Must be starting to feel slightly better because yesterday morning I woke just before 02.00 hours. I tried to get back to sleep but failed miserably so I got up, made myself a mug of black coffee, grabbed the iPad and headed to the veranda.

I stayed out there long enough to have a ‘scan’ read (including the match report for the West Bromwich versus Arsenal match) of The Times on-line and finish my coffee but then I started to feel tired (which I feel is being caused by the painkillers and anti-bacterial tablets I am taking) so I went back to bed and slept through until 05.15 hours when I got up and went through the routine again.

I then set about pulling together yesterday’s edition of the blog and pressed the publish icon around 07.25 hours, nearly one hour later than the publishing target time I set myself a few weeks ago. Not bad though. Not something I am going to berate myself about.

I then showered, shaved and got dressed and headed off to Estel’s for breakfast – my first visit since It re-opened last Wednesday after a short ‘slow-season’ closure. Not too many people there so the service was exceptionally quick and the coffee was replenished frequently.

Checking the blog on my iPad I saw the edition I had created no more that ninety minutes before disappear before my eyes. A technical horror story. No matter what I tried I couldn’t retrieve it. As far as my iPad and the Internet were concerned it just didn’t exist. Some of you had read it but it no longer existed!

Deciding that sitting at Estel’s , as enjoyable as it is, was not the place to try and fix the problem, I went to the bank to make a withdrawal and pay the Belize Electricity Limited bill. With the ‘chores’ out of the way I returned to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and set about recreating yesterday’s edition again. It took me around sixty minutes – longer than I thought it would – with much of this time being spent trying to remember what I had written and in what order I had written it. Don’t know why I bothered really because the original no longer exists. Only it’s replacement.

I hadn’t been finished long when the ‘phone rang. It was Jose Gomez of Belize Logistics Services Limited, our stuff from the UK was going to be inspected by Customs and could I get to Belize City between 13.00 to 16.00 hours ? Of course I could, I told him.

Rose and I had just finished working out my travel plans when the ‘phone rang again. It was Jose. “Hold fire on travelling over. The weather has taken a turn for the worse. Delay your visit until tomorrow”, he told me. So, I did and Rose and I, instead, took a drive to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

We got there shortly before 15.00 hours and on arrival met Daniel Camal, our building contractor, which was fortuitous because I had a cheque for him to cover some ‘additional to contract’ work that has been undertaken.

We spent a little time talking with Daniel and then took a walk around.

Outside the Ground Floor self-contained apartment was Victor (the welder) and his son who were working on the railings for the internal stairs that will connect the First and Second floors.


Aluminium railings that will be polished when finished.

Close by Moses was under a tarpaulin sanding down the treads for the internal stairs.



Treads waiting to be sanded.

Whilst we were there Moses finished cutting one of the supports (which I think is called a stringer)


and then with his colleague carried it up to the First Floor.



And through the door.

Not far from us the ‘snagging’ continued with Angel painting over the scuff marks on the entrance stairs that the fitting of the railings has caused.


Angel working on the first flight.


And then the second flight.

Seeing that the granite for the island for the Ground Floor apartment was still on the workbench in front of the house we realised that Edgar (the granite man) had taken too much of the sugar cane derivative during the weekend so there would be no further progress until Tuesday.

Inside the house Alfredo was fitting dowels/plugs in the door panels before he rubs the panels and the doors down and applies varnish.

To the south of the house work continues to ‘fill’ our adjacent lot.


A long way to go but it is starting to look much tidier.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released by Janet Jackson in 1993 which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number six in the UK Singles Chart.

“Mirror in the Bathroom” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I mentioned in yesterday’s edition that Rose and I stayed at Ian’s bungalow in Price Barracks on Thursday night.

Influenced by the wine of the previous evening I had a uninterrupted night’s sleep and didn’t get up until around 07.00 hours. Late by my normal standards but understandable. After showering and getting dressed Rose and I had breakfast and headed off to The Dental Center for my appointment with Doctor Hernadez.

I don’t remember a great deal about my time there. I remember going in to the surgery at around 11.15 hours and saying hello to Doctor Hernandez and the anaesthetist. I remember the anaesthetist injecting me and then I don’t remember much at all apart from coming around and feeling groggy and going back to sleep again. And then waking up again and then going to sleep again.

Eventually I felt with it enough to travel back to Price Barracks and when we got to Ian’s place I tried to eat but after around seven or eight spoonfuls gave it up as a bad job. I was suffering from acute indigestion and swallowing the food proved to be extremely ponderous. I was also feeling somewhat drowsy again so I went to bed and had a sleep for a few hours.

I eventually awoke around 19.00 hours (ish) and showered and dressed and then Rose, Ian and I went to the Mess (which is now operated by the Royal British Legion) to meet Frank and Dan.

We had a few drinks there (all priced extremely cheaply when compared to Ambergris Caye) and then headed off to the Hour Bar & Grill for something to eat.

The menu had quite an extensive choice (reasonably priced as well) and I was tempted by a few of the dishes on offer. Common sense prevailed in the end though and I chose Baked Potato soup cleverly served in the end of a loaf of bread.

We had a few drinks there (by then I had switched to a fizzy drink to try to ease my indigestion) but all of us were feeling the effects of the previous night at the Wine Club and agreed to call it a night and head for home.

Not surprisingly I had no trouble sleeping and woke up in good enough time to join Ian in watching the Manchester City versus Everton game on the British Forces TV service. We watched a bit of the Liverpool versus Crystal Palace game but then Ian had to go to his office to finish off some work. So, Rose and I walked to Frank’s house where we watched a bit more of the game before he very kindly drove us to the Municipal Airport where we caught the 11.40 hours Tropic Air flight to San Pedro.

We landed just before noon when I took a short walk to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill to collect our golf cart (they had very kindly let me leave it there for safe keeping) and back to the airport to collect Rose and our bags. We then drove to the condo we are renting where we unpacked, got a wash on and had some lunch. And then we were ready to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We hadn’t been there for around fifty hours!

We arrived at our lot around 15.00 hours and went straight to the self-contained apartment on the Ground Floor where we found that Edgar (the granite man) had started fitting the countertop.



Looking good.

Time to go up to the First Floor and on the way take a close look at the railings.




In to the hallway when we couldn’t fail to see that Rolando had been busy during our absence.


Toilet installed in the Powder Room.


And in the en-suite for the bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) too.

Through to the kitchen where we could see that Moses had finished fitting and painting the doors for the Pantry.


Doors closed.


Doors open to reveal a cavernous cupboard.

It was also obvious that Alfredo had been busy with the varnish.



Doors and drawers gleaming!

Through to the Utility Room (my room) where we could see that Moses and Rolando had been at work.


Laundry tub installed.


Cabinet doors ready to be fitted.

Around in the living room area Moses was working on the internal stairs that will connect the First and Second Floors.


Moses creating the landing between the two flights of stairs.


Planks of mahogany ready to be converted in to treads for the stairs.

Stepping carefully around Moses I clambered up the scaffolding to the Second Floor (noticing on the way that Rolando had finished fitting the pendant lights)


to see if José had been up there. He had because there was a mirror in the bathroom. My bathroom!



No, it’s not a reflection. I just decided to include two photos!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1980 by The Beat which reached number four in the UK Singles Chart.

NB If for some strange reason you have visited this edition twice you may believe that it is different to what you read previously. Well, you’d be right. The original edition disappeared and I produced it again.

“Red Red Wine” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

So what’s been going on since I last published an edition on Thursday morning ?

If you read that edition you will recall that our stuff from England was not being released by EuroCaribe , the company used by our UK shipping agent to move our consignment from Miami to Belize City,until an invoice for the sum of BZ$ 334.51 was settled.

Well, at around 11.30 hours last Thursday morning at last all became clear. An email fom Excess International Movers (the UK shipping company that we used) revealed that they had paid for all costs aside from those for Destination Terminal Handling, Customs Examination, Security and X-ray fees in Belize City. Our goods would be released when the sum of BZ$ 328.13 (this had been recalculated) had been paid.

Knowing that we were going to Belize City later in the day to meet our friends from BATSUB I contacted EuroCaribe and told them that I would go to their offices later that day and pay the outstanding amount.

Feeling relieved because, at long last, it seemed as though we would soon get our stuff from the UK Rose and I headed off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 15.15 hours. Unusually early in the day for us but then we did have to travel to Belize City later.

On arrival at our lot we went straight up to the First Floor because we could see that the granite for the breakfast bar was not at Edgar’s (the granite man) work bench in front of the house.

On the way in though we could not help but see that door for the en-suite for the bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) had been varnished.



Walking in to the living/dining room area we could see that Moses had applied the finishing coat of white paint for one of the doors for the pantry.


Both doors looked good but the real action was just feet away from us. The eleven foot plus granite top for the breakfast bar was going in!


First section already in.


Second section in.

But it’s not quite right so out to the veranda for some fine adjustments.



And back in again ready for the adhesive.





Gently in to position.


Clamps on.

On the way out from our build we saw Victor (the welder) and his son about to give one of the railings an undercoat.



Railings for entrance stairs nearly complete now.

Rose and I rushed home, had lunch, showered and dressed then went to catch the 16.00 hours Tropic Air flight to the Municipal Airport in Belize City.


Obligatory photo from airplane – Caye Chapel.

Arriving at the Municipal Airport we quickly grabbed a taxi and headed off to the EuroCaribe offices in Fort Street and got there comfortably by 16.30 hours. Within five minutes I had settled the outstanding invoice and I rejoined Rose in the taxi for our next destination. The Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina where we were meeting our BATSUB friends who had invited us to join them at the monthly Wine Club Social presented by the Radisson in association with Premium Wines.



Impressive Reception area with a hint of colonialism.

We were early so had a bite to eat in Le Petit Cafe.


And then a little walk around.


One for Rose and I to try in the future!


Supporting breast cancer awareness month.

Around 19.00 hours we headed in to Radisson and straight up to the Santa Rita Room where the Wine Club Social for October was being held. A payment of BZ$30 each secured entry for Rose and I.

A table in the center of the room was laden with an extremely good selection of white and red wines which we set about sampling. Well, it would have been rude not to.

Every one in the room appeared to be having a great time.


Central table amply stacked with wine.

The event had attracted quite a few people from San Pedro and I saw Dorian Nunez of Ambergris Today in the corner of the room.


With everyone nicely relaxed (surprising what a few glasses of wine can do isn’t it!) Richard Price formally opened proceedings by letting us know what wines we were going to be tasting. They were all from South Africa and there would be two white and two red.


Richard Price getting the ‘show’ on the road.

We started with the white wine and the Chardonnay was very good but then it was time to bring on the red, red wine and we were straight in to a very good Merlot.

It’s a fun night. An opportunity to meet loads of people and sample some wines inexpensively. Rose and I will definitively go again.

The event finished around 21.30 hours and to finish off the evening our friends took us to the Hour Bar & Grill in Princess Margaret Drive. It’s a nicely laid out bar, overlooking the harbour (so a good breeze) with a good selection on the menu and attentive staff.

Around 23.00 hours feeling slightly the worse for wear (well I was anyway) we headed back to Ian’s place where Rose and I spent the night.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single (written by Neil Diamond) released by UB40 in 1984 which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart and number thirty-four in the US Billboard Hot 100.

“I Can’t Help Myself” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Got up yesterday morning feeling like I could tackle anything and succeed . Obviously at my age I can’t but its great to feel that way. Decided though to take a slow build up. Why rush things?

So, I did what I do best. Made (Made? Water in kettle, kettle on, coffee in a mug, wait for the water to boil, and then pour in to mug. It’s not rocket science!) my first coffee of the day, grabbed my iPad and headed for the veranda. Time of reaching favoured position ? Around 04.15 hours. I think. I think because in all honesty I didn’t look at a clock.

Straight to The Times on-line to read about all that I am missing in England. Not a great deal actually apart from being able to go and watch Arsenal . Oh, and my and Rose’s family. Whoops. And my friends of course.

Once I had finished reading the ‘paper’ I turned my attention to assembling yesterday’s edition and this took me around an hour. If you read it I can understand you being puzzled as to why it should have taken that long. But it did. Perhaps I allow my mind to wander too much instead of focusing on the task at hand?

After I had pressed the publish button I showered, shaved, got dressed – which pair of shorts and T shirt do I wear?- had breakfast and then knuckled down to try and get the stuff we have shipped from the UK on the move from Belize City (it has been ‘sitting’ there since 11 September) to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

An email from Excess International Movers (the company we used in the UK) that I had been copied in on sought confirmation from Belize Logistics Services Limited that Customs would be inspecting our consignment today and that our stuff would then be with us by Saturday.

It was looking good. Or was it? No. There was no email of confirmation from Belize Logistics Services Limited. So I sent an email to our shipping company in the UK asking for clarification. Very soon after I received a telephone call from the UK asking if I was ‘OK’ for a three-way telephone call – Jose Gomez (of Belize Logistics Services Limited), him and me. Obviously I agreed.

Within minutes we were conducting a three way conversation and it got even better (or so I thought at the time) when Jose said that he would contact me later in the day to let me know what time the inspection by Customs would take place the next day. It was looking good.

Optimism turned to immense frustration when around an hour later later Excess International Movers and myself received an email from Jose advising us that Eurocaribe (the company used by our UK shipping agent to move our stuff from Miami to Belize City) would not release our consignment until an invoice for the sum of BZ$ 334.51 is settled.

Contact with the UK (again) revealed that as far as they are concerned all costs have been paid and that they will resolve the matter. The bottom line is though that it is hugely unlikely that our stuff will be inspected today.

I am sure that shipping stuff in to Belize is not normally ( I will have a comparator when we ship stuff from Miami very soon) as troublesome as this. It has been (and still is) an immensely frustrating experience. Not helped by the fact that I can’t help myself.

Accepting that we could do no more Rose and I had lunch and then set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize stopping on the way to visit the bank (another withdrawal I am sorry to say) and to the offices of Coral Cable to organise installation (a fee of BZ$ 205) for our new home.

We got to our lot shortly after 15.15 hours and went straight to the Store Room/Garage on the Ground Floor to check if the fluorescent light had been fitted (we’ll need this when our stuff from the UK eventually arrives!). It had.


And it works.

In front of the house Edgar (the granite man) was on the final stages of the countertop for the breakfast bar on the First Floor.


A study of concentration!

Not too far away we saw that work had begun for the railings for the left-hand side (going up) of the first flight of stairs.


Time to visit the upper levels of the house. So, stepping carefully around Victor (the welder) and his son who were working on the railings




Victor’s son.

we entered the house to find that Alfredo had been busy varnishing doors.


Door to the Utility Room.


Hall closet (our Mud Room).


Door for the Powder Room.

Up the scaffolding to the Second Floor where I found Moses cleaning up after he had fitted the locks for our bedroom and bathroom doors.


Door to bedroom. This has another lock to be fitted yet.


Door for my walk-in closet/bathroom.

A walk outside on to the veranda/roof terrace ( I always like to take a look at the views when I am on the Second Floor) revealed that the guys (I suspect Angel) had started on the snagging by painting over the dirty marks and scratches on the exterior walls.


Northern wall. Ladder and paint tray not removed yet.


Southern wall.

Whilst up on the roof terrace I was able to get a good view of how the land fill for our adjacent lot is going.


Still a lot to do but a good start.

On the way out of house Victor told us that he hoped to finish the railings by Friday and taking a look as we headed to our ‘cart we could see why.


Railings nearly complete.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1965 by the Four Tops which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number ten in the UK Singles Chart.

Matthew Klinck and Horacio Louis Guerrero , producers of Las Isla Bonita, San Pedro’s first telenovela, have just confirmed that the first in the series ( around an hour long) will be filmed during the last week of this month and then shown initially at the Paradise Theatre but subsequently on TV.

I mentioned this project in an edition in September but things are now really moving at a pace and this morning they announced (on Reef TV) the first five people chosen to act in the first show. They also gave an insight in to the storyline – a church scene involving a bride being stood up at the altar.

There are still a few roles for males and females between the ages of 18 to 27 that need to be filled and if you are interested just let the producers know via their Facebook page. Oh , and if you do, good luck.

“I Like It” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

After the previous day’s disappointments I was up bright (well it was dark) and early just before 04.00 hours and after making the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee it was straight to the veranda with it and my iPad.

Log on and then upload the current issue of The Times for some pre-match articles on Arsenal’s game against Napoli in the Champions League later in the day. All good reading. The pundits felt that we have a good chance of securing a win and the three points. Views/opinions that I wholeheartedly agreed with. Even had I not I would have, if you know what I mean!

With my reading of The Times completed I sent an email to Excess International Movers (the company we have used to ship our stuff from the UK to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) to enlist its involvement in bringing this long running saga to a satisfactory conclusion ie we get our hands on our stuff!

It was then time to write and publish (not a particularly enjoyable experience) Tuesday’s edition of the blog.

Following a shave and shower I got dressed and had breakfast and then Rose and I sat down and spent some time discussing the various options we have for moving our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to its completion. We then set off for our meeting at 10.00 hours at our house with Daniel Camal, our building contractor.

With time to spare we tried to see the ‘mirror man’ on the way there but (once again) he wasn’t at his workshop so we continued our journey and got to our lot at 09.45 hours.

Daniel had already arrived but just as good was the fact the Edgar (the granite man) and Victor ( the welder) and his son were busy at work in the area directly in front of the house.

Proceeding in to the house we met Daniel and during the course of our meeting discussed and then agreed upon the steps to be taken. The first action point being that all of the three inch diameter down lights fitted in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment would be removed and used to complete the lighting for the First Floor (fortunately there are six and that is exactly how many are required for the kitchen/dining area) and four inch diameter down lights will be ordered (they are in stock) and used for the Ground Floor.

Daniel then informed us that the four Millenium Ultimate door locks are scheduled to arrive on 8 October and the remaining toilets (one for the self-contained apartment, two for the First Floor and the two for Rose’s and my bathroom) will be available for fitting from 15 October. Daniel then told us that with all other work carrying on in the meantime the house will be completed by 19 October. I like it!

Rose and I then returned to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize, dropped our stuff off and then drove to Pedro’s Hotel for the lunch that Peter Lawrence (aka Pedro) had organised for the Arsenal versus Napoli Champions League Group F game.

Lunch, as always , was exceptionally good. Roast beef, roast potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, gravy AND Yorkshire pudding. And (by Ambergris Caye standards) a good selection of red wine. What could be better? Arsenal’s comfortable two, nil win that’s what!

Following lunch Rose and I headed north once again and arrived at our lot shortly after 15.00 hours and saw straight away that the landfill that had been taking place when we had visited in the morning had been completed.


Waterlogged area at the northern corner of the house gone.


Northern side around the septic tank filled.

Around the back of the house Victor and his son had bolted the railings for the veranda of the larger of the two bedrooms of the self-contained apartment in place.


View from the western (lagoon) side.


View from the northern side.


View from the bedroom.

In to the self-contained apartment where we found that Rolando had already removed the down lights.


Down lights gone and wires exposed.


And from the hallway between the bedrooms too!

Rolando had started on the wiring for the fluorescent light for the Store Room/Garage.


Getting ready for when our stuff from the UK arrives!

Up the stairs to the First Floor and past Victor’s son who was working on the railings for the landing between the two flights.


Just inside the front entrance Moses was busily rubbing down the door for the Powder Room getting it prepared for its coat of varnish.


No ladder required by Moses, he’s a tall guy.

As we walked down the hallway we saw that Moses had already prepared the folding louvre doors of the closet for the varnish coat.


In to the kitchen where Alfredo was masking around the door to the Utility Room in readiness for varnishing the door and frame.


Ladder required by Alfredo because, like me, he’s a short guy!

Looking up we couldn’t fail to notice that Rolando had fitted the down lights that he had removed from the Ground Floor apartment.


Lights in.


And working!

Up on the Second Floor Alfredo had finished applying the varnish coat for the doors and architrave .


Door to Rose’s bathroom finished.

As we were leaving Victor and his son were working on the railings for the first flight of stairs to the house.



Nearly there.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1963 by Gerry & the Pacemakers which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart and number seventeen in the US Billboard Hot 100.