“Automatically Sunshine” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The weather this month has been glorious. There’s been a little rain but this has occurred either late in the night or very early morning and when it has rained it hadn’t lasted long. Definitely not enough of it or at the time of day that has prevented me from enjoying my early morning ‘me time’ on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad. No sweat top needed. No rainwear. Just the simple matter of deciding what polo shirt and pair of shorts to wear (decisions, decisions).

On most days it’s seemed like the moon had just ‘said’ goodbye for another day and it was automatically sunshine. But then again what do you expect when you live in the Caribbean? Snow? Ice? Sub zero temperatures? Of course not, so I don’t know why I even bothered to bore you by stating the patently obvious. That is, aside from needing to introduce a link for the headline!

Those of you that read my ramblings with any degree of regularity will know that I have taken a prolonged break from the fence painting. It’s a big fence and believe me (if you’ve never painted one) it’s boring ( and I mean BORING) just moving a brush up and down or from side to side. It wasn’t just the boredom that took me away from the fence though. No, not all – I had other stuff to do.

For a start Rose and I spent a little time trying to help Rose and Bob Hawkins (our temporary house guests) assimilate to life on Ambergris Caye following their move from San Francisco. This didn’t require a great deal of effort on our part (in fact it required virtually none) because, in the main, it entailed describing where you can ‘this’ or ‘that’. What the Internet options are. How you can pay the various utility bills.

The most effort I put in during their brief stay with us was when they left on Friday to take up residence in the condo that they have rented just up the road from us. I helped with the move and carting those two suitcases up the stairs reminded me that I am getting older and I am nowhere near as fit as I used to be. Why did you have to rent a unit on the third floor Bob? I know the view is good. And the breeze is so much better. But those stairs, oh those stairs. Or maybe I was just tired from the stints that Rose and I have been putting in cleaning up the north-western corner of the front garden.

I should have taken a photo just before we started but I didn’t (what kind of blogger am I!) so will have to make do with a long shot I took a few weeks ago.


Doesn’t look too overgrown but trust me it was. The photo just doesn’t do it ‘justice’.

Rose tidied up the trees


Taking time out to pose!

while I got stuck in to the weeding.


And the pile of compost (or a pile of leaves and branches for a fire- haven’t decided which yet) grew.


It hasn’t been all weeding for me though. I (obviously) got myself in front of the TV on Saturday to watch Arsenal stroll to a four to one win against Sunderland and took a ride to ‘Town yesterday morning for breakfast at Estel’s getting there shortly after 07.00 hours, well before the roads started to get busy.


A traffic free Pescador Drive (middle street).

I didn’t take a photo of my breakfast (I know, I know – if I want to be a serious blogger I have to ‘hold fire’ on the scoffing until I’ve taken a photo) so you will have to ‘make do’ with a photo of the the view from my table.


A much better picture than a plate of bacon and eggs. Trust me!

With breakfast over it was back to the house and the weeding.




Still a way to go but we’ve ‘broken the back’ of it.

Whilst we’ve been busy cleaning up the garden we’ve had visitors other than Rose and Bob in the house. I mentioned in the last edition that Moses (having left the employment of Daniel Camal, our building contractor, during the final stages of our build he has rejoined him) was sent to take care of some remedial work.

Around a month after moving in we noticed that the varnish on the front door was blistering and, worse still, some of the drawers and shelves of the cabinetry in the bathrooms and kitchens were showing signs of mould. We don’t know what caused the latter – wood not dried fully, above average rain/humidity, not enough varnish, etc) but one thing was for sure – we couldn’t live with it. And Daniel recognised and accepted this and Moses and some colleagues were sent to address the problem.

They sanded the front doors down, restrained them and then applied a polyurethane varnish.


Blistering gone, doors gleaming again.

And then they tackled the shelves and drawers by scrubbing them clean with undiluted bleach.


Drawers drying after the bleaching.

And then it was time to repaint them.



And put the fittings back on.



And the kitchen cabinets got the ‘treatment’ too.

In the next few days Rolando and Nicholas will return to replace two faulty external lights and make sine adjustments to a few of our windows and the remedial work will have been taken care of.

It’s been busy at our place but our neighbour has also been busy too with the construction of Captain’s Table at Pirate’s Treasure Restaurant & Bar (THE home of the lion fish).


Nearly shipshape!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the 1972 single released by The Supremes which reached number thirty-seven in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number ten in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Terrific piece of writing, I loved the headphone names bit

  2. Hi, important information and an exciting article, it’s going
    to be fascinating if this is still the case in a few months time

  3. Well thank you very much Avery.

  4. Emily says:

    We had to clean the inside of our kitchen cabinets, closet doors, etc. of mildew and mold every few months. I never thought it meant that the builder had done anything wrong but just the extremely high levels of humidity we lived with down there. Living oceanfront and refusing to run the A/C when it was cool enough to let the breezes blow through, it was something we expected.

    1. Hi Emily. We rented for around 17 months before moving to our house and never experienced mould in the cupboards/ drawers of the condo (it was ocean-front). And it was built around 15/16 years ago.
      We also showed the problem to quite a few carpenters/building contractors and all agreed it was unusual. Most put it down to wood that had not been dried properly.
      Hopefully the treatment it has just received will work. I do not mind cleaning the wood with bleach. But not every few months.

      1. Emily says:

        That’s interesting, John. The mildew bloom that we had occurred on top of the varnish, not between varnish and wood, and cleaned up easily, but I guess it’s still possible. We just chalked it up to living on a tropical island and never even thought about asking the builder. Oh well, too late now! Hope your problem will not return, at least for a long time!

  5. Steve Ward says:

    I am intrigued as to how you come up with your title / song John for each issue – what comes 1st, the theme / news of the day or the song? no problem if its a well kept secret, I understand! either way, compelling reading…

    1. Hi Steve. I wish I could say that I have a set formula/pattern, but I don’t. Sometimes I think of a song and ‘work’ it in to the blog. Sometimes I hear a song and do the same. Other times I write the blog and then sit and think (and think) of what sing I can use and then change the copy to accommodate it.
      It’s fun though.

  6. Jane says:

    I’m so impressed that Daniel is quick to do your construction repairs, Daniel. We’ve been waiting for weather stripping for our doors for 6 weeks and are NOT looking forward to our electric bill this month!

    1. We’ve actually been waiting for some time Jane. As to electric bills, I never look forward to them!

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