“White Wedding” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Sitting out in the veranda -the western (lagoon facing) one) last Saturday morning with the obligatory ((obviously it’s not obligatory but if if I didn’t have it I dread (Rose probably more than me) what I would be like for the rest of the day)) mug of black coffee and my iPad searching for a thought that would provide the impetus to write an edition.

I sat there marvelling at how powerful a ‘tool’ the brain is ((before anyone feels compelled (and you know who you are) to fire off an email pointing out that I don’t have one) I have to stress that I’m using the word in a generic sense and not about the one that I was ‘given’)). It gives you the ability to go where you want, be who you want to be virtually instantaneously. The only shackle being how vivid your imagination is. Oh, and how much time you have to daydream.

Well since retiring and moving to Ambergris Caye I’ve got lots of time. In fact if it were a currency I’d be in the millionaire class. Might even be a billionaire. True, I’ve got stuff I either need or want to do but, within reason, it’s entirely up to me when I do it. And Rose is very good in this respect. She knows that I had a working lifetime of ‘things to be done by a certain time’. So now I ‘go with the flow’. Where (and when) the mood takes me.

You’ve now read (those of you that have stayed with it) three paragraphs and are probably starting to wonder what this preamble is all about. Has the sun got to me? Has one too many Belikins addled my brain? They may well have done but for me this is no more than an explanation as to why I haven’t written an edition for a while. I’ve just been too busy (could be deemed a contradiction of terms when used in describing me) doing other things. Oh, and a distinct absence of anything to write about that would have come remotely close to being interesting or informative. I hasten to add that the statement is made from my own perspective, not inferring that you find what I write interesting or informative.

So what has kept me so busy that I couldn’t spare an hour (I know, I know its difficult – nigh on impossible- to believe that I can that long given what I put ‘out there) to ‘knock out’ an edition?

Well on Saturday Rose and I attended ‘the’ event on the island. The event that has gripped the attention of the islanders for weeks. A pairing that was anticipated with great passion and pride. No, not the wedding of Courtney Bowen to Peter Tully but the Champions League Final between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid.

The Belizeans on Ambergris Caye (and I’m pretty sure it would be the same on the mainland too) follow La Liga with ardour and the population is fairly well split with half supporting Real Madrid and the other half following Barcelona. This is not statically supported but is based on my sightings of Barcelona and Real Madrid team shirts worn around the island.

Now obviously the Real Madrid fans wanted their team to win. And the Barcelona fans? Well, any team other than Real Madrid. So for the day they all became Atlético Madrid fanatics!

We could have watched the game at home but we both enjoy the atmosphere you get from being amongst people for whom at that moment in time the game is ‘life or death’ so we headed to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill.

When we got there the place was packed with many of the patrons adorned in Real Madrid apparel. Not an Atlético shirt to be seen. And most definitely no Barcelona shirts on view. Their fans were there though as became immediately and very noisy obvious when Atlético went in to the lead.

The Real Madrid fans were crestfallen and had to endure the taunts of the Barcelona fans until the ninety-third minute (with only a minute of the extra time remaining) when Real Madrid grabbed an equaliser. The bar went wild – extra time. From that point on there was only going to be one team in it .

Atlético, who had put up such a brave fight, succumbed to the constant barrage of attacks by Real Madrid and the resistance just drained out if the team as the goals went in. One, two and then three. Game over. Real Madrid lifted the trophy for the tenth time.

We didn’t get an invite to THE wedding but I’m not disappointed. I don’t even know if it was a white wedding. I’m sure it was an emotional affair but for me? Only one choice. And we made it.

Thinking though (told you my thoughts have no restraints) that we might get invited to the wedding I took a look at the Wedding Gift List. Just as well we didn’t get that invite. I mean, US$ 210 for a cup and saucer!

It hasn’t all been football for me though. Oh no. I’ve spent some time researching what locks are available locally for the steel gates we are going to have made to provide additional security for the external doors of our house and having done so we can now place the order for the gates to be made.

Rose and I have also spent time wandering (me aimlessly but Rose a study of concentration) working out how we will landscape the front and back gardens. We’ve now got our plan and the next step is to source the labour (no I’m not not doing this one – it’s a big garden) and materials we will need.

I’ve also spent a fair bit of time watching the palapa ‘grow’ for the extension of Pirate Villas. I’m full of admiration for craftsmanship of the local workers. Very often they use the most rudimentary of tools but the finished product belies this.




With the thatching for the roof finished they then moved on to ‘baby thatch’ and it what seemed like no time at all it was finished.



No reason for including this photo in this edition other than I like it. I only noticed it (I may have seen it numerous times but …) the other day.


Kinda says it all really.

Whilst on the subject of photos this seems like an opportune time to start responding to the challenge that long-time reader Julian set me a few weeks ago. Julian sent me a number of photos and ‘tasked’ me with finding the location and publishing my photo to match his. I went for the easy one first.


The food stand in Barrier Reef Drive near the corner of Pelican Street.

And my shot.


One off the list Julian!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released by Billy Idol (not my kind of music but …) in 1982 and 1985 which reached number thirty-six in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number six in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Louise Gow says:

    White wedding was one of over 1000 music videos I have worked on – David Mallet was the director for White Wedding (still do the very odd one) they were all fun – to a degree. I wish to god I had made notes as it would make a good book. Video Babylon. Work on commercials now. Much more grown up. Few more years to go then joining you in paradise.

    1. Louise when you make the big move you will have plenty of time to get the memory going and write the book. All those early morning with a mug of coffee await you. Trust me, I know!
      And you have one ‘waiting reader’ already.

  2. kristina nadreau says:

    I loved billy Idol on White Wedding however poor guy wedded cocaine (white wedding) and went so far down hill he is never heard now. Ty for sharing your mental meandering today, it comforts me to know that I am not the only one…….

    1. Hi Kristina. Never a fan of Billy Idol but nonetheless it is a shame what happened to him.

  3. I tried to leave you several messages on FaceBook, but evidently I didn’t do it correctly (I always seem to hit the wrong button or post in the wrong place). My wife & I are considering the purchase of beachfront property for a future home and would very much appreciate your input regarding your experiences with building on Ambergris Caye as well as specific recommendations. We’ll be staying at our condo at Belizean Shores next week and was wondering whether you could spend a few moments with us. Would love to at least meet the genius behind the blog.

    1. Hi Robert. Never got any Facebook messages from you. Had I then there would have been a response from me.

      Happy to help as best I can re your questions about building on Ambergris Caye. Send me an email when you arrive and hopefully we can arrange a time/date for a meet. Alternatively if you have a date/time/venue in mind let me know when convenient. I’ll get back to you fairly quickly.


  4. Jane says:

    Nice rambling today, John. We’re feeling the same about our time, often asking preach other “Is it Tuesday?”
    We love our Leddy’s fry jacks, too! If you haven’t stopped, it’s a treat!

    1. Rambling Jane. What do you mean! Leddy’s is a new one on me. Where is it?

  5. Louise Gow says:

    To add a pretty useless piece of information – I worked on the Billy Idol White Wedding video – all those years ago!!

    1. Useless information? I think not. My readers need to know!

      Was it fun?

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