“The Secret Garden ( Sweet Seduction Suite) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I think I may have stirred myself from what has been a fairly dormant spell for me. I haven’t been totally inactive but I think it would be fair to say that I have been lackadaisical. By the way, I just love this word. It conjures up images for me of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.

I know that she never said the word in the film but if she had I’m sure it would have been ‘up there’ with “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (about now you are now switching to Google to find out if I spelt it right!).

I mentioned in yesterday’s edition that Rose and I (more Rose than me, I have to acknowledge) have been giving some serious thought as to how we are going to landscape our garden. There are also a number of other things that we are keen to ‘get on the go’ so yesterday morning when out on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad I curtailed my reading of The Times online and my general daydreaming.

Casting the iPad (gently of course) to one side I got myself a pad and pen and did what many of us do when we are planning something. Yes, that’s right, I started a list!

Now lists can be a good thing. You set down very clearly what you want (need) to do. You can be as detailed as you like. For example you can use one word ‘reminders’ or you can go as far as setting dates by when X (whatever X might be) is to be accomplished. You can feel a great sense of achievement as you tick each item off the list (don’t know about you but I always start off with some easy ones first) or a feeling of despondency as the new additions to the list outnumber the ones you scrub off. I bet a lot of you are feeling a sense of ‘been there, done that’ right now.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m already speaking about the emotional highs and lows of using a ‘To Do’ list before I’d even compiled it. One of my faults (yes I do have a few!) is that I am sometimes apt to run away with myself.

By the time I’d finished the list (aided by Rose who by this time had joined me out on the veranda) there were fifteen ‘things to do’ on it ranging from pay the Internet and cable bills, to withdraw money (just hate that one), to organising the labour for the garden clean up, to get prices for the gravel we want to use in the garden. Some very simple, some less so. But Rose and I were ‘up for it’.

We had a very quick discussion (this was business so no informal chats for us!) and decided that first on the agenda was the garden clean up so I ‘phoned Lloyd (remember Lloyd? He was the guy we used for landfill) and within thirty minutes he was at the house.

We took a walk around the garden explaining what we want done (this will be revealed in forthcoming editions). Lloyd quoted a price and I haggled until he reduced it which is when Rose (‘the executioner’) stepped in. Lloyd has experienced her techniques before and decided to give in graciously (another word for easily) and reduced the price again. We all shook hands (not with each other at the same time) and Lloyd set off to rustle up a guy and returned a few hours later with Noel who started work straight away.

I’d (obviously) taken some photos in advance of the clean up so that we would have some ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.


Front garden.


North-east corner of front garden.


North-west corner.


The well cannot be seen through the bushes, weeds and branches. Rose affectionately refers to this area of the garden as Dingley Dell. For me it’s always been the secret garden.


Noel at work


with the multi purpose machete.

And Lloyd led by example for a while too.


Lloyd putting his back in to it!

The next morning Noel was joined by Billy and with the two of them on the job Rose and I set off to ‘Town. Rose to ‘hit’ the items on the list (do you remember the list? I know it must seem like a long while ago but …) and me to go for breakfast. Yes, you’ve guessed it, at Estel’s Dine By the Sea! To tell the truth I did have breakfast


Beach shot in front of Estel’s to prove it

but I then took care of four items on the list. Honest!

When we got back home Noel and Billy were still hard at it and they continued that way until the end of the day with garden showing clear signs of their efforts.




For more on the saga of the secret garden
come back for the next edition.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single (from the great Back to Back album) released in 1990 by Quincey Jones, Al B Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White which reached number thirty-one in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number sixty-seven in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Julian says:

    Thanks for the update John. I can’t believe I went right by that pic of the stand on Barrier Drive when I read that post. Didn’t register at all… that’s sad. I thought I was a little more attentive than that. Let me know when you want some more mystery shots!

    1. No worries Julian, it happens to us all as we get older! Please do send some more photos. I still have one from the previous batch to identify but I’m sure I will.

  2. Julian says:

    Hey John, did you ever get the group of pictures that you are to attempt to find from where they were taken? I sent them to you by email a week or so ago. Just checking.. if you didn’t get them I’ll send again. Have a Bloody Mary at Estel’s for me!!


  3. Jane says:

    Always do my lists with pencil, John. I can then just erase, and I’m never discouraged!

    1. That’s cheating Jane! What a good idea though.

  4. footballbat says:

    The photo of the beach in front of Estel’s is indubitably supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

    1. Well thank you Derek. I think so too!

  5. Hazel Ahmad née Brown says:

    It’s coming along nicely. The house turned out smashing and I’m sure the garden will be to when it’s all finished. Hope you and Rose are enjoying your new digs and Belize. I don’t get time to read much of your bogs of late. I’m the Scottish Aussie raised lass if you guys remember. I’ve just been home to Aussie for a month after finally being cleared after my heart attack. I have enjoyed following the progress immensely. It brought me some cheer we I was poorly and kept my retirement dreams to Belize alive. Hubby’s about to retire very shortly and then we will be headed to Belize to. Yay. Anyway good luck with your garden guys and all the best.

    1. Hi Hazel. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to acknowledge your very nice comment. We are pleased with how things are going but there is still a way to go yet.
      Sorry to hear about your recent heart attack but hopefully you are well on the road to recovery. When you get here it will definitely help you I’m sure.

  6. Harry the Hornet says:

    I think the use of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in your blog is both atrocious and precocious.

    1. Very good Harry. Well at least for you!

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