“TV Dinners” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Long time no ‘speak’. I’ve been thinking of you though but just haven’t had the get up and go to knock out an edition. That and the small fact (sic) that I didn’t think that I had that much to tell you about. I mean, there are so many times I can get away with that “out on the veranda with the mug of black coffee” routine. Or are there?

I had plans for today that included an early start in the garden with the pruning shears but the rain that has been coming down for most of last night and this morning have put paid to that. Well at least for a while anyway. So what could I do? I know, sit out on the veranda with a mug of black coffee and my iPad and ‘knock out’ an edition.

But what to write about? Sitting there listening to the rain I struggled to conjure up something mildly interesting or amusing and, if I’m really lucky, both (allow me to fantasise) to write about. I don’t know why but I thought of Sigmund Freud’s comment about inspiration. Apparently he said ” When inspiration doesn’t come, I go halfway to meet it”. So I thought if it was good enough for Sigmund, then it’s good enough for me.

Where could I go though? I mean it was pissing down with rain ((excuse my choice of phraseology but it is a common (and a generally acceptable term) in the UK)) and I really didn’t want to get wet no matter how much I wanted to be inspired. I enjoy writing the blog but I do it for a bit of fun. It’s not like I’m getting paid to write so my devotion to it only goes so far. And this does not include getting soaked!

I know, I thought, have a look at Facebook. So I did and came across this question posed in one of the ‘Groups I’m a member of:

“As I was fixing supper tonight, I thought I would share 2 appliances I brought with me to Belize and am so thankful for on hot days like this. I used my Nestco electric roaster to cook a delicious one pot roaster without heating up the house. The other thing I use on the really hot days is my crockpot. Would hate to have to do without either one of these. Does anyone else have something that makes cooking a little easier or cooler?”.

Well I thought about this for a little while. What appliances do we have that meet this criteria? The low fat fryer? The George Foreman grill? The Le Creuset cast iron skillet? All very good and useful in their own way but there was only one answer that I could give, so I did :

” Yes. Glad that I brought my wife. She makes cooking easy for me!”.

And she does. Oh she does. If it wasn’t for Rose I’d be on a constant diet (methinks this is a contradiction) of TV dinners!

Anyway, enough of my rambling. What has been happening in my little universe since the last edition?

Last Friday we got a call from Kevin at Captain Shark’s Boatyard to let us know that the bottom of the boat we have bought had been painted and the Bimini had been made. It hadn’t been fitted fully though because they wanted us to decide how high we want the framework. So down to the boatyard we went.

On getting there we saw our boat straight away


Nice, newly painted, red bottom.

Kevin came out to meet us and within a few minutes after holding the Bimini in an upright position the decision was taken to reduce the length of the support framework by one foot. I’m only a little fellow after all.


Red Bimini.

The reduction in size of the framework, removal of the current boat name (Babe) lettering and a general clean up should be completed by around Wednesday when the boat will be towed (obviously photos of this will follow) to the Boca Del Rio area for Lewis, the engineer we have chosen , to repair the engine (a Yamaha 150HP 4 Stroke for those of you that are interested in this type of thing).

We’ve then got to get the new name put on the boat and replace the compass and rev counter, both of which are broken. Oh how I wish purchasing via eBay and Amazon were easier than it is when living in Belize. Oh, and we’ve also got to buy a fuel can and some fenders. Oh, and some new rope. It’ll be worth it in the end though when we can start exploring the western side of the island (and obviously there’ll be loads of photos when we start doing this).

I mentioned the garden clean-up earlier well Noel and Billy have really made progress since I last ‘spoke’ to you.


Billy at work with the hoe.


North-east corner of the front garden starting to look much tidier.


North-west corner.

They started a bonfire in the back garden to burn the weeds and branches.


And the bonfire got higher and higher as wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load was put on it.


Billy loading the wheelbarrow.

They were back in the garden yesterday and that’s when we really started to see the fruits of all of their hard work and sections of the garden really started to look tidy.


View of the front garden from the ‘cart ramp.


And from the front gate.


North-west corner. The former ‘Dingley Dell’!


Central area of the front garden.


There are still some branches to move and burn but it’s nearly there.


Southern side of the house.


Northern side of the house.

Whilst Billy and Noel were busy in the garden some more of Lloyd’s guys (I don’t know where he gets them from but he does) turned up with some landfill for the areas in the garden that we have identified need it.

The first job though was to move the rocks in front of the gate on the sea wall.


And then the boat came in.


And so did the sand.




Tomorrow Billy and Noel will finish off the garden clean-up and then start ‘laying’ the sand. And then the gravel can start going down!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1983 by ZZ Top which reached number sixty-seven in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. JD Wiggins says:

    Agreed! Ahh..the luxury of cooking it best way ! 🙂 Just 1 question if you have time..for first timers like me & wife Penny, who often like wander to shop, chat, look & get lost, etc..what cellphone svc or even radio com works best down there?

    1. Didn’t know what a SVC is until I looked it up. Don’t think they sell them here. One rate for everyone.

  2. JD Wiggins says:

    For quick easy cool cooking, am partial to a George Foreman Grill. My own technique tho is to take, for instance breasts of thawed chicken & pound them in Saran Wrap to uniform 3/4″ thickness, spray a little spam on the preheated GF (always on HIGH) and cook while squeezing w hotpads only 1.5 to 2.5 minutes. Touch test w flatness of fork for SOME softness..(wife often overcooked) cut to ck for blood then remove IMMEDIATELY…err on the rare side, as that can be corrected.
    beef can be pretty much the same, fish more trial & error…hope this helps, hope to be in San Pedro 7/7 for a few days.

    1. Thanks for the tips JD. Think we will stick with the low fat fryer for the chicken though.

  3. Quite the transformation, John!

    1. The garden? The boat? Or me Bob?

  4. Steve Ward says:

    I bet you cant wait to get out on the boat John! do you have a rescue number just in case?! we keep one programmed in our phones just in case!
    Great stuff

    1. Hi Steve. Probably a few weeks away from being able to use it but nearly there. We have the Port of Belize ‘rescue ‘ number in both of our phones. And a couple of numbers of people with boats if we need a tow.

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