“A Bird In The Hand” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

In an edition or so ago I mentioned that Rose and I were approaching our second anniversary of residing on Ambergris Caye.

Well the big day arrived last Saturday and we celebrated it in style with a bottle of champagne that I’d set aside for the occasion. You’re probably wondering why we didn’t ‘pop the cork’ on the first anniversary. Logical thought. But we decided that the second anniversary would have more significance for us:

We thought that by then the build of our house would be completed and we would be living it in. It was and we are.

We assumed that by then we would have gained acceptance in to the Qualified Retirement Programme. We did.

We also reckoned that we would have got our Belize Drivers Licences and bought our own golf cart (and dispensing with the costly rental fee in the process). We did and we have.

We would have taken the test, passed and got our Masters Licences. We have.

We also set ourselves the targets of having a boat and a dog by our second anniversary. We’ve got neither but we are close, oh so close. The boat should be with us in a few weeks and Ziggy returns to us for good on 25 July. So objectives nearly achieved.

Sitting on the veranda this morning- yes the western (lagoon) facing one on the first floor- with my mug of black coffee I spent a while reflecting on our (first) two years here. Things have gone pretty much as we had planned and hoped that they would. We’ve had to get used to some quite material differences to what we had grown accustomed to in the UK of course but we made the move having visited here many, many times over a long period and came here with our eyes wide open.

We’ve had to get used to things taking a little longer to get done than we’d got used to. We’ve had to get used to doing without some of the things that were so easy to source where we came from. But life has a way of offering up its compensations and for what we have ‘lost’ we have been more than ‘paid back’.

We’ve made a lot of acquaintances, many of whom we’re friendly with. We’ve got a great climate. And we get to see things every day that are a treat for the eyes.

My reverie was broken when my peripheral vision picked on an object to the south of me. Getting up I looked over the veranda railings and saw a golf cart with a lady sitting in it. Casting my eyes to the left of her I saw a small white dog in the act of ‘relieving’ itself. And then my memory (it still works occasionally) kicked in to gear. It was the lady (and dog) that I told you about a short while ago. You know, the one that takes her dog to ‘do its business’ on the vacant beachfront lot opposite us.

Now that irritated me but what I saw this morning really made me angry. Why? Well she’d chosen to let her dog ‘do its stuff’ in my neighbours (Pirate Villas) garden.

So I asked her what she was doing. “Giving my dog a walk” she replied whilst sitting in her golf cart! ” You are in someone’s garden” I replied. “He’s only having a walk” she retorted. “No he’s not” I replied, “He’s having a shit. Why don’t you take him to where you live to foul up the place”.

At this point she quickly said “Sorry”, called the dog to her and drove off.

As I write this some ten hours after the incident I still find it difficult to comprehend. How can someone drive past a bar/restaurant, see a house in front of her and not realise that someone lives there? Well they can. But only if they just don’t give a damn (I was going to ‘say’ “Don’t give a shit” but thought better of it!). And obviously this woman just doesn’t care.

I probably would have mulled over what I had seen for some while had Rose not called me to grab my camera and get down to the front garden. She’d seen a parrot on our little rock wall.


“Who’s a pretty boy then”.

We recognised that the parrot was Skully who belongs to Jason our neighbour who owns Pirate Villas so I slowly moved my hand forward until he jumped up on to my finger.


A bird in the hand. By the way, I’m the skinny one!

Walking very slowly we took Skully back to his ‘home’.


I told you we see some wonderful things and have some great experiences.

Now I know that quite a few of you have patiently stuck with this in the hope that I’m going to provide an update on our garden clean up. So here it is.

On Monday only Billy turned up for work. Apparently Noel, flush with money from his wages for last week, had gone walkabout (before moving to Belize I thought that only Aborigines did this. Now I know differently). This didn’t deter Billy though, he set about doing the work of two men to move the sand from the end of the back garden to the areas that needed ‘filling’.

Filling the wheelbarrow


and then placing it around the garden





Billy determinedly and resolutely stuck to his task making the long walk to and from the pile of sand




until the pile of sand was no more.


Now had it been me I would have taken the rest of the day off (more like the week actually) but not Billy. Oh no. Because no sooner had he put the wheelbarrow down he carried large branches to the bonfire.


Not content with that he then started clearing the area roadside of our fence.

Before Billy.



After Billy.



I’ve got lots more to tell you about because I had a successful day ticking things off my ‘to do’ list but you’ll have to wait until the next edition.

The headline for today’s edition is based on track eight of the album released in 1991 by Ice Cube which reached number two in the US Billboard Hot 200 chart.


  1. hbo2118 says:

    Congrats to you and Rose!! Can’t wait to be there in Aug! We’ll start looking at properties while we’re there as well 🙂

    1. Thank you very much. And good luck with your search to find the right spot for your new home.

  2. Steve Ward says:

    Congrats on your 2 year anniversary John and good work on “airing your views” to the errand dog walker?!
    Sounds like you have achieved many objectives and targets, good work

    1. Thanks Steve. The two years have just flown by. Still got lots of stuff to do but now it’s time to start really enjoying ourselves.

  3. Jane says:

    I’ve seen the progress as I drive by, John. (Less and less often with the condition of our “road!”). Your gardens look spectacular! Billy is a keeper!
    Happy anniversary to you and Rose! We’ve been here a bit longer, but still a joy.

    1. Thanks Jane. Although there is still lots to do. But we are slowly getting there. Didn’t get the chance to keep Billy, Lloyd has already moved him to another job!
      Thought that they were due to start on the road south at Grand Caribe by now.

  4. Jan B. says:

    I agree with Robert. That lady needs a lesson in responsible dog ownership and respecting other folks property. I task you with with outing her!! LOL!! Or maybe Ziggy will when he arrives.
    Loved the champagne celebration! Happy Anniversary! 🙂

    1. Hi Jan. We are all agreed that the lady (!) in question really needs some lessons in how to conduct herself. Don’t think though that I am going to ‘out’ her. Unless she stupidly comes through my front gate!
      As to the champagne, just sorry I didn’t get two bottles. One for each year. Or, one each!

  5. robert Vernon says:

    Pity you didnt take a pic of the offending dog owner and post it on Facebook , the Forum etc. etc
    And by the by, where are the ‘Pieces of Eight’ or do Belizean parrots say ‘Square Grouper’ !!!
    By the way, a very Happy belated 2nd Anniversary to You and Rose.

    1. Hi Robert. First of all I hope that things are good for you both.
      I did briefly consider photographing the lady(?) but decided not to. Now if she comes into my garden!!!
      Thanks for the anniversary wishes. The two years have just flown by.

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