I’m old enough to know better. I’ve been around way long enough to have learnt (learned for the non UK readers) some lessons. But no, it appears that , like Oliver Twist, I want to keep going back for more.
What the hell is he on about this time, you’re probably thinking. He’s drinking far too much caffeine. He really should cut down on the early morning mugs of coffee. Far better if he substituted it with just plain, good old water. And if you were thinking that then you might just have a point. But caffeine or, to be more precise, too much of it, is not the reason for this self-appraisal.
The day had started so well. I was out on the veranda – the western (lagoon facing one) by 04.40 hours with my mug of black coffee and the iPad. It was still dark but that’s the way I like it because you can let your other senses go in to overdrive.
I enjoyed my time reading The Times online, reading and responding to some emails and catching up with Facebook until just after 06.30 hours when I showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and got dressed. I then set off for ‘Town. I had the ‘cart booked in for a service at FC’s Aluminum. And that’s when it all began.
When I booked the service I thought I had a good plan. Drop the ‘cart off at opening time 08.00 hours), walk along the beach to Estel’s Dine By the Sea for a leisurely breakfast. Go to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill to watch the France versus Germany World Cup Quarter Final and then collect the ‘cart, go home, have lunch and be ready for the Brazil and Colombia game.
I dropped the ‘cart off just after 08.00 hours and took the walk along the beach, gaining access via the alley that runs from Coconut Drive past Changes in Latitude.
And enjoyed a nice stroll along a near empty beachfront.
Streamers flapping in the breeze.
Too early for the sun loungers.
But not for two Germans who had reserved their beds for after the game!
Diamante Beachfront Suites starting to ‘take shape.’
I reached Estel’s at 08.20 hours and whilst waiting for my food took advantage of the time to organise a currency exchange.
I may have mentioned it before, or I may have not (memory nowhere near as good as it once was) , but it’s not all drinking mugs of black coffee and reading The Times online for me during the ‘me time’ on the veranda in the early morning.
I do occasionally use this time more productively. I’ve used it to research the types of plants we might want to grow in our garden. I looked up designs for burglar/gates. What type of door locks offer the best protection/security. A whole host of things that it never hurts to do a bit of research on.
It’s also become my custom though to look at the sterling/US Dollar exchange rate. Why? Well, our income predominantly comes from the UK and we convert this to US Dollars as we need it for our running (living) costs here in Belize.
Obviously the better the exchange rate we get the better off we are. So I monitor currency movement fairly religiously.
Before we moved here I pulled together a spreadsheet detailing assumed costs and for this spreadsheet I used an average of the sterling/US Dollar exchange rate for the previous six months. Since moving here I have replaced ‘assumed costs’ with ‘actual costs’ and enter the exchange rate I obtain for each currency conversion. I’m then able to compare my projected expenditure with our actual expenditure.
If you are a foreigner living in Belize, currency conversion (unless you deposit all of your funds in a bank in Belize or the USA) is of key importance (unless you are fabulously wealthy of course) and the timing of a conversion can have material effects. So it’s not for the love of money. Oh no. It’s for the love of a better life.
With the instructions for the conversion made and breakfast finished I took the short stroll to the bar and got there at 09.59 hours. Perfect! Ordering a Sprite (much to the shock and horror of Ernie) I settled down to watch the game, surrounded by around twenty other like minded enthusiasts.
Germany went in to a fairly early lead and then did what virtually every German team I have ever watched does. Close the game out.
With the game over it was time to collect the golf cart. Or so I thought. A ‘phone call though informed me that this was not the case. “All the guys are at lunch”, I was told. “I’ll call you later.”
So I settled down and waited for the call. And I waited. And I waited. And I waited. But it didn’t perturb me at all because by this time the Brazil v Colombia game had started. The place was jam packed. And I had a prime seat at the bar!
I eventually got the call at 15.25 hours to let me know that the ‘cart was ready for collection. But it could wait. I had the rest of the game to watch!
I learned a very important lesson yesterday. Don’t book the cart in for a service when World Cup games are on TV!
The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1973 by The O’Jays which reached number nine in the US Billboard Hot 100.