“Safe & Sound” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I may not have written an edition for a little while but thought you might like to know that I’ve still been going through basically the same routine.

Up before the sun rises out on the veranda, the western one on the first floor that faces the lagoon, with my mug of black (instant, with no sugar) coffee and the iPad (an Air for those of you that might be interested).

I’ve continued to enjoy the relative quietness -there are the sounds of the leaves swooshing (if there’s a breeze of course), the lapping of the water, the birds chattering, the fish jumping out of and then re entering the lagoon, the snarling and grunting of racoons when they fall out with each other. Oh, and the occasional barking of dogs when they are spooked by something. The early morning sounds that let you know that another day is about to begin but it’s quiet, very quiet.

Ideal conditions you’d think for knocking out an edition. And they used to be PZ. PZ? Pre Ziggy I mean.


For those of you not aware, this is Ziggy.

The solitude of the early morning for me is now a distant memory. When I get up in the morning there he is. Waiting at the bedroom door, tail wagging happy in anticipation of the first strokes and pats of the day. It used to be that my first job (sic) of the day was to get the kettle on and spoon the coffee in to the mug. Not now. That comes a poor second best!

We do eventually make it to the veranda but any chance of pulling together something that anyone might want to read has been nullified by Ziggy’s head constantly finding itself in my lap. So you can blame (or thank) him for the absence of postings on my part.

To get this one ‘out there’ I’ve had to (any excuse) decamp to Estel’s Dine By the Sea


for breakfast


and for some time alone with the iPad!

So with the “solitude” I sought and an ideal setting what do I write about? What has happened since I last posted something?

Regular readers may well remember that nearly two months ago I mentioned that we had ordered burglar bar gates/doors. At the time of placing the order we were informed that they would take around three to four weeks to be made and fitted for all of our external doors (two double doors and two single doors)


Double door entrance to the first floor.

We’ve been popping in to the workshop in Boca Del Rio probably twice a week to monitor progress and on each occasion we’ve been told “They’re nearly ready.” But … nothing.

And then last week – I think it was Wednesday- we heard Ziggy barking to let us know that someone was at our front gate. It was Franco and he had our gates/doors with him. Within minutes they were in the front garden


and just as quickly they were off the trailer neatly positioned for installation.


Franco decided to start with the ground floor apartment first so moved the relevant gates/doors but then realised that there was a design fault which he had to take two of the gates/doors back to the workshop to correct.


So close yet so far!

We thought that was the last of the gates/doors we’d see for a few days but no. The next day Franco returned and they started to be installed.


But first an adjustment to the frame.


Second gate/door about to be ‘slotted’ in.


“It works!”

With the first installation completed they moved on to the door of the apartment


and then the pump room


and then the first floor!



A bemused -and imprisoned- looking Ziggy.

They haven’t greatly obscured the view though


but have increased our sense of security so that we feel safe and sound. And the breeze can flow freely through the house.

We thought it had gone “belly up” on Wednesday

With the gates/doors installed Ziggy and I settled down to watch work on the house that’s being built on the lot immediately north of us.


“We’re going to have neighbours soon Ziggy.”


The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 2011 by Taylor Swift and reached number thirty in the US Billboard Hot 100.


  1. Hi John, Nice to see a new post!!! Do you & Rose not acquire mosquito blighters in the house during early mornings & evenings before security doors are closed? We loved our time on Ambergris Caye DESPITE leaving with 20 – 30 bites each.

    Am I reading the replies correctly? Are they going to pave some distance north of the bridge? (wishing . . . because the 2 times we went to Palapa Bar was as close to Heaven on Earth as I’ve encountered – except for the brutal ‘pushing cart out of quagmires’ part)

    1. Long time no “hear”. Fortunately we don’t suffer too much on the first and second floor from mosquitos. The sand flies can be pain early morning and just as the sun is setting but I’m noticing them less as each day goes by.
      As to the road north from the bridge, yes you have heard right. They’ve started on it.

  2. Susan says:

    Beautiful doors. We are making our way there for the first time in two weeks! Looking forward to seeing all the places we’ve seen in your blogs and others. We are considering retiring there and while all the security bars are out of my element, as we can still for the most part leave our doors unlocked, I’m not daunted about living there. I guess if it was all that bad, people would be leaving not arriving! Love your blog and happy that Ziggy is a permanent addition. We have 7 dogs currently and 8 boxer puppies (that will be leaving for their new homes when we return)! We won’t be bringing that many dogs to AC if we retire there. Love your blog.

    1. Hi Susan. Thank you for your kind comments about the doors and my blog. Truly appreciated. Ambergris Caye is a great place to live. Of course it has its problems but, then again, there are very few places that don’t.
      Feel free to ask questions if you think I can help with answers. I’ll do my best. Or tell you I don’t know.

  3. Harry the Hornet says:

    Glad to know you’re alive! Not fair at all on the dog to blame him for your laziness though. Hope you don’t give him a kick whenever Arsenal lose.

    1. I need to be able to blame something! Brought up in a blame culture! Good result for your lot in the first game. Are you confident about the season ahead?

  4. Jim T says:

    One of the sad facts of life in Belize (and many other places in the world) is Burglar bars. I always worry about what happens in the event of a fire, bars on the windows and doors, when a fire is raging and you forget in your panic where the keys are. Some how it seems that people do get out but still a worry. I intend retiring to PG and already have the bars fitted where we will be living, so I will have to work out a panic proof plan for what ifs. Oh, I’m just like you when it comes to coffee, but for me I prefer the taste of instant as well as the convenience.

    1. Hi Jim. We reluctantly ‘went’ for the bars. In the event of a fire we have the keys handily placed on a hall table which is around 6/7 feet from the door. We do have the benefit though of having sliding veranda windows on every floor – no keys required. Good luck with your retirement plans.

    2. Oh by the way, saw burglar bars growing in evidence on the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) before we left the UK. Sad.

  5. Jane says:

    Foos choice on the ” burglar bars,” John. Sure wish they weren’t needed, but your design is beautiful!

    1. Thank you Jane. We’d rather not have them but …

  6. Jan B. says:

    Hi John. Was getting blog withdrawals and wondering how Ziggy was assimilating to life on AC. Looks like he has adapted well. Doors look great….love the “peace sign” photo bomb! LOL! Hope to see you, Rose and Ziggy when we are back on the island for the last two weeks of August.

    1. Hi Jan. I was suffering from blog withdrawal too! Ziggy has made himself so much at home it feels like he’s had us for ever! Good spot re the “peace sign” photobomb. It’s Rose’s “signature”! It would be good to see Clive and you when you make it here. Safe travels.

  7. Peter L. Oberhaus says:

    Hello John.Why do you only drink instant coffee in the morning? How do you open the Security gates in from the inside in case of fire?

    1. Hi Peter. I drink instant coffee because in all honesty I’m lazy when it comes to coffee. I suppose I’m also a bit of a philistine where good coffee is concerned. As to the gates, they have dual locks that open with a key from the outside or inside. So, when we are indoors they are locked via the interior facing lock.

  8. robert Vernon says:

    Need to change the name to Highsecurity now !!! Gather your going to have the first phase of the new road north going past you soon . Soon be like Blackpool !!! LOL

    1. Highsecurity. Very good.
      Yep, the road is starting imminently. I’m pro road. It will lead to more traffic but will be kinder on the golf cart (and my back). And should edge property values up. We don’t want to sell but you never know!

    2. And even if we don’t it should push the price up on our adjacent lot.

    3. High security. Very good. I’m pro road. Will be kinder to the golf cart (and my back). And should edge up property values. We have no intention of selling but you never know!

  9. woof4treats says:

    Very beautiful doors. Ziggy sounds like he is “Needy” needs to be peted.

    1. Thank you Kathy. Our own design. He needs to be petted and I need three hands!

  10. Andy says:

    Hi John & Rose, oh and Ziggy, the security gates look very robust and with a nice design, although strong they are not ugly strong. Do they not uses Fly Screens in Belize as they do in Asia etc?

    1. Thanks Andy. Our design. They do have screens (we have them on all of our windows) but you can cut through them very easily.

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