“Busy Doing Nothing” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

After the travail of producing the last edition – I had to take notes and write with accuracy and seriousness (something that regular readers will not have seen much evidence of in what I normally put “out there”) – I’ve taken a little break. I mean, it was like being back at work again and my little, old (strong emphasis on the latter and not the former please) brain just isn’t up to the job any more.

Now I’d seen the signs of waning physical prowess (allow me to exaggerate whatever physical attributes I may have had once) some little while ago. I’m not able to bound up the stairs the way I used to. Those five gallon bottles of water feel just that little bit heavier (they now feel like they’ve got twice the amount of water in them). My ability (OK so it’s not an attribute) to hold liquor is nowhere near as good ( is this really the word I should use?) as it once was (I now wonder why I spent so much money on “training”). But I never envisaged when I set out to cover the opening of Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace at Grand Caribe that it would take so much out of me.

It didn’t really but I didn’t know how to start today’s edition and I thought why not try and build up some drama (see what island living does to you – this is my idea of drama!). I’ve also (well I don’t have to but it helps fill up the edition) got to admit that I didn’t really have a clue what I could write about.

I mean after breaking the news about the new restaurant there wasn’t too much excitement in my week. I watched Arsenal a couple of times on TV but their performances were , to say the least, rather flat. I did some weeding (I now know that this is going to be a task for my lifetime (cheery thought isn’t it). I gave Ziggy his weekly bath.


We thought that Ziggy is Belizean through and through but we’re not so sure now. The way he’s been digging up the garden we are convinced he’s got some Australian in him (yes I know, terrible).

I’ve been in to ‘Town most days and obviously took advantage to “grab” a breakfast.


I’ll leave it you to guess where.

I got a slow puncture repaired at Adrian’s in Boca Del Rio.


It transpired that the rear, off-side tyre (tire for non UK readers) had managed to find a two inch screw. Twenty minutes later and BZ$ 10 lighter after I went in there the problem was solved.

Oh and on Thursday I gave an interview to International Living magazine for an article about the Qualified Retirement Program (now I’d normally spell it “programme” but …). I haven’t got a clue when the article will be published but I’m sure to let you know when I find out. Could this be fame at last!

Some of the questions posed made me think just that little bit more (OK, it made me think) about what it means to live on Ambergris Caye, Belize. I’m sure that people that know me wonder what there is to occupy myself with in such a small place. I mean I come from London , a metropolitan area with over thirteen million inhabitants. Theatres, art galleries, restaurants, sports stadia. Something for everyone.

But although this is a small place there appears (well at least to me) something new and different going on all the time. It keeps it interesting.

Here’s just a few examples.


The old Dreddy’s bar has been gutted. What’s this going to be? Another bar? A bike shop? An Apple store (now I’m really starting to lose it – and you too probably!).

The old wooden building in middle street (Pescador Drive)


has been razed to the ground and the lot cleared ready for construction. I wonder what’s going to go there. A restaurant? A bar? Watch this space.

I’ve found out that Ritchie’s Supermarket


is now being run by Chinese people and the offering has been expanded to include liquor sales and – wait for it – the likes of mussels, squid and shrimp. What next?

I’ve seen banners erected over the roads for P.U.P ( the People’s United Party)


to join those erected some weeks ago for the UDP (United Democratic Party)


and this for elections that do not take place until next March.

I’ve watched the road in front of our house being widened in readiness for the laying of concrete.


But with all of this going on I’ve still managed to get my ‘me time” out on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor) with my mug of black coffee (no sugar) and the iPad.


View from my seated position.

And if I can find the will (told you I’d lost some energy) to stand up.


I’ve also caught a sunset or two.



I’ve learnt something about myself this past week. I’m good – and I mean GOOD – at being busy doing nothing!

And so is she.


And Ziggy seems to have mastered the art too!


The headline for today’s edition is based on the song that featured in the 1949 film ” A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” which was sung by Bing Crosby, William Bendix and Cecil Hardwicke.


  1. tonygillings says:

    Have you heard about rugby coming to Belize? There’s a club in San Pedro now – might give you something to do ….,www.rugbybelize.com

    1. Far too old now Tony. Gave the game up when I was 15 and the other kids kept growing and I didn’t!

  2. tonygillings says:

    Heard about rugby coming to Belize? There’s a club in San Pedro now 🙂

    1. I was aware of this Tony. In fact only last Tuesday during the half-time break of the Arsenal game we were talking about it and I think there is a fair chance that a good acquaintance of mine might become involved.

  3. Carmell Dickson says:

    It IS exhausting doing nothing, but I can’t wait to experience it for myself!!!! 🙂
    Congrats on the International Living interview!!!! My hubby and I love the magazine and will keep a look out for your interview!!!
    We will be in the Riviera Maya, MX. in September for our 27th wedding anniversary!!! Even more importantly though, we have an all day appointment with a realtor!!! I’m not going to lie, it’s a little scary, but I can’t wait to start a new chapter in our lives!!!!
    I agree with Cynthia, I do so love it when a new post from Belize has hit my email. Watching & reading about yours & Rose’s daily life helps me get through my mundane one! It keeps my husband and I moving towards our retirement dreams!!!!
    P.S. We love your Ziggy, what a magnificent creature!!!!

    1. Thanks very much Carmell. I’m pleased that your husband and you enjoy the blog. Good luck in your search to find your dream retirement home. Oh, and happy anniversary.

  4. itsacyn7 says:

    John…you certainly always keep your readers connected to everyday life on A.C. quite enjoyable for those of us wishing we were there. Your photos are wonderful and often the highlight of my day – thank you! Look forward to reading the article in international Living…featuring you. Keep up the good work…nice that you now get some help with the blog from Ziggy.

    1. Well thank you very much Cynthia. Not so sure that its “everyday life” for everyone though. Some people have to work!
      As to Ziggy, he just needs to get some more practice in and he can take over the blog full time!

  5. kristina nadreau says:

    I have told my husband that I did not retire from paid employment to become a full time domestic slave……… thus I would no longer cook every day. Initially, this did not go over well. Now, we are making some progress. I enjoy my daily siesta. This habit of rest during the heat of the day is perfect for our climate. Regardless of the task, “work” is best performed between 6am and 10am. The mere thought of bathing our herd of 4 dogs sends me into overload. Ziggy is a trooper to stand still for all that lather and cold water. I have visions of me soaking wet, spraying dogs as they fight to escape, with the yard becoming a mud morass. They occasionally get a rub down with a cloth soaked in lemon water, and they barely tolerate this. I do miss you, Rose and Ziggy, when there is no post. I believe your readers would be content with just some daily musings and a few pictures of routine daily life. Thank you for this update.

    1. Hi Kristina. I obviously didn’t tell the whole truth when stating I do nothing but I “do” nowhere near as much as I used to. There’s still stuff to be done to keep the house and garden tidy and now we have Ziggy to make both a mess a lot quicker.
      I do have the occasional nap during the day but not too often. As to doing stuff at the sensible time of day? Well I haven’t quite mastered being sensible yet. I’m working on it but …
      I’ll try to post a bit more regularly but only if I find it easy. Wouldn’t want me to feel like its work, would you!

  6. One of these days – after a few horrid items are well in the back – I fully intend to leave the States behind and enjoy the delights of doing “nothing”. It’s a manana paradise with so many opportunities to give back. I do so love your posts!

    1. Marsa as soon as you can do nothing the better. Believe me. Really pleased you enjoy the blog.

  7. Jane says:

    John – Always a pleasure to see your posts come through! We are also practicing the art of “nothingness.” A new feeling, but definitely enjoyable.

    1. Always a pleasure to receive a comment from you Jane. I’m fast becoming an expert at nothing!

  8. cynthiatree says:

    Always enjoy your posts, but this particular one really made me smile. Great photos, too!

    1. Well thank you Cynthia. It’s a real pleasure.

  9. Randy Watts says:

    Hi John, my husband and I are finally in Belize this week! Looking at property and busy doing nothing too! I think we saw you and Ziggy passing us in a golf cart on Sat or Sunday. We were out your way exploring. Nice island. Susan Watts

    1. Hi Susan. Doing nothing can be so tiring though can’t it! I do hope that you and your husband have found a property that you like during your stay here.
      I think you must have seen us on Sunday. Probably on our way in to “Town for an afternoon Belikin!
      Thanks for reading the blog.

  10. robert Vernon says:

    Looks like lots of nothing actually happening in San P , Busy isnt a word in the Caribbean language LOL
    Flying to Blighty in a few hrs, oh the bliss of a 65f day !!!! and some light drizzle. Too much SUN and not a page 3 in site !!!!

    1. Have a great time in England and do say hello to a Page 3 or two for me. Years ago I knew quite a few of them!

  11. woof4treats says:

    Oh,I too am practicing at doing nothing this week.

    1. I’m not practicing it Kathy. I’m at masterclass level!

  12. Kris Jensen says:

    Excellent John – love your style…now, go have a nap….

    1. Will do …zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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