“It’s So Easy” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I got out on to the veranda – yes the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor – around 05.00 hours yesterday morning with the “must have” mug of black coffee (no sugar) and my iPad.

After a few minutes of just taking in the sights,sounds and smells. I know it should be the same vista – I sit in the same position every morning after all – but it never, ever is. The different shades of the early morning light conspire to make it a different and truly enjoyable picture every day.

Sated with the ambience (and a couple of sips of coffee) I turned to The Times online and was well in to the Business pages when the tranquility was broken by the sound of hammering from the lot immediately north of our home.

I don’t why but this got to me to thinking about how I would have reacted to such an intrusion at 06.30 hours when I was living in London. I’m pretty certain that the reaction from me would have been to utter a few expletives. The next step would likely have been for me to shout similar types of invective at the “offending” workers.

My reaction yesterday morning? I had another sip of coffee and went back to the Business pages.

But I didn’t stay with them for too long. This reaction on my part got me thinking about how I’ve changed since moving to Ambergris Caye and doing a little bit of self-appraisal.

From this period of introspection I concluded that I’m far calmer. I hardly ever get agitated now. OK, I’ll tell the truth – I am known to “lose” it when I get an idiot in front of me when I’m in the golf cart (some old habits die hard and after driving around London for years this is a habit I doubt I’ll ever lose totally). So if you see a smallish Caucasian male driving around town gesticulating at the ‘cart in front of him it’s highly likely to be me!

This period of assessment of the changes in my inner self was interrupted when clouds of black smoke started to drift towards me. The guys on the building lot had started a fire to get rid of rubbish. How did I react you’re thinking. Shout at them to stop? Nope, I just picked up the chair, mug of coffee and the iPad and went to the other side – the eastern side – of the house.



The “new” view.

I spent a little time watching the guys at work and marvelled at how much they had done in just two weeks.


From this


to this. Floor for the water tank laid. Next the walls. A very impressive performance.

After showering, shaving, dressing and eating breakfast I headed in to ‘Town to take care of a few chores (primarily paying bills I’m sorry to say) and my inner calm was put to the test on the way home. Roadworks. And a detour.


Now in London a sign such as that would have heralded the start of a traffic congested detour that would have turned a ten minute journey in to at the very least a sixty minute one. And it would have turned me in to some foul mouthed demon behind the wheel. But not now. Oh no. I just followed the directions


and headed down (or is it up) the beach road.


When your “inconvenienced” like this it’s so easy to keep your cool!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1958 by The Crickets and surprisingly never made the charts. This changed though in 1977 when Linda Ronstadt released it as a single and it reached number five in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eleven in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Steve says:

    Hi John,
    Thank you for the information. We will definitely consider purchasing in the states. We intend to bring over household stuff in a container. I thought you have to live in Belize for a year before you can get into the QRP. We will have to do more research on that. Thank you for your time, Steve

    1. Hi Steve. No worries. One thing I have plenty of is time.
      You need to live here a year (only being out of the country for 12 days (including exit and entry days) during that period) before you can apply for Residency. You can then wait upwards to a year (we know someone who waited that long).
      As far as QRP is concerned you can apply straight away and it shouldn’t take more than 8 weeks after submitting the necessary paperwork whether you have been successful or not. Good luck.

  2. Jamie Cozby says:

    Hello, we are VERY frequent visitors to the island(5-6 times yearly). Is that project going up next door to you going to be The Blue Lagoon Cabanas? We are corresponding with the builder and was just trying to get a perspective on location and looks. Thanks so much,Jamie

    1. Hi Jamie. No the build next to us is going to be a private residence. I think the Blue Lagoon Cabanas are a little further north. Just past the Bamboo House. I’ll take a photo next time I’m up there and include it in the blog.

  3. Melanie says:

    Apparently the way you drive the golf cart John is the norm in the area. Roger will have to brush up on his cart driving skills, as I’m not sure if you may have passed us while we were there. I found it very interesting and cant wait for my turn at the wheel next time I’m down. It was strange to not have to drive for 8 days, but loved the break since the Big Brown truck was waiting on me when I got home. I would not miss the traffic during rush hour here! Golf carts are much more fun! Have a great day! Melanie

    1. No Melanie the way I drive the cart is not the norm. I look ahead and try to anticipate what the driver ahead might be going to do. I also signal when I am going to turn or stop. This is unusual here. People just hit a corner and turn. Or pull up in the middle of the road because they’ve seen someone they know!

  4. Harry the Hornet says:

    I definitely prefer the Andy Williams: ‘It’s So Easy’. If you can’t recall it just check out YouTube.

    1. Oh come on Harry there’s no contest between the songs. You only like the song he sang because of his sweaters!

  5. woof4treats says:

    I am old enough to say I loved Benny Hill and I am a devoted watcher of East Enders–this is the only thing I will miss when we leave. I will not miss driving a car, eating fast food (try not to) and all the noise from the biker bar less than 100ft from our front door. Looking forward to a calm new life in San Pedro.

  6. footballbat says:

    Ah – the beach road. We had to (or chose to? I forget now) drive that stretch one afternoon. What an “horrible” detour. Children were walking home from school in their uniforms distracted, laughing and happy. Tourists were sitting at small bars looking out at the water and laughing, fishermen were unloading their daily catch and cleaning their equipment, locals going from here to there doing whatever it was that had to be done in their lives – and we were just passing through and taking it all in.

    I should have such detours every day. 🙂 Thanks for the beach road photos.

  7. Laurie the Cruisin Camper says:

    Hoping to “run into you” figuratively speaking in November. Coming down to explore our options…..

    1. Hi Laurie. Yes, please do make it figuratively! I really do not want to be the first one on he island to try out the emergency clinic.

  8. lifeagain says:

    Good morning John,

    When you get up and read the Times and get caught up on events, news and happening’s….do you ever feel as though your missing our or not part of something in your home country, nationally, locally and inside part of your old community? Does it ever tug at you that you are not just on a vacation and temporally away from home and soon to be coming back with everything still in place. News papers piled up, replenish the fridge with fresh stuff and back to commuting and everything familiar.
    When does it or did it hit you that you/Rose have essentially taken yourselves out of the loop?
    Have you ever went went without even reading the Times for a few days or if you have cable watching BBC or other home country stuff and did it matter or was even noticed? I have lived out of the USA for awhile during college I studied in the South of France and have traveled extensively internationally for work and pleasure as an adult but always limited in length of time. I will eventually make my way to Belize for retirement and look forward to experiencing (whatever that feeling is) when life is based on you and your partners life adventures daily and everything forward when even reading the Times means nothing and has no effect one way or another in your current world.

    On another note….(you will soon see i miss writing to you)

    Ask a Brit or better yet John Henry East……

    I think it’s great that the team of Monty Python is to be celebrated and recognized for all of their success and achievement but how do my friends and circle proclaim to people in British circles that we feel as though Benny Hill is far
    more or just as worthy of any entertainment/er out of the UK that is overlooked for awards and recognition and it is down right shameful. We were recently drinking in San Francisco again and wound up sitting with a few couples from the UK and i/my friends mentioned Benny Hill and his weekly show was front and center in the college dorms on re-run daily and enjoyed by all. The couples were slightly offended and we could tell convincing them as to the Why’s and value of Benny Hill was going no where so we attempted to pick up the tab for the table and move on and they wanted nothing of it……..my buddy shouted as we moved away from the table………long live Benny Hill………the looks we got even hours later as they left was intimidating..
    John, where did we go wrong. Whats the status and feelings with Brits about Benny Hill whats the best way to handle injecting any conversation concerning Benny Hill or is it best just to honor Benny Hill when no Brits are around?


    1. Good afternoon Don.
      Now where do I start? Benny Hill that’s where. I loved his comedy and so did most of my friends. The scantily clad girls in the sketches helped but I enjoyed his sense of humour. It stretched the boundaries in place at that time and I think made it easier for those that followed like Monty Python.
      Brits that frown upon him are, in my opinion, being overly high brow and stuck up. Probably don’t have much of a sense of humour. So if I were you when you come across Brits of an age that would have been around when Benny was in his prime and they say that they didn’t like him I would find another group of Brits who do like him. You’ll have more fun with that lot.

      As to missing the UK? Not at all. I miss family and friends. I miss seeing the children of our nieces and nephews growing up. I miss going to the Emirates to watch Arsenal play. I miss some foods. But not so much that I want to go back to visit let alone live there again.

      When Rose and I got here I can honestly say that we hardly ever spoke about our old home. We might occasionally if we fancied “this” or “that” to eat. Or we saw a photo of a place we used to go. But not with any sense or degree of regret or hunger.

      We will probably go back to visit but its likely to be a stop-off as we travel to somewhere else. It is unlikely to be THE holiday.

      When I read The Times its more for the sport and business pages. I do read some of the news articles but those I do read are, more often than not, in respect of world news events and not local (British).

  9. Steve Scott says:

    Curious…Just a single mixer for all the concrete work ?

    1. So far Steve there is only the one mixer. They make optimum use of it though.

  10. Erik Jensen says:

    Those are the best detours in life John…I have to get me some of that… 🙂

    1. Come on down Erik. Come on down.

      1. Steve says:

        Just a few quick questions. My wife and I are planning to retire to San Pedro as soon as our house sells. We are going to rent while looking for a residence to purchase. On the subject of golf carts. Should we buy one in the US and ship or purchase something on the island. Which would you think would be less expensive and easier to accomplish. We have been talking about where to retire for 10 years and of all the places we have considered San Pedro sounds like the place for us.

      2. Hi Steve. Getting a golf cart is not as straightforward as buying a car in your home country. On Ambergris Caye you need a permit (I suppose the same as getting a license in the UK) which you have to obtain from the San Pedro Town Council. Without this you would be driving it illegally.
        We tried to get a permit but they did not accept our off-street parking facility. We applied when our house was finished and we got it.
        Also worth pointing out that because I am in the Qualified Retirement Program it would be difficult for the ‘Town Council to deny me a permit when the Belize Tourism Board (as part of the QRP) state that you can import a vehicle absent of import duty.
        All that said I cannot believe that it would not be cheaper to buy in the States (new or old) and ship here. Particularly if you are bringing other stuff over in a container.
        Bear in mind though that if you are not QRP you will pay duty on it. But at a lower cost because of the better purchase price you obtain by buying in the states.
        If the above is not clear please let me know and I will try o expand/clarify.

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