“Rumours” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Since the last edition I’ve reverted to getting up early (anytime between 04.00 to 05.00 hours), made the mug of instant, sugar and milk free, coffee and taken it along with my trusty iPad (the Air version if you must know) out on to the veranda. The one on the first floor facing west ( the lagoon) if you are at all interested. If you’re not then you’ve probably packed up reading by now … For those of you still with me I’ll continue. Well, I’ve started now …

The weather has changed quite a lot since I first put pen to paper (or should I say “finger to iPad). The temperature has dropped to the extent that I have been ‘forced’ to open the drawer with the sweaters in. Worse than that though – I’ve actually been putting them on!

And it’s rained, oh how it’s rained. The water tank under the house has constantly been in overflow mode and the front garden is starting to resemble a quagmire again. Little doubt that when the rainy season eventually ends we’re in for some more landfill (are you reading this Lloyd?).

It’s been a week of primarily doing stuff at home. I’ve done a fair bit of reading and I’ve started the annual renewal process for my Qualified Retirement Program status. Rose and I have also spent a little time getting the ground floor apartment ready for our friend Dave to use this coming weekend.

We made friends with Dave when we lived in the UK. Dave is serving in the British Army and at the time had a posting at the Ministry of Defence. He was someone that we spent a lot of time talking to about our decision to move to Belize. It was ironic though that he got here before us. He got a one year posting and arrived here in April 2012. Nearly two months before we did.

We enjoyed spending time with him during his tenure and didn’t expect to see him out here again unless he came to visit on holiday. All that changed around two months ago when we got an email from him advising that he’d been posted here again. This time for six months.


It’s not been time spent totally at home though. Oh no. I’ve braved the elements – sweat top and poncho (yes I’m still using it Larry ) – for my weekly meeting at Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate Limited and, of course, a visit or three to Estel’s Dine By the Sea for breakfast. Well someone had to go there!

I’ve also spent a little time snooping and generally looking around and about. So what did I find out/see you’re wondering.

Well the Three Kingdom Bar has had a face lift (and maybe a change of focus). This was a bar for lonely men looking for company (you’ll of course appreciate and understand that I’ve never frequented it – honestly) and now


it’s the a Blue Hole Club with karaoke. Who would gave thought!

Now the next change I noticed is nearer to home. The little grocery store on the eastern side of the road just before the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge (southern side) has been razed to the ground.


Hoarding where the grocery store once stood.

And it’s rumoured that in its place there’s going to be a sixteen room beachfront hotel.


Building underway – right next door to DJ’s.

Now the other rumour I’ve heard is that the Palapa Bar might be changing hands very soon.


And the final rumour I’ve heard is that the budget for the road north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge has been exhausted. Don’t know if this is true or not but one thing is for sure and that’s that no work on it has taken place this week.

Now I’ve not been able to substantiate these rumours but having worked on The Sun for nearly twenty-five years I know that you never let the truth stand in the way of a good story!

Time will tell if these are scoops or poops!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the album released in 1977 by Fleetwood Mac which reached number one on both the US Billboard Hot 200 and the UK Albums Chart.

“So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

As I sat on the veranda yesterday mornng , the western, lagoon facing one, with a mug of black coffee (and boy did I need it ) things weren’t as they normally are.

Well for a start I didn’t get up until 07.25 hours and I wasn’t my normal ebullient self.

He must have been sick, you’re thinking. Well I suppose that could be one way of describing my condition at the time. Another might be that I just had too heavy a day the day before. I’ll leave you to make your own mind up on this question!

Saturday had started much the same as every day starts for me. I woke up, made a mug of coffee and … well regular readers know what follows.

After enjoying my ‘me time’ I set off for ‘Town to pick up Nick. Nick, you might recall from previous editions, is a member of the BATSUB team and his tour of duty in Belize finishes in just over a week and he was here on Ambergris Caye for his farewell party. And the party was going to be held at our house.

Nick had arrived the previous evening and we had arranged to have breakfast (yes, you’ve guessed where –Estel’s Dine By the Sea. Where else!) together before we set off together to get the provisions (for provisions read BOOZE).

First stop was



the wine and then it was on to the Crystal Water to pick up – no not water – the beer.

With the purchases made it was time to get in front of a TV to watch England play Slovenia in a European Championship but it was perilously close to 11.00 hours (kick-off time) and we were ‘forced’ to pull in to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. Bad luck or immaculate planning? I’ll leave you to judge.

Four or five beers later (I wasn’t really counting) and a three to one win for England under the belt it was time to get the purchases chilling


whilst I showered and dressed for the party.

Party ‘boy’ Nick and his guests started to arrive shortly after 18.00 hours


The ‘party boy’.

And Nanda, chef for the night, headed straight to the kitchen where Rose put him through his paces!


Nanda very quickly set about making the meal


assisted on occasions


but bothered on others.


Left alone though long enough to ‘work’ the magic.


The rest of us? We enjoyed ourselves!


Bart, a member of the US Air Force, trying to work out how to use the TV remote. Worrying isn’t it!


Not to sure what Justin (another member of the US Air Force) was doing!

And business magnet Peter (aka Pedro)


showing that he can smile as well as scowl!

And then it was time to eat.

First on the menu was a shrimp appetiser. Tantalisingly tasty because of the garlic, pepper and Soya flavouring. Followed by bite sized, crispy pieces of pork rib. Finished off exquisitely with a chicken curry with dal.


Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it!


So they did!

And then it was time to party and for the pretty boys to pose.



“Great meal Nanda”. Geordie (BATSUB) and ‘party boy’ Nick.


Nanda, me and Justin (US Air Force).


Don’t ask. I haven’t got a clue.


Nanda enjoying some well earned ‘chill time’.


Nick showing that he’s not just a pretty face! Sally in the background enjoying the spectacle.


Nick (unsuccessfully) trying to pull Rose, my wife!

All too soon (well 7 + hours after it started) the party came to an end but not before the British Army and US Air Force guys washed up all of the dishes, pots and pans and put all of the empty bottles in the crates.


You wouldn’t have known we had a party.

Rose and I? Well we retired to bed. The guys? They headed off to a club.


What else at their age!

Here’s the combined crew of BATSUB and the US Air Force before it all began.


And here’s some ‘during’ and ‘after’ photos of Ziggy.






Not much difference really!

After a few hours sleep (maybe a bit less for some) most of us met up at Estel’s for breakfast


And then off for ‘the hair of the dog’.


It had to come to an end though and it was time to say ” So long it’s been good to know yuh“. “Thanks for the good times Nick”.

Now it’s not always party time here on Ambergris Caye but it is always a fun time. And don’t forget if you want a piece of this dream – you want to know about land for sale in Belize, what Belize real estate is for sale, or houses for sale in Belize- then your first step is to make contact with Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate Limited. Trust me it will be a wise step.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the song released in 1935 by Woody Guthrie. It didn’t achieve commercial success but all that changed when it was released in 1951 by The Weavers and it reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Shine a Light” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Started Tuesday morning the way I start every day – I woke up (and long may this continue to be the case!). But wait, there was a difference. I got up at 03.45 hours. I had tried to get back to sleep after looking at the clock but try as I might I just couldn’t renew my sleep.

I made the ‘absolutely must have’ mug of black coffee (unsweetened if you are at all interested) and took it along with my iPad to the veranda -the western, lagoon facing one.

I’d been out there around ten minutes (reading The Times online) when the thought struck me. “Why not go to ‘Town and see what goodies the Mennonites had brought over from the mainland”. So I showered, shaved, dressed and grabbed my rucksack and headed off in the golf cart at 04.20 hours ( get ready fairly quickly don’t I! But then again I’m not a female and don’t need two hours to get ready! Only joking ladies. Honestly).

With the combination of a recently graded dirt road and paved road I made it to the dock on the lagoon side (just north of the new water taxi terminal) around 04.30 hours, parked up and walked straight to the dock.

As I got there I realised that I had made an error ((most unusual for me (sic)).The dock was virtually in total darkness. There was only one small torch and this was on the table next to the till.


The last time I had visited the early morning ‘market’ Rose and I had got there later and visibility wasn’t too bad. Not this time though.

My shopping experience was essentially a very slow walk until I bumped in to something and then feeling the objects to determine what it was (OK, so I’m exaggerating a little bit).

I filled up bags as I walked around and took my selections to the counter for the weighing process to take place and when this had been completed I handed over the requested BZ$ 31.25 (US$ 15.62 or £10.15) and headed off for home and arrived there at 05.07 hours.

So what did I get?


Not bad, eh.

I learned a lesson though (I’m continually learning stuff!). Next time I take Rose with me to shine a light.

Rose and I then spent what seemed like the rest of the day (it wasn’t but it just seemed like it) on a general house clean. It’s not like it’s ever dirty but our house is the venue this Saturday for a dinner to mark the occasion of the end of Nick’s tour in Belize as a member of BATSUB.

We think that there’s likely to be around ten of us but it’s not going to be too much work for us (I mean Rose of course. I’m just using the royal ‘we’). Why? Well, Nanda, another of the BATSUB team is going to do the cooking.

Nanda is a Gurka and obviously as such originates from Nepal,and is going ,as much as he is able to with the ingredients available, cook a traditional Nepalese meal. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never tried Nepalese cuisine so I’m really looking forward to it. I understand its a fusion of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine. My mouth is starting to salivate already. Obviously there’ll be some photos (be warned though that they’ll likely be taken very quickly – I need to make sure I get some on my plate!).

With the chores for the day taken care of Rose and I got ourselves ready and headed to ‘Town to meet friends at


The Blue Water Grill.

There were five of us. Just right. Why? Well we each made a different selection – Texas Roll, Rainbow Roll, Arrowhead Roll, Shark Ray Alley Roll and Saikyo hoisin yellowtail – and then got to sample the lot. Perfect. And they were!

If you’re not aware, Tuesday and Thursday nights are ‘Sushi Nights’ at the Blue Water Grill. Not tried it yet? You should!

Regular readers will be aware that there has tended to be a fairly common theme in the stuff I ‘put out there’. It’s rubbish! Well it might be but that’s not what I’m on about. No, it’s how, more often than not, I mention my ‘me time’ out on the veranda with the mug of coffee (black and unsweetened) and my iPad.

Well you’re going to have to get used to something else if you’re going to read my ‘stuff’.

This week I’ve been introduced to the ‘long tail keywordm’. No, it’s not a Sushi dish. It’s the use of phrases that are more likely to attract people to the ‘stuff’ people put out on the web. And now I’ve got an involvement with Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate Limited I want to attract people to use ‘my’ company if they are looking for property for sale in Belize, land for sale in Belize, a house for sale in Belize or a condo for sale in Belize.

Now my challenge going forward is to introduce these phases subtly (read ‘sneakily) as often as I can. C’mon I’m retired – every little bit helps!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the title of track seventeen of the album entitled Exile on Main Street which The Rolling Stones released in 1972. The album reached number one on both the US Billboard Hot 200 and the UK Albums Chart.

“Live Your Life” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

On Sunday I was up a little bit later than the norm but still out on the veranda (for first time readers it was the western, lagoon facing one) with my mug of instant black, unsweetened, coffee and the trusty iPad by 05.45 hours.

Still in good enough time to make my acquaintance again after a week’s break with the Sunday Times online. I read my chosen sections (Sport, Business, News if you’re interested) for around an hour disturbed only by Ziggy wanting feeding and the sound of the grader going past our front gate.

I then showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and dressed (yep, in that order) and then set off for breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea. The timing was all important because the Swansea v Arsenal game was being broadcast on TV at 10.00 hours. Didn’t want to miss that. Or so I thought at the time!

The first thing I noticed on leaving home was how smooth the road was



Unfortunately the first heavy rainfall will undo most of the good work. Moaning? Absolutely not. That’s just the way it is. Until the new cement road is in place!

Although only a little stretch had been flattened it, along with the ever increasing length of paved road, made my journey to ‘Town so much more pleasant. And quicker (I didn’t speed though. Honest)!

I enjoyed my ‘usual’ breakfast of eggs (sunny side up), potatoes, bacon and a tortilla. I’ve got to admit that I also enjoy the fact that, more often than not, my mug of black coffee ‘hits’ the table shortly after my derrière ‘hits’ the seat. Added to the fact that my breakfast order just turns up. I don’t need to say a thing apart from “Good morning Shanti/Sam/Mark”.

Stoked up with carbohydrates, protein and fibre I was ready for the game and headed off home confident that we would get a win. Not for the first time in my life I was wrong. Oh so wrong. I’m just pleased that my blood pressure is good because following Arsenal fully puts it to the test. If you haven’t guessed it, we lost.

I didn’t have too long to wallow in self-pity though because I had to shower and change. Rose and I had been invited to Eddie Alamilla’s home to celebrate his birthday which fell last Thursday.

We met Eddie (affectionately known to many by the nickname of ‘Crazee’) at Cholo’s on our first visit to Ambergris Caye in 1998 when he was an instructor for Amigos Del Mar and struck an immediate and long lasting friendship. Being invited to his home to celebrate this special day with him and his family and close friends cemented the friendship even more.

The food -cooked by Eddie and his wife Ina -was scrumptious. Lobster, fish,chicken, ceviche, salad, vegetables and the best chimichangas (vegetable) I have ever eaten. I didn’t take ‘photos because (as far as I’m concerned) it would have been rude. You’ll just have to believe me that it was good, seriously, seriously good.

Yesterday I was up bright and early again (its just what I do) so that I could have a couple of hours of ‘me time’ out on the veranda before heading to work at my new job at Pelican Properties/Belize Real Estate – the weekly team meeting.

My reverie was broken, however, when I heard a sound in the back garden. Looking out over the veranda I saw a couple of racoons running along the sea wall heading towards the northern fence. Grabbing my camera (see Mike, I kept my promise) I managed to grab a few shots.



No time to enjoy nature for too long though, I had a breakfast to eat. Yes, Estel’s Dine By the Sea again. Oh if only they operated a token collect system. You know, collect ten tokens and get your eleventh breakfast free!

With breakfast over it was a short drive to get to the office


for the 09.00 hours meeting where we discussed the previous week’s efforts and what the current week’s objectives are.

Now here’s my time for the unabashed plug. If you’re looking for property for sale in Belize, land for sale in Belize, a house for sale in Belize or a condo for sale in Belize why not give my company the chance to help you find what you are looking for. I just know you won’t be disappointed.

I hadn’t been home long when my iPad started making funny noises (Rose set up the various alarm notifications). I thought it was a fire drill but Rose very quickly told me it was to let me know that someone was trying to contact me via FaceTime. And she was right. It was my sister calling from England.

It got better though because she had one of her daughters , her son, his partner, Mia our great niece (and she is GREAT) and Cody, one of our great nephews with her.


Cody is wearing the skeleton costume and Mia the headdress.

We spent nearly two hours talking to everyone and showing them around our new home. It was great and reminded me of just how fortunate we are.

After the call was over, with the thoughts of how lucky we are still with me, my thoughts turned to a reader of the blog I lost last week.

Now since I stared writing this blog I’ve lost some readers. I’ve upset one or two people (not intentionally) and my writing style hasn’t appealed to some. I accept this. But this loss I actually feel quite deeply.

I hadn’t long started the blog when a lady by the name of Marsa Hightower started to send the occasional comment. This communication developed to the point whee we became Facebook friends and eventually exchanged email addresses.

Marsa was a long-time lover of Belize and had visited Ambergris Caye many times. She was due to retire very shortly and was going to relocate to Placencia but was going to visit Ambergris Caye and we were going to meet at long last. This was something that I was really looking forward to.

I was looking forward to hearing about her times working with some of the greatest groups of my time (Led Zeppelin being amongst them). I knew that we had a similar sense of humour.

I’m sorry to say that this meeting will never take place because last week Marsa was suddenly and unexpectedly taken from us.

I’d got to know Marsa fairly well and am convinced that she felt you have to live your life to the full. I always have and will continue to do so.

Farewell Marsa. I’m so sorry we never got to meet.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 2007 by T.I , featuring Rihanna, which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart.

“Just Can’t Get Enough” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.

Out on the veranda, yes the western, lagoon facing one, this morning with the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee. Didn’t make it out there though until 06.20 hours. Much, much later than usual. And not feeling at all my usual chirpy, full of zest self. Reason? The dreaded Belikin.


Cause? The Grand Opening of the forty-eight room extension at Caribbean Villas Hotel.


Knowing that this was going to be a popular and well attended – it was an Open Bar (read FREE) event – Rose and I set off early from home. Belize timing (equals late) was not going to apply for us. And we arrived bang on time. Within minutes I had a beer in my hand (the first of far too many I somewhat regret to report).

Having a fair inkling that the night might be somewhat ‘liquid’ (I didn’t get to this age without learning something) I took a trip earlier in the day to Caribbean Villas Hotel to take a look at the reason for the party. The new rooms and additional pool.

When I got there work on finishing off rooms and putting the decking in place for the pool was still going on but I didn’t let this put me off. Brushing aside calls of “We’re not ready, we’re not ready” I fearlessly strode forward (another thing that comes from advancing age is a deterioration in hearing. Or, the ability not to hear when you don’t want to!) and found a vacant, and completed room.





Every room has its own veranda


so that guests can enjoy the views


or take a few steps to one of the two pools



The new pool.

or wander over to the newly named Amber Bar and Grill



or stroll over to the dock for a day of diving with Ambergris Divers


or for the less energetically minded just enjoy a lounge on the beach


where’s there’s plenty of room to do? Well, nothing if you want!

Feel like you’ve been to the place? Good. My work is done then so let’s get back to the party!

Now bear in mind that I was being plied with free drinks and extremely tasty appetisers – and it was all free – so the quality of the photos that follow may be of questionable quality. It’s not the fault of the camera though. Oh no. For that you can blame Bowen & Bowen, the brewers of Belikin! Me? I’m taking no blame!


Waiting for a dignitary to arrive? Or was it something I said?


Melon topped with feta. They were delish (did I really use that word !).



And the Mayor turned up too. (Photo in mono for Peter’s (aka Pedro) sake because I’m told that it makes you look slimmer!).

The three hours passed so quickly and everyone was sorry to see the night come to an end. But sometimes you just can’t get enough!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 2011 by the Black Eyed Peas which reached number three on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

‘Workin’ for a Livin'” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I think when I wrote the last edition I must still have been in a state of euphoria (for euphoria read “too much alcohol in the system”) because I failed to mention a couple of fantastic (I’m so easily pleased these days!) things that happened to me around my birthday.

The first thing came as a complete surprise to me – a birthday present. Something I didn’t expect and a gift that I didn’t know existed.


A gift voucher for Estel’s Dine By the Sea. Still trying to work out why they thought this would be a good present for me!

Now the other thing has been in the offing for some considerable time. In fact I first considered it around a year ago but thought better of it. A year on and my perspective has changed. So what is it, you’re thinking.

Well, I’ve bought in to a local business and have entered the world of estate agents (realtors for non UK readers).

Under the Qualified Retirement Program I can’t actually work in Belize but nothing precludes me from owning or part owning a business and after being retired for around two and a half years I was starting to miss being involved in a business. Sad isn’t it.

I’ve whetted your appetite now, haven’t I! Which business have I bought in to? Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate is the answer.

For those of you who don’t know, Pelican Properties Limited has an office in Barrier Reef Drive (front street)


which is nicely situated next door to Belize Bank Limited and across the road from Lola’s Pub. Neat eh. I can withdraw money, cross the road and buy myself a Belikin. Sweet!

It has a spacious and well appointed office


and a knowledgeable, efficient and friendly team to help people find their dream property


Two of the Pelican team hard at work (unlike me). Matt Hoy and Evelyn Nunez.

from an abundance of prime properties.


Is this edition an unadulterated plug for my new business interest? You betcha it is. Although I’m not workin’ for a livin’ I obviously want my new business interest to do well and with experience of buying property (the lot our house is on was coincidentally purchased via Pelican Properties Limited) and having built here on Ambergris Caye I think I’m well placed to help people (via this blog) make the move themselves.

From choosing the right property, to getting approval to build.


To selecting a building contractor. To shipping those prized possessions from your old home. To furnishing your new home.

Somehow I think my ‘me time’ on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one) with the mug of black coffee might get a little busier now. Might be needing a new iPad real soon!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1982 by Huey Lewis and the News which reached number forty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Hang On In There Baby” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.

Hello there. Yes ,I am still alive and kicking (figuratively speaking, of course). I’ve just taken some time out from producing editions.

I’ve basically been doing the same type of stuff that I’ve covered in many editions (maybe too many). I’m still getting up early and enjoying a couple of hours (my ‘me time’) out on the veranda with a mug of black, unsweetened instant coffee and my iPad.

I’ve made the trip to ‘Town to enjoy early morning


Early enough? Look hard at the clock and you’ll see it’s at 06.45 hours

for breakfast at


Estel’s Dine By the Sea

at a time of the day when the deck


is relatively empty and I can enjoy the peacefulness and


the view!

On the way to and from ‘Town I’ve watched progress on the laying of the cement road north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge




as the lane north to south edges closer and closer to the Feliz Bar & Grill /The Cloisters.

Some mornings on the way to Town I get to watch people trying to catch a fish or two for their breakfast


or I just take time out to look at the flowers that adorn my route.


So all in all a sort of ‘same old, same old’ type of week for me. Well it was until Saturday. Naturally you’re thinking “Why, what happened Saturday?”. It was my birthday, that’s what.

I started the day as I always do. I woke up (and long may this continue) !Spent ‘me time’ out on the veranda and then made breakfast. Yes, I made it! And then my ‘love affair’ with the sofa began – time for football (and I mean the real – and only – FOOTBALL).Two Premier League games, one La Liga, one Ligue 1 game topped off with a Serie A match. I did take a break to get lunch though when I drove to Briana’s Deli to pick up a chicken soup.

There was a Bundesliga game on as well but I had to pass on that. I had a Poker Run to attend.

The ‘Run started at Caribbean Villas Hotel where I was persuaded (far too easily I might add) to try a run concoction of a cocktail. It was very fruity and tasty but boy did it have some rum in it and by the time we got to the Road Kill Bar it was starting to take effect.


I blame the rum for my hand on his knee. It is a nice knee though …

It was downhill from there as people plied me with Belikin after Belikin (message to self – don’t be so malleable) and I surely would have wilted under the pressure (or do I mean influence) had Rose not stepped in and told me to “Hang on in there baby” (she actually told me to pull myself together but I couldn’t find a song to fit that!).

Her words of encouragement worked though and I ‘manned up’ for the stops at Lola’s Pub and Wayo’s Beachside Beernet and by the time we hit the last stop at Pedro’s Hotel I fully recovered (little bit of literary licence here – I wasn’t slurring or stumbling) . And as if this didn’t impress me enough I was up for the Manchester City v Manchester United game the next morning which kicked off at 07.00 hours. There’s even better news though – it’s not my birthday again for another year!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1974 by Johnny Bristol which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100.