“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.


  1. Susan Watts says:

    John, so sorry for your loss. But I’m sure you’re happy you knew Marsa via FB and e-mail. I love your posts and I look forward to them daily/weekly or when ever you post them. We will be returning to AC this January and if I see you at Estel’s I’ll surely introduce myself this time! Susan

    1. Thank you for your kind words Susan. I’m trying to be a bit more regular/frequent with the blog but…
      Please do introduce yourself if we find ourselves at Estel’s at the same time when you return next January.

  2. lifeagain says:

    “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””.

    Now that’s living….yes sir……..hopefully you got a little stroll along the beach afterwards and managed to find a secluded spot to give yourself a good congratulatory pinch and shout for all of your hard work and vision paying off.

  3. Jane says:

    I’m saddened by your loss, John, and know only too well what others are saying here. A friend once said to me, as I was lamenting the odds of coming to BZ to retire. “If you can, do it!” We did, and how blessed we are!

    1. Thank you Jane.
      As I described in the blog, I never actually met Marsa (we only ever communicated in writing) but she came across as a warm, humorous and fun person.
      And, as for you, we feel extremely fortunate that we made it here for our retirement. Long may this last for all of us.

  4. jamie cozby says:

    Hi John, how unfortunate about Marsas’ untimely passing. We have had many early life losses in our family that have made us aware of just how short this life we have been given, truly is. I really enjoy reading your blog and super excited that you are now a part of Pelican. We have started our “selling off” process in order to move to SP, hopefully, shortly after the coming New Year. We will be back Dec. 30 for two more weeks. I will definitely have to say “hey” at Estels this time.

    1. Hi Jamie. I wouldn’t say that we treat every day as if it might be our last but we do enjoy every day and find something good in each and every one of them.

      Good luck with your moving arrangements AND do please say “Hi” when you next see me at Estel’s.

  5. woof4treats says:

    So sorry for the sad news. Life is short on this earth and it is not a dress rehearsal. Live everyday like it is your last. Taking early retirement will be a new chapter for us. Oh, we will be available for house sitting😊

    1. Hi Kathy. Nothing could be truer.
      Will bear your offer of house sitting in mind.

  6. DAv says:

    Hello John: So sorry to hear about Marsa, and the unfortunate turn of events that led to the two of you not having the opportunity to meet after much communication. I have been following your blog (silently) for some time now (my wife longer than I), as we are looking to move/retire to Ambergris Caye in the future (is that too indefinite a term?), and have very much enjoyed and appreciated your commentary and the information you have conveyed (please keep your blog active and alive), particularly regarding your building process in your earlier blogs, as we are looking to build on the island ourselves. We fell in love with Ambergris and the people there a few years ago when our daughter got married at Victoria House. We returned last year, bought land, and are returning this year to revisit, talk with contractors, and generally check things out in more detail. Your headline “live your life” hit home, as our decision to follow this course in life (a change in course actually) came following a significant medical “event” in our lives, and my wife and I truly do look forward to “living our lives” as best as we can. Thank you for keeping your blog going, and for adding those “personal” touches that keep people connected (what’s that about six degrees of separation?). Perhaps we will bump into each other one Friday night at Wine de Vine! Thanks… Warm Regards, David.

    1. Hi David. Personally I think that it is sufficient to have the intent. We had the intent for a long time before we relocated to Ambergris Caye. It’s not ‘the when’ it’s the ‘doing it’!
      Thanks for your kind comments re my blog. I’ll do my best. If you’ve any questions though then feel free to put them to me.
      I’d like to ‘bump’ in to you but I doubt it’ll be at Wine de Vine, it’s not really my scene. Too many expats!

  7. Steve Ward says:

    yeah keep up the great blog John

    1. I’ll try to Steve. Thanks.

  8. Kathi Moore says:

    I’m sorry to hear of the passing of someone who still had more living to do. In your new venture, you can guide people to reconstruct their retirement years. I think you have a lot a lot to give.
    Can you sell our property?

    1. I’m sorry I never got to meet Marsa. I just know that we would have got on with each other.
      Would love to sell your house but somehow don’t think that Belize Real Estate would have potential purchasers rushing to our door!
      As to helping others thinking of making the move to Belize, this is something that I’m giving serious thought to. It will require a change of blog site and for me to be more disciplined about how I write and what I write about.
      We shall see!

  9. lifeagain says:

    Hi John, nice photos as usual.
    Raccoon’s out in the day? Here that would be a sign of possible rabies.

    1. Thanks Don. It was early morning (I think around 6). Think they were heading ‘home’ after a night of doing whatever they do. Thanks for the top though, I’ll make sure that Ziggy stays well clear of them.

  10. John Nissen says:

    Keep up the blogging. I truely look forward to it arriving in my email. John

    1. Thanks John. Appreciated. And I will.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s