“Cruel to Be Kind” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Now where was I? Oh yes, telling you how cold (cold is relative you know) it has been recently.

Well the weather has shown a general improvement and there’s been no rain to speak of. The temperature though – and,more saliently, it’s affect on me – has been subject to the occasional chill. Some early mornings out on the veranda (c’mon you know which one by now) even with my mug of black, unsweetened, instant coffee I’ve been cold. Not freezing, but not comfortable.

Wearing of the windcheater (windbreaker for you Wes) has been a more than necessary, and very welcome, addition to my normal attire of T shirt and shorts. This feeling a drop in temperature might be the result of me finally becoming acclimatised. Or -perish the thought- another sign of the effects of advancing age. They (whoever they are?) do say, don’t they, that as you get older you feel the cold more. Me? I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s the mercury falling in the thermometer. Well I would, wouldn’t I!

The decidedly chilly weather though hasn’t stopped me (I’m a tough type really) from making the morning foray in to ‘Town for a breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea. Well someone has to do it and they’d miss me. OK maybe not.

The cold snap didn’t deter Lloyd (regular readers will be aware of him as our ‘go to guy’ for the bits and pieces around the garden that we have been slowly but surely taking care of (well, he’s been taking care of it actually)) from starting work on the fence we decided to have erected along the southern side of the lot we have adjacent to our house (I might just have set my newest record for my longest sentence).

The purpose of the fence is more to delineate our property rather than, for example, to deter intruders so we elected to ‘go for’ the lower cost option of bush sticks and chicken wire.


Bush sticks at the ready.

Lloyd and his employee quickly (one of the benefits of colder weather is that people generally want to move faster!) set about ‘planting’ the posts.


They went at it fast and furious but not so fast that Lloyd didn’t see the opportunity for a pose.


Say cheese!

Before long all of the posts were in


and then it was time for the horizontal rails to be fitted


and then the chicken wire.


They couldn’t quite finish the fence because we (actually it was them – I was just watching!) ran out of ‘wire. A trip to Hermano’s


by me quickly revealed that I’d cleared the stock with my purchase. The fence remains unfinished while we wait for replacement supplies to be sent from the mainland. Island life …

This time of the year -in addition to the drop in temperature – brings with it the need to renew certain permits with the license for our boat being one of them. So it was necessary to take Gunner (for first time or occasional readers that’s the name of our boat) to the Belize Port Authority office at the southern end of Ambergris Caye.

It’s not a particularly long journey by water -perhaps five miles – but because of the fairly frequent stretches of extremely shallow water close to our home it’s not possible (or sensible) to ‘open up’ the engine. As a consequence the journey took us around thirty-five minutes. This is a problem though when you’ve got great scenery like this


and – even better – this


Captain Rose!

The whole process – checking the engine serial number, type/colour of boat, paying the fee of BZ$ 50, etc only took around ten minutes and we were on our way. We should get the new license around the first week of the new year.

In addition to renewing the boat license it was also the time of year for Ziggy to get his shots ( rabies, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus /corona virus and distemper/hepatitis) so we took a visit to the San Pedro Animal Hospital.

This proved to be a hugely embarrassing experience for me. It turns out that Ziggy, just like his Mum Rose, is a baby when it comes to needles. He made so much noise you’d have thought he was being operated on without the use of anesthetic. I know that the rabies shot was a three year booster but …

While we were there we also had the new vet, Trish Kelly, give Ziggy a once-over and when he got on the scales the truth came out. One of us has been giving him too many after meal treats. Since his last weight check he’d put on five pounds, a ten percent increase in body weight!


A disconsolate looking Ziggy after finding out the ugly truth. He’s fat!

I should have seen the signs because they were there to be seen. The normally swift movements by Ziggy to catch iguanas had gone.


As had the iguana!


He’s just too slow.

Drastic action required – much reduced level of treats for Ziggy. Sometimes you’ve just got to be cruel to be kind!

The headline for today’s somewhat disparate edition is based on the single released in 1979 by Nick Lowe which reached number twelve in both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Charts.


  1. Susan Watts says:

    Hi John & Rose….Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year! Thanks for the blogs, photos and quirky comments…LOVE IT! May God continue to bless and keep you! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you Susan and the same to you.

      Quirky. What do you mean!

  2. Jon Dyer says:

    John & Rose,
    Great to read the blogs. All is well here. Ziggy certainly doesn’t look out of shape, perhaps the vet meant you !! Off to collect my Mum and bring her to London for Xmas. Haven’t seen Townley for a while but going on a session on 29th December with him, Alan and Neil Fripp.
    Have a great Xmas and an even better 2015.
    Best regards
    Jon & Jill xx

  3. Susan Watts says:

    If the photo above is recent, then Ziggy is NOT fat, in fact he looks well muscled and in great shape! I’ve been breeding and showing dogs for 15 years, I’m not a vet, but I know dogs and he looks great!

    1. Hi Susan. The photo is a very recent one. In fact I think not too long after the visit to the vet.
      I’ve already that I am prone to the occasional foible of over exaggeration. Describing Ziggy as fat being the latest example. Didn’t realise he had so many ‘fans’ out there!
      By the way (no excuses for the blatant plug) when you eventually get around to looking for your new home on Ambergris Caye please do give us at Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate the opportunity of finding it for you.
      Have a great Christmas.

  4. kristina nadreau says:

    I agree with the majority. Ziggy is not fat. His meals need to be scaled back a little so he does not continue his weight gain, but he is not overweight now. I am a vet, so my vote counts for more. HA! kris

  5. Emily says:

    I don’t think Mr. Ziggy looks fat either — he still has a nipped-in waist. Can you feel ribs? If so, he’s not too fat. That doesn’t mean that the treats should be decreased to avoid him *becoming* fat, since his weight is trending upward, however! Did the new vet actually say he was fat?

    1. Hi Emily. The first thing to say is that I have been known to exaggerate things occasionally. That said, Ziggy had gained 10% weight in just over 3 months from what at the time had been described by the vet as his perfect weight.
      The new vet didn’t actually say that he was fat. She did say though that he was carrying a few pounds too many.

  6. Henry says:

    Just a fan.
    Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
    It peaked at No. 5 in the United Kingdom[2] and No. 75 in the United States on the Billboard Music Charts
    *****Henry smiles*****

  7. Henry says:

    Just a fan.
    Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
    It peaked at No. 5 in the United Kingdom and No. 75 in the United States on the Billboard Music Charts

    *****Henry smiles*****

  8. roseypon says:

    He’s not fat he’s gorgeous, and it was me who has over fed him, sorry Ziggy xxxxxx I only did it because I love you. ;0)

    1. Pleased that you pleaded ‘guilty’.

  9. Henry says:

    I am sorry but Ziggy is in no way “FAT”! He is a fine looking companion. Perhaps you and he may have to get into a walking regimen after the new year?

    1. Hello Henry. Ziggy gets loads of exercise but obviously not enough to totally counteract the excess level of treats that Rose has been giving him!

      1. Henry says:

        He is practically svelte! Look at that stomach. Maybe he was too thin before and is now putting on some needed weight.

      2. Henry are you a relative of Ziggy?

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