“Maybe I’m Amazed” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

To those of you that have missed me , thanks. Sorry I’ve been extremely lax in knocking out editions. To those of you that haven’t missed me I’ve only one thing to say! Why not ?

Tomorrow Rose and I will celebrate (and it will be something to celebrate) our third anniversary of upping sticks and moving from London, England to Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I must admit that this anniversary was not front of mind for me (not a lot is nowadays though) but the fact was highlighted for me when driving home from ‘Town the other day.

Looking in my rear view mirror I could see a bicycle coming up on the inside of me and then I heard my name cried out. I pulled over and saw that it was a fellow Englishman who, funnily enough, arrived on the island exactly the same day as Rose and I.

We spent the first few minutes catching up on what each of us have been doing recently and then he told me with great excitement that he’d been informed a few days previously that his application for Residency had been approved. And he’d be getting his paperwork within the next week or two.

The look of pleasure on his face was something to behold and when he gave me the background to his application I understood why.

Now this chap (he’s British so I’ll refer to him in this manner as opposed to ‘guy’) spent the required twelve month qualification period in the country. He never left at all even though he could have done. He wanted no complications. He personally took his application to Belmopan. He wanted to be certain. And then he waited. And he waited. For two years!

You know what though? He told me it’s been worth the wait!

Not everything takes an age in Belize though. And some things beat where I originate from by a mile.

Last week the ‘cart started to make noises that I didn’t like the sound of at all (too technical for you?). I didn’t have a clue what the problem was but I intuitively knew that something was not right and that something was going to break real soon. There was only one thing to do. Get a new ‘cart? No, take it to Giovanni!

Giovanni operates his business in Seagrape Drive and although it may not look much


I’ve found -thus far- that he does a first class job.

He asked me what was wrong and although I did my best (as we all have probably experienced from time-to-time this sometimes just isn’t good enough) he was none the wiser so he jumped on to the ‘cart and took it for a short ride. Returning within minutes he exclaimed “It’s the clutch. You need a new one”.

Rose ( she’s my technical adviser), Giovanni and I got into his ‘cart and made the short drive (it’s in the same road) to FCS Aluminum where we purchased a new clutch. But not before Rose (she’s my negotiator too) uttered the word that retailers and sellers of services around the island have come to dread. “Discount” she said with a steely (and scary) glint in her eyes.

The price tumbled from BZ$ 532.50 to BZ$ 472.

We grabbed the new clutch and returned to Giovanni’s workshop and fifteen minutes later – for the princely sum of BZ$30 – it was fitted. I just stood there with an incredulous look on my face (or was it just a stupid look? You’ll have to ask Rose as to which) and Rose asked what was the matter. “Nothing”, I replied. “It’s just, well, maybe I’m amazed at quickly he did it” (OK, OK I know it’s probably my weakest and corniest link yet but I’m out of practice).

So what else have I been doing you’re wondering. You are, aren’t you.

Well we’ve started our garden clean up/landscaping with seriousness. I started the ball rolling by clearing the mess outside our front fence. This area (and I really cannot understand why) appears to be seen by users of the road north as an ideal place to throw their rubbish. Bottles, plastic beakers, polystyrene food receptacles, cardboard boxes. Get the picture. No?




Got the picture now?

Rose and I filled a rubbish (garbage for non UK readers) bag from just 125 feet of road frontage. And then I started the weeding.


They’re weeds. Honestly.

And within no time at all


it started to look a lot tidier.

Now our plan is to create a bed -we’ve yet to determine with what – in front of the fence that will hopefully signal to travellers along the road that it’s not a convenient place to dump their rubbish.

But the real work is going to take place on the other side of the fence to turn this





into something that will hopefully resemble a garden.

I’ll bring you up to date in the next edition but must bring this one to an end. Arsenal just retained the FA Cup by beating Aston Villa four goals to nil and … well I’m out to celebrate!

The headline for today’s edition is based on the Wings single released in 1977 which reached number twenty-eight on the UK Singles Charts and number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100.


  1. Nigel Duncan says:

    Congrats John and Rose love reading your blogs. Nigel & Hilary

    1. Hi Nigel. Long time no ‘speak’. How are you? Pleased you enjoy the blog. Gives me something to do to keep the brain half functioning!

  2. Susan Watts says:

    Congrats on 3 years! Maybe put in a garbage barrel with a “hoop” for people to aim at with their garbage! At least then it might all be collected in one spot…Pity people icky tourist or icky locals can’t seem to keep their garbage until they find a rubbish barrel to place it in! See how quickly I caught on to the rubbish term?! LOL

    1. Thank you Susan. I fear that if we put a rubbish bin in front of our fence it could be seen as an open invitation to dump household waste as well.
      We are going to create a little border in the hope (I’m ever the optimist) that people will respect it. We shall see.

    2. You are very quick at picking up languages Susan! I think a rubbish bin out front would likely encourage far more dumping I’m sorry to say.

  3. woof4treats says:

    Congrats John & Rose. Front gate looks smart. We pick up tourist’s trash all the time. Garden party time to recruit free help pull weeds. Cold Belkins.

    1. Thanks Kathy. A garden party with free Belikins would have made a dent on the weeds but we’re having quite a lot if additional stuff done.

  4. steve ward says:

    congrats to you both John, 3 years is a real milestone..!
    I dont know why people decide to just drop litter and rubbish, its just as bad here, i wish people cared about the environment they live in but ho hum
    Cheers, Steve

    1. Thanks Steve. Hopefully you have re acclimatised since moving back to the UK. Regrettably litterbugs are on the increase everywhere. Maybe not in Singapore though!

  5. Wilma Lingle says:

    Three years – how wonderful! We are not too far behind you and will be 3 years in December. Still happy every day with living here.

    See if the plant Ixora would work for you along the front fence. It grows quite well with benign neglect once you get it going. And you can start it from cuttings, so it could be fairly inexpensive if you bought a couple of plants to start and then fill in with cuttings that you start just by putting snips in water to root. You can get it with white, red, or orange flowers.

    1. Congratulations to you in advance. And thank you very much for the suggestion. It looks to be just my kind of plant – low maintenance .

  6. Jim Montgomery says:

    Hi John, looking good! We just drove by your place and you cleaned it up real nice. It is a shame about the garbage, I walk along the (new) road every morning we have been here and think about all the garbage littering the road and just sigh…..
    congrats on your anniversary!

  7. Sharyn says:

    Can you just put a garbage can out there with a big sign or do you think it would just disappear? It’s sad…I hope it’s icky tourists instead of locals.

  8. Steve Hall says:

    Not too impressed with the way Villa played today, totally outclassed by Arsenal (i’m a Villa fan by the way) But anyway well done to Arsenal. Keep up with the blog enjoy every article you post.

  9. robert says:

    Congrats you two and on Arsenal on actually winning something this yr LOL We celebrated yesterday, We closed on the sale of our beach bungalow and with the money from that bought a fabulous 3100sqft pool home in Weeki Wachee Fla. !!!
    Wow that clutch didn’t last long, I think you might be best putting some colourful razor wire coils along that nice clean fence front !!! Wondering how soon it will be full of trash again . Assume your swilling down beers and stuff at Pedro’s party, all for very good causes. Congrats again, come visit in Fla.

    1. Great news re the house sale and purchase Robert.
      The clutch actually just about lasted 2 years. I think the old dirt road north of the bridge aged it prematurely.
      Went to Pedro’s birthday lunch today (around 28 of us) and will be at CVH on Sunday for the fundraiser. Oh, and if you haven’t heard (fairly certain that you have) the hotel near your old place is 3 stories.

  10. Congratulations, John and Rose, not just on your three years, but for the generosity and wisdom with which you have greeted those of us who followed (sometimes even years later)! All our best, Bob & Rose

    1. Thank you Bob. Your comments are appreciated.

  11. Wes Witt says:

    And here I was thinking that Maybe I’m amazed was for Arsenal winning the FA cup. Congrats and have another cold one.

    1. Wes, as of next season it’s going to be called the Emirates Cup. We play at the Emirates. Now doesn’t that tell you something? It’s ours !
      Oh, and I had more than one cold one!

  12. Jane says:

    Congratulations on your 3 year Anniversary, Rose and John! May those years be multiplied with many, many more!

    1. Thank you Jane. Really, really appreciated.

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