“Friends Don’t Let Friends Dial Drunk” to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

After a very restful sleep I awoke around 05.30 hours (a bit of a lie in really) got up, showered, shaved and dressed and went out for an early morning walk around Covent Garden. Deprived of my early morning veranda time this was the next best thing and helped build an appetite for breakfast.

Not an Estel’s Dine By the Sea breakfast it’s true but very good nonetheless. And I’d brought a little bit of Estel’s with me. Well I just had to, didn’t I !

Spot the T shirt!

Belly full it was time for a spiritual experience. I had a pilgrimage to make. Oh and a special item to get. 

Oyster card at the ready I made the short walk to Covent Garden tube station and made the brief journey (only 4 stations) to Holloway Road and I was there. The place where dreams are made and magic is played. Emirates Stadium the home of Arsenal FC

Crossing the road I saw before me the hallowed walls of THE stadium. A shiver ran down my spine. I’m not used to the British climate any more!

I soaked up the atmosphere and sat with my footballing heroes for a while.

The Iceman , one of the team’s greatest ever players.

The rebel I loved to watch when I, like him at the time, was a teenager.

Thierry, the silky smooth goal scoring machine.


‘Chippy’, with the magical left foot.

With scenes of past glories whirling around my head I entered the Armoury, Arsenal FC’s merchandise store.

I wandered around the store wanting to buy an Arsenal ‘this’ or an Arsenal ‘that’ and then I saw the section I had been looking for. I chose the size I thought was right and went to the back of the store 

and watched the guy do what I had asked him.


With my mission accomplished it was time to cross off number 2 on MY Cuisine List so I headed off to the Barbican and found what I was looking for.

It was time for some fish and chips, English style!

A lovely wing of skate, some chunky chips (fries for non-UK readers) and some pickled onions. 

And the result?

Mission accomplished!

I didn’t bother with ‘Afters’ (the sweet course for non-UK readers) even though they had apple crumble on the menu, I didn’t have time I had people to meet.

Geordie (long time readers will, I’m sure, remember Geordie who we met when he was based in Belize as a member of BATSUB) hearing that I was going to be in London booked some leave and flew over from his base in Gütersloh


to join Dave (Dave also served time with BATSUB)

 The one on the right is Dave!

for a little (what an understatement that turned out to be!) reunion drink.

We met at the Punch & Judy – an extremely popular public house in Covent Garden and the rest of the night as they say is just a blur.

Geordie and Dave in civvies braving the English weather.

And the 3 of us

before things got messy. In fact it nearly got very messy when I was insistent that I ‘phone Rose to let her know what a great time we were having . Dave and Geordie with some gentle persuasion (and a little bit of swearing too) stopped me from doing so. Well, friends don’t let friends dial drunk!

Oh, I forgot to mention. I’m sure that I found the only Tottenham Hotspur fan within miles of the Emirates Stadium. I saw what I thought was a very nice lady and asked her – very politely- if she would mind taking a photo  of me between the famous Arsenal cannons. She agreed, focused the camera and then asked me to move slightly to my left. “Perfect” she exclaimed as she took the photo  and handed the camera back to me and scuttled off down the street.

Do you think she was telling me something!

The special purchase? Oh that was for Jaymon, the youngest son of Ernie ( THE Ernie of Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar) who is an avid Arsenal fan ( and a very nice young boy too).

An extremely happy Jaymon.

In tomorrow’s episode you can join me to experience choice number 3 on MY Cuisine List (and it’s the one I was looking forward to the most) and the reemergence of the Jolly Boys Outing after a 4 year absence.

The headline for today’s edition is based on track number 5 of the album entitled ‘Every Second Counts’ released in 2007 by the Plain White T’s which reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and number 3 on the UK Album Chart.


  1. woof4treats says:

    Miss fish n chips we ate in Germany. Nice tour.

    1. Never eaten fish and chips in Germany but it was part of my staple diet when I lived in London.

  2. Jane says:

    Fabulous post, John! It’s fun to see you in your old neighborhood!

    1. Thank you Jane. I had a great time although there are parts of some days that I really cannot remember. Or don’t want to!

  3. robert says:

    Hi John. Ive found a mobile chippie , run by a Brit here in Tampa bay, not bad either, but you cant beat the real stuff , you’ll know what i mean. By the way that pic the lady took, appears you did walk into with your eyes closed !!!!!

    1. I had my eyes closed alright. Th fish and chip shop by the way was first class. Well worth a visit.

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