“What a Fool Believes” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Yes, I know, it’s been a long, long while since I last published an edition. Now I could say I’ve been extremely busy. I could. But I won’t , because I haven’t really been that busy.

Rose and I did go to the UK in April. Me for nine nights and Rose for a month. We stayed in Central London (Tottenham Court Road if you are at all interested) which put us close to Theatreland and we took full advantage of this and went to see Kinky Boots 

Rose trying out for a part!

“Let the show begin”.

We also took the opportunity to go and see An American In Paris, which had opened in London on 21 March, just a few weeks before.

Both shows were very enjoyable and well worth the ticket price.

Being in the West End we obviously went shopping. Well, I more tagged along than actually went shopping! We also got to sample cuisine that we don’t get to enjoy very often now and managed to get into Simpson’s in the Strand before it closed for major refurbishment . If you’ve never been there you should go when next in London. The roast beef, roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding are scrumptious.

 We got to spend a day with my nephew Bradley and his partner Shorona and their two children, Cody and little Lottie.

My eight days just flew by but I did find time (as if I wouldn’t ) for a day of pub crawling with my best friend John (well it started out as a brisk stroll but …) weaving our way across London.

Now my friend John has always been a meticulous planner – he produces a spreadsheet for everything- and he used this skill so that our final destination (a pub of course) was exceptionally close to my hotel. So close in fact that Rose was able to join us for our final few drinks. And make sure that I got ‘home’. Now that’s a great friend.

On the Wednesday I said my goodbyes to Rose and put her in a taxi (Uber of course) and sent her on her way to spend three weeks with her sisters. Me? I took an Uber car to my friend John’s ( and his lovely wife Janet) house for my final night in London. Obviously we spent a fair bit of this in a pub. It would have been rude not to!

Up early the next morning and, courtesy of my friend John, it was off to Heathrow airport for my flight to Houston for an overnight before heading back home to Belize the next morning.

Now if only I had the planning skills of my friend. Why, you ask. Well I wouldn’t have made my travel arrangements to arrive in Belize on Good Friday. How stupid was I. No Duty Free and no bars open! 

On landing in San Pedro the first task was to collect my cart and load my luggage and then straight to Pampered Paws to collect my housemate, Ziggy.

For some ‘boys’ time together!

Ziggy and I weren’t alone for too long before our number increased to three. No, Rose didn’t return. The Geordie landed!

Regular readers will recall, I’m sure, that Rose and I got to know Geordie when he was posted to Belize to serve as a member of BATSUB.

After a couple of days of R & R for Geordie – primarily involving white rum, cranberry juice and ice – it was time to tackle the list of DIY jobs that I had drawn up. He surely didn’t think that he’d come here to laze around. So out came the Ospho

sandpaper, primer and finishing coat and we set about removing the rust from the burglar bar gates and railings.

Rust removed and primer applied. Only five more to go!

The two weeks just whizzed by and before we knew it we were at the San Pedro airstrip waiting for Rose to land. How time flies when you are enjoying yourself!

Rose, Ziggy and I then got to spend a further two weeks enjoying Geordie’s first class company and we even got to celebrate Newcastle winning the Championship with him

but all good things come to an end (yes, even me one day!) and it was time to say “Goodbye” to Geordie until the next time.

The time spent with Geordie had fooled me into believing I was (note the use of the past tense) a DIY expert (huh,what a fool believes!).

So knowing that a couple of our recessed LED lights were flashing I took the ladder and a couple of replacement bulbs up to the top floor. 

The defective light in Rose’s bathroom was replaced within minutes and I was up the ladder on the landing ready to replace the second bulb in no time at all. The dud bulb came out relatively easy and the new one was virtually in when the unthinkable started to happen. The legs of the ladder started to slide apart. I hadn’t secured them. 

Crash. I hit the floor some six to seven feet beneath me. And my left wrist hit it first taking the brunt of the fall. Ouch (or something along those lines!).

I knew straight away that something was wrong, very wrong. I pride myself on having a reasonably good pain level. But the pain was excruciating and I broke into a sweat and (according to Rose who had rushed upstairs) I went as white as a sheet (a white sheet obviously). Looking down at the wrist there could be no doubt. I’d broken it.

It took me about an hour to compose myself and then Rose took me to see Doctor Daniel Gonzalez at Ambergris Hopes Clinic. One X-Ray later he confirmed that I had broken my wrist. Twice. And that it was a bad break with shattered bones. So bad that he didn’t  believe that a cast would cure the problem.

He sent a photo of the X-Ray to Doctor Roberts of Belize Medical Associates who confirmed that surgery was necessary and that he would see me the next day when he visited San Pedro for his regular three weekly visit.

Doctor Daniel put a plaster cast on the underside of the arm and placed it in a sling so that it had some form of support and gave me a prescription for painkillers. 

Look hard and you can just make out the broken bones.

The next day at noon we met Doctor Roberts and he explained the surgical option. The alternative – a conventional plaster cast approach with a high risk of rendering two fingers inoperable and a high risk of arthritis – was not a consideration. He said that if I went to Belize Medical Associates in Belize City he would operate that night (fortunately I’d not eaten or drank since the previous night).

So Rose and I went home, packed an overnight bag and booked tickets with Tropic Air for the 16.00 hours flight to the Municipal Aiport ( the hospital is exceedingly close).

Within forty-five minutes of arrival and completing the necessary paperwork the tests were underway. – pulse, sugar levels, EKG, X-Ray’s, heart (yes, I’ve  got one!).

At 19.30 hours they took me to the operating theatre and Rose informed me that I was brought back to our room at 22.20 hours. How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!

I slept like a baby – apparently I dribbled a lot – and awoke the next morning around 06.00 hours and washed myself as best I could (it’s NOT easy with one hand) and then was taken for an X-Ray of the left wrist.

Lovely straight bones curtesy of six screws affixed to a steel rod.

Around 07.00 hours Doctor Roberts arrived and after reviewing the X-Ray and getting me to twiddle the fingers and thumb of my left hand told me the operation had been a success. I was free to go.

After thanking him profusely Rose helped me to dress and then she packed our bag and we took a cab to the airport and returned to San Pedro on the 09.30 hours service ( the return flight I’d so confidently booked the previous day).

The injury is still painful and I’m unable to do lots of things that previously I did without thinking but I can feel the arm getting better every day. And I know just how lucky I am . It could have been my right wrist  (I’m right handed). Or even worse. I could have fallen to the right and ended up on the coffee table one floor below.

And to save anyone asking the question, I highly recommend Belize Medical Associates and particularly Doctor Roberts, a very good Orthopedic Surgeon.

Anyone want to buy a set of ladders?

Doesn’t look too pretty but it’s effective.

The heading for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1978 by The Doobie Brothers which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number thirty-one on the UK Singles Chart.