“You Make Me Feel Brand New “ in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I know , I know , I know . It’s been a bloody long time since I produced (that sounds so grand , so important, doesn’t it ? No ? Oh OK ) an edition.

I mean it’s not like I’ve been terribly busy since Covid 19 reared it’s really ugly head . Or that Rose and I have been jetting off around the world . Nothing could be further from the truth . We’d love to have been catching a plane every couple of months but …

So, if we haven’t been enjoying ourselves on little trips away from our home on Ambergris Caye what have we been doing ? Lots. That’s what !

We’ve lived in the house we had built

Just after we moved in – December 2013.

in Tres Cocos for approaching 7 years and, although it’s still in a remarkably good state , things do, from time to time, need a little bit of ‘love and attention’. Don’t we all !

So, when Covid 19 showed it’s ugly face Rose and I got our heads together and started a list of things to do. First off was to give some time to the railings which are on each level of our house (as you can see from the photo above ).

When we designed the house ((and we did design it by way of a 10 page outline that we presented to our chosen architect ( https://www.strukturearchitects.com)) we chose blue as the colour for the railings.

Victor, the welder, spraying the railings with our chosen shade of blue.

Now a little bit of background as to how we chose the colour for the repainting of the railings. For those of you not aware, we named our new home Highbury House. Why ? Well both Rose and I are ardent Arsenal fans and ,when Rose and I first met , Arsenal played at Highbury . So …

Still not got it ? The cement work on our house is white . No ? Arsenal’s colours are red and white . Got it now ? No . OK then the chosen colour for the repaint of the railings was red. But first the preparatory work.

You can’t see it here but the railings were in a sorry state.
See what I mean.

A liberal coat of

a rub down with wet dry sandpaper and a good wash and the railings were ready for a coat of

and the railings were ready to be Arsenalised !
Primed and ready for
I thought I was at Highbury !

With the railings ‘out of the way’ it was on to the next project . The burglar bars. The salt air had ‘got’ to the them too !

Out with the Ospho , the wet dry sandpaper and the hose pipe and they were ready for the primer.

That’s better.

The problem with the railings looking so much better was that our mahogany exterior doors now looked a little tired and jaded. A bit like me after all that rubbing down and painting. So only one thing to do. Call in Moses. Our ‘go to’ carpenter.

We’ve called Moses on numerous occasions since we moved in because we were so impressed with his work during the build of our home .

Moses when working on our house 7 years ago.

And more recently ‘rejuvenating’ the doors to our house.

Gleaming again. Like new .

With the railings and burglar bars repainted and the exterior doors restained and varnished looked very good. So much so that I’m sure that if Highbury House could talk it would have said to me “You make me feel brand new “. (I know, that’s probably my worst ever song title link).

If you’re looking for a skilled carpenter and somebody who really takes pride in what they do then I cannot recommend Moses Chan more highly. You can contact Moses via Facebook Messenger , via telephone on 635 8764. And he’s on WhatsApp too!

Look at the quality of that work .
You can see your face in it !
And the house now ‘dressed’ in its Arsenal colours!

In future editions I’ll showcase what other skills Moses possesses. Can’t wait can you !

The headline for this edition is based on the single réleased in 1974 by The Stylistics which reached number two on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.


  1. domoh says:

    This would explain your focus and intent while at Estel’s this morning.
    Welcome back!

    1. Thank you . But no, it’s not the explanation. I was watching Southampton v Sheffield United.

  2. robert kellett vernon says:

    Hi You 2 , lovely to hear from you again, could Moses give to a wet and dry rub down and a refinish. ?? So glad your both doing well in these crap times, atleast here weve got rid of the orange Satan, and look forward to getting back to some kind of normality. Been wondering how all the old expats and their tourist based biz, have been doing , ie Bad Pedro etc etc, it must have /is darn tough. Weve got our heads down , but living outside Tampa, 55miles north, every thing is kinda normal , but no entertaining , meet ups etc. Take care you 2 , never know we might come 4 a visit one day.

    1. Hi Robert. For everyone , Belizean and expats alike, who has a business here on Ambergris it’s been tough. And it still is with the trickle of tourists. Some businesses I fear will never recover. But I’m sure that there are very similar situations all around the world. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

  3. Mike says:

    John, as a painter here in Toronto I must say, you guys are doing a great job. We hope to see you soon at Estel’s. Stay safe, Mike and Lenka

    1. Thank you Mike and Lena. I can’t let Rose take the praise. The prep and paint work was all mine. ALL MINE. Do please introduce yourself when you are next at Estel’s.

  4. Jim Cremin says:

    Fascinating and impressive John – great to hear from you. Cheers

    1. Thank you Jim. Hope everything is good for you.

  5. Derek Mohale says:

    Hello John (and Rose), Derek here (from your old Circulation Dept at The Mirror and more importantly from your old neighbourhood on the Isle of Dogs. I have followed your Belize “adventure” right from the start and I actually think of you everyday because I walk past Cumberland Mills every single morning. I do not know how this post will appear on your blog so I will only say I’m very glad you’ve decided to publish again. It’s been absolute joy following the twists and turns of your “project” and I wish you both the very best in everything you do. I will definitely continue to follow you through the blog. Best, best wishes, John (and Rose), Derek
    PS. For those who don’t know, John was my boss and I could not wish for a better human being to work for and with

    1. Hello Derek. How very nice to’ hear’ from you. And especially given your extremely nice words. It’s my intention to publish a bit more frequently than has been the case this year. Not every day. Maybe not every week. But a lot more than has been the case. Stay safe and stay healthy. And thank you again for the words of your postscript.

  6. Antonio Domingues says:

    Hi John It looks better then new , I`m glad that you posted again . hope to see you soon.after i get my vaccine ,some time in January Best regards from Toronto

    1. Thank you Antonio. Please do say “Hi” when you are next on Ambergris Caye.

      1. Antonio Domingues says:

        Will do, be well. Ps Arsenal vs Benfica not a walk on the park ,,hope to be in San pedro, maybe we can watch it together,

  7. Dan Grant says:

    A cunning little plan to use the darker blue of Spurs originally to fool people into thinking where your loyalties lay! Obviously done to protect yourself from the gunners having a run of bad results. Unfortunately you have picked absolutely the wrong time to come out of the closet. Never mind, you could always pretend to support other reds like Liverpool, Man utd or even Southampton! (Just don’t go with Sheffield).
    Look forward to seeing you and Rose in May when we finally get down there.

    1. Dan once a Gunner , always a Gunner. Even when we are playing dismally as we are now.
      It will be good to meet up with Gaynor and you. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

      1. Daniel Grant says:

        looks like Moses does great work! Does he do Furniture and cabinetry as well?

      2. Yes, he made all of the cabinets for our kitchens and bathrooms. Also made 3 beds for us and chest of drawers and nightstands. All very good . And to our design/specifications. He and his brother can cover a variety of jobs eg plumbing, electrics, cement work, etc .

      3. Daniel Grant says:

        Excellent. Will try and meet him when we are down

      4. He lives in DFC so the southern end of the island like you will be .

  8. Mike Orms says:

    Heeeeeesssss Back!!!! Keep them coming John! Love reading your posts!

    1. Thank you. I’ll try to be a little more productive. Given that I’ve been extremely lax that shouldn’t be too difficult.

  9. Randy Novotny says:

    Great to see your work again John.

    Randy / Grace

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Thank you Grace and Randy.

  10. tacogirl says:

    House is looking great.

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