A new life in Belize

SEE A PALM TREE......... EVERY DAY ..........FOREVER

This is our story of leaving the rat race to enjoy a relaxing life in the sun. Some people will miss us .....but not as much as the tax man.................... We stood on the precipice ......held hands ......... and jumped ..........whooooooooaaaaaa
  • The view from the sea to our house
  • Capt Pablo with peacock bass
  • The Marie Celeste....another unsolved mystery

Latest

All Clear

Our neighbour across the road has started to clear up his 34 acre parcel as a result we now have a great sea view from the house . H and i were kayaking in the bay the other day and she snapped this photo of the house .

The view from the sea to our house

The view from the sea to our house

The land was cleared by Mennonites who are the migrant workers who originally left  Germany in the 50’s went to Canada , then Mexico and are now in Belize. They do most of the arable farming in Belize and turned out to be excellent land clearer s. They turned up with a big bull dozer and worked 13 hours a day for a week , i asked John (who is on the right in the picture below) how much he got paid and he replied nothing , my family provide everything for me and when i get married i will get given land , a house and wages. These guys really did graft hard from dawn till dusk and were genuinely very happy. They speak a mixture of low German mixed with Dutch and a little English and Spanish . They live in Ship Yard which was an hour and a half drive each way ,how many people today would do that 6 days a week?

Just finished work 7pm you can just see the fire burning on the left hand side .

Just finished work 7pm you can just see the fire burning on the left hand side .

The circus came to town and caused quite a stir as it normally does. Lions ,tigers and other big cats all part of the show . There is a strong rumor around town that they pay £5 for any dog brought alive to them as food for the animals . BUT you don’t see any stray dogs around on the streets when the circus in town . After it left there was a large “Gang” of dogs on the park ,obviously survived another year :)

Rol up Rol up   £5   a dog

Roll up Roll up £5 a dog

I was in the petrol station filling up in town and H snapped this photo from the passenger window , the BBQ was inside the petrol station not more than 30 feet from the pumps , this is when you truly know you are in a third world country . I wouldn’t mind but it’s the only petrol station in town imagine what a bind it would be if it did go up in flames  :)

The sign in the petrol station says "No Naked Flames"

The sign in the petrol station says “No Naked Flames”

Our neighbour has had a dishwasher that hasn’t worked for 5 years and 4 different plumbers have been to try and fix it, when i asked what was wrong with it , they were told it won’t work because the pipes are cemented into the wall. This seemed ludicrous as the machine is brand new and only worked twice, so i investigated , stripped it down , we hand the pump motors , tested in town (£3)   they were fine we cleaned the filters out removed a piece of glass and hey presto it now works . goes to show “don’t be believe everything you hear ” …especially about  H and i      …..   :)

A mystery  solved

A mystery solved

Rio Nuevo

 

We have a retired artist friend who showed an interest for fishing.  This is quite common down here but when it actually comes to physically going out fishing, nothing ever comes of it.  People are way too busy doing nothing (a disease down here!) or something crops up out of the blue (belikin beer or rum overindulgence!).  Which means there are in reality very few people to go fishing with.  So over the space of a few months I kept bumping into Rafael the painter and knocking the idea about going fishing around but he thought I was another blagger.  He thought the easiest thing to do was buy a small zodiac inflatable and a motor then people would have no excuse not to go fishing.  In a month he had one shipped down from Canada and the first trip was planned up the Rio Nuevo (New River).  The little 6 horse power motor was just right for the 3 mile trip across the bay to the mouth of the river.  Once in the river, the water is always calm even after heavy rains and no more than 1/4 mile an hour flow.  If the wind is blowing it can actually push you up the river against the flow and usually provides a lovely air conditioning effect.  There are no mosquitoes on the river unless you go sit under the trees, which is where local fishermen in dug out canoes go to catch snook.  We tried this on our last outing and were ravaged by doctor flies, our hands and feet swollen like balloons!  On that maiden voyage Rafael caught a snook whilst trawling and he ate him that evening.  If you are ever down here Jill and Benny across the bay from us cook a great plate of fish and chips and use snook.

 

Capt Pablo with peacock bass

Capt Pablo with peacock bass

 

 

Wood Nymph’s brother Captain Pablo came down to visit with his “friend” Miss Magnum ;)…..an aspiring foot model (face wasn’t too bad either).  After she left Pablo and I took the double kayak to the New River and went fishing.  We collected live minnows for bait using chicken liver to catch them.  Basically you drop a few bits of liver into the waters edge and hundreds of minnows come in and gorge.  You cut the top off an old plastic bottle (there are always lots lying around) and then drop some more liver in and when the minnows come back to feed you scoop them up.  Pablo proved to be quite skilled at this, wading in amongst the lily pads….until I reminded him that that is exactly where the crocodiles hang out.  He backed out of the water proclaiming “I think we have enough!”  I paddled up the river and he was asking about the types of fish we could catch.  He had an interest in Peacock Bass and I told him I had heard people talk about them some 40 miles up the river, but had not met anyone who had actually seen or caught one.  We arrive at “the spot” and tried some lure casting.  Then we thought we would try our luck at a half submerged tree with the live bait.  The first cast was successful and we had a fish on.  We brought him up quick so the line didn’t get tangled in the branches and lo and behold we had caught a small Peacock Bass.  We quickly took the photo and then released it back into the depths, hopefully to put 20 pounds on for the next time we catch him! :)

Rafael with his snook at the mouth of the river

Rafael with his snook at the mouth of the river

Whilst fishing we have been using rock bass as cut bait on the bottom of the river to try and catch the elusive “River Monster” that I know must lurk in the depths.  We would fish with slack lines then wait for the line to slowly tighten, ready to set the hook on that monster fish.  We got used to striking hard when the line tightened only to find nothing on when we reeled in.  So we took our time and then the crabs started to come in by the bucket load.  Now is the season of the blue crab and Man Mountain suggested that we bring some back for him to cook up.  So on our last trip we brought some back for him to sample.  Well, he is still alive so I’m guessing no food poisoning!….next time I might try some too  :)

Blue crabs from the New River

Blue crabs from the New River

We now have 4 water tanks which hold a combined total of 2600 gallons and this proved just enough to get us all the way through the dry season.  This is no mean feat as the dry season is 5 months long with little or no rain in between.  Toilet flushing uses a large percentage of our water and for the next dry season we have a plan to dig a shallow well which we will pump water from, up to a 50 gallon drum on the roof.  This will then gravity feed the toilet.  It needs to be at least 8 feet above the toilet to give 4 bar of pressure.  Photo to follow late November if all goes well!  The wet season came a couple of weeks early this year and coincided with my birthday which certainly wasn’t a “dry” day :)  We went to the eatery Blues for a pizza and then back to our for a gallon of rum, pool playing and dancing.  I was a little delicate the next morning and had the first afternoon nap I can remember for a long time.

Pizza at blues  with H, Man Mountain ,Wood Nymph ,Capt Pablo and Miss Magnum

Pizza at blues with H, Man Mountain ,Wood Nymph ,Capt Pablo and Miss Magnum

 

Only IN Belize – Driving

Driving in Belize is not for the faint hearted.  Congestion is not a problem and you are never going to see a traffic jam!  There is no road rage – people don’t beep their horns, scream murderous obscenities through car windows, or give rude hand gestures.  Driving after dark especially on a weekend can be dangerous as the majority of people drink and drive.  police do not have breathalysers and I don’t know or have heard of anyone being caught for drink driving.  They have just started handing out “don’t drink and drive” stickers, but change will be a long time coming.  Any side of the road is ok, no one even blinks an eye, no flashing headlights to say you’re going the wrong way.  Most roads are dirt and you drive on the smoothest side of the road to avoid the 1000’s of pot holes and sink holes.  Drive over 20 miles an hour at your peril!  There are numerous speed bumps everywhere, some with new signs and a lot with no signs!  The ones without signs normally tend to be in the shade of a tree making them impossible to be seen and almost always next to a tyre repair shop – maybe there is a link here!  :)

 

Marie Celeste

Living on the bay with a constant easterly breeze, brings in all kinds of things that drift up unexpectedly. One morning the police drive down to the beach at 8am ,this is strange for two reasons .Firstly the police never come down this way as there are only five houses and secondly it was early morning surely they don’t start work until 10 or 11 :).   They hang around for 30 mins and leave ,curiosity gets the better of me and i take Zeus for a walk to the beach where a boat has been washed up.It is a home made sail boat with two out riggers, completely made of fibre glass ,with hand sown sails. It remained a mystery for about 4 days until we found out that there had been an “incident” at Sarteneja where someone was found shot and the neighbour had gone missing. The boat belonged to the neighbour and he remains missing ….. the mystery  continues…..

The Marie Celeste....another unsolved mystery

The Marie Celeste….another unsolved mystery

We have some friends called Lyan and Rana who are building a house just down the road, well a mile away but around here that counts as a close neighbour. They invited us on a fishing trip up the New River so the next morning at 6am we met them on the bay and set out to the mouth of the New River. I had heard from a friend who lives 6 miles up the new river that parts of it had been poisoned and he had seen thousands of fishing floating dead. There is talk of a wood mill in Orange Walk that periodically releases chemicals in to the river which kills fish, unfortunately Belize doesn’t have the environment agency to police these matters.  The only saving grace is that the flow of water through the river is so large that what ever goes into it is quickly diluted and flushed out. So i was skeptical of catching any fish ,but to my surprise we saw locals in a dug out canoe holding up a sizable Snook fish and  Lyan caught a Jack fish on a trailing lure ,which he released back into the river as it wasn’t the MONSTER we were hoping for ….  It was a really great day cruising the slow lazy pristine river.

The intrepid 4 in search of river monsters

The intrepid 4 in search of river monsters

I was  kayaking on the new River a couple of weeks later when i heard a low drone off in the distance . At first i thought it might be a fishing boat, but the noise went on too long. I realised it had to be the Sugar cane tug boat that moves all the refined sugar via barges out into deeper water where it is transferred to a waiting cargo ship bound for export. I see the barges pass through the bay daily whilst sugar cane is being harvested but i had never seen them in the river. I heard stories of the barges hurtling through the river bouncing off the banks and thought i wouldn’t  want to be in a kayak and witness that up close ..well today that’s exactly what was going to happen. I was just a short distance from a bend in the river and paddled into a gap between trees  and braced myself for a huge wake from the boat and barges bouncing off the bank .To my relief it passed by causing just a ripple in the water and barges smartly in line behind .

Up close and personal with the sugar cane tug boat and barges

Up close and personal with the sugar cane tug boat and barges

Last but not least we met our new neighbours  Nesca and Sgt Pepper.  They had a problem with their well pump but couldn’t get in the door ,finally the door was forced and the pressure switch was a charred tangle of metal and burnt plastic. So the Sgt and i set about replacing it. Only to find that the new switch was broken when we took it out of the box . In the land of NO REFUNDS ,NO GUARANTEE’S, NO RETURNS we returned to Villa Imports where i managed to get a free replacement …YES   a FREE replacement  … The Sgt said  what great people ,I assured him that was never going to happen in Belize again …EVER :)    Couple of days later we went kayaking.  H and Nesca took the double and had to be towed the last 1/2 mile to bird island but all in all did well. We fished for a while then tried our hand at finding Mayan pottery on the shore line and it wasn’t long before we came across  large pieces of broken pottery . The coastline is littered with remnants of 2000 years of Mayans living here and the coast line is pristine and would be exactly how they saw it. That night we had a bonfire on H Cove under the stars and swapped stories washed down with rum , life doesn’t get any better  :)

nesca PEPPER

 

ONLY IN BELIZE  -ROADS

Last years wet season saw the worst flooding in 40 years  and this played havoc with the roads.There are only 3 main roads in Belize every thing is is dirt and getting them repaired is a problem as the money allocated to repair is constantly ” REDIRECTED”  it all depends  on who you know or if there is an election as whether roads get repaired or not and if it’s a gringo road FORGET IT. Last year the Mexicans built a new bridge and border facility to cross between the two countries Mexico spent 13 million US dollars   in a “joint”  agreement ..Belize  spent  ZERO US dollars and the Mexicans had to pave the road on Belize’s side at  Mexico’s cost just so they could open the crossing. The hand crank ferry across the New River should have had a bridge over it 3 times over locals say , but the money  just disappears into the ether. The long and short of it is ….Things aren’t changing in Belize in the foreseeable future and we like it just the way it is  :)

 

The Great Escape

Our “Neighbour” put a fence up between our house and his to aid the selling of his house as the dogs would scare off potential buyers . In theory a great idea but an ill thought out venture. The dogs were free to roam over the two properties and the fence worked for about 1 day . Zeus discovered he could simply crawl underneath , did the thought ever cross anyone’s mind to bury the first 6 inches …i guess not . We cooked up a plan to get bush sticks that they use to hold roofs up when they pour concrete . We only need  to do 2 sides of the property but finding 440 feet of straight trees was no mean feat. I finally aquired enough sticks and started attaching them to the bottom of the fence with my stapling gun. H was supervising as usual and commented that Zeus was pushing the newly stapled fence with his nose. He eventually broke free so we tried PLAN B and used heavy duty staples that you knock in with a hammer . Zeus and the girls now are securely fastened in for the time being :)

On patrol- left to right Phoenix, Kilya and Zeus

On patrol- left to right Phoenix, Kilya and Zeus

We get together with our other close neighbours once a week to play Rummikub.  A couple of weeks ago we get there and two people from International Living magazine are there taking pictures of their house and interviewing them. They interview people who have left everything behind and started a new life ( especially the ones with nice houses ) so hopefully they will make the final cut and appear representing Belize , my contribution was the photo of my neighbours , so I’ve included it here in our international lazing blog  :)

The neighbours relaxing on their veranda

The neighbours relaxing on their veranda

A visiting friend commissioned a walking stick from the guy who carves the wooden masks , unfortunately they changed their plans and left Belize early so the walking stick wasn’t ready . The guy showed up at my house with the stick so i bought it off him as it was so good and I would probably need one at some point in the future …if only to keep H in line   :)  .  It can’t really be posted back to the UK as it’s a tropical hardwood so would need radiation treatment permits and so on, if you were to carry off the plane through customs there would be no problem .. How messed up is the world OUT THERE  .

walking stick

Did i ever mention the problems with my house  :)  well we corrected another one last week . When it rained hard water would seep in through the roof joists. ” The Builder / Roofing Contractor / bodge it and scarper  man”  had a great idea put a barge board over an 1/2 inch crack that water would seep down  as it was unsealed. He had one attempt to fix this easy issue he used window sealant  for the “Permanent fix”  . We did the proper way  removed the useless barge board and plastered over the wood to ensure a water tight seal, it took a day. May be i should call myself a building contractor , it seems everyone else does down here :).

We even used scaffolding  ,which is a very rare sight in belize

We even used scaffolding ,which is a very rare sight in belize

ONLY IN BELIZE

Noise in villages and towns is a huge problem in Central America . People build their own 8 feet speakers and blast music off their porches directly at their neighbours and the everyone for the next 1/2 mile and there is nothing that can be done. Everyone is related to someone else so protesting to the mayor or local police gets you nowhere as no one will take action against “family members”. We recently had a bank holiday here and people came and partied about 1/4 mile from our house.  At least the music stopped at 3am and was only over the weekend …it’s not like we have to go to work or anything :) ..on the up side you will never hear a police , ambulance or fire engine siren , it just never happens and no one will tell you that your dog barking is causing a nuisance , because the other 10 thousand dogs in the town are doing exactly the same  thing.  If your reading this and are considering  Belize, a good nights sleep if you live near the towns is a RARE thing , bare this in mind when choosing a location to live .

 

 

 

Southern excursion

We had friends over from the UK, Martin and Bayliss ,so decided to go out to the islands and then head down south for a camping trip. We did the obligatory trip with my neighbour on the Hobie cat over  to Orchid Bay and had great weather again (it had been cold and stormy prior to their arrival) Bayliss Sailed there and Martin sailed back both proving themselves to be quite handy  for first timers at the helm.It got a bit bumpy on the way back and H could be observed clinging on for dear  life ,saying ” i do not know why do this to myself”  as she has a fear  of water and a husband that might not be in a hurry to save her  :)

Bayliss and Martin at Orchid Bay

Bayliss and Martin at Orchid Bay

We took the Thunder bolt water taxi over to Ambergris Caye and then another water taxi to Caye Caulker arrived at Popeye’s Beach Resort to find we had been up graded to ocean view , Even though Bayliss and Martin had known each other for 40 years bayliss declined to share a double bed so slept outside on a hammock .It was a little chilly at night 22 degrees celcius so he came in for a blanket , but alfresco is his style and he seemed happy. We were sat in the lazy lizard bar up to our waists in water drinking beer (not like us) and H proclaimed i have a Octopus on my arm, i laughed and looked down to see an Octopus attached to her arm about 2 feet across it covered all her arm , i gently eased it off and it attached itself to my arm then just stayed around us to much excitement from the people on dry land . I managed to grab my underwater camera and took some video and a few photo’s . A guy tried to pick it up but it inked him ..better him than me  :)

tentative tentacles

tentative tentacles

We got a taxi ride and the owner informed us he also gave tours , i was dubious as he claimed we could see a crocodile . The only crocodile i heard of on Caye caulker was one that attacked a tourist who was swimming where people used to feed it last year. So we set off on a golf cart ride around the island and actually went to places we had never been . We were even promised flamingo’s they must have been scared off by other people the taxi driver exclaimed( and the same story for the croc i thought) so we pulled up at a muddy pool and got out and there behold were two beady eyes sticking out of the water. As we approached it surfaced and the proceeded to haul it’s body out a mere 8 feet away . We know it was about 8 feet away because it was around 8 feet long . He gave us a wink and a smile for the camera and submerged into the inky water.

Just a little closer my friends  ..SNAP SNAP

Just a little closer my friends ..SNAP SNAP

The next day we took the water taxi to Belize City , met up with Rodi and two of us rode in the back on sun loungers , it was quite comfy and we got out at Hattiville Prison to take a photo outside the main gate . We were informed by the guards inside ,that if we took a photo then we would find ourselves inside …so we jumped back into the truck and sped of in a cloud of dust. 3 hours later we arrived in Hopkins after taking an ice cream stop at the mennonite barn on the humming bird highway. We arrived in Placencia and jumped onto Canjoes boat and headed out to Frigate Caye to camp for two nights. The Caye was just like the Dry Tortugas camping and had a round bar and crude toilets , with a magnificent reef off the back of the island. After that we went back to Placencia to spend the night . We had a friend pre pay at Omars Hostel  and they gave our rooms away ..it looked like a Sh*t Hole so may be it was a blessing in disguise . We ended up staying on a dock in the tent at night at a friends house and we had great nights sleep.

Placencia dock camping looking out across the sea

 

OTHER NEWS

Our friends who ran the pie and cake store Morgans (named after their son) Have decided to do some more traveling and eventually end up back in Scotland to give him a better chance in School, we wish the good luck and now we will have to bake our own pies  .

Zeus ,Phoenix and Kilya found an ant eater in the garden and I successfully managed to rescue it and set him on his way

I got up a couple of months ago to view the geminid meteor shower  and saw a MOONBOW  cast across the bay caused by a sinking full moon .

All in all life is treating us well and relaxing is our new found past time  :)

13 Ends

So 2013 ended, it’s been a GREAT year , paradise could not be any better , it finished on a high for 3 reasons . Firstly an annoyance in our lives has decided to move ,it turns out to be the icing on the cake , we may even get normal neighbours , fingers crossed :) …  secondly  we went to a New Years Eve  party  which was at a local development called of all things  TAMPON COVE  , we all took a dish of food drank copious amounts of rum ( no change there) listen to festive music (Barf)   and ended playing poker ,which was  a real laugh , i was doing great until Queen Elizabeth( she was as old and wearing a tiara) tricked me, into going all in and  CRUSHED me  :) …..   At midnight we were promised a firework spectacle to remember from the near by city of Chetumal,  just across the border in Mexico… We saw 5 rockets heard 2 air bombs and then the finale …TWO bright glowing  orbs … In fact some of party goers had lit cigarettes which out shone anything we had seen  :)  . There was  some ridiculous talk of jumping in the pool , some of the girls didn’t have swim wear or under wear, as it turned out , so skinny dipping was put forward , i looked around at the aging lumps and bumps and talked everyone into to going in fully clothed ..no point in spoiling a good party , i slipped off my shoes and jumped in followed my more revelers , we floated on our backs  and looked up at the cosmos … Isn’t life just  great :) .    I even did some fishing before the party started and we stayed over at a friends house so i could have a drink. We were thwarted the next morning when we tried to leave as they had locked the entrance gate so we couldn’t get out , eventually gaining escape, we were free, but had a great  time . Thirdly and most important it was H’s Birthday  so we headed off for fried chicken  and were treated to free games of pool by the owner , we later headed back to our house for more pool , darts and some locally made moonshine (Rocket fuel)  Sorry to Rodi for not inviting her as i had got her return date mixed up  :(   ..There’s always next year  :)

moonshine madness

moonshine madness

Sometimes in life things just happen in unison (at the same time – for most of the American readers    :)  )  We had a round glass table in H’s roof top lounge, but every time it rained it was a pain to clean , so we decided it would free up a little space if we gave it as a gift to Rodi for her tree top house, she was coming round to our house and had no idea , the table was already outside ready to load in Jeremiah (her truck)  as she arrived i told her it was her lucky day , she quizzically looked at me and said it might be yours to .. which put a puzzled look on my face, she dropped down her tail gate ( on the truck  :) )   and there starring at me were the two Koi Carp brass tea lights that i had commented on a couple of months ago, that she had brought all the way down from Alaska , they now sit suspended on either end of my pool table light , what great karma we got out of that totally unexpected exchange of gifts . At night we light  them and watch them sway in the warm tropical breeze  :)

Koi tea lights

Koi tea lights

If you know me well i always talk about the shit sandwich , not any connection   to Solway  , but a management technique of hiding something distasteful , between two bits of good news , in this case it is the end to a story of me commissioning a painting through a woman called  CONME ..  supposedly shrewd business woman , and renounced art critic , who turned out to be a fool,  gave the guy all my money, after i told her not to . Anyway the painting was for H’s 40th it arrived 18 months late and was a pile of garbage , so we left it at her house . Some weeks later in the midst of her running away from her husband she left it at our gate , so we eventually got around to burning it as it was raining on Guy Fawkes night , it’s good to cleanse the soul and it cost me $300 but just lighting that fire sure put i smile on our faces , the life lesson, remove all the negative from your life and you’ll be happy .

If it vexes you , burn it

If it vexes you , burn it

Other News

My Niece Chloe has had a baby girl called Savannah . In the same week my Nephew Liam got married  , and now he is in Germany  waiting to go out to Afghanistan with the British Army , we wish them both good luck in their new quests in life.

We Have friends coming over end of January from the UK  ,  Paul  and Dave , Dave i haven’t seen for 30 years so it will be good to catch up.

Finally  i thought I’d include this latest carving i bought from the guy who carved the Jaguar  Head , it’s of the Ancient Mayan King  Pakal , who is thought by some ( NUT BAR scholars ) to have made contact with aliens ,anyway if you ever visit and want something locally made, a one off piece of art ,Jason Anderson is the guy to go and see .  No shop ,just a bike and a small back pack  , a mallet , couple of chisels and sandpaper , a great example of a local natural talent.

Mayan King Pakal , carved from Grenadine hardwood

Mayan King Pakal , carved from Grenadine hardwood

Dark Clouds

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There have been some dark clouds recently over Rock Lodge, our friends constantly reminding us that this would pass, and over time things will improve. Well last week the last dark cloud moved away and we now see this wonderful place we live in… basking in wall to wall sunshine again. It’s surprising how a change, just one detail in your life and everything becomes simple once again. We were sat quietly in the roof top lounge H reading and me hammock testing, and five Toucans glided silently on to our ripe banana trees, left hopefully to attract the Toucans we saw last year at this time. Two adult Aricari Toucans and three chicks, the adults not eating but at vantage points looking over their young.  A lovely sight to see. The week before we saw a lone  Keel Billed Toucan a very rare sight in these parts down on H Cove.

Aracari toucans gorging on ripe bananas just outside our window

Aracari toucans gorging on ripe bananas just outside our window

 

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After pouring the roof for our friend Rodi, we went to go back and take down all the framing and bush sticks used to hold the roof up whilst it set. There are no acro props here but simple bush sticks around five inches in diameter that serve as props between the roof and the ceiling.  Twenty such props were used on Rodi’s small roof pour. She had the idea of putting a final skim of concrete on the roof so we could place our hand prints in the concrete and sign our names, which we all did. The end goal is to build a simple palapa on top to make a lovely breakfast and daytime reading room connected to her elevated jungle house just like in the Tarzan films …  more updates to follow . So here it is as it stands a tree top lounging area, the photo was late afternoon Pimms  overlooking the lagoon, she sure knows how to Rock It  :)

kicking back Belize Style

kicking back Belize Style

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Wood Nymph and Man Mountain had been bleating on a about a present they had for us, but they were still building it. Firstly I hate presents, normally always a waste of money and effort, largely because I think that humans are so bad at guessing what people really want. My first thoughts being, I really don’t need anything! So now I’m going to be stuck with something I don’t want. The whole point of moving here was to rid our lives of all the unnecessary crap that we all accumulate over a lifetime.Well that fateful day arrived when they turned up with gifts. Yes it went to plural…. even more unnerving. We stood there, eyes closed and arms out stretched to have lumps of wood thrust into our hands. THE BIG REVEAL and we opened our eyes to find two mahogany carved and routed personalised darts score boards. My jaw dropped, I was speechless they were just what we wanted!! In fact  …we didn’t know we needed them until they appeared. This inspired me to smarten up our dart board holder, and now we really do have a swish games area.

 

Nymph and Mountain with our new score boards, they even put my old nick name on  £   for those in the know

Nymph and Mountain with our new score boards, they even put my old nick name on £ for those in the know

 

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We got invited for two thanksgiving meals an American tradition to commemorate the Indians giving food to the starving Pilgrim Fathers.  If only they had killed these English do gooders the world would have been such a different place today! Anyway we had a conundrum, and opted for our neighbours instead of Nymph and Mountain …. a very hard choice to make. We did however send the Pecan Pie we had already ordered for Nymph’s meal.  As gesture to say that we would be there in spirit, they saved us a slice. It was really yummy, made by Morgans Spiced Foods in Corozal Town. The meal at the neighbours was great, their grandchildren magically appeared with her daughter and we sat around and shot the breeze until a lovely turkey dinner was served, the highlight being the stuffed mushrooms and the homemade stuffing, finished off with either pumpkin pie or blueberry pie, absolutely delicious.

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Leaving the western world behind, a place of choice and plenty and coming to live a simple life in a relaxed country, free of bureaucratic control has turned out even better than we could ever had imagined. So many expats down here try to build a little enclave of their distant homelands, possibly to give them comfort and quell their fears of this frontier like life style they live. A friend told me of how there are certain groups ,the concrete suv drivers that generally don’t mix with the people who live in wooden houses. We are lucky, in our group of friends it makes no matter how much money or worldly things you possess or don’t. Simply sitting around a beach bonfire having a tipple, laughing and eating hot dogs on a stick, is truly, in our eyes what living life is all about. The photo below was taken at a best friends, wedding in Italy and I thought at the time, life doesn’t really get any better than this. As I type this blog in my hammock, watching the sun rise over the Caribbean .I realise I feel, like I did, that night, every day we spend here.

A parallel universe..somewhere!!!

A parallel universe..somewhere!!!

 

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