"A little Madness in the Spring is wholesome even for the King."
Our house is finished, except for some finishing and repairs. We've moved in and it is glorious. We still might be a bit mad many seem to think. Two and a half years ago we had two properties and successful careers in London.
Now we have one house in Belize. Right now, we are spending all of our time and energy on the house, meanwhile trying not to spend too much money. It is amazing how quickly a project like this can swallow cash.
We have some pictures of the inside, without our furniture, before we moved in. I know that many of you have asked us to put up pics of the inside with furniture, but blogging is an interesting thing in terms of your home and privacy, so all you'll get here are pics before we moved in. If you want to see it now, you'll have to drop in, or email and ask nicely for some private pics.
We have to be honest and warn everyone that we don't have a guest room. The house has one bedroom and a bathroom upstairs. We have an office and bathroom downstairs, but we didn't finish work on the bathroom so that we could spend money elsewhere in the house. We do not have a sofa bed.
So, if you want to come and visit and stay with us you'll have to bring an air bed or a tent. Camping on the roof might be quite fun. In fact, our roof can be seen from this aerial picture, taken by Colette when she went to Belize City to collect our shipment from England. All of our worldly possessions.
A free Belikin to the first one to spot our roof
Colette had to go over to meet our trusty customs broker George. He really is wonderful and did a brilliant job. Message us if you need a good customs broker in Belize. Once we have cleared customs, our items are shipped by boat to San Pedro. Our shipment arrived in two big crates and they had to send a little Bobcat forklift truck to help get them off the truck. We had been moving house and emptying boxes all day. When this arrived at 5:30pm when we were just about to relax, we nearly died. But we piled in and emptied the crates by 10:00pm.
All our worldly goods
May is Mothers' Day time. In San Pedro, the Mothers are treated like queens for a day with a huge Mother's Day Extravaganza held in Central Park. Food, drinks and entertainment were laid on by San Pedro Town Council for nearly 800 mothers. Colette was honoured to have been asked to assist. She worked as a server along with other volunteers. She managed to drag along her friend's son, Junior as he was visiting San Pedro from his home in Ladyville on the mainland. Most of the volunteers were highschool kids from San Pedro High and Colette was supposed to organise the serving of food and drinks to a table seating 70 women. Colette had Junior and two lovely helpers from the Highschool. Colette has not served a table for over 20 years so she spent a lot of time apologising and offering to get napkins for various ladies.
Delightful Miss San Pedro welcomes Mothers
'I love you Mom' Gifts for all Mothers
Preparing for a whole lot of Mothers
On the other hand, the kids from the High School were on the ball. Junior and the two girls (yes Colette's team of servers consisted of four) were amazing and it was apparent that all of the Mothers had a wonderful evening. When the Mothers arrived they were greeted by Miss San Pedro (we apologise for the deterioration of photo quality but Colette's little digital has nearly died) and given a gift. They were then seated by a local dignitary. Meanwhile, the servers went crazy taking orders and bringing drinks. After over 750 were seated, with extra tables and chairs having to be found because so many attended, a turkey dinner was served. Then the tables had to be cleared in preparation for dessert. Meanwhile, there were various prizes and competitions involving Mothers jumping up and running around a lot. Hilarious, absolute chaos but organised and everything went smoothly.
The High School Boys give the Mothers a treat
But just for a moment, think about organising a meal for over 750 women, with unlimited alcohol available to them, using only teenage volunteers and it all going off without a hitch. Unbelievable. We do love our little island and what it can accomplish.
How many Mothers?
On that note, we've been observing our local elementary school develop. They are called Ambergris Caye Elementary School and we think they are great. We know a lot of the kids and their parents. The school is adorable, run incredibly well, the kids are very well behaved and happy and they have just installed this fantastic adventure playground for the kids.
School is not available for free to children here. Many churches run schools, which subsidise the costs heavily to make an education available to most. There are also a number of other private schools on the island, Ambergris Caye Elementary being one of them. Just because it is private does not mean the children have wealthy parents. Many parents work two and three jobs to keep their kids in school and have high aspirations for their children. Things are changing and the quality of the schools are improving. Also, many children are supported by wealthier members of the community, local charities and the schools themselves through scholarship programmes.
A playground worth screaming about and do they scream
Now that we have our precious belongings, we've been able to go through our old photo albums. We thought you'd enjoy seeing these old pictures of us. Can you guess which one is Maya and which one is Colette?
A few other things before we sign off. We'd like to thank our friends for their amazing patience with us during this house building project. We have been no - shows at so many parties that we're sure we are now on the Z list. We love our friends here on San Pedro and abroad and really appreciate your support.
We'd like to thank the lovely Capt Jeff yet again for allowing us to fill our freezer with fish. He is a great fisherman, friend and we love him.
Finally, we'd like to thank The Tudors for being the sexiest, most beautiful and dramatic show on TV for a long time. If you haven't watched it - do!