Entering the home stretch…

I am glad to see some warmer numbers on the home front, so I hope we don’t get any more relapses when I finally get there.

For someone who doesn’t like travelling, I sure have given myself a long row to hoe. I am flying to the mainland aboard one of those 9-passenger, twin engine props, then by regional jet to Miami, then by regular jet to Toronto, and by shuttle from there to my doorstep. Altogether, these are spread over three days. Ulp.

It is another perfect day weatherwise (28C), here in Ambergrise – BTW, I discovered what “ambergris” means. It means ‘whale vomit’. Figures. Someone must have named it after being kept awake all night. I have given it a few names after such an occasions, but none of them are repeatable.

No one can fault the weather, though. Every day in the mid-t-upper 70s with an onshore breeze. If it wasn’t for the rest of it I would be moving here in a minute. I’ve got to get out of Ontario before that stupid woman premier bankrupts us all.

The CAN dollar is up to 78-cents (from 68 in November), after I have paid 95% of my major expenses in US funds. Wouldn’t you just know it?! So, this has been my most expensive trip yet – to a place that is supposed to be so cheap. The US dollar is worth 2 to 1 BZD, but the prices are also 2 to 1 American. Meanwhile the Can dollar is worth about $1.40 BZD, so I’m losing at both ends.

Besides being a writer, I am now starting to look like a long-haired writer too. There is a barber shop within easy walking distance for me, but to get into it you have to step up on a concrete block! Can’t you just see me pirouetting on a concrete block with my walker in hand, so I haven’t had a haircut since November.

The writing is coming along well. I am now up to nearly 100 manuscript pages, out of 155, so I should be done in lots of time for the Christmas market.

Meanwhile, keep thinking spring.

Think Spring!
Think Spring!

 

Microcrap strikes again…

Well, it looks like Microcrap has done it again. I have had at least half-a-dozen computers that have been ‘crashed’ by Microcrap, never to operate again.
I suppose I should have known better than to buy a Microcrap ‘Surface’ as well ($1,300 bucks), but I wanted something that was fast and light for travelling. Now it’s dead weight and ‘dead’ slow.
I think it may have gotten infected by a virus – even though I was running Norton’s 360 – but it may also have been Microcrap simply wanting me to download Windows 10. Anyway, it started to go wonky, as only a computer can, so I did download Windows 10.
By now I had wasted two or three days trying this and that, so imagine my disappointment when the the problem persisted (in spite of Windows 10).
Okay, desperate times call for desperate means, so I wiped the system clean and re-installed Windows 8.1.
Did it work. No. So, to this point I have wasted about a week’s time; the machine is junk, I’m out $1,300 – in addition to the apps I had downloaded on it; plus several handfulls of hair that I pulled out in the process.
Microcrap, you owe me.
I HATE MICROCRAP!
I HATE MICROCRAP!

The days dwindle down…

Less than four weeks left. However, now comes the most trying time with all the disruption and living by schedules.

As I have mentioned before,  I hate schedules. I think it has something to do with having to rely on others to get you there, etc., and my distrust of their reliability. That’s why I always leave myself plenty of time in case things go wrong. It has saved my bacon countless times.

I made the mistake of agreeing to be moved to another hotel for a week just before I  leave Belize. I haven’t seen the hotel, so I might like it, but it means I have to pack twice (with accompanying disruption).

Then, I have decided to fly to the mainland on a small, 9-passenger plane, so that should be an experience too. Nevertheless, it’s faster and smoother (I hope) than boat.

I’m just in the process of making reservations at a hotel near the airport so I will be right there when I start my long journey home. Since my walker is stored in luggage, my concern is always getting to the washroom if I am called to do so in flight. I think I can do it with help, but I’ve never tried walking that way.

I will be sorry to leave the perfect weather and view, but not overly sorry to leave the noise and the omnipresent (god awful) ‘music’. It will also be good to get back to the convenience and lower prices of North America – where a pair $37 sneakers don’t set you back $167!

As much as I love the year-round good weather of Belize, and HATE Wynne’s Ontario, I think Belize is too basic for me (at my age). Therefore, I think I will put the thinking cap on when I get home, and come up with plan B. I do want to get out of Ontario before that stupid woman in Queen’s Park bankrupts us all – seniors especially – but where I don’t know.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

From the nursery…

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I regard children on the same level as mosquitoes. They are noisy, misbehaved (parents’ faults), and they never shut up. Having said that I have just survived (almost) the family from hell.

The parents are thoroughly ‘modern’ – meaning they don’t believe in disciplining children. Rather, they believe in talking with them. Now, from observation (…that’s as close as I care to be) children are born exploitive, and talking to them is about as effective as reading them in Swahili.

In addition, the baby never shut up FOR ONE SECOND from morning until late at night – a sort of whining moaning sound that cut through walls like a drill. The girl (about 6) was spoiled rotten, and thought nothing of sassing her parents (who reasoned with her). The first time I saw her she was sucking on a soother, which tells you something.

Anyway, this has been going on since last Thursday, and others have complained as well, so this morning they took off like a travelling sideshow – kids screaming and parent reasoning, and me breathing a sigh of relief.

The good side of Ambergris – the weather – is showing another face (equally as nice). Yesterday was hot and humid – near 90 – but today is balmy. Plus – and a big PLUS it is – it has a quieting effect on everyone. If things were like this on a continuing basis I’d consider living here, but I know it is only a lull in the storm.

It's nice to see some families going down the road.
It’s nice to see some families going down the road.

Saturday night … Penance night

Its 86 on a Saturday night.
 
The island is crowded with a strange mixture. A bunch of college students (I think) from the US. They were gathered to watch the football game at the sports bar next door this afternoon. There are quite a group of them, but so far they have been quite orderly (…Touch wood).
There are a few ‘question marks’ booked in upstairs. That’s the term I use when I suspect a sleepless night ahead. They’ve been quiet enough so far, but we’ll see after they get a few drinks into them – which is generally about 2 – 3:00 in the morning.
Wednesday and Saturday nights are ‘penance nights’. Those are the nights when the bar up the beach has a 3-hour stretch of ‘live’ music – one guy on an electronic keyboard.
I preface this by saying that I dislike repetition of any kind. Once it is done, or said … or sung twice, it starts to grate on my nerves a third time and beyond. Suffice to say that the bass chords of reggae music are the same, as is the key, as is the beat, so you can imagine my frayed nerves at the end of three hours of this repetitious thumping.
In addition, like most music on Ambergris, it is two or three times as loud as it should be, and the singer is only ‘close’ to the key most of the time.
I already have a headache and there are a full hour, three minutes, and 15 seconds to go! (But who’s counting?)
It was 86 degrees today, with no breeze, and the week is forecast to be the same. I’m working outside, and it’s hot.
More next time.

And the ‘fun’ goes on…

We experienced a power failure last night.

I always carry a pin-light around with me, on my key chain, so I was prepared. In addition there was enough light from the computer to get around.

However, while the lights were out, someone came around and sprayed something into the room through the screen window. I wasn’t certain what the sound was, and didn’t realize it until my throat and eyes began to smart. That is when I rushed to put a wash cloth over my mouth and opened the back shutters. With a 10 – 15 mph breeze it soon cleared out whatever it was.

I still don’t know what was in the spray, but I suspect pepper spray.

I’m surround by kids. The baby next door never shuts up. A sort of fussing that goes on day and night. It carried on last night until I yelled. They must have stuck a soother in its mouth after that, because it was quiet.

…That was, until the one on the other side started screaming at about 7:00 AM.

On the good news front, the download of Windows 10 appears to have solved my computer woes. It comes with its own anti-virus protection, so I think I’m protected from another attack. Mind you, I was running Norton’s the last time, and the virus deleted it. Don’t know how, but it did.

Unlike before, I actually like this version of Windows 10. It seems to have cleared up all the problems that existed on the earlier version.

The dollar was up to 77-cents – yesterday now that I only have one month left to pay rent. Nonetheless, it’s better than 68-cents it was before.

I laughed out loud yesterday. A video post – shot right in front of the hotel – showed an ideal Ambergris with people smiling and being so considerate and quiet. Not only that, but (get this…) quiet guitar music playing in the background. *Snort* There was not even a hint of noisy drunks, blaring reggae-rap-crap, barking dogs, and screaming kids.

More next time.