Saturday 27 May 2023

Shower Repair - Final update!

Last few parts of this job were done over three evenings!

Night 1 - adhesive

Afixing tiles.  NB.  Before this there was a lot of prework done - measuring and cutting etc.  I deliberately chose these mosaic tiles as it meant I could get in as close as I could to circles without having to shape tiles with a tool.  It is not as perfect as tiler would do with a shaping tool but it is as good as I, an amateur, could do.  

Night 2 - grouting in between all the lines

Sponging/cleaning of the grout

Caulking around the edge

Night 3 - added some more caulk

Finished!   This job nearly killed me.  But thanks be to the universe it is done and when we come back from our little vacation (oh, did I tell you we are on holidays!) we will be back showering in the outdoor shower.


Monday 22 May 2023

Lilly Pulitzer and Key West

A couple of weeks ago I bought tickets to a talk "Happy Hour with the Historian" about Key West Hand Print Fabrics and Lilly Pulitzer.  I had completely forgotten about it but then luckily a reminder popped up on my phone

So, of course I wore a Lilly to work that day! I chose this one purposely because both in pattern and style (length!) I feel it resembled Lilly at her peak during the 60's

Incredibly interesting to hear the interlinking of three wonderful creatives coming together - Right Place at the Right Time.  Suzy Zuzek Depoo and her whimsical designs, Key West fabric screen printing and their technical know how and the wonderful Lilly with her business acumen.

Spot the Lilly's.  A great turnout of about 60 people and lots of them wearing their Lilly too

What an enjoyable evening!  Thank you to the Key West Art and Historical Society and Dr Cori Convertito.  Bravo!


Boat trip - sunken treasure

Saturday evening was a bit of an adventure.  We set out to try locate a rumoured great fishing spot over a shipwreck of an old shrimping boat.  We had tried to locate before with no success but this time we brought technology into the equation and after doing some studying and practicing on the garmin I figured I could locate it.

Good news is we found it! Bad news, fish weren't biting.  The sea was so clear we could literally see them, but no bites.  To be fair this spot is supposedly better during the Autumn and Winter months so while I am glad we located the spot we probably won't go back again until September or October.

I took some photos and video from the trip and managed to cobble together a bit of a video.

Link to tik tok video....   I struggle with tik tok I have to admit.  I guess that means I am olllDDDD.  Ah well!  So click the link and see how it goes eh!

And look at this photo I took of a dragon fly on a seat back.  No filters, just the colours of nature.  Zoom in to look at the wings in detail

Mahi Mahi / Deep Sea fishing

Trolling has to be one of the most frustrating ways to fish, but oh my gosh, when you hit that spot, so rewarding!!

As well as being frustrating, it is time consuming and just a plain old slog really.  Essentially, you need to hook your rods and lines up with their bait, let them out about 100ft and then go ("troll") in straight lines in really deep water at about 6mph. The driver is on their feet for the whole time and your legs get sore at the knees so you need to constantly move around as much as you can (which is very little).  Your back gets sore too.  

The deepest we have ever trolled at is 300ft. Well, that changed this Sunday.  We were approx 17 miles off the island, South direction (about 1/6 of the way to Cuba!!) and at about 1000ft. We slogged and slogged for about 3 hours (bearing in mind it took us about an hour to get out their) and nothing.  We were tired, disheartened, and hungry - we had bought some food and snacks but not near enough!

Turning back to head home we decided to keep trolling on the way back in.  And yesssss, at about 700ft deep we hit mahi mahi gold! A 26 incher and a 24.  Actually we could have had a third but it broke the line before we could land it.  So, so happy.  But oh my gosh, pure exhausted. 

What a day!  Not something we will do often.  You really need perfect, perfect conditions - you are very far out if anything goes wrong. We will go back to our regular 250/300 ft trolling and maybe do the real deep stuff only once or twice a year.

Two whoppers!  Not the biggest mahi mahi that anyone has caught but by our standards we were just fine with them.  We called our neighbour Brian over, told him all about the adventure, and offered him the top fish for dinner for his family.  We didn't have to ask twice!

Outdoor shower repairs ctd.

Follow along with me as I try patch up this hole left after the plumber job of a new shower.

My plan is to "build up" from the back to the front

Why yes, those Pre-cut pieces of wood are paint stirrer sticks from the hardware store, lol!

There was one piece of dry wall which didn't get too damaged that I was able to reuse.

Okay.  So this is the state of play now: I have "built back" the wall, ready for tiling to finish it off.

The patches of black are just holding things secure while hopefully it all dries together nice and strong.

Next post from me in relation to the outdoor shower, will be about the grouting and tiling.  Wish me luck!

For Part 3 and Final update on this repair job click HERE


The Butcher on White Street is closing :(((((

Do you remember my post from last Saturday, where I mentioned we had lunch of bacon and eggs from the lovely butcher on White Street?  During that lunch I talked to Patrick about how I would put that up in my top 3 for Saturday Brunch choices - the others being the Italian sandwich we share, from Eaton Street Bakery and the other turkey and pesto mayonnaise sandwich we split, from the Restaurant Store on Eaton.

Ah the innocence of my comment. If I knew then, what I know now :(

The Butcher is closing.  I found out from facebook on Monday and in shock I texted Patrick.  He was pretty shocked too.

We went and stocked up! 
This is 2.5 lbs of rashers

12 of our favourite sausages - the sweet italian flavour

I divided up the rashers into 7 lunch portions.  Only 7 times more and then never again 😥


Tuesday 16 May 2023

"Everything Breaks" Part ??? - Outdoor Shower

I posted yesterday how our outdoor shower had stopped working (insides just totally seized up). That's Key West for you!  It is the salt in the air, everything breaks much faster than you would expect.

I ordered a fancy new one on Amazon but during installation realised that the problem was much bigger than I thought.  The connection to the waterline seems to have become disconnected/broken.  At this point I came to the conclusion that it was time to call the plumber.

Okay so he had to tear through some of the wall - which I was prepared for.  But didn't he do as neat a job as possible?

I could never have managed to work out how to fix and then buy all the parts and put it together - correctly with a PROPER seal so as they don't leak!!  Not only does the plumber have the knowledge, he also has all the equipment; there was a strong smell of the glue/sealant he used.

So happy with this new and improved shower!  I need to patch up the hole left behind - am figuring out how best to manage, maybe some tiles would work??

Ps. Side note: Have I ever mentioned that having a shower outdoors is definitely one of my joys of life?

For Part 2 (the patching) please click HERE

Monday 15 May 2023

Project Rescue Patio Furniture

Top of my list for some time has been to either buy some new patio dining furniture or else somehow "restore" my current back to good use - main problem with it was that the table top had rotted to a spongy moldy wooden mess:

While initially, I just figured I would either buy new or buy secondhand (preferably secondhand - better for the environment), the more I looked, the less I saw that I was interested in.  It appears that most patio furniture these days comes in the colour black! I live in the tropics in a quirky little 1950s bunker of a house, I don't want black!

So, I started leaning towards replacing the wood.  And the second I made that decision I felt at peace.  I really, really love this 1950's outdoor dining set.  And I know it is on it's last legs (Key West air eats through metal) but if I can get a couple more years out of it I will be happy.  Side note.  If you look online at these dining sets, fully restored, they are selling for $800/$900!

On Sunday morning we drove to Manley DeBoer lumber yard and secured the plywood needed.  Yep, it's just plywood...that has been pressure treated so is good to use outdoors.  It is BC Birch and after tax etc came to the princely sum of $96.  

It was a little bit bigger than I needed so was nice of our neighbor Brian to help cut it to size.

Really easy to remove via screws underneath and really easy to screw back on too

Et, voila!
Looks just like a cheapy bit of plywood on a frame doesn't it?!
Well (a) my next plan is to get a nice table cloth to use whenever we are eating on it
And (b) I went to my favourite "Artist formerly known as an Architect" Pigsy, for some colour advice if I was to stain it.

He suggested a nice light pale white-wash.  Pigsy knows his colours, I tell you!

Now, voila!
Doesn't that look much better???  Kind've beachy and distressed/faded from the sun look about it?!

So happy with it!  
Just need to order that table cloth now

In other, not so nice news, aka Things Always Break in Key West, the outdoor shower had gone completely kaput. I ordered a fancy new one on Amazon but during installation have realised that the problem is much bigger than I thought.  The connection to the waterline seems to have become disconnected/broken.  I think we are going to have to chase in to the wall to repair it so at this point I think it is a Call a Plumber job :(

Edited on May 27 to add:

My tablecloth and runner! Finally ordered and finally arrived!

Saturday 13 May 2023


This weekend was very windy and was sadly a No Go for the boat :(

I woke up a 7am when we normally get up and head out and by 8am I was as bored as all hell.  To fill the gap I visited two yard sales, cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer, cooked brunch (bacon and eggs from the nice butcher on White Street) and then lay out under the lanai reading the New Yorker.

Later that afternoon we drove out to Cudjoe Fish Sales where Patrick got his rod restrung.  Then stopped in Home Depot on the way back where I had no luck obtaining the wood I needed for a project I planned next blog post for more on same if interested!


Follow the Rabbit

There's a new bar in town - an "immersive" speakeasy type burlesque entertainment type of venue.

Was lucky to be invited to their soft opening/pre opening event night and 24 hours in advance I was sent the address and a passcode for entry.  Fun!

My drink (on the right) was served from a cute little bunny rabbit teapot!  Patrick's was poured from an adorable little vintage floral creamer jug

Complimentary cheese and popcorn and a little sampler of sazerac.

A fabulous light twirler dancer

Fun burlesque entertainer

Fabulous cocktail menu and full food menu

Will you "follow the rabbit"?!

Bike seat saga

So, did you know that if you call a bike seat a saddle (as I did in Ireland all the time), people over here look at you oddly. 

After our trip up to Fort Lauderdale for the hockey game, I came back to find my bike, which had been parked at the airport, looking like this :(

A guy in work gave me one from an old bike of his but it did not fit - another did you know - apparently seat posts come in different sizes.  Who would have thought that?!
So I went out to the Key West facebook community and a nice person left one outside his house and messaged me.  I nipped down and picked it up.  Success, it fits!


Wednesday 10 May 2023

Go Leafs!

We took a little trip “off the rock” to go see a hockey game – Game 3 of the second round of the Stanley Cup – Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers.  Go Leafs Go!  My first time ever to see an ice hockey game would you believe 😊


We had a fantastic time.  The stadium was huge - and very atmospheric.  All was fabulous….except for the end result.  We lost in extra time


We arrived home in okay time on Monday, there was some delays on the way with construction.  The joys of living on a small island with only one way in and one way out.  Too tired to cook, we went to our local Irish pub and shared a nice reuben sandwich and chicken wings.  The cat was delighted to see us and we were happy to be home to her.


Monday 1 May 2023

Taste of Key West 2023

One of the best events in Key West is the charity fundraiser in aid of A.H. Monroe - Taste of Key West

Patrick bought tickets as usual. He buys the Date Night Package which is fun and always gives us both a bit of a giggle - and it is really good value.  You get a good amount of tickets which you can use to purchase glasses of wine and small tasting plates.


Kith & Kin Cabernet Sauvignon

Fish taco

Mahi Mahi in a coconut curry.  Sadly this was not great.  Cold and dry :(

Waygu beef

Top three:

Tuna tartar with a mild wasabi sauce on a prawn cracker

Possibly my favourite!  Fettucine bolognaise with creme fraiche

Another favourite - pulled pork with crispy onion rings and corn puree

For posterity! This is a pic of us from 2022 Taste of Key West