Year of Discovery competition: grandstand seats at the Seychelles theatre of blue
Jenny Lugton is a runner-up in the “Year of Discovery” writing competition for her evocative description of a downpour in the Seychelles.
The last thing I ever imagined doing on my honeymoon in the Seychelles, was visualising the exact location of my polka dot umbrella in the second drawer in the hall of our Edinburgh flat.
Yet there we were – fully enveloped in the bitter sweet flow of the Indian Ocean.
We had left the manicured fold of our lodge and made the habitual short walk to the nearest store. In the creature of habit way, that every holidaymaker battles to avoid but inevitably adopts, we followed our usual route along the inland road. A sensory assault course; swathes of Jurassic plantation, crabs playing hide and seek in their swampy burrows and the dappled flashes of fishermen’s wares, drying on racks by the beach.
We choose our favourite contradictory rations of SeyBrew, water & chocolate cookies from the shelf between the pegs and cooking oil. After ramming my millionaire’s fistful of Seychelles rupees back into my pocket, we headed on the homeward coastal path.
As we stepped out into the sauna warm air, the entire bay became electrified by the broken brushstrokes of a storm. Rounding the corner, the beach widened slightly, skirted by a thicket of palm trees. They were dense enough to provide cover, so we sank ourselves down on the tufty rift where the grass meets the beach. I burrowed my feet into the sticky white sand, admiring the mosaic of thread lines as my toes re-emerged through the cracks. The soggy brown paper bag had formed a skin around the bottles and I could smell the faint scent of warm broken chocolate.
We watched in awe at the theatre of blue that unfolded before us. The rain clouds swelled like bruises across the sky, a boat full of boys dove into the water, shrieking in the thrill of being wet both above and below sea. Black granite rocks on the west side edge of the cove stood out like slick oiled shadows. The entire seascape became cloaked in a glasslike blur of falling rain. My skin prickled in delight as the cool beads of water hit my sun-warmed arms.
And then just as quickly as we were sucked into this squally haze, we began bleary eyed to rouse from it. The warmth crept back into the dull sand and the sea thawed into pastel blue.
We scooped up the soggy groceries and started off again, past the apartments and a woman shaking off her sun umbrella.
Courtesy : Telegraph Newspapers
By Jenny Lugton
Published: 23 December 2008