Reflections: Looking Back On Tiwi Reef

sea and sky on the reef at Tiwi ed

Today in Shropshire we are having a heatwave – 26 C which is hot for us. It’s making me think of Kenya days when we used to spend Christmas (the hottest season) on the South Mombasa coast. We took all our best friends and family there. So: fond, if long ago, thoughts of grilled reef fish and lobsters bought from the local fishermen, and daily visits from the vegetable seller who pushed his sturdy Chinese bike along the coral paths, the black frame slung with raffia panniers, the contents garnered from his shamba – pawpaws, tomatoes, red onions, tiny hen’s eggs, warty lemons, a pepper or two.

Of course it was steamy there beside the Indian Ocean, but breezy too, and the verandaed beach cottages, following the local style, were built to catch it – tall makuti thatched roofs, large unglazed windows shaded by louvered shutters with moveable slats. Billowing mosquito nets over the beds. The outside sounds blowing in, crickets in the hot grass, finch chatter in the Madagascar flame trees, plangent call of the water bottle bird emptying its flask, a descending doo-doo-doo-doo…then waft of frangipani, and further off, the ocean crashing on the reef. The smell of the sea. Aaaah! Tusker beer, anyone?

sunrise on the lagoon ed

dawn over Tiwi lagoon ed


Lens-Artists: seeing double This week Jez has set the challenge. He has some stunning reflections on show.

36 thoughts on “Reflections: Looking Back On Tiwi Reef

  1. I sounds so much like trips to the Caribbean islands were in the 1960s and 70s. Local fishermen would just toss us extra lobsters and other fish and for a couple of dollars, you could buy a bottle of expensive gin. The glasses, ice, and lemon or two were “on the house.” Then, slightly inebriated, we would swim out to the ships anchored in the bay and they would let us come aboard, just to hang out and then we’d swim back. I’m not a powerful swimmer, but if the water isn’t rough, I can go a very long distance, side-stroking and floating for hours. I got some terrible sunburns that way — even wearing a tee shirt.

    Those really WERE the days! And the water in the Mediterranean south of Rehovot was almost skin temperature warm. Where there was no riptide, you could just float and drift for an entire afternoon. I’m getting all kinds of sandy and nostalgic. It was too hot to be in the city by day, though it was much cooler by night. Sigh. And life was so simple then. SO simple.

  2. Lovely all around, Tish, and I enjoyed that you’re reflecting as well as sharing reflections. A twofer! Your stories remind me so much of M. M. Kaye books, whether fiction or autobiographies ( three books.). That’s a compliment, BYW. 😘

  3. There’s a special feel about your post. The photos, your memories they all come together with a feel of nostalgia. Beautiful is possibly not enough to describe it.

    1. It always managed to be idyllic during the short times we were there, but no, you have a point. For one thing security was always an issue during the 1990s, especially in the coast province around election time. The spiny urchins on the reef weren’t much fun either, if you happened to step on one.

  4. Your words and photos conjure up the senses of a tropical beach stay so well. As Margaret says, it can’t have been perfect (where is?) but you certainly make it sound and look rather special 🙂

  5. Gorgeous photos! I would love to visit there. I can also feel the tropics through the photos…but it’s at the beach, so I would gladly deal with it!

  6. These are really marvelous Tish – what amazing memories you must have. Janet is right, your musings could fit perfectly in the pages of many wonderful novels. Big kudos on this one.

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