Saturday 14 August 2010


What a dreary day: cool, damp and dull with not even the slightest gleam of sunshine. It's the kind of wrist-slittingly depressing weather that England does so well and for such long periods at a time, and I feel especially vulnerable having had heat and bright sunshine so recently.

I took this photo exactly a week ago, to the minute almost: sitting on the beach at Le Grand Hotel du Lagon on Reunion Island, as the sun slipped down into the Indian Ocean behind a bank of cloud after shining all day. The previous evening the sky was clear and we had the green flash: about the sixth time I've seen it, and still a thrill, fleeting though it is. It astonishes me that some people have been able to capture it in a photo.

The absolute best sunset I've ever seen, so good that it made me late for dinner, was from the beach near Cullen Bay in Darwin. There were good clouds and it was a scarlet and purple sunset, unlike the sepia one above. Besides me with my basic point-and-shoot, there was a friendly lad with a brand-new fancy digital that had a sunset programme (cheating, I reckoned - also unnecessary) and a stand-offish man with a tripod. After the sun disappeared, Tripod Man packed up his equipment and went home, leaving Digital Boy and me to gloat over the fact that the after-glow was even better - literally brilliant - getting more intense by the moment, and lasting for ages.

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