5. Seychelles

Chapter 5. No Return from This Place

The Feba studios were located on one of the highest peaks of Mahe Island. The operation was shut down in 2003 when Feba pursued other broadcast options. The new owners renovated and converted it into a boutique resort that takes advantage of views ignored by the functional design of the radio studios.

After training, studio operators managed the daily broadcasts of radio programs, and were responsible for putting all radio programs to air, whether live from the studios or recorded on cassettes or reel-to-reel audio tapes.

The studios and staff houses were situated on the slopes of Mahe Island’s highest peak above Victoria, the capital. This was the view from the front porch of our house.

Secluded beaches for swimming and snorkelling were plenty.

Fishermen landed freshly caught tuna and sold thick steaks from their pirogues (banana-shaped boats).

The famous coco de mer (sea coconut) was a common sight. A 19th century English botanist asserted the coco de mer was the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden on account of the nut that grows on the female tree and the cluster of flowers on the male tree, the physical properties of both resembling female and male sexual organs.

Bits that didn’t make it into the book

Delicious Irony

We travelled from the Seychelles Islands to the UK to visit Jill’s sister, Susan, and her family in Liverpool. Radio Liverpool had a competition for listeners to win tickets to a new movie. All they had to do was spell a word correctly. A contestant failed several attempts to spell ‘institution’. He was offered a song request as compensation for not winning the tickets. In his thick Liverpudlian accent, the listener requested Pink Floyd’s newly released song, Another Brick in the Wall, with those immortal words: We don’t need no education . . . The irony was delicious

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