Coals to Newcastle
28 March 2021
I’m not sure if “Coals To Newcastle” translates for our global readership so, for those not familiar with the phrase, it is a wordplay on the irony of shipping coal to Newcastle, when, at the time of the conception of the phrase, Newcastle was one of the worlds’ largest sources of coal........and ironically, now, virtually shut down as a coal producer, it having been proven cheaper to ship coal half way around the world from, talk of irony, Newcastle, Australia.
The point of this ramble is that over the last few weeks meandering through the Maldives, we’ve been passed a few times by what looked like WWII landing craft in full jungle warfare camouflage; all foliage,
leaves and palm fronds from stem to stern.
On Thulusdhoo we finally found out what it’s all about - the Maldivian resort version of Coals To Newcastle; except it’s Coconut Palms To Paradise. You see, the Maldive islands are somewhat short of foliage. Time, development and strong breezes have taken their toll. Unlike the lush coastlines of most of the tropics the Maldive Islands sport coconut palms like a teenagers first attempt at a beard.
Consequently when the resort architect knocks up the latest Eco Resort on Stilts, the artists impression will invariably show the resort comfortably shaded by lofty palms, gently waving in the tropical breeze. Except, as on most islands, there ain’t no palm trees left. And now we know why. They’ve all been uprooted and unceremoniously humped on an old landing craft and transported to Resortville where the happy tourists can sit around, shaded from the equatorial sun on the sugar soft, silver sand beaches...... recently imported from another nearby island........ where, once, there were coconut palms.