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Briton enjoys 50 years' solitude on island

United Kingdom,Human Interest/Society, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 27 (IANS) A Briton from Yorkshire has made an island in the Seychelles his home and been enjoying living there for half a century. He spends his days caring for the island's tortoises and birds that have also made it their abode.


Brendon Grimshaw bought Moyenne -- a small island just half a mile wide -- in the Seychelles for a princely sum of 8,000 pounds in 1962 and has been living there ever since, the Daily Mail reported.


The 86-year-old wakes up to the sound of rustling palm trees and the Indian Ocean lapping against the shore. Living in this unique wildlife reserve, he has survived tropical storms, sharks, ghosts, a coup d'etat in the Seychelles and a mercenary raid.


Initially, when Grimshaw bought Moyenne Island, it was overgrown with scrub so dense that coconuts could not fall to the ground. But he transformed the island into his own little patch of heaven.


He was spotted during a visit to the Seychelles to film Somali pirates in the prisons and Dutch Special Forces training local troops to repel more attacks.


At his island, Grimshaw looks after his 120 giant tortoises. Outside his single-storey house on the hills is a message reading: "Please respect the tortoises. They are probably older than you."


He first arrived in the Seychelles on holiday in the late 1950s, restless and seeking adventure after years spent working as a newspaperman in Africa. "I started thinking about buying property almost as soon as I arrived, but I couldn't find the right place," he said.


It wasn't until the very last day of his holiday that he heard about Moyenne. "I knew the moment I set foot on the island that it was the right place for me."


Grimshaw hired his own Man Friday, a Seychellois called Rene Lafortune. Together, they planted palm trees, mango and paw-paw and transformed Moyenne Island.


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