On a desert island

224973"I first set foot on Tiwarik during a mis-timed fishing trip in 1983 when a friend and I pitched a wind-whipped tarpaulin on the beach and huddled beneath it for two days and nights. The island was for us merely a blob of land amid a churn of waters, our view of it occluded by grey squalls of rain – actually the tail-end of Typhoon Litang – and reduced to the stretch of coral shingle on which we crouched. Behind us amorphous shrubbery rose steeply to unseeable heights." Writer James Hamilton-Paterson used to spend months of each year on the otherwise uninhabited Philippine island of Tiriwak. You can read an extract of his book about that time, Playing with Water, by clicking on the photograph below.