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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Lydia Patrick & John Bett

Woman lives on the world's most remote island - with just one shop and a pub

A mum has told how she moved to live on the world's most remote island - to become of its 138 inhabitants. More than 1,500 miles off the coast of South Africa, it is served by just one shop, one pub, and a school.

Kelly Green, 32, left behind her life Eastbourne, East Sussex, to move to Tristan da Cunha, one of a remote group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean,in July 2013.

The whole island descends from just seven families and has a population of just 138 inhabitants. It is only accessible by boat from Cape Town, South Africa, and the journey can take anywhere from a week to 15 days - depending on the weather. After going through a tough breakup, Kelly travelled to the island to visit her parents in 2010 as her dad was a diplomat posted there.

Whilst there, she met her future husband, Shane Green, 33, a carpenter, who helped her carry her luggage off the raft and "fell in love" with the island.

Kelly has two children with her islander husband, Shane. (Kelly Green / SWNS)
Tristan da Cunha is the world's most remote island (Kelly Green / SWNS)

Would you live on the island? Let us know in the comments...

Kelly has been permanently living on the island since July 2013, and she now has two children with Shane - Savannah, eight, and Seren, 16-months.

Kelly says the island lifestyle is "a stark difference to the manic non-stop hustle and bustle of the UK" - and is focused on communal outdoors living with "everyone living off the land and chipping in".

Kelly, head of the tourism board, said: "It's like Emmerdale - but on an island and in a less dramatic way. We all know each other and what's going on in each other's lives.

The island has one shop, one pub, and one school (Kelly Green / SWNS)
Kelly, Savannah, and Seren love living on the island (Kelly Green / SWNS)

"My mum said it reminded them of a village up north in the UK because of the Tristanian accent. There are only 138 people here, so we all know each other.

"There is only one police officer on the island, and I've never had to call him. To get onto the island, you have to fly to Cape Town and then get a boat 1,500 miles away, which takes seven to 15 days - dependent on the weather.

You'll need a boat if you live on the island (Kelly Green / SWNS)
Kelly visited the island when her dad was stationed there (Kelly Green / SWNS)

"The houses made of wood are susceptible to fires as they use gas cylinders to heat their homes.

"Sadly a few weeks ago my best friend's house caught on fire, and everything burnt down.

"It was horrific - but luckily they got out with their dogs, and we will all muddle together to help rebuild the home."
In emergencies there is a metal gong which is hit continually to alert the island.

But she met the love of her life, Shane, and never left (Kelly Green / SWNS)

When it comes to day-to-day life, Kelly runs the tourism office and when she returns home will cook dinner for her family - staples in their diet are mutton, lobster, fish, potatoes and fresh vegetables and fruit.

"I really miss going out to eat, there are no restaurants or takeaways and only one very minimal shop," Kelly said.

"Freight is extremely expensive but there are some home comforts, such as Hellman's mayonnaise, I can't live without and have ordered in from Asda."

Deliveries only come nine times a year on large ships- the cost varies as freight from the UK is a lot more than shipping from Cape Town.

There's plenty of opportunity for solitude on Tristan da Cunha (Kelly Green / SWNS)

A small crate from the UK can cost around £600 which is constantly increasing as global costs soar.

The mum-of-two has to get creative to provide the family with 'fakeaways' and has learnt to make her own sushi with fish fresh out of the sea, rice paper, rice and condiments such as soy sauce and sriracha.

At the island pub - The Albatross - a handful of revellers drinking is considered a roaring night.

"On a night when it's busy there's only five people in there," Kelly said.

The shop has cornered the market (Kelly Green / SWNS)

Kelly explains their lifestyle is "traditional - in that the men go out hunting, in the mountains and the women do most of the domestic tasks".

Birthdays play a big part of the social calendar - and whoever has the birthday will host a shindig at their home - everyone else will bring a bottle and some food for the table.

On fishing days - the men will go out to fish at 5am, and if it's Kelly's turn for the 'bundle' - she will make food for them all for the whole day.

"Shane will go off in the morning and I will feed the chickens and children," she said.

If the shop doesn't have it, you're not getting it (Kelly Green / SWNS)

"After I finish work at 3pm, I will go down to the fish factory and help prepare the fish.

"Sometimes we will stay until midnight wrapping products to be sent all around the world."

The islands' main source of income comes from lobster, stamps and coins.

When it comes to school, the pupils are often in small classes - there are only five students in Kelly's daughter Savannah's class and 19 students in the entire school.

The pub looks inviting (Kelly Green / SWNS)

One of the year groups only has one person in them.

Kelly said: "The classes run up to GCSE and if children want to continue their formal education they often go to Cape Town or to the UK.

"We are an ageing population so want to keep our youngsters, but it can be very boring for them."

Luckily, the island was never struck by Covid, and they are awaiting the return of cruise ships to boost their tourism again.

They have different annual days such as 'ratting day' where they set the dogs loose on the island to kill rats which are thought to have arrived on a boat.

On 'Old Years Night' - New Year's Eve - the men get dressed up in scary masks and go around the village on tractors.

"It's petrifying, it's almost like something from America. They will bang on your window and try to spray you with a garden hose," Kelly said.

Preparation is key for remote-living and Kelly has already ordered all of her Christmas presents to arrive in time.

Kelly added: "It's a great place to raise a family. I love England but I can't ever imagine living there again."

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