That’s money in the Solomon Islands.’ Then I would hand it back while he rummaged for change. ‘Paradise on this wretched earth.’BAROQUE SKIES SWEPT OVERHEAD AS VAST PROVINCES OF SUN CHASED COLUMNS OF RAIN ROUND THE HORIZONS. His plane had gone down somewhere in the Solomon Islands, and when he came home it seemed he was never really fit for work. Now, years later, bound for the Solomons, I thought of the man and that haunting phrase – paradise on this wretched earth. The Japanese invaded and World War II broke over this place like a hurricane.