A Cool Review for Shine in the Guardian

Shine by Candy Gourlay
'A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country. The book is about reinvention and the faces we present to the world, whether it be in person, on a postcard or on the internet, all wrapped up in an exciting and perfectly paced story with a disturbing and dramatic climax.'
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
Read the review

Friday, 29 April 2011

Weddings, Kisses and Shining Moments

Alternative merchandise. More
Well who would've thought the royal wedding would put me in such a good mood. Jolly good show to the broadcasters and jolly good show, newly-weds. Speaking of which, I had no idea the royals had their own channel on YouTube.

I have fond, unabashed memories of the Other Royal Wedding.

Especially that kiss on the balcony ...







Back in 1981,  I was a Mills & Boone-reading young person, so of course I loved it.

That's why I was really looking forward to the balcony scene today. And they didn't disappoint . It's not that I'm a royalist, just a romantic I am. Sigh.




In the Philippines, we like to say "proud to be Filipino", a declaration you would not normally hear from the natives here in Cool Britannia ... but lo, people in the crowds were telling TV crews that they were "proud to be British" — psst, me too!

Anti-monarchists of course kept their backs staunchly turned away - but quite a few couldn't help surrendering to the festivity and knocking back a prosecco or two to celebrate the occasion.

Those with furrowed brows might ask, so Candy, be you a Royalist or a Republican? I dug around for an answer which I found in the Financial Times' token wedding article:

... through viewers on sofas, not boots on the ground, royalty still earns its spurs ... our royals have been coming and going at Westminster Abbey for a thousand years, so we can either lump it – or leverage it. Read the whole article (you might have to register)

Indeed, the world of late has not been a place of good news which makes it imperative to celebrate every or any bright moment.

Today may I raise a glass to my own recent shining moment?

Allow me to dress in right royal fashion before I begin ...


Friends will know that I've been in the Philippines these last two weeks having one of those life-enhancing experiences ... my mother had open heart surgery which is a miracle of an operation.

It took my mom from this:


to this:

My beautiful Mom, seven days after the operation!

It was a very worrying time and I was astounded by the kindness, patience and generosity of the doctors, nurses and other folk who made the miracle happen.

The world, so dark two weeks ago, is that much shinier.

I had to leave home rather suddenly, so I have to confess I was rather dreading my return to London and the hygienic surprises in store for me at home.

But I had nothing to fear.

The husband and kids decided to surprise me by having the horribly scratched maple floor in the living room sanded and varnished.

It looked like this:

Wow! Shiny!

But where did all the furniture go?

The furniture, it turns out, went into my office:


Not so shiny.
But still! Shiny! Thanks, family!

If you've still got stars in your eyes about the wedding, my blogging author friends have already stolen a march on anyone still trying to think of something clever to say ...

Prolific Lucy Coats (author of the Atticus books) it turns out was actually a friend of the bride at the Royal Wedding of the Other Century. She was there! What a story! (And thanks to Bookwitch, I would have missed Lucy's blog posts if not for the rustle of a broom!)

And Katherine Langrish (of Troll Fell fame) was moved to write a poem.

And Mary Hoffman (Stravaganza!) demanded a higher quality of verbiage from wedding commentators.

And Bryony Pearce (coming soon on a bookshelf near you with her brilliant new book Someone Else's Life) mused winsomely about happy endings.

But for advice on marriage one has to refer to Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now):

Marry someone you adore.

Well.

That I did.

Shiny Mrs Gourlay, 1988

4 comments :

  1. I too succumbed and found myself saying things like, 'really well done' and 'struck the right note' but actually I loved the kisses and William's beaming face.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahh, what a lovely antidote to my world-weary ramblings! The body language of the royal couple was very telling - they managed to stay in that little bubble you manufacture for yourselves on your wedding day, even with the whole world watching.

    So glad to hear about your mum. I know it's been rough - well done for coming out into the light on the other side.

    Nick.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad to hear your mom is doing well!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Catriona Tippin9 May 2011 at 12:30

    It was a lovely day, everyone enjoyed it, even those who claimed they weren't going to.

    I stuck this up before our street party (ok, back alley party): "I suggest that the people who are not interested in the royal wedding stop showing interest by frequently saying that they are not interested". It was a letter in one of the broadsheets.

    It worked. And it's an interesting sentence (from a writing point of view) because it doesn't need more punctuation.

    I'm keeping it up on the kitchen noticeboard, and plan to just change the subject matter with post it notes.

    ReplyDelete

Do you feel a burning need to have your say? Or maybe just to say hello? Then come along, click away ...