Here Comes the Sun

I began this blog entry last week when the sunlight was pouring down. Unsurprisingly, it is now raining again. I noted an article in G2 a few days ago nervously headed, ‘Will there be Summer this year?’ and confess to having asked the same thing myself, as the weather pattern is similar to last year’s. The forecasters, however, assured us that it would be a normal summer with above average temperatures. I hope to god that they are right.

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Seeing as it seems to be the done thing to sit outside in the sun to blog and drink cardonnay* these days, I have set myself up in the garden to write. I’ve just baked a batch of Russian Tea Cakes while listening to Alanis Morrisette and shall be opening the vino shortly. Given that my alcohol tolerance is pretty much nil these days on account of having neither money nor a social life, it is wise to pace oneself in these situations. Should this post suddenly end with 1p39847qieuh;agakjda1298h9fgngsdkjfh[qwerq, I will have fallen off my chair onto the paving, my head gently wedged between the pots of rhododendron and thyme, thence to shall remain until BrotherH comes home to rescue me.

There have been many reasons to be happy of late, at least as happy as is possible in my state of incarceration, the discomfort of which increases as the days warm and I remain shackled to my desk writing about displacement, haunting and bodies in the text. Firstly, I was shortlisted for the Dobbie, an encouragement award for first time female novelists funded by Perpetual. Naturally I had been hoping to win (what writer doesn’t?), not least so I could buy a new Spencer and Rutherford handbag and ticket back to Oz, but Karen Foxlee’s The Anatomy of Wings scooped the prize, as I’d expected. I haven’t read it but it’s had lots of good reviews so will add it to my list of books to buy when I go home at Xmas.

Just after my agent emailed me the results, the postman dropped off the new edition of my book, which is just gorgeous, as possibly even more ‘me’ than the first edition, though I’ll always love it (the first) the best. Here is a picture of it:

Then my publisher told me that I am one of four winners of the Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist for 2008, hurrah! I don’t get any money, although I do have my picture in the paper. To this end the London photographer for the SMH came to work and snapped pictures of me for nearly two hours with one of those fancy umbrellas for the flash and all. Having the White gene that is addicted to showing-offness, I lapped up the attention. However, by the end I was quite tired from smiling, and I was starving, so I was glad to see the photographer on his way. The article is to appear in the Spectrum on May 24th.

And while the weather has been gorgeous, it does has its downsides, in that it reminds me of Oz and I’ve been aching with homesickness. I wish I could sit on the patio in mum’s garden, drinking tea, reading and burning my shins in the sun, or lie on the beach at Coogee, or walk through Centennial Park, the heat gently clinging to my skin. Well, it’s only seven months until I go home again, and I guess I can bear it, unless it’s another wet summer. I shall be very unhappy indeed if my frocks languish, unworn, in my cupboard for yet another season.

* After watching Kath and Kim, I am now incapable of saying chardonnay. It must be pronounced, as Kim vehemently protests, without the ‘h’: ‘It’s cardonnay, cardonnay, ya pack of shunts!’

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