the week that was / by Philippa Moore

Well, this has been quite a week. A strange week, filled with sadness and thrills in equal portions. The older I get, the more I realise that happy and sad times can’t be neatly sectioned off from each other in life, they often coincide, or crash together in the same car. 

On Friday, January 8, Tom and I wound down from the working week with David Bowie’s latest album, Blackstar, which I had pre-ordered so we would get it on the day it was released. We sat with red wine, listening to it and discussing it, our minds blown by its vision and poetry and darkness. 

Only a few days later, early on Monday morning as we sipped our coffee and checked if the trains were running on time, the news broke that David Bowie had died. Both of us felt numb and shocked as we made our way to work. I put Radio 6 on my headphones as I worked and felt more and more emotional as the tracks were played and suddenly ‘Changes’, ‘Life on Mars’ and ’Space Oddity’ sounded different, and now meant something else.

My husband's 'desert island' Bowie collection.

My husband's 'desert island' Bowie collection.

I loved hearing other listeners song requests, their memories of Bowie’s music and what it meant in their lives, and was moved to email my own song request and story into the station. It was thanks to my then boyfriend now husband that I got introduced to Bowie beyond 'China Girl' and the Labyrinth’s Goblin King. His music has been the backdrop for my life in London - there has been a song for every moment, happy and not so much. 

To my surprise, a producer emailed back and asked if I’d be on the show on Wednesday to share the story, and the original mixtape Tom made me when we first met, which was my first proper introduction to Bowie. Here’s the story and here’s the show itself if you’d like to listen (I come in around 40:48). Lauren Laverne even asked me about my book! Bit of Bowie magic happening there, for sure. What a thrill it was. It made the sadness a little more bearable. But then of course we got the sad news about Alan Rickman....it wasn't the best week to be a British man aged 69. We've spent a lot of the past few days watching our favourite movies that had Bowie and Rickman in them, feeling bereft at the idea of a world without them in it.

Also, in the week that was:

  • Femail.com.au have posted an interview with me about writing The Latte Years, check it out here
  • SHAPE Magazine Australia describe The Latte Years as ‘a page turner’! Whoop!
  • I also have a piece in this month’s ELLE Australia - reflecting on the art of making new year's resolutions and why I don't think you need to wait for January 1 to change your life.

There’s a few more articles I’ve written that will be coming up in the Australian media soon that I’m rather excited to share once they’re published, so stay tuned! 

Winter has wrapped itself around London now, and we woke up to a light snowfall this morning. It seems a little bizarre that in a few days we’ll emerge from a plane, dazed and confused, and it will be summer.

This is my backyard:

And this is where my book is! 

Hope you’re keeping warm or cool, wherever you are, my friends.