It’s that time of year. After a long winter, where the gloomy weather put a new (and far more literal) meaning into fifty shades of grey, the watery rays of April sunshine are finally starting to emerge through the clouds. Spring has indeed, sprung. Of course, as soon as that silver line of Mercury looks as if it might just slink past the elusive 11ºC mark, we British dash to the outdoors à la Julie Andrews in the opening credits of The Sound of Music – although, perhaps not quite so exquisitely…
In our eagerness, we momentarily forget about our pasty, almost-luminous skin as the light bounces off our exposed flesh, drawing attention to those wobbly Christmas pounds we never actually lost. Over winter, we seem to have morphed into albino seals without noticing. Not our best look. It’s roundabout then that we start daydreaming of a desert island holiday…hot, heavenly and hedonistic. Perfect.
I am one such seal-like individual, and this weekend I am heading off on a much anticipated island getaway. However, as I packed my bags I did wonder, why do we find desert islands just so magical? Just what is it about a secluded island that sparks our curiosity and captures the daydreams of the heart? Perhaps it’s the very fact that an uninhabited island holds as much space for our imagination to roam as a blank page in a book.
Of course, when we read, the author guides our mind’s eye as to the hero’s appearance…but inside our heads we always imagine our very own ‘perfect man’. It certainly raises the question – who is this perfect man, and more importantly…if we were stranded on a desert island, who would we like to find already there? So, this week, I asked the editorial team this very important question – as well as letting them take along one luxury item of their choosing…
Joanne Grant – Senior Executive Editor
“Wolverine (basically Hugh Jackman)! He is a mountain of a man (grr!) with a heart and hidden depths, plus with those claws he could hunt a delicious meal and protect me from any dangerous wildlife. Obviously these are the only reasons (nothing to do with a super-hot body and ruggedly handsome face!). My luxury item is difficult…if I was hanging out with Wolverine I would want to look my best. I think there is only so long I could go without a brush or toothbrush!”
Laurie Johnson (Assistant Editor, Romance)
“Thor…and am I the only one who thought champagne?!”
Sam Walmsley (Managing Editor)
“Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit…he can fight and is handy with a sword so he could protect me. My luxury item would be a radio so we could listen to great music under the stars!”
Sheila Hodgson (Senior Editor, Medicals)
“James Bond! I’m sure he’d take of all my survival needs! Including my luxury must haves – gourmet hamper (including champagne), sun screen and hair product!”
Laura McCallen (Editorial Assistant/Assistant Editor, Modern)
“Four from Divergent…sexy, powerful and looks incredible – in the movie version at least! And is it too cheeky to say a fully-stocked, fully-staffed vacation resort…?”
Clio Cornish (Editorial Assistant, Modern Tempted/Romance)
“Aragorn – but he’s not allowed to talk about Middle Earth! Otherwise Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing – though preferably not when played by Kenneth Branagh (sorry Kenneth). I don’t think there’d be a dull day. And when he eventually came to terms with the fact that he was in love with me, it would be CRIPPLINGLY romantic. My luxury item would be a radio for Radio 4? Very comforting, plus pleasingly meta when they broadcast Desert Island Discs.”
Linda Fildew (Senior Editor, Historical)
“Unfortunately Clio has Aragorn, so I’ll have to fall back on dear ol’Colin Firth! I’d like a constant supply of bottled water – want to keep hydrated so no champagne for me!”
Nicola Caws (Editorial Assistant, Historical)
“I do love Dexter from One Day. Don’t get me wrong I hated him at times too… but somehow he’s kind of irresistible. I reckon he’d be great fun on a desert island. Useless, probably, but fun. And I’d need a luxury pop up yurt! With cushions, fairy lights, shelter from the sun… (I burn easily). But if that’s cheating then just a cup of tea please!”
Julia Williams (Editor)
“Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd has always been my ultimate hero for his steadfastness and loyalty. (As played by Richard Armitage, if such a wonder were ever to happen!) For my luxury item, it would have to be a lambswool blanket to cuddle under at night with aforementioned Mr A when the sun went down!!”
Flo Nicoll (Editor, Modern Tempted)
“Christian Bale (as Batman/ Bruce Wayne, not with his American Hustle paunch). I’m with Laurie on the champagne!”
Kathryn Cheshire (Editorial Assistant/Assistant Editor, Historical)
“Might be a bad idea when you think about logistics, but I’d like Damon from The Vampire Diaries – HOT!! And luxury item – is it too cheeky to say a fully functioning computer, complete with Wi-Fi…?”
Lucy Gough (Managing Editorial Co-ordinator)
“Right, as Laurie beat me to Thor, I’m going to ‘settle’ for his little brother (in real life) Gale from The Hunger Games but only if played by the lovely Liam Hemsworth. With his survival skills we’d be living the life of luxury in no time. Luxury item has to be Kit Kats (there are some things even Gale wouldn’t be able to rustle up!).”
Anne-Marie Ryan (Editor)
“I would find a nicely toned Daniel Day Lewis as Hawkeye fromLast of the Mohicans, he looks good and would be quite handy to have around on a desert island (hunting, fishing, etc.). For my luxury item I would take chocolate and a Kindle loaded with lots of books, as I don’t imagine Hawkeye is much of a conversationalist!”
Dianne Moggy (VP, Series Editorial)
“I’m with Laurie when it comes to the luxury item – champagne! And given all of your responses in terms of men, I would want a reverse harem!”
So it seems, when push comes to shove – or when daydreams become desire – forget about husbands, boyfriends, lovers…it seems amongst the editorial team we’re prepared to steer clear of reality and hold on tight to fantasy! If only these heroes existed amongst us mere mortals. A girl can dream, after all.
And if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a desert island romance, you need look no further! Beach Bar Baby (Modern Tempted, May 2014) by Heidi Rice is about to be released! After some bad news Ella jets off to sunny Bermuda for a bit of solo R&R, but by day 6, surrounded by smug honeymooners, a casual date with ripped, tanned and enigmatic Cooper Delaney doesn’t seem like such a bad idea! It’s not Coop’s style to flirt with tourists, but he can’t get the sweet London girl out of his head. But when he sees her again a few months later, Coop finds Ella curvier, prettier…and keeping a secret he was so not expecting!
There’s only two questions left to ask before I jet off to sunnier shores – who’s your dreamy desert island date, and what luxury item would you take?