Tuesday, September 03, 2013
All that glitters - Annie West
Gold fit for a princess, don't you think? I saw these amazing 22 carat gold necklaces and tiaras in the Gold Souk in Dubai. I've never seen anything quite so over the top in jewellery. I'm sure it must look magnificent on, and with the right clothes. I gather these intricate designs (sadly you can't see the incredibly tiny detail on them) are for brides to wear at their wedding celebration. How would you like to wear something like this as you tied the knot?
The whole souk was an amazing eye opener. I've been to some Middle Eastern souks before and I've seen some of the jewellery on sale but this place was something else. I understand at certain times of year it's flooded with shoppers and the jewellery in particular is a reason to visit and spend money.
Me? I hate to disappoint but I didn't walk away with a fortune in tinkling gold. Not even a ring or bracelet. And on the subject of bracelets, have a look at this small part of a huge window display of gold bracelets that took my eye. It simply dazzled!
I'd thought it might be nice to take home a gorgeous golden souvenir of my stay there but when it came to it I focused on other things instead (if you see me in the cooler months you'll know I had a ball adding to my pashmina collection!).
But even just visiting the souk for some window shopping was an amazing experience and one that fed into my story writing. Ask any writer and you'll find almost everything does! Not so long ago I found myself writing a story about a woman who grows up in the Middle East then marries a dark, enigmatic foreigner and moves to London. When it came to writing Leila's wedding I remembered these necklaces and bracelets, the amazing chandelier earrings that dropped almost to the shoulder, and the elaborate silks and delicate embroideries. They made Leila in her finery come alive as I wrote, so the scene was incredibly vivid to me. As were the scents, henna and spices. After the wedding there's a focus on jewellery too, when Leila wears her mother's pendant hanging down her almost bare back in a sexy dress that makes her husband-in-name-only look at her with a whole new appreciation.
How about you? Are you a jewellery fan? What's your favourite piece (one you own or maybe one you've seen)? Are you a bling sort of girl or a more conservative jewellery wearer?
Annie's IMPRISONED BY A VOW (August Harlequin Presents) is the book with the scene inspired by this amazing jewellery. It features a woman up against the odds who refuses to give in, and a hero who's sworn off emotional entanglements but who can't walk away from his marriage of convenience wife. You can pick up a copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble of the Book Depository. Look out too for Annie's next release AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY on 19 September.