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Ashes to Ashes

A sad day indeed as word got out that David Bowie had died aged 69. What an incredible way to die though – he knew he didn’t have long to go and still found the energy to create his swan song. He also kept the world from his door in his last precious months in order that he could prepare for his final transformation.

I vividly remember buying the Album Scary Monsters and Super Creeps in 1980, aged 15, having saved my pocket money from all those chores: cleaning fireplaces, washing cars, baby-sitting. I was so proud of my purchase and rushed home to play it, only to discover that it jumped. Unable to return it for a couple of days due to living 8miles from the nearest record shop, I listened to it all the way through twice before putting it away. It transpired that there had been such a rush to get the album out that many of them had been damaged in the process and so a full exchange was given without quibble. I then listened to it and studied the cover, learning the words over and over as was common in those days.

Emma and I would spend hours which often became days during the school holidays, in her room, playing music and singing along, smoking, laughing, talking. Just being in the now. We would record our favourite albums onto tape so that we each had a copy and would often negotiate who would buy certain albums.

Buying an album was such a big event in those days. The first album I ever bought was ABBA Gold in 1979 followed soon after by Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. Eclectic taste and still some of my favourite music ever. Put on Dancing Queen and I can’t sit still. I can also howl along to The Great Gig in the Sky. Some might say I howl along to all music but as M would say I sing with such passion it’s impossible not to smile ( laugh, guffaw, snigger, I know).

E – for you, cast your mind back to an overnight bus journey to London. We settled into our seats and ‘plugged in’ to our Sony Walkmans. Not content with just listening you ‘sang along’ to Annie Lennox/ Eurythmics, ‘Thorn in My Side’ and genuinely could’t understand why I nudged you, teenage embarrassment at your singing over-riding our precious friendship! Forgive me!

Ashes to Ashes – a poem

you’ve gone, left us behind

cancer claiming your body

ravaging your organs,

and transforming you once more –

from one so full of vitality,

energy,

fun,

and creativity

to ashes.

you have given us much to celebrate

to love, to appreciate and to own

rest now, one day we will let you go.

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