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Road trip – week three, and a bit of a shock.

January 15, 2016

Packing up the car (we can never travel light) until it groans, we begin the long trip to Albury, where our friends are letting us stay for one night while they are in Byron Bay, where we are meeting them later in the week. After a quick bit of shopping for food, we settle on the sofa for a night in front of the TV, outside it’s about 40 degrees and like stepping into a sauna, thank heavens for air con. After a few minutes I spot a story on Facebook, and can’t believe what I’m reading. David Bowie has died after an 18 month battle with cancer. We had listened to his new album on the journey, loved it, and were wondering what he would do next. Never expected this. It can’t be true, can it? The comments that follow are equally disbelieving, claiming that his page has been hacked and it’s some horrible cruel hoax. For the next few minutes we are glued to Twitter and the various ‘reliable’ news sources as the awful truth is revealed. He had kept it secret from everyone except close friends and family, it was true. One of my teenage idols had gone, claimed by this dreadful disease, he was human after all. Strange to feel so upset about someone I have never met, but I spent the next few hours reflecting on how his attitude, words and music had affected my life and that of so many others. Facebook and Twitter were filled with tributes, YouTube clips, interviews and reminisces from those closest to him in the business. It was some strange comfort that a lot of my friends felt the same as we exchanged memories and feelings. The outpouring of grief was surreal, much like that when Elvis, Diana and Jacko passed away – you only need mention one word and everyone knows who you are talking about, like it or not, they are icons of the modern world. It’s true what everyone says – his last album, Blackstar was his way of saying goodbye – just listen to the beautifully crafted lyrics, and see if they don’t touch your heart.

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