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How I spent Bowie week 2017

I always know it would week of emotions but felt the need to do something to mark the occasion anyway. I did not want to hide away like I did a year ago, when I heard the news.

On 8th January 2017 Bowie would have been 70. It would have been a significant occasion. However just because he is not physically with us anymore does not stop Bowie fans from marking the occasion. There were many events up and down the country, but for me it was always going to be with the netters. For those who don’t know the netters (myself included) were the Bowie fans who were originally on We were the ones who knew Bowie as Sailor and many talked to him online. Others have met him and some have even worked with him. This is where I want to be. With people who love him as deeply as me. So, I headed into London. There were many fantastic musicians doing covers of his work, hearing often songs that are underplayed yet the crowd sang along anyway. It was a lovely evening and as the clock struck midnight to start the 8th January, we all sang Happy Birthday to the main man who has touched us all in some way. It was truly a celebration of his work and I felt happy.

On the 8th there was only one place on the planet to be and that was Brixton. Standing by the wall I met a few friends and then walked over to his house, where he was born, on Stansfield Road. It felt absolutely the right place to be and I still felt happy. I was in a much better place than I was a year ago, when I had also mourned with the netters in the same venue and had visited the same sites in Brixton. Yes, a year was a long time but Bowie was far from forgotten.

But Tuesday had a very different feel about it. Gone were my celebratory moments of his life. Instead every channel on the radio talked Bowie and called it Bowie day. I really hated that. I did not want the anniversary of his death to be Bowie day. Any day but that one! They were obviously struggling for people to talk on the radio as one woman they interviewed loved Bolan and Ferry more. Could they really not find one true Bowie fan? They should have called me. I was feeling annoyed and sad. So, sad that I burst into tears while I was driving and had to pull the car over and have a moment to myself. When I completed my destination, I was back in Aylesbury. I pushed through market square and found myself by the wall where the planned Bowie statue will be. There are a couple of photos of Bowie under the arches and I sat and thought about him and what he has meant to me. As I got up I saw a notice board and on it was a piece of paper which said, ‘RIP David Bowie. If you see this take it’. I looked around (It’s not candid camera but still felt weird) and took down the paper and lovely homemade Blackstar beaded ornament. I was truly meant to find this. I messaged the lovely lady who had put it there on her Facebook and suddenly felt better. This was meant to happen. I could continue my day and felt comforted by a complete stranger. Yet again the Bowie community coming together to support each other. This is one of the good things to have come out of his passing. There is a real Bowie community.

I also wrote a piece to remember him. It was named The Worst Anniversary and I used his own words to say how I felt. You can read this here:

Saturday 14th January is the end of Bowie week and I finished it off with my first ever trip to Lazarus. This is the Bowie play that he had worked on just before his death. I had avoided all comments on the show so I could see it fresh and make my own decision. I knew it was based on the character from The Man Who Fell To Earth. And I didn’t like that film at all. So, if you want to see what I thought you can read my review here.

What you won't read in my review is at the end of the show, I was sitting in row B and people both sides of me weren't moving. So I decided to climb over that one row in front to get my photo taken with Bowie. You know what happened next! Yep! On my ass with my dress in the air in front of everyone looking towards the Bowie picture. But shhh, keep this to yourself. I don't need the world to think I'm an idiot!

This was how I spent my Bowie week. I am sure you all have your own ways of marking the occasion but for me, this was an emotional week of tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

First published January 2017

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