DEATH OF A LEGEND MAKES US PONDER OUR OWN MORTALITY

David Bowie
David Bowie

This week my world has been filled with the contemplation of my own mortality, prompted by two things; the death of David Bowie and a hospital visit.

Bowie’s music provided a soundtrack to lovely parts of my life. I can’t hear Let’s Dance’ without picturing myself and my husband as teenagers dancing to it in the now defunct Coachman’s Inn in Bangor, in 1983.

China Girl also evokes a lovely memory of teenage hubby and I driving along the coast on a beautiful summer’s day singing along to it on the car radio.

Back then we were young, svelte and the world was our oyster. I view the 1980s as my wonder years, because I can only look back on them in wonder.

I’m one of those people who feels like the 80s was just last decade.

Watching The Voice on Saturday night I roared with laughter at Boy George’s caustic quips and couldn’t understand why Paloma Faith had commented that one of the young contestants didn’t know who Boy George was.

‘‘How could anybody not know Boy George?’’ I scoffed.

‘‘Because she wasn’t born when he was famous!’’ replied hubby, rolling his eyes at my stupidity.

And I suddenly realised it’s been over 30 years since I had a Culture Club calendar on my wall and I was singing to Do You Really

Want to Hurt Me? in front of my bedroom mirror. Yet to me, it seemed like only yesterday!

How does it happen, I thought to myself, how does the time fly past so quickly that you don’t even notice 30 years have elapsed since you last donned a pair of leg warmers and a donkey jacket?

Even the legends of my era are passing into the ether. David Bowie, Cilla Black (Saturday night wasn’t Saturday night without watching Blind Date whilst getting ready to go out) and my favourite actor Robin Williams who took his own life in August 2014 whilst struggling with depression and Parkinson’s disease, are all gone!

As I stare down the approaching barrels of a milestone birthday, I’m very aware of how the world and I are changing with time.

I hate the ageing process.

I suddenly realise younger people regard me as middle-aged which I suppose I am, but inside I feel exactly as I did when the whole word knew who Boy George was and Bowie was singing China Girl.

Admittedly my body doesn’t feel as young as my inner persona, I make grunting noises to get out of a chair and the universe is a blur without my glasses.

I’ve also been having these odd little déjà vu episodes for some time which I finally decided to investigate.

I was referred to the hospital. There I explained to the doc what was going on.

‘‘I have these little episodes where I go into a familiar memory and I hear a song play, then all of a sudden it’s gone and I can’t remember the memory or the song. Then finally, I managed to stay in the memory long enough to remember the tune.’’

‘‘What was the song?’’ the doctor asked.

‘‘We’re going to Barbados,’’ I replied.

‘‘Is that a real song?’’ he inquired.

‘‘Don’t you know it?’’ I asked and proceeded to sing it to him.

‘‘No!’’ he replied.

‘‘I remember listening to it on the way to the airport once, we were off on holiday, it made me feel happy,’’ I went on.

‘‘And were you going to Barbados?’’ he asked.

‘‘No, I was going to Spain but the song playing on the way to the airport to go to Spain was about going to Barbados,’’ I rambled.

‘‘So you haven’t actually been to Barbados?’’ he questioned.

‘‘No, have you been to Barbados?’’ I asked with interest.

‘‘No’’ he concluded.

The crux of this column is; we’ve lost another legend in David Bowie, which, may lead people of a certain age to ponder their mortality, state of health and lost youth. It may even prompt some, like me, to go for a check-up, with

regard to which; I left the doctor’s office with confirmation of two things: (1) I have a serious medical condition I hadn’t bargained for; neither of us have been to Barbados I schlepped off home, my world shaken, wishing I was back in 1983 dancing to Bowie.