Last week saw the loss of two of my childhood icons: David Bowie and Alan Rickman. I never met these men but the sense of shock and loss I felt was real and, whilst in non way comparable to losing a family member or friend, my week was flat, dull and generally rubbish. I remember feeling the same way when comedian Robin Williams died. Like the world had lost it's shininess would never be quite as bright again,
Why is that? Why does the death of people we have never met, never had a conversation with, never hugged affect us in such a way? I have very vivid memories of these superstars, they were a million miles away from my front room after school on a Friday afternoon, yet a connection was made that would stay with me through to adulthood.
David Bowie's music punctuated my childhood. From jumping round my front room to Dancing in the Street with my Dad (Him Mick, Me David) to singing Changes at the top of my voice driving along the dual carriageway after passing my driving test. In fact two days after Bowie's death was announced Little E's 5th birthday party invitations arrived from the printers. The heading 'Let's Dance' is emblazoned across the top. My accidental homage to a musical genius.
But when it comes to Bowie there is one encantation which stands head and shoulders above all others for me. Jared, the Goblin King. Labyrinth is one of my favourite films ever. I could watch that film on repeat and never get bored. In fact I have done just that. The music and his performance were typical Bowie - odd and masterful.
Thinking about films, virtually every teenage girl growing up in the 90's watched Robin Hood Prince of Theives and fell in love with Kevin Costner or Christian Slater. But I was in love with the baddie, The Sheriff of Nottingham played expertly by Alan Rickman. He turned down the part numerous times until the director told him he had complete free reign with the character, and he stole the show. Of course his acting credentials spread far wider than this film but that was the moment he captured me and I've watched everything since with a hunger for more.
It is when creative genius passes we realise just how much people who we have never met contribute to who we are. I can tell you my favourite movie line is 'I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!' not because it is a great line but how great the man who delivered it was.
Sleep well, your genius lives on.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.