This Saturday, Chris and I set off with music on to complete challenge 22 – visit somewhere in England you never have before. There are lots of places in England I haven’t been so think I will make this a regular occurrence. For this challenge we were off to Goring on Thames. I do like villages and towns with water; I loved Arundel which had the River Arun running through. I actually plan to go back there. Another big favourite is Bourton on the Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds, with the beautiful river Windrush.
In this case, I actually wanted to go to Goring to say goodbye to my idol, George Michael. It felt a bit mad going but whilst I can never take the title of super fan, George has been part of my/our life. We love listening to his music and we chose to go to what would have been George’s last concert on our 25th wedding anniversary. We knew it would be a memorable day but we never thought it would be the last time George would perform. It was the day that I knew how much George’s music and his fantastic voice meant in our relationship.
I did feel a bit weird asking Chris if we could go there but he was all for it. With George singing to us, we reached our destination by 9.20. Chris had done more research than me and could point out George’s house as we approached the village from the bridge and we were able to see the many memorials left from the car. We parked up and headed through the pretty village and headed to see the house. I don’t know why I thought it was a bit mad, there were other couples (all our age!) looking too, and four months on there still lots of messages from fans, fresh flowers, photos and funny items like a wispa bar and bottles of Tropicana. It felt sad that this was where my idol had died and that he would not be making any more beautiful songs.
I would never meet my idol either; although I don’t think I had wanted to anyway. I don’t think he would have disappointed me; more than likely the other way round. I would have said something stupid or giggled like a little girl that I would have regretted forever! I much prefer idolising from afar.
We visited a few shops and enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the village. Everyone is friendly in the village and we had a lovely chat with one shop assistant, a lovely South African lady who had a lovely tale to tell of how she came to be living in England and working in Goring. We then had a lovely walk along the Thames and enjoyed the views along the way including the full view of George’s house before stopping to have a drink at the Miller at Mansfield.
On our way home, we stopped at Popham Airfield for tea and cake. As Chris had turned down the chance of a flying lesson to help me get my tick, how could I object. I actually do love visiting airfields so not a big deal!
All in all, I have two boys that have to thank for helping me with this challenge, my husband and George, my secret love.