You heard it here first – the unofficial shrine to George Michael, opposite his home in Highgate, is a ‘clootie well’ down south.*
Clootie wells, found in areas with Celtic history, are places of pilgrimage. They are spring wells in woodland areas. Offerings, ‘clooties’ (strips of fabric, rags) are brough to the well, hung on a tree, in an action of both well-wishing and to pray from relief from ailments.
I absolutely adore the GM shrine. Trinkets hang from every available branch and railing, the small enclosed green area, now a churned-up mud pie, smothered with continually disintegrating photographs, flags and fixtures.
More than the physical shrine itself, I love this unofficial, impromptu wishing well for its enabling of modern-day occultism, ritual and occupation. It’s a place where the wider-reaching hopes and fears of all kinds of visitors are placed, subconsciously, indirectly.
There’s always someone tending to something there. Mad fan they may be, but in there they are turning in ritual, spinning, spinning on a wheel, throwing out, bringing in.
*I think, although I haven’t actually checked whether anyone else has made this comparison.