Tuesday, 26 September 2017


Do you remember that guy on a London Underground platform singing Respect by Erasure and getting over one to join in? You must remember. The video went viral and then some. Nearly three million hits on YouTube, interview on the BBC website. Fifteen minutes of fame for Neil Francis. People said it restored their faith in humanity. No, still nothing. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I bring it up because I tried to replicate it last night.
Oxford to Cardiff on a Sunday night is a journey that would make Sir Edmund Hilary think twice. Hours spent in deserted train stations, crowded trains, and the dreaded words, rail replacement bus service, had left me too tired to sleep, too awake to sit still.  The driver on the bus from Bristol to Cardiff had HeartFM on the radio; Sunday night Eighties Gold, every tune a winner. Careless Whisper, Land Down Under, Heaven is a Place on Earth. I was struggling not to sing along. I was mouthing the words to each and every song like I was on Top of the Pops in 1984.
“Coming after the ad break, I want to Break Free, by Queen.” The DJ said and I saw the words YouTube sensation flash before my eyes. I got my phone out during the adverts and got the camera ready. Surely, no one could resist a good old-fashioned singalong to one of the Eighties’ best tunes.
As the familiar chords struck, I started beating my chest. I wanted to clap but I had a camera in one hand. No one was joining in with my rhythm, but surely they’d join in with the words. Here we go, I thought.
I want to break free.” I sang at the top of my voice. “I want to break…”
“Shut up, you twat.”

           My fifteen minutes of fame had lasted forty-two seconds. I’d got from potential internet sensation to embarrassed bus passenger. It had confirmed my lack of faith in humanity.

Don't forget, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition are both available to buy as physical books  So, if you fancy owning one of my novels, click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). Signed copies available from the author. 

Maggie's Milkman

Extraordinary Rendition.


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