Now That’s What I Call Music To My Ears


Occasionally, my commute to the office involves bus travel. Now, I don’t mind sharing my journey to work with strangers, but what I do object to is being forced to listen to the inane conversations some people don’t seem to mind sharing with the rest of us. Even worse than being forced to listen to the thought-provoking debate as to whether nail wraps are better than acrylics, before my caffeine levels have peaked, are those travellers who can’t bear to be be alone with their own thoughts for five minutes, and spend their whole journey shouting down their mobile ‘phone. These one-sided conversations are even worse than the non-stop chatter, as the gaps in conversation lull you into a false sense of security that you may actually be about to zone out of the vocal dross. Therefore, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that my MP3 player and I have become inseparable, when I have a bus journey to face.

Recently, I got on the bus and began what has become my little ritual: rucksack on the inside seat, me on the outside (people think twice about asking to share your seat if they have to climb over you!); sunglasses on, to avoid making eye contact with my fellow travellers; earphones in, ready for Duran Duran to take me back to the summer of ’84. However, the opening bars of The Reflex were nowhere to be heard. When I looked closer at my earphones, I realised the reason why – my cat had chewed through the wire, effectively leaving me with an expensive pair of earplugs!

My journey was every bit as bad as it had always been pre-earphones, so at lunchtime I set out to buy a replacement pair. Being pushed for time, and not wanting to fight through the crowds of tourists in Canterbury, I popped into the nearest pound shop, for a makeshift pair. On my journey home, I discovered why the earphones were only a pound. In order to be able to hear anything through them, the volume had to be on full, and the quality reminded me of listening to my old Casio personal cassette player (I couldn’t afford a Sony Walkman). I loved it! As I travelled home, I travelled back to the Eighties, listening to Freddie singing about wanting to break free. It took all my self-restraint not to sing along, and become the loony on the bus who everyone tries to avoid. Now there’s an idea, to ensure some personal space on my next journey…