Russian spas, Gobbledegook and so much more…

Welcome to the June edition of Anointy news, which you are getting in July, but who’s counting.

I got a bit distracted last month with Euro 2020 and then needed to recover from a birthday trip to a Russian spa. Not sure if I would file the experience under pleasure or pain, but it began with a large hair-less man thrashing me with eucalyptus branches in a piping hot sauna until I thought I was going to die from heat exhaustion. Next, he dunked me in an ice bath before leading me to a private room where he smothered me in salt and honey like he was marinating a chicken. He then barked an order in Russian, which took a while for me to work out meant stand in the corner, and he turned a firehose on me. As I yelped and squealed like a small child, I noticed he was smiling. Not sure what he found so amusing. I seem to remember him painting my face at one point, too, but not sure if I dreamt that bit. On the plus side, I left feeling squeaky clean.

Anyway, on with the Anointy news, I hear you cry.


I have now written 56,631 words of a new book. But there is quite a lot of gobbledygook to delete. Or maybe I should keep the gobbledygook? It’s a kind of sequel to Anoint My Head, where our protagonist may or may not cross over to the other side of the musical fence. If all goes according to plan, it will be out before Xmas. I can’t for the life of me decide whether to start in 1995, 1996 or 1997. It’s keeping me awake at night which is part of the fun.


I am also halfway through a collection of short but silly stories provisionally titled Half a Job Horace & Friends. One of them is almost ready to see the light of day. It’s called A Night In Dieppe, and it’s all true apart from the bits that aren’t. I hope to include it in next month’s newsletter, but in the meantime, you can read an extract right here.

A Night in Dieppe

In the spring of 1991, I spent the Easter holidays down in Martel, a tiny village in southwest France, before travelling up to Paris for a few days visiting my Aunty Lollipop and hanging out at the bars with my cousin Olivier. The plan was to get the Sunday night ferry from Dieppe and arrive back in London for college on Monday morning and the small matter of my final exams. The night ferry departed from Dieppe at 11 pm, but alas, I arrived at the terminal at 11:01 pm to watch it leave without me. The cruel fog horn, like a giant raspberry to my ears.

I stood there in shock and surveyed my surroundings, realising that this was a disaster—a deserted ferry terminal. Any staff had vanished with the ferry except for a big burly sailor wrapping a rope around a bollard. He had the full Popeye credentials – thick leathery skin, stubble, tattoos and a Gitane cigarette wobbling from his mouth.

Luckily I spoke French, so I could ask him an important question.

“Excuse moi, quand est ce le next ferry?”

“English?” he replied.

How on earth did he know that? I answered with a “Oui.”

“The next ferry is at eight tomorrow morning, monsieur.”

This was terrible news.

“Merd,” said I.

He finished tying up his rope and, before leaving, wished me good luck. I would need it. I had nine hours to kill. The place was deserted, and I only had a few francs to my name. Hardly enough for a croissant. Plus, there was a nip in the air. I made my way over to an outdoor waiting area that looked like a bus shelter with orange plastic moulded seats under a corrugated roof. I sat down and stared ahead at the view of the now-empty docks considering my options. I knew one thing for sure; it was going to be a long night…


I have set myself a slightly ludicrous and over-ambitious target of getting a book out every year for the next ten years. I’ve no idea if this is possible, especially as the only one I managed to finish thus far took several years of stopping and starting and farting, but it’s good to have a target. And I’ve said it now. Well, I typed it, so it’s got to happen. This also means these monthly emails are here to stay – don’t say I didn’t warn you. Feel free to unsubscribe now. This is your chance! Flee. Run for the hills! Otherwise, it’s 10 x12 = 132 of these suckers for the next decade. If we are all still here. The unsubscribe link is below. Honestly, I don’t mind.

Or if you are enjoying yourself, then keep going. There’s more…


If you feel like a mild distraction from world events, then you can listen to a one-off podcast featuring yours truly reading the first three chapters of my music memoir, Anoint My Head – How I Failed to Make it as a Britpop Indie Rockstar. There may also be musical interludes courtesy of The Pointy Birds and a bit of inter-book/song banter. It’s available on-demand right here on Radio Fandango and also goes live every Wednesday at 3:30 pm (GMT) for the next few weeks. Or you can cut out the middle man and listen to the whole audiobook here.


If you or any friends/family are looking for the perfect summer read, it would be churlish not to remind you about this book I’ve written. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s called Anoint My Head – How I Failed to Make it as a Britpop Indie Rockstar, and it is now available in three formats: Paperback, ebook and audiobook.
I also got five signed paperbacks left*, if you want to snap one up. They are a shrewd investment and could easily be worth north of £12 in years to come.

Click one of these blue buttons to order the format of choice from your platform of choice. Feel free to forward on to everyone you know.


I will send a free ebook of Anoint My Head to the first five people who reply to this email with the correct answer to this next question.

Anoint My Head is about a band that fails to make it**.

What is the name of that band?


Lastly, if you have read Anoint My Head but have not yet left a reader review, then shame on you, er, I mean it would be excellent/brilliant/fantastic if you click this link and leave a few words or, even quicker; give it a star rating. It really helps boost my ego, er, I mean the algorithms.

Ok, that’s enough of my yakking, until next time.


PS: Been listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse as ten years since her passing. Towards the end of the noughties, she moved into a house overlooking Camden Square. We lived around the corner and often heard her playing the drums when we walked past. My kids learnt to ride their bikes on a gravel area outside her house. They would say, “Can we go to Amy Wine’s House!” Only a few artists are ten out of ten, and she was one of them.

* white lie.

** it’s about other things too, like friendship and being young and pursuing your dreams.

I respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time

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