DAME Vera Lynn is stuck in my car. The situation desperate. It is the fault of the CD player. Buttons have been pressed, switches switched – but nothing has happened.

The prophecy of her famous wartime song, We’ll Meet Again, seems unlikely to come true.

She had trilled and thrilled the 25 miles from home to the Pear Tree park-and-ride and had recalled the time a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square only minutes before I left her for a theatre date. On my return a couple of hours later nothing happened when I turned the ignition key. No purring engine. No Vera. Just a weird whirring. Clearly someone was not rocking my dream boat!

The RAC was called. It took the cheerful mechanic only minutes to declare the battery extinct. Fortunately he had a spare…at a price.

On the road again, it seemed appropriate to have Vera promising there would be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover. Silence. The radio had followed the battery into the land of the hereafter.

Now it appears I need a code to release the Forces Sweetheart from her dashboard detention. I hope she will forgive me for the lengthy discomfort.

  • IT’S surprising the things you can learn from notices on buses. A couple caught my eye.

“We get more students into university than anyone else,” it read. The claim was from Banbury and Bicester College.

But who is “anyone else”? The notice didn’t say.

The other was even more interesting. “Emergency – break glass with hammer.”

I asked the elderly grandma sitting alongside if she had a hammer handy – just in case. No, she’d left it at home, she replied with exaggerated panic. Her shopping chum sitting across the aisle, also something of a drama queen, calmly asked what sort of hammer was required – sledge, lump or toffee – before searching through her shopping in vain.

  • SPEAKING of queens, the best things come in small doses, or so my late Mam used to say. What a pity Gary Mullen and The Works will be at the New Theatre next Thursday – for one evening only.

Gary, who won Stars in Their Eyes talent show in 2000, does a remarkable impersonation of the late Freddie Mercury (who would have been 70 five days ago week – how time flies) and the tribute show is called One Night of Queen. It has been performed worldwide, proving the legend of Freddie is as strong as ever.

Incidentally, my old Mam was an ardent fan!

  • POSTSCRIPT. Normal radio and CD player service is resumed and Vera is free, thanks to a sympathetic and technology-literate receptionist at the garage.

As the Dame would have sung, I’m yours sincerely.