Diary Of A Busker Day ~ 116

Diary Of A Busker Day 116 Saturday June 18th Winchester High Street (outside Debenhams, Time: 5:10-6:05pm.)

        I never usually go busking on a Saturday, but after 23 years, today is Bertie the flower seller’s last day in Winchester – he’s taking his trade to Romsey, so I’ve come mainly to say goodbye. I’ve had to wait till quite late to come in as it’s been raining – it’s one of those days when it’ll start raining, stop suddenly then start again, stop suddenly. It’s been like this all week. I get to the bottom of the high street at 4:50, Bertie’s there with “Numbnuts”, the young guy – he’s staying on. “So, Bertie, your last day, eh?” “Yep, last hour.” I tell him I’ve come to say goodbye. I like Bertie, he’s always been friendly to me, even given me some coins (mainly “shrapnel” but it all helps) and he wasn’t even offended when I was way off the mark guessing his age – I thought he was older than me, he’s 12 years younger.

      I say I’ll do an hour, for old times sake. Bertie wants me to set up just opposite him, on the other side of the alleyway to where he is, it’s sheltered but it’s right near the market stalls – I’m too shy to do that so move down to where I’ve been playing of late, against the wall of Debenhams. I play 3 songs then it pours down. I stop but not before a man and his wife, who love my Third Man Theme give me £2 and ask me for my card. While I’m talking to them (and frantically packing up) my regular from the council drops off the two Cuban cigars he said he’d hunt out for me, and a box of extra long matches – the ideal lighting implement for a cigar.  I get my stuff undercover (it’s only 20 feet away) and “hole” up for 10 minutes until Bertie persuades me to set up.

      I do about half an hour and get another £2 and that’s it. Bertie and “Numbnuts” bring their vans up and pack their flowers away. I shake Bertie’s hand, “Come down to Romsey – do some busking – do do do do do (does to the tune of The Third Man with “air” guitar accompaniment), Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays I’ll be there – ring me.” I say maybe I will, it would be good to get out of Winchester. In the meantime, so long Bertie, chances are we won’t meet again, but you never know.

Earnings: £4.20p.

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