Diary Of A Busker Day 177 Thursday November 3rd Winchester High Street (opposite Vodafone, Time: 12:35-3:15pm).
…and the (so-called) Indian summer contunues…which means I can play for a long time without going to the toiletand warming my hands up under boiling water.
I need to practice my Zither-like Third Man arrangement and a Belgiun couple on the other side of the street hear it and come over. The lady really likes it. They don’t get off that easy, though. I tell them I’m known here on the High Street for doing another arrangement – Chet Atkins, from 1960, “I’ll play that one – you might like it.” So I play it and at the end she says, “I prefer the other one!” That’s OK, I don’t mind – the other one is certainly more authentic sounding (it’s in the correct key – G, and rhythm), although harder to play. Fair enough – I play it again as they’re walking off.
I get lots of very different pople coming up to me today, including two brothers – Sawa, pronounced Sasha and Lawa, pronounced Lasha. Oddly enough, Sawa’s from Latvia and Lawa’s Russian. They think I’m “good – very good, you – guitar”, and hold up air-guitars while watching me. They can’t get enough – they come back three more times – with their ever-depleating plastic carrier bag of beer cans. I bet I sound better every time…
A lady thanks me for “being so nice to my grandchildren the other day”. “Me? Are you sure it was me?” Apparently. Young Ben, who plays Anjie alot better than I ever will, drops by and again I (foolishly) attempt to play it but it’s no goos – you need at least three good fingers for it – one more than what I’ve got with my Focal Dystonia. However, Ben requests The Entertainer, which I can manage alot better. At the end, Ben notes that I’ve been given £6, by three people. “Really? You saw what they gave?” Apparently.
People really do like me today – another man says I’m “too good for this place”. It’s all appreciated – a comment like that keeps me going a bt longer… While Ben’s still here, on my right, another man comes and stands on my left. “I’m bi-polar”, he suddenly says. “Oh dear, sorry to hear that. I know a few other people like that.” He tells me what he does to counter it. “When I’m up, I listen to classical music – to calm down, and when I’m down I listen to rock ‘n roll.”
During my break, I bump into my Latvian/Russian brothers, sitting with their beer on a bench in the cathedral grounds. I find out one works at a car wash in Southampton and the other works at a car wash somewhere else. What about their families? Sawa has a wife and five year old son back home. His mother-in-law is bringing him over soon. He can’t bring his wife over, he says – “too many papers…” They offer me a can. I say thanks, but I’m going to take my money to the bank, then I’m going home. Again they say they love my guitar. I’m pleased with the money today, so I’ll leave it at that.