Diary Of A Busker Day 181 Thursday November 17th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Vodafone, Time: 12:15-2:15pm, 2. opposite O2, Time: 2:42-3:42pm, 3. opposite Clarks, Time: 5:15-5:31pm, 4. opposite Vodafone, Time: 6-6:30pm).
Another day when I’m able to play for two hours without having to stop and warm my hands up. And it’s another slow start – 20 minutes before my first “customer” – a man gives me 50p. Just before he comes along, two ladies walk by as I’m playing Albatross. One stops – and about time too, I think. She says, “Who did that?” “Fleetwood Mac”, I say. “Oh yes, of course!” she says and wanders off with her friend – no money, which really annoys me. Then my man comes along. I’ve seen him a few times recently – don’t know his name. About 80, wears a flat cap. After he gives his 50p, I ask him how he is. “I’ve come from Ashurst – just for a cup of tea!” “Really?” “I’ve lost my wife, my kids are in France. I’m all alone. I don’t know, I look at my watch – it’s half past one, and I think “Is that all?” – I can’t wait to go to bed!” “Oh right, um…and I suppose you’re retired now?” “I retired more than twenty years ago!” He says all this quite cheerfully, though – more frustrated than depressed, I think. “I’ve got nothing to do.” I try to think of something to say. “Hm…what about learning the guitar?” He just shakes his head and starts to move off. “…or maybe meet another lady”, I say (I can’t think of anything else – learn the guitar, meet a lady!) “Eh? No – they don’t come up to my standards!” “Oh well, fair enough!”, I say.
I go home but come into town again, as my folfs want to see some people performing on a stage set up near Debenhams – there’s abig “do” on, as this is the day they turn on the Christmas lights – some ex X-Factor blokes (Beyond 4, I think) are doing it. There’s alot of people about, mainly couples with young children, and teenagers – not many old people (the ones who know my songs!). Still, I do OK. What happens – if I’m lucky – is this: a couple passes, the child points to me and wants to stop. So there are three people watching me. Another child/parent(s) see the three watching – the child wants (demands) to stop, too…and so on. It doesn’t happen often, but at one point I’ve got three lots of parents/babys-toddlers in front of me. I thought there was going to be four lots, but they walked by without stopping, although I could tell their kid wanted to.