Diary Of A Busker Day 222

Diary Of A Busker Day 222 Wednesday April 11th Winchester High Street (1. opposite British Heart Foundation, Time: 1:45-3:15pm, 2. opposte O2, Time: 3:42-4:08pm).
Coming into the High Street, I pass a bagpipe busker outside Barclays Bank. I’ve seen him a couple of other times over the past year. I think it’s good to hear this sort of thing here but he must get a bit of grief from some of the shop people… As I head down the street, I bump into my Geordie regular – Carol, who insists on giving me two pounds – despite my protesting. “Well – It’s MY money! I can do what I want with it, can’t I?” Yes Carol, you certainly can. Carrying on…down at the crossroads, I chat to The Silverman, who’s pretty knackered (having got off a coach from Manchester, via London, at 7 o’clock this morning) and “hacked off”, after having his phone crushed on the road and spending £40 getting his computer fixed. I leave him to it…I need to remember to ask his name – I’ve seen him before. I set up further down, near the outside tables of the posh Maison Blanc restaurant.
…one hour later, the bagpipe guy walks by and stops for a chat. His name is Sean and he’s been playing (or piping) for 26 years – he started when he was 9. He says he’s piped in 450 towns – pretty incredible, all the way from Land’s End to Aberdeen. Apparently there are only two (busking) pipers in England – and he knows the other guy so they’re careful not to play the same place at or near the same time. And yes – he was asked to move on, which must be an occupational hazard as, if someone moans about the volume, you can’t turn down. I ask him what it’s like in Scotland – don’t they get alot of pipers up there? “Only in the big cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow. Not in the smaller towns.” He’s off to Southampton tomorrow – he does well there, he says. Good, I’m pleased someone does… Since Sean’s left the scene of his crime, I’m going to try and get up there before someone else does…which I do.
Most of the money from this session comes from two groups of tourists. The first, a large group of Chinese, who all want to take a photo of me with every one of them standing behind me (maybe busking’s banned in China). This takes about ten minutes – I’m able to play through all of this. Then, a few minutes later, a bunch (7) from Thailand go through the same routine and give about a pound each.
…a bit later I look up towards The Buttercross and see two women playing violins, although I can’t hear anything, so I carry on…until I’m blown away by four young brass players blasting the Mission Impossible theme (quite appropriate – for me) a bit further down on my right. Bullys, the lot.
Earnings: £30.81p.

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