Diary Of A Busker Day 224

Diary Of A Busker Day 224 Tuesday April 17th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society, Time: 12:45-1:45pm, 2. opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:10-3:03pm).
I’ve decided to put together a photo album of some of the people – my “regulars” – I meet out on the street. The other day I took photos of Harry The Dutchman, “Dangerous” Dave and Jeremy, although I’ll have to get another one of Jeremy as, due to a faulty camera chip, he’s vanished. So that’ll be three of the men done. But today is Ladies’ Day and first up is Delia, my nice Italian lady who’s in her mid-eighties – she won’t tell me exactly. She stops by just as I’m packing up after my first – and financially disastrous – set. She’s extremely reluctant to let me take her picture – she doesn’t want me to do it and keeps changing the subject and plying me with fruit gums and asking if I’ve seen the photo of her when she was 21, “when I was young and beautiful.” I’ve seen the picture and it is very nice – a 1940s studio portrait, like some film star – I can see why she’s proud of it. She eventually agrees but insists on not smiling so I get a somewhat uncharacteristic shot, as she’s always smiling! Infact, when I look at the picture, I hardly recognise it’s her! She wants to know who exactly will see it – I tell her just me and my family and maybe my descendents will find it in an attic and look through it once, long after I’m gone. I show Delia the photo “The camera doesn’t lie!” she says.
Next up is my old (they’re ALL old!) Frenchwoman, Marie-Therese, in her long and well-worn burgundy coat. I see her, as usual sitting on a bench, just before my second session. She tells me about when she and her sister Madelaine went to get their photos taken at a studio in Paris when they were 14 and 15. She says the photographer asked them to take their clothes off – and they did! Didn’t they realise what he was about? “No! – we were fourteen. We didn’t know about such things back then! Then he tried to touch us – oh! we said, ‘Oh no!'” she says, sweeping her arm across her knee. “But he took photos of you, without your clothes?” “Yes – naked! But you know, we didn’t know about pornography back then.”
My 3rd and final sitter today is Janet, former girlfriend of the late Jet Harris, former Shadows bass guitarist. Janet stops as I’m playing When I’m Sixty-Four and says something like that’ll be her next year. Surely not, I say – I’d put her not above 54. I ask how her fund-raising evening went a few weeks ago. Apparently it went well – she raised £20,000 for Jet’s cancer fund, although “£5,000 came from Cliff” (Richard, I assume). “Really? That’s generous of him. And did he give it anonymously?” “Well, it was supposed to be anonymous but I think he gave it out of guilt – you know he slept with Jet’s first wife?” No! I didn’t! “Well, this is what happened, years ago. Jet’s wife was the only woman Cliff ever slept with. Of course Jet was furious…” But Jet didn’t beat Cliff up as he probably would have been booted out of The Shadows, so to speak. I’m still amazed – Janet seems quite surprised I don’t know about it – “It’s well-known – the Daily Mail bring it up every few years ‘The Only Woman Cliff Slept With’.” I ask if it was just the once or if they had an affair. No, it was twice. And one time she even had her curlers in.
Earnings: £23.74p.

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