Diary Of A Busker Day 237

Diary Of A Busker Day 237 Wednesday May 23rd 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Phase Eight, Time: 1:30-3:10pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 4:03-5:17pm
I get no contributions for the first fifteen minutes. I don’t know why; it’s a nice sunny day, people should be in a good mood (good = charitable?…maybe not). I play The Third Man then another song then a guy asks me if I do requests. ‘Yeah, if I know it, sure.’ ‘Can you play The Third Man?’ Ha! I tell him I’ve just played it not five minutes ago, but…of course I can as; he’s requested it, I know it, and he’s put a £5 note into my bucket.  The Timpsons guy – he hates buskers – will love this. His shop is about three doors down, on my right! The Third Man Theme, aka The Harry Lime Theme, Song Of The Day, Song Of My Busking Career. Two minutes into it, Carol “from the North” drops by. I stop and tell her how I didn’t make anything for ages until the guy came along with the fiver. ‘Well there ARE some nice people aboot. You just don’t hear of them…the newspapers aren’t interested in them.’ ‘Yeah, you’re right Carol. It’s only the bad news you hear about.’ ‘Eh?’ ‘You only hear about the BAD NEWS.’ ‘Yes, well, you take care,’ she says and walks off, then almost straight away turns back, ‘Last night was the anniversary of my husband’s death, three years ago.’ ‘Ah…right.’ ‘But life goes on…he wouldn’t want me to mope aboot inside. He’d want me to carry on, so that’s what I do.’ ‘Yeah, that’s good Carol.’ ‘If it was ME who died, he’d want me to do the same. So I’m going to do that; live life, or he might come back as a ghost and haunt me!’
Wow! – another £5 note and I’m so overjoyed I tell the woman she can have a CD, which is terrible business sense. Another woman wants to buy a CD but she only has a £20 note and I don’t have the right change. She has £4. I say, ‘that’s OK, you can give me the pound later.’ She says OK…and doesn’t come back. I’ve been lucky; I’ve been here over an hour and a half and the Timpsons guy hasn’t come out and had a go. Frank informed me that this guy is himself well-informed about the Busker’s Code rule, stating you shouldn’t play for more than one hour in one place. This guy’s never had a go at me but I don’t want to push it. I want a quiet life so I’m taking a break. I pack up and walk down to the corner where Frank’s been playing. Frank’s wearing some cheap wrap-around shades and something that looks suspiciously like a Hawaiian shirt. What a man! Suddenly there are two young blokes; one with a camera and tripod, the other with a big, fuzzy microphone. ‘We wondered if we could ask you a question…why do you think Winchester’s a good place to live?’ ‘OK…and you want to ask ME?’ I say. ‘Yeah, well, you’re the guitar man, aren’t you?’ ‘Yeah, I suppose.’ ‘Yeah, you’re a landmark.’ ‘A landmark?’ ‘Yeah, you’re very well-known here.’ I’ve been called many things during my time but never a landmark. ‘…so we’re asking people (other landmarks?) what they love about Winchester, you know, why it’s a great place to live.’ ‘Right, OK. So you want to ask ME – that’s assuming I think it IS a great place to live, right?’ ‘Yeah, or you could say something about…you know, the character, or something.’ ‘OK…(I look over at Frank)…or something like…there are a few CHARACTERS, like him over there!’ They quite like that idea and it’s decided that we’ll do that. They’ll ask me the question, I say about how there’s a lot of character; characters, in fact, and they’ll pan over to Frank, playing his accordion. But of course, Frank by this time has become curious and has come over to find out what’s going on because he doesn’t like being left out of things. I actually think these guys were heading towards HIM when I appeared. They explain the plan; they’ll ask me the question and after I answer, they’ll pan to him and that’s the signal for him to start playing. So he agrees – he’ll go back to his spot, he WON’T play until they swing the camera around to him. So he goes back, sits down and STARTS PLAYING! The two guys look at me, bemused, so I tell them, ‘Yeah, you see, Frank doesn’t like to take orders; he likes to be the one in control.’ Anyway, we go ahead with the question with Frank blaring out ten feet away, and he really is loud. ‘Yeah, it’s a nice place to live…and colourful, especially with all these flag things (Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bunting hanging across the street), and…there certainly are some characters…like him over there.’ Definitely heard, and now, as the camera captures the great Frank, definitely seen. Later on I tell an old woman about this and she says, ‘I can never tell what song he’s playing.’ ‘You’re the third person who’s said that to me today,’ I say, which is true. I tell her about the question about the character of Winchester? – ‘Well, the next time they ask you, say, “Well it used to have a lot of character, it used to be a lovely medieval town, till the council ruined it!”‘ 

Earnings: £40.21

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