Diary Of A Busker Day 294 Monday October 8th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:57-3:01pm, 2. opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:24-4:30pm).
Another day of drizzle… It seems everytime I’m at this end of the street, Walter turns up – on que, as it were, almost like he’s lurking somewhere, waiting for me. He’s here again, with his “Same old song”, which is getting to be like his way of saying Hello. Actually, he’s pretty much on the button – The Third Man’s definately the same old song, that’s for sure. Anyway, after that I do the usual Bridge On The River Kwai (I think I’ll call it just ‘Bridge’ from now on). “Don’t you know the words?” says Walter. “What? It’s got words? I thought it was just whistling.” “No!” he says and starts singing some words as he goes off to cross the road. As my hearing’s bad, I have to put the guitar down, get up, go over to him before he crosses and ask him to sing the words again. “Don’t throw the lamp at father, wait till he goes to bed!” he sings. Ha! “I never knew it was that! Cheers, Walter – you learn something everyday!” Indeed.
A lady stops and pays a compliment – “You shouldn’t be out here, you should be playing somewhere amazing” for which I thank her and remark that it gets pretty ‘amazing’ out here sometimes…and sometimes not for all the right reasons…and as if to confirm this, halfway through my second session, two Drongos, who I don’t recognise, are walking down the road towards me. One looks like he’s been in a fight recently – his lip’s all scarred and scabby with dried blood. When they get to me, this scabby one bends down and makes to pick up my bucket – he’s actually grabbed it. I pull it away from him. He shouts “F*** off this pitch!” I say “What? – Do you own this or something?” He shouts “You’re one of these millionaires, you live on that big house on the hill!” and he points up the road towards The Buttercross, or presumably in the direction of some big house I live in, on a hill, because I’m a millionaire! I can’t believe this and say “No I’m not!” “Yeah, just f*** off!” he says. “No, I’m not! – and don’t speak to me like that!” They carry on walking and he carrys on swearing – “Yeah, f*** off!” (What gives people the right to behave like this?!) “Same to you” I say, or rather shout back – something I hate doing. As they disappear, he’s shouting to no one, or everyone – “GIVE MONEY TO THE HOMELESS!” Oh dear. That’s the thing about this line of ‘work’ – things can change in a second, from being a nice, pleasant (I was going to say sunny) afternoon, to having some idiot I’ve never seen before swearing at me. The whole atmosphere changed, just like that. I really do get worried when that happens. The thing I keep thinking about more and more these days is that – all these people walking by, I don’t know, apart from a tiny percentage. I don’t know what they’re thinking and all it takes is one psycho – and this guy was obviously no stranger to a ‘discussion’ of the more pysical variety – he could have gone for me. I can do without all that. A millionaire with a house on a hill, really.
Earnings: £31.97p + 2 cds