Diary Of A Busker Day 294 Monday October 8th 2012 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 every time I’m at this end of the street, Walter turns up, on cue, 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 definitely 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 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. ‘I never knew it was that! Cheers, Walter. You learn something everyday!’ Indeed.
A woman 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, ‘Fuck off this pitch!’ so 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 fuck off!’ he shouts. ‘No, I’m not! – and don’t speak to me like that!’ They carry on walking and he carries on swearing; ‘Yeah, fuck off!’ ‘Same to you,’ I shout back. As they disappear, he’s shouting to no one, or everyone – ‘GIVE MONEY TO THE HOMELESS!’ That’s the thing about this line of work; things can change in a second, from being a nice, pleasant 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 I don’t know any of these hundreds of people walking by, apart from a tiny percentage. I don’t know what anyone of them is thinking and all it takes is one psycho, and this guy was obviously no stranger to a discussion of the more physical variety. He could have gone for me and I can do without all that. A millionaire with a house on a hill!
Earnings: £31.97 + 2 CDs