Diary Of A Busker Day 295 Friday October 12th 2012 Winchester High Street Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:44-3:01pm
Once again, Walter emerges from the shadows just after I start playing. Every time! I remember to ask him about the Edgware Road thing; ‘So, Walter, why is it called that? (I play the four-note phrase).’ ‘I don’t know, some London bloke…’ave you ‘ad a bird ‘ere?’ ‘What’s that, Walter?’ ‘A bird – you ‘ad a bird ‘ere?’ and he points to the pavement just in front of me where there’s a small white feather! He then gives me a run-down of his day’s itinerary; ‘I shall repair to the hostelry (he nods towards Cross Keys Passage, across the street, presumably meaning the RAOB club)…for a brandy, at three o’clock I’ll go to Stanmore, then I’ll buy a lottery ticket for tomorrow,’ and he’s off.
A bit later, during While My Guitar Gently Weeps, my Pickwickian regular (though his contributions are decidedly irregular) turns up, all ponced up in a tweed-ish suit, red waiscoat and handkerchief in jacket pocket. I’ve just GOT to get a photo! He says, ‘hello,’ and because he says it a bit more friendly than usual, I decide to ask him; will he pose? Yes, he’s only too glad to. I notice that apart from being more friendly than usual, his face is redder than usual. Hmm…I wonder if the two are related…and I’m sure I detected a whiff of hard liqour on or around his person. I reckon he’s had a few sherberts. After the photos – I took two, one with the King Alfred statue in the distance behind him and the other looking the other way with the green and white market roofs in the distance, I suddenly realise I don’t know his name and I’ve got to put a name next to the picture. ‘It’s Bryan. With a Y,’ he says. ‘Really? ‘My middle name is Brian…with an I.’ ‘Oh, how common,’ he says. I should have said something like, ‘Oh, you pompous Winchester idiot,’ but instead said ‘thank you!’ Afterwards, I thought, I should have also said, ‘and my first name’s Marvin, with an I. Does that make me doubly common? But my last name’s Naylor with a Y, so am I 1/3rd posh, 2/3rds common, or, as one common and one posh cancel each other out, am I just…common? Or what?’
After an hour and a half, I stop, take a toilet/snack break, up to Boots to get pompous BrYan’s photos developed…and back on to the high street, intending to do another set. But there are two young strummers; one at The Buttercross and the other near the Vodafone spot, so those places are out of bounds, and I’m not going back to Oxfam as I’ve just done over an hour there…and it’s also just started to rain. I decide I’m not going to wait around for one of the strumming numpties to leave, so I go home.