Diary Of A Busker Day 295 Friday October 12th 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 the passageway across the street, presumably meaning the RAOB club) for a brandy, at three 0’clock I’ll go to Stanmore, then I’ll buy a lottery ticket for tomorrow” and he’s off, funny guy.
A bit later, during While My Guitar Gently Weeps, my Pickwickian regular (though his contributions are somewhat less than regular) 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”, more friendly than usual – that’s it! 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 scotch on or around his person. I reckon he’s had a couple. 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 – I’ve got to put a name next to the picture. “It’s Bryan. With a ‘Y'” he says. “Really?” I say, “My middle name is Brian – with an ‘I'” “Oh, how common” he says. I should have said something like “Oh you posh 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 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 numptys to leave, so I go home.