Diary Of A Busker Day 318 Friday January 25th Winchester High Street (opposite Vodafone, Time: 12:57-1:25pm).
A freezing day, despite the melting snow everywhere. The trouble is the wind, which makes it seem twice as cold. In fact I couldn’t take more than half an hour – my fingers, especially on my left hand, were in so much pain pretty much from the second song, on. Carol dropped a pound in – ‘I haven’t seen you here’ she said, with a dripping nose. I said ‘No – it’s been too cold.’ She said ‘Eh?’ – I forgot she’s half-deaf. I say ‘Too cold – this wind. I can’t play!’
At around the fourth song in, a tall man – mid-sixties, comes over from the Vodafone doorway where he’s been standing since just after I started. I knew – or I hoped, he was going to contribute when I saw him take his wallet out of a plastic bag. He says ‘You deserve a medal.’ Ha! I thanked him and seeing his hand go in his wallet, said ‘You’re not going to give me one, are you?’ No – no medal, but even better – he buys a cd. What a nice, kind man. A sympathy purchase, maybe? Very possibly. Then two other slightly younger men ask questions about my guitar which I (dutifully, of course) answer while playing The Moulin Rouge Theme – I’m only attempting the easier ones due to the cold paralysing my fingers, so nothing too flash, as it were. At the end I tell them I’m going to pack up soon due to the pain-inducing cold, etc… One says I need to get some of those fingerless gloves, so I have to go through why they are INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE FINGERSTYLE TECHNIQUE!! I think I must have the same chat with at least one person every time I’m out here, in these latter days.
I carry on with and mess up some of When I’m Sixty-Four – my hands are packing in, not to mention my memory, which is freezing in two ways, I fear. One of the blokes says ‘Well, you just about got through it.’ (YOU sit here and freeze for half an hour! See how you get on!) I do one more – Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and that’s it – I’m in agony. I pack up and say goodbye to the two blokes and take the short walk to Waterstones, intending to warm up before venturing out for another set, however, after being there for just over half an hour, I can’t bear the thought of freezing again so I decide to come home – I can’t handle it.
Earnings: £8.90 (including 1 cd)