Diary Of A Busker Day 322 Friday February 1st Winchester High Street (opposite Vodafone, Time: 1:13-2:48pm).
As I’m approaching the pitch, Dave – he of the “Dangerous” prefix, and his brother – of the Batman theme tune fixation, appear. Dangerous asks if I can save his ‘favourite’ (hums The Third Man) for when he comes back in half an hour. So I’ve got to put up with these two idiots, again. I don’t like Dave, particularly. Especially after a recent encounter with him in the Citizen’s Advice Bureau waiting room, when he was going on about blowing up mosques – ‘My granddad was in the First World War and my dad flew in bombers in the second one – all for this country an’ then THEY come over ‘ere…’ I think Dave’s a typical English racist bigot and I bet my life he’s never been out of this country, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t been out of Hampshire, or even Winchester. They’re all the same, blokes like him.
I set up and try out 2 new songs, both Beatles tunes: No Reply and Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Wood’s a bit repetitive being, apart from the bridge, just the riff, so it’s a bit short but No Reply works a bit better – my own arrangement, although I keep the end C6/9 chord, which I really like. A few more songs in and it’s Delia, who I was thinking might have died, as I hadn’t seen her since November. In fact I even say as much – ‘I thought you’d gone, you know…to a better place.’ ‘Oh no, I wouldn’t do that – not without telling you!’ Apparently she’s been a bit down – it’s her sensitive ears. She’s got them stuffed with cotton wool and has her white woollen hat (with a big bobble on top) pulled over them. She’s been around the street for awhile – we’ve kept missing each other. Anyway, she’s keeping warm – she opens her raincoat to reveal another coat – ‘the mattress’, as she calls it. Well, it really is a relief to see her again. It’s made my day, in fact, but what about Walter and Ralph?
…and another lady I haven’t seen, Maria, who (allegedly) sang with Dean Martin, turns up accompanied by a man, late 50s I’d guess, who excuses himself while he goes to one of the charity shops across the road. While Maria’s getting her purse out of her bag, she drops an appointment card which I pick up and hand to her, saying ‘You’ve got a doctor’s appointment?’ ‘Oh, that’s for my dog. He had a heart attack.’ I ask if he’s alright. ‘Yes, he is now. I have 4 rabbits, 4 guinea pigs, 2 pigeons, 2 rats and 2 dogs.’ ‘That’s a handful, isn’t it?!’ She gives the response I was half-expecting – ‘They’re easier than people.’ ‘Hm, yeah – you just have to feed them’, I say. ‘Yes, and give them love.’ ‘Hmm… and they don’t ruin the world!’ (I know how to talk to these people – tell ’em what they want to hear!) I’m curious about her companion – is he her son? ‘Is that your son?’ ‘Oh no, he’s a friend’, a pause…’I don’t like him, though.’ ‘But you said he’s your friend – and you don’t like him?’ ‘No. He’s mean!’ ‘Oh dear.’ Maria gives me TWO £2 coins! I protest – ‘That’s too much, Maria!’ She won’t hear of it. She kisses my cheek, says goodbye and is off.
Earnings: £25.40p (of which £6 – a quarter of the coinage, is between Maria and Delia).