Diary Of A Busker Day 337 Thursday March 14th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Bellis, Time: 2:46-3:39pm, 2. opposite Oxfam, Time: 4:11-5:16pm).
Just before I set up outside the bakery, I take note of the notice they’ve put up on the door: DOUGHNUT WEEK £3,867.58p RAISED FOR NAOMI HOUSE HOSPICE. So it really was for a good cause – Melanie (I found out her name later on, from her badge) driving me insane with her relentless, incessant TWO POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN! In fact she comes out again, right on cue, just as I start playing. Oh no, I think – she’s going to be hollering something else, like – THREE POUNDS FOR THREE DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO HELP THE AGED FOR THE POOR DECREPID OLD PEOPLE…But no, she keeps her mouth shut while walking around with a tray of small biscuit-type things. She offers one to me which I decline, being in the middle of a song. I say ‘No thanks, maybe later.’ But in a minute, they’re all gone.
After half an hour a bunch of young people congregate on the steps of The Butter Cross. One of them – a fat, ugly girl, walks around with an acoustic guitar which she occasionally strums, usually as she’s walking by me. She then stands near the door of WH Smiths – more or less across the street from me, strumming. I don’t know, maybe they/she want to busk, but I’m here. Tough. But they start to get on my nerves, especially the fat, ugly one – I think she’s trying to wind me up, so I pack up. I’ve been there almost an hour, anyway.
I take a break in the bookshop which (thankfully) is peaceful, with no piped music today. Someone must have READ my mind. Ha! …back outside, I set up down the road and become depressed by a couple of things. Almost opposite, there’s a homeless(?) guy in front of a disused shop doorway, sitting cross-legged, his backpack near him. People give him coins – I look at my bucket with barely anything in and that’s when I get depressed, which is terrible, I mean at least I’ve got somewhere to go after this. So then I start thinking of my selfishness and THAT depresses me! And then I catch myself sounding quite desperate with my post-contribution ‘Thank you’s. In fact, instead of the usual, once uttered ‘Thank you’, it seems to have become ‘Oh, thank you very much, thank you, THANK YOU!’ And not only that – it’s now accompanied by a worried, pleading look on the face. I know it’s happening because I can feel the contortion. When I become aware that I’m doing it all the time, I’m able to stop it but it’s only after a good few minutes. Oh dear.
Earnings: £18.47p (+ 2 Cuban 25 cent coins)