Diary Of A Busker Day 340

Diary Of A Busker Day 340 Tuesday March 9th Winchester High Street (1. corner of Marks & Spencer, Time: 12:47-1:12pm, 2. opposite Vodafone, Time: 1:16-2:01pm, 3. opposite Bellis, Time: 2:06-2:13pm). A few out today, including – at the middle spot, the Winchester legend known as Frank Williams, so I’m off down to the nether regions, known as the ‘arse-end’…but wait, there’s something happening there: not a busker but a guy about 65, long white hair/beard, holding a tattered bible and speaking in one of those microphones you clip behind your ear and the thing comes in front of your mouth, like what TV sports presenters and minicab places use. Even so, I can barely hear him, in fact I don’t think he’s actually got it coming out of a speaker. I go up and stand beside him – it’s 20 seconds before he notices me. I say ‘Hello, will you be here long?’ He asks me if I’m Christian. I say ‘No, no – none of that!’ He says he’ll be here a matter of minutes. That sounds a bit vague so I inquire – ‘Five, ten?’ ‘Yes’, he says, ‘but you’ll be fragmented if you’re not a Christian.’ I say I’m not fragmented. He says ‘You’ll have no sense of foundation, though.’ I say I have foundation. He says ‘You’ll be ungrounded, without any direction – you could have a breakdown.’ ‘I’ll have a breakdown if I don’t start playing soon’, I say. ‘Don’t be dismissive, be a Christian’, he says. ‘Nope, nothing to do with that’, I say, and I tell him I’ll come back in a few minutes, when he’s gone. I depart – fragmented, direction and foundation less. I set up at the corner of Marks & Spencer – a spot I haven’t been for ages. If I look to my left, I can see where the bible bloke is, so I’ll know when he leaves (in one piece, with secure foundation and in pre determined direction – the other way, I hope). …after 25 minutes, I get only 2 donations, totalling 24 pence. I reckon that Christian bloke had damned me, or something. I wish he would – it might be bloody warmer than this place. Anyway, 24p is less than 1 penny a minute. I pack up in disgust – how mean can people be? Actually, I won’t make it a question, as I know the answer. I’ll just rephrase it slightly, as –  ‘how mean people can be’. But really, there’s hundreds of them walking around. Maybe I’d get more if it was even colder. Maybe that’s it –  ‘I’ve given him money when it’s been this cold before, I’ll give him some more if it gets colder.’ When I walk past George, the flower-seller, who’s diagonally opposite from where I was, he looks at me and I shake my head – in dissolution. I decide against going back to where Jesus-bloke was – he’s gone now, because I can’t hear Frank anymore so I’m going to where he was instead. I haven’t even started playing when 3 young Irish blokes, fresh from the pub, stop by. One says ‘D’ya know any…Dubliners, do ya? Dubliners?’ Another joins in ‘Yeah, anything Oirish.’ (not a question). ‘No, only instrumental stuff.’ ‘What about Danny Boy?’ ‘Danny Boy? No, I play instrumental guitar things, I don’t sing.’ ‘I’ll give ya a ten pound note, if ya sing Danny Boy.’ Well, I’m blown if – even if I knew the words – I’m going to stand in Winchester High Street and sing Danny Boy, even for a tenner. ‘I persist (in my persistence) – ‘No, I don’t sing.’ ‘See, you could’ve had ten pye-inds, if you did Danny Boy’, and off they go. I carry on here for a bit, have a short chat with Delia who says it’s going to rain…and so it does, just after she goes, so I pack up and decide to go home…and 5 minutes later change my mind and set up undercover opposite the jewellers, for one of the shortest sets ever: 7 minutes. I get a couple of quid, though. I stop when the rain turns to hail – that’s me done. Earnings: £12.02p

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