Diary Of A Busker Day 342 Monday March 25th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Marks & Spencer, Time: 1:52-2:08pm).
A really cold day and a complete waste of time – I hardly played at all. I passed young Sam – he was playing a Smiths song at The Butter Cross. I looked at him and although I’m sure he saw me, he didn’t acknowledge me. I don’t blame him, in a way. I bet he was pretty cold – he looked it! I don’t think he was having a very good time.
Further down, another young guy is taking a guitar out of a bag, so…down to the far end…but there’s some bloke sitting in the Gospel House doorway, right next to my spot. He’s not a ‘tramp’ – I don’t think so. He isn’t begging. But I don’t want to set up there, next to him – it doesn’t look right! But this means I’ve run out of places to go. I walk back up and notice there’s no flower-seller in the alleyway entrance, opposite Marks & Spencer, and there’s no market on the pavement in front. I decide it’ll do. The wind isn’t as bad as where the bloke was sitting, down the road. It’s still pretty darn cold, though. I know for a fact, I won’t last long.
I start off getting really lucky: a tall man gives me a pound during the first song, Albatross. Then, La Vie En Rose, and a kid who’s just walked by with his mother, runs back and gives 7p (Oh my goodness – 7p). After 5 minutes I can’t feel my fingers – I can feel pain, that’s all. The 3rd song, When I’m Sixty-Four, is aborted half-way through when the wind blows my bucket over (weighed down with only my capo and tuner, oh…and the pound coin and the 7p), and it rolls towards me. I stop, put it back and then can’t remember what I was playing, so I go into my 4th and last song, The Third Man – the bloody Frozen Man: Voice of compere – ‘LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!, HERE, IN THIS DESERTED CORNER OF WINCHESTER HIGH STREET, WE HAVE…THE THIRD MAN, BEING PLAYED FOR YOU TODAY BY…THE FROZEN MAN! – MR MARVIN B NAYLOR, LET’S HEAR IT, LET’S HEAR it, let’s hear… (fading into distance…). I know it’s my last, in fact I decide it’s my last as I can’t bear it any longer: my hands are in agony – I can’t play!
When I got back, I looked up why we’re having this mad coldness at the end of March. Apparently it’s to do with the jet stream. Its moved a few hundred miles south which means we’re getting the cold winds from the Arctic and Russia. It happens now and again and its got nothing to do with any ‘global warming’ thing, they say.