Diary Of A Busker Day 414 Monday July 22nd Winchester (Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:07-3:07pm).
There are quite a few out today: near The Butter Cross, a man playing The Winner Takes It All on a big flute over a backing track. My goodness, what a miserable song! At Vodafone, two young Italian-looking blokes – language students? – sitting down with acoustic guitars. As there’s no flower seller or market stalls today, I almost set up in the entrance to the alleyway, opposite Marks & Spencer, but I decided to go down the road instead…
…and it’s another hot one – 27 degrees. In fact, I even dispense with the jacket, which brings forth a comment from a lady donor – ‘I even recognised you in your summer outfit’. ‘Yeah, I took my jacket off – it’s hot’, I say. ‘So you’ve noticed?’, she says, a bit too cheekily, I thought. I say ‘Yep, it’s not often I disrobe, as such’. Indeed, lucky lady. There’s loads of squaddies about, coming from the direction of the Guildhall. They’re all in that desert-like, tan camouflage gear. The ones I can see are, anyway, ha! And there are a few old soldiers with blazers and medals. There must be some war thing going on.
An old rocker stops by. He says he likes how I play. He says ‘I play the guitar, too, but I sing as well. I don’t play as well as you – I sing better, though’. I don’t doubt it, although I think he’s a bit premature as he’s never heard me! ‘…anyway, I won’t keep you any longer, I know how it is’, he adds. No, don’t keep me any longer. I’ve got to get a few more songs in, before I’m off to my singing lesson… speaking of lessons, I only do an hour here, because at 4 o’clock, Ollie’s got his last one before the summer break.
On the way back, I ask a squaddie about the camouflage and medals – ‘So, what’s all this in aid of?’ ‘It’s a Freedom Parade. You probably missed it – it was at twelve’, he says. ‘Yeah, I missed it’, I say. ‘Yeah, we’re just walking round town now, enjoying the day’, he says. ‘OK, well enjoy it!’, I said. Enjoy it, indeed…it’s a damn sight better than being blown to bits, I reckon.