Diary Of A Busker Day 443 Wednesday September 4th 2013 Chichester (1. In front of HSBC bank, The Cross, Time: 12:45-1:45pm, 2-3:15pm, 2. Opposite Lloyds bank, North Street, Time: 3:50-5:20pm).
I don’t know what’s going on in Chichester – when I get to where I’m booked to play, there’s always someone there! Today it’s a young strummer (all strummers are young, it seems) at The Cross, as they call it, or The Clock Tower, as I’m calling it, as I can’t see any cross but there’s a bloody big clock tower. And down the road, it’s Rob again! And also down the road but not as far down as Rob, would you believe it, it’s the bloke who said I should ‘get a life’ – Chris, the RAC idiot. Man alive, I thought I’d left them all behind in Winchester. Who knows, maybe they think the same…
I have a chat with the young strummer. He says he hasn’t got a permit (I never actually asked if he’d booked!) and he says he’ll just be 5 minutes, so I go across the road and unpack my stuff. I felt sorry for him: he had about £1.50 in his case. Anyway, I start up the minute he walks off, do an hour and then do a count-up: about £6, which doesn’t surprise me as it’s really slow today. I decide to take a walk down to see me old mate Rob…and find out he’s not actually in my pitch. He’s in the East Street pitch and I have just been at The Cross pitch. The confusion is all with me, thinking the whole area – where we both are – is called The Cross.
After that’s sorted out, I ask him about the half hour rule: that you’re only supposed to play half an hour, then you have to move at least 20 yards or metres away, which was a rule I thought about obeying for about a minute. Rob says ‘That’s only for people who are a nuisance. No one goes by that’. He tells me why it’s slow today – obviously for him too – ‘Last week in August, first week September, kids are back at school, grandparents gone home, people come back from holiday – no money’. I’m sure he’s right. Then he adds ‘And soon it’ll be cold again. It’s never right, eh?’ Hell, he IS right: it never IS right…and the cold weather: the one thing I wasn’t going to put myself through, yet again.
So, back to the clock tower/cross for an hour and a quarter and then a count-up: £13 – that’s for the whole two sets, totalling 2 1/2 hours. So I’ve done all that just to make the train fare back. Oh dear. I have to take a lunch/toilet break at the now usual place: the cathedral grounds (the lunch bit, that is). So: crisps, grapes, an onion bagel with cheese and spicy chutney, a bit of squash…then back on the street, and this time down where Rob was. He left at 2 o’clock, I think.
But wait, nearby, singing and strumming, are two young girls – aged about 20. Sod it – if they don’t like me they can come up…but they might have permits…I turn down a bit…they leave after 45 minutes which is halfway through my set – another long one…and a waste of time, too: after the train fare, I made a profit of £14.53p. I left home at 11 o’clock and I’ll get back at 7. And all for £14.53p.
As I was leaving, the bloke selling the mobile phone covers said it was the same for him – ‘Look, there’s about half the people about’, he said. ‘So it’s not just me, then’, I said. No -good: I’m pleased there were others suffering.
Apart from Rob and RAC twat Chris, there was one other familiar face: a woman with rather protruding front teeth – buck teeth, we would have said in the old days in Canada. She hung around quite a bit the last time I was here, and she did the same today, during the second set. I get the best groupies.
Earnings: £27.53p – £13 (train fare) = £14.53p profit.