Diary Of A Busker Day 457 Tuesday October 1st 2013 Winchester (Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 1:18-3:18pm).
I’m not going to overdo it today, as I’ve booked myself into Chichester tomorrow from 11:30-5:30, and that’ll be the usual marathon of at least 4 hours of playing.
My 80 years ‘young’ regular, Ian, is talking to someone near where I’m setting up and he comes over after he’s done, holds his coin-wielding hand over the bucket and says he’ll drop it in as I play the first note, which, as it’s Tzena, Tzena, Tzeana, turns out to be an ‘A’…and he does indeed do that and then listens all the way through. At the end, I apologise – I still haven’t got the 2nd position (D to F#7 to B minor) bit right. It’s bloody difficult: three fingers have to move three different directions and different distances! Of course, on the record, it’s all executed with great precision by Chet, of course. The other hard bit – the fast contrary motion run, again done with great precision by Chet, I still haven’t got that right, either… Anyway, Ian really likes it, especially the D/F#7/B minor bit, and he’s his usual complimentary self as I thank him (profusely). ‘Well, it’s not an easy job – this, doing what you do, and you play wonderful music and you’re a nice person!’ A nice person?! I should be paying HIM for stuff like that.
I knew I’d see Delia today. She turned up not even a minute after Ian left, at the start of La Vie En Rose, which, as I know so well – like the back of (both) my hand(s), I’m able to carry on a conversation while playing. I notice she’s wearing her raincoat so I enquire if she’s got her thick coat – the ‘mattress’, on underneath. She laughed then said she was going to the post office to get her pension, after I’d finished the song, naturally….which she did indeed do…
…Twenty minutes later, she’s back, telling me about her sciatic problem, which sounds pretty uncomfortable: some nerve that goes right down the body to the toes. She says it’s difficult to sleep. I ask if she can take a pill or get an injection. ‘Oh no! Pills and all that – not good for the kidneys, you know!’
Phillip came by with his lady friend(?) and his daughter, Emma. I would have played his favourite, the Gnossienne No.5, but I had all the wrong tuning as I was doing the Yellow Bird/Wheels bit. Plus, I’m a bit rusty – I did it half an hour later and not to cleverly, as they say. Then Phillip passed again right at the end, but I’d just started Bond!, by which time the amp batteries (a new type: Procell) were starting to go…but not before they’d given me almost 24 hours of service! – about 10 hours more than the normal Duracell’s I’ve been using for that past 300 years, so I’ll be switching for good, to Duracell Procell – ‘the choice of the professionals’ – they should use that…or maybe it’s been overdone.
At the end, I do a count-up, and I’m surprised: usually there’s more than I think. Today there’s less – slightly under the usual hourly average – which is a shame, as in other respects – socially and weather-wise (grey but dry and acceptable temperature), it was not an unpleasant two hours.