Diary Of A Busker Day 471 Tuesday November 12th 2013 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:35-2:05pm, 2. Next to The Slug & Lettuce, Time: 2:16-3:01pm.)
Everywhere’s full!: an old rocker banging out Hey Joe at The Butter Cross, a guy on a Spanish guitar around the corner from Vodafone – in fact, it was only after I’d set up and was about to start, when I heard him. I looked around the corner – there he was, on a small wooden bench.
Down at Oxfam, there’s some really noisy drilling – there’s no such thing as quiet drilling, is there? – coming from further down, outside the Guildhall. It’s too loud to play over so it’s back up to see about playing at The Slug & Lettuce, but when I get there, there’s a van – a Metrorod (drain care and repair, apparently) van parked right where I usually play, and no driver and the engine’s not running. So I’ve got no choice: it’s back down the backstreets (of this one-horse town), back down to Oxfam, where I endure a torturous – meaning very noisy – half-hour, competing (there’s no competition, really) with the wretched pneumatic drill, or drills, as there’s GOT to be more than one, surely.
Anyway, no one pays any attention, because they can’t hear me! Apart from an old lady, presumably because she’s noticed my Remembrance Day poppy affixed to my jacket. She comes up and says ‘Do you remember (then sings) Glory Glory Hallelujah! Glory Glory Hallelujah! and the soldiers, etc…’.
Half an hour was long enough. Long enough to get a measly £2.70p, which, by my expert reckoning, is half the usual rate. So, as I want to get as far away from the noise as I can, I head back up to The Slug…and the van is now gone. But something else has taken its place. The four foot high plant holder/flower pot which is usually just to the right of me, is now in the exact spot where I play! Is someone trying to tell me something?! So now there’s hardly any room between that and the barriers next to the pub, and I can’t set up the other side of the pot as I’d be obscuring the window display in the craft shop, behind. I make a futile attempt to move the confounded thing but it doesn’t budge an inch. It must be so heavy, or they’ve super-glued it to the pavement. I’ll just have to squeeze in next to it, which is what I do.
But then, when I turn on the amp, a loud buzzing sound comes out – of the amp, not the pot. It must be one of those weird electrical phenomenons, where, if you move or face a different way, a noise starts or stops…and it is! Because if I turn 45 degrees to the right, it stops. But that means I’ll have my back to everyone and I’ll be facing the side of the amp. It’s too weird, so I face normally(?) and put up with the buzzing, which is very off-putting as I can hear it all the time, behind the music. I wonder if it’s something to do with that bloody pot, or something under the pavement. Maybe that’s why they’ve put it there. I think I might ask the people in the craft shop – they might know…but not today – I can’t be bothered with all that!
The only good thing is I sell a CD, and because I haven’t got the right change, the man buys it for the old price – £10. Actually, before he bought it, I wasn’t sure what he was about. He came up and dropped three pound coins in the bucket, one after the other, which was slightly annoying. It reminded me of The Jerk, from last year, and I thought ‘Oh no, another bit of hassle, here’, but he was alright in the end. He loved the sound and the fingerstyle stuff and said he used to busk, for 2 1/2 years, and that included a couple of winters. Anyway, after donating, he saw I was selling CDs, and because he only had a £20 note, he took out the three pound coins – after asking permission to do so, which I thought was very polite – and gave me the note. All I had on me was a £5 note, two £2 coins and one £1 coin, so he took it and shook my hand. I asked his name. Tim Shine – an easy one to remember, I said.
Earnings: £15.80p (Including one CD)