Diary Of A Busker Day 475 Sunday November 17th 2013 Winchester (1. Next to The Slug & Lettuce, Time: 2:08-3:09pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:25-4:55pm).
There’s a guy who looks like he’s come down from a mountain, playing the bagpipes in front of the Christmas tree at The Butter Cross…and at Vodafone, a bunch of young people. I don’t want to start off at Oxfam as I was there almost two hours yesterday, so I head up the backstreets to The Slug…and miraculously, that big pot is now back in its usual place, so I can now set up in my usual spot – in front of the white door no one uses. Order is restored!
Song Of The Day – Dixie McGuire, as it secures a CD sale, although I have to point out that Dixie McGuire isn’t on the CD. I give it one hour here which, handwise, hasn’t been too bad, the temperature being almost agreeable, and there’s no wind at all – a Godsend. I go through the alleyway – the bagpipe mountain guy’s still there…as are the other lot down at Vodafone. So I can’t avoid it – it’s down to Oxfam!
I start off with the one I seem to start every set off with now – Blowin’ In The Wind, which immediately gets the thumbs-up from an old drongo in a raincoat and hat, sitting across the road, as does The Third Man. After about 45 minutes, one of my old lady regulars stops to express concern over my cold hands. I’m still OK, but the cold’s gradually seeping through – slowly but surely. I ask her if the piper’s still up the road – she doesn’t know. She says she hates bagpipes – ‘There’s only one thing that makes me want to commit suicide – bagpipe music. And I’m half Scottish’.
About half an hour later, I see the mountain man himself, coming down on the other side of the road, and when he sees me, he dips into his coin collection – a thick sock, comes across and donates. If what’s in his sock is what he made today, I reckon it’s about £100. Anyway, he turns out to be a really nice bloke – and German, not Scottish. His name: Gert Lavinda Genisser. Lavinda is Sanskrit, and Genisser – like Genesis, he says. This prompts me to remark that I played S. Hackett’s Horizons recently, but I don’t think he knows what I’m talking about. Then again, I’d never heard Horizons until recently. He says he lives here – in a mini bus, which, as far as I can make out, is in the same area as where Frank lives. It’s strange I haven’t seen him before – I’d certainly remember someone who looks like he does.
He says he’s been busking ‘since the eighties’, but he only busks in England around the Christmas period. For the rest of the year he goes to Spain, Portugal, and other places. The reason? Basically, people are mean here – something I have to agree with! Apart from busking, he also used to have a market stall and he talks about how much it was – £35 a day, and it took him a couple of years before he made any money. I get a photo of Gert, looking toward the King Alfred statue, and say it’s just for my personal photo album, not for circulation on the internet – he’s alright with that. A nice bloke, and speaks very good English!
Just after Gert goes off, Frank appears, and I think they look like they could be seriously related! Frank asks how it’s been. I say it’s been OK, although money-wise it wasn’t too good. Then it gets darker and all the market people from the stalls on the road start pulling their cars and vans up near me. A couple of Japanese girls film me playing Jesu, which annoys me a bit until they come over and contribute. (People should do it the other way around – contribute, then film – they’d at least get me smiling!) They’d heard the piece before but don’t know what it’s called, so I tell them the name and who wrote it – ‘Bach’. No response. ‘J. S. Bach’, I say, giving more information, like ‘Bond…James Bond’. Confusion – they look at each other, so I carry on – ‘Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach…J. S. Bach’. ‘Ahh-Bach! How you spell?’ ‘B-A-C-H’, I say. ‘Oh, not B-A-C-K?’ they say. Yes, English – one hell of a confusing language…as is German!
Earnings: £21.28p (Including 1 CD)