Diary Of A Busker Day 483 Tuesday December 24th 2013 Winchester (Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:37-3:46pm).
My first day back after a break of exactly three weeks – a long time out of circulation. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been away this long since I started. However, doctor’s orders: I’m supposed to ‘ease off’, so the thumb can get better. So, no playing hours on end, out in the cold. I don’t suppose it did my thumb much good. I didn’t stop completely, though. I played a bit at home: a few videos for youtube: Wouldn’t It Be Nice, When I’m Sixty-Four, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Satie’s 1st Gymnopedie. So I’m OK with those, still. I’m not sure how I’ll be with some of the others, though. I haven’t gone near any of them.
In town: a flute player (flautist?) near The Butter Cross, and the violinist who’s been here a lot recently, at Vodafone playing Jingle Bells…which means I’m down at the arse-end, which I have to say, I don’t mind, today, as I’m a bit rusty, there’s more noise to cover up all the mistakes! I don’t want to overdo it, anyway: an hour, if I can manage it.
I start with Blowin’ In The Wind, then La Vie En Rose, The Third Man and about three more, and sell a CD to a woman about 60, out with her son(?) about 30, who stand nearby during the tail-end of Windy & Warm. She wants the CD for her husband who’s seen me loads of times. I’m not sure if it’s going to constitute a Christmas present – I should have asked. That’s an idea: I should have some CDs already gift-wrapped!
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been away so long but time was really dragging. I looked at my watch, thinking I’d done an hour, and it was only 3:12, so I’d done only 35 minutes! I haven’t worked on any new songs, although there is one new bit. Because I wanted to do Wouldn’t It Be Nice and put it on youtube, I thought I’d better work out the middle bit, and the bit after, where it slows down, which I did, though it’s a bit of a finger twister – the middle: the part that goes ‘then we can be marrieeeeed…and then we’ll be happyyyyyyy’. It’s better with that bit in. Before, I was just playing the intro bit there, over and over! And the bit where it slows down, I’m doing in the Requerdos de la Alhambra style – the ‘tremolo study’ style. I did it on the Rickenbacker, too, which sounds better, I think, although it’s fine on the Casino, especially with the reverb up, to cover the failings of my technique! I still managed to mess it up – the first bit, even, but got through OK.
I don’t see any of the old regulars, apart from the tall lady who’s name I still don’t know. Actually, I’ve got a feeling that if I asked her her name, she wouldn’t tell me. I reckon she’s the type who’d say ‘Name’s aren’t important’. I don’t know why, just a gut feeling. But I have to say, it’s quite nice to see one of them again – and I never thought I’d say that: ‘absence makes, etc…and all that. I ask how she is and she says ‘Better for seeing you’, which is very nice. My absence was noted: I informed her of the reason and talk about my hand for a bit, then on to all the people about today, seeing as it’s the day before Christmas. She says she’s been shopping and I say ‘there’ll be alot of people in the shops, eh?’ She rolls her eyes and says ‘I was in Sainsbury’s. There were two women fighting over a Christmas pudding – the last one. One said “I was here first”. The other one said “No, I was”‘. I can believe it – I said ‘People don’t change, not much, eh?’ She said ‘No, they get worse at Christmas’. Ha, how true. I quite like this lady. I think we dislike the same things about the human race. She always has a moan about something and I always agree. I didn’t see any more of the regulars, though – not even Delia, and it’s Tuesday. I mean where the hell is she?!
At the end of our chat, I ask her the time, as I’m sure my watch has stopped, or it’s slow. She says it’s half past three on the dot, which is what mine says, so it’s on time! Anyway, 3:30 means I’ve been at it almost an hour. I’ll do a bit longer but that’ll be it…
…after an hour and 9 minutes, the hands are cold and the thumb hurts, so I finish off with Bond, James Bond. It was worth coming out, even for just over an hour: the takings were almost 2 1/2 times the usual hourly amount, and that amounts to…success! And I got through with a minimum of mistakes and repeated just one song – La Vie En Rose.
Earnings: £29.32p (Including 1 CD – £8)