Diary Of A Busker Day 487 Thursday January 2nd 2014 (Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 4:07-5:39pm).
First outing of the year. On leaving the house, the weather’s fine: blue sky…which – wouldn’t you know it – darkens considerably as I’m walking into town, and again – wouldn’t you know it – starts raining before the end of the first song – Albatross. Typical. In fact, it’s a wash-out in more than one way: it’s not till the 5th song before I get a donation: from a man – one of the many ‘regulars’ whose name I don’t know. He never stops to chat…until now. He’s very quiet, though – I keep having to say ‘sorry?’ He says he’s been here for 5 years and has seen me alot. (He bloody will have if he’s been here 5 years). Echoing my thoughts(!), I reply ‘You must have. I’ve been here…(I have to think about it)…three and a half years…(I think about it in more detail)…ALMOST three and a half years’.
I inform this man that he’s my first donor, and he says ‘Well, Christmas, you know’. Well, I don’t agree with that, so I say ‘People are mean any time of year’. He asks if I know Cavatina, so he gets my Cavatina excuse/lecture: ‘You know, I DID learn it ages ago but I’ve got a bit of a problem with it: EVERYONE does it, and I sort of learned it begrudgingly, but I could never memorise it because I never really wanted to learn it’. I’m telling him this while I’m doing The Third Man which gets four donations, so I announce to him ‘This is Song Of The Day’, to which he replies ‘Things can only get better’. Cheers, pal. After a couple more songs during which the rain eases off a bit, he bids me farewell with ‘Take it easy, keep rockin’!’ and I still don’t know his name.
Mr. Hayward’s ex, Christine, stops to admire my, ahem,’hardness’. I’m assuming it’s a reference to my durability in the cold and rain: it’s really started up again, at 4:45. Then she gives the thumbs-up (I think) to the moustache – ‘…oh, I see the facial hair…hmm, yeah…quite cool’.
There are three things of annoyance which appear around the half-hour mark. Firstly, a sort of pins and needles/cramp in my left foot (there’s a film in there) which I can’t seem to get rid of. I think it might be down to two things, or both. Firstly, the stitching that secures the canvas seat to the legs of the camping stool is becoming worn, causing the seat to sag, thereby altering the angle my leg is, thereby initiating a change of posture, thereby putting pressure on the underside of the upper leg, thereby cutting off the circulation from said upper leg…I think.
Secondly, my new shoes, which are very comfortable when walking, seem to rise a bit upon sitting down, thereby restricting circulation to the upper foot. Possibly.
Thirdly – in fact this has been occurring right from the start: the amp batteries are running low, so during certain moments – usually when fretting the low strings, such as in the high up F# section of Albatross – there is a sort of fuzzed tone coming out. It’s only a minor problem, though: I’ll be able to get through and change the batteries at home. They’re bloody good, those Procells. I can’t remember when I changed them last.
It really pours down for the last 20 minutes: a good job I’m undercover…so, The Rain Song, a good one to do. Jeremy stops next to me for most of the song. At the end, he asks what it is – he hasn’t heard it before. He says ‘It’s very much in a minor key, isn’t it?’ (Is that good or bad, I wonder). Anyway, I offer the usual ‘unusual Rain Song tuning’ information/lecture, and add ‘…there are words, but it works well as a solo piece: Led Zeppelin/Jimmy Page’. ‘Ah, yes, I thought 1970s’, he says.
The takings turned out to be better than I thought: even took two £2 coins. People are still mean, though – two £2 coins is from just two donors!