Diary Of A Busker Day 492

Diary Of A Busker Day 492 Sunday January 12th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 3-4:30pm).

Two songs in, I look up and there he is: the old guy with the suit and colourful child’s hat (no red-rimmed shades today), standing exactly where he always is, a few feet in front and to the right of me. And I never see him approach: he’s always just THERE. Well, I’m going to have to play it, aren’t I? Of course I am. So after La Vie En Rose, it’s Blackbird. He says ‘Very good’, then asks me how long I’ve been playing, did I take lessons, have I played in groups…so I give him an abridged account of the Hard Luck Story, because I’m getting bored with telling it to everyone.

Then he asks if I know any blues, so I say not really but try and dig up Cincinnati Flow Rag, which I was learning awhile back. In fact, I even did a video of it using the old Hoyer 12-string, but I haven’t played it since then. I can remember the main bits but not the short bits that join up the main bits! I’ve really got to sort that one out again – I’ve got the tab with me, somewhere in the book, but it’ll take too long to dig out.

Anyway, then he says ‘It’s a nice place’, so I say ‘What – you mean Winchester?’ He says ‘Yes…you local?’ I say I am and ask where he’s from. He says ‘Southampton. I’ve got a bus pass’. Me: ‘A bus pass?’ ‘Yes, a ten week bus pass’. (I think for the next nine weeks, I may have a new companion out here).

A girl from the Montezuma chocolate place emerges with a tray of truffles and stands a couple of feet to my left. My new companion goes over and gets one then turns to me and asks if I want one. I say no thanks – I’m not taking candy from strange old men, although I have to say, he’s certainly a lot less sinister without the shades. He returns to his spot, enjoys his chocolate, and listens to about three more songs, complimenting me after each one. He asks me the time, I look at my watch and say 3:30. ‘Oh, I’ll have to go – keep playing’, he says, and starts walking off. ‘I will – I have to!’, I say.

Apart from him, no one really spoke to me, I don’t think. The weather was dry but cold: I was lucky to get through an hour and a half, really. I ended proceedings with the ‘atmospheric’ set: The Rain Song – then tune up, Here Comes The Sun – by which time it was quite dark – but due to several contributions, it made Song Of The Day, then Over The Rainbow and finally Blowin’ In The Wind – the song I started with.

Earnings: £16.09p

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