Diary Of A Busker Day 511 Saturday February 22nd 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Pavillion, Time: 12:47-2:37pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:30-4:40pm).
The sun’s out and I’m in it and can you believe it, it’s too warm! After all those freezing days and now it’s too hot!? Maybe it’s because I’m used to it, but I think the hands work better when it’s cooler – not freezing – just a bit cooler. I reckon it’s a bit more than 15 degrees (I think I worked it out not long ago – 15 degrees is the ideal temperature).
I was wondering if that dark-haired bitch who makes a point of shutting the door on me was going to be working today. I don’t think she is, as there are three others there. In fact, one of them, older than the bitch, actually OPENS the door after the first song. Wow, maybe she likes me. Maybe the bitch – I think I’m going to give her this name, officially – maybe The Bitch told her she didn’t like me, and this other one feels sorry for me…maybe I’m imagining this part.
Song Of The Day – Blowin’ In The Wind, as it gets more donations by far, than anything else, and so early on. After 45 minutes, Rick Tarrant turns up with guitar and wife. I say he can play if he wants to but he says it’s OK – they want to get something to eat. He’ll come back in half an hour. Someone else I know, Ian, my ever-so polite fan of 80 – he’s about, but I can’t believe it: he comes out of the restaurant and DOESN’T COME OVER TO SAY HELLO. I really can’t believe it. He’s never not come over to say hello. Never.
One of the bible-reading blokes starts up at the cathedral grounds entrance, but apart from his god, he’s on his own and gives up after not even a song’s length sermonising. Good!
On the hour, due to the non-appearance of Mr. Tarrant, I carry on, as there’s loads of people about and I’m getting more coinage than usual, for once. In fact, I go right through the hour and a half mark…right through to almost two hours. Too long. I have to stop – I don’t think it’s got colder but it’s seeping in and the hands are getting cold. As I pack up, Rick turns up, and I say I hope he wasn’t hiding around the corner, waiting for me to finish – he should have come up, but he says he wasn’t. He said they had something to eat and did some shopping.
I leave it to Rick and head for the usual – Waterstones, where I looked through a photo book: Siberia In The Eyes Of Russian Photographers. There was a photo of a bunch of blokes drinking the health of a deceased work mate. They had some bottles of vodka on the table, which made me think of that bizarre outdoor gig I did a few years ago, at that millionaire’s village somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow – south of Moscow, I think. I never did find out exactly where it was, or even the name! The main thing I remember was the delicious vodka they gave us after the gig, in mini champagne flutes, the like of which I’ve never had since. I wish I’d written down the make – I know I asked what it was but I never saw the bottle it came from. In fact, I’m sure I did write it down on a bit of paper…or in my diary, although I’ve looked and can’t find it…maybe I just thought I’d written it down – who knows after ten of those!
Back on the street. The oldish bloke who I met recently up the road – the one who likes Yellow Bird, comes by. I could see he was clutching a £5 note and I was trying to remember his name because last time I couldn’t remember it, and then, when he told me, I said I’d definitely remember, the next time I saw him…and I’ve completely forgotten! So he comes up, says hello, asks how I am, and I’m thinking ‘I’ve completely forgotten your name’, and then I’m thinking of the £5 note he’s putting in the bucket, then I’m thinking of that old guy who gave me the envelope with the five £20 notes in (call it £100)…what was HIS name…it was Ken, so I say ‘Ah…I know your name, um…it’s Ken’, and he says ‘Yes!’ I couldn’t believe it – it was a wild guess, because it’s a different guy! £100 Ken was in a wheelchair. I’ll have to try and remember – it’s Ken. Anyway, KEN mentions Yellow Bird again, then says goodbye, so as he’s walking off, I tune down and do Yellow Bird, and I hope he heard some of it, as it took a minute to sort the tuning out, by which time I could barely see him.
The final incident of note: During Can’t Help Falling In Love, a group standing in the road start singing along. At the end, they come over, so I say ‘Very nice’, and they say ‘It’s more cheerful than what we’re doing tonight – we’re a choir, we’re doing the requiem. I ask which one and they say – with a certain amount of aggression and impatience, as if it’s common knowledge – ‘There’s only ONE war requiem – Britten’s’. Ah, I didn’t hear the word WAR (I don’t know any of the other requiems, either!) They say they’re doing it at the cathedral. I’ll have to find that (youtube, not the cathedral) and have a listen – I’ve never heard it before.
Good money for once…and I made the performance total to THREE hours – a bit risky considering the thumb situation, but I think I escaped injury.
Earnings: £57.66p (+ 1 euro coin)