Diary Of A Busker Day 524 Tuesday March 18th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 12:58-2:29pm).
Another slow start – five songs before any coinage, and then it’s all at once: four donations and a CD sale – Can’t Help Falling In Love was the one that did it, thereby making it Song Of The Day. I’ve seen these groups of schoolkids walking about with clipboards the last hour – loads of them. I had a feeling one of them might come up to me…about an hour and ten minutes in, one of them does – a group of four schoolboys. They ask if they can ask me some questions – they’re doing a survey. They’re very polite so I say OK, but I’m going to carry on playing – I can’t remember what it was I was doing, but I finish it and go into the-song-I-can-play-while-conducting-a-conversation, namely Albatross.
They start: ‘On a scale 1 to 5, 1 meaning very poor, 5 meaning…’ – here I interrupt with ‘Yeah, OK, I know how it works!’ They continue – ‘How do you feel about the parking areas?’ My answer – ‘I don’t drive so I don’t know’. Question Two: ‘OK…are there enough green areas in Winchester?’ My answer – ‘Um…no, I don’t know, I suppose there are never enough’. Question Three: ‘The appearance of the streets?’ My answer – ‘It’s OK, if they keep them like this one, I suppose’. Question Four: ‘OK, and the litter, do you think there’s a litter problem?’ My answer – ‘No, it’s OK, it’s pretty good’. Question Five: ‘OK…and is there a good variety of shops?’ My answer – ‘Hm…no, not really, too many coffee places, stuff like that’. ‘OK, thank you very much’, and off they go – it wasn’t too bad.
Later, as I’m packing up, there’s a young blonde woman in front of me – ‘Hi, do you mind if I ask your opinion on something?’ (another one?) I say, ‘Is this a survey? – I’ve just had some kids here asking some questions’. ‘No, it’s not to do with that. I’m from the Hampshire Chronicle – we’re doing vox pops’. Me – ‘Vox pops?’ She – ‘Yeah’. Me – ‘OK, just one question?’ She – ‘Yeah, are you a Winchester man?’ Me – ‘Yeah’. She – ‘OK (ticks her notebook)…and what do you do?’ Me, thinking what does it look like I do?! – ‘Well, as you can see, I play this guitar’. ‘OK, so I’ll write down BUSKER’. Me – ‘Ah, no…more like musician, because I do other stuff with music, not just this’. ‘OK…can I ask how old you are?’ ‘Yes you can – 51’. ‘OK, can I ask where you live?’ ‘Yes you can…up that way (I point in the direction of my home)’ ‘Oh, I mean what road?’ ‘Greenhill Road’. ‘OK (writes it down)…now I’ll just get a photo’ – she raises her iPhone or whatever they’ve all got. I say ‘Oh, the Chronicle’s got some photo of me (I’m three years younger), you could use that one’. ‘No, I want one of my own!’, she says. ‘Right…OK’, I say, somewhat disappointedly. I pose, she shows it to me, I look really miserable. I say ‘It’s better than some, I suppose’.
‘Now, what do you think about the UK, USA and Russian situation?’ (I forgot there was a question!) ‘Oh right…I wish I knew you were going to ask me that, I would have paid more attention to the news. The thing is…(I can’t remember!)…Crimea, isn’t it? Well, the main thing I get is that both sides seem to think their, um…position is legal – that they’re ALL right…that’s what seems to be’. She writes it down, then – ‘OK, now your name?’ I give her my name, spelling out the surname – making sure she knows it’s Naylor with a ‘y’ and not an ‘i’ – like posh BrYan – ha!, then – ‘What’s yours?’ ‘Charlotte’. ‘OK, bye’. Oh, the fickleness of small town celebrity. Barely three years have passed since the Hampshire Chronicle, via their feature, bestowed instant fame on me, and Charlotte – one of their reporters, DOESN’T KNOW WHO I AM!! Well, it looks like I might be making a return to the local rag, this time as a member of ‘the general public’*.
Earnings: £12.77p (Including one £5 CD)
*Your Say (Hampshire Chronicle – March 20 2014)
We asked: Should Europe and the USA be more forceful over Russia’s plans regarding Crimea?
Margo Glover, 60, who works in property letting, of Albany Drive, Bishop’s Waltham, said: “No, I think it’s a bit like the Russian’s deciding to interfere with us and the situation with Northern Ireland.”
Marvin Naylor, 51, musician (good, she didn’t put BUSKER!), of Greenhill Road, Winchester, said: “I don’t know enough about it, but the thing is that both sides think they are right on this issue and that, legally, they are doing the right thing.”
Georgina Aldous, 64, a retired administrator, of Fishlake Meadows, Romsey, said: “You can say yes, they should be, but it is the implications of what it would then have on us that needs to be considered.”
Peter Simpson, 47, of Walpole Road, Stanmore, said: “They have to. The very reason Russia is making this land grab is because the US and Europe are seen as weak.”