Diary Of A Busker Day 531 Friday March 28th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 1:45-2:55pm).
Just a short session before the lesson at 4 o’clock. Session before the lesson – ha! And I think it’s going to be slow one, as I got nothing for the first song…but then it’s Here Comes The Sun and a £2 coin followed by two £1 coins, which amounts to Song Of The Day, in my book…and then, just after, a bloke comes up and buys a CD – a £9 one! So, what did I find out about him: he’s 71 and a few years ago got some insurance money and he saw a Gibson guitar (he says a 775 or a 735 but he probably means a 335) in a shop, really wanted it, phoned his wife who said ‘Well, how much is it?’, he said ‘Two thousand pounds’, she said ‘Well, why don’t you buy it?’, and he did. He says ‘You’re always alright, aren’t you? – with a guitar, or ukelele, or something like that. You can go in the corner – anywhere, and play it, you know’, which I thought was quite true.
I’ve got my head down and an old lady comes up, doesn’t say hello or contribute, just barges up to me mid-song and wants to know if I’ve seen the old French lady – Marie-Therese. I’ve just remembered that this is the same one who came up to me about six months ago and asked the same thing, and I remember back then thinking she must have died. Anyway, I say the same as I did back then – I’ve got no idea but I’m sure she must have died, so she says ‘But I don’t know how you’d find out, you know?’ She says she knows the block of flats where Marie-Therese lives/lived, so I said she should check with the caretaker – they’ll definitely know if anyone’s died. Then she says ‘Well, don’t get cold sitting out here all day’. I say ‘OK. I’ve only been here 10 minutes, and I’m not here too long, anyway – I won’t get cold’. (I won’t get rich either, with you chatting to me and no contribution!)
Phillip comes by and gives 50p. I say he doesn’t have to do that. He says he knows he doesn’t have to – he wants to. I ask how he is and he sort of dodges it. I don’t think he’s too well. In fact I know he isn’t. 30 seconds after he walks off, I play his favourite – the 5th Gnossienne, I daren’t look up from the music on the ground in case he’s standing, watching, and I mess it up…which I did, anyway.
It’s Friday, which means Delia’s in town – a stationary figure I don’t see but sense over my left shoulder, during Albatross. ‘Oh that’s really nice’, she says. She apologises for the other day when she was out with her son and didn’t come up to me – ‘I had to go to Boots to get something for my leg’. She’s got sciatic nerve, which I’ve heard of but don’t know anything about. She says ‘It’s age – I’m getting old!’, and laughs. I say ‘You’re not old’, like you do. She says it’s very painful and she can’t sleep. I ask if she’s got painkillers – no, she doesn’t like them, and she can’t take too many, anyway. I suggest taking some whisky and she says ‘Oh no, that would kill me off!’
After she says goodbye, I start up HER favourite (they’ve all got their favourites, of course) – Dr. Zhivago, and she says ‘Ah, it reminds me of my youth’. I say ‘1962…no, 1963, I think’. She says ‘I saw it in 1967’, and I think ‘how about that? – she can remember what year she saw a film!’ I don’t know why but I then say ‘Where were you when Kennedy got shot?’ She says ‘I don’t know – I can tell you what year I saw Dr. Zhivago in, though’. Then she goes into a sort of reverie: she looks up – ‘I can see the train, I can see the snow, too!’
A good hour and 10 minutes – worth coming out.
Earnings: £24.57p (Including 1 CD and a 50 euro cent coin)