Diary Of A Busker Day 560 Wednesday May 4th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:40-3:30pm, 2. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:40-4:10pm, 3. Opposite Bellis, Time: 4:17-5:23pm).
A sunny day…but people are still mean! I saw Delia for the first time in awhile, on her way to the bus. She’s got a problem with her ear. Some wax needs to be dislodged. Her doctor says 2 to 3 days with the olive oil. They used to tell me it was 2 weeks. Anyway, she’s all wrapped up, like it was winter. I didn’t ask if she had the ‘mattress’ on underneath her coat, though. She says she might see me on Friday (she wasn’t here yesterday, as she wasn’t feeling well). I say Friday is the day before my birthday so she wishes me a happy one in case she doesn’t make it. ‘Stay young’, she says. I say ‘It’s too late, now – I’m old. You should have said that 30 years ago!’ She asks how old I’ll be. ‘Fifty-two’, I say. ‘Oh that’s very young!’, she says. That’s the one good thing about some of these old people. You feel pretty young next to them, especially the ones really getting on, in the late eighties, or early eighties, for that matter.
I gave it 50 minutes, which made me around £8, so it could have been worse…at the 2nd spot, at Gieves & Hawkes, I got barely anything. Also, that autistic boy Ethan was out, being pushed in his buggy by his dad and an old lady I’m assuming was his grandmother…and the father, who’s seen me a few times, completely ignored me. And the kid was looking at me the whole time they were going by. Ethan’s mother must be the friendly one! – she wasn’t there.
I didn’t have a break, just 5 minutes between sets, which was basically the time taken walking and setting up at the next place. The 3rd one, near The Butter Cross, was as bad as the 2nd…and what is it with these parents who park their kids near me, point to me, and there I am providing ALL the entertainment/distraction for 10 minutes, and then they go off without a donation, or even ‘Thanks’ or ‘Bye'(!) That does my head in. I can’t handle that!
There was one nice lady, though. One of the people pushing two really old ladies in wheelchairs. They were parked facing me while I was doing Yellow Bird, and one of them must have liked it, as she smiled at me. Or was that because I smiled at HER? I’ll never know! Anyway, the young lady came up, donated and said that was the song her son spent ages learning.
Then there was a pretty girl who was listening at the bench until her boyfriend turned up. Before they went off, she came over, donated and said ‘Your playing is beautiful’ in a foreign accent I couldn’t place. That was nice, but apart from that, coinage-wise, a somewhat humiliating, soul-destroying day. So, for two and a half hours…