Diary Of A Busker Day 603 Tuesday August 5th 2014 Chichester (1. Opposite Next, East Street, Time: 11:45-1:20pm, 2-4pm).
Seeing as I did so well up the road from The Clock, I made sure I booked the same place this time. On the phone, the woman went through the same routine: take a break every half hour, this time adding ‘don’t play in front of Marks & Spencers – they don’t like it’. So I didn’t. I played opposite the shop NEXT DOOR to Marks & Spencer(s)! – namely Next. I also started 15 minutes earlier than my allotted starting time, namely at 11:45.
First song – Albatross, and a bloke stops to tell me it’s his favourite song, and also that it’s his birthday today, so I say ‘Happy birthday’. ‘I’m 48’, he says. I say, ‘Well, have a great day’. He says, ‘Thanks’, and walks off. No coinage for playing his favourite song on his birthday. But loads of folk here DO appreciate me, and I bet it’s not their birthday. Lots of old guys think I’m great! At one point, there are four standing in front, and two of them buy CDs!
Song Of The Day: Wonderful Land. 10 minutes after I played it the first time, a guy comes up and says, ‘You know Wonderful Land?’ So I played it again, and again half an hour later, when another Shadows-loving guy comes up. This one starts telling me about his friend who played the guitar in the early ’60s. Then about his funeral: ‘We ‘ad Apache when they brought the casket up the aisle, then Walkin’ On The Air, then Wonderful Land for when we see ‘im off’. Well, that sounds like a jolly old service, I thought!
For the second Tuesday in a row, I flout the rules laid down by West Sussex Council, and play a full hour and 35 minutes! Then I went to the toilet, then the cathedral grounds for my lunch – a diet lunch which I’m on for a week. While I was there, a man came to put some rubbish in the bin next to my bench, and in doing so, complimented me on the playing, said he hoped I’d sell some more CDs (he didn’t help by buying one, though), and said, ‘Have a great day’. I don’t think anyone’s ever come up to me while I’ve been having my lunch in Winchester and said that!
People like me here – perhaps a permanent move is in order! I’ve also cleared – after the £13 train fare – about £20, which is extremely good. If that carries on for the next session, I’ll be well happy. As it turned out, the next spot – not more than 20 feet to the left of the first spot, and much closer to Marks & Spencer – wasn’t quite as good, but I still made £30 in 2 hours: better than the usual Winchester amount.
Early on, that funny old lady – The Dancing Lady – appeared and did the usual: a few turns, smiling, pointing at me, trying to talk to people walking by – this was during La Vie En Rose. She then disappeared into Marks & Spencer and I never saw her come out! I hope she didn’t expire in there because I need to get a photo of her. The trouble is, I’d have to stop playing and I just can’t do that, not when she’s in her element, so to speak. I’ve got to get a photo, though. In fact, I haven’t got one of anyone here.
Halfway through, a woman came out of the Early Learning Centre on my left, and set up a bubble machine which proceeded to spew forth many thousands of soap bubbles. A few hundred came my way but most went upwards. When she came out again a bit later, she came towards me and I thought, ‘She’s going to tell me off for being here so long’, but no, all she said was, ‘Please let me know if the bubbles annoy you, OK?’ Indeed, people are nice here – they really do like me! Then, during The Third Man, a man says, ‘Could you possibly make it more difficult?’!
Earnings: £63.76p (Including 2 CDs) – £13 (train fare) = £50.76p (profit)