Diary Of A Busker Day 605 Friday August 8th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 4:45-5:45pm).
An end of the day session, and I should have brought the umbrella. It wasn’t raining when I started, although the sky was grey all over (like that crap Dave Clark Five song).
It was 5 songs in before any coinage, and that was from Phillip – appropriately Beatles T-shirted, during Here Comes The Sun. I exaggerated slightly when I told him I’d been there 20 minutes and he was the first donor, but he replied, ‘What’s wrong with this country?!’ I don’t know, my friend…apart from people are mean and/or they don’t care.
The second donation was right after Phillip’s comment, from a young, dark-haired, bearded bloke who I see often out here. He put a coin in, saying, ‘I did that ‘cos I heard what you said’, so I said, ‘You don’t have to do that for that reason, you know’ – (I don’t want sympathy money: I’m not a beggar, as I said to Phillip).
And then a bloke dropped a 20p coin in, or rather it fell just outside the bucket, which he saw but couldn’t be bothered to pick up and put in the intended place. Which means I have to, and that sort of thing winds me up.
Then the old guy in the buggy came by and said he hadn’t seen me for ages. I said I’d been around. This was after a Satie piece, so I decided to try my new one – Je Te Veux, suggested by the man the other day around the corner. I worked it out from a youtube video – a great little version, actually. It went OK apart from the ascending octave bit – a shame, as the rest is certainly passable. I don’t think the old guy was impressed, though! He said something like, ‘I think people’s favourites are the ones they’ve heard you do for awhile’. I don’t think he was impressed by my music on the ground, either. Tough! – before I memorise it, I need it! This bloke hasn’t been very well, he’s just come out of hospital, ‘where they fixed me up a bit. I couldn’t speak much’. He’s alright now, though!
Then the drama began. It started pouring down at the 45 minute mark but I carried on a bit longer, then decided to pack up…as a friendly man came across from Nero’s to ask if I wanted a cup of coffee or tea – I didn’t, of course – then chatted and asked loads of questions for a good few minutes before he returned to his companion in Nero’s. Then I actually DID pack up, but there was a problem. My amp on the back of the bike: there was no way to keep it dry, and it really was pouring.
My ‘saviour’ appeared in the (unfortunate) form of Jeremy, who insisted he get a plastic bag to put the amp in. The trouble was, almost all the shops were shut, and the ones that were open only had paper bags. I said I’d go down to Sainsbury’s and get a plastic one but Jeremy wouldn’t hear of it – he’d go himself. I asked him not to, as I don’t want to feel indebted or beholding to someone I regard as a rather patronising creep, but he went off, anyway.
There was a man standing nearby who had heard our discussion and when Jeremy went off, I said, ‘I didn’t want him to go!’ He came back in a couple of minutes with a transparent bag he’d got from some place on the way to Sainsbury’s, so I put the amp in it, although I first said I might put it on my head to keep THAT dry, to which Jeremy replied, ‘Oh no, you might suffocate’, to which I replied, ‘Well, it would solve a few problems!’, to which he replied, ‘Yes, then I wouldn’t have to give you any money’, which rather annoyed me, so I said, ‘You don’t have to give me any money, anyway – I’m not a beggar!’, to which he replied, ‘Oh, it’s only a josh – a joke, blah, blah blah, etc.’ He’s so bloody patronising!
Anyway, I put the amp in the bag, Jeremy went off, and I stood around waiting for the confounded rain to stop. It didn’t, so I took my jacket off, put it in the gigbag, got on the bike and went home. I got soaked but at least the jacket stayed dry, and no water marks! I should have done that in Paris 10 years ago when I had that light-coloured jacket, when it poured all the way on that walk to that bloody Eiffel Tower!
Earnings: Just over £9 (inaccurate, as I dumped the coinage into the jar without doing a count-up)