Diary Of A Busker Day 631 Tuesday September 16th 2014 (1. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:51-3:17pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:30-4:21pm).
The first person to walk by, even before I played a note is Phillip. I can tell straight away he’s not well but he donates as usual. When I ask him how he is, he says, ‘Not too good’, smiles – sort of, and wanders off. Such a nice bloke, too. I wonder what’s going to happen: the whole cancer thing must be bloody awful. I open with the Gymnopedie – one of Phillip’s favourites, but I don’t think he heard it as I had to first tune up and by the time I started, he was a good distance away. He never once looked back, anyway, and he normally would have.
I pack up after less than half an hour: there was only £3.25 in the bucket. The other Phillip – the loud one, turned up just before I left, at the same time as that tall, white-bearded nutter, who, instead of calling me Marvin, says ‘Marvin B. Naylor’. He says, ‘Anyway, I was thinking of moving away. Tell me where you think I should move to?…where you from?’ So I said, ‘OK, Bournemouth’, and he says, ‘You’re not from Bournemouth, you’re from Durham!’ I say I’m not, and he says, ‘Yes, you’re from the North, you’ve got that twang’ (the twang’s in the guitar, pal) I say again, ‘No I’m not. I was born in Bournemouth’.
When I was leaving, loud Phillip – who was strangely quiet during the exchange – asked me where I was off to now. I say I’m going down to Oxfam. He says, ‘Why are you going down there?’ I say, ‘To play. It’s rubbish here!’ ‘Why?’, he says. ‘The people are mean’, I say. ‘Well, that’s a different thing to rubbish’, he says. ‘Not to me, it isn’t’, I say.
Down at Oxfam, people weren’t so…rubbish, and I saw Delia for the first time in ages – a couple of months, at least. Naturally, I’d been thinking the worst, of course. For the first time she had a good look at my bucket. She’d never noticed the Halloween face on the side facing me, the side no one sees, like the dark side of the moon! She really thought that was funny – I’ve never seen her laugh so much. Which is good – it’s good to see old people laughing!
I tell Delia about my successful debut in Hythe the other day. I say I’m going to go back if I can find out about permission and all that. I say the people here, in Winchester, are mean by comparison, and she says, ‘You know, I’ve lived here 16 years and I’ve hated it every day. If I win the lottery, I’d move away’. I ask her where to, but she didn’t seem to know! Anyway, I did her favourite – Dr. Zhivago, as she went off to the bus station.
An old couple stopped to pour some shrapnel in the bucket. About 10 pence worth, I reckon. They both leaned in close and said, ‘Every little bit counts’. I said, ‘So they say’. They then started to go off but stopped for a minute to admire my bike. ‘We both used to ride’, they said.