Diary Of A Busker Day 632 Wednesday September 17th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 2:28-3:48pm).
Phillip came by again (it’s been ages since I called him Ragtime Phillip) and he was again walking slow, more like dragging himself, poor bloke. He said hello and looked a bit more cheerful than last time. As he was disappearing off, I took a chance and started the 5th Gnossienne, his favourite. After a few bars – just as I was messing it up!, he came back and said, ‘I had to listen, I heard this glorious sound’. I said that was before I messed it up, for which I apologised. I was very angry with myself, in fact. I said I need to practise it a bit (a lot) more, but I also need to play it out here. Phillip said, ‘Well, it’s a work in progress’. Indeed.
Now, two incidents which more or less define this line of ‘work’. In other words, an offender quickly followed by a most welcome, gracious person. During Tzena, Tzena, Tzena, something blue was dropped in the bucket by one of two young blokes. I leaned over and saw it was a cigarette lighter which I picked up, shook, and found it was empty. In other words, garbage. So they were using my bucket as a bin. They were too far off for me to call them back, and I didn’t want to start shouting. But my patience is wearing thin and I reckon it’ll happen next time…the shouting’ll start! I thought I’d get them if they came back but they never did.
Anyway, I was so angry, I stopped playing for a minute. They never even looked back…but you don’t look back at a bin, do you?! I said, ‘I can’t believe that’, to some people on the bench opposite, who I think sympathised. One guy shook his head. Then, just after I’d started Tzena up again (I’ve started so I’ll finish), a man in his 60’s walks by and says, ‘Chet Atkins is almost as good as you!’ – now, that’s an incredible (and undeserved) compliment! So, a very depressing moment, followed by a very uplifting one, all in the space of two minutes.