Diary Of A Busker Day 645 Wednesday October 8th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 11:16-12:40pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 1:16-1:40pm, 3. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:14-2:55pm).
I got down here early, as it was the time when the lady with the quadriplegic and the others said they’d be here…
That bloke – Nick, who I wrote about years ago, popped up. I don’t often see him. He said, ‘You’re going to have to play a bit harder to get the sun out today’ – he wasn’t joking. I said, ‘I know’. He said, ‘But you can usually change the atmosphere, when you play’, which was a very nice of him.
An old lady came up and said, ‘Ooh, that makes me want to dance…I haven’t got anything (coinage), I’ll have to come back later’. Then, at 12:40, with still no sign of the lady with the quadriplegic, it started raining, which is the order of the day as it turned out, so I started packing up. I mean, I’d been there almost an hour and a half, anyway. I thought I could go to the toilet, maybe set up somewhere else for a bit, then come back: they might turn up later.
Anyway, as I was packing up, one of the Maison Blanc waitresses came over with an umbrella for me! I thanked her but I had one with me, a small one in the case which I’d forgotten about. But that was nice of her. Yes, there ARE some nice people about…
…and then the old lady came back. She came out of C & A and said, ‘I said I’d give you some when I came out (she put a pound in the bucket, which was just about empty)…I’m ninety-three’, and here, I interrupted with the usual age flattery. In her case, ‘Ninety-three? I would have said SEVENTY-THREE!’ She – ‘Oh…well, I’m ninety-three, and I felt like dancing. I told you so, didn’t I?’ She did. So that can’t be bad – 93! She was born in 1920 or 1921. So that was nice, too. I made a 93 year old want to dance. Wonders will never cease.
Break time, and who is it but Bertie visiting his mate at the flower stall. He asks if I’ve learned that Stray Cat number. I said I’d had a listen and I could work it out but it would take me awhile. (I’d never play it out here, though, it’s just one big rockabilly solo). Bertie took note of my 70’s tank top, which I’ve started wearing as it’s cooler now. He said, ‘I used to wear one like that when I worked at The Golden Moustache in Southampton’. I said, ‘What’s that?’ Bertie – ‘The Golden Moustache? A gay bar. Yeah, I used to wear one like that. Nothin’ else’. Funny guy.
After the toilet, I went to Waterstones in the Brooks Centre for the 1st time in months, and it’s all moved around. Where the music books were, it’s all travel stuff, although the war stuff’s still in the same place.
2nd set. A short but lucrative one: £8 at Vodafone, before the inevitable occurred and I had to pack up, somewhat too hastily as it turned out…because upon disgorging the contents of the case back down the road at Oxfam, I discovered I was without the tuner. In fact, I was all set up when I discovered this. So, of course, I had to pack it all up and get on the bike and go back up the road…but it wasn’t there. Nowhere to be found. So that’s that – no tuner.
Well, I went back to Oxfam and started setting up again! And just then, a couple in their 60’s come up and the man says, ‘Did you have a black thing that you clamp on your guitar, up the road?’ I said, ‘Yeah, a tuner, did you see me up there?’ ‘Yeah, you’re the music man, aren’t you?’ he said. I said, ‘Yeah, well…guitar’. He said, ‘Yes, we thought it was yours – a black thing that clips on. We gave it to the man on the end stall of the market. He says he knows you’. Well, relieved isn’t the word (actually, it is).
So I asked them if they would mind staying here while I ran down and got the tuner from the bloke but they said they’d go and get it and bring it back themselves. How about that! So they went off but it was around 15 minutes before they – or just the husband – came back. He said he had to wait for the bloke to come back from the toilet! Anyway, tuner and owner were at last reunited, so I could do a 40 minute set before it poured down again. But still no sign of the people I was supposed to meet.
There was only one minor offender. A young woman who filmed me for a few minutes during a rare rendition of Norwegian Mountain Song (because it’s not worked out properly yet), then Chinatown. I mean, I think people should have the decency to ask before they start filming. Then they might get me smiling at them, instead of me with my head bowed and deliberately turned away from them…which is probably better than me smiling, when I think of it. At the end, she said, ‘Very good’, so I said, ‘Thanks’.
And that was it…and the woman and the others never turned up.
On the way back, I saw the market bloke – the bald-headed one who sells the bread. He said that the old couple initially put the tuner on the window ledge of Monsoon, but he said he’d take it, as he didn’t think it was a good idea, putting it there.
Three hours playing, below average dosh.
Earnings: £26.39p (+ 2 euro coin)