Diary Of A Busker Day 667 Sunday November 9th 2014 Hythe (Opposite Harvey’s Sandwich Bar/In front of Waitrose, Time: 12:51-3:15pm).
Last week in Hythe was a disaster, of course, then there was rain all day on Saturday but Sunday it was supposed to be sunny all day, according to the Weather In Hythe website…well it was sunny on the way down, and quite warm, but after 10 minutes it changed. Also, I had no idea if there’d be many people about – being Sunday, and Remembrance Sunday, at that. As it turned out, there weren’t many about, although as long as Waitrose is open, there’ll always be a few around.
One of the first donors was that woman with the two dead husbands (as opposed to the bloke in Winchester with the two living wives). She was going on about being old, then said ‘I wake up and see the photos of my two husbands and think, well, I’m still alive’. Two old soldiers were chatting to some people outside Waitrose, and one comes over. He’s got all the gear on: caps, blazers with medals, and he says ‘The Third Man!’, so I say ‘Ah, you’ve seen me before’, and play it, because I wasn’t actually playing it. He loved it, did a little dance, then says ‘I was in Berlin when all that was going on’.
I thought he looked great, with all the medals and stuff, so I asked if I could get a picture. I got two, in fact: one of him, very rigid, standing to attention, and another of his medals. He got two for something to do with the Suez Canal and one that had ‘Berlin’ on it, so that was obviously the one from The Third Man era: 1948/49. Then his mate comes over to join him, and he says he was involved with some business to do with a bloke – Sukarno, in Indonesia, something to do with oil. Anyway, he ‘helped put a stop to all that, killed it’. I’ll have to look that up. It was in 1962/63, he said.
Then a woman comes up and asks if they’ve been up to the Cenotaph service. One guy says he used to but it had become such a fuss: all the getting across London, standing around, not being able to leave until the very last minute, protocol on Horse Guards parade… He says he just does it down here now, at one of the churches. Nice blokes, especially Geoffrey, the one who posed. I didn’t bother asking the other one about a photo.
Some man came up to me and asked why he hadn’t seen me in Romsey! So I told him the business about that jerk from Bradbeers, Greg Davies. This guy said I should just ignore him and play. He said he doesn’t own the land in front of Bradbeers so he can’t tell me not to play there*
The rain, which was light and intermittent, got a lot heavier at 2:30 and I was going to pack up, however I’d only made about £15 – not enough, so I decided to stick it out after it eased up. A good idea as I must have got about £20 for the next 45 minutes. But it was pretty wet when I finished – and cold, too. I was relieved at the end of the 2 hours and 20 minutes. On the way to the ferry, it started up again so I took the pier train instead of walking down.
Now, last week I forgot the guitar. This week, I forget to get on the right train at Southampton. I get on the first train to Waterloo but unfortunately it’s going via Fareham and Guildford and not Winchester (I wondered why there were so many students on it!), so I have to get off at Fareham where I’d just missed a train to Eastleigh, and the next one was in an hour! Well, I wasn’t going to hang around the station, so, seeing as I had the bike, I rode into town and had a pint of Guinness – £3.90p – at The Golden Lion.
Back at the station, I got a train to Eastleigh and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one to Winchester, so I thought ‘I’ve cycled around Fareham and had a pint, I might as well do the same here…minus the pint, as this is Eastleigh! Outside the station, a bloke admired my 1962 bike and we started chatting about it. He put down a rather large holdall with two – what looked like bows, as in bows and arrows – on top. Well, I’d never seen anyone with two bows. Apparently, he’d made them for each of his two sons, and yes, I got a photo!…of a man (Seamus) I’d never met before, holding a bow, drawing back the string, in front of Eastleigh station, in the dark. So if I hadn’t got on the wrong train, my photo album would have been deprived of one quite unusual picture.
Earnings: £36.38p (gross) – £10.05p (expenses) = £26.33p (profit)
* Next morning I phoned Romsey Council in an attempt to get to the bottom of this whole ‘who owns the land in front of Bradbeers’ situation. They said they weren’t sure but they’d try and find out, and in the meantime I should phone Test Valley Council. So I did, and they said buskers are only allowed to play not more than one hour in one place, followed by at least a two hour break, or you can play two places not less than 50 yards apart. However, if the ‘noise’ can be heard in the building, ie: Bradbeers, it could be called ‘a disturbance’ or ‘nuisance’, and they (G. Davies) would be within their rights to ask me to leave. I don’t think they COULD hear me in the building – it was only when the twat came out to have a walk, or whatever, when he became aware of me.
Then I got a message from Heather at Romsey Council, saying Bradbeers have a street trading licence for the market days (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday), so they can say who can be there, or not. So if I want to go there, I’d have to go on a non-market day. So there’s not alot I can do about that. I suppose I could turn up on a Monday, just to piss the idiot off. I don’t know…it might be worth it. It might be like Hythe: not many about but still worth going.