Diary Of A Busker Day 683 Thursday January 22nd 2015 Winchester (Opposite Jigsaw, Market Street, Time: 2:12-3:04pm).
First time out for over a week, as it’s been so cold. It’s a good job I got the money for that cruise or I don’t know what I would have done. I stopped at the crossroads, trying to work out what to do, when I look over towards Vodafone and Ron’s looking at me, smiling – the little guy! He comes over and we start talking about how cold it’s been. Naturally, I ask Ron if he’s been dancing. ‘Oh yes, well, I’ve joined a club now, you see…well, I gotta do something, you know!’ He loves it. He gets a smooth floor to do his moves on, he says. ‘Nice smooth floor’, he says again, looking at the ground. He can’t believe I’m going to play, it’s so cold. I say it’s not too bad as there’s no wind. As long as there’s no wind, I’ll be alright for a bit, maybe 40 minutes or so.
I decide to set up around the corner where there’s a bit of sunlight. It’s off the main drag, but being on it is no guarantee of more donations than anywhere else, as I well know. Ron walks around the corner and while I’m setting up, tells me about his newfound celebrity. ‘I’m in the papers, you know…again’. ‘Are you?’ ‘Yeah, they’ve got me in again…pictures’. ‘Really? That’s good’. ‘Yeah, I was on the telly as well, you know’. ‘Oh yeah, I heard something about that…about your dancing’. ‘Yeah’.
I start up La Vie En Rose, Ron starts dancing and manages to persuade a (younger) woman of around 65 to take his hand. She obliged for a few seconds until she had to stop her shopping trolley from rolling off, which was very funny. Ron then crossed the street to say hello to a toddler in a buggy – the kid and dad were listening to me. Ron bent down to pat the kid on the cheek, and that’s the only time I’ve seen him bend down to see someone. He’s so short, he’s looking up all the time!
Ron got a coin out – this was three songs in and I’d had no donations yet – but I said ‘You don’t have to do that, Ron’. He said ‘Well, if they see me do it, they might do the same’. ‘Not a bad idea, Ron, OK then…cheers!’, I said. And it worked for a bit…I think. Or was it his dancing? Who knows. Anyway, after a couple more songs, Ron said he was off as he was getting cold. He said ‘Oh well, it’s nice to hear you again’. A nice bloke. 87 years old, and dancing – ‘Well, I gotta do something!’ Indeed, and it got him in the papers and on the telly. Never too late to be a local celebrity, I reckon.