Diary Of A Busker Day 695 Tuesday February 24th 2015 Winchester (1. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:55-4:07pm, 2. Opposite The Body Shop, Time: 4:50-5:42pm).
A sunny but cold (6 degrees) and windy day. I cycled around to all the areas and decided Vodafone was the least windy. That little lady in the motorised wheelchair, Maureen, who’s name I remembered just in time, donated. She last did that around three years ago. She also admired the bike. That bloody thing gets more compliments than I do. ‘Is that yer bike?’ ‘It is’. ‘Ooh, that’s nice, isn’t it!’ ‘Yep, a 1982 model’.
The coinage was slow and I was going into one of my depressions, when there in front of me was Harry – “Dutch” Harry, who I hadn’t seen since, oh, it must have been last summer. He was pleased I remembered HIS name, then he wanted to donate. I said he didn’t have to do that, that it was enough to see him again, but he insisted on giving me a £2 coin. He was a bit wobbly – he had his walking stick but I had to hold his arm a bit. I told him he looked well – he must be 88 – and he said he was OK. It’s mainly his memory. In fact, he then asked if he’d given me anything! I said ‘Now, I could say you haven’t, and you’d give me another coin, and I could keep doing that every time you asked me!’
Harry said he had to meet his wife at the car park at 2:30 and asked what time his watch said, so I looked at his and mine: it was 18 past. I said ‘You’re alright, you’ve got 12 minutes’. He said ‘Oh, that’s alright. I know where the car’s parked when I’m in Winchester…this IS Winchester, isn’t it?’ Funny guy. I said it was, then he had a request: ‘Oh, can you play my favourite – do, do, do – do, do’. ‘The Third Man? Of course’, I said, and just then, his wife turns up. She smiled but didn’t speak to me, then dragged Harry off as I started his request. I kept an eye on him as he went down the road and sure enough, after a minute – he doesn’t walk fast – he turns round, smiling and waving his stick in the air. That made my day, seeing him.
Just after Harry, in the middle of a song, a man had the audacity to ask me where the post office was. No ‘Excuse me’ or anything, so I just said ‘No!’ and he sort of lingered then drifted off. But he was still lingering when I’d finished the song but I wasn’t going to tell him, even then. The cheek: interrupting me like that.
Then I had another request – Albatross, by a man who said ‘Peter Green, he went mad’. I said ‘Did he?’ Man: ‘Yeah’. Me: ‘He’s alright now, though, isn’t he?’ Man: ‘Yeah well, he’s still not quite…you know’. I recognised this bloke because I’m sure we had the same conversation about a year ago up at The Butter Cross. Anyway, as I’m playing Albatross, and while the man’s still here, two kids stop and one asks what I’m playing. I say ‘Albatross, Fleetwood Mac, from 1968’, and the man says to the kid ‘Do you like it?’ The kid says ‘Yeah, it’s good’ and the man says ‘Yeah, Albatross, 1969’. I come in with ‘Yeah, it’s really old’. So there you go. The young kids like the old stuff.
I took a break at Waterstones, and looked through The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear for half an hour, by which time the feet still weren’t warmed up, but the hands were OK, so I ventured out and set up not far from the first spot…then it started to rain, but only for 5 minutes, then a rainbow appeared on the right, so I thought about doing Somewhere Over The Rainbow because I could see people pointing to it…but I was getting into a non-sociable mood, so I though ‘Sod it, I ain’t doing it!’
Once again, no one else out apart from me, although there was a bunch of young people dressed in Robin Hood era gear, shouting and beating a box in the alleyway entrance opposite Marks & Spencer, and later at The Butter Cross. I think they were advertising a theatre production. I might have found out about it if I was in a more sociable frame of mind.
Note: When I was cycling back from town yesterday, I saw Phillip hugging a woman at the top of the High Street, and I kept looking back and he was still doing it, like he was really upset and wanted a fair amount of comfort. He must be going through a really hard time. It did make me think.