Day 2270 Wednesday November 22nd 2023 Winchester High Street
Dean Dyson is at the Buttercross and there’s the bloke with his cap and scarf mobile at the crossroads, almost on the spot outside Starbucks so I opt out for a spot across from that, which, thinking about it, I’ve never been before.
Two old regulars – a couple, I haven’t seen for awhile turn up. They’ve just got back from the Warners holiday place at Hayling Island where they saw a Dolly Parton/Dusty Springfield tribute. In January they’re going back for the Cliff Richard/Shadows tribute. “Great, I hope the guitar player’s up for the job” I say. They always give me a fiver and don’t disappoint today; he had it clutched in his right hand. Actually, I was concerned they’d forgotten (or they’d blown all their money on their Warners weekend) as I usually spot the folded note in his hand during the conversation. But not to worry, it was hidden by the glove he had on!
She says “We’ve come out because we heard it was going to get really cold on Friday. How are you keeping warm? You need a heater.” I point to my jumper “This is my heater” “Oh, very nice!” “Thank you.” “All you need now is a scarf.” “Yeah, I suppose I could get one from him over there” I say, pointing to the hat and scarf bloke.
After Can’t Help Falling In Love, an old lady says “I like that one but I can’t give you anything – I’ve got 46 pence in my account.” I said, “Oh, don’t worry about that…I should be giving YOU some money.” “Well, I wanted to go to my bank and I was waiting for the bus at 7 o’clock and the driver wouldn’t let me on, he said I was too early, and when I finally got to my bank, there was a big bit of paper on the door saying they were closed!” “Oh dear…you should have stayed home!”
“Yes, anyway, I’m going back now…I like your jumper.” “Thank you, it’s a reissue of an old one from the sixties. In fact, it gets more attention than the guitar!”
Two very short women come up. I fact, they didn’t even come up to my head and I’m sitting on a stool. Anyway, one says “You’re our favourite, we like that one – Albatross, The Shadows.” I didn’t have the heart to educate them as they went off, both giving me the thumbs-up, in unison.
That shouting arsehole Gary Page is about today, with that drongo who’s always spaced out and a really short bloke. Page gives me a bit of harrassment, shouting “Always the same song…come on, I want to boogie, come on, play something…I want to boogie!” I stop playing and glare at him. he repeats the above and is beckoned to move on by the drongo. Where is my friendly copper Big Neil when I want him? He walked by me yesterday at the Buttercross and asked if I was alright and I ALMOST stopped him and told him about Page, who gave me a very small bit of grief a few days before. I wish I’d done it – oh well, next time I see him.
On the way home, the Romanian Big Issue woman I haven’t seen in ages is up near Lloyds. Apparently, she’s been selling at Waitrose in Weeke. I say I would have been at the Buttercross if Dean wasn’t there. “He been there (looks at her watch)…FIVE hours!” “Really? Well yes, he’s usually about for four hours, anyway.” “No, he been here FIVE hours, since TEN o’clock.” “Yeah, well he’s entertaining you, isn’t he?” She shakes her head s-l-o-w-l-y.
I ask Dean Dyson’s number one fan if she knows the younger Big Issue woman down at Tesco, just up from where I’ve been. “Is she a friend?” I ask. “No, she no friend, I don’t know her…but she came there after Kevin. You know him? Really tall…Kevin.” “Oh yeah, he left awhile back.” “Yes, the police…” “Yeah, the police kicked him out. He was dealing drugs.” “Yes, drugs. He no here no more. That’s when she came in.”
Kevin did alright while he was here. Oh yes, thousands were amused by his witty repartee and bludgeoned by the sheer force of his personality. He really was King Kevin Of The High Street. He was even chosen to turn on the Christmas lights one year. I bet he was pissing himself while he was doing that – “Look what the nice law-abiding people of Winchester have got me to do” I bet
he was thinking, stoned out of his mind.