Diary Of A Busker Day 222

Diary Of A Busker Day 222 Wednesday April 11th 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite British Heart Foundation, Time: 1:45-3:15pm, 2. Opposite O2, Time: 3:42-4:08pm
Entering the High Street, I pass a bagpiper busker outside Barclays Bank. I’ve seen him a couple of other times over the past year and I think it’s good to hear something unusual here, but he must get a bit of grief from some of the shop people! As I head down the street, I bump into my Geordie regular, Carol, who insists on giving me two pounds, despite my protesting. ‘Well – It’s MY money! I can do what I want with it, can’t I?’ Yes Carol, you certainly can. Carrying on…down at the crossroads, I chat to The Silverman, who’s pretty knackered (having got off a coach from Manchester, via London, at 7 o’clock this morning) and ‘hacked off,’ after having his phone crushed on the road and spending £40 getting his computer fixed. I leave him to it…I’ve seen him before. I must remember to ask his name. I set up further down, near the outside tables of the posh Maison Blanc restaurant.
…one hour later, the bagpiper walks by and stops for a chat. His name is Sean and he’s been playing (piping) for 26 years. He started when he was 9. He says he’s piped in 450 towns, all the way from Land’s End to Aberdeen! There are only two bagpipe buskers in England, apparently, and he knows the other guy so they’re careful not to play the same place, at or near the same time. And yes, he was asked to move on, which must be an occupational hazard as, if someone moans about the volume, you can’t turn the bloody thing down. I ask him what it’s like in Scotland – don’t they get a lot of pipers up there? ‘Only in the big cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow. Not in the smaller towns.’ He’s off to Southampton tomorrow – he does well there, he says. Good, I’m pleased someone does… Since Sean’s left the scene of his crime, I’m going to try and get up there before someone else does…which I do.
Most of the money from this session comes from two groups of tourists. The first, a large group of Chinese, who all want to take a photo of me with every one of them standing behind me. Maybe busking’s banned in China. This takes about ten minutes and I’m able to play through all of it. Then, a few minutes later, a group of seven from Thailand go through the same routine and give a pound each.
…a bit later I look up towards The Buttercross and see two women playing violins, although I can’t hear anything, so I carry on…until I’m blown away by four young brass players blasting the Mission Impossible theme a bit further down on my right. Mission impossible – you’re telling me!
Earnings: £30.81

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