Diary Of A Busker Day 311 Thursday December 20th 2012 Winchester High Street, opposite Bellis. Time: 5:20-6:52pm
I come into town during a break in the rain although by the time I arrive it had started again, moderately…moderate rain! So it was a good thing there was no one – not even the omnipresent pack of carollers – near The Buttercross, which means it was all clear for me to set up undercover at the end of The Pentice.
Two men – one early 20s, the other about 40 – pull up. The young one has clearly been imbibing of the festive spirit. ‘Hey, d’you know uh…any…uh…Robbie Williams?’ ‘Robbie Williams? (give me a break) No, no way. I play instrumental guitar stuff.’ ‘Wha?…oh, yeah, oh…’ He now speaks into his phone which hasn’t rung so I can only assume he was talking to someone when his microscopic attention span was diverted as they came across me. ‘Wha?…yeah, no, I’m with a busker…yeah, wha? Yeah, OK…yeah, so…d’you do any Christmas songs? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?…yeah…any Christmas songs?’ ‘Silent Night. I can do that, OK?’ ‘Yeah, great.’ I start it – my own arrangement as I haven’t got time to tune down for Claes Neeb’s, and I want to end this encounter sooner than later. He starts singing or rather shouting at the top of his voice – SYYY-A-LEN-NIIIGHT (a contradiction if ever there was one)…HO-AALEE NIGHHHH!’ He’s so loud I can’t hear my guitar at all, which might not be a bad thing as I never play this and forget some of it, making a lot of mistakes – which I can’t hear, and if I can’t hear, no one else can. At the end, the older guy drops a £5 note in the bucket and they walk off with a ‘Cheers…Merry Christmas. Wow, that was like a bomb going off – Silent Night indeed. It was worth it though, for a fiver.
Next up, a woman about 60 who I haven’t seen for a while. I remember her as she’s always a bit over-cheerful and laughs after everything she says, like she’s on a happy pill. I’ll call her…The Laughing Woman Of Winchester (LWOW) – ‘I haven’t seen you here, where have you been, haha!’ ‘Well, I HAVE been here, or down there’ I nod towards the rest of the High Street on my right. LWOW – ‘Oh, I haven’t seen you, hahaha!’ ‘Well, we must be just missing each other, then.’ ‘Haha, but I DID see you in the bank last week, ha ha. I didn’t recognise you at first – you had a suit on, a tie, haha!’ ‘A tie?’ I think back and the only time I wore a tie recently was when I went to play at the old folk’s home last week but I’m sure I never went into a bank. ‘Oh yes, I thought “I know that man”, in the bank, hahaHAHA!’ ‘Right, well…’ ‘So, do you do other things, apart from this? Haha.’ ‘Sometimes, the odd gig or wedding. Mainly this though, out here.’ Oh, haha…well…you always brighten up things here, hahaHAAAHH!’ ‘Thank you’ I say as she goes off, laughing and smiling.