Diary Of A Busker Day 330

Diary Of A Busker Day 330 Friday March 1st 2013 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Bellis. Time: 1:14-2:04pm 2. Opposite Vodafone. Time: 2:39-3:09pm

I’ve been playing barely three minutes before my first interruption but as it’s from Delia, who I’ve found out is still alive, I don’t mind. She asks me if I like chocolate. ‘Of course – who doesn’t? I don’t want you to buy me any, though.’ Too late, she’s off…and comes back in a few minutes with a small bag from WH Smiths – ‘Here, I bought you this’, she produces a milk carton-shaped box with Cadbury’s written on it. I begin to reprimand¬† her – ‘Delia, I said you didn’t…’ but stop as her face is starting to look very angry. It’s not worth it so I thank her instead. While we’re having our chat, a lady comes up and starts saying how wonderful (she thinks) my playing is. She says it over and over so I thank her over and over. Then she leaves without contributing which, apart from annoying me a bit, really does annoy Delia – ‘Why! She should show her appreciation, I think, by putting some money in!’ I agree.

After Delia goes, I have another companion; one of the bakery workers – a very short woman, has come out and is standing behind a table of doughnuts a few feet to my right and for the next forty minutes all she does is say in a very loud voice – ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN.’ She repeats the phrase without a break, without variation in tone, volume, pitch and timbre, apart from the second syllable of the last word – CHILDREN. For the most part, the syllable is lowered in pitch. However, every 3rd or 4th time round, she RAISES the pitch, so it sounds like a question, or like how Australians talk. ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN’ – 2nd syllable of ‘children’ lower, ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN’ – 2nd syllable of ‘children’ lower, ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN’ – 2nd syllable of ‘children’ lower, ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN’ – 2nd syllable of ‘children’ higher. She can get through a phrase every four seconds and it drives me nuts. It’s like that Chinese water torture thing. I think I’ve got a weird phobia about repetition anyway – stupid electronic sounds that phones and computers make and all that, so this is really agonising! I feel like telling her to shut up but of course, she’s only doing her job. She’s good at it. She gets a lot of practice, like now. Mind, after awhile I seem to be able to ignore it for a few minutes…and then I’m aware of it again – ‘THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS…FOR THE SICK CHILDREN…’ Relentless. At one point I start laughing and think she must be deranged – it’s like a tape loop, and she’s gone loopy! Then I stop laughing…but she’s still going – ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN!!!’…on and on… In fact it’s not only me. Two people stop and say ‘Can’t you get her to shut up?’ She’s like a robot. Or she’s had a lobotomy. Oh dear, maybe she’s not all there, like that bloke Carl who works in Sainsbury’s, collecting the trolleys. That must be it. It must be. After what seems like a year, she goes back in the shop. It’s like a new world.

I pack up just after 2 o’clock and go up the road to sort something out at the bank – it’s definitely not to start up a Gold Account. Fifteen minutes later, I come back and she’s there again! – ‘ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN, ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN, ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN, ONE POUND FIFTY FOR THREE JAM DOUGHNUTS, TWENTY PEE GOES TO NAOMI HOUSE, FOR THE SICK CHILDREN?!’

Earnings: £21.26 (including 1 CD)

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