Diary Of A Busker Day 466 Wednesday October 30th 2013 Winchester (1. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:02-4:02pm, 2. Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 4:09-4:54pm).
Before going to The Hyde pub or tavern or whatever it is, to see Rick Tarrant – and maybe do a couple of songs (if he asks me) – I thought I’d get in a session or two. I refine/resurrect a few songs: Windy & Warm, Dixie McGuire, and Horizons, and halfway through, two teenage girls with skateboards plonk themselves down on my right. I don’t pay them much attention and they don’t speak to me but I think one of them is filming me on her phone. I’m pretty sure because, 1. She’s pointing it at me and 2. When she sees me see her, she looks really embarrassed! After a bit, they move to the other side of the street and plonk down in front of Vodafone, where they stay for a bit before getting up and going up towards The Butter Cross. No contribution.
After one hour I move on and after a quick look through the Butter Cross alleyway – to see if there’s anyone sitting outside the restaurants (hardly anyone) – I set up at the usual Bellis/O2 place. Just after I start up I find myself thinking about one of my old lady regulars – Carol, or Carol From The North, as she calls herself – who’s been noticeably absent. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw her – months ago, at least. This makes me fear ‘the worst’. I wonder what’s happened – she wasn’t THAT old – about 70. Quite fit and healthy looking. Still, when your time’s up, that’s it I suppose.
Song Of The Day – Horizons, if only because afterwards, a young guy (20?) contributes, saying ‘One of my dad’s favourite songs’. And there they are again: those two skateboarding girls, watching and filming me again, from the bench near WH Smiths. And once again, they see me seeing them and once again they are embarrassed, even more than before. Shame on them: enjoying(?) and filming my public service and not paying. SHAME!
After 45 minutes, I finish off with Twelve-String Shuffle, one of Bert’s finest, I reckon. I have to stop as the fingers are starting to get that weird tingling, from the cold, and I’m starting to make some mistakes. But some people are never satisfied. Two young guys on the bench opposite, seeing me put the guitar away, shout ‘One more!’, and I even think about sitting down again, but then think ‘Sod it/them!’ – they’d been there for 20 minutes and never contributed.
…so, it’s 5 o’clock: time to head down to The Hyde…15 minutes later, I walk in the pub – really small and cosy, sort of old-fashioned – I’d never been there before…and it’s totally empty. There isn’t even anyone behind the bar. I can then hear someone scurrying downstairs – they must have heard me and thought ‘an intruder!’ A woman comes through a door. I say hello and that I’m here for Rick’s birthday ‘do’. ‘Oh, that’s November 30th’, she says. Typical. I don’t recall Rick saying it was November. ‘You’re the busker in the High Street, aren’t you?’, she says. I say I am then, seizing the opportunity (for once), I inquire if she would like a solo guitar instrumentalist to play at her – for I’m assuming she is the landlady – fine establishment, at any time…or not. ‘Uh…no…we like to keep it quiet so people can hear themselves’. I say I understand. She elaborates – ‘Rick just sits in the corner and plays quietly, you know, and has a tin so people can put coins in. Very quiet, though’. He sure is. Oh well, fair enough. I say goodbye and that I’ll be back in a month. D’oh!
Earnings: £18.35p + two USA cents and 7 Euro cents