Diary Of A Busker Day 545 Tuesday April 15th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:22-4:08pm, 2. Opposite Bellis, Time: 4:22-5:07pm, 3. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 5:12-5:42pm).
I set up, started Albatross, looked to my right and there was Kai and his violin!, just in front of the cathedral grounds entrance. He wasn’t playing – he was talking to a woman who I see around town. I couldn’t believe I never saw him. Anyway, he held a hand out to indicate five minutes, but I just started to pack up. The woman came over and said ‘Oh well, you’re both good’.
So, a short walk down the road…and this is the only spot where I’m in the sun: very weird for me. Still, it’s not warm enough to dispense with the winter coat.
Three girls walk by. In the bucket, one puts a KitKat (strange name for a chocolate bar, I always think) with a piece of paper tied around it with an elastic band which I’ll inspect it when I’m done here. When I started, there was a man, mid 50s, sitting down to my left, just inside the cathedral grounds. I looked over a few times during the set, and he was carving something with a penknife. When I start packing up, he shouts ‘You finished, mate?’, so I shout back ‘Yeah’. He shouts ‘Come over here!’, which annoys me a bit, so I shout ‘No, YOU come over here!’, which he does.
He had a present for me: the thing he was carving – a staddle stone. I had no idea what they were – it looked like a toy Stonehenge stone, an inch high. He said they go under the old farm granary, and that I should put it on my keyring – he’d attached a small ring to the top for the purpose – and it would bring me luck.* I said I could do with some. His name: Ernie (and he wasn’t a milkman). Ernie from Bordon.
He seemed a nice bloke, so I felt a bit bad about the ‘No, YOU come to me!’ business, and he really liked what I played. I asked if he’d pose for a photo, which he was pleased to do. I thought it was about time I had another portrait in the album, anyway. He asked my name and said again how he liked what I did: he recognised the Chet Atkins style. Then we said goodbye, I put the staddle stone on my keyring and that was that.
Back to the KitKat. I unwrapped the bit of paper. It said:
Makuna Matata –
it means no worries (then there’s a smile-y face)
Enjoy the sunshine!
Love, a stranger xxx
Bloody Australian teen-hippies: “Enjoy the sunshine” – me?!
Up at Bellis, Song Of The Day – Here Comes The Sun again, because just after going into it, one of three foreign girls who were walking off – she put a coin in during the song before – comes back and puts in a £5 note – wow!, saying ‘I love that song’. She then went to stand nearby with her friends. I almost called her back to say ‘You put about £7 in there. If you put in another two, you can have a CD’. But I didn’t.
Last set – around the corner again, where I had the aborted set-up. There’s only three people on the outside tables: two girls on one, and a man on the other. One of the girls shouts over ‘Do you do requests?’ I say ‘Yeah, if I know them’. She says ‘Can you do The Third Man?’ (what a silly question!), so I say ‘Right, you’ve obviously seen and heard me before’. ‘Yeah’, she says. ‘Probably quite a lot of times’, I say. She laughs – ‘Yeah’. Fair enough, that’s what they want, that’s what they get! Actually, it was a relief not to have to think of every song to play!
Also, I’m pleased to say they contributed before they left, but then there was no one there (I don’t know when the bloke left), apart from the people outside The Eclipse down the road in front of me. A couple of guys came up from there and went past during Albatross – ‘Love that – Albatross’. I gave it half an hour, then packed up.
Earnings: £25.43p (+ two American dimes)
*It didn’t work.