Diary Of A Busker Day 591 Tuesday July 15th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 1:18-2:18pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:25-3pm).
Down at Market Street near Vodafone is Caroline Dexter. I know this because she’s got her name on a case of CDs. She strums and sings – and quite loudly, too – or is it she’s just got her PA speaker a bit loud. Anyway, when I start up around the corner, I can hear her inbetween songs, but not when I’m playing, so it’s OK.
A girl and her father(?) walk by. The girl is wearing a Beatles Abbey Road T-shirt. I happen to be playing Here Comes The Sun, an extremely famous Beatles’ song FROM THAT ALBUM. Nothing, not even a glance. Famed local opera singer and colleague of Cleo Laine, Mr. W. Kendall, cycles by on his old Raleigh and HE does not acknowledge me, either. Weird. Maybe he’s seen my almost mint condition 1982 Raleigh just behind and to the side of me, and is jealous because my bike looks better than his!
Song Of The Day: Albatross, as it gets no less than FOUR donations. Apart from that, the session was a bit slow…after which I bombed down the road…and wouldn’t you know it, that Beatles Abbey Road T-shirted girl walks by again…and again, nothing!
Things were again going a bit slow, then Bertie The Flowerman comes by for a chat. Bertie – ‘When are you coming to Romsey?’ Me – ‘Now!’ Bertie – ‘Come to Romsey on Friday – it’s busy now’. Me – ‘I will, Bertie, this Friday…no, next week. I’ve got a lesson this Friday’. Bertie – ‘Yeah, come down’. I assure him I will. I keep forgetting about Romsey – I really should go, and soon. Actually, if I go in the morning, this Friday, I’d be back by one o’clock – that’s well before the lesson. I point to my bike and tell Bertie all about it: 1982, a replacement for my late-lamented stolen 1950s one. ‘I like it’, Bertie says, very approvingly. Yes, I must get myself along to Romsey.
Five foreign tourists – middle-aged women – all stop to have their photo taken with me, and donate a combined total of not more than 25p.
Philip walked by wearing his now omnipresent Yellow Submarine T-shirt (what’s all this with these Beatles T-shirts?)…he gave me a few coins – I said he didn’t need to, and he said, ‘Nonsense! You’d do the same for me’, and I said, ‘Yeah, you’re right’. I told him he looked well – he did. He said he was definitely feeling quite strong today. After he left, off towards the Guildhall, I went into Gymnopedie No.1. and he turned and waved. Always a nice touch, whenever anyone does that.
At the end – it wasn’t a long session, due to a lesson at 4, Delia shuffles up. I always know it’s her. From the eye’s corner, I can see a very short shape moving slowly towards me… She does her usual: claps at the end of the song then gets a pound from her old tin. She’s got her trolley loaded with big Volvic bottles – ‘I can’t drink tap water – it’s got chlorine, it gives me upset tummy, so I buy Volvic for my coffee and tea’, which I think she’s told me before…several times.
When I stand up to put the guitar away, I really see how short she is! I mean, I’m usually looking UP at her (just about) when I’m on the stool. She says she used to be 5’2″ but she’s shrinking. I say I’m probably shorter than I was 10 years ago – I don’t know if that’s true, though. I think I said it to make her feel better! She says when she’s on the bus, she always knocks on the window when she passes me at this spot. I say she’ll have to knock louder. I never see her!