Diary Of A Busker Day 674 Saturday December 6th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 1:40-3:10pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 3:44-4:45pm).
In the morning I went to the bank to see if they’d reinstated my money. Of course they hadn’t, so the lady – Sue Melligran(?) – who’s been dealing with me said she’d sort out some money if it still isn’t there on Monday morning. I’m going to have to be there at 9 o’clock – as soon as they’re open – to get it sorted out. The coach is at 12 o’clock. The woman on the phone yesterday said the money would be there on Monday ‘at the latest’. Yeah, but WHEN on Monday?! So I’m going to safeguard myself a bit and take the earnings from yesterday in, and also the earnings from the first session today, so there’s something actually in the account by the end of today.
Young Sam was just setting up at the Pavilion spot as he can’t use his usual Butter Cross one as there’s a brass band from Southampton vomiting forth Christmas carols, along with all the pre-pubescent part-timers scattered about the High Street. I ended up down the road from Sam. Glen, the young guy who works in Gieves & Hawkes, walked by and said hello on his way into the shop, but it’s been so long since I was there, I couldn’t remember his name so I said ‘Hello mate’.
So, an hour and a half – and a bloody cold hour and a half: it’s even colder than yesterday (5 degrees), but there was no wind at all. If there was, I couldn’t have played straight through. Anyway, really cold but loads of people – hundreds coming out of the cathedral grounds – no doubt for the crappy German-style Christmas Market on the other side of the cathedral. I saw it when me and Gary were coming back from the water meadows on Wednesday, after he was filming me for the video for the new song*, unrecorded apart from the piano section.
So…so many people and hardly any donations. This sent me into the usual depressive state. I will never get used to it: hundreds of people walking by, and all – apart from a tiny fraction – ignoring me. It really does my head in. It’s true: the busier it is, the less money. Anyway, I got through it. I repeated Albatross at the end and a woman said it was her favourite song so I said ‘That’s good then, you walked by at the right time – it’s my last one here’.
After that, I packed up, went up to the bank and counted the money at a table near the door which kept opening whenever I moved because of some stupid sensor (technology has alot to answer for)…the count-up came to £15.84p, so the usual rate. I bagged it along with yesterday’s coinage and cashed it in. So there’s now £67 in the account. After that, a toilet break and a brief warming of the hands under the drier, then set up where Sam was. I reckoned I could do an hour, which will make it 2 1/2 hours – enough for my poor hands and feet…and brain.
The session went a bit better than the one down the road, and I was better mentally, too. I don’t know why: like the other place, there were hundreds ignoring me. Maybe the brain was bored of being depressed. The count-up was £17.54p: better than the usual and alot better than the first place. When I was packing up, one of the women from the craft shop came out and asked how I coped with the cold. I said ‘With great difficulty’. She then asked where I’d been recently, so I told her about the cruise ship and also about the one next week because I won’t be here then, either.
She told me about when she went to Greece in the winter, thinking it would be warmer, and it was the coldest it had been for 30 years there! She was in a house with no heating because they don’t need it in Greece, and she was in bed in all her clothes. This reminded me of that hotel somewhere in the Canadian wilds, where I was in February 1983, so I told her about it. In my room, because the window was broken, it was so cold – they gave the bands the shittiest rooms, of course – that I was forced to shut myself in the bathroom, fill the bath with hot water and stay there for the whole week. It was so awful, I can still remember every detail now. The water from the tap was orange. The kind of crap you put up with when you’re young!
Then again, what the hell am I doing freezing out here more than 30 years later at the age of 52?! I mean, I was 20 then! (I’d ask for another room, now)
Earnings: £33.38p (no CD sales)
I passed Otto in the alleyway behind The Butter Cross. He was sitting down, well, practically lying down, out of it. He looked in a really bad way.
* Brief Encounter
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