Diary Of A Busker Day 687 Saturday January 31st 2015 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:07-4:07pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 4:31-5:11pm).
Young Sam’s here – like he said he would be – at his usual residence: The Butter Cross…I had a look at the Pavilion spot around the corner, but there was no one sitting outside any of the restaurants. No wonder, because it’s cold and there’s a wind blowing and hardly anyone about, so I didn’t fancy that. I went down the arse-end…and took a few minutes psyching myself up because I didn’t want to do it. I could feel the wind and thought ‘I’m going to last about ten minutes here’. It’s cold enough, anyway: about 4 degrees, and that’s WITHOUT the wind. With it, it’s going to be zero degrees.
But I did it, and I even got through one hour. A few people said stuff like ‘It’s very cold, I don’t know how you do it’, or just ‘It’s very cold’! In fact, for once I didn’t mind stopping the playing and speaking with people, as it gave me a chance to put my hands in my pockets and away from the strings, which, as I said to one couple, makes the fingers really cold. I especially didn’t mind talking to this couple, as they bought a CD for £10!
The first interruption was the female Drongo from a few months ago who thought the painting in the hospital was of me, due to the presence of an orange bucket. I later found out, of course, that it was of Rob Berry. So she comes up, interrupts a song and says ‘So did you see the painting?’ Now, the other reason I forgave her this grave insult of interrupting me, apart from it giving me the chance to take the fingers off the strings, was, unlike the bloke who interrupted me yesterday to ask about my bike, being a Drongo, she doesn’t know any better, and ‘they knowest not what they do’. But the guy yesterday was a normal person who should have known better and who was just plain ignorant.
I even managed to sell another CD, just before packing up. Both CDs were the earlier ones. The first one was sold because the man preferred one with a proper cover (I hastily devised a temporary cover for the new one, with just the song titles on), and the second sale was because the woman preferred the more ballad-ey song list of the first CD.
During the packing up, Ron came over from the other side of the street to see how I was, and I think it’s the first time I’ve spoken to him while I was standing up! Usually – for HIM, very unusually – I have to look up at him from my position on the stool. I don’t have to strain my neck, of course, as he’s only a couple of inches higher than me, but standing up, he’s way down there! During our chat, Ron told me some more things about his life. Seeing the bike, he said ‘Don’t you get the bus?’ I said I didn’t, as it only takes me ten minutes on the bike. He said ‘Oh, where do you live?’ I said Greenhill Road, near the station. He said ‘Oh, I used to deliver papers – I had a paper round, there’. I said ‘Really, Ron? That was awhile ago, eh?’ ‘Yeah, and I used to go and collect them from the station’. ‘Really?’ I said. Yeah, really.
Ron then started talking (again) about his taking up dancing since he retired from working at his shop – Hiscocks, I think, on City Road. He worked there for 50 years, from when he was 15 to 65! Anyway, about dancing, Ron says ‘Well, alot of people when they retire, you know, they don’t do anything. I started dancing at the indoor place on Worthy Road. Nice smooth floor. Not like here – paving stones! I put my shiny shoes on, you know…well, you know, you’ve got to keep your legs moving, keep your parts of your body moving!’ Indeed, Ron.
While we were talking, an old bloke who I see around (short but not as short as Ron, and wears a flat cap), and a woman came up. They stopped – they must know Ron, said hello, then she said to Ron ‘Oh, we should get your autograph!’ When they left, Ron said ‘Oh, that was because I was on the telly…I was on the telly, you know…the dancing’. I said ‘I know, Ron, I’ve heard about that’. Fame, or local celebrity at the least, at 87, for dancing with buskers in Winchester High Street. Go Ron!
Earnings: £43.14p (Including 2 CDs)