Diary Of A Busker Day 692 Wednesday February 18th 2015 Winchester (Opposite Bellis, Time: 2:18-4:01pm).
At the risk of sounding presumptive so early in the set, I name Here Comes The Sun as Song Of The Day as it earned no less than SEVEN donations…probably not all pound coins, though. There are some birds busy above, chucking stuff down at me; bits of dirt and moss from the guttering. There’s loads of it on the pavement around me and I’m just waiting for some to land in the bucket, then I’ll be pelting it back up at them. Meanwhile, I play on…with a baby pointing at me the whole time, and the usual people looking on, smiling. Because that’s what people do when they see a baby pointing.
One of the Old Lady Regulars asks me about when I was ‘bashed up’ by the bloke down the road. ‘Ah, you read about that, did you?’, I ask. I then give her the outcome: about him being told to pay me £100 ‘when he has the money’ (the small print), I said. ‘Well, if he has it, he’ll just spend it’, she says. ‘Yeah, in the pub probably’, I said, because that’s where he came from before he decided to ‘bash’ me up.
Andrew Rutter comes by with his portfolio and most recent sketches. One, a view of the rugby playing field, is great, with tiny people and dogs in black ink. He says he put them on later. I was so impressed, I took a photo of it. It was a big picture, with side bits, and he needed two outstretched arms to display it. The other new sketch was of the view from a doorstep, looking to the iron gates of a posh house. The house owner is a man who works in London and Andrew said he put a copy of his sketch through the bloke’s letter box but hasn’t heard from him, and it’s been more than two weeks. He says ‘Maybe he’s gone to the Caribbean for a few weeks!’ I said he was probably right. Some place warmer than here, anyway. (It’s 8 degrees: not too bad but a slight breeze makes it one hell of a lot colder).
My very polite and complimentary fan of 80 years, Ian, listens discreetly behind me before presenting himself after Tzena, and he’s noticed something. ‘Sometimes you tap your left foot and sometimes you tap your right foot’. I said I didn’t know that, then, looking at my left leg, which is usually extended more than the other, I said it was more often than not, the left one which does most of the tapping – ‘But now you’ve got me thinking!’, I say. ‘Oh no, I don’t want you to get a complex about it’, says Ian, ‘Anyway, I don’t want to stop you playing for all the millionaires walking by’. ‘Well, they’re keeping themselves well hidden’, I said.
Next up, prepare to be offended Mr. Naylor. A couple: she, quite posh, he, bearded and a bit scruffy, a bit older than me, with a small brown dog, stop to watch me. They then make to leave but the dog won’t budge, it just stands there with its tongue out and head tilted to one side, like they do. The woman tries to distract it by giving it something to eat but it still doesn’t move. Lots of people stop to smile and go ‘Ahh’, like they do when babies point at me.
When I finish the song, they come over and the woman holds her hand out to me and I think she might be giving me a coin. I’m wrong. She’s giving me a tiny bit of dog food which has been broken off a bigger bit, to give to the bloody dog. I say, ‘What? I’ve never done this before’, but I do it because I’m in a state of shock. I give it to the fucking dog and as it takes it, I feel the wet tongue and warm breath on my fingers. I say ‘At least it’s warm’.
The woman says ‘You’re the only thing she’s frightened of today’. I say ‘Frightened? Is she frightened of me? How do you know?’ She says ‘Well, it’s not you, it’s the music, and she’s never seen this many people’. I say ‘Really? Well, don’t take her up to London’. Here, the man speaks for the only time – ‘No, not yet’, then, to the woman ‘Just kidding!’, and he laughs and they walk off. And it was only a few minutes later, when I was thinking about it and getting quite angry, and I’m not sure of the main reason but it might have been because I felt I’d been patronised to an extreme degree…and I can’t stand dogs – almost as much as I can’t stand people who automatically think everyone should love THEIR dog because it’s the greatest thing that ever lived, and it would never harm anyone (just before it rips your face off) And then I realised they never even contributed.
Anyway, as Here Comes The Sun went down so well, I thought I’d do it again near the end…and it just goes to show there’s no logic in anything. Not one donation.
I hadn’t really had a look in the bucket until the end, when I found there was more coinage than usual. So much, in fact, that I had to bring the purple camera case into the equation, as the blue one was full up. This made me think there was well over £30, as £30 just about fits in one case. However, when I did the count-up at home, I was somewhat disappointed, although it was still well above the hourly rate. The problem was, I misjudged the amount of shrapnel.
I’m jealous of my bike. A 70 year old man took a load of pictures of it and completely ignored me!