Day 2218

Day 2218 Wednesday August 23rd 2023 Above Bar Street Southampton City Centre


Back to Southampton as I had such a wonderful time there last month. I set up at the the same spot as before, near the Primark entrance…and my, but it’s rather warm so the jacket has to come off. Two hours, some nice comments…a man comes up with a joke, as I suppose I look like I’m in need of one. “Why did the golfer bring another pair of socks? In case he got a hole in one!” and with that he walks off. He didn’t say hello or goodbye, just the joke.


One hour in, someone who I haven’t seen for a year or so turns up. It’s the woman who I used to see in Winchester all the time. I think her name is Tracy, she’s ten years older than me, of Irish descent, always did a twirl, ALWAYS put in a pound, and usually blew me a kiss when she was walking off. I know she used her bus pass to get the No.1 mentioned she had a husband, her second, I think. But things are different now; she’s accompanied by someone who can only be her carer, she sees me, smiles and waves but doesn’t stop, which is the weirdest thing as she was always very chatty. Oh dear, I wonder if her husband’s died…or her mind is going – she was so friendly sometimes, I always wondered if she was “all there”. Anyway, something’s definitely happened and she’s not what she was.


I had my packed lunch of a cheese and cucumber sandwich and crisps on the dining area – level 4, in the massive shopping centre. Back out, there’s a young woman doing opera stuff. She’s quite loud and the only place I can set up is on the other side of the Bargate, where no one can hear you scream – haha. I set up with a Poppins restaurant to my right and just up on my left is a disused doorway – a homeless person’s abode, with a blanket, pillows and a few baguettes and sandwiches lying about – presumably left by well-wishers. Just after I start up a huge seagull plonks itself down and starts pecking at a baguette. After a minute, I have half a mind to rescue the baguette, thereby saving the tramp’s lunch but decide not to interfere with the cycle of nature. Anyway, after a good peck, the seagull stops and has a good look around for any seagull competition, then starts pecking again. This goes on for around ten minutes and it takes awhile for him to penetrate the plastic but he’s determined and eventually gets to what he wants. However, by this time, there’s interest from a few others but the big bastard ain’t letting anyone else have a look in.

Over the next few minutes, more and more birds arrive, fancying their chances at the baguette, which is being devoured by the big bastard. This eventually leads to an eruption of violence amongst all concerned which is quite frightening in it’s volume and ferocity. There’s a mad rush for the remains of the baguette and the big guy realises he has to do something drastic and grabs the final remnant – and enormous piece and, with it sticking four inches out of his mouth, runs off, away from the others. I found this drama hugely entertaining and it really helped pass the time.

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