Diary Of A Busker Day 2304 Friday February 2nd 2024 Winchester High Street
Dean Dyson’s at the top spot and Meeta and her harp are down at the crossroads. I can guarantee they’ll both be there all day. I had a look further down, where Debenhams used to be, opposite some food stalls, but didn’t fancy it, and The Square was a bit quiet, so it was up the other end, near Jewry Street and opposite Hammond’s Passage…where, despite plenty of people about, I took a measly £5.60 for an hour. Well, bollocks to that! I decided to pack up and leave the scene of the crime (at least the temperature’s looking up; 12 degrees, positively tropical!)…down at the crossroads, I parked the bike and guitar next to Meeta while I went to the loo upstairs at the Pret place.
Back outside, Meeta asked how it was going.
‘Bloody terrible…and I’m sure it’s not my playing, I’m sure I’m playing alright. Just one of those things maybe (at times like this, I always remember old George, who died of cancer. He said you can never predict the public; some days they just don’t want oranges, or apples or red fruit, or whatever)…maybe I don’t look the part, unlike you with your matching hat and wrist warmers. Then again, I’ve got matching shoes and guitar.’
‘Yeah, see, you DO look the part.’
‘Oh well, maybe everyone’s colour blind today.’
I ended up setting up opposite the food stalls and again, the coinage was almost non existent. It wasn’t just me, though. The bloke running E & J Syrian Cuisine just down a bit, wasn’t having a good day. He looked at me, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. In fact, I don’t think he had any people buy anything for about an hour. He seemed a nice bloke; he clapped after Space Oddity and sent over a bag of small doughnut-looking things and a can of Fanta. They were brought over by two women who were looking at his food – I don’t think they bought anything.
Anyway, things picked up momentarily when a woman with a foreign accent I couldn’t place, who’d seen me for ten years, finally decided to donate a fiver. She took a card so I said ‘If you look me up on Youtube, you’ll find hundreds of videos!’
‘Oh no, I just see you live. Buy!’
And then, a very old lady, who I’VE seen about for about ten years, donated another fiver. She was telling me about taking coins to the bank, which she’d had problems with because, apart from not seeing well, she’s got osteoporosis and can’t distinguish what coins she’s holding.
I packed up after an hour and 35 minutes and thanked the food bloke. He said ‘It’s been terrible today. You have children? I have children, this is very bad.’ I walked the bike round the corner but doubled back and bought £6 worth of the doughnut things as I felt so sorry for the bloke. I only wanted three or four but he gave me a bag of about 20. It’s a good job the Pashley’s got a wicker basket on the front or there would have been no place to put them!