Oxford Circus #2 - 19th July 2015
Anxiety coursed through me throughout today's 8 am session which makes it so hard to function let alone do anything else, but during my tube journey into London I'd indulged my love of French poetry by reading the poems of Saint-Pol Roux and tried to hold his words in my head so's to distract myself.
Eventually I really enjoyed playing folk fiddle; having been bolstered on hearing the recording I'd made of myself playing well yesterday, and improvised merrily around the written melodies of the tunes: I received two £2 coins and a fiver fairly quickly, and in the end made my bill money.
A black man with dreadlocks gave me a genuine, open smile with his contribution; a lady with grey-black hair commented, "So nice!"; a toddler Batman bared his teeth at me, and a little black girl waved her arms like the conductor of an orchestra to my music.
Green Park #1 - 22nd July 2015
Once gain I did a lot of improvisation around Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes and felt determined to do well this morning following a 'Forward Shuffle' poetry reading debacle that I was livid about but won't expand on here.
A tall Brazilian man - after asking if he could video my performance, told me that his little daughter plays the violin and that he and the woman he was with were in London "on vacation." They tipped me generously and an attractive woman with cropped blonde hair and bright red lipstick said that my playing sounded "Lovely! Also, an elderly gentleman, fresh off the escalator remarked, "That was nice."
I recorded myself and once more was pleased with what I heard. Now, however, I need to increase the tempo of the tunes.
Oxford Circus #2 - 22nd July 2015
It was too hot down here this afternoon and I only lasted 40 minutes on violin.
The singer-guitarist busker I took over the pitch from who sounded - in my frazzled state - like a drunken Elvis, told me that his takings from the session he'd done were "a bit brown" (in other words, mostly 1ps and 2ps), and that the cooling fan at Knightsbridge (which makes it impossible for acoustic musicians to be heard above), has broken and so I shouldn't book this pitch again.
A densely-bearded hipster slapped his hands like a seal and shouted in response to my performance, and a short old lady with pure white hair in a bun and a closed left eye parked her shopping trolley in front of my case, threw a £1 coin into my rosin pot and said,"Thank you for the lovely music." She made my day.
Green Park #1 - 24th July 2015
My OCD was so bad that I felt as if I was teetering on the edge of psychosis but I nevertheless forced myself to go out and play my accordion today. It was pouring with rain outside, and typically the long-faced commuters just wanted to get to where they were headed. Great clusters of them were wearing disposable clear and coloured raincoats which made them look like wizards.
I got given two dollar bills (to add to my collection) "... because we don't have anything else," confessed a touristy couple, and parents of toddlers in pushchairs pressed coins into their palms for them to toss into my case.
As I was packing up a busker who sings and accompanies himself on guitar and harmonica said (after I'd complained about how much I'd just earned), "It's summer...," meaning that at this time of the year, buskers' earnings can be unpredictable, and performed Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' as I walked away.
Up in the ticket hall I saw the 'Green Park' station supervisor who never speaks or looks at me while I'm signing in, smiling and chatting at customers at the ticket machines. He must reserve his attitude problem especially for buskers.
Green Park #1 - 29th July 2015
The station supervisor who is also a fellow double bassist, joked, when he saw my violin, that I'd brought the wrong instrument again and hadn't listened to his orders last time: I should be playing "double bass bagatelle!"
The highlight of the session was seeing a large Chinese family all wearing identical bright pink trainers.
I hadn't played for a week and so my arm felt stiff and sore plus I was experiencing premenstrual tension, but nevertheless, a gent with grey hair remarked, "Good job!"
Teenage girls bounced down along the concourse to my folk music; some guy sang 'The Archers' theme tune; a woman with wide-awake eyes and dark blue circles drawn around them reminded me of a jazz singer I once knew called Sarah Soutar. She gave me a £1 coin that she'd fumbled around in her bag for, and a flame-haired woman in a knee-length black skirt gave me a really filthy look.
The memory of birds singing in the boughs of the giant conifer tree on my allotment influenced the lightness of my touch, and my friend Nuna's recent compliment after hearing a recording of me playing - that I play magnificently, with "justesse" (accuracy) and that I sound like my friend, Peter had done on violin, inspired me.
The station supervisor who always blanks me (mentioned in the entry above this one), did so again as I signed out and I called him an asshole under my breath.