Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Horror at the Brexit vote - 18th - 26th June 2016

These little fairy faces were there to greet me at my allotment during this most dark and depressing of months. 
This blog is dedicated to Jo Cox, MP.
Bank #2 - 18th June 2016
The fresh lemon and ginger drink I'd just bought from Pret, sustained me throughout my second session of folk fiddling here today, however the mosquito bites on my legs started to irritate in the heat.
A lady with pink, purple and blonde hair made a donation; I received 10ps from 1969 and 1973, and a business-type man thanked me for my music - but didn't follow through with any cash.
I spotted a Japanese bride in a white wedding dress covered by her coat (I'd seen many such brides in Paris this time around), then on my return to the station supervisor's office to sign out, there was a line of armed police outside the door.
Baker Street #1 - 19th June 2016
It was the first time I'd played on this brand new busking pitch for which the vinyl had yet to be laid: The station supervisor left it up to me to decide where I wanted to set up, so long as it was on the mid-level concourse opposite the train announcements monitor. I chose a spot next to the escalators.
An infirm black chap with a walking stick gave me £1 and requested I play some Vivaldi. I told him that I perform mostly Irish fiddle music, and obliged when he wanted me to play some for him. He was then curious about which part of Ireland the tunes were from. Not really knowing the answer, I replied, "Dublin," and feared he'd keep on interrupting me. Thankfully he didn't.
Money kept appearing in my case from over my shoulder (including four £2 coins), and every staff member who saw me, smiled.
I felt very exposed, however, with people coming at me from all directions and thought how easy it would be for somebody to shoot or stab me: Passionate and popular Jo Cox MP had just been brutally murdered in broad daylight as she innocently went about her business within her constituency of Batley and Spen, and in my heart I dedicated this session to her.
Little kids were captivated by my violin, but their mothers dragged them away, and an older Chinese-looking guy complimented me on my playing.
I'd enjoyed busking here, but instinctively felt that 'amplified' buskers would eventually ruin it for us all by playing too loudly.
Charing Cross #2 - 19th June 2016
A well spoken and dressed lady in navy said softly, "Bravo!" as she passed; I let a small blonde boy with a blank expression feel the top of my violin, and he and his young sister tipped me. She had stunning light green almond-shaped eyes and said to me, "You must be a very good musician."
Sporadically, my folk fiddling elicited clapping, and a trendy creature with long brown hair relieved herself of her one and two pence pieces into my case. The bloke she was with then asked if she felt "lighter."
Baker Street #1 - 25th June 2016
I arrived feeling beyond depressed about the referendum vote to leave the EU, given that I've loved being able to work both in England and France: Maybe now I'd have to wave goodbye to my dream of living in Paris full-time.
The fingers on my left hand became mangled with tension as I fiddled away, and I must've told half a dozen people I was sorry but I didn't know the way to Madame Tussauds or the directions to a local pub where many of today's London Pride revellers seemed to be gathering.
Ruminating on how much I hate having been condemned to the label, 'Great British', I felt cheered slightly by the vision of two elderly white-haired men in skirts of golden leaves climbing a flight of steps up to the overground platform.
An androgynous Scottish woman with a glittered side face revealed with her donation that she played brass instruments and (having stood and listened for a while), that she admired anyone who can play the violin, plus a surprising amount of kids exited the station with mini versions of violins (and a trombone) strapped to their backs.
Typically, this pitch had been repositioned in a thoughtless, rubbish place; beneath a booming 'anouncements' speaker, and just over an hour after I'd started performing, I left with a pittance.
Charing Cross #2 - 26th June 2016
I arrived to the news that Charing Cross railway station was closed, which sapped more of the energy I'd already expended this morning challenging my obsessive-compulsive behaviour, then to top it all off, a turbaned member of staff seemed to derive pleasure out of informing me, "It'll be really dead... really, REALLY dead!"
Too down to take much notice of the flow of commuters, I sensed, however, that those who'd tipped me had genuinely enjoyed my accordion set, but each time somebody had approached, I got drowned out by station announcements on repeat - much, much too loud for an virtually empty station.
It occured to me that now more than ever before, I must  listen to my heart and try to follow it (back to Paris).

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