This blog is dedicated to the memory of Jan and I's horned frog, Harold, who passed away on 3rd July 2015. He will be greatly missed.
Liverpool Street #2 - 2nd July 2015
This afternoon's session was a complete and utter waste of time and energy: Only a couple of people noticed me standing there trying to play with passion to a herd of starchy city faceaches, and within minutes the sweat was rolling off my back in the 40 degrees heat.
Foolishly I'd thought I was capable of contending with the rattly whirring of a nearby cooling fan, but even with the accordion (one of the loudest of all acoustic instruments), I had a hard job hearing myself: TFL obviously hadn't had the common sense to take into consideration the performance needs of musicians during the planning of where to position some of the acoustic busking pitches.
A passing business-like woman who pronounced her words with a loud, hissy 's' sound irritated me to the core, and I received just 70p for a hour's playing.
Green Park #1 - 4th July 2015
All session my thoughts were with Harold - Jan and I's horned frog who died yesterday. Jan would be going back to the vet later on today to collect him, having had him kept under observation for 24 hours to make sure that he had, in fact died (frogs have very slow, shallow heartbeats). A line had been drawn around Harold so that the vet could see if he had moved overnight. He hadn't. He was dead.
Money was also worrying me but I made enough cash for some decent food; not bad considering I'd forgotten to bring my notated musical prompts and had been feeling woozy with PMT and indigestion.
I practised 'Old Joe's Jig' - an Irish fiddle tune incorporating a 'slide' (a form of left-hand ornamentation that gives extra emphasis to a note).
Oxford Circus #2 - 5th July 2015
It wasn't as hot as I thought it would be in the 'summer oven' depths of Oxford Circus Underground station.
About 10 minutes into my folk fiddle set, I heard the familiar slurred voices of drunk men - the likes of which I frequently encounter here at 8 am on a Sunday. They shouted as they approached, "It's a fucking saxophone... No, it's a fucking violin," then rounded on me (fortunately harmlessly), "Quieten down a bit! We're on our way to work!" Heaven help us.
The money wasn't as good as it normally is and the appearance of people armed with umbrellas meant that they would be even less inclined to mess about and find me a few pennies with their hands full.
The demise of Harold, whom Jan and I had had for eight years was still weighing heavily on my mind, but I was looking forward to talking later with my friend, Nuna, who 'gets' me.