Green Park #1 - 20th May 2015
For some reason I felt anxious and tearful on the way to the pitch; most likely as a result of my OCD bullying me in the run-up to my departure for Paris next week.
A cymballic banging of an escalator around the corner threatened to scupper me, then later on I successfully ducked a mob of tourists who expected that I'd just stop what I was doing and pose for photos.
I was told by a mouse-type woman that my fiddle playing was "really beautiful" as she gave me money; a Wilma Flintstone lookalike said that I sounded "Fantastic!" and "God bless you!", plus an elderly gent accompanied his contribution with a "Well done!"
To vary my set a little I played folk tunes I hadn't played for about a year, and to endow my performance with more sensitivity, I imagined my tongue licking flesh.
Then a first: Somebody dropped me a 5p plastic 'token' coin. Lucky me!
Brollies started to appear towards the close of my session which is always a bad sign in terms of earning potential, but I played for as long as I could before my arm felt as if it was about to snap (so as to collect as much dosh as I could for Paris).
Green Park #1 - 22nd May 2015
Couples were arguing both at the top and the bottom of the escatator near where I was about to begin work, and I had to put up (yet again), with the bashing and scraping of another escalator throughout, intruding on my violin playing.
I was slipped a £5 note by a dark-haired and dark-eyed guy; a stylish mature blonde with cropped hair gave me one euro and enthused, "Lovely!," plus coins from a little Scots / Irishman came my way, who then opened his hand like a flower to reveal a 2p he'd been given for luck. I said to him, "You'd better hold on to that, then."
An tiny old woman with white plaits laid across the top of her head just like Madame Fanny La Fan - Edith's mother on the TV sitcom, 'Allo 'Allo! gave me some change, then a couple parked next to me in his pushchair, their sun-haired toddler with pool-deep eyes who seemed to have been entertained by my music.
The mosquito bites I'd just acquired on my back and scapula were really itching by the time I packed up.
Oxford Circus #2 - 24th May 2015
Another 8 am start: I'm taking advantage of the fact that other buskers reportedly can't be bothered to get up to play at this time of the morning. I felt weary and a tad disengaged, however, because I'd taken a herbal sleeping tablet the night before.
A man on crutches sporting a thin grey plait made a donation; I got given a £10 note by a chap I only managed to catch the rear view of, and a family furnished me with approximately seven £1 coins for my Irish fiddling.
I was asked by a polite foreign girl how one could go about becoming a busker on the London Underground, and a drunk complimented me on my performance (then further down the corridor did a sad impression me).
Eventually the neon lighting made me feel too icky to continue, and trying to eat an apple whilst playing proved to be a sticky business (with juice ending up all over the spine of my anthology of French poetry). Fortunately I hadn't had to transfer to pitch #1 where I was scheduled to play next, though; in too close proximity to where someone was steel drumming just outside the station.