Thursday, March 09, 2006

Street Life (Salty Dog)

Any commuter in a big city will see the same homeless vagrants on a regular basis. My 20 minute walk from Waterloo to Drury Lane has at least three:

The guy who walks south over Waterloo bridge at the same time every day. He carries a briefcase but does not look like an office worker. He also carries a golfing umbrella, a rucksack and an unkempt beard. Yet there he is every day at the same time trudging the same route. Where is he going, what does he do, is he really a tramp?

Then there is the Big Issue seller at the south-west corner of the bridge. Also with a beard but more neatly trimmed. Always in the same spot. Seems very polite and reserved kind of chap. Occasionally chatting to his regulars. Always there come rain or shine.

Then a relative newcomer, with guitar, busking in the underpass sitting cross-legged under the third stanza of Eurydice (see "Orpheus on the Underground"). Last week he was playing something excellent (can't remember what) that prompted me to drop some loose change into his cap. Yesterday I could have sworn he was playing Salty Dog by Mississippi John Hurt. A fine song but an odd choice for a busker.

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