April 24th - Day 6

I was very clear.

"Will there be songs?" I asked my daughter, Daisy, who is three, on the way to her Friday morning toddler session.

"Yes," she said, "I need a wee."

We'd been there half an hour, but despite there still being a full ninety minutes to go, I was already getting itchy. The couple of times I'd been to these kind of events before, I'd rather dreaded the musical interlude, but today I was on the edge of my seat at any movement by Yvonne the helper towards any cupboards that may contain any tamberines, marraccas and triangles. About an hour in, I again asked Daisy if they sang songs.

"I want a chocolate biscuit," she said.

With half an hour remaining and hope fading fast I pumped Daisy for answers one last time.

"Do they have songs?"


"At the end?"

"Yes. I want to go home."

But we stayed to the bitter end. As the last of the mess was swept away I thanked Yvonne - although I wanted to say "Why didn't you sing any bloody songs?!" She said goodbye to me and Daisy, then added, "It's nice that Daisy stayed to the end this week, because she doesn't usually".

So penance for Daisy for stringing me a web of lies was to get the train to London and scour the South Bank for a musician. I had to buy some cheese in Borough Market first and then, Daisy on my shoulders, we wandered along the hot, busy walkway alongside the river, past The Golden Hind, The Clink, The Anchor Pub...The Globe.

We were approaching The Tate Modern and The Millenium Bridge, and I was beginning to wonder whether Boris Johnson had banned buskers, when I heard a steelpan and saw this guy half way up the Millenium Bridge ramp. We watched him until Daisy asked to walk across the bridge. She put some money in his case and we left.

An original intention of mine was to interact in some way (is it called talking?) with the musicians I come across on my journey. I'm yet to be that courageous, though my cause isn't helped by the fact that these musicians tend to be occupied with playing music when I encounter them. I'd like to find out more about this guy. Maybe he'll be there another day.

(He was. Lots of other days. He's called Gavin and has been busking around here since 1985)

2011 update - I've seen Gavin in his usual spot over the past two years though haven't passed that way for a few months so not sure if he's definitely still there

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