Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A rash and rain - 26th - 29th May 2016


Rue Saint-Rustique, Montmartre, leading up to the area where I frequently busk.
Corner of rue du Chevalier de la Barre, Paris - 26th May 2016
Tiredness consumed me and I had an ugly, dry rash on the side of my neck which was made worse by my worrying about the faulty lock on my hotel room door I'd hoped was going to be repaired while I was out.
The unstimulating sight of another cheap-looking Japanese bride in a white wedding dress greeted me, then by contrast, an olive-skinned soldier with his gun at the ready winked at me.
As I was leaving, a bristly white-haired artist with a sketch board stuck under his arm (whom I didn't recognize) said something about his "colleague" (my late violinist friend, Peter)? and confided that my fiddle playing was "super."

Six years ago, Peter shut his thumb in this side door of Le Saint Jean, but despite the agony carried on playing his fiddle with guitarist Eirik and I, anyway. He would refer to us as being like foxes; strategically working out which would be the most lucrative of the 'Montmartre' pitches to perform on and in what order.
rue Cortot, Paris - 26th May 2016
I'd make really good money most times I busked my solo double bass set here, but today the atmosphere was sleepy and the only contribution for my fiddle performance I got was from a tourist who'd been admiring the view across the city's rooftops.

A guy with the top half of his hair in a ponytail was playing jazz melodica brilliantly along to backing tracks on one of the Métro trains I'd taken this morning. Inspired by the sound, I treated myself to a Hohner Melodion & Melodica from Star's Music Paris - 11, Bd de Clichy, in the 9ème. 
Corner of rue du Chevalier de la Barre, Paris - 28th May 2016
Just after I'd received my first donation, a brunette, cosy-seeming old lady whose window I'd been busking folk fiddle outside, requested I move on, so I repositioned myself across the cobbles in front of a pair of gates from behind which local residents kept coming and going.
Lots of big ugly cars and buses passed by, as did clusters of unresponsive tourists, but a slip of a kid handed me some coins.
rue Cortot, Paris - 28th May 2016
It wasn't long after a family showed me their appreciation for my music that bottom-heavy raindrops began to splatter my violin, then a young globetrotter-type proffered me a euro as I swiftly packed away.
Place du Tertre - Norvins, Paris - 28th May 2016

Armed soldiers just down from where I was busking at Place du Tertre - Norvins.
Relaxing at a table outside the café beside where I was Irish fiddling, was a wispy woman in flowery attire. Pleased at my arrival, she preceded to take loads of photos of me with her phone on a selfie stick (looking utterly ridiculous). I assumed that given I'd provided her with free entertainment for the past hour she'd give me some money, but she merely sat back down to examine the shots she'd just captured.
Nevertheless, I was experiencing such joy from performing between rolls of thunder, and a rugged, wiry fellow who was most probably a local nodded me his approval from the midst of a herd of mainly tourists inching down the street. I also received handouts from an audience that'd gathered at the bus stop and on the benches opposite and a small girl with dark chocolate eyes grasping a rainbow-coloured plastic hoop who'd strode by a few times.

The Paris Folk Festival took place today in Place des Abbesses, Montmartre.
Place des Abbesses, Paris - 29th May 2016
The eczema I had all over the top half of my body was making me burn, and it was dizzying having boys doing tricks on their scooters weaving in front of and behind me as I was trying to busk folk fiddle.
Hunched on the bench opposite was an old woman I'd been noticing around the place for years. She had a hospital bracelet fastened around her wrist and was wearing nude stockings that were wrinkled around her feet.
Square Jehan-Rictus, Place des Abbesses, Paris - 29th May 2016
An English family gave me a euro, then eventually my violin was getting too rain-drenched to continue - and besides, I just wanted to go back to bed as I don't remember having felt so poorly since I was a child.

Place des Abbesses, Montmartre - 28th May 2016.

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