THE MUSIC MAKER
It's good to do ridiculous things sometimes. Perhaps not with the frequency and panache with which I seem to manage them, but good nonetheless. After all, laughing at the folly of our own existence can only be good for the soul in the long run.
Yesterday, for reasons with which I'm still not fully au fait, I decided to take my trusty (and, indeed, rusty) guitar down to the Paseo del Parque in Malaga to seek out one the few spots where street busking is officially allowed in the city. Not too long ago, there were many of these hallowed spaces scattered around town but complaining neighbours soon put paid to that era.
Now, there are only a handful of places you can play, all well away from any recalcitrant neighbours and, indeed, any human beings at all which rather defeats the object.
Undaunted, I strode forth and claimed my pitch. Things didn't look good from the off. For a start, there was a bloke cutting hedges with one of those industrial trimmers that sounds like someone's fed your inner ear into a blender.
There were also the birds in the trees. I think they were those parakeety style ones that look exotic but sound as if they're screaming for mercy in Dante's fifth circle of hell.
None of this, however, meant anything at all compared to the roar of the traffic. Oh my Lord - when did buses get so noisy?
Still, I stuck to my guns. Amid the cacophony, I belted out a half decent version of Georgia On My Mind and a middle-aged woman chucked a few coins into my open guitar case.
I was off! Except I wasn't - that was it for the next forty minutes.
Of the few people who passed by, half were on electric scooters and nearly all were in their own world, listening to podcasts or Ed Sheeran or podcasts about Ed Sheeran on little white ear pieces.
From time to time, someone would breeze past bellowing nonsense into a mobile phone, which seemed quaintly old-fashioned somehow, but mostly it was just people oblivious to everything around them, especially my gallant warblings.
I'd love to end this story by saying that the chap trimming the hedges came over as I put my guitar away, stuffed a fiver in my shirt pocket and winked conspiratorially. He didn't. He just bit into his massive sandwich and looked at me like I was nuts.
Still, it's good to do ridiculous things sometimes.