It’s fascinating how the weather can change the mood of a scene in a matter of hours or minutes.
Yesterday, Nantes was loud, lively, hot and stuffy. There were entire families hanging out downtown way past bedtime, around 1 a.m., enjoying temperatures a degree or two cooler. Kids were playing in fountains, café terraces were packed and ice cream shops were considering making an initial public offering.
Then the rain came overnight and with it, colder temperatures. Suddenly, we realized we weren’t in a tropical country but in Nantes, Brittany.
Back to reality.
I awoke to a familiar sound—rain.
The wet and slippery pavement was another familiar sight from my childhood.
“Mark! Take it easy with the trottinette, you’d better ride on the cobblestones…”
“But it’s bumpy!”
“Yes, but it’s less…—are you okay?”
“I’m okay. Didn’t scratch my knee. BUT I’M NEVER DOING THE TROTTINETTE EVER AGAIN!”
“It’s just a bit of rain, get over it and go slower today!”
When the sky is several shades of grey, you know that eventually, it’s going to rain again. And again. And again.
Wind, rain and sunlight filtering through the clouds—that’s how I remember the city where I grew up. It was never that cold—nothing like Canada in the winter, for sure—but it was always damp and these damn rain showers always took you by surprise. In Canada, you see them coming. In Nantes, you don’t. I swear, sometimes it’s sunny and somehow, it’s still raining.
I used to hate these unpredictable “mix of sun and clouds, scattered showers” days precisely because you have no idea how the weather will turn out, which is very inconvenient and often disappointing.
We still went out and bravely got soaked like true locals (except for Mark, who screamed “RAIN, RAIN!” when he felt the first drop of rain).
This day of contrasts was best captured in black and white.