les rues de France 2012 pt 4 Rennes & Nantes

After a picnic style supper in my Caen Formule 1 sleeping box, I went to bed happy and sober, and was blessed with a deep ,dreamless nights sleep. The plan the next morning was to make my way to Rennes. My memories of Rennes were that it was a beautiful old city, the capital of Brittany, and a big college town, hence many young people. I also dimly recalled that busking was not particularly profitable!

This proved to still be the case. People were friendly and complimentary but reluctant to part with any coins they might have. Still I enjoyed playing. I set up mid afternoon, and kept at it for about an hour and a half and at any rate made enough to pay for for dinner.

One incident sticks in my mind. I’d been playing a while and a small group of people were sitting across the street enjoying the soundtrack. A little elderly man came by, paused, then reached down and ┬ábegan pulling my microphone lead out my amp. I stopped playing and made discouraging noises. Muttering to himself and shaking his head, he began to move away. When I started singing again, he turned back and reached for my microphone stand as if to yank it away. I stopped again and in no uncertain terms remonstrated in both French and English.

At this point, a large, young, dark skinned gentleman and a young child who had both been among the group across the street , came over, and the young man began yelling at the old guy in most colourful French, telling him I wasnt bothering anyone, and to get lost and so on. Grumbling and scowling, the old fellow shuffled off and was soon gone. Perhaps the strangest thing though was when I prepared to speak to my protector, he would not even look at me, let alone heed my words, but just turned and went back to his seat across the street. At a bit of a loss, I went back to singing and playing.

Eventually I stopped and set off for my hotel, once again buying a few fresh items to make a picnic supper. I went to bed quite early as I planned to set off in the morning to Nantes on my way to Tina’s Cafe. I got there around 10.30am. I found a nice little walking street and began setting up, but almost immediately a policewoman and a male colleague approached and explained that the minute I started playing, an old woman who lived across the street would most definitely call the police so I might prefer to move now. They recommended a couple of other places so I went off and chose one. However there was hardly anyone around and after half an hour I decided it was time to pack up and head for Tina’s. I think Nantes might be worth another shot on a weekend maybe, but on a Wednesday morning not so.

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