petite anglaise

February 8, 2005

meet Boris

Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:48 am

My Ipod is called Boris.

He is named after the ladybird in Paperplay. I couldn’t find a picture of him, so his playmates Itsy and Bitsy will have to do. All Boris requires now is a ladybird outfit. I particularly like the way a feather-light caress to his belly in the dark recesses of my pockets turns the volume up and down.

Now that the computer is restored to its original fantastic, if rather sonorous splendour and I’ve just about got to grips with XP, I can now waste entire evenings transferring rarely played cd’s full of Napster-era mp3s on to my new friend. With the result that this morning’s metro ride included a musical voyage down memory lane to my 30th birthday.

It was a bittersweet ride.

My thirtieth birthday was to be the last time I drank (home-made mojitos on this occasion) in almost two years. Only a week later I discovered that I was ‘with Tadpole’. It was the end of an era. The freedom I had always taken for granted was already slipping away from me. And as is always the way, it was never fully appreciated until it was lost. The freedom to go out after work on a whim to take in a film or have a few drinks or dinner. To indulge in a spot of retail therapy when I needed cheering up. To decide I fancied a DVD or a snack and just grab keys and coat and leave the flat. To hop on a metro with only the contents of my pockets for company. To discover previously unknown areas of Paris, stopping in a random café for brunch. To improvise plans with friends.

If you peel back the layers of enforced adulthood, responsibility and obligation, that carefree girl still exists somewhere inside. She doesn’t care about mortgages and job security and sorting out the nanny’s payslip (because the rules have changed. Again). She wants to throw caution to the wind and spend an indecent amount of money shopping; she wants to flirt and dance and get tipsy and turn the stereo up loud. She wants to be alone sometimes. She wants to fly away in an aeroplane and explore the world. And she comes alive when I put my Ipod on.

I can’t help feeling that Boris is just a little bit dangerous.

extract from petite30 playlist:

DMX Krew: Good Time Girl
Chemical Brothers: The Test
New Order: True Faith
DJ Rap: Good to be Alive


  1. But someday, all that freedome will come back to you and you’ll share it with your daughter…and she’ll say that you’re SO not cool.

    Keep plugging away, though, because the ultimate revenge is when her friends think that you’re cool. :)

    Comment by Bob — February 8, 2005 @ 1:08 pm

  2. Paperplay!! Wow, that was one that seem to have slipped through the childhood memory net (which thankfully caught such gems as Mr Ben and Captain Pugwash ;-)). Thanks for the brief trip down memory lane…

    Comment by Iain — February 8, 2005 @ 1:23 pm

  3. My daughter just hit 18, and I’m now free as a bird again, and just about to buy my second iPod, and Chemical Bros is DEFINITELY in the mix baby!

    It’s long, it’s painful, but it’s worth for when it stops. eh eh.

    Comment by Mathieu — February 8, 2005 @ 2:21 pm

  4. “The freedom… as is always the way… was never fully appreciated until it was lost.”
    It is by some of us – I appreciate my freedom so fully that I decided many years ago never to have children. Selfish, some say – but then it’s not as if I’m needed to help propagate the species!

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — February 8, 2005 @ 3:30 pm

  5. I think I should add that almost all of the time being with Tadpole is enough. I often turn down offers because I prefer to be with her.

    It’s just occasionally that something reminds me of how things were before, and I feel a little pang of loss for petite, as opposed to maman.

    Comment by petite — February 8, 2005 @ 3:52 pm

  6. I’m with Zinnia in that I’m not in any hurry to give up my freedom for children – maybe I feel that, thus far, I haven’t made the most of it…

    And petite – I don’t think anyone would begrudge you for being nostalgic about your pre-tadpole days. Music can be so evocative…

    Comment by witho — February 8, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

  7. mines called Kylie

    Comment by andre — February 8, 2005 @ 5:47 pm

  8. Happy pancake day!

    Comment by Ephelia — February 8, 2005 @ 6:31 pm

  9. Serious stuff today! When my wife was “with tadpole” she wanted to call him Boris. Scary.

    Comment by Greg — February 8, 2005 @ 9:45 pm

  10. Iain reminded me of Captain Pugwash, as indeed Itsy and Bitsy had been consigned to oblivion until my regular fix – apparently Seaman Staynes and Master Bates never actually served on the Black Pig, but were later distortions of memory…ah the years of innocence!

    Comment by Chameleon — February 8, 2005 @ 10:47 pm

  11. Mine’s called Stan.

    Comment by PPQ — February 9, 2005 @ 12:46 am

  12. You are so right as always.

    When you go back ‘home’, do you have that feeling that you have never been away? And when you come back to Paris, like you never went away? Like you are kind of living in these 2 places at the same time, in parallel?

    Only today, I was wondering if the old pre-baby me is out there somewhere in a cafe at the Madeleine carrying on my old life in parallel to this one where I do the same thing day after day after day….??

    Comment by kjr — February 9, 2005 @ 1:15 am

  13. kjr – I liked the quotation marks around ‘home’. It’s one of those questions that troubles you when you’ve spent some time abroad: where exactly *is* home? Is it here in France or back in Oldham? Can you have more than one?
    Oooh – too many questions. It’s going to be one of those days! ;-)

    Comment by Iain — February 9, 2005 @ 10:46 am

  14. Our’s called Stellan- after Stellan Skarsgård the actor!

    Well- all our tech stuff has names- computers all start with B-
    Bert, Bill, Beatrice etc
    The peripherals (ipaq, ipod) have names beginning with S….

    Iain- do you really class Oldham as home?
    I grew up there, but its never been my home :sad:

    Comment by Joy — February 9, 2005 @ 12:02 pm

  15. Joy – it’s a bit like family, isn’t it? You don’t get to choose your ‘home’ (the one where you are born and lived, in my case, for 18 years) – it just *is*. That doesn’t mean I particularly love the place either. I do have a soft spot for it, but it’s maybe more of a soft spot for the *idea* of the place rather than the place itself. Either that, or the best part of 16 years spent living elsewhere have given my spectacles a distinctly rose-coloured hue.

    Comment by Iain — February 9, 2005 @ 12:48 pm

  16. Oh my word! Itsy and Bitsy! Crikey – there’s a blast from the past which no-one ever mentions during those ‘Cult TV of the 70s/80s’ conversations one has as a styoodent.

    I only have a iShuffle – at first it was called Sade (my computers are named after 80s pop stars…should I have admitted that?) but I had to reinstall it and now it’s called Nik.

    Comment by Vicky — February 9, 2005 @ 9:19 pm

  17. I stopped wearing a walkman a long time ago, but have recently rediscovered the weirdness associated with “personal stereo” through my iPod (called “Chewing Gum for the Ears” to paraphrase Father Ted). I don’t know if you feel the same, but I feel like I’m in a movie as I walk down the road with Goldfrapp’s Felt Mountain (or something) washing over me. And I also feel that everyone else must therefore be hearing it too and be in my film. It lends significance to the smallest incidents…

    Comment by Jim in Rennes — February 13, 2005 @ 5:43 pm

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