petite anglaise

November 28, 2005


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 5:03 pm

Technology, it would seem, is no longer my friend.

First, let me share the tale of woe of my beloved 40 GB Ipod, won in a charity reverse auction for the symbolic sum of £ 16.00 last Christmas. “Petite”, as she is known, is having some sort of identity crisis. She no longer remembers that she is, in fact, an Ipod. She has forgotten how to have cosy chats with my computer. Error messages abound every time I set “petite” on her stand. She “won’t mount”. I have no idea what could at the root of her sudden frigidity.

Reformatting her is not an option, as even the ‘restore’ tool will not acknowledge her existence. There is nothing for it but to send her, swathed in swaddling clothes and bubble wrap, to the Apple Hospital and pray that they are able to perform a miracle. Which clearly will involve wiping the 2,500+ songs stored inside her pretty head, which I, in my blondeness, have neglected to back up anywhere on my computer. Gah.

The good news: “petite” is still within her one year warranty period, so any repairs should be free of charge. The bad news: Apple may demand proof of purchase, which I don’t have, as I didn’t actually purchase her. So now I have to contact the nice people at Auctionair, to see if they have some sort of paperwork.

I’m not holding my breath.

Secondly, our faithful digital camera (which does not have a name or gender) is being temperamental. Sometimes it can see perfectly well. At other times the preview screen remains black. After warming up for a little while, the camera may deign to recognise a light source like, say, a naked lightbulb if it is approximately 2 cm from the lens. Other than that, blackness. A form of depression, perhaps.

Obviously the dark phases occur when I am at home fiddling ever more desperately with the settings in the comfort of my apartment, and the working perfectly well phases occur when I am standing in the Fnac about to ask the opinion of an expert.

I suppose as these things always come in threes, I must brace myself to see what is going to malfunction next. The computer itself? The rather ancient video recorder which Tadpole uses to watch Noddy and Pingu?

I don’t suppose the bulb which exploded when I turned on the hall light this morning counts?

Preoccupied as I was with all my technological woes this morning, I fed and dressed Tadpole on autopilot.

After bundling her into the lift, I squeezed in beside her with my large plastic bin full to overflowing with bottles destined for the recycling bin (note to self, just how did I get through that quantity of red wine?) Halfway down to the ground floor, I heard Tadpole’s muffled, and rather puzzled voice emerge from beneath several layers of fleecy (pink) clothing.

“Mummy, I got my slippers on.”

I am left wondering whether I can’t climb into a nice padded envelope and send myself in for a service.


  1. First the walkman chewed the tape, then the discman refused the CD, the minidisc player randomly formats discs and now the mp3 player looks blankly at you when you are searching for your entire catalogue of decades of collected tunes.

    The mind boggles at the frustrations in even ten years time. Perhaps our music in-ear implants totally shutdown our hearing?

    Comment by oz — November 28, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  2. Sounds like your camera has S.A.D…

    Comment by Knecht — November 28, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

  3. Don’t feel bad. After getting myself and four children dressed and bundled up for the outdoors, I have on at least five separate occasions gotten to the sidewalk only to look down at my still slippered feet! It is a nice picture. A grown woman standing on the sidewalk in her winter coat with gloves and scarf sporting pink fluffy slippers. Maybe, I will start a new fashion trend here in France! Or better yet confirm french opinions on American fashion.

    Comment by Pumpkin Pie — November 28, 2005 @ 6:39 pm

  4. Hehe!

    My work e-mail has got an identity crisis as well. It calls me “Brent Allan” nowadays. I have complained to the IT guy, which meant that I was briefly “Grahame McIver”.

    Comment by Swedish Girl — November 28, 2005 @ 7:15 pm

  5. All of our pod music is safely (we hope!) ensconced on a cute little external hard drive. Of course, that sort of advice is not going to help you now :(

    Comment by anxious — November 28, 2005 @ 7:55 pm

  6. Thanks for the laugh, Petite. I needed that.

    Comment by Ronica — November 28, 2005 @ 8:00 pm

  7. Do you ever wish you were in merry Old England again? I’ve been feeling quite homesick for pubs and beer and WH Smith of late…

    Comment by mimi — November 28, 2005 @ 8:10 pm

  8. I’m sure there are terrible double entendres about servicing that I think I had better not even consider mentioning. So I won’t and will just offer sympathy instead. In a slightly more practical vein I do have a perfectly viable (but bulky) Sony Mavica that I could entrust La Poste to convey to you. Its big drawback is that it stores its pictures on floppy disks but perhaps you won’t need to actually use it. Maybe having it around would be enough to threaten the other digital camera to behave properly…

    Comment by Francis — November 28, 2005 @ 9:19 pm

  9. Did you keep the receipt for yourself?

    Comment by Greavsie — November 28, 2005 @ 9:20 pm

  10. Surely my birth certificate will do? I realise there may be a warranty issue but surely someone out there would be willing to service me free of charge?

    (I’ll get my coat)

    ps Mimi – I have a WHSmiths within walking distance of my office as it happens. But I miss fish and chips and scraps. And Jamaica ginger cake. And Ambrosia rice pudding. And Cadbury’s chocolate. And proper guiness. And toasted tea cakes. And crumpets. And bacon sandwiches. And baked beans. And cheddar. And…

    Well, you get the picture.

    Comment by petite — November 28, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  11. Hey petite,

    Aww you deserve all those things you miss! Seriously, email me with a care package you want and an address and I’ll send it! Some relatively random Canadian blogger did it for me (I now live near Cambridge, UK) with Poutine sauce, some Tim Hortons coffee and a few other tidbits from home, so I believe Karma has it that I should do the same.

    Come on, Christmas is coming, I’m feeling generous!

    (regular reader, commonly lurking)
    PS – Tadpole has had me singing Tinkle tinkle ickle star in a mix of French and English all day at work. Funny how the French canadian version differs slightly from the France-French one.

    Comment by Vero — November 28, 2005 @ 10:14 pm

  12. Vero, that is very sweet of you, but my thighs think it would be a Very Bad Idea if I were able to indulge my every craving.

    Comment by petite — November 28, 2005 @ 10:34 pm

  13. About the red wine…

    Comment by Jim in Rennes — November 28, 2005 @ 11:20 pm

  14. Sorry to disappoint, but give me a Rocher Suchard over Cadbury chocolate anytime. OK, I’m French, but still, you have to admit that UK chocolate is pretty bland compared to the French one. Maybe it’s because it’s not so rich that you like it so much? Bah, don’t worry, I’m in Australia and even Cadbury chocolate is not half decent here. Apparently they coat it with some sort of wax to help it prevent from melting too quickly. Rocher Suchard are a once-in-every-two-years indulgence.

    Regarding your ipod, have you tried plugging it to a different USB port? My computer decided that it wouldn’t recognise my ipod when it was plugged to a USB hub, or to one of the direct USB ports that are very inconveniently burried behind a tangle of wires at the back of the PC. You can do it while the PC’s running and Windows will tell you whether it recognised it or not. Dunno if it’s a PC or an Ipod issue though. Good luck!

    Comment by A Frog in Oz — November 28, 2005 @ 11:31 pm

  15. rien a voir with today’s post ,

    i have been reading you for a while (pre and post Mr Frog) and I always thought you were the cutest little ‘virtual’ frenglish family, and I must say that for sometime reading your blog post Mr Frog did seeme different….. , but you just seem so ‘virtually’ happy with Jim In Rennes!!!

    Your witty little repartes in the comments are quite entertaining!

    Comment by A — November 28, 2005 @ 11:35 pm

  16. Well, at least she realized it before you were half way to whereever you were about to go. Good luck with everything else though. I know there are times when everything goes bad at once.

    Once in my parents house. The stove, lawn mower, and washing machine broke down all at the same time. Then a few months later, the fridge.

    Comment by juliana — November 29, 2005 @ 1:26 am

  17. Fish and chips and scraps, that’s so Yorkshire and has made me homesick all over again.Living in Australia, I’ve also noticed the weird taste to Cadbury’s chocolate over here but have recently discovered that I can buy Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate and if I sold one of my kidneys, I could probably afford a bar or two.

    When Mimi mentioned WH Smith,I immediately thought ‘oh, I miss it too’ and then I remembered those packs of men standing side by side, reading Motocross News and Nuts magazine and making it almost impossible for you to squeeze by and reach a serious publication like Heat magazine.I don’t miss them…

    Comment by Pomgirl — November 29, 2005 @ 1:56 am

  18. It’s been at least 16 years now, but I still vividly recall the day I got my son out of the car at his preschool and realized he still had his slippers on. It was too far to go home, so he just wore them all day.

    Comment by Bluegrass Mama — November 29, 2005 @ 2:48 am

  19. Do you tried to restart the ipod and few others things there?

    There is couple of softwares on the web for Win and Mac users to let extract music from ipod, without iTunes, perhaps trying to connect the ipod on another machine will help?

    Comment by Jean François Porchez — November 29, 2005 @ 10:11 am

  20. Oh believe me Jean, I’ve tried everything on the Apple sight, on ipodlounge forums… My ipod is refusing to communicate with all computers and all software. I’m told it may be a faulty interface card.

    But, so far it looks as though Apple are sending me packaging to send it for repair without any proof of purchase. My fingers remain crossed.

    Comment by petite — November 29, 2005 @ 10:23 am

  21. Could have been this:

    Comment by Parkin Pig — November 29, 2005 @ 10:35 am

  22. I’ve never gone out of the house in my slippers but something even worse and much more embarrassing!

    Here we go:

    You get to work to find that there is something strange and lumpy in your trousers. Shake your leg to disengage said object, and feel it slowly make its way down between your leg and trouser and land on the floor.

    Only to find that it is yesterdays knickers that have inadvertently been left in your trousers, because when you get undressed your so lazy that you pull them off together!

    Please tell me that I am not the only one that this has happened to?

    Comment by P in France — November 29, 2005 @ 10:55 am

  23. In this family we make back-ups of all our music, and store it on each others computers. This has in the past saved many hours frustration. :)

    I have lived out side the UK for more than 40 years, and I still miss the taste of Marmite.

    Comment by Michael — November 29, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

  24. So it isn’t just me! See my last post – iPods are one of he most stress-inducing pieces of technology on the planet. I’ve been through three of them and I’ve finally learned my lesson – I’m staying well away from now on!

    Comment by Twisted Chili — November 29, 2005 @ 12:16 pm

  25. Something similar happened to my daughter Kate’s U2 iPod. Apple accepted it without proof of purchase which I think they say just to give you the heebie-jeebies. I think what you’ll find is that they just replce it with a new equivalent iPod as they’re not really worth repairing.

    When we reloaded all the iTunes and iPod software and updates to reformat the new iPod, which you have to do unless you are using a Mac, all her music was still there in iTunes on her pc. So there may be some hope for you after all (fingers crossed)?

    Comment by Philip — November 29, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

  26. Have no fear, Petite… after putting in 27 hours of overtime in the last 3 days and getting home from work in the wee hours of the morning and peeking in on the little vikings, my powers of auto-pilot are also not what they should be. At least Tadpole told you about the slippers… I tried to put a onesie (body) on my 18 month old this morning before putting on the diaper and only my 5 year old seemed to have a problem with the chronology in that process… Once you are technologically repaired (and I actually think the red wine helps for the personal repair sometimes…but man that recycling gets heavy…and vast…), you will once again have all your ducks in a row (or is it frogs) and the slipper incident will fade into your memory. Of course, if Tadpole is anything like my little Viking girl, she will remember and remind you at just the time that you are trying to convince someone of your incredible organizational skills and multi-tasking talents…

    Comment by nrg — November 29, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

  27. LOL!!! A wonderfully written post. Regarding your recalcitrant iPod: Up until recently, I had a part-time job in retail in a large chain here in the U.S. (Which I also refer to as Dante’s lesser known 10th circle of hell.) Not Wal-Mart, but think of a red bullseye, and you’ll know. (Folks here like to pronounce the name with a faux French accent.) We heard of many an iPod having this same problem, and indeed, it was a faulty interface card.

    Until then, keep a close eye on Tadpole’s feet, and on your red wine bill.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — November 30, 2005 @ 12:15 am

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