For my birthday a few years ago, Matt bought me an iPod Touch. He is notoriously amazing at picking gifts, and this one was no exception. I didn’t have an iPhone at the time, I was still trying to make BlackBerry a thing, so the apps and screens and videos and OMG READING ALL OF SHAKESPEARE IN ONE LITTLE TINY GADGET was the best thing I’d ever had in my whole life.
In 2008, we went to Japan for a skiing holiday over Christmas. It was my first time overseas, and I went with Matt, his mum, and his two brothers. Between us, there was a lot of duty-free alcohol. We had room parties every night, then hit the slopes during the day. By late afternoon, I’d be feeling understandably shithouse, and all I had the energy to do was lay there and watch Japanese cooking shows. I couldn’t understand much of the language, and I didn’t have the energy to read the book I brought (It was Anna Karenina, and took much more brainpower than I could allocate. Plus it’s heavy to lift), so I would lay there and listen to Matt’s iPod, which had all the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts on them. Soon I was also listening to them in the early hours of the morning, when everyone else would still be sleeping, but I would be waking up on Australia time, and I couldn’t turn the light on or watch TV. Soon after that, I was listening to them when I woke in the middle of the night – they were super-handy to keep me occupied for an hour or so while I tossed and turned, and it kept the stupid thoughts out of my head that swirl around reminding you off all the things you’ve fucked up in life until that point. I didn’t have to open my eyes, or get up, or read, or anything, I could just lay there and be entertained with my eyes closed until I drifted off to sleep again.
Soon after that, I was listening to them when I went to bed at night.
I have listened to an iPod every single night from that Christmas in 2008, until now. Except the times I was in hospital having babies, and those first few months when you need to keep an ear out constantly for a hungry baby. Most of the time it’s been the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts (think about that, every single night for five years, there’s nothing I don’t know about those podcasts, and yes Karl Pilkington is really like that, it’s not an act), sometimes it was hypnobirthing files, or meditations. It was a couple of other podcasts for a while there, and I’m going through the Neil deGrasse Tyson Star Talk podcasts at the moment… but I always return to Ricky. and I always return to the iPod.
So, my dear little sliver of electonic goodness that keeps me warm at night (and that someone somewhere is going to tell me I shouldn’t have near my head while I’m sleeping, thanks but hush now), I thank you. You’ve been a wonderful friend and I will continue to panic every time I’m away from home and not packed you.