People often ask me where I got the wonderful name I gave one day to one of my most beautiful creations, the aptly named Captain Love.
It all started in 19... when my parents, in the midst of their hedonistic/exchangeist era, had absolutely no idea how to look after me apart from sending me to holiday camps whenever they could. So it was that at the end of sixth form I was catapulted across the Channel to Brighton for my first trip to Perfidious Albion, where you eat your steak with mint jelly, as my cousin Gontran used to tell me to terrify me (I hate you Gontran). It was the first time I'd left France, the first time I'd been on a ferry to an island.
I was placed with a family of ten children and shared a space in the basement of the house with five other foreign students, most of them from South Korea, as well as a few rodents and parasites. Although today it would horrify me, I have to admit that at the time I found it exotic, especially as my roommates played with the bugs as if they were domesticated. They invented polo matches with cockroaches mounted on rats' backs. We laughed our heads off and I immortalised it on my Kodak Disc. I had lessons every day of the week at a local school, which we shared with the English pupils who were still at school because they had their holidays later than us. And somewhere in the middle of the holiday, at lunchtime, as I was finishing my daily tablet of Wonders of the World, three English boys of my age, in uniforms, came up to me and asked me to come with them. I couldn't understand a word they were saying, but from their body language I knew I had to follow them. A crowd gathered in my path, as if I were the chosen one, and at the end of it stood a little guy with shaggy hair, a slightly dirty face, probably from rowdiness with his friends, almond-shaped green eyes, he looked totally dishevelled, in fact under his shirt I could see the T-shirt of a band I didn't know yet, the Clash. The guy who led me to him explained in French that was as good as my English that Peter had chosen me because I was very, very pretty and he wanted to kiss-kiss a French girl. Everyone laughed and Peter grabbed me by the shoulder and placed a kiss on my cheek, intimidated by the audience. Personally, I was captivated by the boy's rebellious angel face. I'd never noticed him before and was extremely surprised and flattered that he should be the one to ask me.
I was on cloud nine for the rest of the trip, parading around with the cutest guy on the perimeter. And yet, after more than a week together, he still hadn't kissed me on the mouth. And I have to admit that, being very shy, I was waiting for his impulse. It came one Sunday when we were walking hand in hand and on the outskirts of a pub a song came on that I'll never forget, Wot by Captain Sensible. It was at that moment that he finally decided to put his lips on mine. It was as fleeting as it was pleasurable. The next day I had a date with him to see the latest James Bond film at the cinema. He never turned up and the following week he completely avoided me. Too shy to go and ask him what was going on, I blamed it on my kiss and the fact that I hadn't known how to handle it. I left England sad that I'd never seen Peter again, that I'd never been able to kiss him again, that I'd never understood why he'd broken up with me, why he'd moved away. But I was delighted by this first experience, to know that the cutest of them all had chosen me, and to have met my Korean counterparts with whom we had organised so many games with our animal friends. That's why, after so many years, I decided to give this marvellous shoe, star of the stars, this name, in memory of my first love.