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Archive for July, 2011

So this is a rant. It’s been a while and I’ve been keeping my rantiness to myself, but my patience has come to the end of it’s tether with some French internet companies.

As a new Mum, buying online should be an easy way of getting the things I need, delivered to my new rural address quickly and easily and without needing to trek to nearby large cities like Lyon or Grenoble with Baby Piglet.

Or so I thought.

Since Baby Piglet has arrived I have had no end of bad experiences with various companies and my patience is really wearing thin.

My biggest complaint is with companies such as Oclio and Kiria saying they have items in stock, accepting my money and then once I’ve ordered sending me emails saying that the item won’t be delivered for a few weeks because out of stock. Fast forward a few weeks and still no news.

In fairness, Oclio did eventually deliver albeit 4 weeks after the original advertised delivery date, but as for Kiria they have neither delivered nor refunded me my money (which they told me at the beginning of July they would do within 7 days).

I’m becoming increasingly irate with Kiria as their customer service department is hell to reach (they have several numbers) and emails remain unanswered. Currently they owe me 113 Euros and I’m really beginning to wonder whether I will get to see them again sometime soon. Am I funding a flailing internet business which fails to understand why customer service is important in the online world?

It is apparent to me that they have blatantly failed to understand their target market – new Mum’s wanting to order items hassle free, quickly, online! Babies grow quickly so are likely to soon out grow any item we get for them if we have to wait months on end for it to arrive!

Vertbaudet is another French internet company I have ordered from and I have to say their level of service has been exemplary thus far. Kiria and Oclio should take note. Whilst some items have been out of stock, I have been kept up to date every step of the order and the out of stock items were delivered on the date they told me that they would be. Perfect, what more could I ask for (aside from their online stock being up to date which it seems in France is never the case)?

What got me ranting this morning was waking up to remember that I still need to chase Kiria for my money back and also remembering that I still hadn’t taken delivery of the two bean bags I had ordered from Usineadesign.com at the end of June. Delivery was promised within 15 days and I’ve not had any news yet. Yet another company to chase!

With new Mummy brain, keeping track of these companies incompetence is rattling my cage and annoying me. Making me waste time and seriously getting up my nose.

What good or bad internet shopping experiences have you had lately? Any good website recommendations in France are welcomed :)

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Who would have believed that the last twelve weeks would go by so quickly? I cannot believe that my little baby is already twelve weeks old. She’s no longer a new born but a proper little baby.

Despite the ups and downs, I have loved every minute of having her, watching her grow and evolve. We have even started getting giggles and squeals from her although she’s very grumpy if I try and make her do some tummy time.

She’s only twelve weeks but here’s a picture of her today wearing age 6 month clothes – she’s already outgrown most of her 3 month clothes bless her!

Baby Piglet 12 Weeks Today

And here’s a medal I received from Ameena at MummyinProvence for reaching my 3 month breastfeeding goal – I never thought I would get this far given all the hurdles and hoops I’ve had to jump through (hah hah, love the irony given I couldn’t walk!) but I did thanks in part to her support and encouragement. I’m so pleased I did it as it’s help me a lot and helped me feel closer to Baby Piglet.

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MummyinProvence’s Stream of Consciousness Sunday post last Sunday captured my imagination and inspired me to have a go. The aim is to write freestyle during 5 minutes and then publish without any editing.

Here’s what I wrote in my five mins:

I feel different now to how I used to. Different things matter and don’t matter. No words can describe how I truly feel but the days of me being care free and selfish have gone.

My husband says I have changed, I guess I have. I’ve become a Mum. I’m constantly on red alert, worried that something is wrong. I analyze every gesture, grimace, smile and expression that crosses my adorable babies face, wondering what it could mean.

Every movement or activity we do together could mean something to her, so I select things carefully and then feel guilty when I inadvertently leave The Simpsons on and see that she is watching them.

I feel guilty when I have a drink too many in the evening and feel hungover and extremely tired. Extremely tired because I’ve been up all night fretting that something’s wrong, again analyzing every sound I can hear over the baby monitor and repeating my mathematical calculations to re-assure myself when the alcohol would have left my blood stream and it would be safe to feed her. Of course, I’d already worked all of this out before drinking the wine but I have become irrational and being a Mum consumes every moment of my life.

Why don’t you have a go? Just follow these simple rules:
1. Set a timer and write for 5 mins (I didn’t include this part or the intro in my five minutes
2. write as it comes, don’t edit or spellcheck
3. Publish your post somewhere, anywhere you want
4. Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post
5. Link your post to all.things.fadra

If you do decide to have a go please leave the link to your post in the comments section below, I would love to have a read.

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The great thing about where we live now is the easy accessibility to many places of interest including Annecy.

I had never been to Annecy before and had heard great things. I know there is quite an expat community there and normally expats are drawn to touristy type places. Even my Mum (Grandma Piglet) knew about Annecy and had been hankering to visit it for the last couple of years, but when we were living in Lyon the long drive and battle with traffic to leave the city was off-putting for everyone.

My image of Annecy was mainly of the lake. I am drawn to lakes (water in general) so this had been my focus point, my reason to want to visit. The lake (Lac d’Annecy) is nearly 15 km’s long and 3.5 km’s wide. It is surrounded by mountains and is the second largest glacier lake in France, after nearby Lac de Bourget (near Aix les Bains).

The decision to go to Annecy was last minute. BabyPiglet had slept pretty much through the night and I had awoken that morning with plenty of energy, a rare occurrence. So I suggested to my parents and Mr Piglet that we make hay whilst the sun shines (this expression has a lot of truth in the countryside I have discovered) and head to Annecy.

Because of the last minute decision we didn’t get chance to research and we all piled into our little C4, BabyPiglet included. Thankfully we were only in the car for 45 mins before we arrived as we were squashed in like sardines!

Upon arrival in Annecy, our first thoughts were deception. Grandma Piglet began to wonder if she had imagined all the nice things she had read. The buildings were new, the architecture mediocre. As we sat in a traffic jam waiting to enter a car park we were all quite glum, no-one fancied walking around a commercial centre.

We parked easily and left the car park the opposite way to which we entered it and we were greated with Annecy’s fabulousness. It was like how I imagine Venice!

Arrival in Annecy - one of the first views we had

Medieval buildings rising out of the water, a canal like passage running through the street. All that were missing were the gondolas. The streets were buzzing with tourists and brocanteurs – an antiques fair was in full swing with ice cream eating tourists swarming around the stalls like bees around the honey pot.

Annecy - view from the lake edge

Annecy - walking along the water's edge

The outing was our first trip out with BabyPiglet so we were anxious to be comfortable and ensure she didn’t get hot, tired or hungry. Not easy for new parents with a small baby! Pretty much as soon as we arrived we stopped off at a small restaurant adjacent to the water and overlooking some really picturesque buildings. On the other side of the water canal was a hairdressers shop – we wondered how anyone could access it to have their cut.

After lunch we carried on walking around for a while, but I soon became achey and wanted to rest again. By this point we had arrived at the Lake and had spotted THE tourist trap – tour boats! Mr Piglet had passed his river and coastal boat license last year so that we never had to go on these boats again, but seeing the water, the boats and knowing that we could go on one there and then I was like a kid. A few quick checks with the company re-assured me that there was a shaded area and that we could get the pram onboard so off we set! Baby Piglet’s first boat trip!

The Tour Boat

The trip itself was a bit of a downer, the boat was packed and Baby Piglet became a tourist attraction herself. If I’d asked for a Euro for every time someone peeked over at her I would have probably have had enough to rent a private boat for a few hours. I was delighted though as she was totally unfazed about being on water as opposed to dry land and was quiet and relaxed throughout the tour.

Baby Piglet on the boat

Next time we'll rent one of these

If I win the Euromillions you may find me living around here

Afterwards, we decided it was time to head back to the car before she got tired and grumpy – the dreaded feeding marathon was approaching. Every evening from about 6pm she feeds non-stop stocking up for the night. It’s hard work but the reward is well worth it – uninterrupted night sleep for her and me!

On the walk back we couldn’t resist stopping off at one of the hundreds of ice cream parlors and each having an ice cream. There are ice cream parlors everywhere in Annecy, it was amazing. I had never seen anywhere in France with so many ice creams! Definitely not a place to go when you’re on a diet!

Once back at the car we were all tired and pleased to be on the road back to the house. Mr Piglet informed us that we’d only visited part of Annecy and that we still had the shopping area left to visit. It wasn’t possible to visit that area on the same day as we’d run out of time so we will have to plan another trip back next time my parents are over.

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