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Archive for the ‘Hubby’ Category

For all good news I believe there is bad news, so let’s get my weeks bad news out of the way first.

The last couple of days I have been suffering from the world’s worst headache (in my humble opinion) that not even a 1000 mg dose of paracetamol or sleep will cure and I daren’t take anything else or too much paracetamol because of being pregnant.

I managed to identify part of the cause of the headache as originating from my braces. I had noticed that part of the wire’s had popped out on the bottom set of braces, thus causing a major tightening of the wire and pulling my teeth. I got that sorted and my head feels less like it’s on fire but I’m still suffering and cannot bear to lie down or watch TV. Any suggestions to remedy this would be most welcome!

Bloody TomTom GPS broke down again, just 5 days after I picked it back up from Darty after they supposedly repaired it. This will mean another trip to the huge shopping centre which makes me faint (I nearly passed out there last Friday) to take it back again. I am not a happy bunny and am going to be making some enquiries into French law and things being fit for purpose before going back. Navigating in the dark through the French countryside is not funny or easy and as many of you will know, the French aren’t too hot on signposts!

Anyway, enough moaning. Or maybe not…

In the time it took me to go food shopping the other day, I returned to the house to notice that our wheelie bin had been nicked. Mr Piglet, usually quite the pessimist, tried to convince me that someone had borrowed it and was more than likely to return it and tried to coax me back inside. I think my hissy fit and the scene I was creating by marching up and down the street inspecting everyone’s bins was maybe a bit too much and he wanted to get me indoors before I started insulting people or worse, throwing things!

So I realize my bad news pales in comparison to some people’s and it’s not really bad news at all, but the pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc in my body and I have spent most of the week on a rollercoaster rolling around in joyous laughter or in hysterical tears of despair.

Now, on to the good news:

The Compromis de Vente for our city pad will be signed this coming Tuesday. I will finally be able to sleep at night, especially now that we also have possible second and third offers on the table. This means a lot to me as the stress of keeping this place going with the mortgage once mini-Piglet arrives was giving me nightmares (you can figure that I have been getting a lot of nightmares lately).

YAY!!!!!

I am finally beginning to look like I’m pregnant rather than like someone who ate all the pies.

YAY!!!!!

Baby Bloat or Baby Bump? 17 weeks + 2 days

 

I had my fourth month pregnancy follow up visit with my nice midwife on Wednesday and was supposed to have heard mini-Piglet’s heartbeat. I cannot honestly say that I heard anything and after five minutes of trying to get me to hear it, I told the midwife that I believed her and to leave it at that. It was stressing me out more trying to hear it than than the re-assurance it should have been giving me!

YAY!!!!

Finally, yesterday, we spent the day viewing houses and after seeing a lot of RUBBISH (Twitter followers would have sent my rants yesterday) have quite possibly found “The One”. It is almost perfect for what we are looking for in every way other than price and the fact that it is missing that outside wow factor, but even so, it ticks enough boxes to make me think that I’d be happy to live there. We’re not making any rash decisions yet and are going to continue visiting but it is nice to know and be reassured that good properties that meet our criteria do exist and only slightly over budget.

Master Bedroom

With some softening this could be THE place

YAY!!!!
Now, it should be my old fave time of the day, Wine O’Clock but tonight I think I’ll treat myself to an Orangina!

Bon weekend!

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I need luck!

It’s been nail biting stuff in the Piglet household for the last 12 hours. Everything started yesterday evening when I had a feeling of anticipation that we were going to get an offer on the house. I could just feel something in my bones, a sort of premonition of electric shocks that lead me to believe something exciting was going to happen.

We had had five house visits so far this week which is pretty good going given that Monday was a bank holiday and it’s the French school holidays.

So, yesterday evening I was like a child and couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t face cooking dinner and was having major cravings for McDonalds (please, don’t comment reference the nutritional benefits or lack thereof), so I invited Mr Piglet out (how generous!) and we went to the local drive in.

In my state of excitation I think my driving skills were worse than usual and the darkness of the night didn’t help either as I always have problems judging distances. Mr Piglet sat beside me in the car looking as if he was going to gag at any moment. Anyone would have thought that it was him that was suffering from morning sickness! His worry was certainly justified by all the little accidents I have had lately; the other evening when I reversed into another car, or the other week when I missed the garage door when trying to drive in, or how about when I got the car stuck between two walls when I picked him up from the hospital?

A look of terror was permanently fixed upon his face and you could hear his sudden intakes of breath as I swerved to miss a van or braked sharply at a red light. Things came to head at the drive in when I very nearly ran over the lady taking the orders. Mr Piglet promptly decided that I needed to take driving lessons!

“What?” I told him. “I know how to drive!” I said indignantly. “I’m just having some problems concentrating at the moment, it’s because I’m pregnant!”
So, it looks as if I’m going to have to really concentrate for the next few weeks otherwise I will be getting driving lessons again! I’m sure this is yet another pregnancy thing as I have never struggled with driving before (aside from the odd parking mishap) – any comments?

Anyway, back to my feeling. The evening passed with no major events and feeling disappointed off I went to bed. Before falling asleep, I decided that Mr Piglet’s laptop was making THE most horrendous noise and had to be turned off before I could even contemplate trying to get 40 winks.

Curiosity, and the fact that I’m a workaholic, got the better of me and before turning it off, I decided to check the emails. And there it was. THE OFFER.
Sitting in his inbox since 11 pm was an offer for the house! Needless to say after reading it, all sleepy thoughts immediately left our minds and we spent a very restless night, verbally dreaming about our new life in the country (and in my case fretting about moving and the availability of osteopaths in the wilderness!) so we’re both feeling a bit tired today!

Negotiations have commenced and we hope to have agreed a sales price by the beginning of next week. In the meantime we’re crossing our fingers for good luck and hoping everything goes smoothly!

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After many, many rants about La Poste and the incompetence of the employees, my visit this morning was one I was not particularly looking forward to, but I didn’t quite count on it ending as it did…

I was to collect a registered letter (which should have been delivered to my home but of course the post man hadn’t bothered to ring the doorbell). A relatively simple task you may think, simply present the post office worker with the delivery slip and ID and hey presto they’ll give me the letter.

Not so simple. The letter was for a business and normally I have a business La Poste card which I show to avoid the need to present any further paperwork. A thorough rummage through my very disorganized handbag resulted in me realizing that I did not have said card on me.

I tried to explain my plight to the post office worker who wasn’t having any of it.

“Who are you” she demanded, “Are you the owner of the company?”

“No, no, I’m his wife and employee” I tried to explain, “my husband’s just had surgery so I’m coming in on his behalf but I don’t appear to have the card”.

“Well, I can’t do anything then” said the women rather rudely, but in fairness I understood that no card and no ID meant that they couldn’t give me the letter.

What happened next rather took me by surprise and is really unlike me. Instead of leaving admitting defeat, I heard a loud wailing and shouting and basically what can only be described as hysteria. I suddenly realized that I had tears streaming down my face and that it was me making all this noise.

As I realized that I had had a major outburst and people everywhere in the post office were looking at me, I felt overwhelmed with embarrassment. What had just happened? It was so not like me to just totally loose it like that. I mean, I had really, really lost it.

The manager was there and I was surrounded by postal office workers trying to calm me down. I rather timidly explained that I was pregnant and that it must be the hormones and apologized for my outburst. Thankfully the manager joked that she had never screamed as much as when she was pregnant and she understood. Unbelievably she then went off and got me my letter! Now who would have expected that? Even I cannot believe it now that I’m writing about it and have the letter on my desk!

It’s a shame you can’t swap post offices in France like you can swap bank branches as I think it’s going to be an awfully long time before I dare brave them again, so utterly humiliated and embarrassed I am by my pregnant woman drama queen performance.

Mr Piglet & his operation:
Above I mention that Mr Piglet has just had surgery, don’t panic, all is well and Mr Piglet is in good health! He had an arthroscopy on his right wrist which basically consisted of the surgeon screwing two of his bones together. The surgery was planned but just wasn’t expected to take place so soon, although I’m rather pleased it has done as it’s now out of the way and in a few months he will be right as rain and more importantly in six months he will be able to hold his baby.

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It’s been a busy and emotionally demanding week in the Piglet household. After my parents departure the house descended into a calm haven, almost too quiet if it hadn’t been broken from time to time by me moaning “I feel sick!”.

I have been feeling sick for the last eight weeks and had taken a positive pregnancy test, but after previous disappointing experiences Mr Piglet and I were in complete denial that I was really pregnant and things carried on as usual aside except for me smoking, drinking wine and eating what I want!

That was until Monday. On Monday, I woke up extremely anxious, all of my previous bad memories flooding into my body and it was in a state of despair and anticipation that Mr Piglet drove me to the hospital for my twelve week ultrasound.

This was to be the moment that everything would either stop and there would be no baby, or that we could rejoice in having made it this far!

As soon as the ultrasound began we shed tears of joy. There on the screen was our Bubbie, bouncing around, with two arms and two legs, without a care in the world completely oblivious to what was going in the outside world.

So folks, Mr & Mrs Piglet are pleased to announce that we are pregnant! Mini Piglet or Piggy is due in April next year and I will soon be entering my second trimester so I hope to be far more sociable in the coming weeks but just in case I’m not, voila the reason for my lack of posting and commenting elsewhere!

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Where I'd be sitting with a glass of wine - if it was sunny!

I’m feeling really sorry for myself today. The blasted miserable weather has given me the flu (or more likely a chill) and I was up all night coughing so I’m a sniveling, tired, miserable piglet today…

What’s more, Hubby has re-baptized me as Mrs Nosey…

When I was a child my parents called our neighbour Mrs Nosey as she always had her nose in other people’s business. For some reason we had taken a real dislike to her. So much so, that when the Autumn leaves started to fall, my brothers and I would spend hours painstakingly collecting all the leaves that had fallen into our garden and heave them over the fence, kindly depositing them in her garden. The poor woman must have wondered on many occasions how come she had so many leaves! I can’t remember why this came about but I do remember our dislike for this women and I would dread to think that someone would think I’m the same.

So fast forward to the present and Hubby’s calling Mrs Nosey! Humph. Not something I entirely agree with but I’ll let you judge objectively whether oui, or non, I’ve turned into Mrs Nosey.

Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary and we went out for a nice meal at lunch time to celebrate to a Thai restaurant that I’d been longing to try for a while. I’d already been to the post box (oh in the morning and had seen two blonde women loitering around carrying brightly coloured folders. Our Rue is not a place where you can really wait for anyone or where you can justify loitering; there are no shops in the immediate vicinity of our front door and the only café/restaurant nearby is 40 metres walk so you wouldn’t be standing by our door if you were there.

After a lovely meal and feeling full to the brim we returned home 3 hours later and I was surprised to see the same two women there. Even more curious was the fact that they had been joined by a third woman and were still in the same place! My suspicion was further aroused and I edged Hubby on to go and ask them what they were doing as we have had some funny going ons in the neighbourhood in the last few years (a man tried to commit suicide, a building fire, major electricity cuts, numerous road accidents, flying pizza, flying soup…oh the joys of city life!).

After much debate on his side (and not wanting to ask) I eventually convinced him by telling him something serious could be happening like the old lady next door dying and a big property developer wanting to build a huge block of student flats and he would regret it if he didn’t ask. Or that they could be spying for a gang of burglars or looking for places that were vacant for squatters.

So off he ventured into the Rue and the conversation went something like this:

Hubby: What are you doing in the street? We saw you about three hours ago with your folder and you’re still there, so we were wondering what you were doing?

Blonde Lady: We were at a singing recital with another school parent who lives there (points to adjacent building and general feeling of uncomfortableness reigns)

Hubby: Oh I see, I thought maybe you were looking for a property, our neighbours an estate agent so I was seeing if maybe he could help…

Talk about thinking on your feet! I was very impressed by Hubby, especially when Blonde Lady gave him all of her details etc, oh what a charmer!

So now, I am called Mrs Nosey. Part of me thinks that if he hadn’t been concerned too then he wouldn’t have gone and asked. Do I really merit this new name?

Jardinage Jeudi
Onto the garden… I’ve had numerous requests not to give up on Jardinage Jeudi completely – apparently some of you like watching my tomatoes grow one by one! So, I’m going to try and find a happy medium starting from today and will post when anything happens on a Thursday from now.

So, today I can report that the monotonous days of solid rain reminiscent of the weather we had in the UK (which drove Hubby mad) have resulted in a very green garden. Here are some artistic photos for you:

View from the bedroom to the right

View from bedroom from left / straighton

View from the grass towards the house

View from the strawberry wall to the dining table

And these photos are HUGGGGEEEEE! If anyone has the technical know-how on how to change a photo once I’ve uploaded it to WordPress, please please let me know and I will make them smaller!

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Last Saturday I was praying for the Volcanic Ash cloud to stay away and yesterday I was praying for it to come back so that we could stay in our Paradise for a little longer. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and I am now consoling myself in the Lyonnais sun, knowing that I’ll be going back to the Western Algarve in just 4 weeks so I’m now back to hoping that that Icelandic volcano that no-one can pronounce stays away again.

My Suitcase

I’ve unpacked and have spent the morning wondering how men can travel so lightly? How on earth do they do it? I was quite proud of myself last week when packing, as my pile of clothes on the bed waiting to be packed appeared to be quite small compared to what I had been used to packing over the years. I congratulated myself thinking that my sailing trip last winter where our baggage was restricted in size and quantity had done me some good. Maybe, but not as much as Hubby! He put me to shame and my pile seemed like a mountain next to his little hill.

I was so worried that he really hadn’t taken enough clothes and had forewarned my Mum that we would need to do some washing. He had packed 1 swim shorts, 4 t-shirts, 4 shirts, 1 pair of shorts, 1 jumper, a pair of Crocs and had jeans which he was travelling in.

I on the other hand packed 4 dresses, 2 bikinis, 7 tops, 2 pairs of trousers, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 beach wraps, 4 jumpers/cardigans plus the clothes and shoes I was travelling. This really didn’t seem like a lot and I definitely had plenty to wear, but unpacking the suitcase now I’ve realised that half of it has gone unworn! I was never a Girl Guide but did go to the Brownies a couple of times so could it be them that trained me to pack for every eventuality?

Our suitcase weighed in at 25 KG so I’ve made a mental note to myself that if I ever travel Ryanair I will have to get Hubby to do my packing, otherwise my excess baggage charges may just be as much as my ticket! Thankfully we were travelling Easyjet so no problems, how I love Easyjet!

What really annoys me though, is that I had left a load of my toiletries in Portugal to save weight in the suitcase and to save me having to pack them again in 4 weeks time. Shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen… you name it, I’ve left it there to make more room in my suitcase (for more shoes maybe?). I was seriously regretting the sunscreen this morning though as I’d vowed in my quest against ageing never to go in the sun without adequate protection again and to my horror, this morning I realised that I had left all my sunscreen in Portugal bar my special factor 50 face cream!

Determined to be able to enjoy the sun whilst respecting my resolution to protect my skin, I searched amongst the hundreds of lotions and creams I appear to collect and eventually came up with some spray on sunscreen, factor 20. Perfect I thought, until I started spraying it on. A weird odour of celery caught my nose before the stinging sensation on my skin started. I think the lotion has turned into a celery scented vinegar! Anyway, it’s on now and I’m writing this sitting in the sun and so far no adverse affects…

Jims British Market

Jims British Market
When we arrived back in Geneva yesterday, I remembered that there was a British supermarket not to far away so I convinced Hubby to take us there on the way back to Lyon. Battling with TOM TOM who did not appear to want to go anywhere, yet alone a British supermarket we eventually made it there and I entered into English heaven as I explored the aisles of food and delights.

I noticed how brightly coloured all the packaging was compared to French supermarkets and everything just seemed to scream BUY ME, YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ME! I was shocked by the prices, everything was so expensive but compared to some of the websites some people here had suggested at least I wasn’t having to pay excessive delivery charges and I suppose that Jim (whoever he is) had gone to the trouble of getting all this to France to start off with so given the price of petrol these days and the fact that he is a French business, mark up does have to be high for him to even begin making a profit!

Anyway, not put off by the prices I indulged in several items such as proper bacon, tomato and onion relish, sticky toffee pudding, Kettles Crisps (how good are they compared to the skinny Lays crisps in France!), Angel Delight, Lazy chilli and my favourite, a chicken and mushroom pie amongst other items.

I did notice that they didn’t have any Cadburys Cream Eggs with dismay, but it’s not really the season and I am well stocked up again thanks to my Mum and Dad who made sure that they bought me some more stock :)

Jim’s British Market & Tea Room Website

So this morning, not only am I sitting in the sun all relaxed and covered in sunscreen, but I’ve also enjoyed a somewhat English breakfast of bacon, egg and tomatoes!

Yummy Breakfast!

More yummy - with delish HP sauce!

Now I think I’ll have a go on the Google Pacman they’ve set up to celebrate Pacman’s 30th anniversary – you can actually play it by using your arrow keys, quite addictive! Gosh, who’d have thought I’m nearly as old as Pacman? I hope I haven’t aged as much as that game has!

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Catching Up!
Well, its been a good couple of weeks since I last wrote a post here and its good to be back! I’ve been suffering from writers block (oh, that sounds so serious !) but seriously, I have not been capable of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) due to my world being turned upside town and spun round and round. Personal events in my life had taken a grip on my day to day life and left me first in great expectation and then in deep anguish but I am pleased to report that I’m feeling much better and am back on track. Itching to write!

As Graham Green said: “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition”

Cadbury’s Eggs
I have found over the last week that writing is an excellent from of therapy so me being back here is proof in the pudding. A Cadbury’s cream egg that arrived today from the UK has also been of much assistance and tasted so delicious that I just had to write about it! Whilst biting into the yummy milk chocolate (which wouldn’t be considered as chocolate in France) it came to my attention that British chocolate really does taste difference. Now I am seriously worried what will happen to my beloved crème eggs now that Cadbury have been taken over?

Weather – Sun & Ash
Since I last wrote, the weather has definitely taken a turn for the better and we have had two consecutive sunny weekends in Lyon which have been fabulous. No signs of volcanic ash here even though the airports are still closed although there has been a horrible burning smell today although I think that is more to do with our neighbours bonfire! It did have me wondering this morning though!

Its been quite fascinating stuff to watch everyone’s great struggles to get home on the TV, they’re have been some pretty amazing stories of how people have walked, cycled and maybe swam (I don’t think anyone did but that just sounds good doesn’t it?) to get home. Obviously those with money have been more financially able to make arrangements than those on tight budgets, I mean seriously, would you pay a couple of thousand Euros to get home in a taxi? I doubt I would (I mean if I could financially) although it would really depend where I was stuck and whether my airline was paying for my accommodation or not. Stuck in the Bahamas or somewhere exotic, no, I would probably stay there but if I was stuck in somewhere obscure with not a lot going on and I had the money then I’d definitely pay up!

Another Strike, another moan by me
What’s really got me is that the French SNCF are still carrying on with their strikes. I’ve been so disconnected recently that I didn’t even realise they were striking again, but now I know its been ongoing and the transport system in France is in crisis. Surely the French army should commandeer the trains that are not running due to the strike and help people continuing to move? They could be milking this for every penny which would no doubt pay for the extra money they want to earn or whatever it is this time. I just don’t see how they can continue to strike when so many people are in difficulty and are trying to get home – not to mention the fact that it’s the school holidays. I find anyone who can strike during a transport crisis to be of incredible selfishness. I’ll stop on the subject of the SNCF now that I’ve relieved myself of that gripe.

Frog Band & Plant Market

Frog Band


On Sunday there was a plant market in Les Grattes Ciel near where I live, so being in an inspired gardening mood (I am a fair weather gardener) off we went to buy some more plants for our garden.
Les Grattes Ciel is an Art Deco district in Villeurbanne and I am a great fan of Art Deco architecture and design. In fact, my home is in an Art Deco building and when I went to Miami a few years ago I spent all my time taking pictures and admiring the Art Deco buildings there.

The shopping area is a wide avenue lined with trees that ends with the rather grand Mairie, a beautiful white/grey building with huge Art Deco pillars, a really fantastic building but so difficult to capture in a photo. The street was transformed into a pedestrian area and was lined with all sorts of stalls selling many variations of plants and flowers, so many in fact the street looked like a garden centre.

It was a really lovely morning out, with the street cafés open and so many people meandering around, buying plants and flowers. I actually wondered whether all these people had gardens as lots of people here live in apartments and I wondered whether thanks to this market there would be a lot more flower boxes this year. I will have to keep an eye out for those.

Frog Band outside the Town Hall


Everything was topped off by a very animated Frog Band playing fanfare music that had me jigging around like a demented person who couldn’t control their feet. I really didn’t want to jig but with the sun and the music my feet kept jigging much to the embarrassment of my Hubby! I was rather fascinated why they were dressed up as frogs but didn’t want to ask for fear of being misinterpreted. Also, I don’t think they would have heard me as they didn’t stop playing for hours on end.

Now we just have to plant the rest of the stuff we bought and when we do I’ll take some proper pictures and maybe someone can help us in identifying what we purchased!

Rubbery Man
I’ve been following Sion’s Faux Pas Fridays over at Paris (im)Perfect for quite a while and have enjoyed laughing until my sides hurt, but last night I had a reversed faux pas of my own thanks to Hubby. He asked me how to spell Rubbery, so I politely spelt it out for him R U B B E R Y. I then wondered why on earth he wanted to know how rubbery was spelt (we were playing on our Iphones – quite sad I know but hey, this is my generation) so I asked him. He replied that it was for a game he wanted to register to play. So, what type of game I asked thinking it was really weird. Texas Hold’Em he replied. Ahhhh, imagine a light bulb in my head slowly lighting up. He wanted to know how to spell ROBBERY. Poor guy, he was registered as RUBBERY, it was too late! We had a laugh and I don’t think anyone wanted to play against him as he soon shut down the application!

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OMG

OMG, I’m panic stricken ! Hubby has invited loads of our friends over tomorrow night for a BBQ but has no clear plan of who’s bringing what, what we’re going to serve to eat etc. Last time he tried to organise this type of thing I sat back, watch him do it and then listen to him call in Pizza…

Now, I have exactly one day to come up with a plan, clean the house and cook the food. Oh yeah, and do my normal day job as well. Fingers crossed x

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