Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

…since I had any spare time to blog or to surf the internet. The hardest thing about being a working Mum is finding time for me. Baby Piglet takes up endless amounts of time and physical energy, then there’s work and at the end of the day I just kind of collapse in a heap on the sofa and fall asleep.

Work has been going well recently, after taking nearly a year off due to problems at the end of my pregnancy and the problems I encountered after giving birth, it feels good to be back and I’m enjoying the thrill of making things happen again.

Baby Piglet is well, she’s coming up to 11 months now, how time flies! I am starting to plan her first birthday party and turning Mr Piglet’s junk room into a playroom for her. She is still not walking or crawling and whilst I’m making the most of this relaxing time, I can see that she is itching to move and unfortunately she does get very frustrated. “Tummy time” was recommended to help build up her core muscles but bless her, as soon as I put her on her tummy she just flips over onto her back!

Little darling Baby Piglet appears to have a fierce independent streak which no doubt will bode her well in time but much to my dismay she decided to stop eating last week. After days of worry that she was ill I took her to the Doctor who cheerfully informed me that Mademoiselle was playing games and that there’s nothing wrong with her! Lo and behold she then proceeded to eat perfectly normally that evening. Score: 0 Mummy, 1 Baby Piglet.

She has also started chatting and saying Dada and Nanan very well. It’s ironic as Mr Piglet wanted to be called Papa and she says Dada perfectly and I wanted to be Mummy or Mama and she is desperately trying to say Maman but can’t get her tongue around the M. Oh well, I can cope with that as it’s helpful that she calls Dada when she wakes during the night.

As for the house, we’ve so much to do! The cold has finally gone, the heating is working and I’ve mastered the fire. The farmer mowed the fields and now we have to tend to the veggie patches, the grass and work out some sort of plan to plant a hedge. The first signs of spring here are all the weeds growing back, oh joy!

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There’s been lots of moaning on behalf over the last few months about the French medical system as I’ve not had much positive to say about it due to all the bad experiences I’ve had, however, today I would like to thank them for saving my eye sight.


Since I posted last week about the One Eyed Blogger, things took a turn for the worse and I ended up back in Hopital Edouard Herriot Eye Centre inLyonthe very next day.


One of the funny things about eye problems is that you can’t see. Actually it’s not very funny at all but you lose a lot of perspective and things that you take for granted. I couldn’t see the Doctors that were treating me at the hospital and whilst I know that there were 4 different Doctors that saw me last Tuesday I cannot say what any of them looked like.


My pain was so great I had a cover on my head at all times to protect me from the light. The Doctors kept referring me to someone else, it became painfully obvious that my case was serious and when the Chef de Service of the whole eye hospital came to see me I knew that something was majorly wrong.


The hospital made it clear to me that I had to go in every day for cortisone injections directly into the eyeball. This was time for me to get over the all consuming fear of hospitals and medical staff that I had developed since this summer. The first time they went to inject me, I actually crossed my legs and wriggled away screaming “non, non”. Obviously the trauma from my birth experience was still very real.


The team at the hospital were excellent and listened to what had happened. They offered me tranquilizers and explained why it was so important that they inject into my eyeball. They needed to control the inflammation quickly as it was getting out of control and as a consequence by sight was suffering.


Mr Piglet and I made arrangements for me to taken toLyoneach day. It was very stressful trying to organize child care, juggle work (neither Mr Piglet nor I were able to work) plus not know how long each hospital trip would last.


After a few days someone piped up that I was entitled to travel by taxi for my hospital trips and that Mr Piglet didn’t need to take time off work to transport me. This was such a relief and a great provision by the French health service. Not only were they taking care of my physical health, my mental well being and peace of mind was also being looked after.


So far my sight is improving, the pain is greatly reduced and I am no longer requiring daily Cortison injections. However, I have had to come to terms with my disease and realize that I need medication to help control it right now. This has been hard to admit as at the same time it means admitting I am ill. I have taken the decision to cease breastfeeding Baby Piglet even though I had not wanted to, I do not feel comfortable with the risk of her having medication via my milk.


This is the start of a new chapter in my life, a chapter which will redefine my role as a Mummy after only 6 months and a bit, a chapter which will redefine how I look after myself. Now is my time to get well and what better place for it to happen than inFrance?

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This is the most close up pic of me I’ll ever publish on the web!  I think I’m totally rocking the dark sunglasses and hat inside in the dark although I’m pretty sure that some of the local people who have seen me skulking around the village in shades and hats despite the fog will soon start asking me for an autograph “a la Kate Moss”.

I guess this is what you get from trying to convert from Girl gone mild back to Girl gone wild: 3 emergency trips to the eye Hospital in Lyon, sinusitis and acute inflammation of the eye equals minimum 1 week (so far) of no seeing anything and sitting in dark rooms. Obviously Blogger meet ups, crazy weddings and lots of rants have worn me down.

So that’s me taking yet another break from Blogging until I can see again!

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Have I become old? It’s been suggested that I’ve become old and less ranty but I think I’ve been keeping a lid on my rants lately, partly due to not have enough time to write but also due to the “go back home” brigade.


Yes, that’s right, the GO BACK HOME brigade.


Do you know who I’m talking about? Some of you will, some of you won’t. The GO BACK HOME brigade are a certain breed of expats that I have come across this year that tell you to go back home whenever you say anything negative about France or about missing anything from Britain.


But they have failed to understand one thing.FRANCEIS MY HOME.


This breed of expat is one of the reasons why I have not been so keen on blogging recently and certainly one of the reasons why I have tamed my rants, but pants to them! If they have such a problem and cannot recognize thatFranceis my home then tough luck!


I got a lot of stick, nasty comments and horrible emails when I dared to say anything negative about the French medical system and how I was treated after the birth of Baby Piglet earlier this year. I was verbally attacked by people who knew little of my life and who assumed that I was non-French speaking and profiting from the system here.


I was called a liar and told to go back to theUKif I was so unhappy with what had happened. This left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth and I found myself censoring my posts and my will to write disappeared.


On another blog I was told that I showed no respect for the French culture because I missed certain British foodstuffs and that I should sod off back to theUKif I wanted to eat Branston pickle. I mean how daft is that? Should French people be told to go and live elsewhere when we see them eating in McDonalds?


I have never had much to do with expats in the past as my friends tend to be French. I arrived here when I was 16 so grew up here. Since I’ve started blogging I’ve loved feeling part of an expat community and exchanging experiences and I’ve missed it recently.


Franceis my home, it has been for the last 15 years and will remain so in the future.


There. I’ve said it. Rant over.


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Hey! Sorry for no updates or recent blog posts, my feet haven’t touched the ground! Here’s a few things I’ve been busy with:

– Baby Piglet of course! She’s 4.5 months now and is rolling over and giggling like a champion! She’s just started with the nanny so when I’m not working I’m dedicating all my time to her.

– Work! After nearly a year off (I worked very very part time) I’m back at work and loving every second of it! My return to work coincides with new directions and I’m pretty much investing all my baby free time there at the moment.

– Ankylosing spondylitis: Since giving birth, I have had major complications and problem after problem and have been diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis. Rather than manage it with anti-inflammatories. I have decided to go on an anti-inflammatory diet. No gluten, dairy or sugar. For a girl that practically lived on ice-creams and pasta before giving birth this is one hard task as I hadn’t a clue what to eat and all my habits needed changing!

So, that’s what’s what in the Piglet household these days. Do drop me your news in a comment below or link to any important news on your blogs so I can catch up.

Keep well!

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Oh my! Vivement that the next 6/7 weeks go by quickly and without any major hiccups as I’m truly beginning to wonder whether I’m going to make it to the end of my pregnancy without disaster and whether I should wrap myself up in cotton wool and stay sat on the sofa all day…

After the “bathroom incident” at les Beaux Parents, I’ve had a couple more incidents including nearly falling down a ditch in front of their house whilst driving at 5 kmh (I have no idea where I was looking) and having the removal men take away all my underwear meaning that I had nothing left for the time we are in limbo (okay so it was a good excuse to go shopping!).

But yesterday I nearly made 4 people, 4 cats, 1 dog and a tortoise homeless when I came very close to burning the in-laws house down.

I was off to meet the lovely Mummy in Provence and little Baby in Provence in nearby Orange for lunch and wanted to look presentable so decided to iron my clothes as a normal person would. Except it wasn’t my iron and after fathoming out how the wretched thing worked, I turned it on and left it to heat up, thinking that I’d make the most of it and iron a few of Mr Piglet’s work shirts whilst I was at it.

I entered the absorbing world of internet for all of about 10 minutes and forgot about the iron until I smelt burning. Horror of horrors! The iron had melted and was working its way through the electric cables! Minutes later and I would have been dealing with a fire! A fire in a wooden house!

Ruined Iron

So now I need to buy a new iron but the MiL isn’t having any of it. She just laughed it off but I am so embarrassed. These poor people must be fed up of me and my accidents already and I’ve only been here for two weeks! By my calculations I’ve got at least another 4 weeks before we move into our new house, I’m just going to have to try really, really hard not to break anything else… I’m using the tumble dryer for the first time this am so wish me luck!

The rest of the day went thankfully without major incident and I had a lovely time with Mummy in Provence and BiP picking up lots of helpful tips on baby care and equipment! I hear BiP is ill today though so I hope she gets better soon! It truly is a pleasure for me to stay in Provence at the moment and hopefully the in-laws will let me come back to visit again once we move out so that I can continue meeting all the great people I’ve met recently.

I did get totally lost driving back from Orange though but it wasn’t all negative. I managed to take a lovely snap of the nearby village to where we’re staying. When I saw it, I thought of Sara in Le Petit Village as it’s just how I imagine Le Petit Village to be…

Le Petit Village near where I'm staying...

One last thing, I’ve finally set up a Facebook page… If you’re on Facebook do drop by and say hello – here it is…

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A bit blurry but a photo all the same!

A couple of weeks ago I received an invite from the lovely Aidan at Conjugating Irregular Verbs for a lunch get together named Blogapalooza. The only “hic” was that the get together was to take place in Aix En Provence in South of France, quite a drive away from Lyon and that with my bad back and pregnant belly it was unlikely that I would be able to go.

I was delighted to discover that some of the other attendees were going to be accompanied by their husbands so I persuaded Mr Piglet to accompany me if the Doctor gave me the all clear to travel and a week before the get together I had my 8th month pregnancy check up and got the all clear! I was no longer on bed rest and could travel at will. Music to my ears! I was going to get to attend!

I’m quite a shy person and at the moment an insomniac, so was a bit worried about how I would get on with all of these strangers and whether I’d have anything in common with them. Okay, I’d been following their blogs for quite some time, for example I had followed Tanya from before she even moved to France and then there was her wedding and her move to Nice and how could I be worried about not getting on with Sara? I had tried to explain to Mr Piglet who everyone was before arriving, but got stuck on Sara… “she is from Le Petit Village” I said “has a dog called Fifty, is learning French and is a little, well, mad, just like me, or so it seems!”.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? I have been sharing parts of my lives and parts of their lives virtually on the internet now for some time and it was if I was meeting up with a bunch of long lost pals. The fact that we’d all mutually been sharing things and chosen to follow each other out of thousands of other blogs on the internet means something.

The hardest thing for me was dealing with accents in the busy restaurant. When I read blogs on the internet I imagine everyone having an English accent just like me, so lots of American and even Australian accents threw me, and for a while I wanted everyone to come with subtitles as my tired pregnant brain was fogging up on me and I struggled.

But then the restaurant emptied out, as the Aix En Provence people returned to the streets and the shops and suddenly I could hear properly and understand everyone! It was like a light bulb going off in my head, as if someone had taken off the ear mufflers. Either that or the strong espresso coffee woke me up with a jolt!

As Mr Piglet commented on our return journey, it is rare to meet so many people so randomly and get on with them all so well. I think he enjoyed himself as well even though he was a bit taken a back by everyone knowing stuff about our life! Everyone was really great and I am pleased to have met everyone face to face and discover Kirsty’s blog (which I didn’t know before) and also meet B in person and learn so much more about French television and balconies in Cannes!

If you’re not familiar with Aix En Provence, it’s a lovely town, it was my first visit too but I didn’t get much of a chance to look around as I was aching and wanted to get back home. But of course, I could rely on fellow Lyon blogger and attendee Charley to write something and she sure delivered! Have a look at her picture show of Aix en Provence shop windows… makes me want to return for some shopping right now!

So, Blogapalooza for me was a huge success and I hope that after the arrival of Little Miss Piglet I will be able to attend future get together and maybe one day even organize one of my own (maybe with a pole for some pole dancing?). Thank you again Aidan for organizing and for inviting little old me!

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