Today is day Hell. It is my time of the month and I am feeling ru-ubbish! I am well and truly devoid of carbs and I am feeling the comedown. Ed is going to Agen to meet a customer, so will drive to work by himself, to get there on time and leave the key with his secretary. I have little planned today apart from getting the girls on a bus to Ed’s work, picking up the car from there, taking it to the house and wait for the telephone people to install the telephone line. Easy.

I get the girls ready and out and to Ed’s work, all without a hitch. We have food packed and we are picking up a fruit hamper from Ed’s work. We are on time and whilst driving to the new house, I say to Ty over my shoulder, “We’ve done really well so far Ty, I…oh”. I have forgotten the key to the new house. Various thoughts go through my mind, like, where is Ed when I need him? Why is this happening today? Why don’t we all have a set of keys, instead of one stupid garage door key? None of these are helpful, so I drive the last few hundred metres to the house and park up. There is definitely no other way of getting in there. I call the estate agent, just in case she has the actual front door key, but of course, she is off for her 2 hour shutdown lunch break. There is nothing for it, but to turn around. Poor girls are starving and bored, as am I.

We head home.

I do a drive by run in and grab the key off the side by the computer. Ed must’ve taken the annoying bit of plastic the electrician put on it. I also collect the keys to the filing cabinet – bonus! Get back to the house, try the key – er…no freaking way! It’s the wrong key. Turns out Ed hadn’t taken the plastic “keyring” off; I had just picked up the wrong key. Off we go, back to the apartment. Leave car outside, girls in it, run in, pick key up and head back.

We get there in time. Thank goodness I’d set out early. Get girls in the house, which is covered in dirt. The telephone guys arrive – brill. We are getting somewhere. They fanny around for a while looking at various things outside and then come in to tell me that the cables are laid about one metre away from the place they should be in and there is nothing that they can do about it.

I should have known this was not going to be a good day.

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So today is like, day four or five or something. I am coping well without carbs. I have resisted the call of the refined carbohydrate and even had to get a ‘Baguette de Campagne” (beautiful wholemeal, floured crusty baguette) from the boulangerie, which Tyla then passed to me saying, “Aaah, Mum, feel it, it’s still warm.” Nice.

No, eating is not a problem. I have felt a little icky in my stomach yesterday and today, but I think it’s just the richness of the food being a little too much for me that early, plus being a woman, we have monthly occurrences which can throw you a little off, too. I have been sticking to tea with almond milk for brekkie and maybe a banana or a grapefruit, with a handful of nuts.

We went with Ed this morning, so we could take the car after we dropped him off and went to the new house. The electrician was there, as arranged, finishing off the sockets and lights. He had a generator going and the floor was covered with screws, tools, dust – just a building site really. So I am now not sure what to do. I load Nina in the buggy to go for a walk, but realise that if we go for a walk, once she’s asleep we wont be able to come back to the house with generator blaring. I get her out of the buggy and put her back in the car. I decide to go straight to CAF in Pessac; I get the address from my iPhone and punch it into the sat nav. A 7 minute drive away. perfect.

We find it and park a few hundred metres down the road. I check that the parking bay for any “No parking” signs, find none, unload with the help of Tyla, check we have all our documents and head up to CAF. It is in a social housing building.  Makes sense. We go into the building. it looks quiet. It’s closed. of course it is. This is France after all, where everything is always bloody shut. This CAF is closed Wednesday (to stop all and sundry being there with there kids I suppose), Friday and for this week especially, it is closed everyday. Perfect.

We walk back to the car. Load up and I have a text from Ed telling me that the Orange Internet Box is ready for collection from a bar in Eysine, with the address. Now, I am not sure I can think of anywhere more random to pick up my Internet modem. Perhaps maybe a swimming pool or a strip club? But so long as it’s there, I’m not really too fussed what kind of establishment it is. I call Ed to let him know my plans, but he tells me I need to go back to the house as there is another electric guy from ERDF installing the electricity boxes outside the two houses at 10. It’s 10:05. I get going, arrive and the nice man is done. He gives me some paperwork and it all seems to have gone to plan.

Wrong again!

It turns out that now we need to wait up to 5 working days for an electricity provider to connect us from the street to the house. Once this is done, we need the home electrician to connect the box to house. Now this all seems like madness. I’m no electrician, but seeing as they’ve rigged the electrics up the front of the house, it would seem only logical that just a flick of a switch or two (I really don’t know anything about electrics) and ‘Voila!’, we should be switched on?

Inevitably, I am left pretty frustrated and helpless to assist with resolving this due to the language barrier. Ed comes to the rescue and in between working, he badgers everyone possible until we finally get word that we will have electricity Saturday morning. This is good news, because our friends are coming to visit Sunday night and we were just beginning to work out the logistics of ‘glamping’ in the house!

I am struggling a little with the new diet and not being near a functional kitchen at all times. The heat is also wearing and all my snacks have to be eaten pretty quickly before they turn to mush or just plain yuk. I am grateful that I have Tyla with me and Ed on the end of a phone whenever I need him. Nothing is easy, but for now I am happy I have made it through another day without losing my sanity (completely).

I have no plans today, other than to look after the lovely girls, wait in for the estate agent to come and collect the house keys from us and then meet Ed at work later, so we can go to the house. We are going to sign all the tenancy paperwork. We are pretty excited about this, as it makes our move finally seem like a reality. After many false starts, like our initial moving in date of June 1st, I am pleased ‘real’ moving day is actually upon us. Yes, not excited, just pleased. Excited came and went about 2-3 weeks ago.

I am feeling fine about not eating processed food, and am being optimistic about the impact this could have on my overall health and my life. I have eaten a large omelette and lardons for a late breakfast and had a grapefruit for lunch, still full from my morning big protein-fest. I like the feeling that I may be gaining some control over what I am putting in my body to nourish it and am not too worried that the fridge is looking decidedly bare of ‘good’ foods and in need of sorting out.

Nina has 2 epic naps today – overall sleeping for four hours. Now, I’m not one to monitor sleeping or plan nap times, so this doesn’t really disrupt my day. Tyla has her iPod Touch back after a two day ban, so I’m happy to let her play on it for a while.

During the second nap, I am still in my bra and pants. I am on the computer with my clean clothes next to me, ready to be ironed and thrown on at some point during the nap and before the estate agent arrives at 2pm. She’s 40 minutes early. Normally this would fill me with joy. Punctuality is not a known French trait and I always expect tardiness; in fact I’m partial to not being on time myself. This serves me well most of the time, because if I am on time and they are late, I am not disappointed. Also, if I am late, they are generally later than me. Conversely if someone is on time, when I am also on time, I am pleasantly surprised. If they are early and I am late, well, I imagine it is fairly annoying for them, but I try not to let it get me down.

I buzz her into the foyer and throw on my wrinkled clothes, grab the keys and run down to see her. I hand them over and that’s task one out of the way. This is my cue to get off my backside and get everything ready before the wee one awakes.

Later on we get ourselves ready to meet Ed at work and head off to the tram. Nina is always a little pickle on the tram, so we have learnt to station ourselves at the very back, where there are usually two free seats, park the buggy by the non-opening doors, and let Nina ‘sit’ with us. This involves her climbing over everything, but also charming the pants off all the tram passengers. She waves at them and gives them her radiant toothy grin. She dances to the sound of the tram and any other repetitive noises around, which serves to remind us, there is beauty in everything.

We meet Ed at work and drive to the house. Once there, we wait for the (late) estate agent and admire the new letterbox that has been installed outside and the fact that the driveway has been levelled (although not finished) making the house look like less of a building site. She arrives and we go in. There is still work to be done, but the kitchen has been (mostly) installed and the garden has also been levelled with soil (er, looks like dust to me, but we have it on good authority that it is soil). The paintwork is not perfect and we know that the landlords have struggled to get it done, so we have long accepted that the finish will be less than perfect.

We are there for over two hours; the landlords turn up, as do the builders and it is a long drawn out free for all. Meanwhile I have a cranky baby and I am not much better; I am also distinctly aware that I did not pack enough food for one person, let alone enough to sustain this family for this long over dinnertime. I feel we are heading for a disastrous solution and as we near 8 pm, Ed says the magic words, “Take away pizza?”. I am pretty down, but am trying to work with my life, not against it, so I agree.

We finally get home with pizzas, at about 8:45. I enjoy the food, have a beer for good measure and try not to beat myself up about it. After all, I knew starting under these conditions was not the perfect recipe for success. Ed tells me he has my Whole 30 book at work and I look forward to starting properly tomorrow. A shopping trip to put some good food in the fridge; some proper guidance in the shape of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s It Starts with Food book; the prospect of being in my new house in just over a week; all postive, so I say goodbye to Day 2 and with renewed hope, I look forward to tomorrow – Day 1.

Starting out…day 1

That’s it. I’ve finally had enough. I have endured this HS now for so long and after spending another weekend in pain so bad, I could barely walk, I need some help. Whilst eating Paleo may not be the answer, I need to get on it to find out either way!

With so many of my decisions, I hate doing anything new unless I am fully prepared. It’s a trait that can be positive, but on the other hand it holds me back unnecessarily (did I mention I still haven’t handed in my first unit of TEFL, just in case some of my answers are wrong?) Now living in this one bed apartment, with no oven, one (damaged) small ceramic knife, two electric hobs, the cheapest pots and pans you could imagine and no Paleo books makes me about as far away from prepared as one can be, whilst still living in a civilised space.¬†We also plan to go to bed earlier tonight, as I know that my random melt downs are lack of sleep related.

So, it’s time to suck it up and just cut out carbs and grains, stick to what I know of the diet and make do. So far I have managed a whole day with no refined foods (apart from dried fruit and nuts, which I haven’t read enough about). Served up rice to Mr B and Ty for tea, with a chicken curry I made from scratch. It was weird not having the rice, but was so filling on its own, I don’t know how I ¬†managed to stuff in a load of carbs with my curry before?!

So day one is a success. Mr B has taken my ‘before’ body photos. Here’s hoping it won’t be long before I have some noteworthy ‘after’ shots…