Home for a Rest

By alison - July 12, 2006 (Updated: November 29, 2014)

We made it back from Canada last Wednesday and I wish I could say that the flight was painless, but alas, I cannot.

We were at Halifax International with loads of time to spare. I figured we could grab a bite and do a little last minute shopping. As we were checking in we heard an announcement over the load speaker informing us that there was to be a “planned power outage,” in 10 minutes.

We hurried to check in our bags before the systems went down. We just made it before everything went dark. By the time the power came back on it was time to file through security (where both of us had bags searched).

It seems to be the norm that the 9:00 pm flight to London is late due to problems in Toronto. This was the case yet again. We were well over an hour late leaving.

Normally this wouldn’t affect our schedule too much, but this time we were flying on the cheap (or cheap for last minute booking anyway) and had to check in at the British Airways desk at Heathrow.

Then there were the thunderstorms that were pounding London to slow us down even more…

Once we landed the aircrew started reading off the names of passengers who had imminent flight departures. Luckily we were on the list and they loaded us on to a van to zip us to our terminal. We were zipped through the security queue and delivered to the head of the BA line. There we were informed that our flight had been cancelled due to the weather. Sigh.

The next flight out, at noon, was booked. We could try standby or we could take the 3 pm flight. After deliberation and being informed that there were already 14 people on the standby list, we opted for 3 pm… It was currently 8am.

Terminal 4 at Heathrow is not a happening spot. It’s crowded, expensive and smoky. We endured.

At 3, our flight was delayed another 45 minutes. We didn’t get home until 5:30 that evening. We aired out our house and cleaned up two weeks worth of cat hair, then collapsed into bed.

But it doesn’t end there… oh no, it doesn’t…

At 6 am we awoke to a crash. Thinking it was yet another smashed plant pot, thanks to a certain Orange feline, I didn’t worry too much. Andrew went to investigate.

The pots were all safe. Our bathroom, (which I’m now certain is cursed) was not.

One of the mirrors on our vanity had smashed into the sink, taking a huge chunk out of the ceramic. There was shattered mirror and sink everywhere.

It seems that the mirror was only stuck on with two pieces of double-sided tape. The tape had let go in the heat and, Viola … disaster.

We still haven’t told the landlords… this will be the third thing to go wrong in that bathroom and we had been looking forward to a peaceful summer. No luck for us I guess.

So I suppose you actually want to know about the trip home…

Our first stop was Ontario for the wedding. It was beautiful and the weather was very co-operative. Everything went off perfectly and we had a great time seeing friends and family we haven’t seen in ages and meeting our new family.

The following week we were off to Halifax. Andrew had to work and I made the rounds as best I could to visit friends. It was hectic and we didn’t get to see half of the people we hoped to. Next time home has to be a real vacation.

For Canada Day weekend we drove to Saint John to see my family and Jenn. This was a bit more relaxed although the weather wasn’t the best.

Tuesday we drove back to Halifax, had supper with Kate, and flew out that night.

We ate a lot. (Highlights – sushi pizza with Sue and Charlie; home-made soup and pasta with Jeff, Chantal and Finn, Garlic Fingers with Brad, Paige and Anna, Seafood with Cheri, Shrimp with Jenn and stuffed chicken with Amy… then there was all of the wedding related food and drink…)

So now it’s time to relax and enjoy a Belgian summer. So far the weather has been nice (knock on wood) and (aside from the bathroom issues) I hope we’ll have some peace and quiet… and sleep… and diets.

To those I saw in Canada – Thanks for making it fun. To those I didn’t get to see – I’m really sorry and we owe you.

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Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
One of my biggest goals in coming back to my home province was to learn as much as I could about our First... - 3 days ago


  1. Comment by Kim H

    Kim H July 12, 2006 at 22:22

    We’ll be making a very similar journey in 3 weeks, but even a bit more convoluted if you can imagine that! Tirana-London Gatwick- overnight at the Hilton Heathrow- London Heathrow- Halifax NS. Then a few days up in the Annapolis Valley, then the drive to Toronto/South Western Ontario and then to Ottawa. Back to NS for a week before the hubby flies back to Tirana via London. I’ll stay in NS for an extra 3 weeks before making the trek back. Arhhhhg……. it tires me out just thinking about it– and especially with your aforementioned delays! Don’t you wish we could just wiggle our noses and be home?!

  2. Comment by Alison

    Alison July 13, 2006 at 09:30

    Kim: Good luck (especially if you are flying Air Canada). I hope you have a great time. I love the Valley! Do you have friends or family there or is it just a vacation trip?

  3. Comment by Kim H

    Kim H July 13, 2006 at 18:42

    Hi Alison!
    Well we had a huge change in plans this afternoon due to my mother in law’s health having quickly deteriorated this week. Therefor we are moving our vacation up 3 weeks and we’ll leave this Saturday. Our route has also changed- now we’re flying to Vienna-Toronto-Halifax. Arggg- I’ve always tried to avoid that but at this late time there’s no other way. Then we’ll still drive to Tor. Can you imagine that? It’s such a wonky journey but that’s because my parents are in the valley and Pete’s parents are in SW Ontario (as are our kids). P and I actually bought a lovely house in Greenwood NS last January and it will be his first time staying in it. My mom and dad live there and take such great care of it for us.
    Oh it’s all a bit complicated eh? LOL
    Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to still reading your blog over the summer.

  4. Comment by expatraveler

    expatraveler July 17, 2006 at 23:24

    Ginnie says this is due to mercury retrograde. I’m up for believing that seriously with all of your miss haps. And well mine wasn’t so nice either, especially since it’s a mac and it costs a bundle for something that I needed (stupid 1.98 part that cost $100 plus).

  5. Comment by dARK sIDE dAD

    dARK sIDE dAD July 20, 2006 at 17:24

    Yo Yurup,
    So, the misery of a trip from hell had you arrive home in no mood to stand in front of the mirror and examine the bodily and emotional damage caused by such torture was an ill wind that did serve somebody some good after all! Sorry that the great time we shared with you ended in such a journey and calamity. It was wonderful to have so many of us together and having you folks there was a highlight. Sorry we missed the sushi pizza and all that other stuff but we’ll make up for it, I’m sure. Love the blogs! Hope you’re finding creative ways to cope with the heat wave … take care … lots of love …
    dARK sIDE dAD

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