By - November 14, 2006 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

Andrew sports a special party hat for Bill’s birthday.

Except for the sounds of traffic passing by my open window, my house is silent and I am here alone – just me and the cats. It’s an odd feeling after a month of having 3 people around all the time. (Yes, Andrew actually took time off from work).

Helen and Bill headed to the airport with Andrew, (who is off to London for the day, followed by three days in Switzerland) at a ridiculous hour well before the sun came up this morning.

I lay in bed while they bustled about getting ready to stumble through the airport. How many mornings have I been doing that same stumbling? In the past few years – many. I wandered out to see them off, not envying the day they will have – flying is a necessary evil of travel.

As I sit here alone now, I can’t even begin to process everything we’ve done in the past month (Bill’s 1221 photos stored on my hard drive will help with the blogs I’ll be writing over the next little while). At my current rate, I’ll get to my own slides by June of 2008.

Today though, other than a mountain of laundry that needs to be tackled, I’m not going to lift a finger. I have a sofa, a stack of British cooking magazines and four warm furies that are keen for a snuggle with my name all over them.

For now I’m going to sit back and try to remember the details of all the amazing times we had over the past month (not to mention the food… who will make the foie gras now?)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get back to real life…

Thank you Bill and Helen for an amazing month, despite the early mornings, dubious road food, perilous cliff-side driving, (and the Dune de Pyla) you were troopers. We loved having you.

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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+
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  1. Comment by Alison

    Alison November 14, 2006 at 14:03

    Christina – I’m back 🙂 In body anyway … the mind may take a few days 🙂

  2. Comment by Alison

    Alison November 14, 2006 at 16:53

    jeez guys… you’d think you had nothing better to do than keep checking my blog to see when I’d be back … 😉 Miss you all!

  3. Comment by christina

    christina November 14, 2006 at 13:25

    Hurray! You’re back!

  4. Comment by cheri

    cheri November 14, 2006 at 14:23

    Hi Guys! So glad to hear you have a great time. Looking forward to seeing all those pictures!
    miss u

  5. Comment by Amy

    Amy November 14, 2006 at 16:27

    What a great picture! Helen & Bill, I hope you had a wonderful adventure! I’m looking fwd to hearing about it in upcoming blogs.

  6. Comment by Jenn

    Jenn November 14, 2006 at 16:41

    Enjoy your day of rest. Can’t wait to see the pics and hear of the adventures 🙂

  7. Comment by Mom

    Mom November 15, 2006 at 00:29

    Glad to hear you had a wonderful time and arrived back safely. I can’t wait to see those pictures and hear all about your adventures and the new dining experiences

  8. Comment by Di

    Di November 16, 2006 at 21:29

    Welcome home 🙂
    Been checking then somehow didn’t check or else you were sneaky … I just wandered in and found THREE posts.

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