The Looooong Weekend

By - May 6, 2008 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

Right now my normally laid-back, not-much-going-on, day-to-day Belgian life is in hyper-drive. I apologise in advance for the lack of e-mails and blog posts over the coming weeks. If this past weekend is any indication of things to come, I’m going to be a busy girl.

May in Belgium is full of holidays so we just had a much needed four day weekend. The weather was actually beautiful but we spent most of our weekend inside, packing and disassembling furniture (hopefully it goes back together as easily). Our house is a shambles in its somewhat-ready-to-be-moved state. Everything we won’t need in the next two weeks is now boxed up and living in our basement. I dread unpacking. Not quite as much as I dread moving day though.

We did make it out of the house a couple of times to enjoy the weather. Saturday in our (ok my) quest to find curtains for the new bedroom, we ventured to Maas Mechelen Village. I must say, it was a bit creepy. I felt like I was transported to an outlet mall in Orlando. As far as outlet malls go it was nice, but mostly clothing oriented. It would be worth a trip back when the sales are on in August but my bedroom mission remains unsuccessful.

Yesterday was so long it almost felt like two different days. The first half was spent in communes with Andrew, trying to get paperwork sorted out (you know how well that goes in Belgium). Things went pretty quickly at the Kortenberg commune but we spent over two hours at our new commune in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. It felt like purgatory. I’m assuming it’s an indication of things to come. On the upside however, not only can we communicate with the workers there in French… we’re even allowed to speak English! That was a big switch from our current ‘you may only speak Dutch unless you are in a windowless room with the door locked’ commune. (Yes that actually happened to us).

When I finally escaped commune hell, I made my way to meet up with a friend who was only in town briefly. I was already late so of course the train broke down half-way there.

When I finally reached my destination, the good half of my day began. It was great to catch up with my friend and wander the streets on such a nice day. I met Andrew back in Brussels
and we grabbed pizza at our favourite spot and had our first sidewalk meal of the summer. I could actually feel the winter gloom and the S.A.D. lift from my shoulders. It actually reminded me what I’m going to all of this moving trouble for.


When I arrived home, I had an awesome little package from a friend back home. It was such a nice surprise after weeks of people demanding money for both properties. I now have the coolest socks ever and an Amish air-freshener for our new car (which has been ordered but we still don’t have) among other goodies.

The sender of my little pack of goodies is currently on an amazing trip through Asia. I’m dead jealous and if she wasn’t my oldest and dearest friend I might just hate her guts. Instead I wish her a fun and fabulous time and remind her to take copious amounts of pictures and notes for me.


Today the sun is still shining and although Andrew and I are both at work, we are celebrating are 8th wedding anniversary. (We actually celebrated it together on Saturday night with Indian food… fitting for us wouldn’t you say?) It’s been an incredible 8 years of marriage. I’ve been blessed to be able to share it with my best friend and soul mate. Our time here in Belgium has been a roller coaster but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Besides… I always was a coaster junkie. Love you Pookie

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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+
It's after Halloween so I can officially share Christmas Markets now right...? 🎄🎅 - 1 week ago


  1. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew May 6, 2008 at 20:08

    Thanks, girlie! It’s been an interesting, exciting, loving, and eventful 8 years with you 🙂 Thanks for being my rock!
    Love you! xoxo

  2. Comment by Helen & Bill

    Helen & Bill May 7, 2008 at 02:35

    Oh, we are such bad parents. Happy 8th anniversary. Its amazing that its been that long, where does time go. And you both so still look the same…nearly. But you are way more sophisticated now. Living in Brussels does it, or 8 years together did it, or something.
    Anyway glad it was a happy day for you. Take care
    Ma & Pa

  3. Comment by Megan

    Megan May 7, 2008 at 02:59

    Great photos. (Both of them.)

  4. Comment by BeeBop

    BeeBop May 9, 2008 at 14:40

    Happy Belated Anniversary! I love the socks!!!

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