Saigon is hotting up once more. Now I appreciate that, for many of you who drop in on saigonsays from time to time, even when Saigon is not “hotting up” there is a good chance that it still might be considerably warmer here than what other parts of the world have put up with for the past half a year. Simply put, Saigon is always hot, except for the months we are now descending upon, when it slips sweatily into being really hot.
Time then for me to head West, first to Delhi at the weekend, for a week of work just as the country celebrates “Holi”- the first day of spring (Monday 17th) – during which it is tradition to get splattered with coloured powder. All of which makes for a pretty picture to stick at the top of a blog post. Next Monday is also St Patrick’s Day – divinely timed, should Ireland come away with the Six Nations (rugby) trophy two days beforehand.
My ambition for Monday evening in Delhi next week is therefore to avoid too much pink and yellow hair dye during the day, and to successfully find a pint of Guinness in the evening. It’s not every Monday night you get to blend Hindu and Gaelic culture together in such a colourful way.
From Delhi I’ll then be in London for a week, and so I have put a special request in for blue skies and sunshine. I haven’t been back there since last April so it should be a special trip.
It tends to be during travels across Asia – or in this case, back over to the UK – where time seems easier to manage and blogging easier to blog. We’ll see. In the bubble world of “normality” and home-life, in which we are each fairly permanently preoccupied, it can be so very easy to feel like the weeks run into themselves, Monday and Friday arriving too often. With my daughters’ school terms laid out and my travel commitments in place, structuring the months ahead, it can feel like you are blinking away the days.
Pressing pause on life can be fulfilling, even if just for one minute. And, on the verge of this particular fortnight abroad, and with just the one minute to bargain with, my considered moment’s reflection extends quite intuitively to the two little people in my life who unwittingly bookend each of my days (when they are living with me) so energetically, so innocently – and in Martha’s case, so clumsily – that the mere act of teeth brushing becomes in itself a protracted and yet hilarious episode, like an amusing out-take at the end of a movie.
Of all the interactions adults have to make daily with each other, whilst many give pleasure and satisfaction, so many result in anxiety and frustration, envy and politic.
My pause for thought is quite simple: let me pause and in fact send a prayer of hope that in ten year’s time, the internet still exists, and these words and images will be accessible and make sense to my teenage daughters.
For sure, when this happens, they may well have disowned their embarrassing Dad, but I hope they smile back at themselves…