January journal + Hoi An photos

Although I went back to work on Friday, it was with a sense of having been somewhat indulgent, as Vietnam enjoyed its annual lunar New Year shut down last week and, life as we know it here in Saigon, ground to a very pleasant halt.

Our blossoming Tễt tree

Families and friends idled away four days of public holidaying, the focus being on eating festive foods, drinking large quantities of alcohol, and speculating at length what the year ahead might hold (see previous post on Dragons, although for those with less time to spare to read post, the nuts and bolts of it is that the Year of the Dragon is an auspicious year in the twelve yearly zodiac cycle, and there is heightened expectation amongst people here about what 2012 will bring.) Continue reading

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December journal + Hanoi photos

Sunday afternoon, and I have a hangover.

A fitting state perhaps to welcome in the start of the festive season, although the combination of last night’s beers, 5 hours sleep, Martha wailing like a banshee, and Florence enthusiastically using me as her personal drum-kit, was not quite the ideal scenario first thing this morning in terms of remedying a sore head.

I used to love December back in the UK.  It can be the most indulgent month of the year, and also the most random in terms of habits.

On the social side, for example, people start warming up their red wine and adding in fruit. More pastry gets consumed in one month than during the whole of the rest of the year.  For some reason, we also decide it important that we simply must meet up with certain friends for Christmas drinks, often people we haven’t seen or heard from since the previous year when we committed to do the same, but one of us bailed out due to being “crazy at work”, “down with the flu” or “double booked” for the night. Continue reading

October journal

Lou has started a photography course (some first creations to be found below) and is fast becoming our family expert in everything you ever needed to know about digital SLR cameras but were afraid to ask.

I am delighted at the prospect of future blog posts now being adorned with colourful photos of Vietnam, providing readers with the more preferable option of not having to read my accompanying narrative…

Anyway, in the previous and more general updates about life out in SE Asia, the tone of things has been a combination of first impressions, acclimatising and adjusting to new routines, and ultimately making sense of it all.

We’re now about to start month 9 and are feeling really settled on all fronts.  I have been travelling heaps over the past 2 months and Lou has been juggling a variety of things (including keeping the children fed, watered and happy) and generally performing Super Mum impersonations in the meantime. Continue reading