“I need to laugh, and when the sun is out, I’ve got something to laugh about.”
As seems to increasingly be the case, several weeks have lapsed since I last started scribbling, as I do now, on the blank canvas offered up by a click on the ‘new post’ button of this blog.
Saigon is easing into its most nourishing time of the year, when the sun’s heat softens, the humidity lessens, and the monsoon rains of the past months are eventually turned off.
It feels like the perfect spring climate, and despite my occasional longing for the slate-tiled flooring and red wine, wood-smoked infused charm of a local pub during the cold festive season back in the UK, living in Saigon right now you would be hard pressed to find more agreeable weather to whisk you off to work each morning – and for that I remain a very lucky chap.
Perhaps in the spirit of bringing some sort of English-isms back into my now familiar Asian surrounds, I downloaded lots of Beatles tunes last night and, as I always do, experienced that surge of familiarity and foot-tapping glee derived from any re-discovery of something very special.
It’s a great realisation, in fact, that when much of my time can be spent on learning new things, grasping at new experiences, and projecting thoughts forward that, to revert in the other direction – whether it be through music, photos, anecdotes, writing, reading, reflection – can instantaneously be all that is required to spark life back into one’s day.
Speaking of bringing English-isms back over here, last week was a true 2013 highlight, as my folks traveled out to meet me and the girls for a week’s retreat in Thailand (them via the rather grandiose spectacle that is Dubai, where the ATMs dispense gold, and me and the kids via a short one hour hop from Saigon to Bangkok, normally a tedious journey for me, but with them in tow it turns into a much more exciting prospect given the deliriousness at which they encounter each part of the experience – I have never seen so much excitement expressed by two little people at being given a “refreshing” airline wet-wipe just before take-off, nor in chasing round the luggage carousel in pursuit of a car seat!)
This evening, a second English-ism of the month will also descend upon Saigon, in the form of “Uncle Cakey” – my dearest friend from South East London, who is making his second visit out here, albeit this one without his gorgeous family, for a long weekend of eating banh xeo’s and drinking Tiger beer, resplendent as he will be in the shorts and sandals that haven’t themselves ventured out of his wardrobe now for many moons.
I am also assured that, in between such indulgences, a guest blog by Uncle Cake will be penned on this very canvas. Watch this space.
In the meantime, I have pasted some of the latest holiday snaps from the Bishop girls below, underneath today’s jolly tune…
Ruling the roost at the adventure playground
Swinging so fast the camera can’t keep up
Worried that Grandpa is going to eat my ice cream
Flo on her 100th trip down the hotel pool’s waterslide
Happy Birthday Grandpa!
Look what I found
Reading with Grandma on elephant safari
The lesser spotted Florence, up close
Someone is enjoying being pampered!
Daddy can’t resist an arty shot
My workout for the week
Where have those elephants got to?
Final ice cream waiting to fly home from Bangkok airport