The chaos and the chill in Vientiane

In one sense, I have hit the ground running. I brought over a tonne of work with me - websites I'm designing in various stages of completion; stories I have to write from my delicious Victoria trip (only) 3 weeks ago and hours of transcribing; a pile of admin (invoices, tax etc); and lots of plans for this new food blog.

So, the days are winging by and I feel as busy as I was in the last few months in Canberra. Except that both kids are also home and we're all going a little stir crazy together. While I now have a home office (yay), neither child appreciates that fact and I frequently share my desk with various craft projects (a majority of which involve glitter).

School starts next week. We are all keen beans on that front though I'm also very curious as to how they'll go in that new space.

So, I am trying to keep the kids occupied in various guises including taking them out once a day for a walk or to a restaurant or a play cafe, though 2 1/2 year old Lara is a ticking time bomb in that capacity. Trips out invariably end in tantrums, tears, and me physically restraining Lara in the car on the way home while vowing never to leave the house with her again.

And at the same time, I am madly trying to start and finish all my work projects.

And yet, Vientiane is not the place for madcap rush and stress and deadlines. Maybe it's the heat, humidity and daily downpours. The tree lined streets and wats (temples) strung with flags celebrating a Buddhist holiday. Or the general peace outside, broken only by the neighbourhood rooster, who crows whenever the urge takes him.

Lao and Buddhist flags strung across Wat Mixai. I iook this photo just before the grey clouds above opened and poured rain

Lao and Buddhist flags strung across Wat Mixai. I iook this photo just before the grey clouds above opened and poured rain

I should be reveling in the chilled calm of Vientiane. And in another sense, I am. It's a bit like rushing into the water on a hot day ready to swim across the bay, only to find the weight of the water, the gentle lapping of the waves, and the balmy temperature slowing you right down. Before long, you're upturned, floating on your back and gazing dreamily up at clouds in the sky.

Which in Vientiane, means another tropical downpour. What could be more peaceful than that?