You can't go far in Laos without seeing elephants in one form or another.
I've been a fan of elephants since I sewed one from felt in Miss Muffet's class, aged seven.
So I wasn't disappointed to have to stay in a rather depressing casino near the Thai border - with no wifi, plug for the bath, or off button for the light in the wardrobe - because it was simply bursting with elephants.
When we weren't out admiring temples, markets, or the bridge over the Mekong with our enthusiastic guide, we sat in the cafe overlooking the gambling floor - entertaining the cafe staff by our total lack of interest in money as we buried ourselves in novels and sketch books. This was the huge plaster sculpture in the centre of the gambling floor, with Savan Vegas flags hanging all around.
Of course we saw live elephants, and other creatures,
like these birds decorating the yellow house I was drawing:
the cat complementing the tiles on the temple floor:
or the silk moths shedding their load in a weaving workshop:
But the elephants will stay with me for ever. And thank-you Miss Muffet for your patience in teaching me to appreciate them!