Tae kwon do

I’ve been doing tae kwon do for 9 years now. I’ve noticed that very often when people find out that I do tkd they say “that’s one of the more defensive martial arts, isn’t it?”. Errr..not really. It’s largely based around kicking techniques and in sparring the main objective is to kick your opponent, quite hard, ideally in the face. I’ve never worked out whether:

1. there is widespread misconception about tkd;

2. people are getting it confused with another martial art;

3. people assume that because I’m a woman I’d naturally opt for a more defensive style; or

4. I come across as the sort of gentle person who would naturally opt for a more defensive style.


Travel “Chaos”

I know things are quiet at the moment because everything’s winding down for Christmas but I wish the tv news would stop pretending that “travel chaos” is a news item worthy of so much attention. It’s winter. The weather’s bad. Some people are having trouble getting from A to B because of it. IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. I’m sure it’s very frustrating for those involved – but it’s just not a big news story and you can’t spend half your programme on it for days on end. Travel and weather have their own separate section after the proper news and barring some kind of major (and I mean major) incident that’s exactly where they should stay.

Compare and contrast:

Some people can’t get their flights because of snow in December – not news.

Some people can’t get their flights because terrorists have hijacked the Air Traffic Control system – news (also the plot of Die Hard 2)

Also, if I were boss of a news programme, I’d ban anyone from using the lazy hyperbolic cliche “travel chaos” which is ridiculous. There was heavy snow in February this year. I was meant to be flying from Gatwick but the trains couldn’t get through. Then when I finally arrived at the airport, the flights were cancelled. Then I couldn’t get back home for a while because the trains had stopped running again. All these things were pretty annoying, but was I in the middle of a swirling vortex of chaos? No. I was just stuck somewhere for a bit when I was meant to be somewhere else. There were queues. There was whingeing from my fellow travellers. There were stressed airport employees. If you think these things amount to “chaos” then you are severely lacking in imagination. Chaos means riots. If people are queuing, then that’s practically the definition of non-chaotic.

Christmas Carols

I saw this item on BBC breakfast about the nation’s top 5 Christmas carols, as voted for by listeners of Classic FM.

1. O Holy Night
2. Silent Night
3. In the Bleak Mid Winter (Darke)
4. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
5. In the Bleak Mid Winter (Holst)

Far be it from me to question the collective wisdom of Classic FM listeners, but aren’t these all…well, a bit shit? I’m a damned heathen but I love belting out a good carol at this time of year and none of these would make my top 5 (Hark the Herald is ok, but the rest – pffft). My top 5 are:

1. Deck the Halls (fa la la la)
2. O Come All Ye Faithful
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. Joy to the World
5. Ding Dong Merrily on High