As of right now, I’ve been to four taekwondo classes since I started again. After having a lot of pain in my legs, from overstretched hamstrings and bruised shins, I’m feeling OK now. The classes are pretty good. After warming up, there’s a good and varied amount of training – of the kind I mentioned last time.

I’m having a few minor doubts, though. There’s only one teacher – and for the Koreans this is no problem because the class isn’t that big. But for me it means that the sabeomnim can’t take time out to help me without neglecting the others. At my previous dojang there were often as many as four sabeomnims training the students. My pre-taekwondo writing didn’t go well too well on Thursday (Friday was a national holiday – Buddha’s birthday). I was too tired to concentrate – I was falling asleep. I got a little bit of work done on my current story before I knocked it on the head. Then I went home and shared a private moment with Habiba. If you know what I mean. And I’m sure that you do.

The story I mentioned is now up to about 3,500 words and is shaping up to be pretty much what I wanted it to be (which doesn’t always happen). It will take a lot more work before it’s finished, though. I might have a first draft done in two or three weeks.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, was a public holiday, so Habiba and I along with Ksan went to a beach near Incheon Airport – Eulwangni Beach. The airport is on an island to the west of Seoul. I went to a similar place about a year and half ago with Botond. It was nice. The weather was hot, although hazy and gradually increasingly overcast; the breeze off the Yellow Sea (which Koreans call the West Sea) was cool. We just sat on sheets on the sand along with hundreds of other people and picnicked on cucumber, nuts and chocolate. We played some Uno, read, chatted. At one point Habiba and I took a walk to the receding waterline where we found that the water was surprisingly chilly. Only a few kids braved the gentle waves.

As Bo and I had done in 2008, we caught a bus to the airport, had a coffee there and took the airport railroad home. It’s a bit slower than taking an express bus, but only about half the price.

In political news, the new Con-Lib government is bedding down. Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister – which is regarded as something of a joke position. If I remember rightly, the post was created for John Prescott, himself one of the most severely satirised politicians of the New Labour era. But Nick Clegg has some big tasks on his plate, especially from a Liberal Democrat point of view – reform of the whole political system. If the coalition government survives, he’s going to bring in legislation for a referendum on changing the voting system, reducing the number of MPs, having fixed term parliaments, introducing a wholly or partly elected House of Lords.

It’s an exciting time to be a Liberal Democrat, but also a very dangerous one. If the coalition breaks down, forcing a new election – perhaps because Lib Dems can’t support certain Conservative policies – Lib Dems may well be punished. We might not even see any progress at all towards that totem of Lib Dem ideology, proportional representation. Lots of Tories and Labour MPs don’t want any change, and the only new system that is on offer is one that Lib Dems don’t like.

That said, the signs seem pretty good so far. David Cameron are the same age and have the same background. A lot has been said about how the two parties share the same economically liberal ideas. Cameron has been talking about bringing in a new style of politics. It certainly seems like the leadership of both parties are in earnest about making the deal work. There will be problems, I’m sure, some of them big ones – but hopefully not dealbreakers. The next few years should be interesting. I’ll have to make more effort to get my vote in next time round, especially for any referendum on electoral change.

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