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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Dragon stance

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world without racking up their carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola
Korea is one of the countries I don't expect to know about. It's far away, mysterious and I haven't yet had any students from there. China yes. Taiwan yes. But this half-term week after a fascinating detour to the V&A museum (the Natural History Museum was just too crowded) we all found out about Korea's early writing programme for the masses, the way Buddhist texts were written up and the importance of dragons. Most of the dragons were on decorative china pieces but bold, lithe and perfectly scary. As we'd just seen a lifesize sculpture of George slaughtering a dragon in the plaster court, dragons seemed to have become the dominant animal force in the East wing...


While there a text pinged in from the girls' tae kwondo instructor, Michael, suggesting that they used half term to prepare for some tests (belts). That's how I know that this amazing hand/foot discipline was born in Korea on 11 April 1955. Bizarrely for the past couple of years our family has even been using a few Korean words - all thanks to the stances the kids learn in tae kwondo - without realising just where they came from. Not long ago Pete even wrote about it in the Guardian, see here to find out if we ever found our 'indomitable spirit'.
I'm afraid to say that there wasn't really a dragon's chance for me.

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