If I had a minute to spare I would probably say something like this…
That’s the name of this blog. When I first started out I picked this name because I figured I wouldn’t have many minutes to spare and I wouldn’t really update it that much. When it all started out I was on blogspot (you can still find the original website here), then I stopped and moved to wordpress. That was in May, 2010. Since then If I Had A Minute To Spare, if you judge it by the title, has been a testament to my own procrastination, and concrete proof that I really do have too much time on my hands!
At least I’ve made the most of this abundance of time, right?
So what about me? I’m chairman of the Irish Association of Korea, and in the past I was one of the original organisers of the HBC Fest in Seoul. I’m happily married to a wonderful woman who I kindly refer to in the anonymous form, ‘Herself’ not in person of course, only here. She is an insightful individual who encourages me to be the best I can, on condition that the final result is the Nobel Prize. All I can say to that is that at least I’ve made a start… We share an existence of married bliss on the twentieth floor of an apartment building in Yeongtong-dong, Suwon. I think she appreciates the lack of attention I bring towards her on this blog. From time to time you may read of my life here in Yeongtong, but I hope that this doesn’t create the impression that Yeongtong is the centre of the universe.
When I first came to Korea I wasn’t very proud of my nationality, and then I began to meet people from other countries and realised that Ireland is far from the fucked up place I had imagined it to be. Sure, it’s inundated with its own problems and feckin’ eejits attempting to run and ruin things, but these days those feckin’ eejits seem to have been outshone by the stronger Irish people who have refused to allow Ireland regress from the prominent position so many people worked hard to help it reach. Now thanks to the failures of the previous government, people have realised the importance of these voices for keeping the country on its feet, and they listen more than ever. Ireland is a fucked up place for certain, and full of fucked up people, but to be honest, I’d rather be from Ireland than from any other country! Even Herself thinks so, too.
In less than a year and a half this personal journal of my own experiences, thoughts, and opinions on life, being Irish, being in Korea, being Irish in Korea, and things that just happen, has attracted over 10,000 hits. I have made over 150 posts and written well over 150,000 words. That’s two full books worth. This blog has inspired me to write more and more.
I occasionally post photographs here. Please visit my flickr page for more, or if you’re into it I direct lots of my instagram shots to a new project I started, called If I Had A Minute To Spare #2. If it’s your thing, you can also follow me on twitter. I’m not on Facebook, so don’t bother looking for me.
Since I started working on this blog I have had regular contributions in a number of leading magazines and newspapers in Korea, as well as some contributions to Irish media. Here is a list of magazine and newspaper articles where I have had material published:
December, 2011 – Writing & Me
The Irish Times
January 12, 2012 – Generation Emigratin Blog: Destination in Focus – South Korea (contributed the vast majority of information)
December 30, 2011 – Generation Emigration Blog: Emigrants’ celebrations: “It wasn’t Christmas because it wasn’t Ireland” and in the regular print edition
November 25, 2011 – Learning the Korean Way (I didn’t write this article but I was quoted extensively at the end, and I provided a lot of background information which was not credited to me)
July 7, 2010 - Letters to the Editor: Check Those Leaving Figures (subscription required)
May 5, 2010 - Letters to the Editor: Getting the Picture in South Korea and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea’s response over one month later (subscription required)
- This letter landed me in a bit of trouble at work and I almost lost my job because a professor in some other department disagreed with my intrepetation of the misinterpreation of the facts transmitted on this issue. Anyway, time has shown who may be right and who may be wrong.
May 2012 - HBC Fest Just Wants to Rock (lead music feature)
February 2012 – …Whatever That Means: Sounds From the Explosion & Magna Fall: Japan EP
January, 2012 – Meet Seth Martin, Folk Musician
July, 2011 – Magna Fall – Bastards No More
June, 2010 – Jennifer Waescher: Beyond These Words
May, 2011 – Famous or Infamous: Haebangchon Readies HBC Fest
April, 2011 – RocKorea Presents: Indie Rock Tribute Concert & Haebangchon Prepares
March, 2011 – Seoul Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day 2011
November, 2010 – Irish Music Sessions
October, 2010 – HBC Fest
September, 2010 – Insadong Welcomes Back Irishness
July, 2010 – Outside Looks Inside
May 2010 – The 2010 Haebangchon May Festival
January, 2011 – Gyeonggi Discovery: Suwon’s Hippest Neighbourhood, Yeongtong-dong
June, 2011 – Raw Fish and Relaxation & Gangwon Discovery: 10 Things to Do in Jumunjin
May, 2011 – HBC Gears Up for Annual Music Festival
March, 2011 – Saint Patrick’s Day Festival
November, 2010 – Rockin’ Toward the New Year: End of the Year Music Competitions
September, 2010 – Irish Céilí is Your Chance to Dance
The Korea Times
October 18, 2011 – Suwon Hosts Asian Gaelic Games
September 20, 2011 – Irish Dance and Music Festival to Take Place in Seoul
December 14, 2010 – IAK to Hold Fundraiser at The Wolfhound
October 5, 2010 – Seoul Writers Workshop Publication Goes on Sale
October 23, 2007 – Music Festival Pulling Foreigners Together
May 22, 2007 – Koreans’ Hospitality
All writing, ideas, thoughts, and photography are original material inspired by the world we share. This doesn’t mean you can help yourself. All copyright is owned by me, Conor O’Reilly.