I like sunny days.

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? For a while there I was 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. Up until recently it was just the two of us, but now we have our wonderful +1 to keep us busy.

We share an existence of married bliss on the twentieth floor of an apartment building in Yeongtong-dong, Suwon. 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.

Over the past few years 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 50,000 hits. I have made around 300 posts and written an amount of words I couldn’t even imagine, but I’m sure it’s several books worth. This blog has inspired me to write more and more.


Please visit my flickr page for more photographs, as I regularly post there too, or if you’re into it I my instagram account is quite busy, and I’m also on tumblr at If I Had A Minute To Spare #2. If it’s your thing, you can also follow me on twitter.

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.

Groove Magazine

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

10 Magazine
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

The Three Wise Monkeys
December, 2011 – Merry Kerry Samosa
August, 2011 – Once More into the Deep Part 1 & Part 2
May, 2011 – The A to Z of the HBC Fest
October, 2010 – Why I Hate the HBC Fest

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.

크리에이티브 커먼즈 라이선스

18 thoughts on “Me

  1. Pingback: 2010: A Year in Review « If I had a minute to spare…

  2. Hey, Conor!
    I’m about to start the ModPo course, just like you. So I guess we can refer to each other as classmates? haha. Nice blog! And I felt like writing cause I really enjoyed what you said about Ireland and how you changed your view about your country going abroad. Same happened to me – I’m from Brazil but living in New Zealand for 2 years now. And I don’t think I was so much in love with my culture and language as I am right now!


  3. Cool landing page and I especially love the ‘proud Irish’ you. Sometimes we all need to get away to appreciate where we are from. Rejection letters build character … Aren’t we oozing character! Keep at it. You are a fab writer.


  4. Hi Mr, Conor, waw you have a good blog here,
    can i ask you a favor for a guide to my trip next year?
    thank 4 your attention
    thank you, please reply if you want to help me


  5. I taught in Taiwan for two years and Hong Kong for a year and have dreamed about teaching in Korea, too. I only have a BA currently, though, so have been looking at masters programs in the UK and elsewhere. Actually, I want to write more than teach. I’ve been doing a little freelance work in the States since moving home about six months ago. Judging from your most recent post and your “about” section, you have a lot of experience in all of these areas! Glad to find you. I like your site!


    • Hi Jessica, thanks for reading. You don’t need a masters to get a teaching job in Korea, although for university teaching you may – it depends on the university. I’ve found that Korea is a fantastic place for writing, even when teaching, as there are less distractions around (and yes Korea has plenty of distractions). I’ve a wife and daughter to look after these days so making the time to write is proving a bit of a challenge.


  6. Pingback: Why changing countries can be such a challenge | Broadside

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