I Own My Phone


Haaark!

I own my phone. Congratulate me. Thank you.

For two years I paid my phone bill like a diligent citizen. Included on this was a monthly instalment that paid for the actual device. I couldn’t remember how much it was because when I bought it the salesman spoke very quickly, circled pieces of writing, and showed me a lot of pieces of paper, and all the time I just wanted him to give me the blasted thing so that I could go and touch it constantly. But today I checked my bill and low and behold the bill was a whopping 50,000 won less than normal. Of course this is splendid news for my pocket as I can now divert this sizeable sum to some other bill I struggle to pay every month.

Of course it’s my phone is only a glorified paperweight that I could arguably say I don’t need. In fact I’m very sure I don’t need it. But I do have it. So there. Anyway. It’s all mine now.

One thing though which has made my *ahem* life more interesting/better/exciting/or however you choose to describe it, has been the camera on my phone. For all the other things (with the exception of the twitter for those long lonely toilet breaks) there is nothing I value my phone more for. Anyone who follows me on the internet elsewhere (instagramtwittertumblr (which is basically my instagram feed), flickr) will know that I’m a little obsessive about photographs – but I’m lazy about it.

To celebrate my now 100% of my phone and my love of photographs, allow me to share with you a collection of some photographs which I’ve taken over the past two years with this simple (looking) device. Photographs span across six countries (Korea, Ireland, England, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia) – I’ll do my best not to include too many sunsets!

(Hat tip to Craig Branch for getting me thinking about this post!)

 

(for some reason all my photographs won’t upload…maybe too many…but you get the idea!)

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Happy Birthday to Here!


It’s not my birthday. It is not even the birthday of anyone I know. However, it is the (belated) birthday of this beloved blog, If I Had A Minute To Spare I Would Probably Say Something Like This.

Alas, I didn’t get a birthday cake for the occasion.

Weep ye not. I feel a little, hmmm, aggrieved that I didn’t notice this most important of days passing about a month ago (maybe longer), but perhaps I can blame the business of that most evil of trivialities, work – in this case I mean real employment where a service/product (my wonderful ‘ness) is exchanged for monies, and not writing blog posts and poems.

But still, the birthday of If I Had A Minute To Spare is a special occasion. After just one year and with very little publicity and fancy internet tricks to make more people visit, If I Had A Minute To Spare has had an epic 8,339 hits. Continue reading

Twenty of the Best +1


I started using Flickr this year, or I should say started uploading photos to Flickr this year – apparently I’ve had an account for three or four years.

To celebrate the first few months and the fact that a new year is passing (both Korean and western) I’ve created a Top 20 of my favourite photos uploaded this year.

The last photograph goes out especially to herself who took the picture – a deer crossing the road somewhere around the Kerry-Cork border decided to poke its head out from behind the bushes to see who stopped to see who had jumped in behind the bushes. It was a special moment.

Just click on this photo, the first in the slideshow, and it will take you directly there.

 

Click on this photograph to see the entire Twenty of the Best + 1

 

Please, don’t be a stranger and let me know what you think!

 

 

Letter from Korea, Christmas 2010


Somewhere in Gyeonggi-do,
South Korea
9/1/2011

Dear Ireland

Christmas! Yes, Christmas. It was an interesting one to say the least. It was a busy Christmas too, but not in the usual sense because of the news delivered to me on Christmas Eve that I would be spending a week literally in lock up. I had been nominated by the powers that be to be one of the writers for a kind of mid-way entry exam to the university I work at. That’s why my Chirstmas post is coming well into 2011, and not while the tinsel still holds some facet of festive cheer. More about this later. As I said, Christmas came and went, abruptly, but not without character.

Since 2005, when I first came here, Christmas in Korea has been gradually gaining in significance. I am not really sure why to be honest though. Maybe it’s because the kids have eventually turned around and said, well it’s all well and good being sent to an English school and being filled to the brim full of Santa and Rudolph stories, but enough is enough, it’s time Santa made a stopover in Korea; how he gets down the chimney in the Remian and Lotte Castle twenty-five storey apartment buildings is a mystery beyond my powers of comprehension.

Official NORAD (whatever the jaysus that means) Santa Tracker! Truly magical!

Incidentally whilst on the subject of Santa, and completely off the point of my Christmas in Korea, on Christmas Eve I came across a website that provided a Santa tracker, which I thought was incredible but not many shared the same enthusiasm for it. When I first checked it, Old Saint Nick had had his wicked way with South Korea and was in Pyongyang. I wonder how Santa got along there and whether or not it was a busy stopover. Did Santa have to clear his identity and purpose of visit with whichever department is responsible for foreign visits in North Korea. Where did he apply for initial visa? Perhaps there is a consulate of the DPRK in the North Pole. The South Korean government can’t have been too happy with him crossing the DMZ without permission, or did he come from Japan? This can’t have curried too much favour with overly nationalist elements in either North or South Korea. I also wonder what the kids asked for; probably eternal happiness, a bunch of strippers and a container full of Crystal Champagne for Kim Jung-un.

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Coming Home to Snow – December 28, 2010


All over the past week we sat around watching the weather say there would be snow the next day, and of course snow never came. Even Christmas day wasn’t snowed out, as I had half hoped; it would have given me a good excuse to do nothing but sit at home in my pyjammas drinking wine, but no such luck.

We drove out to Gangneung where herself hails from, which is my favourite place in Korea. All the way through the mountains it was noticably snowless. When we got to Jumunjin, despite the wind, it was clear skies and comparably to a summer’s day. If it wasn’t for my big coat and hat, you wouldn’t have known better.

Yeongjin in Jumunjin, Gangwon-do - Dec 26, 2010

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