Much About 2014


The end of the year is all about looking back on what happened, what was said, who did this, and other stuff. As a blogger I like to look back at what I wrote, but also what was read. It certainly hasn’t been my most productive year, with a few long gaps in between writing, and while of course it has been a memorable year, it has equally been a notable year.

A few bloggins milestones for me to brag about:

  • I had the single highest monthly visits to this blog in April with 3065 hits.
  • The same can be said for the average daily visits, with 102 being the average for April also.
  • There were 63 posts in 2014
  • As of 3.30pm on December 31, 2014 there have 28,231 visits this year – I know some blogs get that in a day, but this is my blog and this figure is an improvement of 4,000 visits on last year.

Here are some of the moments which mattered for me in 2014.

  • We moved back to Ireland in July.
  • We left Korea after four and half fantastic years.
  • I got paid for writing a poem (still haven’t cashed the cheque).
  • We spent two and bit great, warm months in Thailand, and learned a valuable lesson in the importance of travel insurance.
  • Myself and Herself found out we’d be having another baby in the middle of next year.
  • I got an commendation from the Irish Association of Korea and from the Embassy of Ireland in Korea for my services promoting Irish culture in Korea.
  • I signed on the dole a few months after coming back to Ireland.
  • I lost my camera somewhere just before Christmas.
  • I got accepted into an EdD course in the University of Glasgow.
  • I read a couple of poems at an official PEN Korea event
  • and other stuff…

Here are a few photographs which mattered to me in 2014

Christmas is brewing Dublin

Early morning prayer

I'm not scared

East Sea Rising

Port Corners

April Highrise

Spring, Korea

Decisions

Teaching

This is Chiang Mai

Lost in the Night Bazaar

Sunday Market, Chiang Mai

Moving country left me without my (good) computer for over four months so I was without a satisfactory way of editing and uploading shots from July through to almost late November, so there’s a bit of a gap in the timeline. I did get a new phone however, and that seems to be doing a really nice job of taking and sharing photos online.

And of course before I forget, this is a blog, and it is one on which I write on. So without getting bogged down in too much fanfare here are the five most read posts written and shared in 2014:

  1. I Just Want to Scream 
  2. Nimmanhaemin
  3. Saint Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2014
  4. 10 Things About Korea
  5. People Have Their Own Problems To Worry About. You Don’t Need to Hear About Mine

So that’s it. The end of 2014, and next up we have 2015. I hope to keep battling away here at the keys for the forseeable future. Thanks for your comments, contributions, and readership. Oh, and happy new year to you and all those special to you!

 

 

 

 

This Could Be (one of) the Last Time(s)


The fact that I live an apartment on the twentieth floor is not news to this blog. This high position allows for a fine, if not a little post-apocalyptic at times, view of Suwon on all but the most weather beaten of days. I have grown fond of taking photographs of the many perspectives this home of ours provides. There aren’t many opportunities left for me to do this. 20140606-193730.jpg After four and a half years here in Korea, which is essentially the whole life cycle of this blog, we are returning to Ireland to live. 20140606-193754.jpg Things you need to know: This is an indefinite move. We really aren’t sure where we will eventually settle down. 20140606-193806.jpg We will never leave Korea forever. We will be back. This is a certainty. Just don’t ask me when. It’s going to be a crazy change, and we are excited, terrified, happy, and of course sad to be making such a move. This is a life changer. 20140606-193825.jpg Before we came back to Korea in 2010 we moved country four times in a year and a half. We’ve enjoyed the stability. I’ve really enjoyed writing here about life in Korea, and I know many of my regular readers are here for my writing about Korea. I hope that you will join me as I document life in Ireland, when I find a minute to spare (of course). 20140606-193840.jpg So that’s my big news, in case you’ve been wondering. So with that in mind, here’s a song.

…And a post-apocalyptic-ish sunset

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P.S. I hate packing/moving country almost as much as I hate K-pop. It’s going to be a blast!

It’s All in the Blue


Whenever I arrive in Jumunjin (home of Herself if you’re not already in the know), one of the first things I always look to do is to go down to the beach. This would make sense to most people as a goal when you arrive in a coastal town, right? But I like to think I’m different because I do it regardless of the weather.

Not only is there some good coffee shops to hide from the elements, but once you walk down the street you can first smell the strong sea air and then you hear its rumble. The waves here aren’t dramatic by any stretch of the imagination, but they make enough noise for you to hear them as you a approach. When the street rises to meet the low sea wall the blue horizon starts to stretch, and then there it is, blue everywhere. It’s worth it every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening on the 20th floor


I live on the twentieth floor of a regular apartment building in a fairly inconspicuous looking neighbourhood in Suwon, South Korea. It can be quite an ordinary day-to-day existence here. I walk to and from the local supermarket, my work, and a few relatively decent restaurants. It could be termed suburban bliss but with out the bliss, perhaps.

All this is forgotten somewhere between the hours of six o’clock and eight o’clock, depending on the time of year, when the sun starts to go down and is silhouetted magnificently by my fellow apartments, the construction work in the huge Samsung Digital City Complex, and the mountains and city beyond that. There are usually some nice clouds with compliment this display also.

About two years ago myself and herself were running a small café down the road from our home, and every evening we would get home at around ten o’clock to a night darkened apartment. I knew that we were missing the beautifully bright evenings and long mornings of sunshine, and it wasn’t until our catering career was kind of cut short (I won’t go into the reasons but will warn you to know your business partner well if you ever do decide to go into business with someone) that we could return home and spend the evening enjoying the daylight bright living room.

I take a fair amount of photographs out the window, hanging over the rail and stretching to get the best possible angle. Herself is convinced I’m going to drop my camera or my phone, which is how I take most of my photos.

Not all my photographs from the top are of sunsets, and not all are taken from the camera on my phone (although these ones all were). Here is a selection of some of the better ones for you to enjoy. These were taken between January and now, although with the exception of the first two and last one, I can’t really remember what order they were in. Mostly from summer though.  Many were with Instagram, although not all of them (follow me on Instagram: conzieinkorea).

The manic move that never happened.


A while ago I lamented about the joys of living in my old home. I had half expected to write all about the moving but in the end it was so stress free (yes I really mean it) that I just forgot about living in the cave – this is what I now refer to the old place as, a cave. Always worth a look though here are a few pictures of our very stress free move:

Somehow the entire contents of our apartment only barely managed to fit in the truck.

Anyway, the nice gentleman with the big mop of hair and the tough-as-nails ajumma in the picture above, and a very serious looking man not pictured, made life a lot easier as we managed to chill out in the car and drink coffee while they did the hard work. Money well spent. This is around the seventh time we have moved – including moving country four times in two years – and it is something we don’t enjoy, regardless of how used to it we are.

On a more positive note….

You might remember the view from the living room window of the old place we lived in. To save you having to reminisce here is that inspiring view again:

I like to look at this picture a little to regularly these days. It helps me appreciate the new view:

I’m wondering now what the hurricanes are like up on the twentieth floor?