An apologetic update

No matter how good my intentions, it always seems to be this blog that bears the brunt of my neglect when I get busy. Sometimes, it’s out of laze or lack of motivation; lack of inspiration of ideas. This time, though, I’m happier to report it’s been due to other creative commitments. The past few months have been hectic and exciting. I have continued my writing and am currently a staff blogger with Gwangju Blog. I am contributing regularly to Gwangju News and The Line Of Best Fit and also randomly featured in other publications.

The past four or five months have also seen me take my first steps into the world of radio. I appear weekly on the English speaking radio station in Gwangju and the surrounding area of Jeollonamdo, GFN (Gwangju Foreigner Network). I’m not quite sure who listens to it, or how many, but I’m grateful for the experience. It’s never an area I had considered in the past, but it is certainly one which I’ll investigate further when I return home. I speak weekly about online developments, the internet and viral videos. Occasionally, I get the chance to spin some tunes, too.

Last month, I was also invited to give a talk in the Gwangju International Centre. Public speaking is something I was never that comfortable with in the past and so, it was a challenge. I chose to speak on ‘Growing Up In The Troubles’. I’ve been surprised at how little people knew about Northern Ireland here… it seems that many Americans aren’t versed in any history or current affairs other than their own. The Koreans, too, can be insular, but with the similarities between the Korean peninsula and Ireland, they seemed to find the topic interesting. I spoke for 45 minutes, with a 15 minute Q & A session afterwards and so spent a full week in preparation. I hope it was worth it. You can watch a ‘highlights reel’ compiled by the GIC below.

The past few weeks also marked the first times I have ever been interviewed. For his excellent website the Clear Minded Creative, Milo McLaughlin thought my chosen path was worth speaking about and I was greatly honoured that he featured me there. You can read the piece here. Because of my contributions to Gwangju Blog, News and the radio show, Hughie Samson, a Canadian writer in the city, ran a profile of me on the site. You can read that piece here.

For both, I found it slightly unnerving, but also insightful. I am so used to firing off questions to folks I’m interviewing without giving a cursory thought to the fact that they may find it tricky, or feel uncomfortable. If they delayed, I got frustrated. I think having completed these two projects, my attitude will slightly change and I hope to become more patient in such situations.

I have also been training for my first marathon, which takes place next week in Seoul. I have been meaning to blog about running and how it has changed my life for some time and will try to do so once (if) I’ve completed the marathon. But it has been a big part of my life for the past six months and the past two, in particular. It can be quite time consuming and energy zapping, but equally inspiring.

I will update the blog more regularly through March and I hope April, but after that, I will be on my travels for a couple of months in Australia. Thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “An apologetic update

  1. Nine says:

    Hey, great talk – and I enjoyed your interview over at Milo’s blog too. Good luck for the marathon!

  2. FBermingham says:

    Thank you Nine. They edited personal experiences out of the video, which may have been the only part you wouldn’t have already known. Injured myself this week, so am out of the marathon… gutting!

    • Nine says:

      Oh no, sorry to hear it!

      Actually, one bit I hadn’t seen before was the Israeli flag together with loyalist flags. I’d heard tell of people making that association, but never seen it done.

      • FBermingham says:

        Yeah, it’s fascinating how people on both sides find solidarity with other places. There are nationalist murals of Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, etc.

        I found I had to make the talk pretty high level. People here don’t really know anything about it, so needed to start very basically. But I hope the personal anecdotes kinda made up for it!

  3. Paddy says:

    Hi Finbar, Very good presentation! It’s crazy how the bombs and bullets were normalised. You grow up getting stopped by the army all your life and dont think anything of it. Even the bombing of the Killyhevlin and the Pictures didn’t seem to provoke any reaction. mail me.

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