Not A Day Goes By…

Nicholas Quirke was wondering if he had some sort of curse following him on 11 February 2020. He seemed to have a sixth sense for failure that pursued him through virtually every day. His morning started, as now most days did, with a long conversation with Peng, After leaving China he hadn’t anticipated still communicating with his friend on such a regular basis, but advice, talk, laughs and companionship that had been so helpful in Beijing continued to brighten his day. And advice had been high on the agenda for the day, as Nicholas was planning on going to the Bukchon Hanok Village and Peng had been there too. An area of outstanding beautiful Historic traditional homes, not a model village,, a preserved 600 yr old urban environment, actually inhabited, as he discovered when he got there and found the locals on duty to keep the visitors silent and to not disturb the residents. He was once again lost in the beauty of the myriad angles of the eaves. The views of the mountains were inspiring and he was delighted, highly amused to see the Korean day trippers, populating the Hanoks, (alleys) of the village in traditional costume. Too often he had joked about wearing his kimonos and silks on the journey, here he had his chance and missed it. Peng had sourced a vegan restaurant for him in the vicinity, and though it seemed easy to get to, once he was in the tiny, meandering gunnels of the restaurant area he was lost and faced blank incomprehension in every rustic looking establishment he enquired at., When he eventually found it He felt was worth the Struggle. Osegye Hyang was another beautiful dining experience, though he could have done without the TV screens littering the calm of the restaurant. He ate cross legged on the floor making sandwich’s of his food with lettuce leaves. Delicious and satisfying. His next stop was Seodaemun Prison History Hall. The Remains of a prison compound built by the Japanese in 1908 when they invaded Korea. It was another beautiful sunny day, and by the time he arrived, even though he was only wearing a lightweight jacket, he felt overheated. An important fact as his temperature rose further when he discovered the Prison was closed due to the Coronavirus. Every day it seemed he faced the challenge of closed public spaces and his anger with himself was beginning to lose its limits. Fortunately, on deciding to walk round the compound he discovered the back of the prison was exposed, so he could at least look at the buildings and read about the torture and execution of the Korean freedom fighters that were imprisoned there. The fences lined with the faces of the martyrs to the cause. He had noticed an increase in the pain levels he was experiencing from the sciatica which had been bothering him, and when he got in he asked the front desk if they knew of a Sports massage he could get, laughing as he tried to explain that it was not for sensual reasons. They found him a place nearby in Dongdaemun and he resolved to go there the next day in an attempt to release the trapped nerve.


  1. Dear Nick, Love to read your posts and browse the photos! Thank you so much. What a challenging time you are having and such an inspiring ‘Going Forth.’ Strange that Brighton is now at the forefront of the U.K. Coronavirus scare and several people wearing masks. I think the shops have run out of stocks! But so far, no major increase in sufferers. Parents keeping children off school though and everyone washing their hands diligently.

    Being stuck indoors with a nasty cold, I am catching up on emails and aiming to finish a book of Bruce’s poems to send to his sister, also rewatching a 1972 version of War and Peace starring Anthony Hopkins as Pierre – 4 discs and at least 16 episodes, brilliant.

    All the best to you on your travels Nick. I do hope you get some relief from the sciatica!


    Sent from my iPad


  2. What a beautiful village, so odd to see the mountains to one side so you feel like you’ ve gone back in time, and then the other side back to reality with the high rise buildings xx

Leave a Reply