Out in the sunshine

The weather is finally improving and feeling marginally more summery! I went out for a walk (well, really to go to Asda ’cause I’d run out of fizzy juice) this morning, which felt nice after a few days of being cooped up. I’ve spent the rest of the day editing for clients and doing my own writing.

Out again tomorrow morning – again it’s for a boring reason (doctor’s appointment) but it’ll be another nice walk if the weather stays like this.

OOTD 17th June 2019
OOTD: brightening up gradually! Hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), jeans Zara (2018), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Charlie Puth – One Call Away
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
Katy Perry – Never Really Over
Space – Female Of The Species
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Duran Duran – Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)
Oasis – Cigarettes And Alcohol

Finally feeling more alert

My 8am alarm meant I was awake by 9.30am this morning. That’s an improvement, I suppose. I really need my mornings back this week because I’ve got a lot of work on, as well as an exercise routine that I need to get back into after neglecting it for a couple of weeks due to my cold.

Today has mainly been about writing and reading so far – planning to get a bit of ukulele practice in too before catching up with some TV this evening.

OOTD 16th June 2019
OOTD: still chilly enough for jackets. Jacket Précis (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), dress Primark (2018), tights Primark (2017), shoes Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Melissa (2009).

Today’s earworm playlist:

5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love
Prince – When Doves Cry
Duran Duran – Rio
Charlie Puth – One Call Away

Race Review: Blaydon Race 2019

I’m a week late with this review, but it did take me a while to get over my cold/general grogginess this week! Better late than never.

Blaydon Race 2019 t-shirt
Race t-shirt was really nice this year!

So, last Sunday I ran the Blaydon Race for the third year running. It was announced fairly early this year that the course would be a little shorter than usual due to roadworks taking place in Blaydon, so I was hopeful that I would beat last year’s frustrating 1:00:35 result.

Things did not turn out the way I planned.

First of all, my watch died when I was trying to adjust it before the race, so I had to record Strava on my phone instead. This meant that I didn’t have an easy means of checking how far along the course I was during the race. I really need to get a new running watch.

Secondly, last year’s bottleneck problem – caused by the course at the start in the middle of Newcastle city centre being far too narrow for the number of runners – was even worse this year. It was about a hundred and fifty metres into the race before anyone was actually able to start running.

Thirdly, I had come down with a bad cold – which I had spent about a week trying not to catch from Geth – in the middle of the week before the race. By Sunday, I was over the worst of it, but the digestion/stomach issues that colds always cause me meant that as soon as I started running, an immediate painful stitch clamped its way around my abdomen and just wouldn’t let go for the entirety of the race. It was probably the most uncomfortable I have ever been during running, and I seriously considered giving up at various points.

As such, I was about three and a half minutes slower (1:04:09) than last year, despite the shorter course. I’ll just have to hope that I’m in a fitter condition for next year’s race.

At least the t-shirt’s really nice!

A slightly hectic Saturday

Still sleeping late, so unfortunately there was no chance of parkrun this morning. I’m still feeling like I have a lot less ‘day’ due to this sleep issue, so today has been a bit of a whirlwind of trying to catch up with things so that I can attempt another early night.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow morning!

OOTD 15th June 2019
OOTD: comfy Saturday outfit. Hoodie Sonar (2006), Duran Duran classic lineup t-shirt eBay/Fruit of the Loom (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Duran Duran – The Reflex
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier

Music Review: Whitesnake: Flesh And Blood

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Whitesnake, for three reasons:

  1. Their 1987 version of Here I Go Again was featured on Now! That’s What I Call Music #10, the greatest compilation of all time.
  2. Their ’80s videos are completely overblown and ridiculous, with the biggest hair and shoulder pads you have ever seen, and I absolutely love them.
  3. They’re from Middlesbrough, which I find endlessly hilarious. You won’t find anyone doing somersaults on the bonnets of Jaguars around there.

As such, I thought I’d give their latest collection of rock tunes a listen!

Whitesnake - Flesh And Blood

Good To See You Again

Great upbeat bit of hairmetal to start off with, with an awesome classic sound that reminds me why rock music doesn’t need to change. Ever. Love that guitar solo!

Gonna Be Alright

This one’s slower and has a little more of a ’90s sound about it. The backing vocals give it a really nice atmosphere.

Shut Up And Kiss Me

A good classic metal riff to kick this one off, and again I really like the effect of the backing vocals!

Hey You (You Make Me Rock)

Great rock guitar opening – this one’s very ’70s, a bit glam rock in many ways.

Always And Forever

A bit more slow and melodious – this one is unashamedly a love song. A bit cheesy for me lyrically, but I do like the ongoing ’70s-esque sound!

When I Think Of You (Colour Me Blue)

Another slower, slightly march-y track – a definite rock ballad, which is very classic Whitesnake!

Trouble Is Your Middle Name

Great blues-y, brooding atmosphere on this one, with a good shout-along chorus.

Flesh And Blood

The title track is one of the slower ones on this album, with a slight country rock tinge to it.

Well I Never

Another good stadium sing-along track, and I love the atmosphere on the verses.

Heart Of Stone

The guitar riff in this is beautiful and atmospheric! I think this one is my favourite track on the album.

Get Up

Back to the upbeat hairmetal for this one. Great chorus!

After All

A surprisingly acoustic-y interlude. Not usually my kind of thing, but it’s quite a pretty tune.

Sands Of Time

A nice atmospheric Eastern-tinged backing track and almost-goth vocals. I really like this one – great way to finish the album!

Overall this is a really nice and varied collection – very enjoyable.

Zzzzz

My sleep pattern is still not quite right and so I feel like the days are getting away from me a bit at the moment. Don’t know why I’m so tired!

I have managed to get a good bit of writing done this afternoon though. Now enjoying an evening with my ukulele and a few good books.

Hoping for an earlier start tomorrow!

OOTD 14th June 2019
OOTD: rain has finally stopped! Blouse Tommy Hilfiger (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – See You Again
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
Spice Girls – If U Can’t Dance

New Hits Friday: 14th June 2019

Eight new hits in the chart today!

Mostack and Fredo – I’m The One

Nice chilled out backing track, but the rap style is a bit harsh for my liking.

There’s no video for this one yet.

Young T, Bugsey and Aitch – Strike A Pose

I like the beat, and it is growing on me after a couple of listens.

The video is very much a ‘does what it says on the tin’ affair, with lots of underwear-clad models all posing away. It gets a point for the use of good old-fashioned film photography, plus another one for the bit at the end where the models turn the cameras on the rappers (hence providing at least a brief nod to equal-opportunity perving…I suppose?).

AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove

Nice upbeat backing track, and the rhythm is great.

The street sign for Ladbroke Grove does make an appearance at the start of the video, but this was definitely not filmed in London! Somewhere in north Africa, I’m guessing.

Liam Gallagher – Shockwave

This one is in the charts due to being the biggest seller on vinyl and download this week, two formats that are both in interesting states of increasing/decreasing popularity at the moment. The track is classic rock – it’s a bit generic, but I don’t care because the charts are absolutely starved for rock at the moment.

The video is very filmic and ’90s-does-’70s – in other words, it’s just like an Oasis video from the ’90s. There are flares and crappy ’70s cars everywhere, and I am all about it. Also, Liam burns down a building in a big, dramatic way, although it looks like the building is actually just a beach hut.

Avicii – Heaven

Another posthumous release from Avicii – a bit more chilled than usual. Is that Chris Martin on vocals? It’s got that Glastonbury singalong feel. (Answer: yes, as confirmed by Scott Mills after it was played. Chris Martin is uncredited for some reason.)

There’s no video for this one.

Mostack, Dave and J Hus – Stinking Rich

I like the piano on the backing track.

Again, this one doesn’t have a video at the moment.

Mabel – Mad Love

Great atmosphere on this one – I expect it’ll become a frequent earworm.

The video is a fairly standard pop video with lots of dance routines and pretty costumes. Good stuff.

Chris Brown and Drake – No Guidance

The tune’s a bit generic, but at least there is a tune.

Another one that doesn’t have a video yet.

More new hits next Friday! (Or possibly a day or so later, as Geth is back from his work trip next Friday and so we will be doing belated birthday celebrations.)

More peace and quiet

Another fairly quiet day. After Slimming World this morning, I did a big shop so that I wouldn’t have to go out again for a while (it’s still cold and wet out there!), and have spent the afternoon writing and playing ukulele.

Looking forward to more time to myself tomorrow.

OOTD 13th June 2019
OOTD: still waiting for the weather to improve! Hoodie Sonar (2006), vest top Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Timecop1983 and Seawaves – Lovers
Trevor Something – Summer Love
Wham! – Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Light Years
Meat Loaf – Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Phone Box Thursday: A714, Causeway End

This is the last of the batch of phone boxes that Mum and Dad found in Dumfries and Galloway earlier this year.

Red phone box
Red phone box, A714, Causeway End, 21st April 2019.

(Coordinates 54°91’10.6″N, 4°46’47.3″W.)

This box is out of use nowadays, but it’s still very well kept by the local council. Maybe they’re planning to find an alternative use for it at some point!

BONUS PHONE BOX NEWS FOR THIS WEEK: As of today you have 26 days left to watch Dial ‘B’ for Britain: The Story of the Landline on iPlayer. It’s a fascinating history of telephones in 20th century Britain, which is of course one of my favourite subjects! I highly recommend it if you’re at all interested in phones or engineering or British culture, or even if you just remember the 20th century and fancy a bit of nostalgia.

We’ll be heading down to London next week for the first of my London Marathon phone box finds!