Hazy shade of winter

Last day of meteorological winter, and it was a good day today! I did my speed run first thing as usual for a Thursday, and then went to Slimming World. It was a bit of a special group today as it was the last day for our consultant, Katie – she’s retiring and it will never be the same 🙁 It was also the taster session for the group’s Greatest Loser award, which I won for the second year running. Nice to have a shiny sticker for the new book I got at Christmas! Geth got some more ‘bling for his book’ too, as he was joint Slimmer of the Month for February.

In the afternoon, I was tempted by the usual Thursday afternoon doze, but I did have a lot of work to do so I stayed awake and got that done instead. Following some celebratory pizza and ginger beer (Geth and I have both had successes at work this week), I’m now settling in for an evening of writing.

OOTD 28th February 2019
OOTD: love those Slimming World award flowers! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), scarf Leonardi (vintage 1970s/1980s, thrifted from Anne out of Granny Bessie’s collection 1995), hoodie Internacionale (2000), dress unknown brand (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – The Seventh Stranger
The Police – Roxanne
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
Jonas Blue and William Singe – Mama
Ed Sheeran – Bloodstream
Crowded House – Weather With You
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want
Duran Duran – Girls On Film
Howard Jones – Hide And Seek
Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up
Bros – When Will I Be Famous?

Phone Box Thursday: B3217, Iddesleigh

I have no idea how Mum and Dad keep finding the tiniest, remotest villages in England to stay in (it’s possibly by means of the CAMRA Good Pub Guides that Geth used to give them for Christmas), but they’re certainly good places to find phone boxes!

Red phone box
Red phone box, B3217, Iddesleigh, 11th September 2018.

(Coordinates 50°85’57.7″N, 4°03’31.9″W.)

It’s always nice to see a phone box with a handy postbox next to it. Every means of 20th century communication in the one place. Unless you want that newfangled internet stuff, in which case you’re out of luck.

Cameo edit

It’s been a very productive day of editing my book. Just five more chapters left and then I’ll be able to send it out on Friday! I’m going to be so happy next week when I can work on projects that are not this one. I think it was a strong sign that I would rather be working on other things when I took a break for lunch today and my brain immediately came up with five different ideas for new novels!

No ukulele class this evening as we’re on (delayed) half term, so I’m going to catch up with a bit of writing instead.

OOTD 27th February 2019
OOTD: laughing at the off-camera antics of next door’s cat, who came to investigate when Geth was taking the picture! Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), jeans Zara (2018), boots Carefree (2017).
Next door's cat
Bonus ‘next door’s cat’ picture. He wears the same outfit every day!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts
Duran Duran – Friends Of Mine
Eighth Wonder – Cross My Heart
Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good
Howard Jones – Hide And Seek

2019 Pizzas #5: Morrisons Sourdough Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto

My first oven pizza of the year! I don’t usually have them as I try to cook healthy and SW-friendly when I’m at home. When I was visiting the in-laws at the weekend, though, I needed something quick that I could just bung in the oven for lunch.

Morrisons Sourdough Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto
Morrisons Sourdough Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto.

The toppings on this one were really tasty – far nicer than most oven pizzas, which can be a bit cardboard-tasting. The base was too tough and chewy for me, though, and it was hard to get my teeth through it.

I’d have it again, but I might try cooking it for a shorter time.

Cardio edit

Other than an hour of running this morning, I’ve spent all of today editing for clients. Looking forward to getting some of my own writing done this evening!

Another editing day tomorrow, but for myself this time.

OOTD 26th February 2019
OOTD: still springlike outside! Scarf Primark (2012), jacket Mercy (2007/2009, due to a complicated story that I still don’t have time to tell you at the moment), t-shirt Katharine Hamnett (2017), skirt Sevim Isler (2014), tights Pamela Mann (2014), shoes Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Melissa (2009).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – New Moon On Monday
Talk Talk – It’s My Life*
Cast of The Greatest ShowmanThe Greatest Show
Dua Lipa – Swan Song
Avicii and Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One
Katy Perry – California Gurls
Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The ’80s
Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet
Genesis – That’s All
Genesis – Invisible Touch

*RIP Mark Hollis.

Booze Alternative: Belvoir Ginger Beer

Ginger ales and beers are going to be a bit of a theme for this series. I really like the taste, and am trying every single one I see in bars and shops, and there’s a lot of them.

In general, I’m finding that the beers taste stronger than the ales. Belvoir Ginger Beer is no exception.

Belvoir Ginger Beer
Belvoir Ginger Beer. I did drink it all before remembering to take a photo, which is probably a good sign!

This one is similar to Fentimans Ginger Beer in that it’s very tasty, but the spiciness makes me cough and so I can’t drink it too quickly. It’s lovely and sweet though!

Invisible sun

It’s still beautifully and unusually springlike for February, but sadly I’m not going to be leaving the house much this week as I don’t have any appointments and there’s a lot of work to catch up with!

I’ve spent most of today editing for clients, but I did manage to get a bit of writing done in the afternoon. This evening, I attended a feedback webinar for writing – they didn’t get round to my submission, but I did pick up some very useful tips for pitching my books.

More client work to do tomorrow.

OOTD 25th February 2019
OOTD: at least I got outside for a photo! Scarf unknown brand (2015), hoodie Internacionale (2000), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), skirt unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), tights Primark (2017), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

21 Savage and J Cole – A Lot
Queen – Seven Seas Of Rhye
Lewis Capaldi – Grace
Ariana Grande – Thank You Next
Duran Duran – Rio
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
Cast of The Greatest ShowmanThe Greatest Show
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
ABC – All Of My Heart
Big Country – In A Big Country
Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up

Music Video Monday: Depeche Mode: See You

Today we’re looking at See You, which is one of my favourite Depeche Mode songs. Yes, there’s a classic red phone box in the video, along with a lot of other gloriously 20th century tech. I promise I loved the song before I knew that!

Depeche Mode - See You

The video opens in a dark and deserted Hounslow train station, which is a good start. ‘London by night’ is one of my favourite settings. ‘London by night in the ’80s’ is even better.

Depeche Mode - See You

In a world before phone cameras, people actually used photo booths for purposes other than getting a terrible mugshot that will be immortalised on one’s passport/driving licence for ten years! The vague sort-of-plot of this video begins here, with these photos of a girl whom Dave Gahan is seeking, or something.

Depeche Mode - See You

I don’t remember ever seeing a photo booth on a train station platform! At first I assumed that the ‘Isle of Wight’ poster was for the music festival, but the festival wasn’t running in the ’80s, so it must just be a pretty tourism poster.

Depeche Mode - See You

The red phone box, which is the centre of a slightly odd scene where Dave stares at Martin Gore while he’s making a phone call, is obviously the very best bit of the video. Obviously.

Depeche Mode - See You

We suddenly cut to a Homebase-type store, which is full of the kind of chintzy-looking pink/peach lampshades that were absolutely everywhere when I was little.

Depeche Mode - See You

Conveniently, the store also has a photo booth in it, with more photos of the mysterious girl lying around. It’s interesting that photos from booths already had to be ‘passport approved’ in the early ’80s, as I thought that HM Passport Office only started to get really pernickety about rules for photos in the ’00s. It’d be nice if you still only had to pay 40p!

Depeche Mode - See You

It wouldn’t be a home improvement store without a TV department, and those are some super ’80s TVs.

Depeche Mode - See You

The music section actually looks very similar to a 2019 music section, as physical media has come full circle! I went into HMV the other day and popped up to the music floor out of sheer interest. It was all classic albums on vinyl as far as the eye could see, with the CDs relegated to a couple of racks at the back – because who buys CDs anymore? I didn’t spot any singles though.

Depeche Mode - See You

The girl in the photos turns out to be the cashier at the store, which (finally) explains why the setting randomly switched about two minutes previously. Dave buys a copy of the See You single, which is like an extra-specially dorky version of the dorky thing where bands wear their own band merch in public.

Depeche Mode - See You

The video ends with a slightly sinister CCTV monitoring scene, though I do like all the pretty computer keyboards. I remember when keyboard buttons were all orange and grey like that!

Watch the full video:

Banana republic

Geth and I are back in Newcastle after a nice weekend in Colne with the in-laws. We ate lots of good food (mostly on plan), played lots of boardgames and had another go at Pendle parkrun.

Today’s been a fairly quiet day as we were travelling back, but I did get my long run done on the treadmill once we were home. As the runs get longer, I’m obviously finding them a bit more tiring, and I also find I need to eat a lot of bananas for energy.

Back to the writing and editing tomorrow.

OOTD 24th February 2019
OOTD: I love this plant in my sister-in-law’s house. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), dress Triumph (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), belt H&M (2017), tights Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Eisenfunk – Pong
George Ezra – Shotgun
Traditional – Michael, Row The Boat Ashore
Redfoo – Party Train
Yazoo – Only You
Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes
Bananarama – Nathan Jones

parkrun tourism: Pendle

I did Pendle parkrun a couple of times in 2017, as it’s the local parkrun for Colne and so Geth and I run it whenever we visit his family (and happen to feel like parkrunning that weekend – sometimes we don’t!). I hadn’t realised that it had been so long since I’d last done it.

Pendle parkrun
Geth (in apricot) waiting for me at the end of Pendle parkrun yesterday. Photo from Pendle parkrun Facebook page.

We were in Colne this weekend, so we decided to give Pendle another go. It’s certainly one of the toughest parkruns I’ve done – it’s a two-lap course, with the first half of the lap being on grass and the second half being a steep freefall sprint downhill followed by a steep slog of a climb back up again. It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to do it twice.

I felt very slow out there – my current marathon training means that I’m not focusing on pace, and so I’m not nearly as fast as I was when I was getting consistent parkrun PBs last summer, but I still managed to get a course PB by a few seconds, so I’m happy with that.

Since we’re in the area so often, I’ll undoubtedly be back at Pendle again soon.