Button mashing

I’ve had almost a whole day playing videogames today. I’ve not had one of those in years! It’s been a great weekend and I feel a lot better than I did on Friday. Geth and I are now rewatching Good Omens before my free trial of Amazon Prime expires later this week.

Geth’s dad and stepmum Keith and Helen are arriving to do some more gardening for us tomorrow! I will post some pictures once it’s done.

OOTD 30th June 2019
OOTD: finally starting to feel slightly summery now. Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), Duran Duran t-shirt Amplified (2018), jeans Miss Selfridge (2018), shoes 1st Position (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Squeeze – Up The Junction
Duran Duran – The Seventh Stranger
David Arnold – Good Omens Theme

Plus one healing

A slightly stressful morning today as I had some leftover editing for clients to do from yesterday and I’m still struggling with my concentration. However, I’ve spent the afternoon and evening relaxing with videogames, and I already feel a lot better. Hoping to do the same tomorrow!

OOTD 29th June 2019
OOTD: in the pink. Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), dress Triumph (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), belt H&M (2017), tights Primark (2017), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – I Believe/All I Need To Know
Meghan Trainor – Dear Future Husband
The Beatles – Drive My Car
Lauv and Troye Sivan – I’m So Tired
Duran Duran – Rio
Stormzy – Big For Your Boots

Shiny things, shiny thoughts

I’m finding it really hard to concentrate on things at the moment. My brain constantly seems to be in five places at once, and I’m always breaking off in the middle of things to do random Google searches before I realise what’s happening, and every day seems to fly by without me getting anywhere near as much done as I wanted to get done.

This has been the case my whole life to an extent – I’m a terrible daydreamer, always have been, because it just goes along with the territory when you’re a writer (and is also a very easy habit to get into when you’re a hard of hearing child!) – but in recent months it has really started affecting my work. Geth thinks I need a break, and he’s probably right, but in all honesty the most stressful thing for me is the feeling of constantly falling behind with everything, and taking time off would just make that worse. I don’t know what to do.

Today has been mostly taken up with day job work (which is taking me a lot longer than it should do due to the above) and admin. I had hoped to get the former finished today, but it didn’t happen, so I’ll be getting up early tomorrow to finish it off so that I can try and relax a bit over the weekend.

OOTD 28th June 2019
OOTD: sun still welcome but also still too bright for my recovering eye! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), t-shirt Lauren Ralph Lauren (modern but bought from Headlock Vintage 2018), leggings Primark (2018), shoes Zara (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

OneRepublic – Counting Stars
Duran Duran – Serious
Duran Duran – I Don’t Want Your Love
Miami Sound Machine – Dr Beat
Duran Duran – Michael, You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For
Tyler Lyle – Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]
Orange Juice – Rip It Up
Gunship – The Mountain

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

The Champs – Tequila

New Hits Friday: 28th June 2019

A good level of singles chart turnover today, with eight new hits.

Mark Ronson and Camila Cabello – Find U Again

Glad to see this in the charts! I enjoyed it when I reviewed the Late Night Feelings album earlier this week.

There’s no video for the track yet.

Nicki Minaj – Megatron

Nicki Minaj has been AWOL from the charts for a while and I’ve missed her daft rap style. The tune is a bit soulless but the lyrics are fun (well, I thought so until I heard all the uncensored ones when I watched the video).

The video, similarly, is too NSFW for my taste – it does have some nice colours and neon lights, though.

Digga D and Russ – Mr Sheeen

Great title! It’s fairly standard London grime otherwise though, nothing about it really stands out.

The video is mostly about cleaning stuff, as befits the title (and there’s a launderette sequence, which I always appreciate).

Lil’ Nas X – Panini

The chorus is nice, but on the whole I find the tune a bit dull.

There’s no official video yet, but this stylish CGI robot animation has been released that is fun to watch in the meantime.

Bugzy Malone and Aitch – Kilos

I like the Spanish guitar in the background.

The first half of the video is a bit confusing – it seems to be a story about drug smuggling, but instead of drugs it’s Bugzy’s clothing line that is contraband? Possibly? Aitch shows up in the second half and it becomes a much more straightforward video about yachts and champagne.

Jay1 – Mocking It

This one was a bit too repetitive for my liking at first, but it gets more lyrically interesting on further listens.

The video contains all my least favourite clichés – twerking girls, people standing around in front of cars, and high-end shopping bags – but I do like the friend who shows up to mime the ‘you’re mocking it’ bit at the end of every verse.

Stormzy – Crown

Great atmospheric tune, love the piano.

There’s no official video yet but Stormzy has released this nice church-set live performance video.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – Señorita

Nice Latin-tinged pop duet. Like this tune.

The video is a fairly plot-light love story where the two singers hook up and then fall out at the end for some reason.

More new hits next Friday.

Summer sun

Finally some nice weather today! And I made the most of it by…staying in the house all day ’cause I was a bit tired after last night. Got to get that garden finished so that I’m more inclined to sit out!

Last night was hectic but ultimately successful. I lost for the second week in a row at Slimming World – only a pound, but I’d rather get into a pattern of small losses every week than keep doing the ‘lose five, gain five!’ thing that has characterised my results since race season began. My next race is the Great North 10k on the 7th of July, and I am so determined not to gain that week. I’ll have to be really strict to mitigate the post-race bloat that always seems to happen at the moment.

I then went to ukulele class – it was running late, so I had to skip out before the last song, as I wanted to get to poetry night in time to make sure I could read again. I’m still a bit nervous before performing, but I think I’m gradually getting better at it. Geth took a video, which I *may* be brave enough to post later in the week (no promises though!).

Have had a fairly quiet day today – Mum and Dad visited in the morning on their way back from Sweden, and I’ve spent the afternoon getting on with writing. Just a few things to finish off tomorrow and then I can chill out for the weekend.

OOTD 27th June 2019
OOTD: blue Thursday! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), t-shirt Ron Holland for Cambridge University (vintage 1970s, thrifted from Dad 2012), jeans Vivid (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
Haircut 100 – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
The Midnight – Gloria
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
The Midnight – Days Of Thunder
Duran Duran – 911 Is A Joke

Phone Box Thursday: A205, London

It’s the second of the London Marathon phone boxes!

Red phone box
Red phone box, A205, London, 28th April 2019.

(Coordinates 51°48’57.9″N, 0°06’28.2″E.)

Apologies that this one is very blurry – there was a water station in the way and I was trying to zoom in while still semi-running! You can see it much more clearly in the Google Street View image linked above.

It’s a bulbous-topped K2, like many of the phone boxes you see on London streets!

Headless chicken time!

Posting early today because it’s going to be a really hectic evening – Geth and I are going to the Wednesday night Slimming World group because we’re busy tomorrow, then I’m off to ukulele class, and then hopefully I’ll make it to poetry night in time to grab a slot to perform again!

I’ll update about all of that tomorrow.

OOTD 26th June 2019
OOTD: head-to-toe Primarni today. Cardigan Primark (2016), vest top Primark (2018), leggings Primark (2018), boots Primark (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – First Impressions
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Arcadia – Say The Word
Paul Francis Webster and J Robert Harris – Spiderman Theme
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side

Staying out of the rain

I’m seeing a lot of complaints on social media today about how hot and muggy it is. This is not the case in Newcastle. It’s wet and miserable, and Geth and I had the fire on all morning.

As such, it has been a good day for staying in the house and getting work done. I spent the morning editing for clients, and am now getting on with my own writing. Geth is playing the remastered version of Final Fantasy XII at the moment, which is nicely soundtracking my work.

A slightly more hectic day tomorrow, so I’m glad I’ve been able to get so much done today!

OOTD 25th June 2019
OOTD: managed to nip out during a break in the rain! Jumpsuit St Michael by Marks & Spencer (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2016), belt unknown brand (vintage 1980s, thrifted from Mum 2019), boots Asos (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Heaven 17 – Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry
Haircut 100 – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
Duran Duran – Perfect Day
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Avicii and Aloe Blacc – SOS
Mark Ronson and Lykke Li – Late Night Feelings

Music Review: Mark Ronson: Late Night Feelings

I love Mark Ronson’s take on classic pop sounds (Uptown Funk is without a doubt my favourite song of the decade), and I’ve been really enjoying his recent singles. The new album is out this week, and I’m excited to hear more.

Mark Ronson - Late Night Feelings

Late Night Prelude

A bit of electronic instrumental buildup to the next track. A really nice addition.

Late Night Feelings

A current chart hit that I really like. I love the retro ’70s-ish stylings on the beat and backing track, and Lykke Li’s vocal line is gorgeous.

Find U Again

I’ve seen a lot of buzz about this Camila Cabello collaboration but this is the first time I’ve heard it. A nice bass-y piece of pop with a pretty tune.

Pieces Of Us

Another gorgeous tune. This one’s a bit slower at first, and more wistful, with the focus mainly on King Princess’ vocals.

Knock Knock Knock

The first of three consecutive songs with an appearance from Yebba. This is a nice old-fashioned funk track with almost gospel-esque vocals, which I’m all about.

Don’t Leave Me Lonely

Lovely atmosphere on this one, with the vocals turning more soulful. To my ear it’s got a bit of a ’90s vibe.

When U Went Away

Epic slow synth line! Straight out of the ’80s and straight onto my regular playlist.

Truth

Some slightly harsher electronic stuff going on in the background here. Alicia Keys is on vocal duties, which also gives the track an edgier feel. A nice change of pace.

Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

This was a big hit around Christmas time, and while I wasn’t sure about the country ‘n’ western vibe at first, I really fell for it hard after a few listens. Gorgeous atmosphere, beautiful emotional vocals from Miley Cyrus.

True Blue

There’s a sort of old-timey muddy gramophone effect over the opening sequence, before the track launches into a smooth beat-driven march. It’s Angel Olsen doing the vocals for this one, and they’ve got a nice dreamy feel.

Why Hide

Some good classic-sounding piano on this slower, more introspective track, with Diana Gordon’s vocals feeling more classically pop than some of the other offerings on the album.

2AM

Lykke Li returns for another slow track, which starts off with some interesting Wings-esque instrumentals and slowly builds to a nice mournful chorus.

Spinning

We finish with a slow, dreamlike piece of electronica, complete with robotic-sounding vocals (including a callback to Late Night Feelings) from Ilsey. It’s a wistful note to end on, which sums up the album perfectly.

I should note that a lot of the media buzz around this album has focused on the fact that it’s a breakup album, largely inspired by Mark Ronson’s divorce. I don’t really hear lyrics (being hard of hearing means that it’s difficult for me to make them out, which in turn means I’ve developed a lifelong habit of not really listening to them), so this is something I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. I do think it’s really interesting that all the guest vocalists on the album are women, which to me gives it a more vulnerable feel.

Overall, it’s a lovely chilled-out listening experience. Great stuff.