I did my most enjoyable run in ages this morning…

…because I ran where I wanted to run and as far as I wanted to run, instead of just doing what was scheduled on the plan. I’ve decided to throw the plan out of the window for a couple of weeks and just focus on running every day in a way I enjoy – that seems to be what’s best for my mental health at the moment. It’s been really hard to get out of my marathon training mindset, and I think I need to let go of plans and schedules and ‘training’ for a while.

Geth and I are still really struggling with having lost an hour at the weekend, and have not adjusted at all yet. As such, we are both feeling very sluggish this week – unable to wake up at the proper time and then tossing and turning (and worrying) at night because it takes so long to get to sleep. Today is the start of a new habit of ‘secondary exercise’ – because we’re not doing our usual amount of walking, we’re losing out on a lot of exercise, so we’re going to get back into RingFit Adventure some evenings, and I’m going to try out some YouTube yoga and things as well. I’m hoping that this, combined with the running, will wear me out enough that I’ll be able to get to sleep at a reasonable time!

The afternoon has mostly been admin, but I’ve got a bit of day job work to keep me occupied for the rest of the week, and I’m really enjoying my adventure game project as well. I finally finished the Bravely Default II demo last night, but I’ve got what feels like infinite videogames still to play!

France, 1989
Another old holiday picture today – this time of me and Mum in France, July 1989. I’ve not been to France for nearly five years – Geth and I were hoping for a city break in Paris this autumn, but with all our spring events being postponed to September and October, I don’t think we can make any new plans until 2021 now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mike Harding and Myfanwy Talog – ‘DangerMouse Main Theme’
Revo – ‘Town 1 [Bravely Default II Soundtrack]’
Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Duran Duran – ‘Femme Fatale’
Revo – ‘Battle Normal 1 [Bravely Default II Soundtrack]’
Ashbury Heights – ‘Die By Numbers’
Alvin & The Chipmunks – ‘We’re The Chipmunks’
Matthew Wilder – ‘Break My Stride’
Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé – ‘Barcelona’

What day is it?

Ah, Monday, that’s right. As such, I did a recovery mile this morning…

…but because I didn’t do a long run at the weekend, I’m itching to do one in the next couple of days, and so I will probably move my running schedule around this week. I keep forgetting that I don’t currently have the other life commitments around which I originally scheduled my marathon training plan.

Anyway, I’ve not had any work come in yet for this week, so today I did my accounts instead (thrilling, I know). I’m just finishing off a few more admin jobs and then I will get a bit of work done on my text adventure game, which is coming along nicely.

Hoping that I’ll finally finish the Bravely Default II demo this evening as well! I got beaten by a tough sandworm monster yesterday, so I need to have another go with slightly better preparations.

Various bridges, 2011
I’m still not finding many interesting things to photograph within the four walls of my house, so here are a couple of bridge pictures taken a few weeks apart in 2011. Top is the Forth Road Bridge with the Forth Bridge (being repainted) in the background; bottom is the Golden Gate Bridge. Remarkably, it’s Edinburgh that has the bluer sky than San Francisco in these pictures.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Alvin & The Chipmunks – ‘We’re The Chipmunks’*
Duran Duran – ‘Femme Fatale’
Duran Duran – ‘First Impression’
Mesh – ‘Four Walls’

*Geth put on a four-hour YouTube playlist of ’80s cartoon theme songs yesterday. It has officially got to that point.

The wrong kind of time travel

A shorter run than planned today…

…because I really woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. I always feel massively out of sorts when the clocks go forward, and I also didn’t feel well (nothing to do with colds or anything else that could be coronavirus, thankfully!). So a short run it was, and if it hadn’t been for keeping my RED (run every day) streak going, I probably wouldn’t have made it out the door (especially given that a blizzard started as soon as I stepped outside – what happened to the nice spring weather we’ve been having all week?). However, I did feel much better after my run. This is why I’m doing RED in the first place, and it’s working, which is especially important in the current situation.

Geth is still playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, so I’ve been getting on with admin this afternoon, plus a bit more work on my text adventure game. I estimate that I’ve got about two more hours left to play on the Bravely Default II demo this evening, and then I’ll be focusing on my 3DS games again for a while.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Tuesday (it’s a secondary NaNo where you set your own goal – they run them every April and July), so I’m going to sign up to that and use it as motivation to get some more game creation and other writing done over the next month.

Star Wars coasters
Things I did during the pandemic: swapped some coasters around so that we’re not constantly trying to find the black coasters on the black table.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Mike Harding and Myfanwy Talog – ‘DangerMouse Main Theme’
Eddy Grant – ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’
Toto – ‘Africa’

One of my old worlds

I did my second non-parkrun this morning…

…and since then I’ve had a very pleasant afternoon working on my new game, with Geth’s first playthrough of Fire Emblem: Three Houses in the background for entertainment. My game is based on the first idea I had for the most recent game jam – I didn’t have much time to work on my jam game last month, so chose a simpler game idea, but I knew I wanted to make the first one as well once I didn’t have any time constraints. It takes place in a fictional world that I originally invented in 2003 when I started working on my first adult full-length novel. I worked on the novel on and off for years before moving onto other projects, and so I never quite got it to a completed state, but I’m excited that I will finally get to share the story with the world via a few different releases (games and possibly some ebooks) that I will be putting out in the next couple of years.

I’ll also be doing a bit of gaming myself this evening. I’ve been really enjoying the Bravely Default II demo, and I’ve also still got a lot of games that I’m dipping in and out of on the 3DS. I find that, alongside running, it’s the best way of maintaining my mental health during these difficult times.

A similar day tomorrow, I hope 🙂

Fire Emblem: Three Houses
This is the new game Geth is playing after he finally finished Dragon Quest 11S the other day. I’m already appreciating the change in background music!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spandau Ballet – ‘Gold’
Wiz Khalifa – ‘Black And Yellow’
Stereophonics – ‘Handbags And Gladrags’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Judas Priest – ‘Breaking The Law’

That unFriday feeling

Just a short run this morning…

…and then I just had one last chunk of admin to do before declaring it officially the weekend… which will feel largely the same as the week, I imagine! I’m planning to spend it playing the Bravely Default II demo (I had a first go last night and it was just as good as expected) and doing some coding for my newest text adventure game.

Hoping for a nice fast non-parkrun tomorrow as well!

Spring garden
I ventured out into the back garden for some more state-approved fresh air. It’s starting to look a bit more springlike now, if slightly overgrown – Geth is planning to get the mower out and tidy it up tomorrow.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Food Network – ‘Denise Van Outen’s Christmas [Main Theme]’
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’

Sunshine? What sunshine?

Another practical run this morning…

…as I had a couple of things I needed to go and do, and I’m making sure to limit my outdoor excursions to once per day (I think it would be permissible to go for a run and do a separate grocery shop, but I also think it’s important to combine and limit these things where you can).

I was starting to get a bit wistful this afternoon because it’s been lovely and sunny the last few days, and it’s felt very pleasant running outside in summer clothes, and in different circumstances it would be really lovely to be able to go for a few nice walks as well…

…then Nintendo released a Mini Direct news video today, and announced that the demo for the new Bravely Default game was out. I’ve been playing the Bravely games on the 3DS for years and have been really excited for the first installment on the Switch, which is due out later this year. The Bravely demos tend to be ten-hour prequel-type things, and Geth is finally about to finish Dragon Quest 11S, so this couldn’t be better timed, and I know how I’ll be spending my weekend! Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be pining for walks in the sunshine after all.

I’ve finished my day job work for the week, so today I’ve just been getting on with admin and housework. Tomorrow should be similar, although I’m also hoping to get some work done on my next adventure game!

Bravely Default II demo
Demo already downloaded to the Switch! I’m really looking forward to cracking on with this over the next few days 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroki Morishita – ‘Duty’
The Beatles – ‘Let It Be’
The Kinks – ‘Lola’
Cast of Spitting Image – ‘One Will Survive’
Assemblage 23 – ‘Let The Wind Erase Me’
Levellers – ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’
Revo – ‘The Land Of Radiant Flowers’

Phone Box Thursday: A487, Blaenporth

This is the last phone box from Mum and Dad’s trip to Wales last year.

Green phone box
Green phone box, A487, Blaenporth, 12th September 2019.

(Coordinates 52°10’94.5″N, 4°53’83.1″W.)

I absolutely love the refurbished paint scheme on this box! It was empty when Dad photographed it last September, but it looks as though it had been repainted ready to house a defibrillator. In the Street View image linked above, it was still red, so this is a recent development.

Moving on to Scotland next week!

Parallel universes

Another Wednesday interval session today…

…which was tough, but I’m kind of enjoying them in a slightly masochistic way. It was Geth’s turn to brave Sainsbury’s today, so I was able to focus on my run.

I then spent the afternoon finishing off a paper for a client, and am now weighing up options for the next few days’ entertainment. Disney Plus launched in the UK this week, which has been good timing in retrospect. Geth bought a year’s worth of subscription yesterday and put on Aladdin and The Sword in the Stone last night, which sparked a lot of fuzzy childhood memories. It also means we can watch the latest Star Wars TV series, which I expect we’ll be doing over the next week.

In the parallel universe where coronavirus didn’t happen, I had to make a decision about whether I was going to be spending tonight at the poetry night or at my ukulele class end-of-term concert (it would have been the concert, as that only happens three times per year – and for unrelated reasons was probably going to be the last one ever – but that’s all academic now). While the decision has been taken out of my hands, the poetry night is doing a Facebook Live event this evening, so I’ll have a nosey at that.

I’ll also be poking my head into the videogame world this evening – both playing them, and having a think about the next one I’m making…

Interval splits
Some of my best interval splits from this morning’s workout (I know this is a real ‘running bore’ picture but being in the house limits my photography ideas!).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Toto – ‘Africa’
Cast of Aladdin – ‘Arabian Nights’
Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’


A practical combined run and grocery shop this morning…

…because last night the UK government announced stricter measures to encourage people to stay indoors. You can still go out to exercise once a day, and you can still do essential grocery shopping, but the idea is to minimise your time outside as much as possible and so I combined my run with my shop today.

I’ve spent the rest of the day working for clients and catching up with my writing game on 4thewords. Looking forward to another quiet evening.

Hot cross buns with jam
Stuff I wouldn’t normally eat #1: early hot cross buns with jam. Geth found these in Sainsbury’s the other day while on an unsuccessful crumpet hunt. I’d never usually eat hot cross buns when it’s not Good Friday, but these are exceptional times.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Spice Girls – ‘Say You’ll Be There’
Lizzo – ‘Truth Hurts’

Another indoor week begins

Just a recovery mile this morning…

…and since then I’ve spent the afternoon doing work for clients. Geth ventured out to Sainsbury’s this morning and managed to get most of what we needed, so hopefully this is a sign that supermarket stocks might be starting to stabilise.

Yesterday evening we managed to get some boardgaming in (we didn’t play Pandemic, though it was tempting!), and this evening will be spent on my 3DS. While the ongoing situation is still incredibly dread-inducing and depressing, my increased quantity of me-time is most definitely a silver lining. I’ve been lucky enough to get a fair bit of work lined up for this week, which prevents things from feeling too aimless.

A similar day tomorrow, then, and I expect the rest of the week will be the same!

Dragon Quest 11S
Geth has been playing Dragon Quest 11S on the Switch since he got it as a Christmas present, so it’s been a feature of our environment for three months now. While it is a pleasant game to watch, I’m quite looking forward to him moving onto something else.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Russ Abbot – ‘Atmosphere’
Eddy Grant – ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’