Phone Box Thursday: A68, Pathhead

Another phone box from Mum and Dad’s adventures in southeast Scotland!

Red phone box
Red phone box, A68, Pathhead, 5th September 2021.

(Coordinates 55°86’80.0″N, 2°96’84.6″W.)

This is a much more well-kept box than last week’s example and appears to be being used as a drop-off / pick-up point for local swaps and donations. Lots of books and school clothes! Another good modern-day use for the box.

A different part of the UK next week…

Being careful

I have finished work for the week and am all packed up for London this weekend! I am very excited and very nervous. I wonder if marathons will always feel like this. (Last time I did this, I was certain it would be my only marathon. I now feel very differently!)

I’m panicking about lots of things I don’t really need to panic about, but one of the main things is that I obviously don’t want to pick up a last-minute injury or illness! I’ve been doing my short runs on the treadmill for the last couple of weeks as it’s gentler on my legs; I’m doing lots of yoga stretches and foam rolling after every run to try and get rid of all the niggles from training; and I’m being very careful every time I go up and down the stairs and get in and out of the shower. So paranoid I’m going to injure myself! Only a few days left to worry about it, thankfully…

Foam roller and spiky ball
Implements of torture / miracle tools that will get me to the start line in one piece.

Preparing for October

While it feels like everything has been leading to the marathon for the last few months, there is a whole big chunk of October after the 3rd that I am very excited about and getting everything organised for already!

October is all about Hallowe’en for me – my favourite time of the year. I’m making a Hallowe’en game (already planned out), getting my decorations sorted early (need to order some more polystyrene pumpkins) and wearing lots of Hallowe’en leggings for both running and general life (already arrived!).

Spooky season sort of starts in London for me (and not just because the marathon’s scary). I will be wearing all the seasonal gear and looking out for more Hallowe’en sweeties for post-marathon munching!

I do need to spend at least part of this week prepping logistics as well as prepping spiderweb leggings…

London Marathon kitbag
Packing my kitbag, for instance! I need to drop this off at the marathon expo…


It was absolutely right for me in this marathon training block to take a five-week taper rather than the standard three-week one, but it has certainly given me a lot more time to worry about the race. I’m worried about various issues with my legs and feet and how they’ll hold up on the day; I’m worried about various logistics around the weekend; I’m worried I’ll have blown my stamina by tapering too early… Objectively I know it’s likely to be absolutely fine (though of course it will be tough), but I can’t stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong. One of the things that I am most looking forward to in October is NOT worrying about all this stuff anymore. I’ll be taking three months to enjoy running a bit more aimlessly before the next marathon training block starts in January. (In the future I am only going to do one marathon training block at most within a twelve-month period, but pandemic rescheduling has meant that I’ll be doing Edinburgh Marathon about eight months after London. I’ll be glad to settle into a more regular schedule of exploring different spring marathons going forward!)

With one week to go, it is also getting so close now that I am quite excited about the non-scary parts of our trip to London. Geth and I have identified a nice Italian restaurant for carb-loading, are planning some interesting routes for short runs, and will be choosing a non-challenging new parkrun to visit the day before the race. It’s all coming together… I just hope that the marathon itself will be (at least mostly) a good experience!

London Marathon medals
My London Marathon medals from 2019 and 2020. In just over a week’s time I will have a third… and it may be the most precious one of all, because it will mark the end of a London Marathon saga that started for me in 2016.

parkrunday: Leazes #37

It’s been a while since I was at Leazes parkrun!

It’s one of the three parkruns actually within the bounds of Newcastle upon Tyne (which is a surprisingly small part of the Tyneside metropolitan area), but I tend to forget about it a lot of the time as Town Moor and Jesmond Dene are what I consider my joint home parkruns. I did event #2 back in summer 2019, while Geth had never done Leazes until today. He was a bit concerned there’d be a lot of students there as it’s Freshers’ Week (and Leazes is the closest parkrun to the university campus), but it was fine – just over a hundred participants, and it felt fairly quiet.

I am getting slower and slower with my parkruns as my legs refuse to do anything except marathon plod pace at the moment. Post-marathon I am really excited about getting some speed up… eventually!

Nearly got it lined up! The sun was too bright for me to see what I was doing with my phone camera.

Next week, though, there’ll be one final pre-marathon parkrun…

Another full-on week

Well, I thought it would be a quiet week, but it ended up being pretty full-on with work and other things! I organised Geth’s new office on Monday, and we had a lovely visit from Mum and Dad yesterday and this morning as they were testing out their car to check a recent issue. Other than that, it’s been a fairly nonstop work week. I’m hoping there won’t be too much next week as I need to relax and prepare for the marathon! Nine days to go…

Hallowe'en sweets
The Hallowe’en sweets are officially open! Picked this haul up at the train station in Birmingham last week and have finally tucked into it tonight after finishing all the ice cream in the freezer this week. Really hope I can find some Jaffa Cake Spooky Cake Bars this year…

This week’s earworm playlists:


Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’
The Power Station – ‘Some Like It Hot’


Duran Duran – ‘Planet Earth’
The Beatles – ‘8 Days A Week’


The Beatles – ‘Drive My Car’
Yasumasa Kitagawa – ‘Great Cross-Examination (Moderato)’
Elton John – ‘Crocodile Rock’


Marika Suzuki, Hiromitsu Maeba and Masato Kouda – ‘By Powerful Bonds – Victory!’


‘Korobeiniki’ (the Tetris theme music – except it’s the YouTube version with lyrics detailing the entire history of the Soviet Union)


Marika Suzuki, Hiromitsu Maeba and Masato Kouda – ‘When The Windmill Spins’
Sailor – ‘A Glass Of Champagne’


Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’

Adventures in Coding: Retreating, Reflecting and Rallying

I feel like I’ve been talking about making my next game all summer, but unfortunately I’ve not been able to get much done on it!

Since ParserComp in June life has been a bit mental. I had a very busy summer with work, I’ve been marathon training for London (twelve days to go – eek!), events have started up again, and with all of that going on I’ve been making sure to prioritise ‘me time’ (i.e. videogaming) in the evenings and on weekends, so I’ve been struggling to find time for game creation. I really wanted to get one of my games finished for IFComp, but it hasn’t happened this year. However, October is looking nice and empty (after London that is!), so I’m hoping to be able to make a fun short scary game for this year’s EctoComp.

I possibly burnt myself out a bit early in the year. I was really proud of what I did with Barry Basic and the Quick Escape, and I had a lot of fun making Waiting for the Day Train, and I got a lot of work done on Marie (which is going to be enormous!) in between those two projects, but all of that was pretty intense and so maybe I needed to do other things for a while. I’m keen to get going again now, but I am going to wait until after the marathon and just brew some ideas in the meantime. I am a massive Hallowe’en fan and had such a good time making Hallowe’en: Night of the Misty Manor for the Adventuron Hallowe’en Jam a couple of years ago, so I’m already excited even though I don’t know what I’m making yet!

(I already have three ideas just from writing this post…)

Pixel vampire
The Fat Vampire may return! You never know…