Where did the day go?

I’m really absorbed in a couple of projects (including my NaNoWriMo text adventure) at the moment, and so the days have a tendency to disappear. Today was no different. I’m going to have to take a break from it tomorrow so that I can actually get some house admin done!

Might open it up again once I get back from poetry night tomorrow evening though…

5 1/4 inch floppy disks
Not an OOTD: got the old 5 1/4 inch floppies out all ready for testing on the (hopefully still working) BBC Micro next month! Can you tell I might be excited for Christmas already?

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Come Undone
The Everly Brothers – All I Have To Do Is Dream
Clint Mansell – Leaving Earth

Story paths and tinkering

While there’s an extent to which I feel I’m sort of not getting the full experience of NaNoWriMo this year due to rebelling and creating a story that is both an update of a novel from sixteen years ago and a brand-new text adventure game, I have to say I’m enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed any creative project in years. I’d be working on it morning till night if I didn’t have so many other things going on at the same time! It’s partly because, as I’m designing it as a text adventure, there are a lot of different ways through the story, and so I’m telling several versions at once rather than one definitive version. It’s a lot of fun.

Spending so much time playing with the Adventuron coding system over the last few months has encouraged me to dig out my extremely brief childhood attempts at learning QBASIC. I’ve converted a few of the old ’90s files to BBC BASIC (because I’m excited about the fact that Dad and I are finally going to be digging the old BBC Micro out this Christmas after years of meaning to get round to it…fingers crossed it still works!), which is very similar, and I’m going to be doing a bit more experimentation in that area.

It’s going to be a relatively quiet week, so I’ll be fairly head down with my project.

QBasic to BBC Basic
Not an OOTD: crying with laughter at this ‘demo menu’ program that Dad put together in 1996 to show me how to programme a menu in QBASIC 😀

Today’s earworm playlist:

Blondie – ‘Maria’
Natalie Cole – ‘Miss You Like Crazy’
Aitch and ZieZie – ‘Buss Down’
Post Malone – ‘Circles’
Dermot Kennedy – ‘Outnumbered’
Cast of Muppet Treasure Island – ‘Something Better’
Gunship – ‘When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies’
Duran Duran – ‘The Chauffeur’
The Midnight – ‘Days Of Thunder’

Sunday pottering about…and sleeping, possibly

The in-laws have headed off now, so I’m having a quiet Sunday afternoon getting on with a bit of writing and adventure game coding. Hoping to get some gaming in this evening as well!

I’m still finding I’m very drowsy, but hopefully another good night of sleep will sort that out. Back to work tomorrow.

Nintendo Game Boy
Not an OOTD: there was lots of retro gaming on the Switch this weekend, which reminded me that I’ve been needing to superglue my old Game Boy screen back on for years now! Finally got round to it yesterday. All of the cartridges still work, except Wario Land – but curiously enough, Wario Land still works in my Game Boy Colour, just not the Game Boy Original…but the Original is fine with all the other cartridges…strange. Still, at least they all still play in one machine or another (and if they didn’t, I could redownload them on my 3DS for a couple of quid, so there’s that).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Whitney Houston – ‘Saving All My Love For You’
Duran Duran – ‘Electric Barbarella’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’
Little Mix – ‘Black Magic’
Koji Kondo – ‘Super Mario Bros. Theme’
Roxy Music – ‘2HB’
Rockwell – ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

Half asleep

Not doing very well in terms of staying awake today! I’ve had two giant glasses of Pepsi Max and three coffees and I still can’t keep my eyes open. It’s probably partly because I had to get up for parkrun this morning … but I wasn’t THAT late last night. Hopefully I’ll perk up a bit this evening!

Geth’s folks are visiting at the moment, and they’ve all gone into town to go shopping, so I’m sitting on the sofa trying not to snooze. It is most definitely hibernation season now.

Glass of cola
Not an OOTD: I’m not sure how much more of this I’m going to have to drink in order to stay awake!

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Shadows In The City’
Georgia – ‘About Work The Dancefloor’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Faderhead – ‘Dancers’
Koji Kondo – ‘Super Mario Bros. Theme’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Norman Greenbaum – ‘Spirit In The Sky’

Flying Friday post

Just a quick one today as Geth and I have guests coming. Will update properly (-ish) tomorrow!

Cassettes
Not an OOTD: I encountered my old cassette collection while tidying up today. Not at all respectable in music snob terms but a good illustration of a late ’80s/early to mid ’90s British childhood.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Robbie Williams – ‘Dream A Little Dream’
Duran Duran – ‘Electric Barbarella’
Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Cardi B – ‘South Of The Border’
Adam & The Ants – ‘Antmusic’
Madonna – ‘Into The Groove’
Elton John – ‘Your Song’
The Midnight – ‘Sunset’

Glad to be inside

I was out and about all morning running errands. About five minutes after I left the house, it started pouring with rain, and I hadn’t brought a brolly so I was a drowned rat by the time I got home a few hours later! Glad I don’t have to go out again for a couple of days now.

I’ve been doing day job work since then (and I’ve no idea how it’s managed to get so late as I’m sure I didn’t have that much to do!). Hoping to squeeze in a bit of work on my NaNo later this evening.

Mince pies
Not an OOTD: I’d never normally succumb to mince pies this early but it’s not been the best of days.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘The Chauffeur’
Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Cardi B – ‘South Of The Border’
Sam Feldt and Rani – ‘Post Malone’
Roxette – ‘It Must Have Been Love’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Bruises’
Meduza and Goodboys – ‘Piece Of Your Heart’

Phone Box Thursday: B869, Clachtoll

Time to start logging the family phone box contributions from this year! Anne sent me a snap of this phone box that was shown on TV back in the spring.

Red phone box
Red phone box, B869, Clachtoll, on TV 12 June 2019.

(Coordinates 58°20’23.4″N, 5°33’82.3″W.)

The Google Street View image above, from 2011, shows the phone box in a state of disrepair with its door missing. It seems to have been replaced by the time of shooting the TV programme (at least, I hope the Google image predates the filming!). There’s also a picture online of the box in its spruced-up state.

The phone box is actually in Stoer rather than Clachtoll (Stoer is the next village up), so I’m guessing the Clachtoll residents had to go for a bit of a walk back in the day!

A slightly sunnier Wednesday

More admin and housework this morning, and then I got a bit of writing done in the afternoon (including a bit of work on my NaNo – which I’m just about keeping up with!).

A good ukulele class this evening, and I’m now back on the sofa catching up with Strictly.

Hoping for another productive day tomorrow – I’ve got work to do for a client, plus a bit more writing and housework to get on with.

OOTD 13th November 2019
OOTD: the second of my new ’80s jumpers! Jumper Sunset Highway (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2019), leggings Primark (2019), boots Clarks (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tiësto and Mabel – ‘God Is A Dancer’
Starship – ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’
Whitney Houston – ‘Saving All My Love For You’
Andy Taylor – ‘Love Or Liberation’
Georgia – ‘About Work The Dancefloor’
Bronski Beat – ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’
Traditional – ‘Bonnie Ship The Diamond’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Keala Settle – ‘This Is Me’
Lauv and Troye Sivan – ‘I’m So Tired’

Gig Review: The Midnight at Manchester Albert Hall, 7th November 2019

Both Geth and I have been getting into synthwave in a big way this year. It’s the perfect modern ’80s-aping genre for me, while Geth was starting to get fed up with what was happening in industrial and needed a new type of electronic music to listen to. As such, we’ve been listening to it lots and have a few new favourite bands!

The Midnight are my favourite synthwave band, so when we heard that they were playing a few dates in the UK, it was an absolute no-brainer that we were going to go see them. A few friends from Newcastle had the same idea, so it was a good crowd in Manchester last Thursday for the gig.

The support act, Violet Days, were already playing when we arrived at the venue and found seats (a really good space on the balcony right above the stage!). I wouldn’t say their music was particularly standout to me, but it provided a nice bit of background while Geth got the drinks in and bought a couple of t-shirts at the merch stand.

Violet Days
Loved this viewpoint over the stage! Not too crowded either, so if I’m ever back at the Albert Hall I’ll know where to go.

While I love going to see classic artists who have been going for forty years or so, the sheer depth of their back catalogues means that there’s always a good few songs I don’t know (even Duran Duran, who are my favourite band and whom I listen to every day, have a few deep cuts and side projects with which I’m less familiar). For newer bands like the Midnight with only one or two albums, this is not a problem! I’ve been listening to their stuff so much this year that I knew every single song played, and was able to sing along to most of it (I don’t usually hear lyrics when I’m listening to music due to being hard of hearing, so this was a big deal). I don’t think I’ve come across one of their songs that I don’t absolutely love, so it was a brilliant, energetic show. In fact, the band have done so many great songs that there were a couple of my favourites (‘Crystalline’ and ‘Kick Drums And Red Wine’) that didn’t get played – but I didn’t mind, because everything they did play was brilliant too!

Setlist here.

The Midnight
It was nice to be close enough that even with my blurry photography, you can still tell who it is!

I just want to give a quick shout out to the Manchester Albert Hall, which is a brilliant venue. Hoping to attend a few more gigs there in the future! I will also be looking out for more synthwave gigs next year.

November days

It’s only a couple of days per week at the moment because life is pretty busy, but during November, when it’s starting to get very cold and dark, I really appreciate having full days where I can stay in the house and get on with things!

After doing a bit of housework and admin this morning, I spent some time in the afternoon working on my NaNoWriMo. A couple more days and I should have caught up with where I’m supposed to be in terms of wordcount!

There’s only a couple of days left to rate my text adventure game for the Adventuron jam, so please give it a go if you like games! I’m already looking forward to making more of these.

I’ll be mainly sorting out the house tomorrow, as Geth and I have guests coming to stay at the weekend.

Fireplace
Not an OOTD: it’s so cosy having the fireplace on at this time of year!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
U2 – Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
Lewis Capaldi – Bruises
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam