Talking it through

Another short run today…

…and then I headed to a counselling appointment, which was a bit of a short notice thing this week. I’d got onto the waiting list for talking therapy last summer, as after the first few months of sobriety I was starting to feel as though I was finally starting to get my thoughts about my mental health in order to the point that counselling would be useful. However, I was on the list for so long that I’d semi-forgotten about it/assumed that I’d been taken off it for some reason, so it was a surprise earlier this week when they called me to make an appointment! I felt a bit unfocused in the session today as I didn’t really know where to start, but I’m going to make a lot of notes before the next one in order to make the most of the treatment, as you only have a limited number of sessions.

I spent the afternoon finishing off this week’s day job work, meaning that the decks are clear for next week yet again! Looking forward to another good weekend of running – I’ve got a new parkrun to try out tomorrow, and a long run in the stormy weather that’s due on Sunday (that one might not be so pleasant, but it’s all part of marathon training).

GNR membership shirt 2020
My GNR membership shirt arrived today. Really like this logo on the back! Hope the finisher t-shirts will also be nice this year…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tears For Fears – ‘Woman In Chains’
All Saints – ‘Never Ever’
Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’
Bon Jovi – ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’
Timecop1983 and LeBrock – ‘Too Late’


A short run this morning…

…before heading to Slimming World, where I lost another pound on the scales this week. I’m impatient to get back to target range, and so one pound feels a bit measly considering the effort I’m putting in at the moment, but I suppose five and a half pounds in three weigh-ins is not bad. Just have to keep plugging away.

Geth and I are heading out to a synthwave gig tonight, so I’ve made sure to get all my work done during the afternoon. It’ll be really nice to have a night out – it only happens once in a while these days!

OOTD 6th February 2020
Revenge of the OOTD: it was a bit soon to announce the death of the ‘outfit of the day’ shots! All dressed up for a synthwave night out. Necklace Claire’s Accessories (2003), jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), t-shirt The Midnight (2019), skirt Calvin Klein Jeans (2004), tights Primark (2017), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Beatles – ‘I Am The Walrus’
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Robert Parker and Miss K – ”85 Again’

Phone Box Thursday: National Museum of History, St Fagans

This week, we move on to a series of Welsh phone boxes that Mum and Dad found for me while travelling last September. This first one resides in the St Fagans National Museum of History next to the Blaenwaun Post Office, and has been moved there specially (i.e. is not in its original location).

Red phone box
Red phone box, National Museum of History, St Fagans, 9th September 2019.

(Coordinates 51°48’76.9″N, 3°27’71.7″W.)

It’s a very well-kept box, but that’s to be expected seeing as it’s being treated as a museum piece! The Google Street View image linked above seems to suggest that the phone box is still in use, but I expect the image is a few years old so it’s unclear if that is still the case.

More from the St Fagans museum next week.

Open day

After this morning’s run…

…I spent the afternoon at the Newcastle University Postgraduate Open Day in order to find out about doing a Masters in creative writing. It was odd sitting in lecture halls and listening to talks. Other than the odd occasion when I’ve sat in on Geth’s evening lectures, I haven’t been in lecture halls since I graduated in 2008!

It was a really interesting afternoon though. I spoke to a few students who are currently doing the course, went on a tour of the facilities, and attended a couple of general talks on studying at Newcastle and funding sources. I went away with a huge amount of bumpf to read and a lot of things to look into over the next few days!

I then headed to ukulele class, which was as fab as ever. Really enjoying the songs we’re doing this term.

It’ll be another busy day tomorrow, as I need to catch up with day job work in between going to weigh-in and the gig that Geth and I are attending in the evening.

Tote bag
I also got a free tote bag to carry all my open day bumpf in. I don’t really need any more of these, but I always appreciate a nice goodie bag!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Stinx – ‘Why Do You Keep On Running Boy’*
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’

*For the uninitiated (i.e. those who weren’t living in Scotland around the turn of the millennium), this was a parody of Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ that featured in a legendary HEBS (Health Education Board for Scotland) advert from 2000, aimed at discouraging teenagers from smoking. The advert was renowned as being absolutely genius (I did a day of work experience at the BBC during this period and they were all raving about it), and I sang the song in the school corridors every breaktime with my pals for about three months solid.

Didn’t discourage me from smoking, though.

Worth a watch if you’ve never seen it, if only for some prime nostalgia:

In non-running news…

Because I’m running every day at the moment, I feel as though I’m spending most of these diary posts talking about my daily run. As such, I decided to move most of my day-to-day running rambles to video form, so that you can skip over it if you’re not interested in running minutiae!

Today’s non-running stuff involved finishing off some more admin and getting my notes together for going to the Newcastle postgraduate open day tomorrow. I’m looking at options for retraining at the moment and so I’ve booked to go to the open day in order to see if a postgraduate course would be helpful in that respect. Quite excited!

I’ll update about that tomorrow night 🙂

The Ouseburn
My recovery mile route isn’t particularly pretty (especially not with all the roadworks going on at the moment) but you do get some nice views of the Ouseburn occasionally!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carter USM – ‘And God Created Brixton’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’

A slightly gloomy Monday

Today has certainly been as proactive as I hoped – the day job work is continuing to pile in, which is great, and I got a good if slightly too fast recovery run in this morning as well as another chunk of post-Christmas admin catchup done. However, I feel a bit glum this evening, and I think I’ve maybe been in the house by myself a bit too much lately. I’m really looking forward to the adventures and trips away planned for later in the year, but they seem a long way away right now.

On the bright side, my new mobile phone arrived this afternoon. Something new to set up and play with tonight!

Tomorrow is another fairly featureless day, but I do have a few exciting things coming up later in the week.

Basil plant
I’ve started a new habit today of doing one tiny ‘house sorting out’ job every day, as I really don’t have time for big sessions of house stuff at the moment. Today’s job was sorting out the corner of the kitchen windowsill where Basil the basil plant lives – it was taken up with a rusty metal box overflowing with clothes pegs that we don’t really use much since getting our tumble drier. Basil himself is a bit of a lopsided beast (half of his roots were already pretty much dead when I got him), but at least his corner looks nice now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The ‘mild green Fairy Liquid’ jingle from back in the day
The Midnight – ‘Vampires’
Kylie Minogue – ‘Got To Be Certain’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’

Grey runs

I went for my long run this morning in the mizzly rain. Newcastle was super, super grey, and looked very wintery, and of course now that it’s February I’m getting a bit impatient for it NOT to be winter. Apparently most of the North American groundhogs predicted an early spring today, but I don’t think their forecasts apply to the British Isles. Not even mystical animal meteorologists can predict our weather.

The lake at Exhibition Park did look really beautiful, though, when I lapped it a few times to make up an extra mile. Lots of swans and ducks and geese all flapping away against the cold grey water. I might have appreciated it a little more in December, though, which is something to remember for later this year.

I’ve had a much-needed dozy afternoon and evening since the run. Hoping to be all refreshed and proactive tomorrow.

Window reflection
End of the OOTD: you’ve probably noticed that I’ve not been posting many OOTDs lately. This is partly because my 2018 target weight clothes shopping spree came to a natural end, and so I don’t have many new clothes to post about now. It’s also partly because as my running has become more of a focus over the last few months, I’ve tended towards comfy leggings/’80s jumper/no makeup days, and don’t really feel like posing for pictures. I’m hoping to remember to take more photos while I’m out on my runs over the next few weeks, as I feel the Newcastle scenery is a bit more interesting than my cosy post-run outfits right now!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rei Kondoh – ‘Storm Clouds’
Bronski Beat – ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’
Duran Duran – ‘Falling Down’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
The Midnight – ‘Explorers’

Standing still

It’s been a while since I volunteered at parkrun, so it was good to get out and marshal at Jesmond Dene this morning, a parkrun course that I really enjoyed running during the autumn. I jogged there and back so as to get my run in, but made sure I had plenty layers on for the ninety minutes I was standing at my marshal point! There was a bitter wind blowing through the Dene today, so they were very much needed.

Geth is away at a Keyforge tournament so I’ve had a really relaxed afternoon reading. I’ve got another long run to do tomorrow and I’m hoping to be well rested.

Weekends are a bit of a write-off at the moment due to all the running, but that’s sort of the way it goes during marathon training.

parkrun volunteering
Sort of an OOTD: I was at the marshal point I’d always feared, the one where an out-of-control runner can knock you down the steps if you’re not careful! Thankfully it wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Jackson Browne – ‘Rosie’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Soft Cell – ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’
Belinda Carlisle – ‘Leave A Light On’

Daily improvements

It’s been a really good day overall.

I started off with a 4k speed run and managed a similar pace to what I was doing at parkrun on Saturday. This is a really good achievement for me, because I’ve always struggled to run solo runs anywhere near as fast as I can in a parkrun or race situation. Perhaps I was helped along for the first half mile by the sight of Geth in the distance, who was running the same route but went out a lot faster than me!

I then spent the first part of the afternoon finishing and submitting my tax return – it’s always a relief to get it done! – followed by the last bit of editing for a client that I needed to finish this week. I’ve also booked a wee trip to Dublin in June for a Duran Duran gig 😀 Super excited…

Marshalling at parkrun tomorrow, so I’ll just be jogging there and back to get my run in.

Dublin 2012
Not quite an OOTD: flashback to the last time I was in Dublin, in March 2012 (fatter days – couldn’t fasten up my coat 🙁 ). Love that Oscar Wilde statue.

Today’s earworm playlist:

FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’
The Midnight – ‘Memories’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’
Lady Gaga – ‘Always Remember Us This Way’
Jackson Browne – ‘Rosie’
The Midnight – ‘Explorers’
The Midnight – ‘River Of Darkness’

Winning in a happy non-competitive way!

So I followed up my first sub-31 parkrun since 2018 with… my first Slimmer of the Week award since 2018! Two and a half pounds off this morning. Just a few more weeks of consistent effort and hopefully I will be back in my target range!

On a less happy note I’m sad to see our latest temporary Slimming World consultant, Julie, moving on. Our group has had six different consultants in the last year for various reasons, and it sounds like our seventh will only be temporary as well. Fingers crossed we get our ‘forever consultant’ soon – the ladies have all been lovely, but it’s much easier when you have someone who’s followed your journey for a long time.

I was planning to get out for a walk this afternoon to make up for the pizza that Geth and I had tonight to celebrate the end of his marking, but I was a bit tired after this morning’s run so will be getting in some extra exercise over the next few days instead. I’ve got lots of work to get on with anyway.

Tomorrow is quite busy, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend!

Slimming World fridge magnet
Not an OOTD: also, our group gets fridge magnets for being Slimmer of the Week nowadays! When Katie (our original consultant) was running the group, you only got them for Slimmer of the Month.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ed Sheeran and Khalid – ‘Beautiful People’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’