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:

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

Monday

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

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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

Thursday

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

Friday

Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’

A month of two halves

The first half of September has been almost back to pre-pandemic levels of Being Out And About! Weddings, races, gigs… it’s been a busy time, but so joyful to be able to see people and do normal things again. I even finally got to see Duran Duran this week! They announced a couple of short-notice gigs about a fortnight ago and I jumped at the chance… especially seeing as I already had a ticket for Andy Taylor on the Wednesday and so it was set to be the best coming-out-of-the-pandemic return to gig-going week I could have hoped for!

I’ll review the gigs in depth here eventually but I’ve also written pieces on them for a couple of fansites/publications so I want to wait until those are out first.

Anyway, the second half of September, in contrast, is empty, and I plan to make the most of that. I will only be leaving the house to do parkrun and an occasional long-ish run (my short daily runs are now all being done on the treadmill to reduce my risk of injury in the lead-up to the marathon) until I leave for London, with the one exception being the day I’ll be helping Geth unpack boxes in his new office. I am guarding that time very carefully as I want as much physical and mental rest as possible over the next sixteen days!

I am also getting organised for Hallowe’en so that I’m not rushing around with that in October. Some exciting things coming in the post soon…

Gig t-shirts
T-shirt collection well stocked up this week! Love both of these 🙂

Saturday

The Wombles – ‘The Wombling Song’
Duran Duran – ‘Come Undone’

Sunday

Mika – ‘Grace Kelly’

Monday

Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’

Tuesday

Meat Loaf – ‘Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through’
Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’

Wednesday

Duran Duran – ‘Tonight United’
Andy Taylor – ‘Bringing Me Down’
Gloria Gaynor – ‘I Will Survive’
Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

Thursday

Duran Duran – ‘What Happens Tomorrow’

Friday

Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’
Duran Duran – ‘Ordinary World’

Settling into the autumn

The next week or so is quite busy with running events and gigs. I’m excited for all of it! And also for next weekend when I will return to my regularly scheduled dozing. The return to near-normality is nice but it can feel a little overwhelming to be suddenly doing All The Things.

The strange brief heatwave that made its way through the UK this week only showed its face in Newcastle on Wednesday, and that was quite enough for me. I’m done with hot weather now! Looking forward to cooler conditions for autumn running. It’s meant to be 13°C and cloudy on Sunday for the GNR and I really hope the forecast is right.

I made a decision earlier this week that I wouldn’t do the 22-mile run I’d scheduled for this week and would instead treat my 18-miler from a couple of weeks ago as my longest long run for the marathon. My body is telling me very loudly that a five-week taper is more likely to get me to the start line in one piece than a three-week taper, so I’m going to listen to it. I’ve got the GNR (13.1 miles) on Sunday, will do either eight or six miles next Thursday depending on how I’m feeling post-race, and six the week after, then a nice ten-day period of only doing mile-and-a-half streak savers and slow gentle parkruns leading up to the marathon. Fingers crossed it will all go according to plan.

This time next week I am hoping to report back on a slow but enjoyable GNR completion, two very long-awaited concerts, and the bulk of a game coded!

Black cat
Last week’s photo of next door’s cat. He sneaked in as usual while our groceries were being delivered and looked so comfy I let him stay for an hour or so!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Republica – ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’

Sunday

The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’
Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’

Monday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’

Wednesday

Boston – ‘More Than A Feeling’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’

Thursday

Girls Aloud – ‘Something New’*

Friday

The Human League – ‘Being Boiled’

*RIP Sarah Harding.

Balance and burnout

Geth and I travelled back to Newcastle this morning after a family wedding yesterday. It was so lovely to be able to have a normal family celebration after everything that’s happened over the last eighteen months, and to see so many people I haven’t been able to see for so long. I really hope we can have another gathering soon.

The next couple of weeks are gathering steam and so I’ve spent a bit of time this afternoon making sure to schedule in some time to relax! The last few months have felt very non-stop and I know I won’t be able to do all the stuff I want to do over the next month if I keep barrelling along without a break.

Work is returning to a good level as well – there’s plenty to keep the business ticking over, but it’s not as hectic as it was in the summer and so I’ve got time to do other things too.

Should be a good month leading up to the marathon!

Quayside tree
A slightly ominous-looking tree on the Quayside. I’m looking forward to exploring this route further during training for future marathons.

Late night update

I’ve been very busy today finishing all my work for the week and getting stuff ready for weekend adventures tomorrow. I’ll update about all of that properly after the weekend!

Tyne Bridge
The sign is up. It was nice running along the Quayside yesterday and ticking off all the bridges!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Duran Duran – ‘Astronaut’
Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’
Vengaboys – ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’

Sunday

Jackie Wilson – ‘Reet Petite’
Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’

Monday

Vengaboys – ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’
Duran Duran – ‘Give It All Up’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’
Madness – ‘Michael Caine’
Kanye West – ‘Stronger’
Apoptygma Berzerk – ‘Kathy’s Song’
Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’

Wednesday

Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’
Lucas Pope – ‘Soldiers Of The Sea’

Thursday

Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’

Friday

Abba – ‘Thank You For The Music’
The Sweet – ‘Poppa Joe’
Duran Duran – ‘Anniversary’

A quick breather!

For today, anyway. Lots to do, despite the fact that my clients are mostly on holiday and thus so am I!

It’s been a busy week. Monday was a big accounting catchup day for my business as I’ve not had time to keep up with it over the last few hectic months. Tuesday was spent in Geth’s office at work, as they’re moving buildings again and we needed to pack up all his stuff so it can be transferred to his new office. Wednesday I had a hair appointment and took the opportunity to run a few other errands while I was out, and yesterday was 18-miler day on my marathon training schedule. I’ve also been doing initial planning and coding for my new game!

I was really anxious about yesterday’s run as my long runs so far this training block have been fairly miserable due to various issues. However, everything (mostly) came together yesterday, and I was able to have a really positive, steady run. I’ve recovered really well so am feeling a lot more confident about the remaining long runs on the schedule!

I know I say this most weeks but next week should definitely be quieter… I hope!

'80s font on crate
Some of the crates provided to pack up Geth’s office were clearly a few decades old! Loving the ’80s font on this one.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Elvis Presley – ‘Return To Sender’

Sunday

KC & The Sunshine Band – ‘Give It Up’

Monday

Duran Duran – ‘Save A Prayer’

Tuesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Boss Theme A’

Wednesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Boss Theme A’

Thursday

Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’
Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’

Friday

Queen – ‘A Winter’s Tale’
Carter USM – ‘The Only Living Boy In New Cross’
Ultravox – ‘Vienna’
Peter Gabriel – ‘Games Without Frontiers’

The ‘back to normal’ creep

Just a quick blog admin note to say that Gamebook Wednesday will be back in October after I have done the London Marathon. I’ve been reading/playing (it’s a sort of hybrid action) lots of gamebooks and really enjoying them, but I don’t have the energy to do the reviews justice at the moment. It’ll be a nice project for the autumn!

Somehow, and in some ways unnoticed, my life seems to have become a lot more ‘back to normal’ recently. On Monday evening Geth and I went for a drink in the pub; yesterday we went into his workplace and packed up his office ready for a forthcoming building move; this afternoon I’m going to the hair salon. There have been many long stretches over the past year and a half where none of that stuff would have been possible or legal, and I got so used to my routine of only ever leaving the house for my daily run that I didn’t think it would be possible to revert to old habits so quickly. This autumn, however, looks almost normal on paper, with trips away and races and gigs and a full-length Strictly series to watch on the TV (so excited!). I don’t think I’ll believe it till after it’s happened, but I am very optimistic for the next few months.

Autumn 2020
An ‘autumn leaves’ picture from last year. I can’t wait to see them again 🙂

Eyes on the autumn

Twelve days to go until meteorological autumn begins. I am very excited.

Things have been quite well timed this week. Geth and I returned home from the last of our summer trips away on Tuesday, and I finished the last items for the last of my big summer work projects on Wednesday. Work has been very busy over the spring and summer, which has been great, but it’s starting to quieten down again now. I’ll be taking the opportunity over the next few weeks to get a new game made and to have some downtime with my much-neglected videogame collection. I’m also in the sharp end of marathon training now, so I need to get some rest and relaxation in when I’m not running!

I’m finding it hard to get out of the ‘I should be doing something work-related right now’ guilt and letting myself relax, but that’s sort of understandable after so many months. I hope I’ll feel a bit more settled in a week’s time.

Mull of Galloway
So many pictures from our last trip! This is another one from the Mull of Galloway.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

S-Express – ‘Theme From S-Express’

Sunday

Grant Lee Buffalo – ‘The Whole Shebang’
Shoji Meguro – ‘Heretic Mansion’
Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’

Monday

Duran Duran – ‘Reach Up For The Sunrise’

Tuesday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Return’
Fleetwood Mac – ‘Don’t Stop’
Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’
The Corries – ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’

Wednesday

Peter Gabriel – ‘Games Without Frontiers’

Thursday

Duran Duran – ‘What Happens Tomorrow’
Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’

Friday

The B-52s – ‘Roam’

Home for a while

Geth and I are back in Newcastle after a few days spent at Mum and Dad’s holiday caravan in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s been lovely making the most of Geth’s summer leave to go zipping around visiting places for a few weeks, but I’m ready to settle down into the autumn routine at home now. I have lots of games to make (and play) and the final stages of a marathon training plan to complete.

Blog posts will gradually return to the normal schedule as a result!

Ailsa Craig from Girvan
So many photos from the last few days! This one is the view of Ailsa Craig from Girvan beach on Saturday. It was cloudy but atmospheric.

(Including the Tuesday pesto posts. From next week!)

Tarmac and nettles

Now that it’s the sharp end of marathon training, I’m settling into a bit of a pattern with my Thursday long runs: run through town to a quiet waterside path and then follow said quiet waterside path for requisite number of miles. This week I was back at home in Newcastle, which does not have a handy canal like Edinburgh and Colne were able to provide the prior couple of weeks. Instead it has a giant old river and a path that runs along it sometimes and sometimes not. As such, it required a bit more mental work in terms of making sure I was going the right way. I’m still having a few issues on the long runs, but gradually solving them one by one.

Work is gradually settling down, which means I can have a proper weekend for the next couple of days. Really looking forward to it!

Warning sign
No swimming! This sign has clearly been around for a while judging by the ’80s-style font.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Alan Hawkshaw – ‘Grange Hill Theme’
Madonna – ‘Borderline’

Sunday

Blondie – ‘Rapture’
Hot Butter – ‘Popcorn’

Monday

Welshly Arms – ‘Sanctuary’

Tuesday

Republica – ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’
Leo Sayer – ‘Moonlighting’

Wednesday

Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Billy Ocean – ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’

Thursday

Shoji Meguro – ‘Heretic Mansion’
Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’

Friday

The Beatles – ‘She Loves You’

And a bonus track Geth was humming earlier:

Carter USM – ‘Lean On Me I Won’t Fall Over’