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’

Quietly springlike

I did a very short-feeling six-mile ‘long run’ this morning…

…and it was a lovely day for it, with bright blue skies and buds on the trees and daffodils everywhere. Spring is most definitely here… not that anyone’s really thinking about it at the moment, understandably. Years ago, Geth and I would probably have celebrated a sunny March Sunday like this with our first beer garden visit of the year. I’ve been avoiding beer gardens for over a year now since getting sober, and anyway they’re all currently closed by government order. Life is very different to what it used to be, especially in the current strange situation.

Instead, we are in the house as usual, working our way through our videogame and boardgame collections. For once, I’m hopeful that I might make a bit of a dent in my gaming backlog this year!

Back to work tomorrow.

Daffodils growing in our garden, looking extra yellow in the sunshine.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Duran Duran – ‘I Believe/All I Need To Know’
Take That – ‘The Flood’
Levellers – ‘What A Beautiful Day’

No parks today

Geth and I chose a local route for the first non-parkrunday this morning…

…and I was pleased to find I could run at a similar pace to last week’s parkrun! We also did the online parkrun quiz at 9am this morning, which had a nice community feel to it.

Have gone around the house changing all the towels and bedding to make the place feel a bit fresher, and am now looking forward to spending the rest of the day videogaming.

Same again tomorrow (slightly longer and slower run planned though!).

Non-parkrunday #1
On the start line of what I expect will be the first of quite a few non-parkruns over the coming weeks/months. I didn’t realise I would miss parkrun so much already.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Paul Dukas – ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’
Take That – ‘The Flood’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Sesame Street – ‘The Pasta Song’

Out on the hunt

It was another practical run this morning…

…because I needed to visit nine shops before I was able to find any pasta, and so I thought I might as well get my run in as part of the search! Our wee Sainsbury’s Local had a few packs of macaroni left. It transpired that they’re now limiting them to two per customer, which is probably why!

I also (miraculously) managed to find some toilet roll in a pound shop that I never normally go into. Everyone in there was being really great about only taking one pack. I now feel confident that Geth and I have enough to keep us going, even if it takes a couple of weeks before I manage to find some again.

I spent the rest of the day working on a paper for a client – I’m very grateful to have some work at the moment. I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend, including a ‘non-parkrun’ tomorrow and a ‘not nearly as long as in marathon training’ long run on Sunday.

Upscaled pixels
Being in the house means I’m running out of stuff to take photos of, so I made this slightly existential upscaled pixel art self-portrait.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Badly Drawn Boy – ‘Once Around The Block’
The Beatles – ‘Michelle’