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.

Perfect August bank holiday weather…

…for me these days is the grey mizzle we have here in Newcastle today! I went out in it for a twenty-minute run and that was quite enough, thank you very much. I’m going to be spending the rest of the day on the sofa, both playing and making games 🙂

Cool, damp weather also makes me very excited for autumn. Two days to go!

Roadside bracken
Another picture from last Thursday’s run! This is the now-traditional ‘bracken at the side of the path’ picture that I take at the turning point of all my out-and-back long runs.

parkrunday: Jesmond Dene #27

I was excited about today’s parkrun because, for the very first time, I was volunteering as tailwalker (the back marker who walks behind the last participant and makes sure everyone gets through the finish before the parkrun gets packed away). It was fun, although the weather was not exactly ideal for being out on the course for nearly an hour!

Pre-parkrun
Pre-parkrun. We were only about 45% soaked at this point.

It was an absolutely sodden morning and it just kept getting heavier! This was the second wet parkrunday since the restart and both times I was volunteering at Jesmond Dene… hope this doesn’t become a trend! I’m marshalling there again in three weeks’ time so I will keep you informed.

Back to regular running next week, plus another attempt at a new-to-me volunteer role 🙂

Muggy days and nights

There’s been a lot of rain this week, but the temperature has not lowered and sleep has been difficult due to the muggy night-time atmosphere. I’ve also had so much day job work I’ve not had time for anything else. I’m obviously thrilled that business has been booming recently, but I’m looking forward to a bit of downtime soon!

Not much else to report this week as a result. Hoping to be able to squeeze in some game creation as well next week.

South Shields
Another nice memory of last weekend’s visit to South Shields. Possibly the only visit I’ll have this year now that they’ve announced we all have to turn around and go back at the halfway point of the GNR!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Liam Payne and Quavo – ‘Strip That Down’
Duran Duran – ‘Five Years’
2 Unlimited – ‘Get Ready For This’
Technotronic – ‘Pump Up The Jam’

Sunday

Jason Derulo – ‘Want To Want Me’
The House Of Love – ‘Shine On’

Monday

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
Don Henley – ‘Boys Of Summer’
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – ‘Locomotion’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Cast of Peter Pan – ‘A Pirate’s Life (Is a Wonderful Life)’

Wednesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Cast of Peter Pan – ‘You Can Fly’

Thursday

Keala Settle – ‘This Is Me’

Friday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Let The Battles Begin!’
Alannah Myles – ‘Black Velvet’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘The Trials’
Tracy Chapman – ‘Fast Car’

The nicer half of spring

I think (hope!) we’re done with the winter weather now. I’ve been able to wear spring running clothes for five days in a row without getting cold, and the last two ‘supermarket trip Thursdays’ have been so sunny that the car has been summer levels of hot when we exit the supermarket and I’ve had to take my hoodie off to drive home. The blossom is finally coming out properly too, and should be in full bloom within a week or two. I’m already looking forward to taking lots of pictures.

I’ve spent most of this week planning games and experimenting with code (when not running, working, or doing household chores and admin). I’m in a real game creation place at the moment and am excited about all the things I’m planning to make over the next year or so.

Work has been quite busy for the last few days so I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Blossom

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Sunday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Deception’
Harry Nilsson – ‘One’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’

Monday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Marilyn, My Bitterness’

Tuesday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Marilyn, My Bitterness’
Mesh – ‘Let Them Crush Us

Wednesday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
MC Hammer – ‘U Can’t Touch This’

Thursday

Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
Jorge Vera – ‘Tierras Magicas’

Friday

Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’

A mellower, more behind-the-scenes week

This week has featured a lot fewer deadlines and manic last-minute things than last week did, so I’ve been able to get back to some semblance of normality in terms of the house upkeep and the exercise/training programme. It’s been especially nice to get back out for my walks, as it’s been really clear and sunny all week. This has meant that early morning runs have been a bit chilly, but afternoon walks have been the perfect temperature. Hope the sunshine continues.

As often happens when I release a game, I feel a bit bereft of my project and am already eagerly planning out the next one. This covers many things: the long planning document acts as my project for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and the new game itself is the full version of the excerpt I released for IntroComp 2020 and will also be entered into ParserComp 2021. Planning out the puzzles is fun, but I can’t wait to dive back into coding. I’ve got two and a half months to finish the game, so an important mission is not to get distracted by anything shiny in the meantime!

A blissfully quiet weekend awaits. Looking forward to finishing off the last of the other games from the jam (I’ve been playing the Spanish ones this week and it’s been a really fun way to get some language practice in) and also getting in some time with my much-neglected Switch Lite.

Blue sky
Spring is behaving this week.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’*
The Crüxshadows – ‘Dragonfly’
Dee Cooke – ‘Intro And Exit’

Sunday

Dee Cooke – ‘Path And Tree’
Michael Land – ‘Governor Marley’s Mardi Gras Fish Fry’
The Beatles – ‘Ticket To Ride’
Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’

Monday

Michael Land – ‘The Barbery Coast’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Someone You Loved’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
George Fenton – ‘Bergerac (Main Theme)’

Tuesday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
The Crüxshadows – ‘Ariadne’

Wednesday

Joe Hisaishi – ‘Kokoro No Kakera’
Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Thursday

Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Friday

Dennis Martin and Takeo Miratsu – ‘If You Still Believe’
Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’
Dee Cooke – ‘Intro And Exit’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’

*Like last week, I have spent an embarrassingly large chunk of the last few days with my own compositions stuck in my head after making them for my game. Given that music is planned for most of my future game projects, this could become a regular occurrence.

Another Tuesday

I did my interval session somewhere different this morning…

…which was nice. Geth and I seem to have timed our runs well as since lunchtime it’s been raining and grey – one of those days where you need the lights on all day long.

I don’t mind it being typical autumn weather in the afternoons and evenings as it’s the time of year when I like to curl up and watch TV, and in the current situation that’s all we can do anyway. I do mind in the mornings, because I’m really having to psyche myself up to go out for my runs in the cold and wet. It’s always fine once I get out there, but when I first wake up, getting out of my nice warm bed to go running is the last thing I want to do, especially on a Tuesday when I need to do a tough interval session.

I always get out and do it eventually though. That’s the beauty of the run streak – I need to go out for at least a mile to maintain the streak, so I might as well go and do the run I’ve got scheduled.

I had a bit of day job work to get on with this afternoon, and am now finishing off my admin so that I can watch some Hallowe’en TV this evening. I started my annual Simpsons ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ marathon yesterday, and have also been recording all the Hallowe’en shows on Food Network. These days, for me, Hallowe’en is always about staying in and enjoying the atmosphere, so it feels like it’s the one celebration that the pandemic can’t affect this year.

I’m still sleeping later than I’d like, partly because I’m tossing and turning and worrying about world things late at night. Hopefully I’ll manage to get my run done fairly quickly tomorrow, as there’s a few things I want to check before taking the car for its MOT on Thursday.

Maisie meets her match, 1984
I loved this book as a child. It describes an ’80s Hallowe’en in Morningside, Edinburgh, and thus perfectly captures my childhood Hallowe’ens – all the Scottish traditions and customs. I wonder if it perhaps isn’t sold or has been changed these days, as Maisie’s ‘Red Indian Chief’ costume would be considered culturally insensitive now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Liam Payne and J Balvin – ‘Familiar’
Bananarama – ‘Really Saying Something’
Wham! – ‘Club Tropicana’
Prince – ‘1999’
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – ‘The Monster Mash’
Barenaked Ladies – ‘One Week’
The Black Crowes – ‘Hard To Handle’
Pet Shop Boys – ‘On Social Media’

One step at a time

Some very wet laps today…

…but the runs themselves were fine – legs seem to be behaving themselves at the moment.

Pretty much everything is just one foot in front of the other at the moment, just like running. There are a lot of difficult things going on at the moment, and 2020 is not improving, and it’s a bit tough to think long-term right now because it’s all a bit too overwhelming. I’m used to dreaming about the future a lot, but that’s not really possible in the current circumstances. Just one day at a time, and sometimes one hour.

Tomorrow will be tomorrow. I’m not thinking about it just yet.

First jumper of the season
It was properly cold today for the first time this autumn, so I have officially declared it jumper season.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Neil Diamond – ‘Sweet Caroline’
Dusty Springfield – ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’
Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana – ‘Just Got Paid’
Carole King – ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’
Gunship – ‘Black Blood Red Kiss’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’

Enjoying the autumn weather

A two-miler today…

…and it was nice doing a different route to my 1.2-mile lap! That’s the last chance I’ll have for over a week, though, as multiple run training starts again tomorrow.

I also went out for a long walk this afternoon, as I’ll be running and working for the rest of the week so will be a bit too busy for walks. It was perfect September weather – lovely and sunny but not too hot while walking, and it was a really nice route too. I managed to photograph some red phone boxes I’d spotted while out with the social run group a few weeks ago, so look out for those in future Phone Box Thursday posts 🙂

A little more time spent indoors tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll be able to share my finished decor project (as far as it can be finished right now!).

Autumn leaves
A photo from over the weekend. The trees are starting to turn now, which is always exciting.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Gunship – ‘Rise The Midnight Girl’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon [Theme From The Trap]’