An unusual birthday today, like everybody else’s birthday during this strange year. I did the usual opening of birthday cards and presents under the Christmas tree, and the usual eating of birthday cake and drinking of (alcohol-free these days) fizz, but because I couldn’t be in Edinburgh this year it was in my own house under my own tree, with Mum and Dad on video call rather than in person. The birthday cake I made yesterday tasted just as it was supposed to, and I got some amazing presents, so it’s been a good birthday so far – it’s just felt a bit strange being at home in Newcastle. Like everything else over the past couple of weeks!

Birthday cards under the Christmas tree
As usual, my birthday cards will be living under the tree until Christmas gets put away on 6th January.

Today’s earworm playlist: and Cody Wise – ‘It’s My Birthday’
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan – ‘Especially For You’

The run-up

The usual mile this morning…

…and it was really cold. Going to have to start layering up a bit more!

I am in unashamedly Christmas mode now. I made the cake yesterday (I’m hoping to be able to share it with Mum and Dad presuming restrictions are relaxed over Christmas, and Geth is very much looking forward to eating it as well!). Usually the cake turns out horribly wrong, but this time (fingers crossed) it looks okay. This is the first time I’ve tried it in my current oven, so maybe the ovens in all my previous homes weren’t up to scratch.

Other than cake-making and general Christmas prep, I’ve largely been focused on my NaNoWriMo project. I’m also trying to get as much work as possible done on my Adventuron Christmas jam project so that it won’t be a last-minute rush in December! I’ll definitely have a lot more time for that after NaNo though, especially if I can get all my Christmas prep done before the end of the month as well.

It’s Geth’s and my wedding anniversary today so we’ve cracked open the first stollen of the year. It is most definitely the year for starting Christmas early.

Christmas cake
The colour of the cake actually looks right this time! I am hopeful…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – ‘O Holy Night’
The Strokes – ‘Last Night’

Happy 40th Birthday Geth!

Just the usual mile today…

…but I really am hoping to manage a longer run tomorrow.

I woke up really late, presumably due to not having slept well on Monday and Tuesday nights. As such, it’s been a bit of a slow day – it’s also Geth’s 40th birthday today, so we had a Zoom meetup to celebrate. I got him the new Xenoblade Chronicles version as his main present, which should keep him fairly quiet for the next couple of months!

It’s a shame that his milestone birthday coincided with lockdown, but a lot of people are in the same boat this year, and you have to make the best of it. It’ll be nice to have gradual face-to-face celebrations with people when we do get to meet up.

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a trip to Geth’s office, as he needs to collect his books for continued working-from-home purposes. Other than that, I’m looking forward to settling in with my current game project again.

Birthday cake
Geth’s birthday cake. He wanted white chocolate, and this Sainsbury’s offering was perfect.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroyuki Sawano and Gemie – ‘Ashes Suite’
Mabel – ‘God Is A Dancer’

Keep on running

I hit 100 days on my ‘run every day’ streak today!

Despite the awful world situation that has transpired over the last few months, I’ve felt happier and more stable in my own life than I have in a long time. Getting out for a run every day really lifts my mood, and I plan to continue my streak indefinitely.

I’ve spent most of today finishing off day job work ahead of the Easter weekend, and making a multicoloured wall chart to keep track of all of our cancelled and postponed events. I’m looking forward to getting a bit more work done on my text adventure projects this evening.

Geth and I are also starting the long weekend off with a Maundy Thursday takeaway. In my drinking days it used to be a Maundy Thursday pint, and last year it was a Maundy Thursday synthwave night, but I’m very happy for the tradition to move to Domino’s Pizza this year. However, with the exception of my Easter egg, I’ll be eating healthily the rest of the week – I’m finding my weight loss has stalled a little since my marathon training came to a screeching halt, so I need to keep more of an eye on it.

Hope everyone has as good an Easter weekend as can be expected given the circumstances!

Celebratory cake
If there’s one thing parkrun has taught me, it’s that you celebrate running milestones with cake.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu – ‘Hymn Of The Fayth’
Takeru Kanazaki – ‘Life at Garreg Mach Monastery’
Bill Withers – ‘Lean On Me’

Flying Saturday post

Just a quick update tonight as internet is sketchy! Today I’ve run a new parkrun (review post coming in a few days’ time), eaten a lot of cake, and done a lot of editing work for clients. Looking forward to everything settling down again mid-week.

OOTD 10th August 2019
OOTD: phone box hunting again! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Gildan for Resistanz (2016), bag CXL by Christian Lacroix (2018), t-shirt Amplified (2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Air Supply – All Out Of Love
Michael Ball – Love Changes Everything
Ellie Goulding – Burn
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
Duran Duran – Save A Prayer
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Jason
Mya, Pink, Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot – Lady Marmalade
Spandau Ballet – Musclebound

A family gathering

Just a quick post tonight as I’ve only just got back from my cousin Jen’s 30th birthday family celebration, which was a textbook Cooke gathering. The Cookes are numerous and we eat a lot of cake. I was being good so I restricted myself to one slice, but I could have easily sampled all of the different types of cake on offer – they looked amazing. There was plenty of on-plan quiche and salad too, so lots of eating to be done! Thanks to Fiona and Bill for putting it all on.

It was so lovely to see most of the extended family, as we don’t get to meet up with each other an awful lot these days.

I also managed to get my weekend long run in this morning! This means I don’t have to do it tomorrow afternoon, which is great. It also meant I was able to test out eating prior to running, as I went out after breakfast.

I’ve also been able to sample a few good booze alternatives this weekend – R White’s Lemonade, Nosecco, and Britvic Ginger Beer – so I’ll be tracking them all down again in order to do proper reviews.

OOTD 19th January 2019
OOTD: party outfit! Jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), skirt Reiss (2018), shoes Just Cavalli (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Thompson Twins – You Take Me Up
Zara Larsson – Ruin My Life
Duran Duran – Come Undone
Charli XCX and Troye Sivan – 1999
Avicii – Hey Brother

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Rihanna and Jay-Z – Umbrella

Vintage fair haul: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

Saturday was a hectic day, but I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to a vintage fair!  I brought Geth with me for the first time, having lured him in with the promise of cake, and so he was able to sit down with a big piece of cake and a cup of tea in a proper teacup while I had my quick nosey round the stalls.  I also had a taste of the cake, which was a nice chocolate orange flavour.  I’ve never sampled the cakes at vintage fairs before, ’cause I’m usually just in and out quickly with my clothes haul!

Vintage fair haul
Shiny, shiny blouse.

Just one piece bought this time – this lovely shiny blouse.  I wore it out the same night for the Culture Club gig we went to!

Lou Lou’s is one of my favourites, so I’ll be keeping an eye on when they’re back in Newcastle.