Building stuff

Just a mile today…

…because I woke up late again. I need to set an alarm tomorrow as I’m falling behind with stuff a bit this week.

After my run, I spent pretty much the rest of the day building garden furniture. Geth ordered a set the other day and it arrived yesterday, so I put it all together this afternoon as we have guests (!) coming for lunch on Friday. It’s still meant to be very warm and dry by then, if a bit cloudy, so it’ll be nice to sit out in the fresh air.

No videogaming tonight as I have too much admin to catch up with. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit easier time-wise… if I don’t sleep through that alarm.

Garden furniture
I really like this garden set. We also got a plastic cover for protecting it from the elements overnight (although next door’s cat has already sprayed on it… he really doesn’t like new-smelling furniture). Hopefully we’ll have a few more weeks of summer weather to enjoy sitting out.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Rio’
Ashford & Simpson – ‘Solid’

All set

I got up early(ish) to do another mile this morning…

…because I had a very exciting appointment at the hairdresser, which I posted about here. I then spent the afternoon finishing off my day job work so that I’ve got a clean slate for next week and can properly enjoy the weekend in the meantime! I have so many games to play – my copy of Paper Mario: The Origami King arrived today, Beyond A Steel Sky (which I have been excited about for years) was released on Steam yesterday, and a couple of new Adventuron games have dropped in the last couple of days (one of which is in Spanish, so I will have to dust off my rusty linguistic skills).

I’m normally very strict about sleeping naturally but it has not been serving me well in terms of waking time recently, so I will set a couple of reasonably-timed alarms over the weekend in the hope that I will be able to get up, get my running and admin out of the way, and settle down to some gaming time.

I’ll post my running vlogs over the weekend as usual, but unless I get excited enough about one of the games I’m playing that I need to blog about it, don’t expect to hear anything else from me until Monday!

Geth mowing the lawn
Geth braved the garden today after multiple weekends on the bounce of it being ‘too wet for mowing’. It was apparently a haunting jungle experience and he will be making the effort to do it once a week from now on!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Temple Of Chaos’

An active bank holiday

A recovery mile this morning…

…but given that today I also did a RingFit Adventure level, a YouTube yoga session, and a long bank holiday walk, I feel I’ve been quite active, really!

I also spent a couple of hours enjoying the sunshine in the back garden, keeping Geth company while he was doing his tree-hacking. The trees are growing quite quickly at the moment, but Geth is doing a good job of keeping them trimmed back. The grass in both gardens is a bit parched, though, so we need to get a sprinkler attachment for the hose next time I take the car for a spin to B&Q!

After all of that, I’ve not had time for much else today. Will get back to the coding tomorrow.

Plant in garden
I know very little about plants and so I’ve no idea what this thing is called, but the flowers on it are very pretty.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Alvin & The Chipmunks – ‘We’re The Chipmunks’
Henry Mancini – ‘The Pink Panther Theme’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Tyler Lyle – ‘Lost And Found’ [The Midnight Remix]
RingFit Adventure – ‘Warmup Theme’
Sesame Street – ‘Sesame Street Theme’
Duran Duran – ‘White Lines’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Michael Land – ‘Monkey Island Main Theme’

A bit of a synth day

Just a mile again today…

…as I wanted a relaxed bank holiday Friday after a busy week. Longer runs planned for tomorrow and Sunday.

There are a few synthwave livestreams to which I’m looking forward tonight, so I’ve spent the afternoon with my favourite synthwave playlist on in the background in order to get in the mood. Watching and listening to DJ livestreams from my sofa is the kind of clubbing I appreciate in my older sober hermit days! It’s a beautiful day, so Geth has gone out for a walk to Sainsburys to get us some more liquid supplies (that bottle of alcohol-free fizzy went down a treat last night, so I’m looking forward to having another one).

The lovely weather has also meant that Geth has been able to go out and do his regular garden maintenance. I have meanwhile spread out the new gravel to try and cover the exposed areas of the webbing in the back garden. It seems we could do with another couple of bags, so I reckon a return trip to B&Q is in our near future.

I’ll be doing my usual review posts and running vlogs over the weekend, so the next life update will be Monday. I’m fairly sure nothing out of the ordinary will have happened by then, but you never know 🙂

Running gear
I have found this year that running every day has required a lot of new running gear due to (a) the laundry turnover and (b) the fact that things wear out a lot quicker!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Peter Cetera – ‘Glory Of Love’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Zanarkand’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Sesame Street – ‘Sesame Street Theme’

Bank holiday time!

Another quick (well, slow) mile this morning…

…because I had a lot of things to get done today so that I would be able to relax properly over the bank holiday weekend! I finished my editing, and also got a piece of writing finished for a competition (the submission deadline was today, so I was cutting it a bit fine – I wish I’d had more time to work on it, but this week ended up being a bit mental!).

Geth and I have celebrated the arrival of the bank holiday with pizza (weigh-in went fine this morning, so we’re allowed) and special drinks (beer for him, alcohol-free fizzy for me). It feels strange having a bank holiday on a Friday when it’s not Easter – I think the last time was the Royal Wedding in 2011! The fact that it’s the 75th anniversary of VE Day feels a bit odd too, as I remember the 50th anniversary in 1995 and the WWII school project we were doing at the time. Difficult to believe that a whole third of the total time since the war itself has gone by since then.

It’s meant to be lovely weather tomorrow (it certainly was today), but other than helping Geth with the gravel in the garden, I think I will probably be inside with my videogames as usual!

Nosecco
A bottle of alcohol-free fizzy to celebrate the bank holiday! Excuse the blurry photo – my phone camera was more interested in the Xbox next-gen showcase on TV for some reason (no idea why, it was dreadful!).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘A Crystal’s Sparkle’
Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz – ‘Number 1’

A different kind of excursion!

One last quick mile for this busy week today…

…because, for weeks and weeks now, in accordance with government guidelines, Geth and I have only left the house to go running (daily exercise) or walk/run to the supermarket/pharmacy/bank (picking up household necessities and/or daily exercise). As such, we’ve never been more than two or three miles away from home, and all of our excursions have been on foot.

Not today, though, oh no. Today we were able to drive to B&Q. It was SO EXCITING!

B&Q shut all their branches at the start of lockdown, but have gradually reopened about 200 branches over the last couple of weeks. Like most households, I expect, we have found that spending all our time in the house has meant that we’ve noticed a lot of things that need doing around the house and garden, and so hardware and the like has started to fall under the banner of ‘necessities’. Furthermore, I’d not driven the car since we returned from our Inverness trip on the 11th of March, and I know cars shouldn’t be left to sit idle for too long. As such, we felt that a B&Q trip was wholly justified. I originally intended to go last Sunday, but we decided against it when we realised that everyone else in Newcastle would probably have had the same idea. It turned out to be a good thing we waited, as by the time we were ready to go this morning, our preferred (i.e. easier to get to) branch had also reopened.

It was really nice to get out for a short drive. I always sort of worry that I will forget how to do it if I don’t get in the car for a couple of months! The queue outside B&Q wasn’t too bad – around about a twenty-minute wait, which is fairly standard for big shops at the moment – and we probably added about three or four items to our shopping list while we were waiting, as Geth was people-watching to see what other shoppers were buying.

B&Q haul in full:

  • Four bags of gravel for the garden (the original thing I’d planned to go for). The gravel we put down last year has moved around over the winter and exposed some of the webbing underneath, so we need to make the gravel layer a bit thicker.
  • A new hard broom for sweeping up in the garden. The house did come with one, but it’s very threadbare!
  • An aerial cable for the TV, as we’ve been rejigging our setup and need a longer one.
  • A new interior door handle to replace the one that infuriatingly and irreversibly loosened itself the other day.
  • A couple of small bayonet incandescent lightbulbs for my globe lamp. I already had some LED ones ordered from Amazon, but due to the current situation they’re not scheduled to arrive for another couple of weeks, and I’m getting fed up of that lamp not being on, so these will do nicely in the meantime.
  • A pot of paint for repainting the downstairs bathroom, which is going to be a summer project. It’s the smallest room in the house, so it’s a good place to start with the repainting (one day, I will no longer have any magnolia walls. One day).
  • Some Polyfilla for a bit of uneven wall in said bathroom. I already had some from years ago, but it’s probably turned to stone by now.
  • A roll of masking tape to help with my abovementioned painting adventures.

It was a fairly straightforward trip (and something I wouldn’t have thought twice about pre-lockdown), but it felt like such a novelty! I really hope it won’t be another seven weeks before I get to drive somewhere again. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ve spent the rest of the day getting on with a few housework and admin tasks, and am now looking forward to the weekend. Longer runs and even longer videogame sessions await 🙂 I’ll be putting up a couple of review posts over the next couple of days, and will be back to tell you all about my weekend on Monday.

B&Q haul
(Part of) today’s B&Q haul. I’m looking forward to getting on with all these house projects!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Radiant Flowers’
And One – ‘So Klingt Liebe’
Thought Beings – ‘Echelon’
Rebecca Black – ‘Friday’
The Lancashire Hotpots – ‘The Firewall Song’
Bee Gees – ‘First Of May’

Two metres, please

I managed a slightly longer run this morning…

…and felt so much better for it! My shoulder pain seems to have subsided for now, although I will be putting it to the test with a bit more yoga later today. I’m hoping to get out for some longer runs over the weekend as well.

It’s a bit busy inside my head at the moment, and I feel like my creative ideas are not keeping their two metres of social distance apart from each other (or, you know, two centimetres, or whatever the correct scale is for inside your brain). I’m not working on as many creative projects as I usually am – I’m having a few months’ break from prose fiction writing in order to refresh (and it’s probably working because I miss my characters BADLY); I’m not writing as much poetry as usual due to poetry night having gone virtual like everything else (although I did enjoy writing my short verse today for the group poem we’re doing this month!); my adventure game creation process is currently in a drawing-bad-graphics phase rather than a writing-interactive-fiction phase; and I’m not actively seeking out writing competitions and submission requests and the like because it was starting to stress me out by the end of last year.

It’s good to take a semi-break, especially in the current circumstances (many writers have blogged more eloquently than me about the fact that a pandemic does not actually make for an efficient writing period, despite all the additional free time, because the ever-present sense of dread is something of a distraction). However, I’ve always found that if I don’t get my ideas out, they rattle around in my brain, and at the moment there are a lot of them in there.

I think I just need a couple of days to write freeform and see what happens. Maybe next week, if work is still quiet.

I’m looking forward to the weekend (such as it is) now. Geth and I will be doing the parkrun quiz tomorrow morning and taking a trip to the now-reopened B&Q on Sunday in order to get more gravel for the garden and stretch the car’s wheels (I’ve not turned on the engine since we returned from Inverness last month, and I know it needs to be done every now and then). I’ll be doing a couple of scenic runs and not thinking about the parallel universe and my parallel self’s trip to London. And, of course, I’ll be playing a lot of videogames.

As I mentioned last weekend, I won’t be doing diary posts tomorrow or Sunday – I’ll be sharing my running vlogs, though, and I’ve got a couple of review posts that will be going up. I’ll be back on Monday to update you all on my continued lockdown adventures 🙂

Cherry blossom
Today’s run was another sunny adventure with bright blue skies and beautiful blossom everywhere. This spring has been so good to us weather-wise.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Toto – ‘Africa’
Pulp – ‘Common People’
Survivor – ‘Eye Of The Tiger’
Timecop1983 and Primo – ‘My DeLorean’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Chaka Khan – ‘Ain’t Nobody’

Sunny days

I really enjoyed my run this morning…

…because it’s an absolutely gorgeous day out there. Geth has been working hard in the garden today, making it look pretty, so hopefully we’ll have many more nice days to sit out back… seeing as our outdoor activities will remain limited for some time!

I’m now looking forward to spending the rest of the day working on my text adventure (with occasional yoga and videogaming interludes) before getting back to the day job tomorrow. Every day is pretty much the same at the moment, but keeping some semblance of a weekend structure is really helping.

Blue sky
Blue sky during my run this morning!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rei Kondoh – ‘Destiny’
The Ronettes – ‘Chapel Of Love’
Tyler Lyle – ‘Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]’
Bill Withers – ‘Lean On Me’

Garden results!

Our gardens are finally looking civilised after the in-laws finished with them today!

Garden plants

The back garden surround has all been membraned over and covered with pebbles, meaning the weeds will stay away for the most part! Neither Geth nor I have time to do much gardening, so we wanted something that required minimal care. Geth’s stepmum Helen chose plants that won’t grow too quickly or too big, but will still fill the space nicely.

Garden roundel

In the front garden, meanwhile, our feature roundel is looking much better than it did! We originally had two overgrown pine trees in this space, which had become entwined with the two blossom trees that stand outside the roundel. Earlier this year, we had them cut down to give the blossom trees some breathing space, but the stumps had become a bit overgrown with weeds over the last couple of months with the warmer weather. As such, Keith and Helen have membraned this area as well and used some old pebbles and rocks from the garden, as well as some small plants, to create a pretty rockery. I think it looks great!

Otherwise it’s just been a fairly straightforward day at work – I finished a big project for a client that I’d been working on for ages this morning, and have spent the afternoon doing a bit of writing as I’ll be too busy to get much done over the next couple of days.

Looking forward to an evening chilling out with some of the ’80s movies that arrived through the door today!

OOTD 2nd July 2019
OOTD: summery outfit in the new garden! Shirt M&S (it’s one of Geth’s from sometime earlier this decade), dress Paradise (2013), shoes BHS (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – Shallow
Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman
Stormzy – Vossi Bop
Sia – Chandelier
Will Smith – Friend Like Me
Gunship – The Mountain
Gomez – Whippin’ Piccadilly
Tina Turner – Proud Mary
Thought Beings – Hazy
Demi Lovato – Confident