The inbetween month

The Hallowe’en decorations are down. Well, except for the pumpkin and neep lanterns I carved, which have still got a few good days left in them before they go in the bin. I always feel that Hallowe’en can be extended right up to Bonfire Night if necessary 🙂

November, when I’m not busy working and/or studying and/or working on some interactive fiction for NaNoWriMo, is going to be all about getting everything prepped for Christmas so that I’m all organised by the beginning of December and can just enjoy the festivities. This time next month I will hopefully have a fully decorated house and everything done and dusted!

Now, if I could just think of something I actually want for Christmas… I’m drawing a blank this year!

Hallowe'en cake
I made a Hallowe’en cake at the weekend from my pumpkin and neep innards. It doesn’t look like much (I need some spider decorations or something) but it tastes nice!

Happy Hallowe’en!

After a long week of work/studying I have had a very enjoyable weekend of carving lanterns, baking cake, watching Hallowe’en TV shows and finishing off my short spooky game for EctoComp (available to play here!). I am now going to have a very relaxed Hallowe’en night with some atmospheric films and lighting. Hope you all have a good one too!

Neep and pumpkin lanterns
Traditional neep lantern alongside the much bigger pumpkin one. The innards of both of these made a very nice cake which we are enjoying today!

Semi-flying Friday post… and some bonus coding adventures!

I’ll double up earworm playlists next week (maybe by then I’ll have got all the Hallowe’en songs out of my head) but just a quick post today to enthuse about all my coding adventures! I’m still merrily rolling along with my TechUp course (absolutely loving learning Python) and today have managed to spend four hours making my Petite Mort entry for the EctoComp game competition! Now to get some last-minute testing done over the weekend… though there’s a lot of Hallowe’en watching to be done as well 🙂

This character is something to be avoided in my new game!

An inbetween day

Lots of appointments today. I had a sports massage at the physio this morning (great to work out some of the issues from the summer training block and get some professional opinions and advice on my various issues), then had an hour at home before I needed to take the car in for its MOT, and after I got back from that I was waiting to hear when I could pick it up… so I didn’t feel able to get into any big projects or anything. I did lots of small jobs instead. Then the garage called and said they needed to keep the car in overnight… oh well. Tomorrow is a lot quieter (other than picking up the car) so I’ll be able to get back into my work and studying!

I am thoroughly in the swing of Hallowe’en week now and am looking forward to curling up with some scary films at the weekend. Not wishing the week away, though – there are a lot of fun things to watch and Hallowe’en sweets to eat in the meantime.

Hallowe'en hearth
Quite possibly my favourite Hallowe’en hearth ever. Only the big pumpkin and the neep will be getting carved because the small gourds look absolutely fabulous as they are! Bonus shot of one of my many pairs of Hallowe’en leggings in the fireplace reflection.

Full steam ahead

It’s the weekend but it’s going to be a pretty busy one! Geth and I are volunteering at parkrun tomorrow morning, then I’ll be following the opening day sessions for my course tomorrow afternoon, and then we’ve got the North Tyneside 10k on Sunday. Fairly full-on week next week too with starting the course modules, so I expect I’ll be scheduling another Shouldless Sunday next weekend in order to relax!

I’ve been able to get a good chunk of work done on my new game this week as well, which has been great. Coding for that should be done by the middle of next week and then I can get started on the bells and whistles. I need to fit it in with coursework and day job work, but it’s all going really well so far, and I feel like I’ve got a good planned balance for the next couple of weeks. Hallowe’en will be a really great celebration of getting it done… I hope!

Speaking of which, the decorations may be coming out this weekend. I loved having them up for two weeks last year and I think that will become the norm…

Decorated polystyrene pumpkin
My decorated polystyrene pumpkin from last year. I do have the materials for making more, but somehow I don’t think they’re going to get done this year…

This week’s earworm playlists:


Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’*
Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
VNV Nation – ‘Fearless’
Avicii and Aloe Blacc – ‘Wake Me Up’


Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’


Avicii and Aloe Blacc – ‘Wake Me Up’
Howard Jones – ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’


Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Hans Zimmer – ‘He’s A Pirate’


Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Yuzo Koshiro – ‘Battlefield: Storm’
Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’


Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Bill Withers – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’
Lady Gaga and Beyoncé – ‘Telephone’


Robert Burns – ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Travis – ‘Driftwood’
Meat Loaf – ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’
Rod Stewart – ‘Maggie May’
Bill Withers – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’

*Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima danced to this on Strictly a couple of weeks ago and I have not been able to get it out of my head since ? It takes me right back to dancing in dodgy clubs in my late teens.

October can truly begin

I am still processing yesterday’s marathon and have so much to say about it. However, I am still fairly tired at the moment (especially after travelling back to Newcastle today), so I will leave the race review for at least one more day.

At least I have the energy to post a picture tonight…

Pumpkin biscuit
Geth found me this pumpkin biscuit in the Costa at King’s Cross this morning. Hallowe’en is coming!

I have not been allowing myself to get truly excited about Hallowe’en until after the marathon (though I did give a nod to it during the race by wearing my new spiderweb Locket leggings), because Hallowe’en generally involves being cosy on the sofa, watching scary films, eating sweets and doing a lot of other sedentary things that aren’t running. The marathon is done now, and so it’s time to curl up and get spooky. Lots of guilt-free sofa time this week while I recover!

Preparing for October

While it feels like everything has been leading to the marathon for the last few months, there is a whole big chunk of October after the 3rd that I am very excited about and getting everything organised for already!

October is all about Hallowe’en for me – my favourite time of the year. I’m making a Hallowe’en game (already planned out), getting my decorations sorted early (need to order some more polystyrene pumpkins) and wearing lots of Hallowe’en leggings for both running and general life (already arrived!).

Spooky season sort of starts in London for me (and not just because the marathon’s scary). I will be wearing all the seasonal gear and looking out for more Hallowe’en sweeties for post-marathon munching!

I do need to spend at least part of this week prepping logistics as well as prepping spiderweb leggings…

London Marathon kitbag
Packing my kitbag, for instance! I need to drop this off at the marathon expo…

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:


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


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


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


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


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


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


Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’

Adventures in Coding: Retreating, Reflecting and Rallying

I feel like I’ve been talking about making my next game all summer, but unfortunately I’ve not been able to get much done on it!

Since ParserComp in June life has been a bit mental. I had a very busy summer with work, I’ve been marathon training for London (twelve days to go – eek!), events have started up again, and with all of that going on I’ve been making sure to prioritise ‘me time’ (i.e. videogaming) in the evenings and on weekends, so I’ve been struggling to find time for game creation. I really wanted to get one of my games finished for IFComp, but it hasn’t happened this year. However, October is looking nice and empty (after London that is!), so I’m hoping to be able to make a fun short scary game for this year’s EctoComp.

I possibly burnt myself out a bit early in the year. I was really proud of what I did with Barry Basic and the Quick Escape, and I had a lot of fun making Waiting for the Day Train, and I got a lot of work done on Marie (which is going to be enormous!) in between those two projects, but all of that was pretty intense and so maybe I needed to do other things for a while. I’m keen to get going again now, but I am going to wait until after the marathon and just brew some ideas in the meantime. I am a massive Hallowe’en fan and had such a good time making Hallowe’en: Night of the Misty Manor for the Adventuron Hallowe’en Jam a couple of years ago, so I’m already excited even though I don’t know what I’m making yet!

(I already have three ideas just from writing this post…)

Pixel vampire
The Fat Vampire may return! You never know…