Filling the space

I did another 10k this morning…

…and managed a similar pace to Saturday, which I was very pleased about! I feel as though my daily training since the start of the year has sped me up in what seems to be a permanent way. I’ll just keep plugging away and see what happens.

I have most definitely filled up the routine extra time afforded by the lockdown now, to the extent that I’m not sure how I’m going to go back to regular life when this is all over. I’ve written before about how it’s going to be a slow process out of lockdown for me – I won’t just be jumping back into a routine of multiple classes and groups and meetups per week, because I think I would find that overwhelming. But the thing is that I’m not sure I ever want to go back to that busy routine. All of the individual things were meant to be fun, but taken together, they made life a bit stressful. As such, I think there are things to which I won’t be returning – things I’m going to have to learn to let go of. I don’t know which things yet. The only thing I know I will definitely be going back to post-lockdown is parkrun – it’s free of charge, it’s helpful for my running improvement, and I love it to death.

In short, my big takeaway from this year is that there’s no point spending time and money on things that cause me stress, just because I feel that it’s something I SHOULD do. As such, I’ve stopped buying all the magazines I’m not getting round to reading, including breaking my decade-plus streak of buying Doctor Who Magazine (that was a wrench… but I’ve just not had time for Who fandom for a good two or three years. I haven’t even watched the most recent series yet, which would have been unthinkable when I was in my twenties). I no longer attend every vintage fair in Newcastle just because it’s on (this is something I discussed in my personal style post the other day). I stopped going to Pilates and dance classes last year – I enjoy those things, but they’re just not a priority for me any more.

Learning to let go is something I’ve always found difficult, and something I discussed a lot in my counselling sessions earlier this year. I am a consummate hoarder, not just of physical possessions but also of memories and identities and personal connections.

(If somebody de-friends me on Facebook, I hold a grudge like you would not believe – because why would we want to lose each other from our collection of contacts? Collections are to be grown, not ‘culled’! We may not have anything in common now, but we did once, and why would you want to move on from that? Why would you want to let go?)

My identity as a Doctor Who fan is one of those things I’m struggling to let go of, hence why I am trying not to think about having broken my magazine-buying streak. My identity as a goth is another. I became goth in my teens, made all my university friends and met my future husband in the goth and rock society, spent my twenties in various states of consciousness at goth clubs and gigs and festivals, and then… I last went to a scene event in August 2018. I only still wear my old goth band t-shirts and hoodies because they’re comfortable. It’s been years since I last listened to the music – I prefer ’80s pop and soundtracks and synthwave now. I got sober, and so I don’t really like spending time in pubs and clubs anymore, and I think it’ll be some time before I can brave a festival again.

‘You do still wear a lot of black, though,’ my counsellor said when I mentioned this to her. I suppose I do – some habits are hard to break, and it’s a practical colour. It’s just… I just don’t feel drawn to that particular aesthetic anymore, and while I’ve still got a lot of friends in the scene, I don’t see myself wanting to go back to the events, and I don’t think I can really call myself ‘goth’ these days, and I’m not sure I want to.

Accepting that fact requires a big shift in thinking, though. Just like accepting that these days I’m a casual Doctor Who viewer at best, and accepting that there are some old acquaintances I’m never going to see or speak to again (and that I probably won’t miss them), and accepting that I really need to chuck out those manky old Ikea cushions I’ve been hanging onto since 2002.

I’ve never yet been capable of making that big shift in thinking. But it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that it’s a necessary process.

I’m videogaming again tonight. In recent months I’ve occasionally felt a bit sheepish about mentioning that every day – like it’s a bit sad to be spending all my time videogaming, even if lockdown does provide me with the perfect excuse. But it’s what makes me happy at the moment, and that’s all that matters.

Newcastle Town Moor
I ran on the Town Moor today for the first time since the final pre-lockdown parkrun. It felt strange, even though I’ve often done solo runs there before. While I was enjoying parkrun touristing in the months before coronavirus happened, I think that I will be back at my home parkrun on the Moor when it’s time for the great parkrun return.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Where It All Began’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Stay Out’

What music they make

After Geth and our houseguest Erik headed off for their conference in York this morning, I spent the morning catching up with work. The Hermes driver finally picked up my MusicMagpie order that I put together last month (it’s taken a few attempts), so I don’t have boxes clogging up the hall anymore (and I am NOT thinking about the contents that I struggled to let go of…I am NOT…).

In the afternoon, I got on with some ukulele practice (class starts again next week!) and then went back to my videogames.

A slightly busier day tomorrow.

Pokémon Picross
Not an OOTD: Pokémon Picross, one of the 3DS games I was playing today. You can add a Pokémon theme to anything if you put your mind to it.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dee Cooke – 1964*
Michael Land – The SCUMM Bar**
Duran Duran – Rio
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

*A musical number that came to me in my dreams and would not leave me alone for two hours after I woke up. ‘Yesterday’ it is not.

**The International House of Mojo ran a story yesterday pointing out that this classic piece of videogame music was actually originally an early 20th century folk song. I feel slightly emptier inside now.

A working Saturday

I’ve spent most of today editing for a client, as a project came in that I won’t be able to do on Monday as I’m otherwise engaged. I wouldn’t normally do day job work on Saturday but I’m not going to complain given that work has been a bit scarce over the last month or so!

I’ve also been putting together some packages of DVDs, CDs, and books to sell on MusicMagpie and the like, continuing with my latest de-hoarding project. It gives us a bit more breathing room upstairs and helps with my stuff-related anxiety. I should have it all out of the house by the end of the month.

Ploughing on with work this evening in the hope that I can get it finished tonight!

OOTD 3rd August 2019
OOTD: I’m still not enjoying the slight mugginess that’s in the air. Hoodie Gildan for Resistanz (2016), dress unknown brand (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face
Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – Under Control
Duran Duran – Notorious
Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – Without You
Culture Club – Time (Clock Of The Heart)
Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Returning to the hoard

I was up early for parkrun this morning – I’d not been to Newcastle parkrun in ages. I was a lot happier with my time than I was at Pendle last week, as I’m pretty much back to where I was this time last year.

I’ve spent the afternoon de-hoarding – picking out books, DVDs and CDs to sell online (business has been a bit sluggish the last couple of months and I could do with the extra cash). It’s been a bit anxiety-inducing but I think I will feel a lot better once the stuff has left the house.

Back to writing tomorrow.

OOTD 20th July 2019
OOTD: comfy post-run outfit. T-shirt Amplified (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Meet El Presidente
Tyler Lyle – Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]
Timecop1983 and The Bad Dreamers – Back To You

Excitement, and a bonus handkerchief update

Another productive day of getting work done for clients, writing, and getting excited about Hallowe’en.  I’ve picked out the boardgames for the event we’re hosting on Monday, and am looking forward to making a Spotify playlist to go with them!

Bonus handkerchief update:

I mentioned the other day that one of the dresses from my vintage fair haul had yielded a bonus handkerchief that had been left in the pocket.  While I don’t use and have never used old-fashioned cloth handkerchieves for the actual intended usage of blowing my nose (because EWWW, they invented more hygienic disposable tissues for that as far back as the ’20s), I have always collected them, because people kept giving me their old ones when I was a little girl without realising that I would grow up to be a HOARDER WHO WOULD HOARD THEM ALL.  Yes, I still have this particular hoard, and I thought this new bonus one would be a good addition to the collection.

I was obviously going to wash it first, though, because even though it was neatly folded in a way that indicated it hadn’t been unfolded for over thirty years, you don’t know where things have been if you buy them secondhand.  When I found it in the pile of clean laundry that Geth had tumble-dried today, though, I was surprised to find it was all creased.  Why was it not nice and flat like the rest of my handkerchief hoard, like I had found it the other day?

Then I remembered that there is this thing called an iron that I have never owned (I (a) once accidentally burnt a silk tie of Geth’s and have been too scared of ruining stuff ever to try ironing again, and (b) don’t have the time for ironing), and had a strange, terrible flashback to a memory from early childhood involving people actually taking the time to iron their handkerchieves.  Did people ever do that?  Maybe it was just my mum teaching me how to iron by letting me iron something small and cotton that couldn’t be ruined?  Either way, I’ve got the horrible feeling that I’m going to have to take my bonus handkerchief with me the next time I visit someone who owns an iron (99% certain this will be Mum and Dad) so that I can iron it flat, because until then it’s not fit to join the rest of the handkerchieves in my hoard.  Sorry, bonus handkerchief.

I’m sure you were all eagerly anticipating that update.

OOTD 26th October 2018
OOTD: still working through my most recent vintage haul! Dress Fink Modell (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), tights Primark (2017), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Sigala and Ella Eyre – Came Here For Love
New Order – Temptation
Carter USM – And God Created Brixton
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Adam & The Ants – Antmusic
Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin – It’s My Party

Unearthing the CD collection

Today’s boxes from the study were largely full of CDs.  Piles and piles of them.  And I don’t think I’ve found them all yet.

A small selection of the unearthed CDs.

As the move has caused me to switch, by and large, to a de-hoarding state of mind, I’ve got a feeling I will be getting rid of a lot of the music CDs.  We’ll see how much space I’ve got for them when I finally put up the CD shelves (which is a long way down the line).  In the meantime, at least the extra space on the DVD shelves is getting some use!

The study project begins!

I finally made a start on the study today…

…and immediately ran into some technical problems.

So I had my wee workstation all set up in the living room, with the scanner and shredder ready to start scanning and shredding all the mountains of paper in the study that I want to keep digitally but not physically.  Except they weren’t.  The scanner/printer we have is apparently set up to scan to Geth’s laptop rather than mine (and I don’t want to be reliant on Geth’s laptop for this project, first because it creates extra work to keep moving all the files, secondly because Geth needs it on days when he’s working from home, and thirdly because Geth never cleans his laptop and so it is super gross and I don’t like touching it).  The shredder, meanwhile, won’t work because it’s jammed from the last time we had to shred a lot of stuff (which I’m pretty sure was when we were still living in Southampton, shortly before we moved to Newcastle, so late 2014?).

I have possibly sort of fixed the first issue, because I found some memory cards in the first of the study boxes that I went through today, so I can just switch the scanner to scan to a memory card rather than a laptop.  As for the second issue, Geth has promised to attempt some drunken maintenance with an old unused plastic card (which was how we fixed it the last time this happened) when he gets back from his work dinner tonight.

Hopefully that will all work, or else emptying the study is going to be trickier than I’d foreseen.

Back to the house project

Well, after a couple of months that were taken up with work and holidays, I finally have time over the next few weeks to get on with the house again.

The main project is the study, which is still just a pile of boxes, but there’s a few other things to do as well – mainly putting up bookcases and Tetris-ing things around.  I’m mainly working this week, but at the weekend I will have time to get started on the bookcases –  meaning we’ll have access to our books for the first time since January.  Exciting!  I’ve almost forgotten what we actually have.

I’m glad I’ll finally be able to get into that study next week as well – I’m looking forward to having a whole extra room.  Eventually.

Shoe storage!

One of the shelving projects that Dad and I (mostly Dad) did over the weekend was for my shoes.  Even though I got rid of a lot of shoes, I still need a good amount of storage for my remaining 59 62 pairs, especially as I’ve been on a bit of a shoe binge lately (though I think I’m satiated for now).  Some of my pairs are ‘legacy shoes’ (i.e. old pairs I’ll never wear again but am keeping in storage boxes or on display for sentimental reasons), and there are a couple of pairs for gardening that I’m keeping in the cupboard off the kitchen, and my dancing shoes live in my gym bag, and my running shoes tend to stay in the Skubb hanger I bought for the hallway…but that still leaves a good 48 pairs that needed a place to live in the dressing room.  Which they now have:

Shoe storage
Dad built the shelves, out of our old Billy bookcases, to fit around the wardrobes, chests of drawers and mirror that I have in the dressing room.

As you can see, there’s plenty space for more, which is probably a good thing knowing me.

Shoe storage
My shelf for all my tall goth boots.

Shoe storage
The wall is looking nice and colourful now though it probably needs a few more pairs.

It’s very nice having all my shoes to hand.  Of course, since I put them all up, it’s been pouring with rain and I’ve not been out (save for a very wet run this morning) so I’ve been living in my slippers indoors.  It will be good to get some use out of them once the weather clears up, though!

Back in the house

Time to get back to home improvement!

Geth and I have had a nice Easter break visiting the in-laws in Lancashire.  We’re now back home and ready for another visit from my parents, who will be arriving tomorrow to help with putting up shelves and taking the messy remains of my bloody wardrobe cull to the dump/charity shop.  Exciting!