Never enough projects!

Just a mile this morning…

…as I had a busy day ahead. Run went well though as I’m feeling a bit less fatigued!

I spent most of the afternoon writing and doing day job work, but I’m also trying to spend 30 minutes a day working on the house at the moment. Housework and de-hoarding have taken a real back seat this year (mainly because we haven’t had many visitors, who are usually my main motivation for trying to get the house to look nice!), and I’ve tried various strategies, but none of them have really stuck. One of the ones that didn’t work for me did have a maxim that has stayed in my mind, however: why is it that only visitors deserve to see your house at its best? Keeping on top of the house is really hard for me because there are so many other things that take priority. But I’d like to be more comfortable in my home (especially as I spend 99% of my time in it these days!), and so I’m starting again with yet another online method, despite the many other projects I’m juggling at the present time.

I’ve had a few days off videogaming as there are too many other things going on at the moment. I’m going to carve out some time for it tomorrow evening, though, as it’s absolutely the most relaxing thing I can do for myself.

Christmas loungewear
One more pair of Christmas trousers from the weekend! These are loungewear rather than leggings and they are the comfiest.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Judy Garland – ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’
Panjabi MC – ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’
Ludwig Göransson – ‘The Mandalorian [Main Theme]’
Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

Sailing through

Just a mile this morning…

…as it was a rest day on my plan. After three days in a row of slightly longer runs it really did feel like a rest day too! Longer runs again over the next two days.

I’m excited about the weekend as I’m going to be wearing and taking pictures of all the old clothes I’m selling. Geth is helping me with the photography process so I think we’ll both need to try and avoid the ‘ohhh… this one looks nice, maybe I/you should keep it’ justifications. All these clothes have been sitting ignored in the garage for two years for a reason!

I’ll post running vlogs over the weekend as usual, and will be back with a full update on Monday.

Chocolate apple
Should have waited till early November maybe… but I couldn’t resist these chocolate apples when I saw them in the supermarket. I’ll see if I can get some more the week of Bonfire Night 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
Carl Orff – ‘Gassenhauer’
Queen – ‘One Vision’
The Carpenters – ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’
Middle Of The Road – ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’
They Might Be Giants – ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’

Back to a bit of house sorting

Three miles today…

…which was a nice distance for midweek. I’m enjoying having a proper running structure again. It stayed dry this morning as well!

I’m doing a bit of household-stuff-sorting again. I’ve decided to try and sell most of my old clothes that I don’t wear anymore online, in order to try and make a bit of cash for more leggings and clear some space in the house for more leggings. The first lot to be sold are the clothes that are still in good condition but don’t fit me anymore since I lost weight, and that have been sitting around in the garage for the last two years. I’ll be spending part of the weekend photographing them and putting up the listings. I also have quite a lot of clothes in my drawers and wardrobes that will probably go the same way, because I’m just not wearing them anymore – this pandemic-stricken year has been all about finding the most comfortable and cheerful clothes possible, and so stuff that’s a bit more fussy in terms of fastenings has fallen by the wayside. I’ll keep the quality timeless items as I know I’ll want smarter clothes again one day, but I really do need to start decluttering again as I’d quite like there to be a time when I’m no longer depressed by the untidy mounds of stuff in my house.

Any clothes that I can’t sell, I’ll donate. They all need to be out of the house in the next few months.

A last-minute bit of day job work came in today, so I’ll be finishing that tomorrow, and hopefully starting to get the Hallowe’en decorations up 🙂

London Marathon medal
One thing I’ll never sell is the London Marathon medal that arrived earlier this week!

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’
Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’

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.