A quiet Sunday

I had a little more admin to do than I would have liked today (mainly related to upcoming writing competitions that I’m entering – there are a lot of them going on at the moment), but I’m done now and heading back into my videogame world before a busy week ahead!

I am quite looking forward to a solid, productive week of writing though.

Pandora charm bracelet
Not quite an OOTD (although I do wear it every day): I’m still buzzing to have found my missing Pandora charm! Now planning my next addition 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Boney M – Daddy Cool
OneRepublic – Counting Stars
Duran Duran – Friends Of Mine
The Midnight – Vampires

What goes up must come down

Post-GNR parkrun this morning was highly successful! I managed to hang onto the pacers long enough to get my best time of the year: 31:36. The autumn project will be to get back down to sub-30!

Geth and I stopped at Sainsbury’s on the way home, which was the point when I decided it was time to have another go at owning a basil plant…which may be a mistake. We’ll just have to see how long I can keep this one going.

I then went into town for a trip to the much-anticipated vintage fair, followed by some slightly more boring shopping for leggings in Primark. I had planned to follow this with a wander round GAME in an attempt to get some Streetpass hits on my 3DS – but sadly I found that the GAME in central Newcastle has actually been shut down since June. There’s a lot of hints on their Twitter page that a replacement store will be opening at some point, but until then I will have to trek to Sunderland if I want to browse through videogames in a physical shop!

However, today’s slightly strange highlight was finding a PANDORA clip charm that I thought I’d lost. Back in April, on the train back from London after the marathon, I noticed that one of the clip charms was missing from my bracelet, and assumed I must have lost it in London over the weekend at some point. However, I was clearly mistaken, as this evening it showed up on the floor of the garage in front of the freezer. It’s a bit bashed up, so it must have been getting kicked around in there for a while without us noticing – and I don’t actually need it as a clip anymore, because I bought a replacement shortly after it went missing – but it’s nice to find that I didn’t lose it after all! I’ll polish it up at some point, but for now it’s very happily back on my bracelet as a regular charm.

A quieter day tomorrow, which will probably involve a lot of videogaming!

OOTD 14th September 2019
OOTD: vintage meets gothy all-black 🙂 Rinascimento (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2019), skirt H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017), boots Primark (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mark Knopfler – Local Hero
ABC – All Of My Heart
Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi
Boyzone – Coming Home Now

That Friday feeling

I’ve spent all day doing editing work for clients, but I am done now and looking forward to the weekend! Going to have a relaxing evening with my videogames, then tomorrow Geth and I will be at parkrun early for the traditional Newcastle parkrun Great North Run t-shirts photo. Then there’s a vintage fair in town (I could not be more excited – haven’t been to one since February), and I will be meeting up with Geth after his Open Day work duties to do some more regular high street shopping as well!

Hoping to get some writing in this weekend as well. Should be a good one!

Autumn leaves
Not an OOTD: the trees in Gosforth are turning beautifully. Nice to get out for a brief walk this morning as well.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Friends Of Mine
Koji Kondo – Super Mario Bros. Theme
Kelly Rowland – Stole
Spandau Ballet – Gold
Anne-Marie – 2002
Pet Shop Boys – On Social Media
Trevor Something – Miami Nights

Getting there

I’ve had a good productive day catching up with a lot of the admin tasks that I’ve been falling behind with over the summer. I’m very nearly caught up with everything – fingers crossed for next week.

Geth is still away at his conference so I’m just curling up with videogames again this evening. A busy day tomorrow, and then I can enjoy the weekend (there may be a vintage fair for me to go to for the first time in seven months!).

OOTD 12th September 2019
OOTD: IT’S ’80S JUMPER SEASON AGAIN I AM SO HAPPY. Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), skirt H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017), shoes BHS (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land – Woodtick
Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Jane Wiedlin – Rush Hour
Timecop1983 and The Bad Dreamers – Back To You
Arcadia – Say The Word
Heaven 17 – Come Live With Me
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

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.


I was really pleased with my race time yesterday, but it has taken a lot out of me, so I’ve just been curled up playing videogames today. Back to work tomorrow.

Not an OOTD: finishing the last of the celebratory nosecco from yesterday.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mark Knopfler – Local Hero
Duran Duran – Planet Earth
Michael Land – The Barbery Coast
Michael Land – Woodtick

The running begins

I went for a shakeout parkrun this morning, which was nice – it’s always a good atmosphere at Newcastle parkrun on GNR weekend. Felt really comfortable and absolutely ready for the race tomorrow now.

After catching up with some admin, Geth and I played a couple more missions of the Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth boardgame, and I’m now settling in for an evening of Strictly and Puzzle Pirates.

I’ll update about the race tomorrow evening!

Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth
Not an OOTD: gratuitous token shot for the boardgame.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Philip Bailey and Phil Collins – Easy Lover
Mike & The Mechanics – The Living Years
Duran Duran – Girl Panic!
Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
Muse – New Born
Michael Land – Jojo The Monkey

Great North Weekend

I’ve spent all day doing editing work for clients and sorting out my to-do list, but I’m finally done and Great North Weekend is here! It won’t be as intense as it usually is as there’s no CityGames athletics to watch on the Quayside this year (they’ve moved the event to Stockton-on-Tees for some reason), but I’m still looking forward to a shakeout parkrun tomorrow morning, eating all the pasta (may have started already) and watching the Strictly launch show before getting an early night ready for the race on Sunday.

In the meantime, it’s another evening of escaping into my videogames. I’m finding that it’s really helping me to relax at the moment.

Not an OOTD: Geth has found a version of Tetris on the Switch that has the best upbeat dance version of the classic theme tune. Can’t watch the screen, though, ’cause I just keep getting frustrated by his placement choices!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land – Woodtick
Arcadia – The Flame

Still escaping

It’s been an okay-ish day. I had a good loss at Slimming World this morning (not sure how, but I’m relieved to be losing again after a few consecutive weeks of gain!) and have been writing all afternoon. Geth is out boardgaming this evening, so I will be going back to my videogames.

Work all day tomorrow and then it’s Great North Run weekend!

OOTD 5th September 2019
OOTD: my favourite top for weigh-in. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Uneek Classic for Mesh (2016), vest top Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Timecop1983 and The Bad Dreamers – Back To You
Duran Duran – Rio
Disney – Prince Ali*
Shakin’ Stevens – Green Door
Pretenders – Back On The Chain Gang
The Beatles – Drive My Car

*Still the 1994 videogame soundtrack version 🙂

Life without alcohol: eight months sober

I didn’t do a seven-month update because things were so busy last month. I think that shows that sobriety is starting to feel more normal to me and I’m not as obsessed with counting the days as I was at the start of the year.

Sky and trees

I suppose my main preoccupation on the subject over the last couple of months has been the double-headed discomfort that (1) drinking is so normalised in society – while I do make use of various sober support groups, I find that in my ‘real life’, I’m the only one who doesn’t drink – and (2) problematic habits around drinking are not taken seriously and seen as a bit of a laugh by a lot of people who still drink. I obviously used to have this attitude too – it’s the way I grew up, because it’s the way we all grow up – and now that I’ve been detached from it for a few months, I find it quite scary how insidious the whole thing is. Whether it’s my Slimming World group endlessly joking about how really we should be called an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or a favourite podcast of mine doing a special episode where the participants are drunk, I find that at the moment I’m just really uncomfortable with alcohol use being treated in such a lighthearted way. Maybe I’ll never be comfortable with it again. I don’t know.

I also ran into a lot of difficulty on the synthwave night out last week. Being stone cold sober when other people there were really, really drunk (too drunk even to stand up or hold a conversation in some cases) was really quite unnerving and a bit upsetting. I didn’t feel comfortable at all – I had been looking forward to enjoying the music, but I found that it wasn’t really a space where I could do that.

I’ve started to encounter things that make me sad and nostalgic about drinking itself. It’s taken longer than expected, but it is occasionally happening now. This week, I’ve been playing pirate video games – pirates are one of my favourite themes, to the extent that the novel I’m querying at the moment (and have been working on since 2011) is set on a pirate island – and of course they’re all full of rum and drinking games, and I’ve just been feeling sad about the fact that I can’t identify with all of that anymore. Maybe I should watch a few recovering alcoholic cop shows for good measure. Bergerac was always a favourite.

Two minutes is my current limit when standing in the alcohol aisle at the supermarket before I have to get out of there. I discovered this today when Geth and I were hunting for Nosecco in Sainsburys. Still, it’s an improvement on early sobriety, when I couldn’t go near the place.

I’ve reviewed a grand total of one booze alternative over the last two months:

This is mainly because I’ve been a bit too busy for non-diary blogging lately, but also partly because, as I mentioned in my last update, I know what I like now.

I’ve also been a bit too busy to keep up with my recovery support as much as I would like, but I have been working on it here and there. It needs to be more of a priority over the next month.