One step at a time

Some very wet laps today…

…but the runs themselves were fine – legs seem to be behaving themselves at the moment.

Pretty much everything is just one foot in front of the other at the moment, just like running. There are a lot of difficult things going on at the moment, and 2020 is not improving, and it’s a bit tough to think long-term right now because it’s all a bit too overwhelming. I’m used to dreaming about the future a lot, but that’s not really possible in the current circumstances. Just one day at a time, and sometimes one hour.

Tomorrow will be tomorrow. I’m not thinking about it just yet.

First jumper of the season
It was properly cold today for the first time this autumn, so I have officially declared it jumper season.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Neil Diamond – ‘Sweet Caroline’
Dusty Springfield – ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’
Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana – ‘Just Got Paid’
Carole King – ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’
Gunship – ‘Black Blood Red Kiss’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’

Casualer and casualer

A slight diversion on a usual running route today…

…which made it a three-mile-plus run. Always good to get the extra distance in.

I’ve been feeling like my personal fashion style has changed again recently. When I reached my target weight in 2018 and had to buy a whole new wardrobe as a result, I went for a mixture of timeless investment pieces, which I knew would last me for life if I took care of them, and fun vintage finds, which satisfied my obsession with ’80s fashion.

I have not worn any of that stuff in months. My lifestyle, even before the lockdown, has shifted to that of a sort of active homebody – I get up in the morning and change into running gear, and after my run I go for my shower and then throw on a comfy leggings/t-shirt/jumper combo, because I know I’m going to be spending the rest of the day either on the sofa, doing housework, or doing a bit of yoga or Pilates. The numerous pairs of good quality jeans I bought two years ago are not comfy or casual enough for a spontaneous yoga session. My vintage ’80s stuff, other than my well-loved collection of cosy winter jumpers, is too fancy for lounging around the house. I have not worn shoes other than running shoes for over a month: I have two pairs in rotation for actual running, and one ancient pair that I use for going out to the garage or garden.

Even pre-lockdown, I rarely had anything to go to that required dressing up – nobody minds what you wear to Slimming World or ukulele class, and even poetry night is far from a formal affair. This year, I have only been out of leggings a handful of times – New Year’s Day, the LeBrock gig, a couple of family meals in February… and I think that’s about it. Most of my leggings cost £2 from Primark, but they’re getting a LOT more wear than the £50 jeans hanging in my wardrobe.

I’m not about to get rid of what I bought in 2018 – there may come a time when I’m interacting with the world on a regular enough basis that I might make the effort to wear something with actual fastenings again, although I expect it will be a slow road out of lockdown for me personally seeing as I’m appreciating the peace and quiet so much – but I don’t see myself buying any more investment pieces or filling up my bag at vintage fairs again for a good couple of years at least.

I may start spending slightly more than £2 on leggings though, seeing as they’ve been so good to me recently.

High-heeled shoes
I’ve always loved high-heeled shoes, but they are so far removed from my current lifestyle that it’s laughable. At least they look pretty on the shelf!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroki Morishita – ‘Just Across This Mountain And We’ll Arrive Soon’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Stay Out’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘On Our Way’
Cast of The Muppet Christmas Carol – ‘It Feels Like Christmas’
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Road Trippin”
Duran Duran – ‘A View To A Kill’
Gordon Duncan – ‘Sleeping Tune’*

*This has been an earworm today because Dad recorded a nyckelharpa version and put it on YouTube. Well recommended for the Scottish scenery pictures.

Vintage fair haul: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

For various reasons I haven’t been able to get to a vintage fair for a couple of months, but today I finally had the opportunity again! Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was on at the Boiler Room in Newcastle, so I headed down to see if I could find a few things on my list.

Vintage fair haul
L-R: jumper, jacket, jumper. Nicely set up for the winter!

I found the denim jacket I’d been looking for – I’m looking forward to customising it with my badge collection when I have some time (so 2021 maybe? 2022?) – plus a couple more cosy ’80s jumpers for the winter (only £10 each!). My work-from-home uniform at the moment tends to be leggings plus oversized vintage jumper, so I wanted to grab a few more. I’ve also been having a think about selling some of the clothes I never wear (both to make some space in my wardrobe and to make a bit of extra cash), so I’m going to be investigating sites like Etsy to see if setting up a small online shop would be worthwhile.

There’s a lot more vintage fairs on over the next couple of months, so maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in one or two more before the end of 2019!

Bouncing ahead

I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but today is the day I always start to get excited about autumn, my favourite season of the year.

It’s the first of August – just a month away from meteorological autumn – and while I know most people are still enjoying the summer (I’m not sure how, given that after last week’s brief heatwave the weather has since returned to a constant cool, grey dampness that means Geth can’t mow the lawn), I’m already dreaming of darker evenings and Hallowe’en chocolate and getting my ’80s jumper collection out again.

The BBC are starting to announce the first few Strictly contestants, and I’m stepping up my training for the Great North Run, and I’m already busy planning out my writing for all the fiction and poetry competitions I’m going to be entering from September to November. I’ve got a lot of gigs lined up for that period as well – it’s going to be a really great autumn this year!

In the meantime, I’ve got one last summer trip away to enjoy this month. It is Shetland, though, so I’m not hopeful for the weather (last time I was there, it rained the whole time).

A nice normal Thursday today now that we’ve got the internet back – Geth and I went to the earlier Slimming World group today so that we could be in when the new router arrived, and we’ve got boardgaming guests coming round this evening for more adventures in the Lord of the Rings universe.

OOTD 1st August 2019
OOTD: weigh-in top with added cosy hoodie due to the cooler weather. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Gildan for Resistanz (2016), vest top Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Haim Saban and Shuki Levy – The Mysterious Cities Of Gold Main Theme
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
A-ha – Take On Me
Andy Taylor – Broken Window
Lizzo – Truth Hurts
Gunship – Dark All Day

Booze Alternative: Square Root Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is the new cider. It’s official.

I had this Square Root offering in a service station on the way home from Lancashire the other week.

Square Root Ginger Beer
Square Root Ginger Beer.

The above picture also includes a bonus sighting of Dad in his Faroese jumper. I still miss my matching toddler version, which stubbornly refused to grow with me:

Matching Faroese jumpers
1987. I’ll never have another ’80s jumper like it, no matter how many vintage fairs I sift through.

Anyway, the Square Root ginger beer is better than the Fentimans version in some ways (it’s not spicy enough to make me cough!) but worse in others (it’s not sweet enough for my liking). Still on the hunt for a perfect ginger beer.

Vintage fair haul: Newcastle Vintage & Street Food Market

First vintage fair of the year! I’m restricting myself to no more than two items per fair in 2019, as I bought lots of clothes last year. This meant that today I only bought the things that really caught my eye.

Vintage fair haul
L-R: black and gold jumper, black top.

I bought another jumper, ’cause I’m wearing my ’80s jumpers a lot at the moment and I feel like I’m cycling through the same three or four all the time. I also bought this pretty black top with flower embellishments on the shoulders and chain detailing on the neck. It’ll be lovely to wear with a black skirt for a special occasion! Or just round the house if I get bored of jumpers.

The Street Food Market is a fairly regular event put on by Judy’s Vintage Fairs. I didn’t have any of the food, because (a) all the food vans were outside in the cold and rain, and (b) they were all selling savoury stuff like pizza, and while I could have done with a cupcake or something similar, I’d already had my lunch so couldn’t justify pizza. I’ll maybe venture out next time they do one in the summer.

Vintage fair haul: Newcastle Vintage & Street Food Market

Vintage fairs are back for the autumn/winter!  There’s another one I’m planning to go to next month, by which point I may no longer be strong/warm enough to resist the lure of vintage ’80s jumpers.  I have plenty.  I still want more.

I was sensible today, though, and didn’t buy any jumpers for now.  Instead, I picked up two things I’d actually been visualising: a red blouse to go with one of this year’s Christmas outfits, and a jersey dress that will be nice and comfortable for ’round the house’ days, which, for a work-from-home type like me, is most days.

Vintage fair haul
The red material looks shiny here but it’s actually more kind of sheer.

It’s very satisfying to be able to add a piece here and there to my vintage collection.  Looking forward to wearing both of these!

Vintage fair haul: Vintage Pop-Up at Newcastle SU

Well, I did say February was going to be big for vintage fairs.  Averaging two a week at the moment!

Today I went to the Vintage Pop-Up at Newcastle Student Union, put on by University Vintage Fairs.  Like the one at Northumbria I went to last week, it was quite a small affair, but I managed to pick up another addition to my ’80s jumper collection:

Black and red '80s jumper
I love the embellishment on this one, even if it does mean I’ll have to be a bit less lazy with the laundry and remember to turn it inside out!

Seeing as winter’s not showing any signs of going away yet, I’m going to count this one as a ‘sensible’ purchase!

’80s jumpers

I’ve been a lot colder than usual this winter.  I’m guessing this is because I’ve lost a lot of weight and so I don’t have that cosy layer of fat keeping me warm anymore.  Luckily, my love of vintage clothing fairs came to the rescue, and so in recent months I have become the shamelessly proud owner of a new collection: a collection of vintage ’80s jumpers.

Me in a vintage '80s jumper
This jumper was labelled a ‘Cosby jumper’ by the vintage stall that was selling it. No, that didn’t put me off it, though I did resist the slightly more garish ones that were next to it. I make no promises for next time, however.

In previous winters, I lived in hoodies.  This was the most practical thing at the time, because the various sources of heating in the house, combined with my larger self’s tendency to overheat every time I did any activity that wasn’t sitting down, meant that I was constantly doing the too-hot-too-cold dance and needed something that was easy to throw on and off.  This winter, though, I’ve found it’s most comfortable to wear something warm and cosy all day long, which is where the jumpers come in.  They’re nice and hardwearing, and there’s never any shortage of them at vintage fairs, so I think they’re going to be my winter go-to for a few years to come.