Last few days of Christmas, and a bit of blog admin

I’ll mostly be doing photo posts this week as I’ll be busy with putting the Christmas decorations away and getting back to work. From next Monday onwards the blog will be back on schedule, though it’ll be a different schedule from what it has been over the last year! With the pandemic continuing to rumble on, life is a bit too quiet for daily diary posts, and so I’ll be doing weekly life updates on Fridays instead. The rest of the week will be dedicated to ramblings about my various hobbies, which remain over-numerous.

I’m excited about a slight change of direction as there are lots of things I want to write about in more detail. More info about this next week (as I haven’t quite finalised everything yet!).

Colourful leggings
The leggings I wore for my birthday yesterday. 2020 was the year of colourful trousers and I do not imagine that will change for 2021!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tears For Fears – ‘Shout’

Crawling into the weekend

About a mile and a half today…

…and I’m still finding it a bit tiring, but I’m doing okay.

I was writing until into the evening today as I got a bit absorbed in my NaNo project. Good to get a buffer in for my wordcount as I’m going to be a bit busier over the weekend. Will update again on Monday!

Christmas leggings, take 3
An especially bright pair of Christmas leggings today.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

A possible turnaround

I managed more than two miles this morning…

…and I finally felt like I had my energy back, so hopefully this will continue!

I was able to get through all my writing and onto my admin fairly quickly today, so I’m hoping to be able to spend a good chunk of time chilling out with my videogame this evening.

Great day overall. Similar tomorrow I hope!

Christmas leggings, edition 2
Continuing the Christmas leggings theme! Now with bonus Christmas socks.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Sisters Of Mercy – ‘This Corrosion’

Post-run appetite!

I did a fairly tough interval session this morning…

…and I’ve been ravenous ever since. I need to start organising a more substantial lunch for Tuesdays! Geth and I are trying to shift the lockdown weight at the moment but I need to balance that with fuelling for runs as well.

I’ve just been getting on with work and household admin this afternoon. Accounts done, diary done, car MOT booked for next week. It’s a bit dull but a lighter work week gives me the opportunity to get stuff like that out of the way. Hoping to have a bit more time for writing towards the end of the week as well.

Looking forward to a quiet evening with TV and/or YouTube videos. I could do with switching my brain off for a bit.

Fireworks leggings
These fireworks leggings are my favourites for running at the moment. I’ll need to make sure they’re clean for Bonfire Night in a few weeks’ time 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Benny Goodman – ‘Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)’
Cast of Moulin Rouge! – ‘El Tango De Roxanne’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon [Theme From The Trap]’

End of big running and the start of winter training

Just a mile today…

…because I started an eight-week 10k training programme today and the first day of the plan was a rest day! Intervals tomorrow. I’m planning to do this eight-week programme twice during the winter – the first will finish with a 10k race on 6th December (there’s a small local COVID-secure one I’d like to do, but if restrictions get worse and/or it’s called off for any reason then I can always sign up to another virtual), then I’ll have a break from focused training over Christmas, then I’ll start the programme all over again in January for another 10k race attempt around late February / early March. This will be the first winter since 2017/2018 that I’m not training for a spring marathon, so I’m taking advantage of the extra time – I really want a sub-hour 10k race result this next year. I managed a 1:03ish split during the Virtual GNR (because I went out far too fast!) so I know it’s perfectly possible with the right training.

We had a great weekend, with Geth running his longest run of the year on Sunday – he’s aiming for his first marathon in either autumn 2021 or spring 2022 and likes to build up the distances gradually, so his big project was to manage a 30k run this year. All achieved and he’s back on easy running for the winter.

In non-running news I am starting to get very excited about Hallowe’en. I think I will probably decorate the house at some point in the next week! I need to tidy up a bit first as the living room is still full of stuff from my decor project. Said project is on schedule to be completed and up on the wall around the first week of November – I’m just waiting on a couple more things to arrive in the post.

Hoping for a nice productive day tomorrow as there’s a lot I want to get done this week.

Hallowe'en leggings
Hallowe’en leggings on today!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Starship – ‘We Built This City’

A damp but cheerful Friday

Just a mile this morning…

…but then I had already been up and about doing stuff for a couple of hours, having woken up at six for some reason. Oh for a predictable sleep pattern.

Kieran and Lisa popped in for lunch today. Geth and I had hoped to use the new garden furniture that I put together earlier this week, but today turned out to be a wet day in Newcastle (of course) so we sat inside instead. It was really nice to see people we actually knew for the first time since March (other than neighbours, shopkeepers, hairdressers, bumping into running friends when running etc. etc.) and to catch up after a long time.

Looking forward to a quiet weekend now. Next full update on Monday!

Colourful leggings
Today’s cheery and colourful leggings. Brightening up the start of the weekend!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Toto – ‘Africa’
Duran Duran – ‘Save A Prayer’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’

Proper endings

Another mile today…

…as I’m fairly busy this week so can only squeeze in super-short runs. I had a small bit of day job work to do today, and I also did the final bugfix for my most recent jam game. This was a bit more complicated than expected as I had to do a lot of fiddling with the Spectrum versions to get them to compile. The workaround wasn’t 100% perfect, but they’ll do for now, and with all the reported bugs fixed the game is a much better product than it was on first release.

As such, I finally feel I’m done with One Last Thing… now and can focus all my energies on the next few projects!

I’m going to squeeze in a couple more hours of coding and then get some Paper Mario played this evening. I’m on a tricky section, but I think I’m close to the end of the game now – somewhere between one and three play sessions should finish the plot, I expect.

Tomorrow I’m going to have a play with some simple graphics for the game project I’m working on this week.

Washing line
2020: the year of brightly coloured trousers (you can’t see all the examples on the line from this angle but I assure you there are quite a lot of them). They really cheer me up at the moment!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

A fairly slow Tuesday

Another mile this morning…

…and I’m still fairly slow this week, but I’m fine with that. I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to focus on in terms of my running this autumn and have a few challenges and ideas that I’m quite excited about. Just need to hear whether the London Marathon is going ahead in October or being postponed again (one week to go until the announcement is due!) and then I can make some concrete plans.

The rest of today has also been fairly slow going, but I should have all my admin and a bit of coding done by the end of the afternoon, so I can sneak in some more videogaming hours this evening! I spent eight hours playing Paper Mario: The Origami King yesterday and could honestly have played all night as well – I’m really enjoying it.

Similar day tomorrow… though hopefully not quite as slow!

Lucy Locket Loves casual leggings
I’m a bit obsessed with Lucy Locket Loves stuff at the moment – the bright patterns really cheer me up 🙂 These leggings are really comfy (though not quite as cosy as the loungewear, which is my new weekend go-to).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
Rod Stewart – ‘Baby Jane’
The Beatles – ‘Ticket To Ride’
Harold Faltermeyer – ‘Axel F’

Still not firing on all cylinders

Just another mile today…

…as I woke up with a slightly sore shoulder (I had planned to do closer to two miles today but decided to keep it short and gentle again).

I’m still not sleeping well, and I don’t feel productive at all this week – I’m a bit slow to get going with everything. Still, I’m managing to get a bit of work on my current writing project done every day, which is great.

Despite the uncertainty about absolutely everything at the moment, I am 100% certain that two things will be the case by the end of 2020:

  1. I will have made a significant dent in my videogame backlog. There’s no way I’ll have cleared it completely, but there will at least be light at the end of the tunnel…
  2. I will own enough leggings to last me for the rest of my life, and yet I will still want more. So many shiny patterns!

Everyone needs a hobby, or twenty in my case. Especially at the moment.

Videogaming tonight, running in the morning, writing during the day, rinse and repeat.

Computers, 1980
I’m running out of pictures that I can take during lockdown, as my world is obviously a bit samey right now. As such, I’ve been going through the family archives for old computer pictures. I love this one from 1980.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Yell’
Revo – ‘Ship Upon The Open Skies’
Thought Beings – ‘Shakedown’

Cleaner, cosier, comfier

Just a mile for this morning’s run…

…as I had various other things to do. Looking forward to some longer runs later in the week.

It was a bit of an odd weekend as I was trying to keep myself from feeling too down about the fact that if not for the coronavirus situation, I would have been in London running the marathon. By and large, I managed to distract myself with videogames, and I did a couple of short, fast runs to test out my pace a bit. I also spent most of yesterday trying to solve technical issues, as our SteamLink box was playing up again. I’ve told Geth that we have to keep an eye on it by turning it on every day, which provides lots of excuses for videogaming this week!

I’ve also managed to get a really good clean of the house done. I’d been neglecting it a bit, because I usually base my cleaning schedule around when we’re expecting company… and obviously we’ve not had any recently. However, I’ve spent the last couple of days getting on with it, and the house feels a lot nicer now.

I’ve got a small amount of day job work lined up for this week, which is great, and I’ve got several more housework-type tasks to get on with as well. I also want to finish my graphics for my next adventure game before the end of Camp NaNo on Thursday, so I’ve got plenty things to be getting on with! It’s nice, though, because it provides a bit of structure to the day. I’d obviously love it if I could just sit and play videogames the whole time, but I think I’d probably lose track of days and nights as a result! Oh, for those student summers when I’d regularly be playing until 7am and it didn’t matter…

I’m still getting a good few hours in every evening though, and I find I’ve got time for lots of reading and TV-watching too, so if I ignore the general world situation, life is quite relaxed at the moment!

Tikiboo Run London tights
Yesterday, I wore what should have been my race kit. I’m looking forward to taking these special London-themed Tikiboos out for some longer runs to make sure that they will hold up during the marathon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tomohito Nishiura – ‘Froenborg’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’