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’

Two metres, please

I managed a slightly longer run this morning…

…and felt so much better for it! My shoulder pain seems to have subsided for now, although I will be putting it to the test with a bit more yoga later today. I’m hoping to get out for some longer runs over the weekend as well.

It’s a bit busy inside my head at the moment, and I feel like my creative ideas are not keeping their two metres of social distance apart from each other (or, you know, two centimetres, or whatever the correct scale is for inside your brain). I’m not working on as many creative projects as I usually am – I’m having a few months’ break from prose fiction writing in order to refresh (and it’s probably working because I miss my characters BADLY); I’m not writing as much poetry as usual due to poetry night having gone virtual like everything else (although I did enjoy writing my short verse today for the group poem we’re doing this month!); my adventure game creation process is currently in a drawing-bad-graphics phase rather than a writing-interactive-fiction phase; and I’m not actively seeking out writing competitions and submission requests and the like because it was starting to stress me out by the end of last year.

It’s good to take a semi-break, especially in the current circumstances (many writers have blogged more eloquently than me about the fact that a pandemic does not actually make for an efficient writing period, despite all the additional free time, because the ever-present sense of dread is something of a distraction). However, I’ve always found that if I don’t get my ideas out, they rattle around in my brain, and at the moment there are a lot of them in there.

I think I just need a couple of days to write freeform and see what happens. Maybe next week, if work is still quiet.

I’m looking forward to the weekend (such as it is) now. Geth and I will be doing the parkrun quiz tomorrow morning and taking a trip to the now-reopened B&Q on Sunday in order to get more gravel for the garden and stretch the car’s wheels (I’ve not turned on the engine since we returned from Inverness last month, and I know it needs to be done every now and then). I’ll be doing a couple of scenic runs and not thinking about the parallel universe and my parallel self’s trip to London. And, of course, I’ll be playing a lot of videogames.

As I mentioned last weekend, I won’t be doing diary posts tomorrow or Sunday – I’ll be sharing my running vlogs, though, and I’ve got a couple of review posts that will be going up. I’ll be back on Monday to update you all on my continued lockdown adventures 🙂

Cherry blossom
Today’s run was another sunny adventure with bright blue skies and beautiful blossom everywhere. This spring has been so good to us weather-wise.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Toto – ‘Africa’
Pulp – ‘Common People’
Survivor – ‘Eye Of The Tiger’
Timecop1983 and Primo – ‘My DeLorean’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Chaka Khan – ‘Ain’t Nobody’

Lists upon lists

One last recovery mile this morning…

…because I was still being careful regarding my shoulder. It feels a lot better now though, and I also managed a fifty-minute YouTube yoga session at lunchtime, so I think I should be able to go for a longer run tomorrow.

I’ve spent the rest of the day editing, writing, and getting on with admin stuff. Sometimes I feel like I’m making progress with my lists upon lists of things to do, but most of the time – even in these quieter lockdown days – it seems as though I get one thing done and then several more get added to the other end of the list! At least I’m never bored…

Looking forward to another good few hours of videogaming this evening. Geth has finished work early so has started his XCOM session already!

Washing line
Geth was rather taken with the colourful-ness of the washing line yesterday and asked me to take a picture. To be fair, I am amassing an extremely good collection of funky-patterned running tights.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Main Theme’
Ben Haenow – ‘Something I Need’
Lucy Spraggan – ‘Lighthouse’
The Wonder Stuff – ‘Don’t Let Me Down, Gently’

Waking up

Another recovery mile today…

…because I’ve had a bit of pain in my back/shoulder over the last couple of days and it’s irritating me when I run. As such, I’m keeping my runs short until I feel better. I had a really good go at it with the foam roller earlier today, and it does seem to be loosening, so hopefully it’ll be fine again in a few days’ time.

I feel a lot more awake than yesterday, and so today I’ve been able to get on fairly quickly with my to-do list, which has been the usual: small amount of day job work, another graphic drawn for my next adventure game, various bits of housework and admin, that kind of thing. I really appreciate being able to stay in the house and get on with all of this stuff at the moment, even if the sunny spring weather is making me think about beaches and tropical islands and so on.

I think 2021, if we’re allowed out by then, may involve a bit of travel. Just a bit.

In the meantime, the only tropical islands I’ll be visiting are the ones in my videogames. But that’s okay.

Foam roller and spiky ball
The foam roller and spiky ball are tough going on the muscles, but they do work the knots out.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Where It All Began’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
A bit of royalty-free Christmas music that loads of companies use to accompany videos and games at Christmastime but which I have never been able to find the name of (you can hear it in the opening of this Dice Tower video)
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

Stretching out

I ran with Geth again this morning…

…and since then we’ve just been in the house, hiding from the cancelled world outside. Geth went to Sainsbury’s, and came back with approximately half the things I’d sent him out for (panic-buying has officially set in here in Newcastle), but we’ll manage. I also went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription – the outside world feels a bit odd and apocalyptic at the moment.

It’s felt like a long day, but I’m not about to complain, because extra time is my most treasured thing and suddenly having a lot more of it is a real silver lining. Sage Gateshead has now closed, so my ukulele classes are not happening for the foreseeable future, and I don’t know when they’ll be rescheduled. The UK Games Expo confirmed this evening that they are postponing the event to August; parkrun will make an announcement tomorrow.

The North Tyneside 10k has also postponed to October, so that’s the last of my spring races fallen by the wayside. I’m amazed and grateful that none of my postponed races clash with each other (or with the GNR), and also feel quite lucky that I hadn’t booked any of my planned autumn races before this all kicked off. I had wanted to run the South Shields 10 Mile and the Great Scottish Run this year, but they’ll be there for me in the future.

Keeping in touch with family as the daily situation changes is my main priority at the moment, along with keeping myself and Geth safe and sane. Running is a big help with the latter, and I’m really glad I have that in my life at the moment.

Brooks running shoes
I was able to try out my new running shoes from Inverness this morning. They’re super bouncy and did give me a slight but noticeable boost!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Lightwood Games – ‘Link-A-Pix Theme’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Mesh and Mechanical Cabaret – ‘Born To Lie [Duet Version]’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
EMF – ‘Unbelievable’

Another day of shiny things

I’m still in Edinburgh (Geth is holding the fort at home, and reports that my paper chains haven’t fallen down yet, which is a real victory as they’re a bit delicate – will be reinforcing them at the end of the Christmas period), and still feeling a bit ill. However, it’s been a good day – I went to my yearly dental checkup this morning (the main reason I’m in town – the Christmas stuff is a bonus), did some more decorating of Mum and Dad’s house this afternoon, and then caught up with my cousin Freya this evening.

A very early train back to Newcastle tomorrow morning so that I can pop into my Slimming World group before heading home.

BBC Micro
Not an OOTD: Dad also dug out the Micro today. We confirmed it works and everything! Looking forward to having a play with this over Christmas when I bring the disks up from Newcastle.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Coldplay – ‘Christmas Lights’
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Light Years’
Phil Collins – ‘Another Day In Paradise’

Connection disruption

After I got back from my hospital appointment this morning, I was annoyed to find that our router had seemingly given out. It meant I couldn’t do any of my planned activities for the afternoon. I did catch up with a lot of reading though! Geth called BT to try and fix the problem, and it was ascertained that the router is working (to an extent) but not transmitting a wi-fi signal. As a result, we now have ethernet cables trailing everywhere and the internet connection constantly cutting in and out, like it’s the ’90s or something. I may have been driven mad by the time they send us a new router.

Geth and I are going to an outdoor gig tomorrow, so hopefully I will have a less frustrating day.

OOTD 27th July 2019
OOTD: too wet and grey for an outdoor picture, but I’m really pleased with my new Rio vest top! Vest top Redbubble (2019), leggings Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well
Duran Duran – Pressure Off
Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life
Ylvis – The Fox
Gunship – The Mountain

A muggy Friday

Yesterday did not end as well as it began. The UK railway chaos caused by the heat meant that Geth and I were unable to get from Newcastle to Durham for our race, so I had to DNS a race I’d entered for the first time since 2016 (when I couldn’t take up my place at the EMF 10k due to my brother getting married in Toronto the same weekend). Really annoyed about the whole thing! Next time I have to go anywhere during a heatwave I’ll be taking the car – the trains are just too unreliable.

I then had a bad night’s sleep due to the heat, so I’ve not really felt on top form today and haven’t got as much writing done as I would have liked. It’s been a long, muggy day – there was a heavy rain storm earlier this evening that’s made the air a little cooler, but it still feels pretty uncomfortable.

I may or may not be at parkrun tomorrow depending on the weather, but I will be in town either way as I’ve got a hospital appointment that I only found out about today.

OOTD 26th July 2019
OOTD: this outfit was highly appropriate when I put it on this morning, before the rain made it all grey and overcast! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), dress Paradise (2013), shoes BHS (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One
Arcadia – Say The Word
Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture ShowTime Warp
Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
George Ezra – Paradise

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Haim Saban and Shuki Levy – The Mysterious Cities Of Gold Main Theme

Another non-stop Wednesday!

It’s been a busy day today. Some urgent work came in from a client overnight, so I spent the morning doing that, and then went to the hospital for my uveitis check-up. The drops have worked perfectly – a lot quicker than for the first attack, probably because I caught it sooner – and all signs of uveitis are pretty much gone. I’ve been given permission to speed up the steroid eye drop withdrawal process, so my new date for the official end of the eye saga is Tuesday 16th July, when I will take my last eye drop. I’m hoping for a permanent respite from the zombie invasion!

I then headed to the centre of town to spend a couple of hours catching up with my cousin Freya. After that, it was time for my ukulele class – the last class proper of the summer term, as we’ll be doing the end-of-term concert next week.

Now for a couple of hours chilling out with music before bed!

OOTD 3rd July 2019
OOTD: sunscreen required today. T-shirt H&M (2018), belt H&M (2017), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Cast of The Greatest ShowmanThe Greatest Show
Mungo Jerry – In The Summertime
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
Duran Duran – Violence Of Summer [The Story Mix]
Bee Gees – Too Much Heaven
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Duran Duran – Michael, You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For

Dancing feet

A day of small victories! Zombie Eye 2 is pretty much back to normal after a couple of days of eye drops, so it’s just a case of continuing to take them now. Also, I managed to be at my desk* at nine like I’m supposed to be, which felt like a real achievement after oversleeping for all of last week.

As such, I managed to get a lot of work done today. I then went back to dance class this evening for the first time since moving house (so nearly a year and a half!). Most of the routines were new to me so it’s going to take a few weeks of feeling useless while I pick them up, but it felt really great to be dancing again, and there was one we did at the end that I knew from before (it was one of my favourites!).

Glad to be back in routine – hoping for a similarly productive day tomorrow.

*My sofa, with my laptop, and my feet up. There are many perks to working from home.

Dance trainers
Not an OOTD: no outfit shot today because I was in workout gear all day. You can have a photo of my neglected-till-now dance trainers instead.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Gunship – Dark All Day
Queen – Flash
Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?*
The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll
Tina Turner – Proud Mary
Cast of The Greatest ShowmanThe Greatest Show
Duran Duran – Too Late Marlene
Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

*I can only imagine that this unseasonal offering burrowed into my brain today as a result of my subconscious child going ‘OMG IT’S ONLY SIX MONTHS TILL CHRISTMAS EVE, BETTER LISTEN TO MY BIRTHDAY NUMBER ONE‘.