Finally feeling more alert

My 8am alarm meant I was awake by 9.30am this morning. That’s an improvement, I suppose. I really need my mornings back this week because I’ve got a lot of work on, as well as an exercise routine that I need to get back into after neglecting it for a couple of weeks due to my cold.

Today has mainly been about writing and reading so far – planning to get a bit of ukulele practice in too before catching up with some TV this evening.

OOTD 16th June 2019
OOTD: still chilly enough for jackets. Jacket Precis (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), dress Primark (2018), tights Primark (2017), shoes Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Melissa (2009).

Today’s earworm playlist:

5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love
Prince – When Doves Cry
Duran Duran – Rio
Charlie Puth – One Call Away


My sleep pattern is still not quite right and so I feel like the days are getting away from me a bit at the moment. Don’t know why I’m so tired!

I have managed to get a good bit of writing done this afternoon though. Now enjoying an evening with my ukulele and a few good books.

Hoping for an earlier start tomorrow!

OOTD 14th June 2019
OOTD: rain has finally stopped! Blouse Tommy Hilfiger (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – See You Again
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
Spice Girls – If U Can’t Dance

More peace and quiet

Another fairly quiet day. After Slimming World this morning, I did a big shop so that I wouldn’t have to go out again for a while (it’s still cold and wet out there!), and have spent the afternoon writing and playing ukulele.

Looking forward to more time to myself tomorrow.

OOTD 13th June 2019
OOTD: still waiting for the weather to improve! Hoodie Sonar (2006), vest top Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Timecop1983 and Seawaves – Lovers
Trevor Something – Summer Love
Wham! – Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Light Years
Meat Loaf – Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Sweet dreams are made of this

I slept in really badly this morning. Like, lunchtime badly. I’m going to put it down to needing to catch up on sleep now that I seem to have recovered from my cold.

As such, I didn’t have time to get much done today, but I did manage a bit of writing before heading out to ukulele class. I’m a bit obsessed with ukulele at the moment so I’m really enjoying the course – it’s been a long time since I was able to stick with an instrument beyond a quick bit of dabbling.

Hoping to get a bit more done tomorrow.

OOTD 12th June 2019
OOTD: it’s too wet out there for a proper photo. Hoodie Sonar (2006), dress Monteau (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Elvis Presley – Hound Dog
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Toni Braxton – Unbreak My Heart
Duran Duran – I Take The Dice
The Midnight – Gloria
Middle Of The Road – Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want

Impeccable timing

So after I nearly killed myself running the Blaydon Race with a bad cold yesterday evening (longer race review coming later this week in which I go into extended detail about all the ways it felt like I was going to die), I was convinced that I had set my recovery back by several days and that I would have to spend the entirety of this week on the sofa with my blanket, bucketloads of Lemsip pills and several bottles of cough syrup.

My cold has pretty much disappeared today. Go figure.

Excitingly, this means that it looks like I will actually get everything on my very long to-do list done this week (Geth is still away and so I’m taking advantage of having the house to myself). I got some day job work done today, as well as some writing, admin, and lots of ukulele playing. Hoping for another productive day tomorrow!

OOTD 10th June 2019
OOTD: back in my vintage gear – I must be feeling better 🙂 Dress Charlee Allison for Eljay (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2016), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]
Spice Girls – If U Can’t Dance
The Proclaimers – Throw The ‘R’ Away

Double ukulele

No review post today because I’m still struggling to get over my cold and have spent most of the day on the sofa with my blanket again. I have been playing ukulele a lot, though, mainly because ukulele number two (a concert sized model, which is the next size up from my existing soprano ukulele) arrived in the post today and so I’ve been experimenting with both instruments to see how the different sounds compare on different songs.

One more morning/afternoon of recovery and then I’m going out tomorrow evening in an attempt to run the Blaydon Race without coughing myself to death.

Soprano and concert ukuleles
Not an OOTD: I got fed up of taking ill-looking selfies on the sofa (I really am starting to look dreadful now) so instead, here is the start of a beautiful ukulele collection.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Lil’ Nas X – Old Town Road
Dolly Parton – Jolene
The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Duran Duran – Rio

Resting…or trying to

I’ve come down with the cold that Geth has had for the last week, which is obviously not enjoyable. I’ve got a race this weekend, so I would like to have knocked it on the head by then. Lemsip Max Strength pills are helping, but mostly I’m just trying to get some rest.

I spent most of today catching up with some writing, and then went out to ukulele class. I’m really enjoying playing my ukulele at the moment and have decided that I’m probably going to work hard on it over the summer so that I can move up to intermediate class in the autumn – partly because the class times are changing so beginner class will clash with poetry night when it’s on, but mainly because I’m finding beginner class fairly easy now and I’d like more of a challenge.

A nice normal Thursday tomorrow. Hoping the cold gets better rather than worse!

OOTD 5th June 2019
OOTD: garden grows very quickly this time of year. T-shirt Gildan for Preverse (2015, modified 2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Meet El Presidente
Duran Duran – Lonely In Your Nightmare
FM Attack and Kristine – Magic
Pretenders – Talk Of The Town
Thompson Twins – Doctor! Doctor!
David Bowie – Ashes To Ashes
Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
Sam Cooke – Wonderful World
Wilson Pickett – Mustang Sally
Spandau Ballet – True

Life without alcohol: five months sober

Time has really flown over the last few weeks. It’s strange to think I’ve managed another month of sobriety already.


I think my mindset has shifted a little this month. When I’m at the bar ordering a ginger beer instead of a cider, I’m no longer looking at the cider tap and feeling that desperate pang for something I can’t have, with my brain railing against the unfairness of it all. Instead, it’s been replaced by a calmer, more logical thought – a thought that goes along the lines of ‘yes, I really want that cider, but it would be a very bad idea for me to have it because of the way my brain works’ – and in some ways I’m becoming more able to detach from the emotional side of it.

If I think about the taste of alcohol, I still feel very upset. So I don’t think about it. This is becoming easier than it was.

Social situations are still difficult. I realised this past weekend that something like boardgaming is fine, even if everyone else is drinking alcohol – the focus is not the drinking, it’s the gaming, so I can forget that other people are drinking and I’m not. Just hanging around in the pub or club for hours is a different matter. It’s an issue that I think I will struggle with for a long time and that I think about a lot – I even covered it in one of the poems I performed last time I was at poetry night. I just find these situations to be very intense. First of all, everyone else is getting drunk, and it turns out that I don’t have the patience to deal with drunk people when I’m stone cold sober. Watching other people’s mental faculties failing in front of my eyes is alarming, distressing, and frustrating, and I find it very upsetting and unpleasant to be around. It’s a horrible reminder of what I was like when I was drinking, and at the moment I just can’t reconcile it with the celebratory thing it’s supposed to be. Secondly, I’ve found in the last few months that being around drinkers as they get louder and louder and less cognisant of the way that conversation is supposed to work is bringing up problems related to my underlying mental health issues. This is something that I think I need outside help for, and so I will be looking into that in the near future.

I was discussing my sobriety via text with my brother recently, and one of the things I said to him was that it’s been very strange getting to grips with not having the available mental crutch of ‘getting drunk’ anymore. Every so often it just hits me that it’s no longer an option for me, and the realisation leaves me feeling quite stunned. It’s partly because I’ve spent 2019 so far doing a lot of things that have been out of my comfort zone – getting back into pitching my books to agents, performing my poetry in public, performing with my ukulele class, getting back into driving, buying my car – and every single time I am scared and nervous because I’m about to do one of those things, my automatic thought is still ‘I need a few drinks to make this thing less scary’. And I can’t have those few drinks, and that is something that I just can’t get used to yet. There’s still a long way to go.

Booze alternatives I’ve reviewed over the last month:

Because I’ve been very busy this last month, I’ve not spent as much time utilising the online and offline resources (books, podcasts, talks, etc.) that have been helpful for me so far in recovery. I need to prioritise those a bit more over the next month while things are quieter, because I don’t want to take my eye off the ball – I’ve noticed a few insidious ‘just the one, no one will know’ type thoughts creeping in, and I need to be a bit more proactive in looking after myself.

Making sounds

Still no review posts at the moment because I’ve been busy catching up with admin and house stuff. I will get back to them tomorrow!

I went for a long-overdue haircut this morning, and then Mum and Dad popped in for a coffee at lunchtime – it was nice to see them (and to confirm that two cars will fit on our driveway, even if one of them is a giant Land Rover!).

I’ve spent the rest of the day doing house stuff and playing my ukulele. Geth is out boardgaming tonight, so the ukulele-playing will probably continue.

OOTD 4th June 2019
OOTD: new hair…and into the summer uniform despite the fact that it’s freezing. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), t-shirt H&M (2018), jeans Miss Selfridge (2018), shoes 1st Position (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Culture Club – Church Of The Poison Mind
Heaven 17 – Temptation
XTC – Senses Working Overtime
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Wilson Pickett – Mustang Sally
Avicii and Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up
Sam Cooke – Wonderful World

Always believe in your soul

As you can probably tell from the post title, Gold is still the most prominent earworm in my world today. I’ve been listening to synthwave and playing ukulele all afternoon to try and mitigate it. Not that it’s an unwelcome earworm, it’s just…been there for a few hours now.

Today’s been a fairly productive day. I got some more editing for clients done, and have been catching up with admin in preparation for a busy weekend. I’m on track to get everything finished tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

OOTD 28th May 2019
OOTD: I finally got back out into the garden again! Hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt Para (1995), jeans Miss Selfridge (2018), shoes Zara (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Maroon 5 – Payphone
Duran Duran – Rio
The Who – My Generation
Buddy Holly – Raining In My Heart
Spandau Ballet – Gold