Ticking things off (Christmas edition)

I’ve had a fairly productive weekend, but it’s still felt like a weekend because it’s been different from what I’m doing during the week. I’ve got about half of our Christmas presents wrapped (the other half are yet to arrive), some of the Christmas food prepared and in the freezer, and a few more other random things booked. I’m determined to have all the Christmas prep organised and done by the end of November this year!

Geth was running the Town Moor Half Marathon this morning so I spent some time in the nearby café with my book. I had a good view of all the marathon and half marathon runners as they went round and round the lapped course! I’ve also been getting on with my hobby coding – I’m really glad I decided to combine it with my NaNoWriMo because it’s meant I’ve had the motivation to get a bit more done every day, even when I’m really busy.

Looking forward to another good week of software dev learning 🙂

Town Moor Half Marathon
Geth at the Town Moor half this morning. A tough and breezy one by all accounts!

The inbetween month

The Hallowe’en decorations are down. Well, except for the pumpkin and neep lanterns I carved, which have still got a few good days left in them before they go in the bin. I always feel that Hallowe’en can be extended right up to Bonfire Night if necessary 🙂

November, when I’m not busy working and/or studying and/or working on some interactive fiction for NaNoWriMo, is going to be all about getting everything prepped for Christmas so that I’m all organised by the beginning of December and can just enjoy the festivities. This time next month I will hopefully have a fully decorated house and everything done and dusted!

Now, if I could just think of something I actually want for Christmas… I’m drawing a blank this year!

Hallowe'en cake
I made a Hallowe’en cake at the weekend from my pumpkin and neep innards. It doesn’t look like much (I need some spider decorations or something) but it tastes nice!

Finishing off the month

A fairly hectic week this week as I’ve had a lot of things to get finished before the end of the month. My ear is feeling a lot better after finishing my antibiotics course, and my energy has seemingly returned, so I’ve been able to start improving my running speed again.

My main focus this week has been getting the bulk of the work finished for my current Adventuron jam game. I’ve spent this week finishing off the coding and am looking forward to getting stuck into the graphics over the weekend. I’m really excited about getting everything put together and spending a few days working with playtesters before the deadline!

I’ve also been continuing with my long walks and increased-distance runs, which are really nice now that the spring weather has arrived. It means that I’ve pretty much doubled my pace on the LEJOG challenge I’m doing and should be well on track to finish by the end of the year!

There’s been quite a bit of day job work this week too. Business has picked up a bit recently after last year’s slight COVID slump and I’ve got some important plans for going forward that I’m going to start implementing soon.

Finally, I’ve made sure to get some quality downtime with videogames when possible. I’m still really enjoying Bravely Default II and expect it will take me a good couple of months to finish. So many games on the list afterwards that I can’t wait to play…

I would say I’m hoping that next week will be quieter, but there’s a Camp NaNoWriMo month starting and I expect I’ll end up doing something for that! Maybe not with a super high wordcount this time though…

Jesmond Dene
Still enjoying my spring return to Jesmond Dene!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Bucks Fizz – ‘My Camera Never Lies’
Sting – ‘Englishman In New York’
Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz – ‘Talk Dirty’

Sunday

Camila Cabello – ‘Liar’
Captain Ska – ‘Liar Liar Ge2017’
Kevin Gillis – ‘Run With Us’

Monday

Lauv and Troye Sivan – ‘I’m So Tired’
Revo – ‘Savalon’

Tuesday

The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Because The Night’

Wednesday

Revo – ‘Savalon Desert’
Kirsty MacColl – ‘Days’
Lauv and Troye Sivan – ‘I’m So Tired’
Coldplay – ‘Fix You’
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Because The Night’

Thursday

Demi Lovato – ‘Heart Attack’
Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz – ‘Talk Dirty’

Friday

Sia – ‘Cheap Thrills’
The Proclaimers – ‘Make My Heart Fly’

There must be some cross-training going on here!

With NaNo done and a couple of days to go before I plan to start working on my Adventuron jam game in earnest, I’ve been working hard all day on de-hoarding my upstairs rooms. De-hoarding is a really difficult process for me because I’m so over-attached to stuff. Nevertheless, a lot of the stuff upstairs has been doing nothing but hanging around making me depressed, so it needs to go (or at least go into a box and sit in the garage for a year or two in order to convince me that I really don’t need it).

I’m really looking forward to having some floor space upstairs. A few more days of blitzing and hopefully it should all be done.

De-hoarding is a bit more physical than sitting on the sofa writing so I’m finding I’m quite tired in the evenings. It’s certainly a more strenuous form of secondary exercise than a yoga video!

Same again tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll feel like I’ve made a bit more progress.

Christmas star
I’ve used these star lights on the shelves downstairs for a few years now. I love sparkly lights at Christmas.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Duran Duran – ‘The Edge Of America’

Lights up

The usual mile today… but I don’t have a vlog to post because I’m only doing them weekly on Sundays now!

I also finished my NaNoWriMo project. It’s been a bit unfocused and piecemeal this year, but at least I managed my 50,000 words and developed some good ideas about what I’m going to write in 2021.

Most of today, though, was spent getting a start on the Christmas decorations. I never usually get them out until the 1st of December, but this year I fancied having them ready to go for when the clock ticked over.

Tomorrow I’m going to have another blitz on the house upstairs. I’d like to get a few more things cleared away this week before I put any decorations up upstairs – it always feels a bit depressing putting decorations up in a cluttered room.

Christmas tree 2020
All ready for December.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Band Aid – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

The run-up

The usual mile this morning…

…and it was really cold. Going to have to start layering up a bit more!

I am in unashamedly Christmas mode now. I made the cake yesterday (I’m hoping to be able to share it with Mum and Dad presuming restrictions are relaxed over Christmas, and Geth is very much looking forward to eating it as well!). Usually the cake turns out horribly wrong, but this time (fingers crossed) it looks okay. This is the first time I’ve tried it in my current oven, so maybe the ovens in all my previous homes weren’t up to scratch.

Other than cake-making and general Christmas prep, I’ve largely been focused on my NaNoWriMo project. I’m also trying to get as much work as possible done on my Adventuron Christmas jam project so that it won’t be a last-minute rush in December! I’ll definitely have a lot more time for that after NaNo though, especially if I can get all my Christmas prep done before the end of the month as well.

It’s Geth’s and my wedding anniversary today so we’ve cracked open the first stollen of the year. It is most definitely the year for starting Christmas early.

Christmas cake
The colour of the cake actually looks right this time! I am hopeful…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – ‘O Holy Night’
The Strokes – ‘Last Night’

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’

Juggling November

Another slightly frustrating mile today…

…but tomorrow I have a plan for getting a longer run done. Hope it works!

I spent another day doing piecemeal writing and editing projects – NaNo, jam game planning, short story planning, a bit of day job work. This is going to be every day in November unless I finish the short story early, which I don’t think I will unless I really get into it. I’m being strict about finishing writing and editing by 6pm so that I can get my admin done by 9pm and squeeze a couple of hours of videogaming in before bed, as I know that’s the only thing that’s going to keep me sane this month.

Another busy day tomorrow, but it’s the good kind of busy!

Great Run Solo Hallowe'en medal
My medal for my Great Run Solo Hallowe’en accumulator challenge arrived today, which means I can finally complete my decor project from a couple of months ago! Hoping to get it all up on the walls this weekend…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘A View To A Kill’

Racking up the projects

Just a mile this morning…

…because I’m still waking up with no energy, and I’m starting to get a bit worried. Hoping this fatigue will pass soon.

I’ve been very busy with writing projects most of today. I did my usual amount for my NaNoWriMo project, then a good chunk of planning for my next Adventuron jam game, then planned out a branching story that I’m hoping to put on another platform soon. I also had a bit of last-minute day job work. Most of the evening has been taken up with admin, but I’m still hoping to squeeze an hour of videogaming in before bed.

It’s all a bit mental and busy, but it always is during November! At least I’ve got a little more time than usual this year with the lockdown…

Tomorrow should be similar, though I’m hoping to be less tired in the morning.

Fetch hoodie
I have spent the weekend being comfy in loungewear and my new Fetch Everyone hoodie. Most of my old hoodies are getting pretty tatty now so I’m trying to collect a few new ones.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Knack – ‘My Sharona’

Friday feeling multiplied

One last mile-long run for now…

…as I feel ready to move onto some slightly longer sessions over the weekend.

I’m in a real Friday mood this evening. I’ve had a really good first week working on my NaNoWriMo and am steadily hitting my wordcount every day. I also did a good chunk of editing work for Geth’s latest paper today, as he’s submitting it this evening, and we are having takeaway pizza to celebrate!

I’m really enjoying getting some videogaming time in as well, and am looking forward to starting the planning for my next game project this weekend. All of this extra time is brought to you by my almost-complete avoidance of social media and news websites over the last few days because I don’t want to hear anything about the US election until all the states have called. It’s been a very nice few days as a result and has made me think that I really need to limit social media, forums and the like on a permanent basis!

I’ll be posting vlog links as usual over the weekend and will be back to update on Monday. Hopefully with tales of more interesting running sessions and a finished plan for another text adventure!

Chocolate
Celebratory chocolate already on the go while Geth puts the finishing touches on his paper.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Cast of The Lion King – ‘Circle Of Life’
Barenaked Ladies – ‘If I Had A Million Dollars’
Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’
Wham! – ‘Club Tropicana’
Florence & The Machine – ‘Shake It Out’