Inside and out

Another mile today…

…and I’ll probably keep going with that until the weekend.

I’m getting my words in for my NaNo every day, though I’m finding it fairly tough going this year. I’m doing a loose collection of short stories, each set in a different universe that I’ve previously written about, and I’m hoping that the project will help me identify what I want to focus on next in terms of my writing. The nature of 2020 has made it quite hard to write recently, so it’s good to have a daily wordcount target to hit.

With lockdown approaching, the disconnect between my cosy inside world, where Geth and I are always comfy and home, and the terrifying outside world just seems to be getting ever more bizarre and pronounced 🙁 I’m not sure how we’ll ever go back to any semblance of normal.

I’ve got lots of distractions ready for this evening to help me stay calm, though I will of course be following the US election results pretty avidly. I’m not sure what sleep is going to look like tonight!

Another quiet day for writing tomorrow, I hope.

Christmas craft book
My favourite Christmas craft book will be one of tonight’s distractions. Hoping to get some craft projects on the go this month – I usually never get round to it!

Today’s earworm playlist:

There’s been nothing in my head today. Unusual, but it does happen sometimes!

Onto the next thing

Just a mile this morning…

…which is standard for Mondays, but unusually is the fourth streak saver mile in a row for me as I’m having to take a break from my 10k training due to feeling a bit ill. Hopefully I’ll be able to step it up again towards the end of the week.

Hallowe’en weekend was lovely, but I woke up this morning feeling as though it was time to take the decorations down and start thinking about prepping my Christmas crafts for this year. I’ve started my NaNoWriMo project as well, so I’m well and truly in November mode.

The new lockdown coming in from Thursday in England won’t much affect me and Geth, as we never really came out of lockdown the first time – we rarely leave the house for reasons that aren’t running or supermarket shopping. I don’t have a problem with being in lockdown during November as I’m a total homebody anyway – especially in the autumn and winter – but it does feel pretty gloomy that December is so uncertain. I’m not holding out much hope for my 10k race going ahead on 6th December, or that I’ll be able to nip up to Edinburgh in early December to decorate Mum and Dad’s tree like I usually do. However, so long as I can celebrate Christmas itself in person with them, I can live without everything else this year. Just have to keep hoping.

Tomorrow will be similar to today – NaNo, house tidying, craft planning – as I settle into my November routine. There may be some late night watching of the preliminary US election results too, if I’m brave enough.

Neep lantern
From the weekend: a traditional neep lantern, part of my eclectic array of carved fruit and veg this year.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dead Or Alive – ‘Something In My House’
Cliff Richard – ‘Mistletoe And Wine’
Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
Traditional – ‘Carol Of The Bells’
Tom Jones – ‘Help Yourself’

Hallowe’en weekend is here!

Just a mile today…

…which was good, because I had a lot to do today! I might take the weekend running a bit easier than planned on the training schedule, as I’ve felt a bit fatigued this week. Besides, I’d like to enjoy Hallowe’en properly tomorrow and get a good start on my NaNoWriMo project on Sunday.

I drove to Asda with Geth this afternoon to pick up everything needed for the weekend, including cake baking supplies (I want to find a use for my Hallowe’en lantern innards this year) and a final selection of Hallowe’en chocolate (which was a bit limited – it seems Asda have decided it’s now Christmas rather than Hallowe’en). I’ve also made a start on my polystyrene pumpkin project. I’m hoping to find an actual pumpkin at Sainsbury’s tomorrow as Asda had run out. I do have a turnip and a melon to carve in an emergency.

I’ll just be posting my running vlogs over the weekend. Hope everyone has a great Hallowe’en!

Spooky Oreos
These were the only Hallowe’en-themed sweet things in the shop. They’re not bad! Gutted I couldn’t find any Jaffa Cake Spooky Cake Bars this year.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Liam Payne and J Balvin – ‘Familiar’
Rockwell – ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

Full days

Two laps of my usual mile route today…

…to start the last set of multiple run days before the big challenge on 4th October. Not long to go now!

My days at the moment are busy but enjoyable. I’m mostly running and working but managing to keep on top of admin and housework too… just about! I am looking forward to my post-challenge weeks when I will be easing back on the training for a bit and returning to my coding and writing. I already have this year’s NaNoWriMo all planned out!

Geth is watching a lot of YouTube documentaries at the moment about ultrarunners who run 100-mile races, which is making my 1.2-mile lap seem very short indeed. It’s still fairly intense when you’re running it every hour on the hour though!

I’ve been pointedly ignoring the UK COVID situation (although Geth and I did watch the briefing earlier) because it’s depressing and there’s nothing I can do about it. Like everything else, taking it one day at a time is the best thing.

A similar day tomorrow, which I’m very happy about.

RNLI glass
I love this plastic tumbler, which came in my RNLI goody bag the first year I did the Great North Run. I’ve taken to drinking supermarket own-brand zero-sugar Lilt (sorry, ‘tropical crush’) in the evenings, as it is super tasty and non-caffeinated.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mumford & Sons – ‘The Cave’
Cast of Pocahontas – ‘Colours Of The Wind’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Carter USM – ‘After The Watershed (Early Learning The Hard Way)’

Still oversleeping

I just went out for a mile this morning…

…because I slept late again and I had quite a lot of day job work to do today, so there wasn’t much time left for running. I had hoped that my sleep pattern might have returned to normal by now, but my body decided it needed nine and a half hours last night. Geth and I are setting an alarm so we can do the online parkrun quiz at 9am tomorrow morning, so hopefully that will help with the sleep issue.

I’ll try and get a small amount of work done on my text adventure game (I find it’s better to keep a daily streak going for Camp NaNo even if it’s just a few words), and then return to my 3DS this evening.

Next door's cat
The spring weather has resulted in the gravel in our back garden getting warmer, which has in turn resulted in next door’s cat remembering that it’s a good place to sit down and have a wash.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Village Hidden In A Mountain’
Traditional – ‘The Music Man’
Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘Call Me Maybe’
Fleetwood Mac – ‘The Chain’


A very blustery run this morning…

…which I was a little surprised by, as I’d hoped we’d be done with the strong winds by now (the nice spring weather we’ve been lucky enough to have for the last couple of weeks has been a real silver lining for me, as it really helps to lift my mood when I get out for my run in the morning). It certainly made the run a bit more of a challenge! Hopefully it’ll be calmer again tomorrow.

I slept a lot better last night. I think the secondary evening workout is helping (I tried some YouTube yoga last night – it’s basically very similar to Pilates with lots of hippy talk thrown in. It was a nice workout though so I will persevere), and before bed I also did a bit of reading – I picked up the book I’d abandoned last autumn, on Mum’s suggestion. Fingers crossed that will be my pattern sorted again now.

I’ve done a bit of day job work this afternoon, and am now going to crack on with my text adventure/Camp NaNo project. The first game (a prequel to the main project) is nearly ready to playtest!

On the whole, I’m settling into my ‘new normal’ daily routine now, and I find I’m striking a good balance between work and me-time.

Spring blossom
A definite sign of spring: the blossom is opening on one of the trees in our front garden. I love spring blossom and these trees are one of my favourite things about the two gardens we acquired when we bought our house.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘Battle Normal 1 [Bravely Default II Soundtrack]’
Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Endor – ‘Pump It Up’
The Beatles – ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
The Beatles – ‘She Loves You’
Fountains Of Wayne – ‘Stacy’s Mom’*
Cast of Aladdin – ‘Prince Ali’

*RIP Adam Schlesinger.


Another enjoyable run this morning…

…which has cemented my decision to focus on enjoyment during runs rather than training goals for a while. It’s really helping during the current situation.

Geth and I finally managed to wake up at a reasonable time this morning, though that was mainly because we’d both been having nightmares all night. So, um, yay?

As such, I’ve felt much more in control of my time today and have managed to get all my day job work done fairly promptly. I can now get on with today’s work on my text adventure game – I’m doing it as my project for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, which provides an extra bit of daily motivation.

I’m also looking forward to the evening – I’m going to have a go at some YouTube yoga and then relax with my 3DS.

The weeping willow in our garden is coming along nicely and developing lots of baby leaves.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroki Morishita – ‘Just Across This Mountain And We’ll Arrive Soon’
Ludwig van Beethoven – ‘The Pastoral Symphony’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Revo – ‘Battle Normal 1 [Bravely Default II Soundtrack]’
Ashbury Heights – ‘Die By Numbers’
Duran Duran – ‘White Lines’

Annual viral inconvenience

I didn’t end up parkrunning today, because I came down with a cold overnight. It’s exactly a year since I last had an inconveniently-timed cold (it was the 30th November last year that Geth and I headed to Electric Dreams), although thinking about it I suppose there’s no such thing as a conveniently-timed one.

Because of some flu-like dizzy symptoms, it was a tough day finishing my NaNoWriMo project. Nevertheless, I hit the 50k, making 2019 my sixth win out of eight attempts, and my fifth in a row! Going to take a few days off from creative writing in order to give my brain a bit of a break.

Hoping to feel a little better tomorrow, as I’m not looking forward to going out in the cold right now!

Cold medicine
Not an OOTD: this stash that Geth brought home is making me feel marginally more alive.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘(I’m Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement’
Duran Duran – ‘My Antarctica’
Andy Taylor – ‘Bringin’ Me Down’
Duran Duran – ‘Falling Down’


So this morning I had roughly 8,000 words still to go on my NaNoWriMo project. I now have 4,000 to go, so am on track. Once I’m back from parkrun tomorrow (this is assuming Jesmond Dene is still on in the icy conditions… *update – just as I was writing this, Facebook informed me that Jesmond Dene is off, so I don’t know where I’ll be parkrunning tomorrow if anywhere!*), I’ll get stuck into it and get it finished.

Sunday’s going to be busy as well – I’ll be getting the Christmas decorations out, and also going to a Slimming World consultant opportunities event to see if it’s something I might be interested in doing – so it looks like it’ll be Monday before I can have that long-awaited post-NaNo gaming day on the sofa. Of course, I might be itching to get into the next project by then…

Hotel phone
Not an OOTD: as a retro phone fan, I do appreciate that hotel room phones always look as if they were installed several decades ago. The one in my London hotel room on Wednesday night was burnished in this fetching ‘late 20th century beige’.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Cast of The Muppets – ‘Mahna Mahna’
Andy Taylor – ‘Love Or Liberation’
The Power Station – ‘Get It On’

Back from my tropical mini-break

London was lovely and warm. I was able to go out in just a thin jacket last night and everything! It reminded me of when I lived in Southampton and didn’t wear coats for four years solid. Back in the nippy north now, which feels a bit more right for late November.

The Andy Taylor gig was amazing – I’ll write a bit more about that next week when I’ve had time to think about it!

Things will be fairly nonstop for the next few days (especially in terms of finishing my NaNo – eek), but I’m currently eyeing up a possible day off on Monday, which will give me a chance to get organised again.

Train plug socket
Not an OOTD: I’m always fascinated by this notice they have next to the plug sockets on trains. You just know that it’s there because someone was ACTUALLY stupid enough to plug in a toaster or hairdryer at some point.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Ball Of Confusion’
Andy Taylor – ‘Tremblin”
Ramz – ‘Barking’
‘Korobeiniki’ (the Tetris theme music)
Andy Taylor – ‘Love Or Liberation’
Zack Laurence – ‘Force Field (The Crystal Maze Main Theme)’
Barbra Streisand – ‘Woman In Love’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’