A tired Thursday

I’ve been doing really well with getting up early every day this week, and this morning it meant I was able to get a run in before I went to Slimming World. Because I’d slept badly last night, though, I didn’t have a hugely productive afternoon, mostly having a bit of a doze before I had to go to Pilates.

It’s not been a bad day, though – I lost 3lbs at Slimming World, which is a good start to getting rid of my Christmas gain. I’ve now got a nice quiet evening to myself as Geth is in London for work, so it’s just me and the Now! ’80s channel on TV.

OOTD 10th January 2019
OOTD: yup, still loving my favourite jumper – plus bonus Mel & Kim in the reflection behind me. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

James Arthur and Anne-Marie – Rewrite The Stars
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Mabel and Notes – Fine Line
Tom Walker – Leave A Light On
Jess Glynne – Thursday
Jools Holland – Enjoy Yourself
Jax Jones, Mabel and Rich The Kid – Ring Ring
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
George Michael and Aretha Franklin – I Knew You Were Waiting For Me
Duran Duran – Do You Believe In Shame?

Suddenly Christmas…sort of

Another 4,000 words on my NaNo novel, taking me up to 60,000!

Today’s music practice: back to the tin whistle and those last few slightly difficult tunes from Recorder From The Beginning.

I’ve had a couple of weeks where I’ve not really watched much TV ’cause I don’t like having the distraction while I’m writing.  Tonight I turned the TV back on – first because I wanted to watch a couple of BBC4 documentaries on iPlayer (one with Boy George talking about the 1970s, which is (a) pertinent to my novel and (b) excitement-building for the Culture Club gig I am going to see on Saturday, and one about vinyl singles, which was just glorious and nostalgic and featured lots of excellent talking heads), and secondly just to have some Now! ’80s on the go as background music for the rest of the evening.  A couple of alarming things that have apparently happened in the last couple of weeks:

  1. Vintage TV (channel 82) has disappeared from our channel list.  I need to look into this.  I’ve not been watching Vintage TV anywhere near as much as I used to since Now! ’80s appeared on the channel list, but I’d still like to have the option.
  2. Every advert is suddenly a Christmas advert.  I am not at all ready for Christmas yet (I’ve just been so busy and so have been unable to get in the mood) and so all the carols and turkey dinners are leaving me a bit cold (and also panicked, because ARGH you always have to do lots of stuff to prepare for Christmas).

Still getting a lot done, but still very behind on managing the actual to-do list at the moment.  Hoping to get that sorted tomorrow morning.

OOTD 15th November 2018
OOTD: a non-Pilates Thursday. Hoodie Internacionale (2000), vest top Primark (2016), skirt Gap (2007), tights Primark (2017), boots Primark (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Come Undone
Queen – Bicycle Race
Duran Duran – Rio
Duran Duran – Skin Trade
Leo Sayer – Moonlighting
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
Arcadia – Say The Word
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam

A should-be-regular Saturday

So parkrun this morning went something like:

  • Decided to run it really sedately so as not to do myself any injuries before the Great North Run next week
  • Realised about thirty seconds before the start that I hadn’t adjusted my watch’s display metrics after it crashed last week so the main display would still be stuck on current pace rather than distance so far
  • About 1km in, got fed up of running with jeffers (run/walkers), sped up a bit to escape them, and glanced at my watch to see my current pace was 5.47 mins per km
  • About 2km in, again looked at my watch and saw my current pace was 5.53 mins per km
  • Thought ‘I CAN DO THIS’ (i.e. hit elusive goal of sub-30)
  • Bombed it as hard as I could the rest of the run
  • Didn’t get sub-30, but was only one second slower than my previous PB (30:39 to the 30:38 of four weeks ago)

So I’m fairly happy with that, overall.  All my issues with runner’s knee seem to have disappeared for the moment, so hopefully I’ll be okay for the GNR next week.

Also, I’ve set my watch up properly now.  Pace giving me daft ideas is fine at parkrun, but not a good idea in a half marathon.

The rest of the day has been spent making lists, doing odd bits of housework/admin, watching the Now! ’80s channel and otherwise not really knowing what to do with myself.  I’ve got a big list of stuff to start doing tomorrow, though.

I also made a really delicious new meal.  I’ll make it again soon so that I can share the recipe.

OOTD 1st September 2018
OOTD: post-parkrun comfort. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Logo (2007), t-shirt H&M (2018), belt H&M (2017), leggings Primark (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist (fairly short today ’cause I replaced it with actual music as soon as I was out of the shower after parkrun):

The Human League – (Keep Feeling) Fascination
Yazz – The Only Way Is Up
Bucks Fizz – My Camera Never Lies
George Ezra – Shotgun
Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer

A productive Tuesday

A proper full day back working today, and it was super productive and very interesting.  Maybe I should go to four-day festivals more often!

Or possibly it was due to the ongoing soundtracks of Geth’s videogaming.  He’s finally finished Final Fantasy XIII-2 and has now moved onto Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Even though there’s a lot of good story in most videogames, I actually find them less distracting than having the Now! ’80s channel on TV, probably because I end up watching half the videos and/or singing along to the songs.

Same again tomorrow, hopefully!  If I’m really productive work-wise I may even have time for some writing in the evening as well.

OOTD 28th August 2018
OOTD: it’s cold enough for the first jumper of the nearly-autumn! Plus we’re back to the daily reflection of Geth in the patio doors. Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), jeans Vivid (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spice Girls – Too Much
George Harrison – When We Was Fab
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]
Joy Division – She’s Lost Control
Robbie Williams – Let Love Be Your Energy
New Order – Temptation
David Bowie – Life On Mars
Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

A different beat

Back to work today!  Another full day to get on with things before a hectic weekend.

Again, I did a pre-weigh-in SP day today – I’m at a wedding this weekend where there will obviously be a lot of eating and drinking, followed by a midweek visit from some of the in-laws, so I’m hoping to lose a couple of pounds as a buffer.  There’s been a bit more alcohol this week than there should have been, so we’ll see!  Fingers crossed.

(My first couple of months at target, incidentally, have really proven to me what I already knew: the summer is definitely the hardest time of year for me to stay on plan.)

Geth’s been away this afternoon and evening, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to listen to music that’s not Lisa and Kieran’s wedding playlist, courtesy of the Now! ’80s channel!

OOTD 8th August 2018
OOTD: that is my slightly grumpy ‘it’s still stupidly hot, where is this cooling down that everyone’s talking about?’ face. Dress unknown brand (thrifted from Steff in 2016).

TV Review: Now! That’s What I Call The ’80s music channel

So, on Saturday while Geth was away in Lancashire, I did my weekly setting of TV recordings.  I do this every week because, other than music channels, I never watch TV live – Geth and I are both just too busy to commit to (and remember) the timeslot when things we might want to watch are on, and even if we did remember, it would inevitably be the case that when the timeslot actually arrived, one of us would be NOT AT ALL in the mood for watching that particular show, and would want to do something else.  Probably me.

This is one of the few areas in life where I am not a 20th century throwback, although, to be fair, it was definitely easier to remember TV timeslots when there were only four channels and no internet to distract you.

As such, I do a weekly setting of recordings, which looks something like this:

    1. Scan this week’s issue of the Radio Times for running TV (road races, triathlons and athletics) among the sports coverage.
    2. Use the digibox to set recordings for all of the above (unless it’s something that I know is going to be available on BBC iPlayer for a good month and the box is running out of space).
    3. Use the digibox guide to go through the entire schedule for BBC Four for the week.  BBC Four shows a lot of compilations of music performances by 20th century musicians, documentaries about 20th century musicians, and old episodes of Top of the Pops.
    4. Set recordings for all of the above.
    5. Worry about the box getting full and make a concerted resolution to catch up with lots of TV this week.
    6. Realise that what will actually happen is that, five nights out of seven, Geth will want to watch YouTube channels about boardgames and Star Wars on the XBOX 360, and I will want to read random blogs online.
    7. Go through the digibox history and try and find some old stuff to delete in order to make room.
    8. Delete some old athletics from a year ago, and some Christmas films we recorded a year and a half ago.
    9. Make mental note to add the Christmas films to my Amazon wishlist.  (Spoiler: this will not happen.)
    10. Use the digibox guide to go through the entire schedule for Vintage TV for the week.  Vintage TV shows a lot of interestingly-themed playlists of 20th century music, modern-day concerts by musicians who were big in the 20th century, My Vintage shows with musicians talking about their favourite songs, and My Mixtape shows with non-musician celebrities talking about their favourite songs.
    11. Set recordings for anything that looks interesting.  Resist setting recordings for every single ’80s playlist.  (I did actually use to record these, and it meant we NEVER had any space on the box and I was spending my whole life with Vintage TV recordings on in the background.)

So yeah.  That’s what I was doing on Saturday night.  Before I did that, though, I had to scroll through the guide in order to change the channel from Radio 4 to Vintage TV.  Geth listens to Radio 4 every morning to catch the news headlines (he used to watch the BBC News channel before they started doing that godawful Victoria Derbyshire programme in the mornings), and so he always leaves the digibox on the Radio 4 channel.  I, on the other hand, can’t stand listening to the news in the current awful climate in which we live, so while I’m doing my setting of recordings I like to have Vintage TV on in the background.

As I scrolled between Radio 4 (channel 704) and Vintage TV (channel 82), my eye was caught by what appeared to be a brand new channel on channel 88.

A brand new music channel.

A brand new music channel, dedicated to the ’80s.

A brand new music channel, dedicated to the ’80s, run by the people behind the Now! That’s What I Call Music compilations.

Welcome to Now! That’s What I Call ’80s, a music channel that they kindly invented just for me.

Well, that’s not quite true.  According to Wikipedia, this channel has actually been running since 2013 as Now! That’s What I Call Music (they changed it to a dedicated ’80s channel in 2016, and added a ’90s version in 2017), but it’s never been part of the BT/Freeview channel lineup until now, so I’ve never come across it.

Obviously, I’ve spent the last few days with it constantly on in the background.

It’s been nice to have another retro music channel to enjoy.  Vintage TV is great, but it only has so many videos available, so it gets a bit samey after a while.  Now! That’s What I Call ’80s plays lots of videos that I’ve never seen on Vintage TV, and the kind of playlists it does are the kind of thing I’ve always dreamt of seeing on a music channel – Official UK Top 40 of the ’80s, for example, which is heaven for a chart geek like me.  Most of the shows are narrated by Radio 1 DJs from the ’80s and ’90s – Mark Goodier, Simon Bates, Bruno Brookes – and there was one presented by a couple of the actors from Grange Hill, which is the kind of modern-music-channel fun nonsense that I miss on the more grown-up Vintage TV.

In short, I love it, and I’m so glad to have an extra music channel to watch.

I’ve got a feeling that an extra stage has also been added to my weekly setting of recordings.  Similarly to Vintage TV, the trick will be restraining myself from recording EVERYTHING.