The weekend approaches

A very warm mile today…

…and then I spent most of the day doing day job work again. I’ve broken the back of it now and am hoping to finish early tomorrow so I can get back to my game creation!

Geth and I are semi-celebrating tonight, because his academic project bid is very nearly ready to send off (he just needs one last letter from a collaborating party). As we also both did well with our weight loss this week, we are treating ourselves to takeaway pizza as a bit of an early weekend treat. Waiting on it now and getting a bit impatient 😀

Another hopefully early start tomorrow before the storms arrive, and then I can settle in for the weekend…

Blue summer sky
The weather has been beautiful the last couple of days, but sadly I’ve been too busy to spend much time outside!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carter USM – ‘And God Created Brixton’
Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’
Carter USM – ‘Glam Rock Cops’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

2019 Pizzas #22: Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight

Geth and I have been eating far more oven pizzas than we should during this lockdown. They’re just… easy, on days when I don’t have the mental energy to do some proper cooking. I am trying really hard to do enough running to burn them off again!

One of our go-to pizzas at the moment is the Classic Crust Veggie Delight from Sainsbury’s, which is really substantial. Our local Sainsbury’s started stocking them last autumn, which is when I first tried this one.

Sainsbury's Classic Crust Veggie Delight
Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight.

The toppings are really nice and fresh-tasting. They do, however, have a tendency to fall to one side of the pizza when in the packaging, so the best thing is to give it a bit of a shake before you take the shrink off! I also put occasional extra olives on, although this tends to contribute to the ‘overloaded toppings’ issue you often get with Sainsbury’s pizzas.

The base is deep and fluffy and filling, so you’re certainly not going to feel hungry again any time soon. A great teatime pizza… especially if you’ve got time the next morning to go for a long run and make use of those carbs!

2019 Pizzas #21: Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza

That is a long, fancy name for a pizza. Does it deserve it? Well…

Sainsbury's Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza
Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza.

First of all, I have to say that the pesto on this pizza is really nice. I’m a bit of a pesto addict when it comes to pasta, but I’m slightly wary of it on pizza because it can sometimes make the overall taste a bit rich. Not so here – it really complements the flavours.

The Mediterranean vegetables, however, can be a bit overpowering. This is partly because the pizza suffers from a common ‘Sainsbury’s pizza’ problem of the toppings being a bit overloaded and hence acting as a giant salad on top of your pizza. However, the whole thing is still pretty tasty, and I’ve had it regularly since I first tried it last autumn.

Bank holiday time!

Another quick (well, slow) mile this morning…

…because I had a lot of things to get done today so that I would be able to relax properly over the bank holiday weekend! I finished my editing, and also got a piece of writing finished for a competition (the submission deadline was today, so I was cutting it a bit fine – I wish I’d had more time to work on it, but this week ended up being a bit mental!).

Geth and I have celebrated the arrival of the bank holiday with pizza (weigh-in went fine this morning, so we’re allowed) and special drinks (beer for him, alcohol-free fizzy for me). It feels strange having a bank holiday on a Friday when it’s not Easter – I think the last time was the Royal Wedding in 2011! The fact that it’s the 75th anniversary of VE Day feels a bit odd too, as I remember the 50th anniversary in 1995 and the WWII school project we were doing at the time. Difficult to believe that a whole third of the total time since the war itself has gone by since then.

It’s meant to be lovely weather tomorrow (it certainly was today), but other than helping Geth with the gravel in the garden, I think I will probably be inside with my videogames as usual!

A bottle of alcohol-free fizzy to celebrate the bank holiday! Excuse the blurry photo – my phone camera was more interested in the Xbox next-gen showcase on TV for some reason (no idea why, it was dreadful!).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘A Crystal’s Sparkle’
Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz – ‘Number 1’

2019 Pizzas #20: Co-op Stonebaked Thin & Crispy Margherita Pizza

I am so behind with my 2019 pizza logging. I’ve got a 2020 series (for a different foodstuff) planned as well, but that will have to wait for a while, as I’ve still got a few stragglers from last year to record.

Co-op pizza
Co-op Stonebaked Thin & Crispy Margherita Pizza.

I had this pizza at a buffet lunch in August last year. It had a really nice sauce and a good crispy texture – very pleasant.

I’m not usually a Co-op shopper but I’d be happy to have this one again!

Keep on running

I hit 100 days on my ‘run every day’ streak today!

Despite the awful world situation that has transpired over the last few months, I’ve felt happier and more stable in my own life than I have in a long time. Getting out for a run every day really lifts my mood, and I plan to continue my streak indefinitely.

I’ve spent most of today finishing off day job work ahead of the Easter weekend, and making a multicoloured wall chart to keep track of all of our cancelled and postponed events. I’m looking forward to getting a bit more work done on my text adventure projects this evening.

Geth and I are also starting the long weekend off with a Maundy Thursday takeaway. In my drinking days it used to be a Maundy Thursday pint, and last year it was a Maundy Thursday synthwave night, but I’m very happy for the tradition to move to Domino’s Pizza this year. However, with the exception of my Easter egg, I’ll be eating healthily the rest of the week – I’m finding my weight loss has stalled a little since my marathon training came to a screeching halt, so I need to keep more of an eye on it.

Hope everyone has as good an Easter weekend as can be expected given the circumstances!

Celebratory cake
If there’s one thing parkrun has taught me, it’s that you celebrate running milestones with cake.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu – ‘Hymn Of The Fayth’
Takeru Kanazaki – ‘Life at Garreg Mach Monastery’
Bill Withers – ‘Lean On Me’

Winning in a happy non-competitive way!

So I followed up my first sub-31 parkrun since 2018 with… my first Slimmer of the Week award since 2018! Two and a half pounds off this morning. Just a few more weeks of consistent effort and hopefully I will be back in my target range!

On a less happy note I’m sad to see our latest temporary Slimming World consultant, Julie, moving on. Our group has had six different consultants in the last year for various reasons, and it sounds like our seventh will only be temporary as well. Fingers crossed we get our ‘forever consultant’ soon – the ladies have all been lovely, but it’s much easier when you have someone who’s followed your journey for a long time.

I was planning to get out for a walk this afternoon to make up for the pizza that Geth and I had tonight to celebrate the end of his marking, but I was a bit tired after this morning’s run so will be getting in some extra exercise over the next few days instead. I’ve got lots of work to get on with anyway.

Tomorrow is quite busy, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend!

Slimming World fridge magnet
Not an OOTD: also, our group gets fridge magnets for being Slimmer of the Week nowadays! When Katie (our original consultant) was running the group, you only got them for Slimmer of the Month.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ed Sheeran and Khalid – ‘Beautiful People’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’

Turn of the decade

Today is the day that we say goodbye to the 2010s and look forward to the 2020s. What will it bring? Hopefully the music will be better (I’ll be doing a whole post about that in a few days’ time).

As such, it was wholly appropriate (I feel anyway) that I spent the day playing with tech from a totally different decade. Dad tested the old five-and-a-half-inch floppies in the drive for the BBC Micro, and they worked! I’ve now identified all the old games on the disk, which was a real blast from the past. There are games on there that I haven’t even thought about for thirty years.

I’m having a quiet evening in with the family for my first sober Hogmanay, and it feels great. I’m looking forward to welcoming in 2020 with alcohol-free fizzy wine and Dad’s traditional Hogmanay pizza, and I’m also very excited about doing my first ever New Year’s Day double parkrun tomorrow morning.

Target Practice, BBC Micro, 1983
Not an OOTD: Target Practice, a Micro game from 1983. I couldn’t quite work out the controls for this one but it looks nice!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tomohito Nishiura – ‘Searching For Clues’
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Blur – ‘End Of A Century’
Travis – ‘The Last Laugh Of The Laughter’

In town for the day

Geth and I have been out and about all day. We headed to Slimming World weigh-in first of all to assess the damage from the last few weeks (mine wasn’t as bad as I’d expected – still need to be careful during Christmas though).

Next up was some last-minute Christmas shopping in town. I think that really is the Christmas shopping finished now! I certainly don’t want to have to go back into the centre of town again – it was far too busy for comfort today.

After that, we went to see the new Star Wars film, The Rise Of Skywalker. I really, really enjoyed it (despite a few annoying plot points) and will be posting a proper review in the next few days. We then headed to Pizza Hut for a debrief!

Back home now. I’m having my hair done tomorrow, but otherwise I’ll be staying inside in the warmth.

Star Wars 2020 calendar
Not an OOTD: Geth found this fantastic Star Wars calendar for next year!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bing Crosby – ‘Silver Bells’
Elton John – ‘Step Into Christmas’
Chris Rea – ‘Driving Home For Christmas’
Tony Deans – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
The Cardigans – ‘Lovefool’
Carl Doy – ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

The White Stripes – ‘Seven Nation Army’

2019 Pizzas #19: The Marina Pizza Crunch

I’ve been neglecting my pizza logging for a few months, so I’d better get them all finished before the end of the year!

The best thing you get in a Scottish chippy (it has been an absolute favourite of mine since childhood) is deep-fried battered pizza. It’s basically a cheap pizza (REALLY cheap and nasty – there was one chippy that actually put one in the oven for me late at night because they’d switched off the deep-fat fryer, and when cooked in a regular way it was the most disgusting pizza I’d ever had!), covered in batter and then placed in the fryer. In Edinburgh, we smother it in chippy sauce, a sort of vinegar and brown sauce mix that tastes like manna from heaven. Make it a supper by serving with chips, and you’ve got yourself the greatest meal of all time.

Anyway, deep-fried battered pizza is also sometimes called a ‘pizza crunch’, and that’s how it was listed on the menu at the Marina in Arbroath when we stopped there for lunch on the way up to Shetland in August.

Pizza crunch
Un-chippy sauce drizzled example.

The Marina didn’t have any chippy sauce (sacrilege! we must have been too far north), but the pizza itself was perfectly good deep-fried pizza.

I suspect this won’t be the last pizza crunch of 2019 – keep your eyes open over Christmas!