Home again

I’m back in Newcastle after a few days in Inverness. Apart from some travel stress on Saturday due to missing a connection, Geth and I have had a really nice break, and it was good to spend some time in a city I hadn’t visited for a while.

The Highlands
It was also nice to watch the snowy Highlands whizz past during the train journey today!

Once we got home, I spent an hour or so this evening battling the complex and stressful online system for getting into the Blaydon Race. The website had a lot of problems due to the demand, but happily I’m in for the third year running!

It’s nice to be home, but I’ve got a busy few days ahead.

OOTD 12th March 2019
OOTD: just a selfie today as we got home late. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Ellend (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2019).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Jason Donovan – When You Come Back To Me
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Squeeze – Up The Junction
Lily Allen – LDN

Seasonal dissonance

Well, all the snow melted overnight and the temperature suddenly jumped from ‘depths of winter’ to ‘more like spring’, so after getting all my writing done for the day, I ventured out to go get my hearing aid admin done at the hospital. This, as I should have expected with hearing-related medical stuff, was not as straightforward as it should have been.

In short: I need new earmoulds for my aids as my existing ones are starting to crack, but the technician said that before they can take impressions for the new moulds, I need to go to the GP to get my ears syringed, and then go back to the hospital. I’ve got the feeling that this is going to turn into one of those medical sagas that takes up a lot of time.

Time to get on with some ukulele practice, then back to writing for the evening, with some nice BBC4 music documentaries in the background.

OOTD 4th February 2019
OOTD: all of this was covered in snow yesterday! Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), leggings Primark (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bananarama – Shy Boy
Haircut 100 – Love Plus One
Wilson Phillips – Hold On
Post Malone – Wow
Jax Jones and Years & Years – Play
Post Malone and Swae Lee – Sunflower
Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels

One last day in

There was still too much snow on the ground to go for a run this morning. I didn’t even fancy venturing out in it to go to the vintage fair that was on today, which tells you how much I am done with being out in the cold. Still, a lot of it has melted today, and Geth reckons it’ll be okay for his run tomorrow, so in the morning I will head out to get my hearing aid admin done at the hospital.

We did make the decision this weekend to buy a treadmill for when it’s too snowy for runs (or too wet, or too cold, or when I just feel like running in a nice warm living room with the TV on rather than going outside). As such, I’ll have no excuse for missing any more training runs after it arrives on Wednesday!

Today was another day in, then, and so I’ve spent the afternoon logging books for my collection on Goodreads and semi-watching the rugby from yesterday that Geth has had on TV. Wins for both Wales and Scotland this weekend, so it’s a happy house.

OOTD 3rd February 2019
OOTD: comfy dress for a Sunday in. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), dress unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), belt H&M (2017), boots Moda In Pelle (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Adam & The Ants – Prince Charming
Duran Duran – New Moon On Monday
Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels
The Communards – Don’t Leave Me This Way
Brian May – Too Much Love Will Kill You
Duran Duran – Ordinary World
David Bowie – Fashion
Alison Moyet – All Cried Out
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Happy House

Snow day!

It snowed overnight, which cemented my decision not to leave the house today (I need to go to the hospital for some hearing aid admin, but that can definitely wait till next week). Having looked at the weather forecast, Geth and I decided this morning that parkrun will also be a no-go for us tomorrow (and in fact it’s just been announced that Newcastle parkrun won’t even be on), which means two glorious days of hermit living in a row!

This meant I got lots of editing done today, as well as a good chunk of ukulele practice. Our latest song from class is a bit of a step up technique-wise, so I need to have a good few goes at it this week.

More quality time with my sofa tomorrow.

OOTD 1st February 2019
OOTD: just a selfie today ’cause I’m not going out in that snow! T-shirt Gildan for Infest (2015), mohair blanket unknown brand (gift from Dad 2002).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Haircut 100 – Love Plus One
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan – Especially For You
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Pinkfong – Baby Shark

Thursday patterns

It’s been an interesting Thursday! I got up early and went for another run. Thursday runs on my marathon programme get longer every week, but I’ve got into a good pattern of doing them first thing in the morning, so I’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn once I get into the really intense part of training in a couple of months’ time. Hopefully the daylight will be more on my side by then!

Afterwards, Geth came with me to Slimming World this morning so that he could join the group. We’ve been working out what would be best for him to eat on the plan, and it sort of feels like starting again for me because I’ve spent two years falling into particular habits in terms of what I eat. We’re having jacket tatties tonight, which I honestly don’t think I’ve had since long before I started Slimming World.

I had a quiet afternoon, which is becoming another Thursday habit, followed by Pilates class. I’d have preferred not to have to go out so much today – it snowed heavily this morning and then froze, so it’s really icy out there – but Pilates is really helping with the overworked muscles at the moment.

OOTD 17th January 2019
OOTD: my favourite jumper is becoming a Thursday habit too. It’s so cosy for when I’m out and about! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
Duran Duran – Union Of The Snake
Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time
Rick Astley – Together Forever
Cass Elliot – Make Your Own Kind Of Music
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Dusty Springfield – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Katy B and Ms Dynamite – Lights On
Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin – I Like It
Zara Larsson – Ruin My Life

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #24

Day 24, and we’ve arrived at 26th April 1993.

April 1993
This is the way the world looked in April 1993. Trees looked like trees, and I looked like a vision in pastels with an unfortunate bob. I did finally chuck out that headband when I had my clearout a couple of months ago.

While I didn’t have this particular Now! compilation, I did have rival compilation The Greatest Hits of 1993 (the first album I ever bought, on cassette, with my Christmas money), which had most of the same songs.  As such, I’m very familiar with a lot of these.  Let’s crack on!

Now! That's What I Call Music #24
Track 1: The Bluebells – Young at Heart

We’ve had this one already, on Now! #3!  I know it was back in the charts in 1993, but I’m still cross about the Now! compilers repeating songs.

Urgh.  I guess this is going to become an ongoing thing.  See the link above for my review.

Track 2: Take That – Could It Be Magic

Great upbeat pop cover of the Barry Manilow song.  Take That seem to have been doing a lot of covers at this point – I’m guessing it was before the mangement let Gary Barlow take over songwriting duties.  I do like this one, though, especially for Robbie Williams on lead vocals.

Track 3: Sub Sub and Melanie Williams – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)

A bit repetitive, but a good uptempo dance track.

Track 4: Snap – Exterminate!

Another great, atmospheric track from Snap.  I’ve always liked this one, even leaving aside the obvious Dalek connotations.

Track 5: Sister Sledge – We Are Family [Sure Is Pure Remix]

This was huge in my primary school playground at the time – you couldn’t escape it.  Great remix of the ’70s classic.

Track 6: Snow – Informer

I’ve always loved this one, especially the gibberish chorus.  Great, interesting song.

Track 7: Shabba Ranks and Chevelle Franklin – Mr Loverman

Annoying chorus alert!  It’s a good tune, but I don’t like those vocals.

Track 8: Shaggy – Oh Carolina

Nice cover of the Folkes Brothers classic – great tune – but it’s another one where the chorus annoys me.

Track 9: East 17 – Deep [Breath Mix]

Great instrumentals, especially that bassline – wonderful atmosphere.  I’ve always liked this one.

Track 10: Stereo MCs – Step It Up

Great head-nodder, fun theme.  Good stuff.

Track 11: Arrested Development – Tennessee

Repetitive, not much melody.  Not hugely keen on this one.

Track 12: Robin S – Show Me Love [Stonebridge Club Mix]

Classic track, great beat.

Fun fact: Jason Derulo sampled this on Don’t Wanna Go Home, and when I first heard it I literally went ‘who the ****’s sampled this?’ only to be immediately answered with that ‘JASON DERULO’ lyric he always used to do at the start of his songs.  A handy, if annoying feature.

Track 13: Lulu – Independence [Brothers In Rhythm Mix]

Fairly generic tune, but it’s a nice solid bit of pop.  Good sax solo too!

Track 14: West End and Sybil – The Love I Lost

Another annoying chorus, but I quite like the track otherwise.

Track 15: 2 Unlimited – No Limit

This was the classic singalong track on every school trip during 1993.  Imagine, if you will, a bus full of sixty-six eight-year-olds, all squeaking ‘NO NO, NO NO NO NO, NO NO NO NO, NO NO THERE’S NO LIMIT’ over and over and over and over for a good couple of hours.  Sometimes I’m amazed we never had a bus driver start screaming madly and drive us all off a high cliff.

Track 16: Cappella – U Got 2 Know

I absolutely love this classic dance track – brilliant tune.

Track 17: Sunscreem – Pressure Us

Another good upbeat dance number – like this one.

Track 18: Monie Love – Born 2 BREED

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Not at all keen on the theme of this song, but it’s quite a good upbeat tune.

Track 19: Hue & Cry – Labour Of Love

We already had this one on Now! #10, which I’m extra-especially cross about ’cause it’s my favourite Now! compilation!

Sigh.  See the link for my thoughts.

Track 20: Duran Duran – Ordinary World

They’re back for the ’90s, and I still love Duran Duran!  This is a gorgeous introspective one – beautiful track.

Track 21: Annie Lennox – Love Song For A Vampire

Lovely tune, great atmosphere.

Track 22: World Party – Is It Like Today?

Nice tune, like the instrumentals.  Good stuff.

Track 23: KD Lang – Constant Craving

I’m not a fan of KD Lang’s vocals, but I do like the tune.

Track 24: Tasmin Archer – In Your Care

Good atmosphere on this one, though it’s a little slow for me.

Track 25: PM Dawn – Looking Through Patient Eyes

Not keen on the tune, the sung vocals or the rap.  Not a fan.

Track 26: The Beloved – Sweet Harmony

Nice electro head-nodder – really like this one.  Lovely sax solo too.

Track 27: Dina Carroll – This Time

Fairly typical Dina Carroll ballad – too slow and generic for my liking.

Track 28: Simply Red – Lady Godiva’s Room

An improvement on the last couple of Simply Red tracks we’ve had – great tune – but still a bit slow for me.

Track 29: Genesis – Invisible Touch [Live]

We already had the original studio version on Now! #7.  Not sure why the live version was suddenly a thing.

See above for my review – the live version doesn’t add anything!

Track 30: Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way

Great classic rock track that I’m going to make today’s top ‘wedding disco’ track!  Brilliant stuff.

Track 31: Depeche Mode – I Feel You

Love this atmospheric track from Depeche Mode – great vocals, awesome tune.

Track 32: Peter Gabriel – Steam

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Good upbeat tune, happily nodding along here.

Track 33: Ugly Kid Joe – Cats In The Cradle

I always liked this cover of the Harry Chapin song and its whimsical lyrics, but I absolutely hate the fact that Ugly Kid Joe got rid of the apostrophe (the original title is Cat’s In the Cradle), as it makes the punctuation incorrect in the context of the song.

Track 34: Faith No More – Easy

Pointless ’90s cover of the Commodores classic.  Always a great song, but the cover doesn’t do anything new.

Track 35: Bryan Ferry – I Put A Spell On You

Nice chillout-ish cover of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic.  Really like this one.

Track 36: Ultravox – Vienna

Not sure what this 1981 classic was doing back in the charts, but I’m not complaining!  Wonderful, epic track.

Track 37: Paul McCartney – Hope Of Deliverance

Bit of a retro-tinged track, but it’s got a nice beat and a lovely tune.  Good one to end on.

Spring?

I did parkrun this morning, for the first time in a couple of months.  Between the move and the weather, I’ve just not been feeling like running at all since late January, so it was nice to get back to it.  Lovely day too, and it was perfect running conditions.

I’m hoping that we’ve seen the end of the bad winter weather now, though there are a lot of ominous rumours about a white Easter next weekend.  I sincerely hope it’s not, as Geth and I are visiting the in-laws and the last thing we need is Christmas-style travel disruption.

With the clocks going forward tonight, it would be nice if it could just be spring weather from now on.  Fingers crossed!