Building stuff

Just a mile today…

…because I woke up late again. I need to set an alarm tomorrow as I’m falling behind with stuff a bit this week.

After my run, I spent pretty much the rest of the day building garden furniture. Geth ordered a set the other day and it arrived yesterday, so I put it all together this afternoon as we have guests (!) coming for lunch on Friday. It’s still meant to be very warm and dry by then, if a bit cloudy, so it’ll be nice to sit out in the fresh air.

No videogaming tonight as I have too much admin to catch up with. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit easier time-wise… if I don’t sleep through that alarm.

Garden furniture
I really like this garden set. We also got a plastic cover for protecting it from the elements overnight (although next door’s cat has already sprayed on it… he really doesn’t like new-smelling furniture). Hopefully we’ll have a few more weeks of summer weather to enjoy sitting out.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Rio’
Ashford & Simpson – ‘Solid’

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’

The unreal world

Yet another mile today…

…and I’m starting to feel bad about not getting out for longer runs, but at least I am still getting out. I’ll definitely do three miles on Friday if not before.

I also went for a fairly long walk today so that I could visit one of the bigger supermarkets near us and pick up some supplies for Geth’s birthday on Thursday. Passing through parks and the like, with people milling around and not always keeping their social distance, feels more and more unreal and uncomfortable these days; I’m not sure how being within two metres of anyone is ever going to start feeling ‘normal’ again.

Other than that, I’ve been getting on with admin and a bit of day job work – will be returning to my game creation stuff this evening.

Trees in summer
Summer always smells nice, even on a cold and grey day. This woodland near us makes for a good pretend jungle.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroyuki Sawano and Gemie – ‘Ashes Suite’
Taylor Swift – ‘You Need To Calm Down’

Suddenly summer

Back to the intervals today…

…because Geth wants to start doing intervals, so he came running with me this morning to observe how they work. I only did half the number of sets I was doing a few weeks ago though!

It’s not been a great day. I had an absolutely terrible night’s sleep last night – partly due to the muggy heat and partly due to ongoing stress – and then we had some bad news this afternoon. I had hoped to get some work done on my next adventure game today, but there have just been too many distractions. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to lose myself in it a bit.

On the plus side, we did go for a walk in the glorious warm sunshine, largely because we needed to get out of the house. Spring has felt a bit sudden this year due to the lockdown; the world has been on hold, but obviously the seasons haven’t. I’m looking forward to doing a lot of walking over the summer, even if we can’t do much else.

Ukulele collection
My ukulele family has expanded this week, thanks to a generous gift from Dad! Looking forward to having a good strum over the weekend.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Daniel Bedingfield – ‘If You’re Not The One’

Sunday afternoons hibernating

A speedier-than-expected long run this morning…

…and since then I’ve just been dozing and browsing on the sofa. Love Sundays! I’ve got lots to do tomorrow so I’m glad to be able to have a break today.

France, July 1995
Yup, it’s another summer holiday flashback, this time to France in July 1995. While winter can be beautiful in its own way, I’m looking forward to seeing some colour in the world again.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Crystalline’
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Jason’
Scandroid – ‘Aphelion’
Traditional – ‘The Blaydon Races’
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Lindisfarne – ‘Fog On The Tyne’

Adventure planning

Maybe it’s just what everyone does in the depths of January, but I find myself dreaming of hot climes and holidays at the moment. It’d be nice to run along sunny coastlines and through leafy forests instead of around the cold wet Newcastle suburbs like I did this morning! I’ll just have to be patient for a few months.

I’ve got all my work done for today, but it’s going to be another busy week next week. Looking forward to my weekend of running and hopefully some slightly drier weather.

Sandals resort, Bahamas
Not an OOTD: a flashback to January 2013, on honeymoon in the Bahamas. I was four and a half stone heavier then and so unfit that I couldn’t even swim halfway across the pool without my lungs burning. I would absolutely love to be back there right now in my fitter, healthier state!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rei Kondoh – ‘Storm Clouds’
Lightwood Games – ‘Link-A-Pix Theme’
Patrice Rushen – ‘Forget Me Nots’ (or rather the ‘black bin bags’ parody from Phoenix Nights)
Jason Paige – ‘Pokémon Theme (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)’
Lady Gaga – ‘Always Remember Us This Way’

Bouncing ahead

I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but today is the day I always start to get excited about autumn, my favourite season of the year.

It’s the first of August – just a month away from meteorological autumn – and while I know most people are still enjoying the summer (I’m not sure how, given that after last week’s brief heatwave the weather has since returned to a constant cool, grey dampness that means Geth can’t mow the lawn), I’m already dreaming of darker evenings and Hallowe’en chocolate and getting my ’80s jumper collection out again.

The BBC are starting to announce the first few Strictly contestants, and I’m stepping up my training for the Great North Run, and I’m already busy planning out my writing for all the fiction and poetry competitions I’m going to be entering from September to November. I’ve got a lot of gigs lined up for that period as well – it’s going to be a really great autumn this year!

In the meantime, I’ve got one last summer trip away to enjoy this month. It is Shetland, though, so I’m not hopeful for the weather (last time I was there, it rained the whole time).

A nice normal Thursday today now that we’ve got the internet back – Geth and I went to the earlier Slimming World group today so that we could be in when the new router arrived, and we’ve got boardgaming guests coming round this evening for more adventures in the Lord of the Rings universe.

OOTD 1st August 2019
OOTD: weigh-in top with added cosy hoodie due to the cooler weather. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Gildan for Resistanz (2016), vest top Primark (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Haim Saban and Shuki Levy – The Mysterious Cities Of Gold Main Theme
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
A-ha – Take On Me
Andy Taylor – Broken Window
Lizzo – Truth Hurts
Gunship – Dark All Day

A more traditional summer day

I was out most of today watching bands play in a large outdoor space, which is the number one thing I used to associate with summer. I’ve deliberately not done much of it this year because it’s also the number one thing I used to associate with drinking. However, today went really well. I did occasionally feel uncomfortable due to drunk people in my vicinity, but on the whole it was a really nice day out and a good gig – and I will actually remember the whole thing! Review to come later this week.

Internet is still being problematic, but it looks like we will have our new router either tomorrow or Tuesday, so fingers crossed the remaining disruption will be minimal.

OOTD 28th July 2019
OOTD: gotta wear a Duran shirt for an ’80s-related gig! (Unless it’s Spandau Ballet of course.) Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), t-shirt Amplified (2018), jeans H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Katy Perry – Never Really Over
Duran Duran – Burning The Ground
Janet Jackson – Whoops Now
Bobby Brown – Two Can Play That Game
Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Nick Heyward – Take That Situation

A muggy Friday

Yesterday did not end as well as it began. The UK railway chaos caused by the heat meant that Geth and I were unable to get from Newcastle to Durham for our race, so I had to DNS a race I’d entered for the first time since 2016 (when I couldn’t take up my place at the EMF 10k due to my brother getting married in Toronto the same weekend). Really annoyed about the whole thing! Next time I have to go anywhere during a heatwave I’ll be taking the car – the trains are just too unreliable.

I then had a bad night’s sleep due to the heat, so I’ve not really felt on top form today and haven’t got as much writing done as I would have liked. It’s been a long, muggy day – there was a heavy rain storm earlier this evening that’s made the air a little cooler, but it still feels pretty uncomfortable.

I may or may not be at parkrun tomorrow depending on the weather, but I will be in town either way as I’ve got a hospital appointment that I only found out about today.

OOTD 26th July 2019
OOTD: this outfit was highly appropriate when I put it on this morning, before the rain made it all grey and overcast! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), dress Paradise (2013), shoes BHS (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One
Arcadia – Say The Word
Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture ShowTime Warp
Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
George Ezra – Paradise

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Haim Saban and Shuki Levy – The Mysterious Cities Of Gold Main Theme

The hottest day of the year…I hope

Geth woke me with great excitement this morning because he’s had a paper accepted (it’s been a few years due to various things getting in the way of his research), and I was still on a high from giving a well-received performance at poetry night yesterday evening, so it was a good start to the day. Well, it was until I read all the newspaper headlines screaming ‘ARE YOU READY FOR THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR?’. Firstly, no I’m not, because I have to run 10k this evening and cooler temperatures would be preferable (the forecast is now saying thunderstorms – this could be interesting) and secondly, you don’t actually know that it’s the hottest day of the year until the year comes to an end, newspaper people.

Other than the uncomfortable heat, though, our good vibes have continued as Geth and I both had losses at Slimming World. Just hoping that the weather won’t make tonight’s race too miserable!

OOTD 25th July 2019
OOTD: shadows are not on my side when it’s this sunny. Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), vest top Primark (2018), skirt unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair (2017), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Gunship – When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies
Duran Duran – All She Wants Is
George Michael – Careless Whisper
Cole Porter – Too Darn Hot
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – Despacito
Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days