What day is it?

Ah, Monday, that’s right. As such, I did a recovery mile this morning…

…but because I didn’t do a long run at the weekend, I’m itching to do one in the next couple of days, and so I will probably move my running schedule around this week. I keep forgetting that I don’t currently have the other life commitments around which I originally scheduled my marathon training plan.

Anyway, I’ve not had any work come in yet for this week, so today I did my accounts instead (thrilling, I know). I’m just finishing off a few more admin jobs and then I will get a bit of work done on my text adventure game, which is coming along nicely.

Hoping that I’ll finally finish the Bravely Default II demo this evening as well! I got beaten by a tough sandworm monster yesterday, so I need to have another go with slightly better preparations.

Various bridges, 2011
I’m still not finding many interesting things to photograph within the four walls of my house, so here are a couple of bridge pictures taken a few weeks apart in 2011. Top is the Forth Road Bridge with the Forth Bridge (being repainted) in the background; bottom is the Golden Gate Bridge. Remarkably, it’s Edinburgh that has the bluer sky than San Francisco in these pictures.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Alvin & The Chipmunks – ‘We’re The Chipmunks’*
Duran Duran – ‘Femme Fatale’
Duran Duran – ‘First Impression’
Mesh – ‘Four Walls’

*Geth put on a four-hour YouTube playlist of ’80s cartoon theme songs yesterday. It has officially got to that point.


I finally got back down under 30 minutes at parkrun this morning…

…but everything feels very Bizarro World at the moment, and so I’ve not really been able to enjoy the achievement. It’s looking likely that today’s parkrun was the last in the UK for a while. The Edinburgh Marathon Festival announced their postponement this morning, meaning that neither Geth nor I will have a long race to run now until the autumn. The Social Run Group at the Up & Running shop is still going for now (though meeting outside the shop rather than inside), so that may be the only running-with-people that I do for the foreseeable future. I don’t know if I’ll go to tomorrow’s session, though, because it’s eight miles and I quite fancy a shorter Sunday run now that marathon training has been postponed! I’ll see how I feel in the morning.

Geth is now safely home with me – Heulwen drove him back to Newcastle this afternoon. He’s not a hundred percent yet, but I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep and a day or so recovering will sort him out. Medical investigations will be instigated as soon as we can.

Everything feels very strange at the moment, not just running. With the coronavirus we can’t be certain that any of the events we’ve got planned in the next few months will go ahead, and because the situation is changing by the day, nobody can really make plans for anything. Geth and I are planners by necessity, as we have so many hobbies and other things going on – we always have a pretty good idea what our entire year looks like at the start of January – and so having to play things by ear is a bit new and uncomfortable.

The whole thing is a good excuse to get lost in some videogames, I feel. Fictional worlds are a bit more familiar than the real one at the moment.

Venice, 2010
Another lifetime. Venice, ten years ago, when I was still heavy and unfit. I love Northern Italy and am sad that they’re struggling so much with the pandemic. Looking forward to going back one day when this has all blown over.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Will Powers – ‘Kissing With Confidence’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Tim Minchin – ‘Prejudice’

Peaceful surroundings

Another short run today…

…and then I spent most of the afternoon tidying up, as I’ve let the house get into a bit of a state recently. I mentioned last week that I’m trying to do one small house job every day in the hope that I might have it in a decent state by the end of the year. I’ve not been hugely successful so far – especially at the weekends when I’m tired after running – but I will persevere. I know how much better I’m going to feel when things are sorted out and look nice.

I’ve got a bit of day job work scheduled for later in the week, but I don’t know exactly when it’s going to come in, so I expect that tomorrow will be another chance to get some more admin done.

Honolulu June 2012
I’ve been dreaming about summer holidays again (we had a light flurry of snow today). I don’t usually like photos of myself in my heavier days but this one from Hawaii in June 2012 is soft-focus enough that I can deal with it! Strange to see my hair that long as well – I got fed up of it being scraggy and had it cut short a few years later. I’m desperate to go back to Hawaii at some point – it was such an amazing trip!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Justin Timberlake – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’
REO Speedwagon – ‘Keep On Loving You’
Timecop1983 – ‘Tokyo’
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Take That – ‘The Flood’

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’

End-of-decade shoes

I still have all the shoes I was wearing at the end of each decade so far in my life. Because I am that much of a hoarder.

On Hogmanay 1989, I was wearing my brand-new bumblebee slippers, which had been a Christmas gift from my Grandad MacLeod. They’re not exactly party shoes, but then I was only four (very nearly five). I was very excited about staying up for the bells for the first time though!

1989 bumblebee slippers
My bumblebee slippers, thirty years later.

On Hogmanay 1999, I wore a pair of silver Barratts sandals (super ’90s with minimal straps and a blade heel). I’d bought them specially for the millennium. It was the first year that I took in the bells with my friends instead of my family, drinking Bacardi Breezers and shots of tequila, which feels very grown-up when you’re fourteen (very nearly fifteen). It felt like the start of a really special phase of life, which in a way it was, but it was also the start of something that turned out to be quite dark and destructive. I suppose that’s teenage turning points for you.

Barratts sandals, 1999
My Barratts millennium sandals – a bit worse for wear twenty years later.

On Hogmanay 2009, I wore my Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons, which had just come out that year and were all the rage among shoe fans. They cost about half of what the Lady Dragon range costs today, but they were still a hugely extravagant expense for a broke recent graduate, and so I absolutely treasured them and looked after them very carefully. As a result, they’re still in good condition, unlike my very battered Barratts millennium shoes! At twenty-four (very nearly twenty-five) I felt a bit aimless, but didn’t really want my life to change – I took in the bells in the same pub where I’d been drinking since I was sixteen, and thought that I would be doing that forever.

Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons, 2009
My Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons – still much-loved favourites a decade on.

It’s Hogmanay 2019, and for tonight I have got some very special shoes that I’ve been saving for my one-year soberversary. My soberversary isn’t for another five days, but I thought it’d be okay to wear the shoes early seeing as it is the end of a decade and all. When I was younger and extremely broke, I adored beautiful designer shoes, and would have killed for a pair of Christian Louboutins, but I was never anywhere close to being able to afford them. In late 2018, I was able to buy a pair in a sale, and, knowing that I was about to quit drinking, decided to save them as a gift to my future self for when I’d managed a whole year sober. They are very definitely not outdoor shoes – I would only ever wear them in the house so as not to spoil the trademark red soles – but that’s okay, seeing as these days my preferred place to take in the bells is at my parents’ house, in the same room where I said goodbye to the ’80s thirty years ago. At thirty-four (very nearly thirty-five), it’s nice to come full circle.

Christian Louboutin 'Decoltish' shoes, 2019
My long-awaited Louboutins – quite possibly the most special shoes in my life so far 🙂

My very first New Year resolution for 2020 is actually a New Decade resolution – for the entirety of the decade, I will not be buying shoes (except for necessary purchases like running shoes), because I already have far more than any sane person could possibly need, and the ones I do have are well-made and timeless. I will make an exception in December 2029, when I will find myself another nice pair of end-of-decade shoes. In the meantime, I will just enjoy my existing collection!

Hogmanay 1989
Some pictures from Hogmanay 1989. Note the bumblebee slippers in the lower right corner, and me whirling around in my Superman cape!
Hogmanay 2019
Same room, same me. Not the same shoes. Or the same spider plant!
Four decades of Hogmanay shoes
Four decades of Hogmanay shoes!