Absorbing hours

Just a mile again today…

…for the same reason as yesterday, but also because I wanted to get going with my game creation stuff. I’m still working on my graphics and they’re taking aaaaages ’cause I want to get them right! It’s a really relaxing thing to do though.

Same again tomorrow, with a bit of added housework (boring, but needs to be done).

More flowers from the back garden!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land – ‘Edward van Helgen’
Duran Duran – ‘What Happens Tomorrow’
Michael Land – ‘Monkey Island Main Theme’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’

A slow day

Back to my mile route today…

…and my legs were pretty thankful for a short recovery run after the last few days!

I’ve been finding it really difficult to concentrate today. I slept very badly last night because I can’t stop worrying about everything that’s going on, and there are various COVID-related stresses that are really starting to get to me. I find myself kind of wishing the next two months away, simply because (I would hope) there will be a bit more certainty by then in terms of some of the things I’m concerned about.

In the meantime, I’ve just been trying to get on with my routine as best I can. I’ve planned out my next competition writing project, which I’ll be working on over the next few weeks, and I’m trying to keep on top of my admin and housework (not always successfully, but it’s nice when it happens).

Videogames have been my absolute salvation in all of this. They’re the only thing that allows me to relax properly at the moment – I drift off in my own thoughts if I’m just passively watching a film or TV show, and even sometimes when I’m reading. Writing, meanwhile, though it’s my passion, is tiring and requires brainspace, so I try and keep it for the ‘work’ hours of the day. Videogaming is just brain-engaging enough that I can lose myself in it without feeling like it’s tiring me out – it strikes the perfect balance.

I’m hoping to feel better tomorrow. The exercise restrictions are being lifted slightly, so though I’m still being cautious about going outside, I have an afternoon walk planned in addition to my morning run. It’ll be nice to get a bit of extra fresh air.

Now that it’s May, the blossom has disappeared from our front garden trees along with all the others. As such, it was a good time to have them professionally trimmed back! Our tree worker came and did them today, and they look a lot tidier now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Bucks Fizz – ‘Making Your Mind Up’

Tired legs, busy brain

Five miles run this morning…

…which was the third day in a row that I’d run considerably further than I have been doing for the last couple of weeks. I did my three-mile not-a-parkrun on Saturday, then eight miles yesterday – I had hoped to do ten or even twelve but didn’t want to push too hard after a few weeks of lower mileage. As such, I finished off my planned route from yesterday with a longer-than-usual recovery run today. It turned out that the route as a whole is thirteen miles, rather than the twelve that Mapometer calculated, so it would have been a bit of a big ask yesterday given that I haven’t run that distance since the Inverness half two months ago!

I got up early to do my run this morning as I had a few things to do today. The rest of the week is looking fairly quiet, though, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some stuff done around the house.

I’m also hopeful that I might finish my playthrough of Bravely Default this week. Lockdown, if nothing else, has been fantastic for working through my videogame backlog.

A weekend of running
Some run pictures from the weekend. Friday and Saturday were both gloriously warm so I wore shorts and vests for the first time this year! Yesterday was a different story. I took a picture of a cow on the Town Moor instead.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Civil War Country’
The Midnight – ‘We Move Forward’
Carter USM – ‘After The Watershed (Early Learning The Hard Way)’
Timecop1983 – ‘Tokyo’

A different kind of excursion!

One last quick mile for this busy week today…

…because, for weeks and weeks now, in accordance with government guidelines, Geth and I have only left the house to go running (daily exercise) or walk/run to the supermarket/pharmacy/bank (picking up household necessities and/or daily exercise). As such, we’ve never been more than two or three miles away from home, and all of our excursions have been on foot.

Not today, though, oh no. Today we were able to drive to B&Q. It was SO EXCITING!

B&Q shut all their branches at the start of lockdown, but have gradually reopened about 200 branches over the last couple of weeks. Like most households, I expect, we have found that spending all our time in the house has meant that we’ve noticed a lot of things that need doing around the house and garden, and so hardware and the like has started to fall under the banner of ‘necessities’. Furthermore, I’d not driven the car since we returned from our Inverness trip on the 11th of March, and I know cars shouldn’t be left to sit idle for too long. As such, we felt that a B&Q trip was wholly justified. I originally intended to go last Sunday, but we decided against it when we realised that everyone else in Newcastle would probably have had the same idea. It turned out to be a good thing we waited, as by the time we were ready to go this morning, our preferred (i.e. easier to get to) branch had also reopened.

It was really nice to get out for a short drive. I always sort of worry that I will forget how to do it if I don’t get in the car for a couple of months! The queue outside B&Q wasn’t too bad – around about a twenty-minute wait, which is fairly standard for big shops at the moment – and we probably added about three or four items to our shopping list while we were waiting, as Geth was people-watching to see what other shoppers were buying.

B&Q haul in full:

  • Four bags of gravel for the garden (the original thing I’d planned to go for). The gravel we put down last year has moved around over the winter and exposed some of the webbing underneath, so we need to make the gravel layer a bit thicker.
  • A new hard broom for sweeping up in the garden. The house did come with one, but it’s very threadbare!
  • An aerial cable for the TV, as we’ve been rejigging our setup and need a longer one.
  • A new interior door handle to replace the one that infuriatingly and irreversibly loosened itself the other day.
  • A couple of small bayonet incandescent lightbulbs for my globe lamp. I already had some LED ones ordered from Amazon, but due to the current situation they’re not scheduled to arrive for another couple of weeks, and I’m getting fed up of that lamp not being on, so these will do nicely in the meantime.
  • A pot of paint for repainting the downstairs bathroom, which is going to be a summer project. It’s the smallest room in the house, so it’s a good place to start with the repainting (one day, I will no longer have any magnolia walls. One day).
  • Some Polyfilla for a bit of uneven wall in said bathroom. I already had some from years ago, but it’s probably turned to stone by now.
  • A roll of masking tape to help with my abovementioned painting adventures.

It was a fairly straightforward trip (and something I wouldn’t have thought twice about pre-lockdown), but it felt like such a novelty! I really hope it won’t be another seven weeks before I get to drive somewhere again. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ve spent the rest of the day getting on with a few housework and admin tasks, and am now looking forward to the weekend. Longer runs and even longer videogame sessions await 🙂 I’ll be putting up a couple of review posts over the next couple of days, and will be back to tell you all about my weekend on Monday.

B&Q haul
(Part of) today’s B&Q haul. I’m looking forward to getting on with all these house projects!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Radiant Flowers’
And One – ‘So Klingt Liebe’
Thought Beings – ‘Echelon’
Rebecca Black – ‘Friday’
The Lancashire Hotpots – ‘The Firewall Song’
Bee Gees – ‘First Of May’

Midway through a busy week

Yet another mile this morning…

…because between writing, editing, admin and housework commitments, the to-do list has been pretty long this week, and so today has been as busy as the last two. I feel as though I’m getting a lot done though, which is great, and I’m still managing to make time for a bit of videogaming at the end of the day.

Today’s minor irritation was an interior door handle that has suddenly become loose and refuses to tighten up again. One more thing to look for when we brave the social distancing queues at B&Q later in the week!

Tomorrow is a ‘less admin, more writing’ day, which I’m looking forward to.

Cat on wheelie bins
This week’s ‘next door’s cat’ photo. Our wheelie bins provide a good vantage point.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – ‘Morning Has Broken’
Duran Duran – ‘Ball Of Confusion’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Roxette – ‘Dangerous’
Roy Zimmerman & The ReZisters and Sandy Riccardi – ‘The Liar Tweets Tonight’
Paula Abdul – ‘Straight Up’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Stan Bush – ‘The Touch’

Cleaner, cosier, comfier

Just a mile for this morning’s run…

…as I had various other things to do. Looking forward to some longer runs later in the week.

It was a bit of an odd weekend as I was trying to keep myself from feeling too down about the fact that if not for the coronavirus situation, I would have been in London running the marathon. By and large, I managed to distract myself with videogames, and I did a couple of short, fast runs to test out my pace a bit. I also spent most of yesterday trying to solve technical issues, as our SteamLink box was playing up again. I’ve told Geth that we have to keep an eye on it by turning it on every day, which provides lots of excuses for videogaming this week!

I’ve also managed to get a really good clean of the house done. I’d been neglecting it a bit, because I usually base my cleaning schedule around when we’re expecting company… and obviously we’ve not had any recently. However, I’ve spent the last couple of days getting on with it, and the house feels a lot nicer now.

I’ve got a small amount of day job work lined up for this week, which is great, and I’ve got several more housework-type tasks to get on with as well. I also want to finish my graphics for my next adventure game before the end of Camp NaNo on Thursday, so I’ve got plenty things to be getting on with! It’s nice, though, because it provides a bit of structure to the day. I’d obviously love it if I could just sit and play videogames the whole time, but I think I’d probably lose track of days and nights as a result! Oh, for those student summers when I’d regularly be playing until 7am and it didn’t matter…

I’m still getting a good few hours in every evening though, and I find I’ve got time for lots of reading and TV-watching too, so if I ignore the general world situation, life is quite relaxed at the moment!

Tikiboo Run London tights
Yesterday, I wore what should have been my race kit. I’m looking forward to taking these special London-themed Tikiboos out for some longer runs to make sure that they will hold up during the marathon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tomohito Nishiura – ‘Froenborg’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’

No parks today

Geth and I chose a local route for the first non-parkrunday this morning…

…and I was pleased to find I could run at a similar pace to last week’s parkrun! We also did the online parkrun quiz at 9am this morning, which had a nice community feel to it.

Have gone around the house changing all the towels and bedding to make the place feel a bit fresher, and am now looking forward to spending the rest of the day videogaming.

Same again tomorrow (slightly longer and slower run planned though!).

Non-parkrunday #1
On the start line of what I expect will be the first of quite a few non-parkruns over the coming weeks/months. I didn’t realise I would miss parkrun so much already.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Paul Dukas – ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’
Take That – ‘The Flood’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Sesame Street – ‘The Pasta Song’

A slightly backwards Monday

Because I went to the Social Run Group again today, I didn’t do my run until the evening…

…which meant that my day was a bit backwards and I was at a bit of a loose end this morning without my usual run! Geth and I were up fairly early as our new dishwasher was delivered first thing. It’s our first dishwasher and is going to make life a lot easier in the house, especially in the autumn (washing the dishes is Geth’s domain, but during busy work periods he often finds that he doesn’t have enough time to do it).

I then spent the day getting a bit of admin and day job work done (and some work done on my very last-minute entry into this month’s game jam!) before heading out to the run. It’s been nice to have a quiet evening since then!

Bosch dishwasher
I know this is a super boring photo but I am SO HAPPY that the dishwasher has arrived 😀

Today’s earworm playlist:

Justin Bieber – ‘Sorry’
Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’*
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Wild Ones’**

*Yup, brain is still insisting on Bieber circa 2015, all day every day.
**I like most synthwave but I’m not keen on this song either.

Small steps for the house

Back to the recovery runs this morning…

…and then I spent the afternoon doing admin and house stuff. Have ordered the new dishwasher – something I’ve been wanting for a while as it will free up the time Geth has to spend on the dishes (the kitchen is his job). I’ve also got a picture up on the living room wall. Just one, but it’s a start…

As I mentioned last week when we got a few mirrors up in the downstairs bathroom, getting things on the walls is making me realise how beige the whole place is. I think a few pots of paint are going to be my next house purchase, so that I can gradually make the rooms look a bit brighter!

Busy day tomorrow, and then another big running weekend.

Butterfly picture
I am very keen for this boring magnolia wall to turn some kind of nice pale aquamarine sometime soon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’

Slowly improving the habitat

A recovery mile this morning…

…and then Mum and Dad popped in again so that we could finish off the last few jobs in the bathrooms. Towel rings now installed! Dad has also taken our old laptops home with him for further Linux experimentation.

I’ve spent the afternoon getting on with admin (and daydreaming about further home improvements). Back to work tomorrow.

Towel ring
The sheer beige intensity of my bathroom photos has me itching to repaint the downstairs one in some really bright, funky colour. Like purple, or possibly tropical mango. I might see what’s on offer in the paint section next time I’m at a hardware shop.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Crystalline’
Justin Timberlake – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’