Saturday ’80s Photo: ‘The Storm’ Poster

I started primary school in 1989 and so there are lots of photos of me in my uniform posing with everyone I knew. This photo was taken in our kitchen the first time my grandparents visited after the school year started. However, what always catches my eye these days is the newspaper pull-out poster we had up on the wall of ‘The Storm’ (presumably the 1987 storm). I don’t recall this poster so we can’t have had it up for much longer.


Mum and Dad have had a corkboard on that wall for as long as I can remember, so maybe that’s why the ‘The Storm’ poster had to go!

No room at the inn

My week has been very busy, in the way that a lot of my weeks have been very busy during lockdown. Lots of day job work, lots of working on my own creative projects (writing and coding), a bit of running but not as much as is ideal due to a bad hip, quite a lot of strength training to try and fix said hip, and a lot of playtesting and competition-judging other people’s text adventures (the most fun part of my day and a good way to give back to a community that is giving me so much joy at the moment).

I’ve been working really hard recently and it’s been paying off. There have been a few developments in my editing business that I’ll talk about later in the year, I’m starting to get bits and bobs of writing published, and my text adventures are doing well and getting a good reception. I hit RED day 500 this morning – my 500th day running in a row – which is enabling me to feel like I’m still achieving things with my running even though I’m having a bad time of it with my hip and a general lack of energy at the moment.

All of this has been made possible by the pandemic allowing me to sit on my sofa all day long and get things done. I am one of the people for whom lockdown has, on the whole, been beneficial – of course I’ve had my anxious moments like everyone else, as I really don’t deal well with uncertainty, but in general I have been really, really happy having an excuse to stay home. I’ve realised more than ever that I don’t actually like leaving my house, and that it’s okay not to like leaving your house. The real anxiety I have now is adapting to the world going back to normal again. I’ve said for probably a year now that I won’t just be able to jump back into my life as it was pre-pandemic; there were a lot of things I used to do that, I have realised, caused a lot of unnecessary stress. Constantly going out to group activities and classes, gigs and races every week, travelling every other weekend… I can’t go back to all that. My personal return to normality is going to have to be very gradual, and there are a lot of things I probably never will do again.

Learning to say ‘no’, to myself as much as to anyone else, is probably going to be my biggest challenge this year. I’ve found out how important it is to feel in control of my own time. It’s a precious thing, and I’m not going to give it up.

Lego USB stick
Life is starting to fit into place, gradually.

This week’s earworm playlists:


Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Opening Credits Part #1’
Whitesnake – ‘Here I Go Again ’87’*


Patti Smith – ‘Because The Night’
Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’


Dee Cooke – ‘Outside Building’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Sailor Ain’t A Sailor’


Whitesnake – ‘Here I Go Again ’87’


Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Haul Away Joe’


Pet Shop Boys – ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)’
Duran Duran – ‘Tel Aviv’


Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Crete’
Duran Duran – ‘Save A Prayer’
Talking Heads – ‘Once In A Lifetime’
Ed Sheeran – ‘Lego House’

*RIP Tawny Kitaen.

2020 Pestos #5: Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese

This is my favourite jarred pesto of the last few years and I eat it every week!

Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese
Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese.

Once upon a time, all jarred green pesto tasted like pesto alla genovese. Then over time, the pesto companies changed their recipes (presumably so they could use less-standard ingredients) and now pesto alla genovese is the posh / deluxe version. The Asda Extra Special stuff is perfect. Perfect taste, perfect texture, perfect richness. Just what pesto should be.

It’s two whole days till I get to eat it again. I want some now!

RED week 71

Taking a running vlog hiatus for a few weeks (my vlog is quite time-intensive and I need all my spare hours for coding my next game right now) so I’ll be posting something different for the next few Mondays!

Text from today’s hiatus announcement vlog:

Going on hiatus for a few weeks. I’m very busy with a creative project at the moment and the vlog will have to take a back seat, unfortunately! I’ve got a slight hip injury at the moment so most of my runs are shorter, but I’m working on strengthening the hip with targeted exercises. I will manage my long races at the end of May / beginning of June, even if I have to walk a lot of the way! Hoping to feel better by then, though. I expect to be back vlogging in the summer, by which time I will be training for the London Marathon! Very exciting. I really hope to run it well. In the meantime, you can keep up with my news – both running and non-running – at, where I blog every day. See you in the summer! Dee xx

‘Race’ Review: Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Virtual Easter 10k

After I did the ’80s virtual 10k for the Roy Castle Foundation, I continued to follow them with interest to see what they were going to organise next. When it was announced that there would be a virtual Easter challenge this year, I signed up straight away! Nothing like a 10k run to build up an appetite for a day of Easter egg eating…

Easter medal
I wasn’t going to leave this one intact! Only the wooden part (and ribbon) is going on display 🙂

For the run itself, I semi-finalised a 10k route I’ve been working on that doesn’t feel anywhere near as long as a 10k for some reason. I had to do a quick out-and-back at the end because the route was short. I’ve got some ideas for fixing that next time!

Although the event took place on Easter weekend, the medal only arrived this week because there were some postal delays mainly caused by a Royal Mail backlog. It was very welcome when it arrived though! Never too late for an Easter egg…

A long week

I can’t believe this working week has only been four days! It’s felt like forever. Geth and I have both been really busy and the weekend is very welcome right now.

I’ve had a bad hip all week and so have only been doing short runs. I’ve done a lot of yoga to try and sort it out, and it is getting better, but only gradually. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do my planned weekend running and walking but we’ll see.

I’m thoroughly ensconced in the coding for my next game, which is really, really enjoyable. It’s a fairly big project though and I’m already looking forward to going back to experimenting with smaller games over the summer.

Still doing a fair amount of day job work too. Lots going on at the moment!

Local elections 2021
COVID-secure polling station selfie! It had just started to hail…

This week’s earworm playlists:


Michael Land – ‘Upstairs At The Hotel’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Haul Away Joe’
Bee Gees – ‘First Of May’
Duran Duran – ‘Burning The Ground’


Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
Men Without Hats – ‘Safety Dance’
Michael Land – ‘The Brimstone Beach Club’


Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Sailor Ain’t A Sailor’
Aloe Blacc – ‘I Need A Dollar’
The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Haul Away Joe’


Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
The Undertones – ‘My Perfect Cousin’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Sailor Ain’t A Sailor’
Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Monte Carlo Hotel Entrance’


Levellers – ‘Julie’
Eric Hammond – ‘Into The Catacombs’


Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Barnett College’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’
Eric Hammond – ‘Berlin (Königgrätzer Marsch)’


Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Bully In The Alley’
Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Opening Credits Part #1’