Full steam ahead

It’s the weekend but it’s going to be a pretty busy one! Geth and I are volunteering at parkrun tomorrow morning, then I’ll be following the opening day sessions for my course tomorrow afternoon, and then we’ve got the North Tyneside 10k on Sunday. Fairly full-on week next week too with starting the course modules, so I expect I’ll be scheduling another Shouldless Sunday next weekend in order to relax!

I’ve been able to get a good chunk of work done on my new game this week as well, which has been great. Coding for that should be done by the middle of next week and then I can get started on the bells and whistles. I need to fit it in with coursework and day job work, but it’s all going really well so far, and I feel like I’ve got a good planned balance for the next couple of weeks. Hallowe’en will be a really great celebration of getting it done… I hope!

Speaking of which, the decorations may be coming out this weekend. I loved having them up for two weeks last year and I think that will become the norm…

Decorated polystyrene pumpkin
My decorated polystyrene pumpkin from last year. I do have the materials for making more, but somehow I don’t think they’re going to get done this year…

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’*
Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
VNV Nation – ‘Fearless’
Avicii and Aloe Blacc – ‘Wake Me Up’

Sunday

Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’

Monday

Avicii and Aloe Blacc – ‘Wake Me Up’
Howard Jones – ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’

Tuesday

Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Hans Zimmer – ‘He’s A Pirate’

Wednesday

Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Yuzo Koshiro – ‘Battlefield: Storm’
Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’

Thursday

Sean Paul – ‘Get Busy’
Bill Withers – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’
Lady Gaga and Beyoncé – ‘Telephone’

Friday

Robert Burns – ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Travis – ‘Driftwood’
Meat Loaf – ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’
Rod Stewart – ‘Maggie May’
Bill Withers – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’

*Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima danced to this on Strictly a couple of weeks ago and I have not been able to get it out of my head since 😬 It takes me right back to dancing in dodgy clubs in my late teens.

A quick Friday catchup before a quiet weekend

Just a quick post today because I want to get into some game creation later this afternoon. It’s been a fairly quiet week by necessity because I needed to spend a few days eating, sleeping and dozing after the marathon, and I’m looking forward to an even quieter weekend.

Underneath Tower Bridge
Underneath Tower Bridge on Monday morning. I felt really lucky to be staying right next to this location as it actually plays a very important role in the big game I’ll be releasing next year. Brilliant to be able to take some photo references!

Two weeks’ worth of earworm playlists:

Saturday 25th

Wham! – ‘The Edge Of Heaven’
Elton John – ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’

Sunday 26th

Blue – ‘All Rise’
Girls Aloud – ‘See The Day’
ACE+ – ‘Riki The Legendary Heropon’
Ocean Colour Scene – ‘Profit In Peace’

Monday 27th

Melanie C – ‘Northern Star’
Tom Jones and The Cardigans – ‘Burning Down The House’

Tuesday 28th

Duran Duran – ‘Ordinary World’
Duran Duran – ‘Starting To Remember’

Wednesday 29th

Tom Jones and The Cardigans – ‘Burning Down The House’
Anita Ward – ‘Ring My Bell’

Thursday 30th

Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’

Friday 1st

Melanie C – ‘Northern Star’

Saturday 2nd

Tina Turner – ‘Proud Mary’

Sunday 3rd

Abba – ‘Dancing Queen’
Spandau Ballet – ‘Gold’

Monday 4th

Avicii and Aloe Blacc – ‘Wake Me Up’
Kiki Dee – ‘Star’

Tuesday 5th

Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
James – ‘Come Home’

Wednesday 6th

Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’

Thursday 7th

The Sugarhill Gang – ‘Rapper’s Delight’

Friday 8th

Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
The Power Station – ‘Some Like It Hot’
Limahl – ‘The Neverending Story’
Meat Loaf – ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’

Midweek recovery update

I have still got a LOT of aches, pains and stiffness in my legs, but there’s a tiny bit of gradual recovery every day. I’m managing to shuffle round my daily short run route at a very slow pace, and hopefully I’ll be able to plod round parkrun on Saturday without taking a horribly long time. I was able to brave the foam roller again as well after my run this morning, and hopefully continuing the habit of doing that every day will keep the stiffness at bay long-term.

I have a slight bit of post-marathon blues now. I think it’s because I don’t know if or when I will ever be able to run London again, and it’s been such a long journey that I feel sad it’s over. I think I will feel a bit better when I run other marathons and take on more of a mindset that there are lots of great ones out there, but London really was something else, especially this year when I had such a great experience. I will definitely be throwing my hat in the ballot for future editions. Maybe some time in the future I’ll get lucky again.

I’m taking this week very easy and slow. I’ve got a bit of day job work and am doing some initial prep for the software development course I will be starting soon (very excited! Will blog about that properly soon). I’m also looking forward to an incredibly quiet weekend once Geth and I are back from parkrun! I have plans for emptying Sunday to the extent that I don’t have to do anything at all 😀

Hallowe'en Lockets 2021
I saved up so that I could have a couple of blowouts on the Hallowe’en and Christmas Locket collections this year! I have so many new spooky leggings to wear this month, including these pink cartoony ones.

Life was going at a million miles an hour all summer and into the early autumn, so it feels a bit odd that this week it’s just… quiet. It’s much appreciated though!

Preparing for October

While it feels like everything has been leading to the marathon for the last few months, there is a whole big chunk of October after the 3rd that I am very excited about and getting everything organised for already!

October is all about Hallowe’en for me – my favourite time of the year. I’m making a Hallowe’en game (already planned out), getting my decorations sorted early (need to order some more polystyrene pumpkins) and wearing lots of Hallowe’en leggings for both running and general life (already arrived!).

Spooky season sort of starts in London for me (and not just because the marathon’s scary). I will be wearing all the seasonal gear and looking out for more Hallowe’en sweeties for post-marathon munching!

I do need to spend at least part of this week prepping logistics as well as prepping spiderweb leggings…

London Marathon kitbag
Packing my kitbag, for instance! I need to drop this off at the marathon expo…

Another full-on week

Well, I thought it would be a quiet week, but it ended up being pretty full-on with work and other things! I organised Geth’s new office on Monday, and we had a lovely visit from Mum and Dad yesterday and this morning as they were testing out their car to check a recent issue. Other than that, it’s been a fairly nonstop work week. I’m hoping there won’t be too much next week as I need to relax and prepare for the marathon! Nine days to go…

Hallowe'en sweets
The Hallowe’en sweets are officially open! Picked this haul up at the train station in Birmingham last week and have finally tucked into it tonight after finishing all the ice cream in the freezer this week. Really hope I can find some Jaffa Cake Spooky Cake Bars this year…

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’
The Power Station – ‘Some Like It Hot’

Sunday

Duran Duran – ‘Planet Earth’
The Beatles – ‘8 Days A Week’

Monday

The Beatles – ‘Drive My Car’
Yasumasa Kitagawa – ‘Great Cross-Examination (Moderato)’
Elton John – ‘Crocodile Rock’

Tuesday

Marika Suzuki, Hiromitsu Maeba and Masato Kouda – ‘By Powerful Bonds – Victory!’

Wednesday

‘Korobeiniki’ (the Tetris theme music – except it’s the YouTube version with lyrics detailing the entire history of the Soviet Union)

Thursday

Marika Suzuki, Hiromitsu Maeba and Masato Kouda – ‘When The Windmill Spins’
Sailor – ‘A Glass Of Champagne’

Friday

Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’

A month of two halves

The first half of September has been almost back to pre-pandemic levels of Being Out And About! Weddings, races, gigs… it’s been a busy time, but so joyful to be able to see people and do normal things again. I even finally got to see Duran Duran this week! They announced a couple of short-notice gigs about a fortnight ago and I jumped at the chance… especially seeing as I already had a ticket for Andy Taylor on the Wednesday and so it was set to be the best coming-out-of-the-pandemic return to gig-going week I could have hoped for!

I’ll review the gigs in depth here eventually but I’ve also written pieces on them for a couple of fansites/publications so I want to wait until those are out first.

Anyway, the second half of September, in contrast, is empty, and I plan to make the most of that. I will only be leaving the house to do parkrun and an occasional long-ish run (my short daily runs are now all being done on the treadmill to reduce my risk of injury in the lead-up to the marathon) until I leave for London, with the one exception being the day I’ll be helping Geth unpack boxes in his new office. I am guarding that time very carefully as I want as much physical and mental rest as possible over the next sixteen days!

I am also getting organised for Hallowe’en so that I’m not rushing around with that in October. Some exciting things coming in the post soon…

Gig t-shirts
T-shirt collection well stocked up this week! Love both of these 🙂

Saturday

The Wombles – ‘The Wombling Song’
Duran Duran – ‘Come Undone’

Sunday

Mika – ‘Grace Kelly’

Monday

Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’

Tuesday

Meat Loaf – ‘Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through’
Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’

Wednesday

Duran Duran – ‘Tonight United’
Andy Taylor – ‘Bringing Me Down’
Gloria Gaynor – ‘I Will Survive’
Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

Thursday

Duran Duran – ‘What Happens Tomorrow’

Friday

Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’
Duran Duran – ‘Ordinary World’

Settling into the autumn

The next week or so is quite busy with running events and gigs. I’m excited for all of it! And also for next weekend when I will return to my regularly scheduled dozing. The return to near-normality is nice but it can feel a little overwhelming to be suddenly doing All The Things.

The strange brief heatwave that made its way through the UK this week only showed its face in Newcastle on Wednesday, and that was quite enough for me. I’m done with hot weather now! Looking forward to cooler conditions for autumn running. It’s meant to be 13°C and cloudy on Sunday for the GNR and I really hope the forecast is right.

I made a decision earlier this week that I wouldn’t do the 22-mile run I’d scheduled for this week and would instead treat my 18-miler from a couple of weeks ago as my longest long run for the marathon. My body is telling me very loudly that a five-week taper is more likely to get me to the start line in one piece than a three-week taper, so I’m going to listen to it. I’ve got the GNR (13.1 miles) on Sunday, will do either eight or six miles next Thursday depending on how I’m feeling post-race, and six the week after, then a nice ten-day period of only doing mile-and-a-half streak savers and slow gentle parkruns leading up to the marathon. Fingers crossed it will all go according to plan.

This time next week I am hoping to report back on a slow but enjoyable GNR completion, two very long-awaited concerts, and the bulk of a game coded!

Black cat
Last week’s photo of next door’s cat. He sneaked in as usual while our groceries were being delivered and looked so comfy I let him stay for an hour or so!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Republica – ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’

Sunday

The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’
Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’

Monday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’

Wednesday

Boston – ‘More Than A Feeling’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’

Thursday

Girls Aloud – ‘Something New’*

Friday

The Human League – ‘Being Boiled’

*RIP Sarah Harding.

Balance and burnout

Geth and I travelled back to Newcastle this morning after a family wedding yesterday. It was so lovely to be able to have a normal family celebration after everything that’s happened over the last eighteen months, and to see so many people I haven’t been able to see for so long. I really hope we can have another gathering soon.

The next couple of weeks are gathering steam and so I’ve spent a bit of time this afternoon making sure to schedule in some time to relax! The last few months have felt very non-stop and I know I won’t be able to do all the stuff I want to do over the next month if I keep barrelling along without a break.

Work is returning to a good level as well – there’s plenty to keep the business ticking over, but it’s not as hectic as it was in the summer and so I’ve got time to do other things too.

Should be a good month leading up to the marathon!

Quayside tree
A slightly ominous-looking tree on the Quayside. I’m looking forward to exploring this route further during training for future marathons.

Late night update

I’ve been very busy today finishing all my work for the week and getting stuff ready for weekend adventures tomorrow. I’ll update about all of that properly after the weekend!

Tyne Bridge
The sign is up. It was nice running along the Quayside yesterday and ticking off all the bridges!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Duran Duran – ‘Astronaut’
Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’
Vengaboys – ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’

Sunday

Jackie Wilson – ‘Reet Petite’
Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’

Monday

Vengaboys – ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’
Duran Duran – ‘Give It All Up’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Town’
Madness – ‘Michael Caine’
Kanye West – ‘Stronger’
Apoptygma Berzerk – ‘Kathy’s Song’
Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’

Wednesday

Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’
Lucas Pope – ‘Soldiers Of The Sea’

Thursday

Public Enemy – ‘Harder Than You Think’

Friday

Abba – ‘Thank You For The Music’
The Sweet – ‘Poppa Joe’
Duran Duran – ‘Anniversary’

A quick breather!

For today, anyway. Lots to do, despite the fact that my clients are mostly on holiday and thus so am I!

It’s been a busy week. Monday was a big accounting catchup day for my business as I’ve not had time to keep up with it over the last few hectic months. Tuesday was spent in Geth’s office at work, as they’re moving buildings again and we needed to pack up all his stuff so it can be transferred to his new office. Wednesday I had a hair appointment and took the opportunity to run a few other errands while I was out, and yesterday was 18-miler day on my marathon training schedule. I’ve also been doing initial planning and coding for my new game!

I was really anxious about yesterday’s run as my long runs so far this training block have been fairly miserable due to various issues. However, everything (mostly) came together yesterday, and I was able to have a really positive, steady run. I’ve recovered really well so am feeling a lot more confident about the remaining long runs on the schedule!

I know I say this most weeks but next week should definitely be quieter… I hope!

'80s font on crate
Some of the crates provided to pack up Geth’s office were clearly a few decades old! Loving the ’80s font on this one.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Elvis Presley – ‘Return To Sender’

Sunday

KC & The Sunshine Band – ‘Give It Up’

Monday

Duran Duran – ‘Save A Prayer’

Tuesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Boss Theme A’

Wednesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Boss Theme A’

Thursday

Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’
Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’

Friday

Queen – ‘A Winter’s Tale’
Carter USM – ‘The Only Living Boy In New Cross’
Ultravox – ‘Vienna’
Peter Gabriel – ‘Games Without Frontiers’