Planning a short break before the Christmas madness

It’s been a really productive week! Lots of work and game creation done and another interesting TechUp module finished. I also have a giant pile of parcels from various postal services that need to be opened and wrapped in Christmas paper this weekend!

Next week, if all goes well, I will be taking a bit of downtime. I’m well caught up with work and studying and will be blitzing as much housework and Christmas admin as possible over the weekend. My game is also now drafted and in the testing process, meaning I just need to finish tweaking and finessing it before the jam deadline on Sunday evening.

The main reason I’m going to be trying for a quiet week is that December is going to be non-stop. Mostly in a lovely way (proper Christmas celebrations with family etc.), but I get a bit unsettled when lots of non-routine things are happening, so it’d be good to have some mental recharge time beforehand.

Geth and I have both had head colds this week. I shook it off fairly quickly, but Geth has been feeling fairly rough and has decided on a strictly-indoors weekend in order to try and shake it off before Monday. This means that if I’m parkrunning tomorrow, I’m doing it by myself, and I still can’t decide where I want to go. Might end up making a very last-minute decision!

Art deco pictures
Some of the framed pictures in last weekend’s hotel room (it’s all super art deco in there).

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Duran Duran and Chai – ‘More Joy’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
Soft Cell – ‘Sex Dwarf’

Sunday

Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
Soft Cell – ‘Bedsitter’
Duran Duran and Tove Lo – ‘Give It All Up’
Irene Cara – ‘Fame’

Monday

Roger Miller – ‘King Of The Road’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
Duran Duran and Tove Lo – ‘Give It All Up’

Tuesday

Roger Miller – ‘King Of The Road’
Soft Cell – ‘Sex Dwarf’

Wednesday

Chris Rea – ‘Driving Home For Christmas’
Duran Duran – ‘Anniversary’

Thursday

Arcadia – ‘Lady Ice’
Traditional – ‘Deck The Halls’

Friday

Dr Hook – ‘When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman’*

*AWFUL. Get out of my head!

Finishing off the month

A fairly hectic week this week as I’ve had a lot of things to get finished before the end of the month. My ear is feeling a lot better after finishing my antibiotics course, and my energy has seemingly returned, so I’ve been able to start improving my running speed again.

My main focus this week has been getting the bulk of the work finished for my current Adventuron jam game. I’ve spent this week finishing off the coding and am looking forward to getting stuck into the graphics over the weekend. I’m really excited about getting everything put together and spending a few days working with playtesters before the deadline!

I’ve also been continuing with my long walks and increased-distance runs, which are really nice now that the spring weather has arrived. It means that I’ve pretty much doubled my pace on the LEJOG challenge I’m doing and should be well on track to finish by the end of the year!

There’s been quite a bit of day job work this week too. Business has picked up a bit recently after last year’s slight COVID slump and I’ve got some important plans for going forward that I’m going to start implementing soon.

Finally, I’ve made sure to get some quality downtime with videogames when possible. I’m still really enjoying Bravely Default II and expect it will take me a good couple of months to finish. So many games on the list afterwards that I can’t wait to play…

I would say I’m hoping that next week will be quieter, but there’s a Camp NaNoWriMo month starting and I expect I’ll end up doing something for that! Maybe not with a super high wordcount this time though…

Jesmond Dene
Still enjoying my spring return to Jesmond Dene!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Bucks Fizz – ‘My Camera Never Lies’
Sting – ‘Englishman In New York’
Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz – ‘Talk Dirty’

Sunday

Camila Cabello – ‘Liar’
Captain Ska – ‘Liar Liar Ge2017’
Kevin Gillis – ‘Run With Us’

Monday

Lauv and Troye Sivan – ‘I’m So Tired’
Revo – ‘Savalon’

Tuesday

The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Because The Night’

Wednesday

Revo – ‘Savalon Desert’
Kirsty MacColl – ‘Days’
Lauv and Troye Sivan – ‘I’m So Tired’
Coldplay – ‘Fix You’
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Because The Night’

Thursday

Demi Lovato – ‘Heart Attack’
Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz – ‘Talk Dirty’

Friday

Sia – ‘Cheap Thrills’
The Proclaimers – ‘Make My Heart Fly’

Up and down energy

It’s not been a bad week. The only thing slowing me down has been an ear infection that I picked up last week (god knows where from given that I never see anyone at the moment!). Following a phone appointment with the doctor, I’ve managed to get some antibiotics, but so far I’ve been up and down with them – hoping it settles down over the weekend. I’ve also been feeling a bit stiff and achy again, so there’s been a fair few evening yoga sessions over the last few days!

Work-wise I’ve been trying to do focused days this week rather than trying to do a small amount of ten different things every day. I feel like it works a bit better when I can just sit down and concentrate on one thing for most of the day rather than chopping and changing and trying to squeeze everything in.

I managed a day off on Wednesday, which was great, as I wanted a bit of time to sit down and play videogames (I’ve not had the energy for it in the last couple of weeks, which is usually a bad sign). Wednesday is a good day to take off if necessary, as it’s the weekday when I’m least likely to have urgent work from clients.

I’m playing the Fetchpoint game on Fetch Everyone again, which is kind of like virtual geocaching and involves collecting lots of invisible tokens around my local area. This is getting me out walking more often (and helping to vary my running routes), which is a good thing as we move into spring.

I’m mostly concentrating on the Adventuron jam this month, but in April I’m hoping to have a bit of time to work on my business website – I’m going to be changing a lot of terms soon and need to revamp the site accordingly.

A big week of game-creating ahead as we’re reaching the final push of the current jam. Fingers crossed I can carve out lots of time to get it finished!

Jesmond Dene
Geth and I went to Jesmond Dene for a walk last weekend. It was so nice to be back in the Dene for the first time after the winter.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Simply Red – ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’
Kanye West – ‘Stronger’

Sunday

John Newman – ‘Love Me Again’
The Boomtown Rats – ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’
Kesha – ‘Tik Tok’
Frankie Miller – ‘Caledonia’
Girls Aloud – ‘Sound Of The Underground’
Matthew Wilder – ‘Break My Stride’

Monday

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – ‘Islands In The Stream’
Joe Hisaishi – ‘Battle’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’

Tuesday

Kanye West – ‘Stronger’
Muse – ‘Feeling Good’
UB40 – ‘If It Happens Again’

Wednesday

Joe Hisaishi – ‘Battle’
Cheryl – ‘Call My Name’

Thursday

Bros – ‘I Owe You Nothing’
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – ‘Human’
Let Loose – ‘Crazy For You’
Demi Lovato – ‘Heart Attack’

Friday

Revo – ‘Halcyonia’
Kesha – ‘Tik Tok’
J Balvin and Willy William – ‘Mi Gente’

The midweek slump

Not the usual midweek run…

…because I’m still not feeling that well. As such, I’ve decided to take it really easy with the running this week and just do short runs, then I’ll see how I feel at the weekend.

I’m still trying not to do too much brain-wise as well, as I’m a bit burnt out after the end of the game jam. However, I find that the creative part of my brain never stops whirring, so I’m constantly scribbling down notes for future games and novels and poems and blog posts, and lying awake thinking about them at night. Playing jam entries and other videogames does help, because it gives me something to concentrate on, so I’m trying to get my daily chores done ASAP at the moment so as to have a bit more gaming time.

I need to do a bit of housework tomorrow as the house badly needs it (lockdown has been bad for this as I find that when we don’t have visitors coming, I don’t prioritise cleaning) and we are going to have an ACTUAL OTHER PERSON IN OUR HOUSE ON FRIDAY OMG. It’s just the boiler technician, but I still won’t let people in the house when it’s not clean, which is why tomorrow is now a cleaning day.

Other than that, I will be trying (and hopefully succeeding) to relax again…

Sonic slippers
Back home in Edinburgh, Mum and Dad are sorting out my brother Malcolm’s old room at the moment, and have managed to unearth his Sonic the Hedgehog slippers from the ’90s. They’re still in fairly good nick and it sounds like Mum has adopted them.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Duran Duran – ‘First Impression’

Fried!

I ended up just doing a mile today…

…as I didn’t feel that well when I woke up. I had planned to do my delayed weekend long run today, but I think I’ll be trying to make up the mileage later in the week instead.

As such, I got my day job work out of the way first today, and then went for my short run in the afternoon. Since then, I’ve been catching up with admin, and am looking forward to playing some jam entry games tonight.

I’m still feeling a bit physically poorly and mentally fried, but I think that’s just because I’ve been so busy over the last few days and weeks. This week is just going to involve some quiet catching up with admin and housework, and a lot of playing of videogames rather than making them.

I’m still really pleased to have released my most recent game last night. You can play it here!

As a result, I’ve not got much planned for tomorrow!

The Cave of Hoarding
An updated graphic for my first jam game, The Cave of Hoarding. To celebrate the sequel coming out, I made some quick replacements for the shonky old original graphics. This pile of treasure sums up my feelings when I submit a game at the end of a jam!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mott The Hoople – ‘All The Young Dudes’
Idina Menzel – ‘Into The Unknown’

Knots and crosses

Back to normal today – I’ve been working most of the day and have had the Christmas tunes on. Feeling as though I might finally be over my cold as well! I headed out to vote earlier this evening, but otherwise it’s just going to be a quiet night in and then early to bed. No election results for me – my nerves can’t take it!

Out and about at various points tomorrow to celebrate Geth’s end of term.

Civic duty December 2019
Not really an OOTD: Geth is hoping this selfie will still be valid for a free beer at Brewdog tomorrow.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Thought Beings – ‘Hazy’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’
Arcadia – ‘Election Day’
The Boomtown Rats – ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’
Duran Duran – ‘Michael, You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For’

Gradually getting back to normal

I sort of don’t want to say I’m feeling better, because every time I do, I feel like I’m jinxing myself for another setback… but I have felt a lot better so far today, and I’ve managed to get a lot of stuff done without making myself feel ill again, so I’m feeling hopeful.

I had a bit of day job work to do during the day, and have also managed to get in some ukulele practice. Christmas decorations are very nearly finished as well!

I’m out and about again the next couple of days, so I’m really hoping I’ve recovered enough not to make myself unwell again.

Christmas mug
Not an OOTD: the Christmas mugs are out. Hot drinks are very welcome in my current state!

Today’s earworm playlist:

David Essex – ‘A Winter’s Tale’
The Justice Collective – ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Pretenders – ‘2000 Miles’
Sam Bailey – ‘Skyscraper’

A new week ahead

I’m still coughing a bit, but I feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel with regards my cold. One more day inside and hopefully I’ll have got rid of the worst of it.

Today was a lovely relaxed Sunday with lots of music and good TV (I’m all caught up with Strictly and I LOVED the semifinal – looking forward to the final next week).

Assuming I don’t have another setback, it feels like I’ll have the energy to put the final few touches to the Christmas decorations tomorrow. I also have a bit of day job work to do, but at least that can be done from the sofa!

Spotify 2019 summary
Not an OOTD: Spotify have sent me my 2019 music listening summary. Unsurprisingly, Duran Duran were my most listened to artist yet again!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – ‘Bleak Midwinter’
Blur – ‘Country House’
Richard Marx – ‘Right Here Waiting’

Up and down

Definitely not better yet – I seem to keep veering between feeling totally fine and feeling like I can’t even stand up. At least I’m managing to get a few things done now during the ‘feeling fine’ hours!

I was too poorly to go to parkrun again this morning, so the date for my 100th parkrun is now the 21st December. If it gets pushed back any further (i.e. if I can’t parkrun next week either) I will be extremely cross (and also a bit worried, because the ‘bad’ stage of a cold really shouldn’t be going on for any more than a few days, let alone a fortnight!). However, I’m hopeful that I will be able to get rid of this thing in the course of the next week.

I did manage to get out and see the Marian Keyes talk at the Sage Gateshead this afternoon though. It was really good and I’ll do a more detailed post on it soon!

I have also finally managed to get my main Christmas tree up (a whole six days later than intended, but there you are). Just one last push to go tomorrow and then I will be done with the decorations (other than the few bits and pieces that I still need to do at Mum and Dad’s).

I now have two days in a row where I won’t be leaving the house, which gives me a really good opportunity to rest up and recover!

Christmas tree 2019
Not an OOTD: it’s always nice when I’ve got this tree glowing merrily away in the corner.

Today’s earworm playlist:

George Cole and Dennis Waterman – ‘What Are We Gonna Get For ‘Er Indoors?’
Coldplay – ‘Christmas Lights’
Martin & Shirlie – ‘The Way You Look Tonight’
Spandau Ballet – ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’
Sister Sledge – ‘Lost In Music’
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’

Cabin fever

I’ve tried to have a ‘not doing anything’ day (i.e. just mindless internet browsing and so on) today in order to try and recover from my cold. Not doing anything, it turns out, just makes me feel frustrated and bored, like I’ve wasted the day. I’ve got a show at the Sage Gateshead to go to tomorrow afternoon, and although I will have to wrap up warm, I think I’m going to feel a bit better for getting out.

Also, there’s a loose connection in my laptop mouse, and it keeps beeping every five seconds to inform me that it’s either just connected or disconnected. Time to order a new one, I think. In the meantime, I’ve just given up and turned my laptop volume off.

Big Kahuna glass
Not an OOTD: Geth was given some Kona Brewery beers as an early Christmas present from a colleague, so he dug out his souvenir Big Kahuna glass from the time we went to Hawaii. It’s making me long for tropical islands and sunshine, which is NOT the way I usually feel in December when I’m excited about Christmas coming up! I’ve been researching some traditional Hawaiian ukulele music as a result.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Gary Glitter – ‘Another Rock ‘N’ Roll Christmas’*
Kuana Torres Kahele, James Ford Murphy and Napua Greig-Nakasone – ‘Someone To Lava’
Coldplay – ‘Christmas Lights’
Bananarama – ‘Really Saying Something’

*Yes, it’s STILL in my head.