The nicer half of spring

I think (hope!) we’re done with the winter weather now. I’ve been able to wear spring running clothes for five days in a row without getting cold, and the last two ‘supermarket trip Thursdays’ have been so sunny that the car has been summer levels of hot when we exit the supermarket and I’ve had to take my hoodie off to drive home. The blossom is finally coming out properly too, and should be in full bloom within a week or two. I’m already looking forward to taking lots of pictures.

I’ve spent most of this week planning games and experimenting with code (when not running, working, or doing household chores and admin). I’m in a real game creation place at the moment and am excited about all the things I’m planning to make over the next year or so.

Work has been quite busy for the last few days so I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Blossom

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Sunday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Deception’
Harry Nilsson – ‘One’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’

Monday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Marilyn, My Bitterness’

Tuesday

The Crüxshadows – ‘Marilyn, My Bitterness’
Mesh – ‘Let Them Crush Us

Wednesday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
MC Hammer – ‘U Can’t Touch This’

Thursday

Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
Jorge Vera – ‘Tierras Magicas’

Friday

Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’

A mellower, more behind-the-scenes week

This week has featured a lot fewer deadlines and manic last-minute things than last week did, so I’ve been able to get back to some semblance of normality in terms of the house upkeep and the exercise/training programme. It’s been especially nice to get back out for my walks, as it’s been really clear and sunny all week. This has meant that early morning runs have been a bit chilly, but afternoon walks have been the perfect temperature. Hope the sunshine continues.

As often happens when I release a game, I feel a bit bereft of my project and am already eagerly planning out the next one. This covers many things: the long planning document acts as my project for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and the new game itself is the full version of the excerpt I released for IntroComp 2020 and will also be entered into ParserComp 2021. Planning out the puzzles is fun, but I can’t wait to dive back into coding. I’ve got two and a half months to finish the game, so an important mission is not to get distracted by anything shiny in the meantime!

A blissfully quiet weekend awaits. Looking forward to finishing off the last of the other games from the jam (I’ve been playing the Spanish ones this week and it’s been a really fun way to get some language practice in) and also getting in some time with my much-neglected Switch Lite.

Blue sky
Spring is behaving this week.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’*
The Crüxshadows – ‘Dragonfly’
Dee Cooke – ‘Intro And Exit’

Sunday

Dee Cooke – ‘Path And Tree’
Michael Land – ‘Governor Marley’s Mardi Gras Fish Fry’
The Beatles – ‘Ticket To Ride’
Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’

Monday

Michael Land – ‘The Barbery Coast’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Someone You Loved’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
George Fenton – ‘Bergerac (Main Theme)’

Tuesday

Dee Cooke – ‘Control Room’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
The Crüxshadows – ‘Ariadne’

Wednesday

Joe Hisaishi – ‘Kokoro No Kakera’
Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Thursday

Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’

Friday

Dennis Martin and Takeo Miratsu – ‘If You Still Believe’
Michael Land – ‘Scabb Island Overview’
Dee Cooke – ‘Intro And Exit’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’

*Like last week, I have spent an embarrassingly large chunk of the last few days with my own compositions stuck in my head after making them for my game. Given that music is planned for most of my future game projects, this could become a regular occurrence.

Another Tuesday

I did my interval session somewhere different this morning…

…which was nice. Geth and I seem to have timed our runs well as since lunchtime it’s been raining and grey – one of those days where you need the lights on all day long.

I don’t mind it being typical autumn weather in the afternoons and evenings as it’s the time of year when I like to curl up and watch TV, and in the current situation that’s all we can do anyway. I do mind in the mornings, because I’m really having to psyche myself up to go out for my runs in the cold and wet. It’s always fine once I get out there, but when I first wake up, getting out of my nice warm bed to go running is the last thing I want to do, especially on a Tuesday when I need to do a tough interval session.

I always get out and do it eventually though. That’s the beauty of the run streak – I need to go out for at least a mile to maintain the streak, so I might as well go and do the run I’ve got scheduled.

I had a bit of day job work to get on with this afternoon, and am now finishing off my admin so that I can watch some Hallowe’en TV this evening. I started my annual Simpsons ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ marathon yesterday, and have also been recording all the Hallowe’en shows on Food Network. These days, for me, Hallowe’en is always about staying in and enjoying the atmosphere, so it feels like it’s the one celebration that the pandemic can’t affect this year.

I’m still sleeping later than I’d like, partly because I’m tossing and turning and worrying about world things late at night. Hopefully I’ll manage to get my run done fairly quickly tomorrow, as there’s a few things I want to check before taking the car for its MOT on Thursday.

Maisie meets her match, 1984
I loved this book as a child. It describes an ’80s Hallowe’en in Morningside, Edinburgh, and thus perfectly captures my childhood Hallowe’ens – all the Scottish traditions and customs. I wonder if it perhaps isn’t sold or has been changed these days, as Maisie’s ‘Red Indian Chief’ costume would be considered culturally insensitive now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Liam Payne and J Balvin – ‘Familiar’
Bananarama – ‘Really Saying Something’
Wham! – ‘Club Tropicana’
Prince – ‘1999’
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – ‘The Monster Mash’
Barenaked Ladies – ‘One Week’
The Black Crowes – ‘Hard To Handle’
Pet Shop Boys – ‘On Social Media’

One step at a time

Some very wet laps today…

…but the runs themselves were fine – legs seem to be behaving themselves at the moment.

Pretty much everything is just one foot in front of the other at the moment, just like running. There are a lot of difficult things going on at the moment, and 2020 is not improving, and it’s a bit tough to think long-term right now because it’s all a bit too overwhelming. I’m used to dreaming about the future a lot, but that’s not really possible in the current circumstances. Just one day at a time, and sometimes one hour.

Tomorrow will be tomorrow. I’m not thinking about it just yet.

First jumper of the season
It was properly cold today for the first time this autumn, so I have officially declared it jumper season.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Neil Diamond – ‘Sweet Caroline’
Dusty Springfield – ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’
Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana – ‘Just Got Paid’
Carole King – ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’
Gunship – ‘Black Blood Red Kiss’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’

Enjoying the autumn weather

A two-miler today…

…and it was nice doing a different route to my 1.2-mile lap! That’s the last chance I’ll have for over a week, though, as multiple run training starts again tomorrow.

I also went out for a long walk this afternoon, as I’ll be running and working for the rest of the week so will be a bit too busy for walks. It was perfect September weather – lovely and sunny but not too hot while walking, and it was a really nice route too. I managed to photograph some red phone boxes I’d spotted while out with the social run group a few weeks ago, so look out for those in future Phone Box Thursday posts 🙂

A little more time spent indoors tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll be able to share my finished decor project (as far as it can be finished right now!).

Autumn leaves
A photo from over the weekend. The trees are starting to turn now, which is always exciting.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Gunship – ‘Rise The Midnight Girl’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon [Theme From The Trap]’

Weekend dozing plans

A very early four-miler in the rain this morning…

…because I woke up at six and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I thought I might as well go for my run. It was absolutely chucking it down and it took me about two hours afterwards to stop shivering (this process involved putting the fire on in August BECAUSE OF COURSE). It’s brightened up nicely since, so I kind of wish I’d slept longer… which is the opposite of my usual sleep frustration!

I was still a bit upset this morning about the ongoing postal issues detailed yesterday (as well as some other stuff I can’t mention here) but at least waking up early meant that I had a productive morning. I managed to get most things done for the day by mid-afternoon so that I could get in the weekend mood early. The weekend will involve a lot of videogames and hopefully a lot of sleep.

I’ll post my running vlogs as usual over the weekend, and will be back for another update on Monday.

Glow bracelet cape
The distinctly autumnal weather has me thinking about autumnal things. I doubt there will be Hallowe’en parties this year so I probably won’t need a costume, and I’m not sure I’ll ever better ‘Glow Bracelet Cape Superhero’ from 2014 anyway.

Today’s earworm playlist:

REM – ‘Losing My Religion’
Voltaire – ‘The Vampire Club’

A good day to stay indoors

A mile in the pouring rain this morning…

…and then I immediately went straight back out to get my walk done for my online game so that I wouldn’t have to go out again after my shower. I’m really appreciating being inside in the warmth this afternoon!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m taking my day off today, so I’m just getting a bit of daily admin done and then will be videogaming for the rest of the day.

Pasta al forno
Pasta al forno, ready to go in the oven tonight. Perfect comfort food for a cold wet day – I foresee making a lot of this over the autumn.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes – ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’

Out in the sunshine

Two miles today…

…and while it was very warm and I was a bit nervous about running at lunchtime, I really enjoyed my run today. It felt a lot faster than it actually was (it was a good recovery pace), and I really like my two-mile route.

I hadn’t been able to get out until lunchtime as I was finishing off some day job work in the morning – I like to get work finished and back to the client promptly on deadline days because it means I can properly enjoy my day afterwards. After my run, I did some admin for a couple of hours and then went out for a long walk to squash some more bugs in my online GPS game.

Now finishing off for the day. I’ll be running and walking again tomorrow, but not for as long – need to save a bit of energy for the weekend!

Hillwalking break, 1993
It’s been a while since my hillwalking days, but I do try to cast my mind back when I’m running up the steep inclines in Jesmond Dene.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rizzle Kicks – ‘Down With The Trumpets’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

3 Daft Monkeys – ‘Paranoid Big Brother’

Building stuff

Just a mile today…

…because I woke up late again. I need to set an alarm tomorrow as I’m falling behind with stuff a bit this week.

After my run, I spent pretty much the rest of the day building garden furniture. Geth ordered a set the other day and it arrived yesterday, so I put it all together this afternoon as we have guests (!) coming for lunch on Friday. It’s still meant to be very warm and dry by then, if a bit cloudy, so it’ll be nice to sit out in the fresh air.

No videogaming tonight as I have too much admin to catch up with. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit easier time-wise… if I don’t sleep through that alarm.

Garden furniture
I really like this garden set. We also got a plastic cover for protecting it from the elements overnight (although next door’s cat has already sprayed on it… he really doesn’t like new-smelling furniture). Hopefully we’ll have a few more weeks of summer weather to enjoy sitting out.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Rio’
Ashford & Simpson – ‘Solid’

Hints of autumn

A still-fast-ish mile on a mizzly grey day…

…which really made me feel autumnal. I run a bit faster in the autumn because the weather conditions are best (and also usually because it’s my last push of race training for the season – we are yet to see if my last two autumn races standing will actually go ahead, but things may be very different this year… anyway, autumn is still associated with zipping along through the crunchy leaves for me, among many other things!). I expect we’re still due a bit of nice weather this month, though, so I won’t start hunting for Hallowe’en chocolate just yet.

I also didn’t run until lunchtime because I had a deadline for a client today and wanted to get the work done first thing. In that sense I was quite lucky with the weather today, as the last few days it would have been too warm to run comfortably after around 10am.

I’ve otherwise spent today getting on with admin and housework, and am looking forward to some videogaming time tonight as usual. I finished Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World yesterday, which is a decade-old game I’d been meaning to finish for years, and am planning to move onto Beyond A Steel Sky this evening.

Same again tomorrow, though I’m hoping to be awake earlier.

Running shoe wear
My most recent pair of running shoes (bought in Inverness in March when we were up for the half marathon… the last week that felt normal) are starting to wear down to the foam on the edges, even though I’ve been alternating them with my previous pair. I think I’m going to have to ease up on the leggings-buying and invest in one or two new pairs of shoes as my next running purchase – running every day really does wear them down.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
New Order – ‘Blue Monday’
James – ‘Come Home’
Traditional – ‘The Blaydon Races’