Adventures in Coding: Remembering Other Parts Of The World

I’m reluctant to share too many details about the plot of my upcoming game, Marie, as I want it to be a surprise when people play it. However, I can say that it largely takes place in and around London. I used to visit London probably once or twice a year, but I’ve not been there during the pandemic and so my last visit would have been in 2019 (I was there in April 2019 for the London Marathon and November 2019 for the Andy Taylor gig). As such, I’ve been racking my brain a bit when describing what locations look like!

London, 2019
In London in April 2019, with the former Millennium Dome (now part of the O2) in the background. It may well appear in the game…

I’m planning to release a short teaser / extra scene from the game at some point in the next couple of weeks. The teaser is a result of my first fumbling experiments using PunyInform, which has been a bit of a learning curve as I’m so used to Adventuron. It’s been really fun to start learning that though.

Graphic work for the main game will be starting soon, so maybe I’ll have some early pictures to share with you before long…

Trying to wind down

The usual daily route today…

…which I’ve accepted is just going to be most days for the rest of the year. I need a break from longer runs for a few more weeks so that I can come back refreshed in January and start building up again.

I spent another afternoon catching up with admin and writing and am now looking forward to a quiet weekend! Back on Monday with another update.

November 2019
November last year. It was the fifth year in a row that I’d somehow ended up in London at some point during the month of November; this year, obviously, I will not be maintaining my streak. I’m hopeful that the marathon will be able to go ahead next October but I don’t see myself having any reason to visit until then.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Eddy Grant – ‘Electric Avenue’

Phone Box Thursday: Queensway, London

One last London phone box from my November trip last year!

Red phone box
Red phone box, Queensway, London, 27th November 2019.

(Coordinates 51°51’05.6″N, 0°18’70.1″W.)

This box is only about twenty feet away from last week’s box, and is also outside Queensway tube station. It’s slightly more unkempt than its neighbour, but nowhere near as badly-maintained as the soon-to-be-removed rural boxes we’ve been looking at recently. It’s a London phone box, so I expect it’ll be sticking around for some time!

Working our way north again next week…

Phone Box Thursday: Queensway, London

Here’s another phone box from the area where I was staying when I visited London last November.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Queensway, London, 27th November 2019.

(Coordinates 51°51’03.7″N, 0°18’69.5″W.)

This is one of two phone boxes outside Queensway tube station. I’ll post the other one next week!

It always annoys me when one of the ‘Telephone’ signs has been put back in the box upside-down like this. It looks a bit sloppy. In general, though, it’s another fairly well-maintained phone box.

One last London box next week, and then we’ll be heading north again…

Phone Box Thursday: Dean Street, London

Here’s another phone box from when I was in London last November.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Dean Street, London, 27th November 2019.

(Coordinates 51°51’46.4″N, 0°13’31.2″W.)

Here’s a bonus Street View image where you’re right up in the phone box’s face! I think the Street View car must have had to squeeze past quite closely to avoid the roadworks on the other side of the street.

Anyway, this box is typically well-kept for a London phone box. From the Street View image, I’m guessing that posters etc. are not allowed on the box even in the summer, but I bet it doesn’t stop people trying.

Another London phone box next week!

Phone Box Thursday: Queensway, London

We move south again now for a series of phone boxes that I found when I last visited London, in November 2019.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Queensway, London, 27th November 2019.

(Coordinates 51°51’23.8″N, 0°18’75.5″W.)

This one stands outside Bayswater tube station, which was the closest station to where I was staying. Like most London phone boxes, it’s well-maintained and still has its machinery intact.

More from London next week!

Back from my tropical mini-break

London was lovely and warm. I was able to go out in just a thin jacket last night and everything! It reminded me of when I lived in Southampton and didn’t wear coats for four years solid. Back in the nippy north now, which feels a bit more right for late November.

The Andy Taylor gig was amazing – I’ll write a bit more about that next week when I’ve had time to think about it!

Things will be fairly nonstop for the next few days (especially in terms of finishing my NaNo – eek), but I’m currently eyeing up a possible day off on Monday, which will give me a chance to get organised again.

Train plug socket
Not an OOTD: I’m always fascinated by this notice they have next to the plug sockets on trains. You just know that it’s there because someone was ACTUALLY stupid enough to plug in a toaster or hairdryer at some point.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Ball Of Confusion’
Andy Taylor – ‘Tremblin”
Ramz – ‘Barking’
‘Korobeiniki’ (the Tetris theme music)
Andy Taylor – ‘Love Or Liberation’
Zack Laurence – ‘Force Field (The Crystal Maze Main Theme)’
Barbra Streisand – ‘Woman In Love’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’


For some reason, for five years in a row now, I’ve always ended up in London at some point during November. From 2015-2017 it was because Geth and I were attending the Beat:Cancer event; last year it was a flying trip through on the tube on our way to Electric Dreams; and this year it’s the Andy Taylor gig. It’s become a bit strange now!

Anyway, here I am again, and I’m about to head out to the gig. I’ll update properly again tomorrow.

Red phone box
Nice to be greeted by one of these on my way out of the tube station! To be logged properly in a few months’ time once I get through my collection.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Do You Believe In Shame?’
Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’

Plus a couple of videogame soundtrack pieces I can’t find the names of right now!

parkrun tourism: Highbury Fields

Geth and I first ran Highbury Fields parkrun in November 2017, as I have previously mentioned during a whole series of Phone Box Thursdays (there are a lot of phone boxes along the walk from the Thistle City Barbican – our favoured London hotel – to Highbury Fields).

Runner and red phone box
Me with a phone box (logged here) the first time we ran Highbury Fields in November 2017.

It’s not flat, but the inclines aren’t too troubling if you’re used to hills. It’s a five-lap course, and because I’m used to much longer distances after four months of marathon training, the laps felt really short when I ran it for the second time this last Saturday.

It’s also a really lovely park. One of the many novels I’m working on is set in Islington, and I have a lot of scenes with characters going for walks around the pathways!

There are other London parkruns I’d like to do at some point, but because Geth and I always stay at the Thistle (and so Islington is kind of our base whenever we’re in town), I think Highbury Fields will always be our default.

Last day of carbing up

Running a marathon tomorrow. Eek.

I’ve been planning and preparing for this for so long that I can’t believe it’s actually time to go do this thing. I’ve had a pretty-much-perfect final day of preparation though! I went for a shakeout run at Highbury Fields parkrun this morning – I was in two minds about doing it, because I didn’t want to sap my energy for tomorrow, but I’m really glad I did because I had a great run and it’s given me a lot of confidence for the race. It also made me aware that my watch had randomly switched itself back from miles to kilometres, so I’ve been able to fix that. I would not have been best pleased if I’d only discovered that after I set off tomorrow.

The rest of the day has been spent eating and making arrangements for eating. Geth and I discovered a nice new breakfast place where I was able to have pancakes, and we booked a table at an Italian restaurant so that I could eat all the pasta (and all the garlic pizza bread, and all the mozzarella salad, and all the ice cream…) this evening.

People have been unbelievably generous and my RNLI fundraising total on my JustGiving page is racking up nicely! Thank you so much if you’ve donated – I really, really appreciate it.

I’m very nervous, but I’ve got my plan, and I know I can do this. See you on the other side!

OOTD 27th April 2019
OOTD: with one of my favourite red phone boxes, this awesome K2 in Islington (logged here)! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jacket Mercy (2007/2009, due to a complicated story that I still don’t have time to tell you at the moment), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), bag CXL by Christian Lacroix (2018), jeans Vivid (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Annie Lennox – Walking On Broken Glass
The Midnight – Crystalline
The Midnight – Days Of Thunder
The Midnight – Gloria
Duran Duran – Late Bar
David Guetta and Sia – Flames

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)