RED day 312

Today’s earworm playlist:

Village People – ‘YMCA’*

*Upon hearing this blasting from my phone this morning, Geth immediately asked me which of two popular Trump-related meme videos I was watching… which I think sums up the last few days, really.

Friday feeling multiplied

One last mile-long run for now…

…as I feel ready to move onto some slightly longer sessions over the weekend.

I’m in a real Friday mood this evening. I’ve had a really good first week working on my NaNoWriMo and am steadily hitting my wordcount every day. I also did a good chunk of editing work for Geth’s latest paper today, as he’s submitting it this evening, and we are having takeaway pizza to celebrate!

I’m really enjoying getting some videogaming time in as well, and am looking forward to starting the planning for my next game project this weekend. All of this extra time is brought to you by my almost-complete avoidance of social media and news websites over the last few days because I don’t want to hear anything about the US election until all the states have called. It’s been a very nice few days as a result and has made me think that I really need to limit social media, forums and the like on a permanent basis!

I’ll be posting vlog links as usual over the weekend and will be back to update on Monday. Hopefully with tales of more interesting running sessions and a finished plan for another text adventure!

Celebratory chocolate already on the go while Geth puts the finishing touches on his paper.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Cast of The Lion King – ‘Circle Of Life’
Barenaked Ladies – ‘If I Had A Million Dollars’
Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’
Wham! – ‘Club Tropicana’
Florence & The Machine – ‘Shake It Out’

Let’s escape

A mile again today…

…which was for the best as I didn’t get much sleep last night.

I’m an absolute bag of nerves regarding the US election results, so I’m just going to escape into my 3DS for the rest of the day!

Hello old friend!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bananarama – ‘Really Saying Something’
Ludwig Göransson – ‘The Mandalorian [Main Theme]’
Glenn Miller – ‘In The Mood’
Sheena Easton – ‘9 To 5 (Morning Train)’
Duran Duran – ‘The Edge Of America’
Aaron Carter – ‘Crush On You’
Simon & Garfunkel – ‘The Sound Of Silence’

Inside and out

Another mile today…

…and I’ll probably keep going with that until the weekend.

I’m getting my words in for my NaNo every day, though I’m finding it fairly tough going this year. I’m doing a loose collection of short stories, each set in a different universe that I’ve previously written about, and I’m hoping that the project will help me identify what I want to focus on next in terms of my writing. The nature of 2020 has made it quite hard to write recently, so it’s good to have a daily wordcount target to hit.

With lockdown approaching, the disconnect between my cosy inside world, where Geth and I are always comfy and home, and the terrifying outside world just seems to be getting ever more bizarre and pronounced 🙁 I’m not sure how we’ll ever go back to any semblance of normal.

I’ve got lots of distractions ready for this evening to help me stay calm, though I will of course be following the US election results pretty avidly. I’m not sure what sleep is going to look like tonight!

Another quiet day for writing tomorrow, I hope.

Christmas craft book
My favourite Christmas craft book will be one of tonight’s distractions. Hoping to get some craft projects on the go this month – I usually never get round to it!

Today’s earworm playlist:

There’s been nothing in my head today. Unusual, but it does happen sometimes!

Onto the next thing

Just a mile this morning…

…which is standard for Mondays, but unusually is the fourth streak saver mile in a row for me as I’m having to take a break from my 10k training due to feeling a bit ill. Hopefully I’ll be able to step it up again towards the end of the week.

Hallowe’en weekend was lovely, but I woke up this morning feeling as though it was time to take the decorations down and start thinking about prepping my Christmas crafts for this year. I’ve started my NaNoWriMo project as well, so I’m well and truly in November mode.

The new lockdown coming in from Thursday in England won’t much affect me and Geth, as we never really came out of lockdown the first time – we rarely leave the house for reasons that aren’t running or supermarket shopping. I don’t have a problem with being in lockdown during November as I’m a total homebody anyway – especially in the autumn and winter – but it does feel pretty gloomy that December is so uncertain. I’m not holding out much hope for my 10k race going ahead on 6th December, or that I’ll be able to nip up to Edinburgh in early December to decorate Mum and Dad’s tree like I usually do. However, so long as I can celebrate Christmas itself in person with them, I can live without everything else this year. Just have to keep hoping.

Tomorrow will be similar to today – NaNo, house tidying, craft planning – as I settle into my November routine. There may be some late night watching of the preliminary US election results too, if I’m brave enough.

Neep lantern
From the weekend: a traditional neep lantern, part of my eclectic array of carved fruit and veg this year.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dead Or Alive – ‘Something In My House’
Cliff Richard – ‘Mistletoe And Wine’
Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
Traditional – ‘Carol Of The Bells’
Tom Jones – ‘Help Yourself’

Life without alcohol: ten months sober

I’m more than 300 days sober now (304 to be precise), which is very nearly the bulk of a year. So far it’s been one of the strangest years of my life, but I won’t go into that until the year is properly over.

Hallowe'en lantern

Ten months in, I’m sort of newly realising that I’m still actually fairly early on in my journey, and there are still things that are tripping me up, and things that I’m encountering sober for the first time. I haven’t done a music festival this year, and I don’t think I’ll be ready to do one next year either. I still don’t feel fully comfortable in pubs and clubs, and in fact I’m going to them less and less frequently.

I won’t be playing the ‘election drinking game’ this December. This was something that I did for every general election for years and years – I made huge jugs of cocktail with crappy old alcohol from the back of the cupboard to ‘use it up’, and then put food colouring in the jugs to match the political party colours. The game was very simple – ‘sip for a hold, glug for a gain’ – so when Labour held a seat in Newcastle, you’d take a sip of the red cocktail, and when the SNP gained a seat in Scotland, you’d take a big glug of the yellow cocktail (2015 required a LOT of yellow cocktail). Geth and I would be sick for days afterwards, but it was a tradition. I didn’t do it in 2017 because it was too soon after the 2015 election, but this is the first general election for which it’s no longer an option, and strangely, I feel a bit bereft as a result.

(I’ve also realised, in my wiser sober state, that following politics is not actually good for my mental health at the moment, and while I’ll obviously be voting, I will be getting an early night on election day instead of watching the results.)

I’ve also not navigated the Christmas period sober yet. While I will have had nearly a year to prepare for it, I’m still feeling quite a bit of trepidation about the whole thing. I’m already a bit sad that I won’t ever again have mulled wine, or Christmas cake made with whisky, or Christmas pudding with brandy poured over it for the flambé effect. I am, however, excited about doing the extra parkruns over the Christmas period, and Geth has promised to have a quiet Hogmanay with me so that we can do the New Year’s Day double parkrun.

I had a fairly ridiculous moment at the A-ha gig in Leeds on Saturday night when I went to the bar to get drinks for myself and Geth. Because of avoiding bars for the most part over the last few months, as well as the fact that it’s usually Geth who buys the drinks, I hadn’t actually been in a situation since I got sober where I was carrying a pint of beer for someone else. When I was still drinking, if I was collecting a pint for Geth, I would always take a big sip of it before carrying it back to the table so that I wouldn’t spill it while carrying it (the extra beer would be lost either way, so it wasn’t like I was stealing his beer – just preventing the excess from dripping all over my hand and the floor!). It wasn’t until I had the beer in my hand on Saturday night that I realised that was no longer an option.

Cue an extremely slow walk back into the main arena in an attempt not to spill the beer (which was ultimately unsuccessful as there was a door in my way), and then a further realisation that I couldn’t even lick my own hand clean, and…it just all felt a bit ludicrous, really. Maybe I should start carrying protective plastic gloves.

I’ve not reviewed any booze alternatives this month as I’ve been a bit too busy for non-diary blogging most days. I will try and do some over this next month, though, as I’ve got a bit of a backlog.

Mental health improvement plans are still quietly trucking along in the background. Hopefully next month I’ll have a bit more of an update on that.