Weekend mode

Started today off with a lovely run with the social group, which is becoming something I’m really enjoying on Friday mornings. Volunteering at parkrun tomorrow so will do a very gentle run back, and then hopefully I’ll be able to manage my twelve miles on Sunday!

I’ve been making a bit more time for reading and gaming this week, which has been so beneficial (I’m usually non-stop with day job stuff, writing, running and other ‘busy’ pursuits). Going to try and continue this.

Choosing adventures

Not running adventures. Though there are always a few of those going on as well!

Since finishing reading an academic work on text adventure games last week (Twisty Little Passages – I won a signed copy from the author as a prize for winning PunyJam #2 last year), I’ve been drawn towards lighter bedtime reading and have pulled out my old childhood gamebook collection again. I’ve got a few Choose Your Own Adventure books and various other series to revisit (some with dice. I like dice).

There may be a return to Gamebook Wednesday posts soon as a result, but not today.

…and hello 2022!

Geth and I did do a New Year’s Day parkrun this morning but I’ll save my regularly scheduled parkrunday post for tomorrow. Lots of 2022 stuff to discuss today!

This year’s non-binding New Year Resolutions:

  • Sort out the house. It didn’t happen last year and it may not happen this year, but I would at least like to get some more stuff up on the walls (including that spice rack I bought a year ago) and work out a more manageable cleaning schedule.
  • Don’t book any midweek trips away and assume I can just ‘squeeze any work in’. I’m far too busy to be away during the week. Trips will be weekend-only with very rare exceptions.
  • Get one or two of my years-in-the-making longer game projects published by focusing on those rather than short things for jams and competitions.
  • Use the skills from my TechUP course to build at least two fairly complex websites.
  • Create some games using Python!
  • Take another big chunk off my marathon PB at the Edinburgh Marathon in May.
  • Get back to the fitness level I was when everything screeched to a grinding halt in March 2020.
  • Get my parkrun ‘different events’ total up to at least 30, continue to volunteer once a month, get my Wilson index to 15 (geeky – don’t worry if you don’t know what that is) and take part in parkrun every possible parkrunday!
  • Listen to more music and keep a closer eye on what’s going on with synthwave, industrial and heritage artists.
  • Actually leave the UK for the first time in four years (Ireland is the plan… not going far but it’ll be something!).
  • Catch up with what’s been happening with Doctor Who. It’s my favourite TV series but I’ve drifted away from the fandom over the last few years as I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t been hugely fond of the Whittaker/Chibnall era. I’m about two and a half series behind!
  • Finish all the books I’m reading. I’ve got into an awful habit over the last year where I start a book, read it for a week or so (last thing at night in bed is my reading time), neglect reading for the following week or so (because I’m anxious about not getting enough sleep if I read… even though I know I sleep better if I do), then abandon it and start a different book. This year, I’m going to concentrate on one at a time and read them right to the end. 20 books in 2022 seems like a good target!
  • Make a LOT more time for videogaming by keeping my evenings and weekends free. My game backlog is probably 1,000+ now and it’s time to start whittling that down. It’s my favourite way to relax and I most definitely have not been doing enough relaxing in 2021, so this has to be a real priority over the next year.

It’ll be interesting, as ever, to come back to this post in a year’s time! I didn’t make any resolutions last year except the house-sorting one, which was kind of a fail… let’s hope there’ll be more hits than misses in 2022.

P.S. Happy birthday blog! Four years today since I started my daily rambles.

Shin Megami Tensei V
Geth’s current videogame (which he has been playing nonstop since Christmas Day) is Shin Megami Tensei V, which I got him for Christmas. I would love to spend as much time videogaming as Geth does, and in order to do so I am planning to reorganise a few things this year.

Touching distance

Following my usual mile run in the morning, I did another full afternoon of de-hoarding. I’ll be doing the same tomorrow and can see light at the end of the tunnel now. I’m hoping that I can get the project finished tomorrow, but if not, it should be done by Friday at least. I’m really looking forward to the end result.

A bit too tired to do anything else, so I’ll just be reading tonight I think!

Boxes of stuff
Just a few of the boxes that will be going in the garage ready for the next stage.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Steps – ‘One For Sorrow’
Steve Winwood – ‘Valerie’
will.i.am – ‘Bang Bang’

Time on feet

A two-mile run today…

…which was later followed by a four-mile walk and a 25-minute yoga session. I’m doing a lot of extra cross-training this week, as I mentioned yesterday, to try and help with my fitness in the lead-up to my autumn challenges. The walking is being helped along by an online game I’m playing where you need to collect items en route!

I also got a bit of day job work done for a client, and caught up with some admin. Looking forward to a quiet night reading now!

Fetchpoint score
My Fetchpoint game score has dropped significantly due to the fact I’ve not played for several months and my penalty items have been building up. Hoping to clear them all through walking by the end of the week!

Today’s earworm playlist:

3 Daft Monkeys – ‘Paranoid Big Brother’
Rizzle Kicks – ‘Down With The Trumpets’

Start of a more active week

Just a recovery mile this morning…

…but I’m also going to be doing a lot more cross-training this week as I want to get a few more active hours in the plan in preparation for my autumn challenges. Monday, as usual, is a day off for me, but I will be doing a bit of gentle yoga this afternoon.

Other than that, I will be getting back into my videogames for the rest of the day. Back to work tomorrow!

Running books
I’ve been reading running books again before bed. I’m enjoying re-reading The Joy Of Running, and I’ve got a few more lined up on my Kindle for once I’m finished.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’

Cleaner, cosier, comfier

Just a mile for this morning’s run…

…as I had various other things to do. Looking forward to some longer runs later in the week.

It was a bit of an odd weekend as I was trying to keep myself from feeling too down about the fact that if not for the coronavirus situation, I would have been in London running the marathon. By and large, I managed to distract myself with videogames, and I did a couple of short, fast runs to test out my pace a bit. I also spent most of yesterday trying to solve technical issues, as our SteamLink box was playing up again. I’ve told Geth that we have to keep an eye on it by turning it on every day, which provides lots of excuses for videogaming this week!

I’ve also managed to get a really good clean of the house done. I’d been neglecting it a bit, because I usually base my cleaning schedule around when we’re expecting company… and obviously we’ve not had any recently. However, I’ve spent the last couple of days getting on with it, and the house feels a lot nicer now.

I’ve got a small amount of day job work lined up for this week, which is great, and I’ve got several more housework-type tasks to get on with as well. I also want to finish my graphics for my next adventure game before the end of Camp NaNo on Thursday, so I’ve got plenty things to be getting on with! It’s nice, though, because it provides a bit of structure to the day. I’d obviously love it if I could just sit and play videogames the whole time, but I think I’d probably lose track of days and nights as a result! Oh, for those student summers when I’d regularly be playing until 7am and it didn’t matter…

I’m still getting a good few hours in every evening though, and I find I’ve got time for lots of reading and TV-watching too, so if I ignore the general world situation, life is quite relaxed at the moment!

Tikiboo Run London tights
Yesterday, I wore what should have been my race kit. I’m looking forward to taking these special London-themed Tikiboos out for some longer runs to make sure that they will hold up during the marathon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tomohito Nishiura – ‘Froenborg’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’

Monday lockdown structure

Instead of my planned supermarket run, I just went for a mile today…

…because I’m really trying to make weekdays feel like weekdays and weekends feel like weekends at the moment, rather than all blurring into one. As such, I just did a short run as soon as I got up today so that I could get on with some work in a timely manner (I’ve found over the last few weeks that a combination of waking up late and being slow to get out for my run has meant that I don’t end up at my ‘desk’ until early afternoon). I feel a lot better for it and am hoping to do the same tomorrow, though I will do a slightly longer run so that I can finally get to the supermarket.

It’s just the usual otherwise today – working on my game, doing a bit of yoga, chilling out with my 3DS. I’ve also moved on to the last book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, and am reading a couple of chapters before bed every night. I’ve been meaning to finish that series for ages!

Also OMG WE GOT POST TODAY. We’ve not had post for a week – I presume because the posties round here are a bit stretched in the current circumstances. Things that arrived for me in the post:

  • Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy (Deluxe Edition), a new Nintendo Switch game that I will be playing as soon as I complete all my remaining Layton games on the 3DS (so it’ll be some time, even under lockdown!).
  • Two pairs of Tikiboo capri running tights for the warmer spring weather – one in my favourite ’80s-esque print, and one in the specially designed London 2020 print for anyone doing a London race this year. There are lots of companies doing to-die-for legging designs these days, but Tikiboo are the absolute best as far as I’m concerned.
  • A reminder from DVLA to update my vehicle tax. Exciting times!

Getting post was so exciting that I’m tempted to spend all my money on MORE STUFF THAT WILL ARRIVE IN THE POST. I will resist until there’s something I actually need.

Postal haul
Postal haul! Car tax reminder letter not shown.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Dubliners – ‘Rocky Road To Dublin’
Sting – ‘Englishman In New York’
Avicii and Nicky Romero – ‘I Could Be The One’


A very blustery run this morning…

…which I was a little surprised by, as I’d hoped we’d be done with the strong winds by now (the nice spring weather we’ve been lucky enough to have for the last couple of weeks has been a real silver lining for me, as it really helps to lift my mood when I get out for my run in the morning). It certainly made the run a bit more of a challenge! Hopefully it’ll be calmer again tomorrow.

I slept a lot better last night. I think the secondary evening workout is helping (I tried some YouTube yoga last night – it’s basically very similar to Pilates with lots of hippy talk thrown in. It was a nice workout though so I will persevere), and before bed I also did a bit of reading – I picked up the book I’d abandoned last autumn, on Mum’s suggestion. Fingers crossed that will be my pattern sorted again now.

I’ve done a bit of day job work this afternoon, and am now going to crack on with my text adventure/Camp NaNo project. The first game (a prequel to the main project) is nearly ready to playtest!

On the whole, I’m settling into my ‘new normal’ daily routine now, and I find I’m striking a good balance between work and me-time.

Spring blossom
A definite sign of spring: the blossom is opening on one of the trees in our front garden. I love spring blossom and these trees are one of my favourite things about the two gardens we acquired when we bought our house.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘Battle Normal 1 [Bravely Default II Soundtrack]’
Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Endor – ‘Pump It Up’
The Beatles – ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
The Beatles – ‘She Loves You’
Fountains Of Wayne – ‘Stacy’s Mom’*
Cast of Aladdin – ‘Prince Ali’

*RIP Adam Schlesinger.

Standing still

It’s been a while since I volunteered at parkrun, so it was good to get out and marshal at Jesmond Dene this morning, a parkrun course that I really enjoyed running during the autumn. I jogged there and back so as to get my run in, but made sure I had plenty layers on for the ninety minutes I was standing at my marshal point! There was a bitter wind blowing through the Dene today, so they were very much needed.

Geth is away at a Keyforge tournament so I’ve had a really relaxed afternoon reading. I’ve got another long run to do tomorrow and I’m hoping to be well rested.

Weekends are a bit of a write-off at the moment due to all the running, but that’s sort of the way it goes during marathon training.

parkrun volunteering
Sort of an OOTD: I was at the marshal point I’d always feared, the one where an out-of-control runner can knock you down the steps if you’re not careful! Thankfully it wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Jackson Browne – ‘Rosie’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Soft Cell – ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’
Belinda Carlisle – ‘Leave A Light On’