Half-asleep Sunday

A great day out yesterday at the TechUP conference – it was really nice to attend an event and meet people in person for the first time. It was a pretty full-on day, and then I did two short treadmill runs late at night (one either side of midnight to keep my streak going), so I’m having a very chilled Sunday today! Gradually catching up with Strictly and various other things from the sofa.

Flying Sunday post

It’s been a very frosty day. As such, my morning run was beautiful but very cold! I’ve been enjoying the warmth inside for the rest of the day, and caught up with the Strictly final, which I really enjoyed. I’ve got a bit of work for the week ahead but on the whole things are winding down for Christmas now.

Playlist Pick: Arctic Monkeys, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

Rumours of the death of Playlist Pick Wednesdays were apparently premature. New Wednesday series now starting NEXT week instead. I haven’t had time to organise it this week with the game competition deadline and everything!

Today’s playlist pick is another classic from the mid-’00s, which is a period in pop-rock for which I have been a bit nostalgic recently.

I also thoroughly recommend listening to the Anton du Beke cover in order to celebrate his long-overdue installation as a Strictly judge (for 2021 at least…):

We did a quickstep routine to this in the ‘Strictly Dance’ exercise class I attended pre-pandemic. I will get back to that class someday.

The point at which it starts to wear

It’s not been the most straightforward of weeks. I’ve had a uveitis attack for the first time in two years, so I spent half of Wednesday in the hospital waiting to be seen. I’m on the usual course of eye drops, which as usual provided almost instant relief when I started using them, but they are making my vision very blurry so I’m having to take a lot of screen breaks.

There have been good things happening this week as well, though. I’m still buzzing from the big PB I got at the Sunderland 10k on Sunday, even though it really took it out of me and I’m still not fully recovered yet! I’m also in a really good place with the short game I’ve made for the current competition after putting my big work-in-progress on hold for now. I’ve just prepped it for testing and am hoping to hear back from some potential playtesters soon. My chief playtester (Geth) has promised to have a good go over the weekend as well!

Summer, such as it is, is starting to wear on me now. I always feel really uncomfortable at this time of year. The endless daylight makes me feel a bit ill, and the whole season feels a bit strange and otherworldly to me. We get (occasional) hot weather! That’s not supposed to happen in this part of the world! Also, I sort of feel like the season lacks a focused celebration. Autumn has Hallowe’en, winter has Christmas, spring has Easter, summer has… your summer holiday? Which I haven’t felt I’m in a position to take properly for well over a decade, as it’s a busy time for my business, so even when I do travel in the summer I’m usually still working from wherever I am in the world. It’s a bit of a dragging time of year, and I generally spend most of it trying not to wish time away and get too excited about the autumn. Especially when they keep releasing news about the upcoming series of Strictly!

On the whole, then, it’s probably for the best that this is an especially busy summer (well, by pandemic standards), meaning I’ve got lots of things to keep me occupied. I’ve got quite a few ongoing clients booked for over the next month, and I expect the Masters dissertations will start to arrive in August, so there’ll be no shortage of day job work. I’ve also got a lot of games to make, and a lot of games to play… and a marathon to train for!

In short, the summer might not feel as long as it usually does…

Another picture from the Causey Arch trip a couple of weeks ago. I took a lot and have used some of them for graphics in my new game!

This week’s earworm playlists:


Eric Hammond – ‘Berlin (Königgrätzer Marsch)’


Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘The Crab Raft’


Dee Cooke – ‘Outside Building’
Duran Duran – ‘Ordinary World’
VNV Nation – ‘Genesis’


Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Andy Taylor – ‘Night Train’


Roxette – ‘Fading Like A Flower’
Laura Branigan – ‘Self Control’
Alice Cooper – ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’


Michael Land – ‘DeSinge’s Theme’
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – ‘Locomotion’


Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’

Buried in code

Another busy day today working on my current game. It’s very absorbing but as ever I’m really enjoying it! It’s a Christmas game so I’m also really excited about doing the graphics later in the week.

Now catching up with the Strictly episodes from the weekend. Going to try and stay caught up this week as I want to watch the final live – I don’t think I’ve voted yet this series so will be making up for that on Saturday!

Similar day tomorrow.

Christmas tree decorations
Still loving my Christmas tree. I never get tired of it and always feel like I’m taking it down too soon when Epiphany hits!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Pet Shop Boys – ‘Heart’
Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – ‘Under Control’

Breathing space!

Another quick mile out in the cold air this morning, and then I settled down for a quiet afternoon getting on with some neglected admin and working on my game. I’m looking forward to an even more quiet evening! I’ve got some YouTube videos and Strictly episodes I want to catch up with and some magazines to read.

Masked-up hair appointment tomorrow morning, but otherwise it’ll be another quiet day I hope!

Christmas mug
I enjoyed a coffee in my Christmas mug this afternoon. I’ve been too busy for hot drinks the last couple of weeks and so this is the first time I’ve used it!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – ‘Without You’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

I’ve decided it’s Hallowe’en now

A 30-minute easy run this morning…

…which I was a bit wary about when I saw it on my training plan as I prefer to go by distance, but it was fine.

After finishing off my day job work, I spent the afternoon decorating the house for Hallowe’en, as I want to be able to enjoy my decorations for a couple of weeks this year. This evening, Geth and I have been catching up with the recent Strictly ‘Best Of’ specials in preparation for the series proper starting this weekend!

Another good productive day tomorrow I hope.

Hallowe'en window cling
I’ve had these Hallowe’en window clings for years and they’re starting to lose their static, but I love them.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – ‘The Monster Mash’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’

Autumn TV nights

Three laps of my mile(ish) route today…

…and it’ll be the same again tomorrow. With less rain, I hope!

Now that the nights are properly ‘autumn dark’ (i.e. sunset at 7pm), I am in a TV-watching mood again. Not that Geth and I did anything in the evenings all summer except sit in the house with the TV on, but it feels ‘right’ again now that it’s blankets ‘n’ candles season. Tonight we are resuming our Star Trek marathon, which we last paused more than four years ago (in May 2016 according to my notes!). We started the marathon circa 2010 and it’s been off and on since then. There’s been a lot of Star Trek made since the ’60s, and rather inconveniently they’ve started making loads of it again in the last few years, meaning we will probably never be caught up completely. It’s good stuff though.

I also have a ‘highlights from past series’ Strictly show to catch up with sometime this week, having recorded it last weekend!

Another three laps (and some more work and TV-watching) tomorrow.

Star Trek DVDs
Looking forward to getting back to these DVDs! I just had a look on Amazon and the packaging style has changed sometime in the last half decade, so the Enterprise ones won’t look quite the same when we get round to buying those…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’
Leo Sayer – ‘Moonlighting’
Tight Fit – ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’
The Smiths – ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’

And a couple of bonus tracks that Geth was humming earlier:

REM – ‘Bad Day’
Patrice Rushen – ‘Forget Me Nots’ (or rather the ‘black bin bags’ parody from Phoenix Nights)

Best day

Another recovery mile this morning…

…followed by a nice walk in the early September sunshine. The first of September is one of my favourite days of the year – it’s the start of meteorological autumn, my favourite season, and of the part of the year starting with ‘-ber’ – the best four months of all. This autumn will probably feel a bit different, just as this spring and this summer felt a bit different, but I’m hopeful that the magic of the season will still be there. I’m still running a GNR, even if it’s virtual; the BBC are doing a truncated and socially-distanced Strictly series (the first participants are being announced tonight!); and of course no pandemic can stop me from binge-watching horror films and eating all the Hallowe’en chocolate during October!

I’m also excited about my 24-hour London Marathon challenge in October, which will keep my training focused for another month or so (Geth and I are also booked for an actual live race – the North Tyneside 10k – on the 18th of October, but we haven’t heard yet if it’s going ahead or not…).

Lots of other hopes and ambitions for the autumn months, including house decor (a few bits and pieces arriving this week!), writing (I have three potential projects for NaNoWriMo) and coding (I can’t decide which game to work on next, but I would like to release at least another two this year).

It should be a good autumn, even if it’s a quiet one. I might even make an effort to go find a Bonfire Night fireworks display this year (I usually can’t be bothered!).

In the shorter term, it looks like I’ll be fairly busy with day job work over the next few weeks, so September will probably fly by… as usual!

Pictures to go up
I am determined to get some of my pictures hung up on the wall by the end of the year, even if I don’t manage any other house projects. If nothing else, it’ll stop them cluttering up the dressing room!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Jared Emerson-Johnson – ‘New Location Unlocked [Midtown Remix]’

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’