Hogmanay pizza, 1995

Dad always makes homemade pizza on Hogmanay. I eat a lot of pizza, but Dad’s recipe is my favourite, and it’s super special because it only gets made once a year. This year, I’ll be spending New Year away from Scotland for the first time in my life due to the pandemic, and so I’ll be attempting to make the recipe myself.

Here’s a photo of Hogmanay (aka pizza night) from 1995.

Hogmanay pizza, 1995

Today’s earworm playlist:

Robbie Williams – ‘Soul Transmission’

Christmas tree, 1994

Still no running vlog. Sorry I’m behind with that, it’s been a mad few days! I’ll try and have it posted by Wednesday.

I’m taking a bit of time off over Christmas, so for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting an old photo every day instead of doing a diary blog post.

Christmas tree 1994
Christmas 1994, and the very first picture I ever took with my own camera (an Olympus, for which I was never able to change the film without help from my dad). All of my early photos were really squint!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Pet Shop Boys – ‘Heart’
Robbie Williams – ‘Time For Change’

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’

Usual routines

Just another quick mile this morning…

…because it was another day with lots to do! I had some editing jobs to get on with, and have also been working on my writing. All set for another quiet evening now.

Canada, 1998
Another old holiday snap, this time from western Canada in 1998. It occurred to me this morning that I probably won’t want to get on a plane for a very long time, given the potential for contamination. As such, world travel might be out for a couple of years, and so I’ll just have to enjoy my memories instead.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Radiant Flowers’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’
Gala – ‘Freed From Desire’

The return

After another recovery mile (no midweek middle-length run this week)…

…I drove back to Newcastle. Geth and I had stayed in Edinburgh for an extra night post-Inverness trip, as I was a bit tired yesterday. This worked out quite well as it meant that I had plenty time for doing the final polish on my adventure game yesterday. Today I’ve had the chance to play a few of the other jam entries, which has been enjoyable so far!

Getting back to normal tomorrow.

1990s pop stickers
The boarded-up fireplace in my old childhood bedroom is still covered in 1990s Smash Hits stickers. I really need to steam them all off and put them safely in a scrapbook at some point so that Mum and Dad can have a nicer-looking guest room.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Depeche Mode – ‘Everything Counts’
Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’
All Saints – ‘I Know Where It’s At’

End-of-decade shoes

I still have all the shoes I was wearing at the end of each decade so far in my life. Because I am that much of a hoarder.

On Hogmanay 1989, I was wearing my brand-new bumblebee slippers, which had been a Christmas gift from my Grandad MacLeod. They’re not exactly party shoes, but then I was only four (very nearly five). I was very excited about staying up for the bells for the first time though!

1989 bumblebee slippers
My bumblebee slippers, thirty years later.

On Hogmanay 1999, I wore a pair of silver Barratts sandals (super ’90s with minimal straps and a blade heel). I’d bought them specially for the millennium. It was the first year that I took in the bells with my friends instead of my family, drinking Bacardi Breezers and shots of tequila, which feels very grown-up when you’re fourteen (very nearly fifteen). It felt like the start of a really special phase of life, which in a way it was, but it was also the start of something that turned out to be quite dark and destructive. I suppose that’s teenage turning points for you.

Barratts sandals, 1999
My Barratts millennium sandals – a bit worse for wear twenty years later.

On Hogmanay 2009, I wore my Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons, which had just come out that year and were all the rage among shoe fans. They cost about half of what the Lady Dragon range costs today, but they were still a hugely extravagant expense for a broke recent graduate, and so I absolutely treasured them and looked after them very carefully. As a result, they’re still in good condition, unlike my very battered Barratts millennium shoes! At twenty-four (very nearly twenty-five) I felt a bit aimless, but didn’t really want my life to change – I took in the bells in the same pub where I’d been drinking since I was sixteen, and thought that I would be doing that forever.

Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons, 2009
My Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragons – still much-loved favourites a decade on.

It’s Hogmanay 2019, and for tonight I have got some very special shoes that I’ve been saving for my one-year soberversary. My soberversary isn’t for another five days, but I thought it’d be okay to wear the shoes early seeing as it is the end of a decade and all. When I was younger and extremely broke, I adored beautiful designer shoes, and would have killed for a pair of Christian Louboutins, but I was never anywhere close to being able to afford them. In late 2018, I was able to buy a pair in a sale, and, knowing that I was about to quit drinking, decided to save them as a gift to my future self for when I’d managed a whole year sober. They are very definitely not outdoor shoes – I would only ever wear them in the house so as not to spoil the trademark red soles – but that’s okay, seeing as these days my preferred place to take in the bells is at my parents’ house, in the same room where I said goodbye to the ’80s thirty years ago. At thirty-four (very nearly thirty-five), it’s nice to come full circle.

Christian Louboutin 'Decoltish' shoes, 2019
My long-awaited Louboutins – quite possibly the most special shoes in my life so far 🙂

My very first New Year resolution for 2020 is actually a New Decade resolution – for the entirety of the decade, I will not be buying shoes (except for necessary purchases like running shoes), because I already have far more than any sane person could possibly need, and the ones I do have are well-made and timeless. I will make an exception in December 2029, when I will find myself another nice pair of end-of-decade shoes. In the meantime, I will just enjoy my existing collection!

Hogmanay 1989
Some pictures from Hogmanay 1989. Note the bumblebee slippers in the lower right corner, and me whirling around in my Superman cape!
Hogmanay 2019
Same room, same me. Not the same shoes. Or the same spider plant!
Four decades of Hogmanay shoes
Four decades of Hogmanay shoes!