Aestivation

(It’s hibernation except in the summer rather than winter, and is how I would quite like to spend my July.)

As mentioned yesterday, I released a new game this week: Waiting for the Day Train, a submission to ParserComp. I’ve got all sorts of feelings about releasing this game. As I’ve discussed over the last few weeks, the plan was to submit my work-in-progress Marie to the competition, but I’ve realised it will need a lot more development (to the tune of the better part of a year), and so Waiting for the Day Train, which I had vaguely conceived in my head while visiting Causey Arch when Mum and Dad were visiting a few weeks ago, became my last-minute replacement for this particular competition. It’s shorter and simpler than a lot of games I’ve made recently, but that meant I was able to have it tested properly and polish it up quite nicely, and I’ve become very attached to it over the last couple of weeks. I’ve also realised the importance of having short, fun game projects on the go as well as big ones. Big games are important to make as I’ve got big stories to tell, but it can be hard to keep the momentum going over the course of a project that takes a couple of years. Short games always feel fresh. I’ve got a lot of them I want to make now.

I’ve also been very busy with day job work over the last few weeks. This is great, as it’s a continuation of business really picking up this year after last year’s pandemic-induced slump, but during busy times it can be a lot of work for one person to do.

I’m still going to be working on the aforementioned short game projects during July, but I’ve done some careful scheduling to make sure that, like day job work, it all gets done during the week. I need to start switching off my brain at weekends again, as I feel like I’m burning out a bit.

Package
Today’s postal arrival. Not books. T-shirts 🙂 A present to myself for releasing another game.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Shaggy and RikRok – ‘It Wasn’t Me’*

Sunday

Dee Cooke – ‘Waiting For The Train’**

Monday

Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**
Elton John – ‘Crocodile Rock’

Tuesday

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Lighthouse’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Main Theme’
Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**
Dee Cooke – ‘Waiting For The Train’**

Wednesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Main Theme’
Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**

Thursday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘The Observatory’

Friday

David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida – ‘Where Them Girls At’
Queen – ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’

*A result of this stellar parody in response to the Matt Hancock incident.

**From the soundtrack of my new game, linked above. I’m still learning when it comes to making soundtracks but they certainly get stuck in my head.

Seeds of normality

I have a race tomorrow. An actual real race, not a virtual. There will be COVID-secure measures (we are starting in waves and have to wear face coverings at the start and finish), but it’s an actual race with other people, and I’m really excited. It’s a trail race with lots of hills, and it’s going to be hot, so I will be taking it very slowly and walking a lot. In some ways it should be easier than last week’s virtual half. I hope! I’m also going to be getting on public transport for the first time in fifteen months, which will be interesting.

This last week has been very busy between coding and day job work. It’s going to be like this for the rest of June while I finish my game. I’m doing really well with it on the whole, but I am looking forward to a bit of a break in July!

Summer has hit now, and it just doesn’t seem to get dark at the moment… especially seeing as I’m falling asleep so early. I always feel a bit out of sorts at this time of year as I’m not really built for it. Autumn is my time.

Excited that I’ll have another medal for my collection this time tomorrow. They’re coming thick and fast at the moment!

Whitley Bay
Geth took this photo of a very muggy and foggy Whitley Bay for me earlier this week.

This week’s earworm playlists (still very Duran-heavy):

Saturday

Duran Duran – ‘American Science’
Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’

Sunday

Harry Belafonte – ‘Jump in the Line (Shake, Señora)’
Pitbull and Christina Aguilera – ‘Feel This Moment’

Monday

Duran Duran – ‘I Take The Dice’
Traditional – ‘Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree’

Tuesday

Dee Cooke – ‘Outside Building’
Duran Duran – ‘Secret Oktober’
Pointer Sisters – ‘Automatic’

Wednesday

Duran Duran – ‘Secret Oktober’
The Midnight – ‘Endless Summer’
Cornershop – ‘Brimful Of Asha [Norman Cook Mix]’
Stephen Duffy – ‘Kiss Me’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’

Thursday

David Guetta and Sia – ‘Flames’
Duran Duran – ‘Five Years’

Friday

Duran Duran – ‘I Take The Dice’
The Wonder Stuff – ‘Golden Green’

Juggling November

Another slightly frustrating mile today…

…but tomorrow I have a plan for getting a longer run done. Hope it works!

I spent another day doing piecemeal writing and editing projects – NaNo, jam game planning, short story planning, a bit of day job work. This is going to be every day in November unless I finish the short story early, which I don’t think I will unless I really get into it. I’m being strict about finishing writing and editing by 6pm so that I can get my admin done by 9pm and squeeze a couple of hours of videogaming in before bed, as I know that’s the only thing that’s going to keep me sane this month.

Another busy day tomorrow, but it’s the good kind of busy!

Great Run Solo Hallowe'en medal
My medal for my Great Run Solo Hallowe’en accumulator challenge arrived today, which means I can finally complete my decor project from a couple of months ago! Hoping to get it all up on the walls this weekend…

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘A View To A Kill’

Marathon weekend has landed!

Another rest day mile today…

…and there’s just one more to go tomorrow morning/lunchtime (depending on how well my sleep preparation goes) before the big challenge starts at midnight! I’m so excited and so nervous 😯

I spent today finishing off all my day job work for the week, and then this evening I drove to Asda with Geth to pick up all the stuff needed for Sunday. I can’t eat big meals during the 24-hour challenge as it gives me a bad stitch if I eat too much just before running, but I still need to make sure I have enough fuel on board during the day. As such, I will be carefully grazing throughout the day, aiming for about 200 calories worth of snacks between each run (as I will burn 150 on each 1.2-mile lap). I have lots of boxes of small bakery bites (flapjacks and so on), protein bars, energy gels, crisps for when I need something savoury, bananas, berries… and an absolute ton of coffee and Pepsi Max to keep me awake haha!

The last time I experienced a marathon weekend was a very different type of London Marathon. Though the way I’m running the marathon couldn’t be more different, I’m equally excited! I also had the confirmation email today that they’ve successfully deferred my ‘real’ London Marathon place to October 2021, so a year from now I will be back doing it traditionally (assuming this awful pandemic has retreated by then!).

I usually only post running vlogs over the weekend, but I expect I’ll have lots to say tomorrow so will probably update as normal.

Dinosaur bobble
I order a lot of Lucy Locket Loves leggings at the moment (they’re brightly coloured and I have found they are a very effective way of cheering myself up during this awful year) and they often put free gifts in the packages. This mini dinosaur has got detached from his hair bobble, so I think I might turn him into a brooch at some point.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Cast of Pocahontas – ‘Colours Of The Wind’
Fifth Harmony and Ty Dolla Sign – ‘Work From Home’
Limahl – ‘Neverending Story’

A slow Tuesday

Two miles this morning…

…because I’m increasing my mileage slightly on some of my recovery runs while I’m training for my October challenge. It’s nice to change my route on occasion.

The rest of the day has been fairly slow – I do have quite a lot of admin to do this week but I just couldn’t concentrate today. Hoping to feel a bit more productive tomorrow.

Delivery box
A large and heavy box arrived today! Its contents will look a bit more exciting later in the week once I’ve set them up.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Angela Lansbury – ‘Beauty And The Beast’

Another Monday off

Back to my regularly-scheduled mile this morning…

…though today’s running headspace has been overshadowed by an email from the London Marathon, explaining that it will now be another ten days before they make their announcement about whether their rescheduled October date is actually going ahead. A bit more patience required 🙁 I can’t wait to have some idea of what I’m actually doing with my running this autumn.

Today, however, I’m having another Monday off, which is the new planned pattern for the foreseeable future. I got my day job work for today done yesterday so that I can have a good session on Paper Mario: The Origami King and make some progress.

Back to work tomorrow. With a bit more videogaming in the evening, I hope!

Brightly coloured running gear
I’m still cheering myself up with brightly-coloured running gear. Have developed a good collection now! These were part of today’s running outfit.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Town’
Nintendo – ‘Scorching Sandpaper Desert (Battle)’
The Midnight – ‘Endless Summer’
Nintendo – ‘Shroom City’

All about that Friday evening!

Another warm mile this morning…

…because the storm hasn’t arrived here in Newcastle yet, even though it was supposed to this evening. I’m feeling a bit disappointed now! Hope we still get some impressive thunder and lightning by the time I go to bed (and preferably not in the middle of the night, thank you).

I spent the bulk of today getting my day job work finished for the week. All done now, so I can get back to my game over the weekend! Hoping I might get some actual playing of games done as well if I have time…

A non-parkrun three-miler to do first thing tomorrow though. That would be a good time for a storm not to be happening as well!

Stuff in the post
Today’s postal haul. I heard about the text adventure t-shirt on one of the text adventure Facebook groups and somehow managed to yoink the last one! I also completed my ‘seven of each running item for seven days’ shorts collection with the Tikiboo Run London shorts in yet another colourway 😀

Today’s earworm playlist:

Melanie C – ‘I Turn To You’
Queen – ‘Somebody To Love’
Michael Land, Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian – ‘Atlantis’ Last Moments’

Hours in the day

A four-miler in the heat today…

…and then straight into work, as it’s been one of those ‘clients are like buses’ weeks with everybody sending projects at once! I’ve been keeping an eye on my hour-by-hour time management today and making notes, as I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated recently by busywork taking up more time than it deserves. Hoping to be able to streamline things a bit over the next few weeks, as I’ve got a lot of projects to be getting on with and I want them all finished by mid-July so that I can start getting some day-long videogaming sessions in! Might as well make the most of not going anywhere for summer holidays this year 🙂

Looking forward to an evening of graphics creation, and hoping for another earlyish start tomorrow so I can get another good chunk of work done.

Red diary
Geth’s new diary for academic year 2020-21 arrived today. He ordered it early so that we can start planning out CoronaYear 2: The Rescheduling. I LOVE the colour so much that I might be adding a red diary of my own to my Christmas list this year 😍

Today’s earworm playlist:

Melanie C and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes – ‘Never Be The Same Again’
Yoko Shimomura – ‘Colony 9’
Daniel Bedingfield – ‘Gotta Get Thru This’

Green on black

I did a ‘marathon training’ midweek run today…

…and I’d forgotten how long midweek runs need to be, even right at the start of the training period! I did four miles today and will be doing seven on Sunday. In the very unlikely event that the London Marathon don’t announce a re-postponement in their next update on Monday, I’ll be doing the same next week.

I then spent the afternoon working on my game. It was great to be able to set aside a day for doing that, although the code is starting to swim in front of my eyes a bit now! I’ll be spending tonight getting on with a bit of evening admin.

I’m driving Geth to his office tomorrow morning so we can pick up his books, but after that I’ll be settling in with my game for the weekend!

Flanci running shorts
I absolutely love the colours on my new running shorts. Hope the weather warms up again soon so I can try them out! Appreciate the wee handwritten note too.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land, Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian – ‘Monte Carlo’

Still not firing on all cylinders

Just another mile today…

…as I woke up with a slightly sore shoulder (I had planned to do closer to two miles today but decided to keep it short and gentle again).

I’m still not sleeping well, and I don’t feel productive at all this week – I’m a bit slow to get going with everything. Still, I’m managing to get a bit of work on my current writing project done every day, which is great.

Despite the uncertainty about absolutely everything at the moment, I am 100% certain that two things will be the case by the end of 2020:

  1. I will have made a significant dent in my videogame backlog. There’s no way I’ll have cleared it completely, but there will at least be light at the end of the tunnel…
  2. I will own enough leggings to last me for the rest of my life, and yet I will still want more. So many shiny patterns!

Everyone needs a hobby, or twenty in my case. Especially at the moment.

Videogaming tonight, running in the morning, writing during the day, rinse and repeat.

Computers, 1980
I’m running out of pictures that I can take during lockdown, as my world is obviously a bit samey right now. As such, I’ve been going through the family archives for old computer pictures. I love this one from 1980.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Yell’
Revo – ‘Ship Upon The Open Skies’
Thought Beings – ‘Shakedown’