It’s sort of for the best that I ditched my NENDY* touristing plans this week, given that my NENDY wasn’t on this morning. It was one of the many NE England parkruns that cancelled due to Storm Malik. Geth and I went to our home parkrun at Town Moor instead… and it was mental in the high winds. Easily the toughest winds on the Moor I’ve ever experienced, and the Moor is breezier than most places anyway due to being so exposed. Most of today’s run was focused on staying on the path and not getting blown over, and there were points where I was sprinting yet standing still, if you see what I mean. I really felt for the volunteers who were also struggling to avoid being blown away!
I am quite looking forward to winter weather being over.
Still, it was fun in a sort of unhinged way, and it was nice to have an excuse not to worry about pace.
Town Moor is off next week so won’t be there. No idea where we will be though!
*NENDY: parkrun tourist speak for ‘nearest event not done yet’.
In the quiet part of the year, every weekend is the same, and that’s the way I like it.
I was going to go further afield for parkrun tomorrow morning, but I don’t have the energy at the moment as there are a lot of other things going on (January is quiet social-wise but not work-wise or study-wise… certainly not this year anyway!). Just the usual will be fine.
After that I’ll be on my sofa all weekend. Probably not fully awake. It’s been another long week.
…though to be honest I’m not sure why. I’ve been trying to get out of the habit of ‘wishing my life away’ by constantly barrelling onwards to the next thing. Winter may be a bit rubbish and miserable weather-wise, but it’s also nice and quiet and enables me to hibernate indoors and get on with things. I should make the most of that before things start happening again in the spring and summer.
I’ve got an extension for my course deadline, which is a bit of a relief as it means I can focus all my study energies on the group project we’re doing at the moment and save the rest of the outstanding work for later. I should still be done with everything by the end of February, meaning that I can focus on my own tech work again from the spring onwards.
Spring will be nice… but I need to find a way of enjoying winter while it’s still around!
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.
I’ve got two more work weeks to go before I can take my Christmas break, but I’m hoping there’ll be a gradual wind down now after a very busy year. Business has picked up over the course of 2021 in a way that I couldn’t have imagined at the start of the year, which has been amazing, but I’m still getting used to the vastly increased workload and will be having a bit of a rethink over Christmas about better ways of managing it all. My hours are much closer to full-time now, which has become very apparent as I’ve tried to fit my TechUp studying around work over the last couple of months, and next year my life needs to be planned accordingly. I can no longer just arrange midweek travelling on the assumption that I’ll only have to fit in a couple of days’ worth of work over the course of the week – I need to be at home so that I can get everything done. As such, it’ll be weekend travelling only in 2022, especially as I expect to be fairly busy with taking the first steps towards a career change post-TechUp.
It’s a bit daunting but it’s also exciting. I wonder what things will be like this time next year.
I’ve not set foot outside the house for nine days. It’s cold out there and it’s got to that point in the year where I’d far rather be on the treadmill with a YouTube video in the background than outside running in the cold, even though the treadmill is not at all ideal for my running. I’ve got some outdoor time booked for the weekend, and I need to go to the post office at some point, but in general I am very happy staying at home. To be honest, that tends to be the case all year round.
Things are still very busy with work and studying but I’m getting lots ticked off the list every day. I’m not going to wish December away, because I absolutely love the run-up to Christmas (and I always get really depressed in January when I have to take the decorations down), but I will be really glad when I can sign off on Christmas Eve for a couple of weeks of downtime. In the meantime, it’s one day at a time, as ever.
The UK winter preferring to save most of its snow for February and March when people are already sick of winter is not a new phenomenon, judging by our family photo archives. My February 1989 wardrobe heavily featured this, um, dashing snow suit, something I have most definitely not seen on any of the small children dragging sledges around the snow-laden streets of Newcastle this winter. ’80s fashion: nothing if not careful.
I am a lot more cavalier about snow in 2021 and have been going out in Doc Martens, leggings and a light trenchcoat this week. I love a bit of ’80s retro, but I’m not quite ready to do one-piece snow wear again.
It’s been a week of snow and power cuts and hence a week that has not really gone to plan. Other than the long-awaited outdoor 10k I managed last Saturday, the snow has derailed pretty much all my running this week. However, to be honest I’m kind of used to that after this long, bleak winter, and Geth and I have been looking into ways to make treadmill running less boring. I’ve ordered a Zwift Runn sensor, which you attach to the side of your treadmill in order to connect it to Zwift. I’ve been interested in trying Zwift for a while and a prolonged period of snow seems like as good an opportunity as ever… Of course, I thoroughly expect that as soon as it arrives, the snow and ice will clear up and I won’t need to use the treadmill again until next winter. Still, it’s a win either way!
In the meantime, Geth has discovered the RunDisney YouTube channel, which provides lots of nice video tours around Disneyland that enable you to watch the screen while on the treadmill and pretend you’re running round a theme park on a hot day in Florida (something that feels like a total fantasy at the moment). I watched one of the videos during my treadmill run this morning and it felt a lot less tedious than usual! Geth originally wanted to do a real-life RunDisney event for his 40th birthday last year, but obviously that has had to be put on hold for now. We’re determined that it will happen eventually, though.
The power cuts we had earlier this week, meanwhile, meant that work was disrupted quite a bit and I’ve not really been able to catch up. As such, I’m going to have to do a bit of work at the weekend, which is something I’ve been trying to avoid 🙁 Hopefully things will go a bit more smoothly next week.
This week’s earworm playlists:
Cast of The Sound Of Music – ‘So Long, Farewell’* Kate Bush – ‘Wuthering Heights’ Barenaked Ladies – ‘One Week’
*RIP Christopher Plummer.
The Bangles – ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ Lindisfarne – ‘Meet Me On The Corner’
Lindisfarne – ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’
Cast of The Sound Of Music – ‘Edelweiss’ Cast of Mary Poppins – ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ Queen – ‘Flash’ Ladytron – ‘Destroy Everything You Touch’ Duran Duran – ‘Ball Of Confusion’ The Weeknd and Daft Punk – ‘Starboy’ Duran Duran – ‘Five Years’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’ Lil’ Dicky, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, DJ Khaled and Kendall Jenner – ‘Freaky Friday’ Queen – ‘One Vision’ Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ Robson & Jerome – ‘Unchained Melody’
Adam & The Ants – ‘Prince Charming’ Randy Newman – ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’
The Bangles – ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ Revo – ‘Sylvan Tranquility’ Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’ Traditional – ‘Bonnie Ship The Diamond’
I don’t usually say that. I normally find February to be a fairly dismal month – there’s still no end in sight to the cold winter weather, and by now I’m a lot more fed up of it than I was at the start of January. It’s also still a long time before anything exciting or fun will happen in the year. Race season normally starts in March at the earliest, Easter break usually isn’t till April, and it’s generally May before the weather gets properly nice and Geth and I start going on all our small summer mini-breaks.
Of course, this year is different in many ways. All the races and gigs and trips we’ve got booked for the spring and summer – all holdovers from the cancelled year that was 2020 – are still up in the air. As ever with this pandemic, massive amounts of conflicting information and predictions are flying around, and it’s just not possible to make plans. I’ll be delighted if things are normal enough by the summer that I can sit or stand at a concert with thousands of other people, but I can’t see it happening. Races might be a different matter, as it’s easier to make them COVID-secure, but I still don’t see the ones I’ve got booked for late spring going ahead.
Then there’s the weather. What kept me fairly cheerful through lockdown 1 last spring – other than the novelty of it – was the fact that we were having the most glorious spring we’d had for years, and every day I was able to go out and run in the warm sunshine, with beautiful cherry-blossom trees everywhere I went. Lockdown 3, in contrast, has been BLEAK. The weather has been constant ice, snow and sleet, meaning that I’ve had to alternate between tedious treadmill runs and grim, slippery, wet runs outside (neither of which are conducive to speed training in the slightest).
As such, while I don’t expect things to change much in February – the weather, certainly, is showing no signs of becoming less awful – it does mean that we’re one month closer to warmer weather, and hopefully looser restrictions, even if things won’t quite return to normal this year in the way that we would like.
On a day-to-day basis, things are trucking on. I’ve had a fairly steady trickle of day job work over the last couple of weeks, and having my new daily schedule has meant that I’ve also been able to fit in a decent amount of time on my own projects. I’ve also been enjoying my evening downtime and making a lot of progress in my videogames. I’m nearly finished with Bravely Second, which should mean I’ll have a couple of weeks’ break from the series to make some more progress on Final Fantasy I before Bravely Default II comes out (already pre-ordered!). Following BDII I may then spend a bit of time playing non-JRPGs as there are quite a lot on my to-play list. I did this last summer (many happy hours spent on the armchair in the living room playing adventure games on the big screen) and am keen to repeat the experience.
There’s also another Adventuron jam coming up this month, so that will doubtless be a fun project for my spare hours!
On the whole, I’m not short of ways to spend my time. I just wish this particular chapter of life didn’t feel so endless at the moment.
This week’s earworm playlists:
Nintendo 3DS eShop – ‘Main Theme’ Duran Duran – ‘Five Years’ Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’
The Bangles – ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ Duran Duran – ‘Save A Prayer’
Revo – ‘Fighting To The End’ The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar – ‘Pray For Me’ Chuck Berry – ‘You Never Can Tell’ Ed Sheeran – ‘Don’t’ Men Without Hats – ‘Safety Dance’ Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’
Men Without Hats – ‘Safety Dance’ Nintendo 3DS eShop – ‘Main Theme’ Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ Bob Marley & The Wailers – ‘Three Little Birds’
Bob Marley & The Wailers – ‘Three Little Birds’ Queen – ‘Flash’ Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – ‘Under Control’
Yuzo Koshiro – ‘Labyrinth I: Emerald Grove’ Bob Marley & The Wailers – ‘Three Little Birds’ Beyoncé – ‘If I Were A Boy’ Elton John – ‘Step Into Christmas’ Men Without Hats – ‘Safety Dance’ Blondie – ‘One Way Or Another’
I was awake about three hours earlier this morning than I have been recently, as I wanted to get a treadmill run in before my hair appointment. It’s nice to have my hair in check again (it was getting unwieldy), but I find that if I don’t get a lot of sleep then I’m really hungry the next day! Currently trying to resist the mince pies in the cupboard, though I don’t expect I’ll last out for the whole afternoon.
Since I got back, I’ve just been working on my game for the current Adventuron jam. It’s a fairly short game but I’m really enjoying making it!
I’ve made the sofa a bit cosier and comfier (and wintry-looking!) by putting on a big faux-mink blanket that had been sitting at the back of a cupboard for years until I pulled it out last week. Now looking forward to a properly relaxing evening of not doing very much. Tomorrow should be fairly quiet as well!
Today’s earworm playlist:
Sebastian Gampl and Tommy Reeve – ‘Under Control’ Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’ Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – ‘I Don’t Care’