Autumn/winter: a covid to-do list

This is my favourite time of the year. I love the late, dark nights wrapped in sweaters and scarves, sipping Baileys with my friends and wandering around the shops looking for Christmas gifts and decorations.

Sadly, this year isn’t going to quite be that, and I’m trying hard to remind myself that I also love being outside on cool crisp afternoons, cuddling up under a blanket and watching Christmas movies. In light of current circumstances, I think it’s a good idea to make a list of things that are still possible to do to enjoy the season.

So, without further ado, here is an uncomprehensive list of things I’m aiming to do before winter properly takes hold…

  1. Crisp autumn walks

I grew to love walking in the summer, in part because it’s one of the only activities left open to us in the covid times, but also because it’s good for my mental health. As the days get shorter and cooler, I’m going to get out and enjoy some brisk walks and lovely autumnal nature.

2. Decorate the house

For Halloween, for Christmas, for other holidays I’ve yet to invent… I’m looking for any excuse at the minute to make my house as warm, cosy and welcoming as possible, since I’m going to be spending a damn huge amount of time there. I’ve even taken up sewing and I’m making my own Halloween decorations. I’m planning on draping the house in fairy lights.

3. Cook some new stuff

I’m planning on going vegan in the new year, so this is a perfect time to practice my culinary skills before then. The cooler weather calls for heavy, carb-heavy meals and I am all about those.

4. Video games

Well, obviously.

5. Work through the Netflix to-watch list

Does anyone else have this problem? In the modern world, where I have a frankly ridiculous amount of streaming services, I actually can’t keep up with how much there is to watch. I am constantly ‘adding things to the list’ when people recommend things, but in reality, there isn’t really a list, just my dawning sense of panic at the thought of loading up Netflix.

Video Games Consoles I Own (And Ones I Really Wish I Did)

I just like collecting consoles and games. I probably like collecting them more than I like playing them.

Consoles I Own

PS4

My favourite console ever I think. I absolutely love my PS4. It’s the console that gets the most use by far.

Xbox One

I am very guilty of not using this as much as the PS4. In fact, I’ve cancelled my Xbox Live subscription. It’s nice, but I don’t think it’s as fast as the PS4, and I think mine struggles a bit with age.

Xbox 360

I have had about six of these and always seem to end up with one in my possession. The current one isn’t plugged in, just sat in a bag beside my TV. I should probably plug it in- I could go for a Mass Effect replay.

Playstation 2

Also not plugged in at the minute. I honestly haven’t played this very much. I need to get on it.

Wii

I love Wii Fit but don’t use this for much else. I really need to get some more games for it.

Nintendo 3DS

Amazing console, although sadly slightly ignored since I got the Switch. I love Phoenix Wright on the 3DS.

PS Vita

I mostly got this for playing otome games on. It is such a cute little console. The games are quite expensive and hard to get hold of, though.

Nintendo Switch

The Switch is amazing, obviously. Animal Crossing is life.

Gaming PC

This one doesn’t really count but… I love it so much.

Consoles I Want

PSP

I have a Vita but I feel like the PSP has a great game library. Plus, the pink one is super cute. I’ve been pricing these up a lot recently and I’m very tempted to pick one up. There still seems to be a lot of games available second hand, and for much cheaper than the Vita games tend to be.

Gameboy Color

Oh, the throwback. I’m fairly sure I did have one back in the day. I’d love to enjoy those old Pokemon games again.

GBA

I don’t think I ever had one of these, but aren’t they super cute?

Wii U

I really, really want a Wii U. I know they’re a bit weird, but I just love them. Any sort of weird gimmick in a console sells it to me.

In conclusion, I have far too many consoles- I probably shouldn’t buy any more.

But I probably will.

July 2020

This year is such a blur. I imagine everyone feels exactly the same way about it as I do. It’s almost time to get the Halloween decorations out! It’s almost… dare I say it… Christmas. With some restrictions easing up in my part of the world, I’ve had a slightly more interesting month than last month, but life is still far from back to normal. I don’t love having to plan ahead in such detail to go out.

Things I Watched

Spaced
I missed Spaced the first time around because I was, well, a tiny child. It isn’t perfect, but it is definitely hilarious and feels like a very specific moment in time captured.

Onward
I’m not as into Disney/Pixar films as a lot of people; I think I just didn’t watch enough as a child, so it isn’t a part of my life in the way it is for other folks. That said, Onward was adorable and very worth a watch.

Bad Times At The El Royale
This wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was awesome- really entertaining, very slick, very well-written. A great film.

Things I Read

Happy Fat- Sofie Hagen
I love Sofie, and this is such an affirming, amazing book. I mentioned it last month and just finished the audiobook this month.

The Last- Hanna Jameson
I’m planning on writing a proper book review of this one, but I adored it. One of my best reads of the year. If you’re into post-apocalyptic settings, this is definitely worth a read.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper- Hallie Rubenhold
A really interesting non-fiction book about the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper. If you’re interested in this period of history, it’s a fascinating read. I loved how this book disproved the myths around these women.

Things I Played

I am still on my Animal Crossing binge. I have also been dipping my toes in the mobile otome game Obey Me but I’m not sold on it yet.

Other Stuff

I have been really getting into walking, and just generally being outside. I spent years of my life thinking that I hated being outdoors, but it seems I was wrong. I have even bought a bike.

Looking Forward

I’m off work until September, so August is going to be about relaxing, catching up with friends, working on some projects and generally having a nice time.

Rejected: My Animal Crossing Islanders Who Didn’t Make The Cut

Not all islanders in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are made equal. Some are adorable, delightful little critters who fill your heart with joy and love. Some are… well… some are more like this little thing:

Hazel, girl, those eyebrows are not on fleek

Three of my islanders have sadly moved onto better (or at least different) pastures after more cute ones offered to take their places. Sorry, guys.

Jitters

Of my three casualties, Jitters is the one I feel most guilty about. A fairly sweet and kind fellow, but his eyes… I mean, this kid has clearly seen some stuff. 3/10, cannot stand to look into the void every time I make eye contact with the guy living in the house next to me.

Rocket

Fairly sweet and pleasant, but also just terrifying. What is this look? Why is she wearing goggles? What is she planning? 2/10 for being sinister.

Rocco

This guy would kill me, 100%. He lived in a sort of factory, was constantly miserable and definitely had murder in his eyes. -10/10, literally the worst.

June 2020

I cannot believe we are halfway through this year. The whole Covid thing has meant that I (and, let’s be honest, millions of other people) have spent months inside. It is absolutely baffling to me how this year feels both extremely long and terrifyingly short.

Anyway! June! I turned 30, so that is the biggest thing really. I had a wonderful time actually, all things considered. I ate lots of good food and drank lots of alcohol.

Things I Watched

Bob’s Burgers
I’ve been watching Bob’s Burgers for months, and I’ve just finished Season 9. (Season 10 is on Prime but it’s not free, so I’m going to pay at some point to watch the rest.) It is up there with my favourite animated shows ever. It is so funny and sweet and well-written.

Look Who’s Back
A truly bizarre German film about what might happen if Hitler suddenly woke up in modern Berlin. I enjoyed this immensely, and it was surprisingly emotive.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
I love Eurovision. This comedy was okay! It was a bit long and silly, but worth a watch.

Things I Read

The Zombie War: Battle for Britain by Tom Holroyd
I listened to this on Audible and it was so good. If you enjoyed World War Z, you’ll love this. A really great read.

Happy Fat by Sofie Hagen
I’m still reading this at the minute but it is brilliant. Absolutely wonderful.

Things I Played

Grand Theft Auto V
In a classic Cole move, rather than playing one of my enormous backlog of games, I have decided to restart GTA V. I love the characters and think the story is surprisingly touching. The writing is hilarious and I just love it.

Other Stuff

For my birthday, I treated myself to a Razer keyboard, and it is honestly amazing. Possibly a fairly tragic thing to be excited about, but I love the way the keys clack.

I have been gardening! I’m fairly sure that my flowers are dying, but I’m crossing my fingers.

Looking Forward

July is CampNaNoWriMo, and I’m hoping to finish the novel I started (and failed to complete) in April. I’m also going to be starting my challenge of walking one million steps for Diabetes UK, so I’m looking forward to getting outside a bit more.

Games I Am Most Excited About From The PS5 Reveal Event

I love E3. I really am missing it this year; obviously, it makes total sense that it isn’t running what with, well, everything, but I love staying up until weird times making lists of all the games I am going to be excited about in the next year or two. Luckily, most of the big names are still showing some stuff, and the PS5 event the other day was very exciting. Here are the games I am most excited about.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

The first Spider-Man game is one of the best games ever. (Don’t @ me.) It is so satisfying to swing around as Spider-Man, the writing is great and the voice acting is wonderful. I think the Peter Parker in the game is one of my favourite incarnations of the character ever, so I am beyond excited to see more of Miles in this game. I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

Hitman 3

The purpose of Hitman is to stealthily and cleverly murder your targets, not to run around blindly shooting at everyone and causing carnage, although the latter is the strategy I favour. I love watching people play the game properly and it’s such a clever game. I am excited for more of this. (Apparently this is the conclusion of a 3-game story arc, but if people are playing it for the story, they’re playing it very differently to how I do.)

Resident Evil: Village

I’m too much of a chicken to play Resi myself. (Yeah, I should be ashamed, but I’m not.) However, I do love watching other people play them. The story in Resident Evil is absolutely crackers and I like the creepy vibe of the new game, so I look forward to watching people stream it on Twitch.

Goodbye Volcano High

No idea what this one is- there’s like a hipster furry teen vibe in the trailer. I love the art style, though, and it looks very interesting. The music in the trailer was gorgeous, too. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m intrigued.

Cole Rewatches The MCU

We suddenly have a whole lot of time in the house, don’t we? I don’t mind being indoors, but the sudden lack of choice about the whole thing is a bit jarring. What better time to start a frankly ill-advised project? (Or seven, if you’re me.)

Disney+ is here, and with it, the ability to watch all of the MCU. I have seen almost all of the Marvel films already. I am going to rewatch them in chronological order, because that is the sort of thing that is absolutely not productive at all but still allows me to tick things off a list that I crave so badly.

MCU Chronological Watch List

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Thor (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
Ant-Man (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Black Panther (2018)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
Black Widow (2020)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Spiderman: Far From Home (2 July 2019)
(Source)

Some things I expect will happen: I will get bored and not finish (ha!), I will hate Tony Stark so much, Thor: Ragnarok will be my favourite film and Steve Rogers will be my favourite character as always.

Hope you are keeping well in the strange times we live in.