Day 109 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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This morning Brian phoned me to see if I was free this afternoon to go for a walk with him around Leith.  I was so we arranged to meet at 1.30pm.  At about 1.10pm, I started getting me things together to cycle down the road.  But I couldn’t find my bicycle!  I frantically searched my whole flat.

My flat isn’t that big – but it was nowhere to be seen.  In the summer it lives in the livingroom, next to the storage heater, in the winter when I am using the storage heater in my spare room, which is now my office!

I thought to when I last used it, I think it was when I painted Hannah’s Birthday surprise on her street on Day 71.  I looked at my blog and found that on my way home, I went to Lidl to get some celebration breakfast just as it opened at 8am.  I guessed, that I must have left Lidl and forgot the bike and walked home, it’s only a few minutes walk home.

I text Brian to tell him I was going to be a little late as I would have to get the bus down to Leith.  I then grabbed my face-covering buff, alcohol gel and headed out, going via Lidl to see if my bike was chained up in the bicycle area – it wasn’t.  It was 2nd June, so over a month ago,  It must have been stolen.

I headed along to Leith Walk to get the bus, only to remember that it was closed for tram works, so ran all the way down the road, I am getting quite fit with all my running!

As I ran, I thought about somewhere else I may have left my bike and forgot it was there.  Maybe I cycled to the post office one time, or not?  I couldn’t quite remember!

I was virtually passing Hannah’s street, so I dropped by to see if the Birthday messages were still there.  Sure enough on the drain pipe opposite her front door and on one of the walls at the top of her street, it was still there, although a little faded!

I arrived, to meet Brian and we went for a long walk around Leith, the cycle paths and Water of Leith.


A positive of not having my bicycle is that we didn’t have to finish our walk where my bike was.  I jumped on the bus to go back home as I had a Zoom meeting at 3.30pm.

As I sat on the bus, I thought more about where my bicycle could me.  I then remembered that about a month ago, I rearrange my livingroom and I think put my bicycle outside my flat, to create a bit of space, just for a few minutes.

I remember thinking “will my bike be save out here?  I am sure it will be just for 30 minutes or so, friends who come round for an evening leave theirs outside all night and it is fine”.  

So I think I left my bike outside my front door in my stairwell.  But was that before or after Hannah’s Birthday surprise?  I looked it up on my blog – it was Day 75, 3 days after Hannah on Day 72.  It was a Saturday.  I remember I rearrange the room and admired the great new space and sat on the chair to enjoy.

My blog for Day 75, says I then went out for an early walk with Honey the Dog, as I had a Zoom Birthday Gathering with Gandolf.  I can’t imagine not seeing my bike outside my flat when I went out for a walk with Honey, so I guess it was 30 minutes that it was outside my flat, did someone steal it in that short time?

Unless I have taken it out somewhere else and forgot I had it and walked home?

The interesting thing is that I didn’t notice it was missing out of my flat.  It takes up quite a lot of space!


Poetry Corner

Another poem I wrote during the time I was training to be a mental health nurse.

Quite a personal poem about myself.

I was on a course called ‘Relaxing into Living’, which was teaching us how to teach meditation, relaxation and stress management skills.  This is where I learnt to teach Chi Gong!

The way the course was taught was that we developed our skills of meditation, stress management, etc…so that we had an understanding of the underlying principles to this – e.g. trust, acceptance, worth, presence, etc…

One of the exercises we had to do, for our ‘homework’ was to look at our past experiences and our younger self and see how that has helped us be where we are now.  We could show this in any form, writing, drawing, sculpture, etc…

I chose to do a poem.

Around about 2009 I co-founded a training company, called Open to All Training.  We provided mental health awareness training to museum, galleries and libraries to make them more accessible to people with mental health problems.  We worked with ‘Assisting Artists’ who were artists and also had experienced mental health problems, to facilitate the training with us,  This included them telling part of their story on how art had helped with their mental health recovery.

One project that we ran in October 2010, was to put on an art exhibition called ‘Creativity, Recovery and Wellbeing’ in The Gallery on the Corner in Edinburgh.  We all exhibited pieces of our art work.  The exhibition “provided a thought provoking and insightful look at what mental health means to individual artists”.  You can read about it in another blog, I wrote –

Not seeing myself as an ‘artist’, I decided to exhibit this poem!

I framed the poem, renamed it to ‘My Journey’, and included a photo of me on the beach when I was about 2 years old and then a photo that Brian took near the time of the exhibition of me walking on the beach in the Isle of Harris.

It was the first and only time that I exhibited a piece of my own ‘art’ in an art exhibition.  It now hangs on my living-room wall.

I will include the two photos at the start and end of this poem.  With both titles of the poem – which do you prefer?



The Younger Me         My Journey

My first few experiences, introduced “Secrecy”,
Growing and Developing as I hid away.
I felt I wasn’t allowed to express, myself,
Yet it’s enriched me, to talk and feel.

My next few experiences, introduced “Stress”,
Growing and Developing in an arguing world,
I felt I had to stop, it all,
Yet it’s gifted me, to work with others.

My next few experiences, introduced “Complications”,
Growing and Developing with difficult problems.
I felt there was something wrong, with me,
Yet it’s strengthened me, to like myself.

My next few experiences, introduced “Intimacy”,
Growing and Developing with little trust.
I felt I would never receive, any love,
Yet it’s shown me, the importance of touch.

My next few experiences, introduced “Education”,
Growing and Developing in a private school.
I felt life was all about, being alone,
Yet it’s taught me, to like my own company.

My next few experiences, introduced “Addictions”,
Growing and Developing with little enjoyment.
I felt I would never have, any control,
Yet it’s guided me, to the path of meditation.

My next few experiences, introduced “Exams”,
Growing and Developing in a failing world.
I felt I had to be, a success,
Yet it’s given me, the lesson to persist.

My next few experiences, introduced “Bullying”,
Growing and Developing in a harsh place.
I felt I had to just keep, on coping,
Yet it’s strengthen me, when life is tough.

My next few experiences, introduced “Worth”,
Growing and Developing in a challenging world.
I felt I was, not really enough,
Yet it’s enriched me, to accept myself.

My next few experiences, introduced “Madness”,
Growing and Developing in an insane world.
I felt I was never going to, be normal,
Yet it’s taught me, to be myself.

My future experiences, I hope will bring “Awareness”,
As I journey and adventure in this world of life.
I hope, to love, enrich and be whole,
And continue to learn about life.


Jennie’s Mini-Blog Corner

As I am writing this blog earlier this eveing, I have not yet received Jennie’s submission, for her Mini-Blog.  So here is an archive, which I have not yet included.  It actually gives a bit of context of how she has ended up hanging out with her friend Rebekka for the last wee while.


Today I helped Rebekka move out of her house in St Andrews and we have now formed a new lil household.  Because of this, these push ups were really hard to do cause she was making me laugh too much so please forgive me ahaha 😂

While picking Rebekka up, I also got to say a brief doorstep hello/goodbye to a few friends who are still in St Andrews and so today I am nominating and dedicating my push ups to one of them, Juanita It was so nice seeing her little face and having a wee chat before bouncing off again. Also shoutout to the lovely Sarah! 🥰☺️



Readers Corner

Nothing in here today.



It Made Me Smile

My mum, Penny, sent me these photos of a donkey foal in the New Forest where she lives.  Saying it made her smile.



Awww – thanks mum, they are very cute!



As I come to the end of today’s blog, I have been sad for most of the day, sad from the loss of my bike.  I’ve had it for 12 years!

It’s a mystery where it has gone.

I still can’t believe I didn’t notice it was missing from my flat for potentially over a month!  It takes up quite a lot of room in my flat – and becomes a real nuisance.  My flat has seemed more spaciously recently – I now know why!

Since lock-down started I haven’t needed my bike.  Not travelling very far and mostly going out with Honey.

It’s great that I have my blog to look back on my movements.  Helen said a while back, that if I get Covid-19, I won’t need to worry about track and trace services, I can just look at my blog!

I did need a new bike – when I last got it repaired in a bike shop last summer, the shop recommended I got a new bike as the wheel frame was buckled.  So it maybe a good thing – but also the helmet (although quite old), three locks, lights, bell, etc…are also lost.

So if you know anyone who has a secondhand bicycle, please let me know – as I need to get a new one.

Today, the weather has been a mixture of sunshine, rain and a lovely sunset.  It was been quite warm.  I saw on Aileen’s Instagram story that it was 19 degrees on the beach this morning – although it didn’t feel that warm.

It’s felt like a Saturday for me today, when in fact tomorrow is Saturday.  Tom Brace’s Big Fat Isolation Quiz finished last week and I realised usually, that anchors in me knowing that today is Friday.

A quick plug for Tom – if you are wanting to see a great virtual magic show, Tom is doing a show this Sunday.  I saw it the other week and it is really good – it’s on Zoom, really interactive and eleven pounds something for the whole household.  Check out details here – Tom Brace Connected

Hope you’ve all had a good week.

Enjoy Life!

Jim xx