Day 111 – Reflections on Lock-Down

posted in: Stories | 0

Today, has been a magical day!  A day of synchronicity – a day where The Energy has been strong.

This morning, I was up early, with my morning meditation group which as always was just what I needed, connecting inwardly to myself and all those who go.

The feeling from yesterday was still there.  A feeling of being alone or was it lonely – not quite sure if I know the different.  A feeling of lack of contact and connection with people.  My energy and mood was pretty low and flat.

I did a bit of decorating round my flat and then at about 4pm, Honey the Dog, started pestering me to go out for a walk.  I could go for a run, but as I ran quite a while yesterday, I decided on a walk.  Despite, my head saying, I could take a short walk to Kate’s Park, I decided to go the Arthur’s Seat.

As I arrived, I remembered the road is closed at the weekend, which always makes the walk more pleasurable.  The park was pretty busy, with gatherings of people, even a Line Dancing Class taking place!  See photo below.

Click on these photos to see them full-size.



We headed on our usual shorter walk and went to see Honey’s pond in the ‘fish bowl’ which has nearly vanished!

Although, on the way there, we bumped into Aly and her friend, who I’ve met a couple of times through Majk.  We had the usual conversations about how we were surviving lock-down and although I asked if I could take a photo for my blog, they were not so keen, so I didn’t

After a photo of Honey at the pond.  We then headed on through the long grass.  But then I heard and saw a couple of people, high energy, on the route we would have usually taken if we had not gone to the pond.

Their energy seemed infectious and as I continued to feel lonely, thought it would be nice to at least walk past their energy and maybe say “hello”.  So I doubled back the way we were going, which completely confused Honey, and headed along the path to where these people were sitting.

As I got close, I recognised one of them, it was Lizzie, who I have met at The Pitt Street Market, what a lovely surprise!  So I joined her and her friend and chatted for a while.  And did a selfie!


They said they were heading to meet some friends, so I bid them farewell, but then decided that it would be good to walk with them to their friends for a bit more company.  It turned out their friends, were Austen and Will, who I also know from The Pitt and have often seen (out with lock-down) at Mo Beans Coffee Shop.  They were having a Bar-BQ and asked if I wanted to join them!

It wasn’t long until more people arrived, who had met me once at The Pitt or Mo Beans Coffee Shop and before I knew it I was with a large group of people having lots of fun.

I borrowed Will’s bike and headed back to my flat to get Honey’s food, some water for her and sent a quick email/Facebook post of tomorrow’s Chi Gong Zoom login details, then returned to the party.

I did a few photos for my blog, but this one – they all held their fingers up – to indicate it was Day 111.

Click on the photo to see it full-size.


At one point, Honey went to explore another group of people, on the hunt for food.  They were all too happy to pose for a photo for my blog!  They also really liked Honey.  Actually, everyone does 🙂

Had such a lovely evening, which then continued at Will’s flat, although by then, most people had left.

Before returning home at 10.15pm.

Honey and I are now exhausted with so much excitement.

Click on these photos to see them full-size.


Poetry Corner

Another poem by myself, which I wrote during my mental health nurse training.

This poem could be seen as quite controversial about acute mental health wards.  I wrote it as I didn’t want to forget about the experiences I’d had and the discussions I’d had with ‘patients’.  I wrote it based on my 7 months in total that I spent working as a student nurse in an acute ward at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

I thought writing it from a ‘patient’s’ viewpoint would make it more hard-hitting.  After I wrote it, I read it to a few ‘patients’ in the ward and they said that it was spot on.

The title “hospitalisation” was chosen rather than “institutionalisation” because we all have pre-conceived ideas of institutionalisation, when really it’s just being in hospital for a long period of time.

After qualifying as a mental health nurse, I was looking for somewhere to work.  There was so really interesting developments happening in Newcastle, where a new model was being developed called the Tidal Model, by a team of people pioneered by Phil Barker.  I contacted Phil Barker saying I was interested in his work and he told me to come down for a visit.

I did so and met one of his colleagues, Chris Stevenson, she was doing a lot of work in piloting the Tidal Model.  At the meeting, I read this poem to her and later she offered me a job to work with her.  When I asked her later, what had made her offer me the job, she said it was this poem!  I then went onto do a PhD, she was my supervisor and worked with her for a number of years at Teesside University.  Sadly, Chris died in 2014.

The poem was also published in the Asylum Magazine, which I went onto being on the Editorial Board for many years.

So I would say, this is my favourite poem and probably the most special.



I’ve been here for quite a while,
It’s hard to remember, life any different.
Weeks have merged into months,
And now I’m scared, to leave this place.

They say, I’m not very well,
To me, I feel OK.
They say, my thoughts aren’t real,
To me, they are, just mine.

Some nurse are really nice,
And understand, my view of life.
The doctors haven’t got a clue,
But it’s stupid, to put up a fight.

They say, I will get better,
To me, I’m not an illness.
They say, I must take medication,
to me, there’s really, no point.

I spend most my time smoking,
Or occasionally, going for a walk.
I just cannot see an end,
To this monotonous thing, called life.

They say, I have to talk,
To me, I never have.
They say, I will get out,
To me, I’m starting to doubt.

I came here for some help,
Because my friends, thought I was odd.
And now I cannot leave,
To a life, that I, once had.

I say, what is the answer,
For YOU to think about.
Has society got it all wrong?
So YOU, can sleep safe at night.


Jennie’s Mini-Blog Corner

Cheers to Jim Campbell for the nominations! Rebekka went to bed before we did today’s push ups so I did them alone haha.

Today Bekka and I popped into a little vintage store and I bought a denim jacket.  While we were in the store a very special song came on which reminded me of my times playing and singing with the wonderful musicians of Finfolk.  And so today’s push ups are dedicated to my fellow Finfolk singer, Emma. Can’t wait to sing with yous again some day!! 💕

Readers Corner

Two posts today for Readers Corner.



Cecilia, last appeared in Readers Corner on Day 92, exclaiming that we had reached 90 days of lock-down.  She views my blog on the Facebook Page Life in the Time of Covid-19, where I post my blog everyday.

Cecilia commented on yesterdays blog saying:

“Day 110! Wow.”.


Thanks Cecilia, these blogs, do keep us more up to date on how long we have been on lock-down and how long I’ve been writing this blog 😉




Fi posted a comment on Facebook about yesterday’s blog, she said:

“Geert Weggen has an instagram page for his squirrel pics! I could spend hours looking through them! 🐿”


Thanks Fi.  Here is his Instagram –



It Made Me Smile

Today on our Bar-BQ in Holyrood park, we found a dog wondering around all the groups of people, looking lost.  It seemed to keep hanging around us more and after a while we decided it maybe lost.  It was a bit jumpy, but we managed to catch it and phoned the number on it’s name tag.

Caitlin and Dave who took charge, were massive dog lovers and were saying this was their dream situation.  Also commented, jokingly, that the colour of the dog, would go perfectly with their sofa!

I lent them Honey’s lead so they could hold the dog more easily and gave it some water from Honey’s water bowl.

The number Dave phoned went to voicemail.  Then we decided to go and ask other groups if this was their dog.  There was no one wondering round looking for the dog.

Eventually the owner phoned back.  He didn’t seem that surprised or bothered that his dog was missing, he didn’t really even notice.  But came and fetched it and took it for a walk.

I just remembered to get a photo of the dog for the blog, as it headed on it’s walk with it’s owner.

It Made Me Smile,that we had found the dogs owner and they had been reunited.



25 Day Push-Up Challenge

Today was final day of the challenge 🙁

I had planned to do the challenge, with my phone resting on the rock, which I did on Day 105, because Helen had commented that it had been exciting watching to see if the phone would blow off by the wind or get picked up by a crow!  But we never reached the ‘rock’ as we bumped into Lizzie.

But as soon as we arrived to meet Austen and Will, Austen asked if I had done my challenge – he seemed super excited and wanted to watch.

Austen said if I nominated him he wouldn’t do it and Will said he broke his elbow 8 weeks ago and so couldn’t do it.

Will filmed it – Austen and Will are Co-Directors of Melt the Fly that make professional films for a living!

Not only did I feel honoured that for my final day it was being watched live by some friends, but also being filmed by a professional cameraman!  You can see it is very professionally done!




AND I had four Facebook comments, congratulating me for completing it.

It does feel good, that my first one of these ‘challenges’, I completed it.

I am not sure what I will do next?  I would like to try and keep it going – at least 25 push-ups everyday!  Maybe I could start a 25 Day Sit-Up Challenge 😉


As I come to the end of today’s blog, I am sooo tired!

Today, is the first time I have been with more than two friends (in the real world) since lock-down began!  In fact, the first time with a large group of people since my last magic gig on 14th March – which was a Baby Shower in Glasgow!

It feels that the universe ‘heard’ my loneliness and created synchronicity, so that I could have a Bar-BQ with such a lovely group of people!  Was soo good to see Lizzie, Austen and Will and get to know lots of other people.  I feel I have some new friends 🙂

I must admit, that usually with a new group of people, I often feel shy and don’t feel too comfortable or feel I fit in, but I didn’t feel that at all.  Whether that is because, I have not been with a group people for sooo long or just because these folk were so easy to get on with, I think it is probably both.

Today, the weather has been warm, not super hot and not lots of sunshine, but pleasant.  We didn’t go for our normal bedtime walk round the graveyard as it was getting dark, by the time we got home.

It’s interesting how a day can change so massively, without knowing it.  I love days and weekends like that.  When you have little plans, but then you bump into someone and follow where that path takes you and before you know it, you’ve had a full day or weekend, without out any initial plans.  I think these are the best spontaneous days!

Lock-down has been so the same, everyday, with no change.  So it’s been lovely that there has been something different – completely different, which wasn’t planned.

If I hadn’t heard Lizzy and her friend Laura, laughing and talking and felt the need, somewhere from within, to go and explore, my day would have been the same again.  If I hadn’t heard or trusted my gut instinct to double back on my walk, my evening would have been completely different.  Or perhaps it was The Energy whispering in my ear?!

Who knows, but these are the best days!

Thanks for your continuous reading.

Lots of Love

Jim xx