Day 116 – Reflections on Lock-Down

posted in: Stories | 2

This morning, I woke up to an usual message from Helen, asking if she could join morning Chi Gong on Zoom, but not with her camera or sound switched on?!  Of course, anyone can come along, but I was curious of why this was.

She explained that she was going to an island for the day, saying:

“Chilling on one of the thousands of islands in the archipelago is probably the most Swedish thing to do in the summer.”.


Before Chi Gong started, she switched on her camera, to show a small boat that she was about to board.  Then later as she jetted across the water, with her family.  She didn’t actually do the Chi Gong.  Later explaining that she just wanted to share something with the ‘Chi Gong Community’ (Strand, H, 2020), saying that being part of the daily group has helped bring a sense of belonging as we “meet” almost everyday and has developed “friendships” even if just virtual, which means a lot to her.

Her words, really touched me, that the Chi Gong sessions that I have formed has had such an impact on her and probably others who come along too.  I have now run 79 morning Chi Gong sessions on Zoom since it began near the start of lock-down!

She later shared some great photos, of her day, check them out below.  You can click on any of the photos to see them full-size:



Looks like an amazing day of exploring and adventure!  Thanks so much for all the photos.

Today has been a pretty lazy day, just catching up on bits and bobs of work, etc…

This afternoon, when we were on our daily walk, we went to Kate’s Park and then through Montgomery Street Park and bumped into Ryan, who was sitting on a bench.  Ryan has been a regular (ish) reader of my blog since the start, although I never knew who he was, liking the posts on Facebook.  He knows me from walking Honey in the park and doing a bit of magic for him and his friend in the park a few years ago.

We had a long chat about lock-down and life.  Three main points, that seem to be around at the moment, from a lot of conversations I have had and also what I have been feeling.  Some of which I have written in my blog, but he said he hadn’t read about them here, so clearly just a sense in people’s lives at the moment.

Firstly, he was saying he went to visit his mum in a different part of Edinburgh and was quite panicky, as it seemed there was a lot more people around to what he has been used to in Leith area.  I’ve written about this over the last few days or so and in earlier days of the blog, the first time I think was on Day 76.

For many of us, we have been living in a very small ‘Geographical Bubble’, whether it has been because we have been shielding or just ‘Staying at Home’ and we have become safe in that ‘Geographical Bubble’.  For me, I have probably only ventured out of a 2 mile radius of my home about 3 or 4 times since lock-down.  It feels “safe” here, even thinking about going further than that makes me feel resistant to do so.  When I have ventured beyond these 2 miles, it feels “unsafe”, even though it is not “unsafe”. I think that is why I haven’t wanted lock-down to end.

I certainly was not aware or prepared of the psychological impact lock-down was having on me or has had on me!

Secondly, Ryan and I were talking about how Covid-19 has stripped us all down to our ‘humanness’.  Our ‘status’, ‘finances’, etc…are stripped away and we are all connecting to each other, as we live through this pandemic.  We are all connected, as we live in fear of getting the virus, living or coming out of lock-down and wondering what will happen next!

It touches on that ‘Universal Connection’ and ‘Universal Experience’ that I have talked about before on Day 73, Day 74 and Day 114.  Covid-19 does not discriminate, it can affect anyone in the whole world.  As we know, even Boris Johnson was not immune, being in ITU and nearly dying.

Finally, Ryan was talking about the sadness of Henderson’s Bistro and Restaurant closing down, which I covered on Day 112.  He like many, is now going to shop more in local and independent shops, as this is really the only way we are going to save our local communities!

Here’s a BBC News Article about it closing –


After talking to Ryan, we went to Easter Greens to find, that they have now opened the shop up so you can go in it.  It felt very strange and unfamiliar actually going into the shop, when throughout lock-down, we couldn’t go in.  It seemed uncomfortable being able to choose what I wanted and browse.  Something that has not been possible since lock-down.  It’s so interesting in just a couple of months, things that are usually so easy and familiar to do has changed massively!

Heb Celt Special – Deepness Dementia Radio

For regular readers, you will have heard about Deepness Dementia Radio, as I have been recording my blog to be played on it.  I am no longer doing these recordings.

However this weekend, we have been putting together a great line-up of music on the radio as this would have been Heb Celt Festival weekend, for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Saturday our Heb Celt Special on the radio is on most of the day, starting at 10:33am with me interviewing Caroline Maclennan, the Director of Heb Celt.  It follows with loads and loads of celtic bands being played, who have appeared at Heb Celt over the last 25 years – right through to midnight!


Full Programme – Heb Celt Special


From this link, there is a button to listen to the radio.

Or if you have Amazon Alexa simply say “Alexa Start Deepness Radio

Poetry / Art Corner

If you have any drawings, paintings, sculptures, etc…or any type of art, this is the place to share it.  Also, if there is a piece of art that you love, you can also share it here.

Plus, you can also share any form of poetry here as well.


Here is the second in the series of drawings I did many years ago at my first and only Life Drawing Class.  The full story can be read in yesterdays blog (Day 115).

The lady was only posing for 10-15 minutes, before changing her pose and we had to start a new drawing.  Here is my second drawing.  Still pretty good, don’t you think?


Readers Corner

Thanks to Brian and Helen for their Readers Comments submissions!  No need to introduce either of them as they are regulars of the ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020).



“Do you like a bedtime story?

I’m asking this as I was sent a link to an audio story recorded for a project in India (!) by a good friend and work contact, Joe Goldblatt, a retired professor and expert on events and tourism, who taught at Queen Margaret University for many years. Joe is one of the great characters among my Facebook friends who has been posting great pictures and videos of his daily walks around the city. They have kept me entertained as much as your blog has.

He sent it to me in response to a Tweet I posted to share a fantastic picture of the staff outside the famous “Caley” hotel in the west end, when it reopened on Wednesday. I’ve been getting quite excited about certain things reopening and life returning to some normality in the city. I’ve been enjoying the many ‘welcome back’ videos by shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, but there was something simple and special about the Caley’s picture.

I usually post a little message when I share news of a reopening, like the one announcing that you can now wander around the grounds of the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, enjoy the sculptures in its grounds and take advantage of the new pop-up cafe there!

Anyway, Professor Goldblatt thought I’d be interested in hearing a story he recently recorded on The Reawakening of Edinburgh, which is inspired by his experiences of living in the city during lockdown and its gradual reawakening. It’s definitely a story aimed at younger readers, but it struck a chord with me, so I hope you will like it and consider it for the blog.

Without giving the ending of the story away, it mentions the famous floral clock in Princes Street Gardens and this year’s special NHS tribute and of course the equally famous clock on the Balmoral Hotel, which stopped during lockdown, but was repaired as part of the preparations for the “reawakening” of the hotel. By coincidence some NHS workers visited the floral clock today for its official unveiling.”.

You can listen to the story from this link

Brian shared this link about the re-opening of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh

He also shared this Tweet about the completion of the world’s oldest floral clock in Edinburgh

And this article from The Edinburgh Reporter about the Floral Clock (you may remember the Podcast that The Edinburgh Reporter did about my living in lock-down on Day 28)

Here’s the photo and Tweet Brian mentioned for the opening of The Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh.

“Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian on Twitter
“We are NOW OPEN! Our team have been working hard to make it possible and are ready to welcome our guests to our beautiful city! See you soon! #UncoverOurEdinburgh @HiltonNewsroom @WaldorfAstoria”


Later Brian shared this sunset across the River Tay to Dundee, he had just been out for his first meal in Tayport since lock-down began!


Thanks Brian for your sharing for Readers Corner, I will check out the story.



Helen posted a comment on Day 113 blog, saying:

“I thought I recognised that rock! Sorry for such a late comment, I’m catching up on a couple of blog posts that I missed. Well done for continuing with the push ups!”.




It Made Me Smile

Olive and Mabel – Andrew Cotter, Sports Commentator




Day 5 of the Post-25 Day Push-Up Challenge

To raise awareness of mental health!





As I come to the end of today’s blog, it seems to be a long one!  It certainly taking quite a while to pull it all together!

I am aware that I have been writing more and more over the last few days or so about how I don’t want to leave my ‘geographical bubble’ that I have created since lock-down began.  Part of me, is enjoying, connecting to the local community more and part of me wonders that perhaps I could start venturing a bit further every few days to get used to other parts of Edinburgh.

What I am finding absolutely fascinating, is things that were so easy to do just a few months ago, before lock-down, is really challenging my comfort zone.  Why is that?  Travelling further afield or even just actually going into Easter Greens.  Perhaps, as it was such a shock to the system when lock-down began, the transition was too fast for my me/my being to catch up with and now we are coming out of it, everything is still trying to re-adjust?

That is not very clear for me, I will have to give some more thought about that and reflect more here soon.

Today it has been cloudy and a very fine rain on and off throughout the day.  It was been relatively warm and again a lovely sunset!

Hope you have had a good week.

Jim xx


2 Responses

  1. Helen

    Thanks for sharing about my boat trip in today’s blog. I’m feeling “internet famous”!!

    We chatted with a couple of friends the other day and we got to talking about how quickly we lose muscle function and then how long rehabilitation takes. Like if you get a knee operation or break a bone. After just a few days and weeks of not moving those muscles, atrophy sets in. It then takes months of rehab to reverse the damage.

    Maybe this is similar to what’s happening psychologically as lockdown eases. Things like browsing in a shop or meeting a large group of friends, was no problem before. But we very quickly got out of practice and the bits of our brain that handle all those interactions began to “atrophy”.

    If you don’t use it you lose it!

    I can totally relate the things you describe. I hope everyone understands and has consideration for “easy” things being very difficult, maybe for a good few months until we all get back up to speed again. So have patience and be kind to yourselves and others ❤ In the meantime, we all get a very unique insight into what it might be like to live with agoraphobia or social anxiety.

  2. Ryan Johnston

    Hey Jim hope you’re well, it was good to talk to you, brought some sunshine into an otherwise dreich day. Take care, Ryan.