Day 122 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today my energy and mood has been a lot better 🙂

I slept really well, right through to 8.40am!!  I say, I will be in the Zoom room at 8.45am for Chi Gong, which starts at 9.10am – but rarely people turn up that early.  But I managed to get up at 8.45am, make breakfast, give Honey her breakfast and be in the Zoom room by 8.55am – no one was waiting!

But the sleep was really good – I think my low energy yesterday was due to tiredness, although I wasn’t aware I was so tired.

Today, I continued with my painting of my hallway, which is now finished.  I’ve worked out the easiest way to paint and save my clothes getting covered in paint is to paint in my boxer shorts.  So when I went for a run this evening, my legs were covered in paint.  I had a shower before the run, to get the paint out of my hair and off my face 😉

This evening the sun was out and actually a lovely evening.  So although, not in the mood for a long run, I did one anyway.  Running my usual Wednesday 8km run round Arthur’s Seat (clockwise).

The signets that Hannah and I saw, in the pond at the back of Arthur’s Seat (Honey’s favourite pond) on Day 88, are now quite big and resemble mini-swans, but still not white!  I couldn’t get a photo as they start hissing as soon as Honey gets close to them!

Check out the wee video of me and Honey running:




I was thinking that maybe some of my uneasiness at the moment is that usually in July and August I spend the two months playing and having fun.  Usually in July, I have some big magic gigs and always go to Heb Celt festival, with a holiday of a week or so beforehand.  In fact last year, I was away in the western isles for 3 weeks, with some gigs and a holiday.  This was all planned again for this year.

Then of course in August, there is usually the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which for me is a month of ‘playing’.  I always see August as a month of living more irresponsibility.  Staying up way too late, doing magic at The Pleasance Courtyard and going to shows.  Plus, eating less healthily and getting a taxi home about 3am in the morning.

It’s kind of like being part of a big family or community.  Where everyone is working really hard, but having lots of fun too!

I used to hate the Fringe, before I started performing in it.  Now I love it – there is such a buzz in Edinburgh, it’s one big party for 3 weeks.  Finishing with the fantastic ‘Festival Fireworks‘ – 45 minute firework display above Edinburgh Castle, set to classical music played live at the Ross Bandstand.  I usually watch them from Princess Street Gardens, and for me, indicates the end of summer!

But of course, this is not happening this year.  I am feeling really sad about that.  My one month in the year, where I can live less responsibility and be part of the largest art festival in the world, is not happening.  The one month in the year, where I do so much magic performing, meet so many lovely people and entertain hundreds and hundreds of people.  I worked out it is about 2000 people I entertain over the 3 weeks!  The buzz and excitement in Edinburgh in August is hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it!

So I guess, there is a feeling of loss there.  It’s going to be a really weird August this year.


Poetry / Art Corner

Phew!  No need to embarrass myself anymore with my life drawings!  My sister has sent me some of her paintings.  I’m not sure when she discovered her love for painting, maybe in the last year or so?  But she has being doing loads of paintings since lock-down started.  The paintings are very good 🙂

She messaged me this morning about a free online life drawing class!  But I declined – I think I’ll give life drawing a miss 😉

You may remember one of Anna’s paintings appearing in Readers Corner on Day 73.  She text me today saying she couldn’t remember which of her paintings have appeared in Readers Corner and she didn’t want to trawl through 100 or so blogs to find out.  However, I have found a solution to that, which is how I can include reference to previous blogs!

I have included a ‘Search’ box on my website.  So I just have to think of a key-word which is less common and then type it in the search box.  When I typed ‘Anna’ many blogs came up, but when I typed ‘painting’ it came down to about 8 blogs!

So here is Anna’s first painting to appear in this section:


Amazing!  Thanks Anna 🙂

Readers Corner

Two contributions for Readers Corner.


“Thanks for writing a blog post today, even though you really didn’t feel like it. I hope your energy and mood perk up a bit soon. Even though we can’t do our usual summer trip to Scotland this year, I’m glad we’re able to do day trips and get out of our “geological bubble”.

Say hi to Henry from us when you see him!”.


Thanks Helen.  It was a real struggle yesterday, but ultimately I just put copy and paste in all the sections and then write a bit at the beginning and the end!  As always, the low energy and mood, helped be come up with some interesting insights on life and lock-down 🙂




Within minutes of posting yesterday’s blog, suggesting that maybe it was time to discontinue ‘It Made Me Smile’ section, Matt left a comment saying:

“Don’t you dare discontinue it. I’ve just had a flurry of messages about this sudden threat to It Made Me Smile! How many times do we have to act to save it! I thought my Private Eye reference and my perfect set-up for you to plug your subscription would make you smile. But no! 😂”.


Thanks Matt, the ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) has spoken!  Are you the Union Rep for ‘It Made Me Smile’?

I will continue with ‘It Made Me Smile’ until the end, unless I hear otherwise you 😉


It Made Me Smile

Helen sent me a message this morning for this section saying:

“If the “made me smile” section survives another day, then this song made me smile. She’s got loads of fun songs on her YT channel. And she’s only 16!”.



Thanks Helen.  ‘It Made Me Smile’ will last for the duration of the blog, thanks to the ‘It Made Me Smile Union Rep Matt’!

Anyone wanting to follow this 16 year old girl on YouTube, here’s the link to her YouTube Channel –


Day 11 of the Post-25 Day Push-Up Challenge

I stopped after 6km of running for this.  My foot kept slipping down the edge of a cliff!




As I come to the end of today’s blog,

The weather started today with rain and rain clouds.  But at some point it brightened up into a glorious evening 🙂

There was a lovely moon tonight, just a slither of the new moon.  I tried to get a photo of it – but it didn’t work.  The moon is somewhere in these two photos but you can’t see it!

It’s so amazing how a little bit of sunshine, brings so many people out, and for me lifts my mood 🙂

Oh and a good nights sleep!

In my daily 25 day push-ups video, I often mentioned the loss of not being able to go to a funeral, the loss of postponing a wedding, the loss of not graduating from University or the loss of not being when your first child or grandchild is born.

But today, I realised there is so much loss in daily life.  For me, the loss of not going to the western isles in July and the loss of no Edinburgh Fringe.  Everyone is missing something, whether it is a holiday, seeing lots of people or going out.  We are all experiencing so much loss due to Covid-19 and lockdown.

I wonder what we can all do to nurture ourselves and that loss within us?

Thanks for your continuous reading.

Lots of love

Jim xx