Day 135 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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I have been feeling uneasy this evening and I think it is because I changed my lock-down routine and ventured out of my ‘geographical bubble’!

Today, I went into the city centre to go to my office space, The Melting Pot.  I have been a member there for over 11 years, going about 25 hours a month nearly every month since 2009.  But of course, since lock-down I haven’t been there at all.

But today I went there for the first time and did 5 hours of work!  I didn’t get distracted by things that normally would happen if working from home.

But it was very strange

It was great to be around some people!  Working and living on my own can be a lonely experience!  Thank goodness I have Honey the Dog for some company 🙂

Knowing that I would be leaving Honey for most of the afternoon on her own and that she has not been left alone in my flat, since lock-down, for more than a couple of hours.  I changed our late afternoon/evening walk/run and went out this morning after Chi Gong.  This would then mean she would be tired and hopefully sleep the day!

But my energy to run was not there and Honey was not running off exploring.  I guess, for both of us, the change in routine had affected our energy.  We both have lots of energy in the late afternoon/evening!

Before lock-down, we would always go out first thing in the morning and it would be fine, but I guess that change of routine was the problem.  It’s that ‘muscle memory’ again!

I even didn’t have much energy or motivation to do my push-ups!

But we did get out and so late morning, I packed up my bag and headed to the bus stop.

When I got there, an older man, was asking me about which bus goes to the Western General Hospital.  Usually at the bus stops there are a list of buses and where they go, but strangely they have removed these.  Not sure why that could be due to Covid-19?

Anyway, I said I would help him and got out my phone.

He kept edging towards me, I guess as his hearing was not so good.

I kept backing away from him to keep my social distance, but he just kept coming towards me.

Until I finally had to say in quite a loud voice “STOP getting so close, we need to ensure social distance, that’s why I keep moving away from you”.  I think he got a bit of a fright, backing off about 5 metres!  He got the message!

I apologised, explaining we need to keep social distance

It’s interesting how people seem to forget about social distancing.  Even though during lock-down we were all very obsessed with it!!  That was not the case at The Melting Pot, with lots of changes.

I must admit, I was planning on going to The Melting Pot yesterday, but then I started to feel anxious about how different it would be, so didn’t go.  But last night, when I was trying to find the new ‘Covid-19 Terms & Conditions’, I found a video that the staff had made.  It was great, explaining everything you need to do and really eased my anxiety.

It goes something like this:

        1. Put a face-mask on before entering the building.
        2. Use your key fob to access the building, but don’t touch your hand on the actual key fob receiver.
        3. Open the door and use the hand gel on the wall – this was an automatic one.  Although I left my hand there too long and it kept pouring the gel all over the wall!
        4. Don’t use the lift unless you have to – if you do, just one person to go in it.
        5. Walk up all the stairs to the fourth floor.  Walk on the left side and move aside for people wanting to go ahead of you faster.
        6. Use your fob to check-in.
        7. All the desks / chairs are spaced out 2 metres apart (I hot-desk so have to find one).  So don’t move them.  Stay at the desk you choose for the whole time you are there.
        8. Sanitise your desk area before sitting down.  Sanitise when you leave at the end.
        9. If you want to make a hot drink, alcohol your hands, then sanitise the prep area.  Do the same when you find.  Don’t make drinks for anyone else.  Only one person in the prep area at a time.
        10. Always wear your face-mask when walking round the area.  You don’t need to wear one when working at the desk.
        11. Maintain 2 metres apart from everyone.
        12. You have to book (in advance) when you are coming in and leaving.  If you are going to be late or stay longer, you need to change the booking time.  This is because the capacity has been reduced to 15 people.

That’s about it – from memory!  Which all came from the video and then actually doing it.

I expected it to be super busy, but I was the only person there.  A couple people came in to collect their post, but that was it.

I guess, like me, people are feeling apprehensive to go in.  Or perhaps they have not ventured out of their ‘geographical bubble’!  For a recap on what I mean by ‘geographical bubble’, I first came up with the idea from talking to local folk on Day 116 and Day 117.

So just two members of staff and me!


When I arrived I was offered a complimentary face-mask.  I wear a virus buff face covering called ‘Virustatic Shield‘.  I’ve never worn a material face-mask, so I took one to see how it felt.  It certainly gives you a bit more freedom as your cheeks and neck are not covered up.  But it felt really uncomfortable so I returned to my buff, which I know and love 🙂

The only thing I struggled with was understanding what people were saying.  Plus, lots of windows were open which is part of Covid Procedures.  Normally The Melting Pot is super warm – you can wear a t-shirt even in the middle of the winter!  Today, it was the opposite!  I was also sitting inline with an open window.  The extra jumper I carry “just in case” came in use and the buff kept me warm too!

What was also great was, the staff were also following all the rules.  You would expect that to be the case, but often people just say it and then do what they want – only maintaining social distancing for photos!

I definitely felt safe and supported there and will be back next week 🙂

When I finally left, I saw a Open-Top Guide Bus drive by and the whole top floor was full.  Despite wondering yesterday if tourists were becoming a dying breed in Edinburgh at the moment (Day 134), in fact there must be loads!


On my way home, I decided to venture into John Lewis to see how it was laid out.

There were three ladies outside, asking what you were there for, what you wanted to buy or look at, signposting you on what floor to go to.

Then when you walked in there was a lady welcoming me to the store telling me to use the alcohol gel.  This one had a foot-pedal to make the alcohol come out.  Better than the automatic one I experienced at The Melting Pot, as it gave you more control.

There was a sign saying you must keep 8 steps away on the escalators and various signs everywhere else.  Lots of staff standing around with face-masks and staff at the tills had the full plastic face-mask hat type thing, plus screens up as well.

The shop was very quiet and I realised that the ladies at the front door were limiting who came in, holding some kind of counter to monitor who goes in and who goes out, so I guess, only allowed a limited amount of people in the store!

Well worth a trip to see how things were being done.

Honey was pleased to see me and slept all evening.  I wonder if she slept in the day or not?

Strangely in the last couple of days she has started lying down in the living room where her bed used to live!  I wonder, if she is also feeling uneasy with all these changes!

Poetry / Art Corner

Today my sister Anna, is featuring some of her pottery.  She says:

“A vase and espresso cup I made in my pottery classes.  I really enjoy throwing things on the wheel although it’s quite hard to actually make something a certain size rather than the size it just ends up being”


Thanks Anna for sharing.  I think I tried pottery once in my life and as you said it ends up something you didn’t actually plan!


Readers Corner

Nothing to share in here today.


It Made Me Smile

This video made me smile, in fact it made me laugh!!

Although, not sure why it has to be repeated four times!  I saw it on Facebook, just the 8 second video, but it wouldn’t let me download it – this is the only one I could find that allows me to embed it into my website.




Day 23 & Day 24 of the Post-25 Day Push-Up Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day of this section, I’ve had enough of push-ups!  I think 50 days of 25 push-ups a day is enough 😉

So I am on the lookout of something to replace it.

Any ideas?

There were some suggestions a while back for a Music Corner.  What would that consist of?  Blog Readers sharing their favourite tunes?

Let me know your thoughts.




As I come to the end of today’s blog, I continue to feel uneasy.

It feels weird to be returning to “normal” routines that exist prior to lock-down.

Habits and routines that have been so ingrained in me for years on end, now feel very strange.  Venturing into town, going to The Melting Pot, going to John Lewis, getting the bus – all things I have done probably hundreds of times!  But now with all these changes it is unsettling.

I think the biggest change is wearing a face-covering and trying to social distance where ever you can!.

I went into Easter Greens on our evening walk and although I had my face-covering on, I had pulled it down to get some vegetables from the boxes outside, then forgot to pull it back up when I went back in the shop.  It felt like something was missing, as I stood at the till, but couldn’t work out what – until I started to leave and then remembered!

It’s going to take some time, before I / we become comfortable and familiar with these “new normals”.  I wonder, whether things will ever return to how they used to be?  Maybe not 🙁

But at least it is Wednesday today, so now I have four days off work – except morning Chi Gong!  Bedtime Chi Gong has been reduced to one evening a week and that also feels weird, having more time in my evenings!

Today it has been relatively cold, cloudy and a bit of rain at times.  I thought I read that a heatwave was coming at the end of this week, I can’t imagine that – it’s been cold and raining for a good few days now!  Although, I hear its going to be 30 degrees in Brighton by Friday!

Hope you’ve all had a good day.

Remember to Social Distance!

Jim xx