Day 137 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today has been a relaxing day.  Although, I continue to be disappointed with the ‘Heat Wave’ we were promised from Thursday.  It has certainly been warm, but about 20 degress centigrade with cloud and not loads of sun 🙁

You’ll be pleased to see from the main photo of this blog, that ‘Honey’s Pond’ (aka Hunters Bog) has returned.  It was on Day 119, that I reported it had turned to dry mud!  All the rain we’ve had the last two weeks or so has brought it back!  Honey was not able to swim in it, but was tummy high!  When she saw it, she ran down to have a “swim” – she hasn’t been interested in it for about a month!

So this morning, after Morning Chi Gong and our morning walk, Honey and I headed along to Mo Beans Coffee Shop to read the paper and do the sudoku.  Whilst there I was sharing my experience of The Mash Tun pub yesterday (Day 136) and was presented with another viewpoint.

Perhaps not everyone wants to give their contact details, due to privacy reasons and if they’ve been drinking, they may become aggressive, so for the safety of the staff it’s not enforced?  What was suggested instead, was to limit people from only going to one pub all night or even forever?!

After that, I met up with my friend Colin for a coffee at Cafe Amiga.  I originally wrote that it was the first time I’ve seen Colin IRL (In Real Life) since lock-down started.  But I then remembered I saw him back on Day 73, when we were doing some planting at Dalmeny Street Park.  But it’s the first coffee I’ve had with Colin since lock-down started.

I was very impressed with the ‘Covid Safety’ procedures in the cafe, with screens and alcohol gel available when you went in.  It felt safe.

I was sharing my thoughts about The Mash Tun with Colin and he said if the virus was tracked back to that pub, it would have to shut down and probably would have a massive drop in business and probably be shut forever.  So would it not be better to create a safe environment for everyone?

That’s also a good point.

I then started to wonder, why pubs have been advised to have Track & Trace, but cafes do not?  Generally cafes seem a lot laid back and less concerned about creating ‘Covid Safety’.  People seem less concerned about social distancing and wearing masks.  People are sitting in, eating food and drinking coffee/tea, etc…what’s the difference between that and a pub?  Also in cafes most do not have table service (like pubs do), so there’s lower ‘Covid Safety’.

I wonder how other areas of the UK and the world experience ‘Covid Safety’ in shops, cafes, bars and restaurants?  Any sharings?

Anyway, it was great to see Colin IRL and catch-up with him 🙂

I then decided to use Just Eat Cycles for the first time to head up to Real Foods.  I read up on the App and website on what you had to do, but there was nothing about how to leave the bicycle outside a shop, they don’t have bicycle locks.  So I rang the helpline and the lady explained that you press ‘Pause’ on the App and a leaver automatically comes down locking the front wheel, then ‘Stop Pause’ at the end.

So armed with that information, my mobile phone and App I arrived at the Bike Station.  All the bikes have names on them, so I chose a bike with a name I liked.  Found the name on the App and amazingly automatically the leaver that locked the front wheel moved down and I was ready to get going.

The bike felt really sturdy and although with only 3 gears was really easy to cycle – it was really smooth.

My bicycle that I lost in June (sometime between Day 75 and Day 109) had not been working well for years.  The chain would come off all the time, the gears would slip/crunch and it made a racket due to not being able to get into gear.  So today’s cycle was like a dream 🙂

After doing my food shop, I whizzed down Leith Walk, in the cycle lane – it was great!  Due to the sturdiness of the bike, I was able to get a great video.




After returning back to the Bike Station, I just pushed the App and walked off.  It was very easy to use and not having to find somewhere to chain the bike, putting on my three locks, etc…As I walked off, I felt a sense of freedom, free from having to return to my bike to go home 🙂

I found myself looking at lots of shops to see how I would rate their ‘Covid Safety’.

I was very impressed with the second hand record and book shop Elvis Shakespeare.  Lots of signs all over the shop window and alcohol gel when you entered the shop.  But then I realised that people are thumbing through lots of records, so maybe it needs to be saver!




I wonder whether I could create a ‘Covid Safety Corner’ for readers to share their experiences and I could do the same?  What do you think?


When I got home, Honey and I headed out for our daily long walk to Arthur’s Seat.

Poetry / Art Corner

After yesterday’s post (Day 136) which was the “the final painting in the series” my sister Anna sent me some more 🙂

Anna discovered The Paint Republic during lock-down.  You can access free paint-as-you-go classes via their website or Facebook page.  Or you can join for £5 a month to access over 60 classes!  All online (virtual) rather than real world.

She painted this as a card for our mum.


Thanks Anna for sharing – looks amazing!

Readers Corner

Nothing to share in here 🙁

Do we have too many other sections resulting in Readers Corner having nothing?!  Maybe we need to cut section- but of course not ‘It Made Me Smile’, I don’t what a riot on my hands 😉


It Made Me Smile

This made me smile 🙂


Music Corner

Talking to some of the ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) I’ve heard two ideas for Music Corner.

Readers submit their favourite music/song with a few words and I include it here.  In any format, Facebook, YouTube, etc…

Or Readers send me their Spotify Playlist, which I embed into Music Corner.  I have only used Spotify once, so have no idea about playlists.

According to a quick internet search, you need ‘right click’ on your playlist and click on “Copy Embed Code”.  Then send the code to me – this will be in HTML format, which will allow me to embed it directly into the blog.

If you have other ideas – please also share with me.

So, to kick of Music Corner, Brian has shared something – which was via Facebook, but I found the HTML Embed Code and so have embeded it straight into the blog!



Brian messaged me with this video, shared via NHS Western Isles.  Brian said:

“The Isle of Canna gets a special mention…!”


Thanks Brian, for sharing and being the first reader to appear in ‘Music Corner’!


Like Brian, please share your music and playlists for Music Corner.



As I come to the end of today’s blog, its been a pretty full on day!  The days of lying on my sofa, watching films, seems like a distant memory 😉

When I was walking into Holyrood Park this afternoon, I felt content.  I felt that yesterday (Day 136) as well on our daily walk.  I wonder, whether I am finally settling into this new lifestyle?

I feel really fortunate to have Honey the Dog in my life and living so close to Arthur’s Seat.  A daily long walk away from the hustle, bustle and noise pollution of the traffic is awesome!  If it wasn’t for Honey, I would never go walking for over an hour everyday.

I’m not totally sure why I have this growing feeling of contentment, but what I am aware of, is that I have not felt it for many months, otherwise it wouldn’t have caught my attention.

I am loving writing and sharing my daily life and reflections with you all in this blog.  I must admit its hard to keep it going everyday, but I am loving the challenge and it’s only for a year.  I’ve worked out, I’ll be half way through on 22nd September, that’s just over a month away!

I am definitely enjoying constantly coming up with new things to write about, I can see this ‘Covid Safety’ theme going on for many months to come.

Today, the weather has had some sun, some cloud and relatively warm.  Still in shorts and t-shirt, but not hot 🙁

Tomorrow is Saturday, the only day this week I can get a lie in 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a good week and enjoyed the sunshine.

Jim xx