Day 139 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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What I am loving about lock-down is that there are so many more people sitting outside pubs, bars and cafes.  Its great seeing so many people meeting, chatting and having a good time.  Obviously, if the weather is nice and there is a table available, people generally are choosing to sit outside, as there is less risk of catching the virus.

Before lock-down, the usual choice was if you were a smoker you would sit outside, if not you would sit inside.  Now it’s sit outside if you can and if its warm enough to do so.

Some bars and cafes even provide blankets for people to sit outside and remain warm 🙂

This evening I saw my friends Cleo and Mikaela outside a pub.  In “normal” times they would probably have been sitting indoors.  I haven’t seen Cleo since before lock-down and Mikaela for a few years.  Was great to catch up with them.  Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of them for the blog 🙁

Easter Road seems alive with new business appearing all since lock-down eased.  Why is that?  Have people saved lots of money in lock-down or perhaps are all wanting a new project in their lives due to staying at home for so long?

Next to Mo Beans Coffee Shop, there has been a newsagents that has been shut for at least 5 years.  This is being converted into an ice cream shop!  Not sure why Easter Road needs an Ice Cream shop, but then it also doesn’t need to have the 14 hairdressers/barbers that is on it!

Then there’s The Walrus which opened on Friday night and featured in yesterday’s blog (Day 138).

Finally, the Manna House, which has been shut for about a year is in full swing to be converted into a bakery called Twelve Triangles.  The Manna House was an icon on Easter Road, a bakery and coffee shop, so will be interesting to see if Twelve Triangles is as good.

In autumn 2019, I decided to do a little experiment on Easter Road.  I used to go into quite a few shops, cafes, etc…on Easter Road, through the week, its a great wee community of people.  Everyone knows Honey!  I wondered, whether I could start a rumour, which was not true, spread it across the Easter Road community and see if it came back to me!

I thought for a while and came up with the idea about what the Manna House was going to turn into.  It had to be something news worthy and relatively believable.  So I started telling people that the Manna House had been bought by Dignity and it was going to turned into a Pet Crematorium.  I said I had read it on Facebook saying I had heard that they were not going to remove the ovens from the bakery and just use them for cremation.  Maybe that was too unbelievable ?!

My mistake was that I told Mo at Mo Beans what I was doing.  I think, he started telling folk that it was a wind-up that I had started.

It never came back to me from someone else 🙁

It’s been a pretty standard Sunday for me – up early for my meditation group this morning on Zoom.  Chilled out for a while, then took Honey for a walk on Arthur’s Seat.

On Holyrood Park, there seemed to be more groups who looked like they had been there all day, with chairs, games, etc…There was one family who were playing rounders and then later had a net up and were playing a racket sport.  Also lots of people today flying kites.

It made me wonder whether they were ‘tourists’ or people having a mini-holiday at Holyrood Park?

It certainly does feel that people are trying to find fun ways to have ‘holiday’ in and around Edinburgh, instead of going abroad.


On my afternoon walk I got a feeling of anticipation…a waiting….a waiting for life to return to “normal”.  Then I wondered “is life ever going to return to how it used to be?”.  Are we forever going to have to wear face-coverings, social distance, not hug people when saying goodbye, etc…?

Did life return to how it used to be after the Spanish Flu?

People say once there is vaccine life will change back.  But is that really the case?  Will we all be given the vaccine?  How long will life be like this?

It kind of feels like we / I are waiting for a Second Wave and returning to lock-down.  Most people think it is inevitable once the winter comes.  Life feels very much in ‘limbo’ at the moment!  Waiting…Waiting…Waiting….for….for…what next?

This evening, I decided to head down to the bottom of Leith Walk to the big Tescos on a Just Eat Bicycle.  I got the App out to see if there was a bike station closer to my home than Leith Walk and there was, just one bike available.

As I arrived a Just Eat Van pulled up, the guy said to just take the bike, but then I noticed the name/number of the bike on the App was different to the bike I was about to take.

The man explained, that this one was stolen and started to try and fix it so I could take it.  He explained that loads are being stolen at the moment, when I asked what he meant he said that people just unlock them and use them without the App, then just leave them somewhere.

I explained that my bike had been stolen in the last couple of months and he said Edinburgh currently has the highest bike theft in the UK.  He said everyone he speaks to who are using the scheme are saying they have had their bike stolen in the last few months since lock-down started.

What I wonder is where do they all go?

Luckily another go was finding somewhere to leave his Just Eat Bike, so I got his.

Creative / Gardening Corner (formerly known as ‘Poetry / Art Corner’)

Another painting from Anna today.

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.

This was a very early The Paint Republic painting.



Readers Corner

Today’s Readers Corner was more of a wee conversation that happened via Facebook comments on yesterday’s blog between Helen and Pat.



“Great Read..The Only Comment I Have Is When Children Return To School “It’s Seems That They Don’t Get The Virus Much” .I Wondered If They Might Unwittingly Carry It To Their Homes Thus Then Maybe Spreading It…Arrrggh God I Don’t Know Anymore If We Are Doing Wrong By Doing Right… Stay Safe and Stay Well All….☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿”



Helen replied to Pat’s comment saying:


“It’s such a difficult call to make. I’ve got a cousin who works in a school and is worried about the prospect of going back. As she points out, a lot of the teachers and support staff are in risk groups. I’m in Sweden and the primary schools and nurseries have been open the whole time.

Unfortunately, Sweden isn’t really the role model that anyone else wants to follow. Some people here think that keeping schools open was one of the best decisions made. Whereas others are pointing out that the steady reduction in new cases and deaths coincides with the schools closing for the summer holidays.”.



Pat replied to Helen’s post saying:

“Thanks Helen….☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿”.



I saw in the news today that the council in Manchester are proposing to shut all pubs/bars when the schools go back in September.  I guess, they see schools and pubs/bars being the two main places that the virus can spread.


Thanks for that Helen and Pat, its great to see the ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) chatting between themselves, rather through the blog!


It Made Me Smile

Brian sent me this video / song and it made me smile.  It’s an Ode to the Edinburgh Fringe 2020.  All the buildings and streets that appear in it would be full of shows, people and flyers.  It’s not the same this year.

This made me smile to see all the “venues” again – but sad that they are all closed.



Music Corner

Today in Music Corner we have one of my current favourite band the Elephant Sessions.  I originally heard them play at Spey Fest, in 2015.  I was performing there as Jim the Magician so spent loads of time with them backstage, chatting to them, etc…We also went to an After Party after the festival on the Saturday night.

Since then they have grown massively and have toured around the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and of course Scotland.  They’ve won Live Act of the Year 2018 and Album of the Year 2017.

This tune is Doofer.  Its a great tune to run too and dance 🙂

See if you can spot me in the video,  I was there with Brian, but don’t think you see him?!  I have my red stripped ‘dancing shirt’ on 🙂



As I come to the end of today’s blog, I feel tired – I think I write that a lot?  I haven’t had a lie in for a while!  I need a holiday!

Tomorrow, I plan to start a new 30 day project!  Not that I have much spare time at the moment, but think this one will be good.  I don’t want to give details until I’ve started it, just in case, it doesn’t get underway tomorrow.  Hopefully, by writing about it here in my blog, it will help me keep it going.

I’m not sure where all this energy is coming from to be doing lots of new things?  It’s like all those new shops being built on Easter Road.

Is it because life has been so much the same for 4 months through lock-down, that I am finding energy to create new changes in my life?  Who knows!  But I am enjoying it all 🙂

When I met Colin on Friday (Day 136) he said I was the only person he knew who was getting the most out of lock-down and enjoying it!  I guess, I know that next year life will be back to some kind of “normality” for me (in theory) as I start the 17 postponed magic gigs, so I might as well take advantage of this different way of living.

Today, the weather has been hazy.  The sun has been there, but there has been a thin layer of cloud blocking it out for most of the day.  Still relatively warm, in shorts and t-shirt, but I had socks on today as well!  But not in Sandals – it seems only the Swedish do that (a note from Day 57) 😉

Hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend.

Stay Safe!

Jim xx