Day 144 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today feels like I have done loads!

During our morning walk, we dropped by into Mo Beans Coffee Shop, for a Rooibos tea.  Whilst in there one of the regulars, John, turned to me and said:

“Did you see the Union Canal burst it banks after all the rain on Tuesday night?  All the water drained out of it – there is a 30 metre hole in the canal.  The water from the canal has now flooded parts of Linlithgow and all the trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow have been cancelled”.

This last bit, about the trains cancelled suddenly alerted me, as I have a magic lesson near Glasgow tomorrow and had booked the train tickets already.  Using Trainline, which had given me £6 discount.

When I got home I looked online and sure enough lots about this on the news – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-53768273

I then went online to see what trains were running, it was very confusing, each website provided different information.  But it was suggesting that all trains were cancelled, but I wasn’t sure.  There were no phone numbers available to phone and ask.  So I decided the best way to find out was to go to the train station and ask a person IRL (in real life).

So I picked up a Just Eat Bicycle and headed into town!  As I approached the train station, I found Waverley Bridge was closed. Strangely there were also staff at the entrance and exit of the train station with barriers.  As I headed down I asked the guy what his role was being there, he replied:

I don’t know, I’ve just been told to stand here” !!!

So at the train station, I queued up at the Information Point and asked the guy if the trains were running, he replied:

“Yes of course!  All the time.

You shouldn’t use TrainLine, they are a just a travel agent, they know nothing.  Never trust anything that Trainline tells you. 

You need the National Rail App they have all the accurate information”.

I quizzed him some more and it turns out the train that was running was the one that goes via Bathgate, taking 90 minutes, rather than the usual 50 minutes journey.  This train is usually the one to avoid as it stops at every stop you can think of!

I then headed out the station and asked the same guy at the barrier, why Waverley Bridge was closed.  He replied:

“I don’t know. 

I think it is because they were planning to close it for the Edinburgh Fringe and forgot to cancel the closure of it now that the Fringe is not going ahead”.

He wasn’t very helpful or knowledgeable 😉

I found this online, saying it is to make Edinburgh more cycle and pedestrian friendly – https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/waverley-bridge-now-closed-vehicles-2888879

As I arrived at Leith Street, this was also closed (one way)!  Probably due to the new building of the St. James Centre.

I then dropped into Real Foods to buy some more provisions for my Detox and cycled back home.  As I cycled I felt really good – good to be out in the city, good to be cycling, good to be doing some exercise without Honey the Dog – thinking I should do this more often.

I got my bike back with 2 minutes to spare, after 60 minutes I pay 5p a minute.

I then walked through Dalmeny Street Park to head home.  Was lovely to see so many people, without dogs, enjoying it 🙂

Back home, I debated on what to do with the magic lesson.  The Edinburgh to Glasgow (via Bathgate) train was less frequent, so I concluded it would be really busy.  Especially as it stops at so many stops and it was a Saturday.  I wondered about Covid Safety on a packed train, thinking maybe I needed to postpone the magic lesson.  I’ve never cancelled any booking I’ve had and felt really bad thinking this and letting the boy down who was getting it.

But concluded my safety was more important, so I’ve postponed it.

I then went back to sanding and polyfila (ering) my spare bedroom.

 



This afternoon was the final day of the Magic FM cash giveaway.  It’s a London based radio station, which I’ve listened to for years.  It kind of fits with my persona as a magician!

Over the last two weeks, every weekday they have been giving away huge amounts of cash, between 4pm and 5pm.  You enter once giving your name and phone number.  Then they choose a random number to call, you have to pick it up within 5 rings and say what the ‘cash prize’ is for that day.

It’s been so stressful, remembering to listen out to my phone between 4pm and 5pm.  Last Thursday, I forgot all about it, when I got home from walking Honey, I noticed a missed call at 4.45pm.  I was so stressed, I had to listen back on ‘Listen Again’ to see if they had phoned me, they hadn’t.

Today they were giving away £20,000, I didn’t win.

It would have been nice to win such a large amount of money, but great now to be able to relax between 4pm and 5pm 😉

 



So at 5pm, after the cash giveaway, Honey and I headed out for a walk.  It seemed a little cool, so I took my hooded top ‘just in case’, with my shorts, t-shirt and socks on.  Just in case it rained or got colder or I bumped into some friends and spent longer with them.  That hooded top turned out to be a blessing.

I decided to head up the Crags, as we haven’t been there for a while.  It started to get warm so I put my hooded top round my waist and it turned out to be a glorious walk.  I hadn’t taken any water for Honey, as it seemed quite cool – but by the end she was really hot and thirsty.

I stopped a couple of times to enjoy the sunshine and view.

As we headed down the hill towards the river for Honey to have a drink of water, I realised I wasn’t holding her lead.  Up until about 3 years ago, I would have it in my pocket, but one time it dropped out and I didn’t notice and I lost it.  Since then I carry it in my hand, so I know I’ve got it.  But now I didn’t have it.

I must have put it down at one of the two places I sat down and forgot to pick it up.  I was enjoying the walk so much, thinking how lucky I have Arthur’s Seat right next to my home, can get into the countryside.  I was feeling really relaxed and happy.  So perhaps in my euphoria forgot to pick it up.  I remember taking some photos and noticing the lead was in it.

So we turned round and retraced our steps on the hunt for the lead, no joy.  So decided to head back the way we had come in case I had missed it.  Eventually doing an extra 90 minutes of walking!

Honey was so happy when we finally arrived at the river so she could have a drink.

But no lead was found.

What do I do to walk Honey home along the street, it’s 1km?  If I was in my trousers I would be wearing a belt, but my shorts are small enough to not need a belt.  The only solution was my hooded top.  So I fed the arm through Honey’s collar, held each arms and headed home.

I have a spare lead in the flat, but it’s not as good as the one I’ve lost.  I will need to get her another one.  This one was only 6 months old, the other one had frayed to the point of breaking 🙁



Creative / Gardening 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 is the final one in Series 2 of Anna’s Paintings.

 

Thanks Anna!  I’ve lots count on how many you have shared 🙂



Readers Corner

Nothing here today.

 

It Made Me Smile

Nothing in here today either 🙁



Music Corner

Fi sent this to me late last night / early this morning.  She said:

“Julie Fowlis Spotify playlist. Some crackers on there 😃“.

 

I think I’ve worked it out so the playlist plays the full tunes 🙂

Despite my internet research on how to embed Spotify playlists into a website, saying you need to use the HTML embed code.  It turns out I just need the ‘Playlist link’.  To get this tap on the ‘Three Dots’ next to the play button and click on “Copy Playlist link’, then send that onto me.

 

So here we have Julie Fowlis‘ playlist, which is called ‘Julie’s Folk and World Music playlist’.  The description of it is:

“A playlist of folk and world music, both traditional and contemporary, and with an emphasis on Scotland, Ireland and connected cultures. Inspired by my own journey and those I have met along the way…”

 

 

Thanks for sharing Fi, listening to it now 🙂

 



As I come to the end of today’s blog, I am feeling good.  I am really enjoying all the delicious food I am eating on my Detox, now Day 5.  Plus with the sunshine, 3 hour walk and cycle this morning, it was good to be outside.

I am really enjoying this bike share scheme, don’t have to chain the bike up outside shops, doesn’t take up any room in my flat and keeps my cycling limited to 1 hour!

I wonder where the lead went?  Perhaps someone saw it and picked it up.  They say things happen in 3’s – I’ve lost my bike, Honey’s lead, one more thing to go….

That thunder storm and rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (Day 141) has had a massive impact on Scotland.  The Stonehaven train crash due to the rain and a landslide, plus the Union Canal bursting its banks.  What is happening?  Climate Change?

Today the weather started cloudy and cold, I felt cold in just shorts, t-shirt and hooded top.  But it warmed up this evening, with lovely sunshine and warm.  Tonight, the cloud was back and it’s cold again.

Hope you’ve had a fun week.

Jim x