Day 149 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today is Helen’s 40th Birthday 🙂

At the end of Chi Gong the ‘Chi Gong Community’ (Strand, HE, 2020) sang her Happy Birthday.  Doesn’t really work through Zoom – but it is the thought that counts.

Happy Birthday Helen!

On our morning walk I saw a trailer for ‘Flexi Store‘.  On the side it said “Student Storage”, with a QR Code.  It was hard to take a photo, without the QR reader kicking in!  I wondered if this was the new way for students to store all there stuff.  Just park it up in the street and it sits there all term and you help yourself to what you need each week.  I thought to myself “it won’t be long until the whole street will be full of these trailers with students storing their belongs”!


But then I looked at the website and its a place to store your belongs, bringing the storage to you, rather than having to hire a van and go to a storage facility.  Good idea!  I see it is also available for non students –

Currently these student storage facilities are available in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

After our morning walk, we dropped in to Mo Beans Coffee Shop. The coffee shop is great if I want to do a bit of shopping in the local shops, which Honey can’t go into.  I buy a drink, then leave Honey in the shop and do my shopping and return, knowing she is safe.  She loves being there, greeting customers as they come in!

When I got back from posting Helen a Birthday Card at the post office (a bit late!), Honey’s friend Nuno, who lives in the shop had arrived.

In the past customers have got confused between them, if only one of them is there…I’ve heard people say to Honey “Wow, Nuno has got very dark”!!  They are pretty much the same size and I guess look pretty similar, both being Labradors.

This evening I ran round Arthur’s Seat (clockwise).  Holyrood Park was quite busy and it made me realise, that you can tell the weather and temperature on the amount of people out.  As I ran through the park and saw all the people, I thought “despite the weather, it is quite warm today“.

There were also lots of people running round Arthur’s Seat, which kept my pace going.  It made me realise just how lucky I am living so close by.  I ran all the way round and home without stopping – most photos I took whilst running.  I did 8km 🙂

Like the last two days (Day 147 & Day 148) it was still misty, but you could now see most of Arthur’s Seat.  The top was sitting in a bit of a cloud, but definitely a nice day and some blue sky too 🙂


As I ran up Easter Road on my way to Arthur’s Seat, I was noticing all the face-masks and face-coverings people were wearing.  So many different types and styles!

This morning after Chi Gong, Lisa and I were chatting about face-masks, she was saying how all clothes shops are now selling them.  They have become a fashion accessory!

People seem to be proud to wear the one they have chosen, often showing it off or waiting for the comment “I like your face-mask”.  This morning on saw the first bus driver wearing one!  There is now about 30% of people just wearing them in the street, not in shops or on the bus.

Yesterday (Day 148) at The Melting Pot, Anna was wearing one which was clear at the mouth piece.  She explained it was designed for people who lip read, explaining that this one was not so good, as you can’t see the mouth so well, but “we are working on making them better”.  The “we” suggested that she is working with people to design them.

Also yesterday, Helen was saying she now has a silk face-mask – it looked very snazzy.

Not only are people choosing to wear a face-mask which suits their style, personality and fashion – they are also designing their own or supporting small companies that are designing their own.

I wonder whether if some people have different coloured face-masks to match the clothes they are wearing for that day?  Do people have multiple face-masks to suit their mood, clothes, etc…?

So, as I ran up Easter Road, I suddenly thought – this would be a great new section for the blog!!

So today I am launching ‘Face-Mask Corner’.  If anyone in the ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) wants to suggest a better name, please let me know.

As I continued to think about the idea on my run, I started thinking, it would be great to start this today.  But how do I find someone for a photo wearing their face-mask?  Could I ask a random person, if I could take a photo of their face-mask for my blog?  Or perhaps I could just include mine for today?  But mine has featured a few times already, the first time was on Day 76.

As I ran along Easter Road on my way home, I was looking out for someone I knew who was wearing a face-mask.  No luck.  But then as I came towards my flats, I saw my neighbour.  Bingo!


Face-Mask Corner

This is a brand new feature in The Daily Blog.

Are you particular proud of your face-mask?  Where did you get your face-mask from?  Does one of your friends, family or neighbour have a particular face-mask you love?  Or have you seen a great face-covering online?

This is the place to share it.

Or perhaps you don’t have any of these, but want to just show your face-mask.

Send in your photos.  You can include why you like it, any stories attached to it, would you recommend it?  Also, where did you get it, is there a shop or small business you want to promote and support who makes them?

Today we have Gosia, she just bought her face-mask today.


Thanks Gosia for being the first in ‘Face-Mask Corner’!  You saved the day 🙂

I love it – looks like a good one and comfortable to wear?!

Readers Corner

We just have one sharing in here today.



Matt messaged me on Facebook messenger saying:

“Hi Jim hope you’re okay. Well done on the blog and keeping it going! Just to say, the tourists do not seem to have returned to Birmingham yet! hah hah”


Thanks Matt!  The blog has been my way of life now.  I think I would be lost without it…already feeling the loss just thinking about it ending in March 2021 😉



It Made Me Smile

Danny posted a picture on Facebook that made me smile.


Music Corner

Today I began my journey into exploring Spotify and spent most of the day listening to tunes on it!  I must admit, I miss the radio but it’s good to listen to virtually any song on Spotify.  So will continue exploring it.  As yet, I don’t really understand how it works.  Will need to watch some YouTube tutorials on it for beginners.

I thought I could find my old compilation tapes that I made many years ago, dig out my old walkman, find some batteries for it and then convert all the songs on it into Spotify playlists.  Would that work?

But for the time being I am resorting to including an album in Spotify for today’s Music Corner.

Please do keep sharing your playlists or favourite tunes to be included in here, so it’s not just me and my taste in music.

So today in Music Corner there is an album by Ryan Young.

Back in maybe 2007 or even 2006, Brian and I met Ryan Young at Celtic Connections, which is a 3 week long Celtic (and world music) Festival in Glasgow, that takes place every year in January.

Every year, anyone can enter the Danny Kyle Award (competition), which gets narrowed down to a list of finalists.  They don’t have one winner, but about 7 or 8 finalists.  All finalists get a gig the following year at Celtic Connections and acts as a springboard to build up their name.  Many well established bands have been Danny Kyle finalists – the one that springs to mind is the Orkney band, The Chair.  When they won, they were actually called ‘Lazy Boy Chair’, but then found there was a copyright clash, so they changed their name.

Anyway, back to the story!  Ryan Young had just played as Danny Kyle Finalist and we were at a drinks reception afterwards and were chatting to him.  He was very young back then, maybe 13 or 14?  We asked him what he was up to this evening and he replied “I am going home to do my homework”.

Obviously that was many years ago and he has become an established musician, often playing in a duo with Jenn Butterworth.  You may recognise the name ‘Jenn Butterworth’ she appeared in Music Corner on Day 138 shared by Helen, after appearing in ‘It Made Me Smile’ on Day 127, with a song she had made, shared by Brian.  Wow – everything seems to interlink 🙂

Anyway, here is Ryan Young!  Great music – well worth a listen 🙂



As I come to the end of this blog, it is a bit later than usual.

I have found that if I want to get this finished and be in bed by midnight or a bit before, I need to start the blog before our bedtime walk, about 8.30pm.  I didn’t start the blog until after 10pm and then got distracted trying to work out how to change the display name on my Spotify account to ‘Jim the Magician’.  It would be nice to share with people who know my magic what type of music I am into.  I couldn’t work it out – mainly because I set up an account using my Facebook account.  I think I will have to close that account and set up a new one, via email.

Unless anyone can help?

I am super excited about ‘Face-Mask Corner’, I hope you all like it too and will embrace it?!  I think it will be great to include all the many different types.  In Scotland, tartan face-masks are very popular, but I wonder what other countries will have.

The weather today has been relatively mild, although not warm enough for shorts and t-shirt.  It hasn’t rained, been mainly cloudy – thank goodness it’s improved from the last couple of days.

Stay Safe!

Jim xx