Day 150 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Wow – today is Day 150!!

A bit of a milestone for my blog writing.  I remember Day 50 and Day 100 vividly, do you?

Day 50 I started compiling facts and figures of the blog and Day 100 I made the ‘Big Announcement’ that I was going to write the blog for a whole year!  Writing the blog is now a way of life for me.

This morning when I was in Mo Beans Coffee Shop, I was chatting to a lady who said she worked in ‘Facilities’, when I asked her what that meant, she said she manages offices spaces.  She added that it is not a great time for work in this area, with so many people working from home and will continue to do so.  She said she is unsure whether she will be in a job in a couple of months time, showing anxiety of being made redundant.  She said colleagues have already lost her job.

But then we continued talking and she got quite animated in lots of changes that could happen in the future.  She explained, she can’t see how people will return to working full-time in offices, instead working a few days at home and a day or two in “the office”.  People seem less keen to travel to a different location to where they work and are preferring to stay more local to where they live.  So one idea is that more offices could be formed in residential areas.  Hearing that idea, I got quite excited in our conversation, it could lead to local communities thriving, rather being used where to live in and a different place to work.

When I first became self-employed, I was surprised to see different people around the area I lived in, to when I was working.  This was because, most people travelled to their place of work and so were only out and about in their local community in the evenings and at weekends.  In the daytime, there would be lots more older people, mums and young children out and about.  But since lock-down there has been such a bigger mix of people around in the daytime and the evening.

It would be great if more people remained locally so that our local communities could grow and thrive!

I wanted to talk with the lady more, but she’d got her take-away coffee and was heading towards the door.  I suddenly thought of the blog and asked if I could put all this in my blog.  She responded as she opened the door, but I couldn’t hear what she said because of her face-mask!  Before I could ask her to repeat it she was away, heading back home to work – and no time to ask if I could include her name!

Today I headed into my office space The Melting Pot, there were only three other people in, but one person, Poppy, I haven’t seen her since pre-lock-down so was good to catch-up.  I travelled there the same way on Tuesday (Day 148), bus there and cycle home on a Just Eat Bicycle.

I used Owen (10286).

A few years back I was part of The Melting Pot Five-a-Side Football Team.  I’m not good at playing football, in fact I have never really liked it.  When I was at school, I wasn’t good at any sports – I hated the system of picking teams.  Where two people are chosen by the sports teacher to be captains and then the ‘captains’ choose who they want to be in their team, taking turns to choose the best players.  I was nearly always the last person, when they would say in a disappointed voice sighing “OK we will have him”.  When I was chosen to by ‘captain’, I would choose a good player first and then get him to tell me who to pick.

Saying that I have always been good at running.  When I was about 10 years old, my sports teacher timed me running forwards and then backwards – I was faster running backwards than forwards!  Then when I was about 15 I discovered I loved long distance running.  I remember, at school when I was about 16 we did a practice race, running 1600m, four times round the running circuit.  By then I had been running for sometime and impressed everyone that I was actually good at a sport.  On the final lap, the race was down to me and one of the fastest runners and all round great sportsman, Paul Crome!  I won 🙂

I had finally found a sport I was good at – I was then put forward for the Cross Country Running Team.

Anyway, back to the Five-a-Side Football Team – I was hesitant to go along, but wanted to meet new people.  You didn’t have to be good, but after a weekly Wednesday 60 minute game, I started to get quite good.  It was great to be part of a group, which was a spin off from my office space.  Whatever the weather we would play, at Powerleague pitches in Portobello, even in the snow!  We even had our own Christmas night out.

Today I heard from Daniel, who I got to know from the Five-a-Side football.  He said he has dipped in and out of my blog and really enjoyed them.  He also said he has just launched a new virtual self-coaching platform – Go-Shuffle.

This is what he wrote about it:

Go-Shuffle is a self-coaching framework that has been developed as a way to help individuals facing challenging situations take stock of their position and move productively forwards even in complex scenarios.

It has been used with both individuals and businesses over a period of almost two decades, and now launches to the public in virtual format.

Creator Andrew Hurst says:

“I’ve always been excited and sometimes amazed by the successes that can evolve from even the most challenging situations. People often say that they have been dealt a bad hand, and yet so often they find ways to reorder their lives, move on and find the changes they strive for, with only the cards that they hold.

“Of course, that holds true now more than ever. People may have lost their jobs, family members even, and we are all living through a time of almost unprecedented change. What we want to do with Go-Shuffle is to help people process that change, and come successfully through the other side.”

“We know there are a whole load of people out there – and businesses for that matter – stuck asking themselves what to do. This is about offering another perspective on that and saying to people: not what, but where to, and why? After that, you tend to find that the ‘what’ flows naturally.”

For those interested in learning more, the first part of the Go-Shuffle framework has been made available free of charge, and is available to all at

[Just enter your name and email address in the link above]

You can also follow their Facebook page @goshuffleltd or find out more at


Thanks Daniel for getting in touch.  I’ve had a quick look at the links and I’m definitely interested in finding out more.  There is so much change going on at the moment, I am sure lots of people are going to find this a really useful resource!

Today I have noticed so many people out and about and I’ve concluded it is due to be a warmer day.  I mentioned this yesterday (Day 149) too.  I think the temperature got up to about 20 degrees, after such a gloomy cold wintry start to the week in Edinburgh it has been just what we all have needed.  It’s not been particularly sunny, but so nice to feel the warmth in the air.

I guess everyone else also found that too.  St. Andrews Square was really busy with lots of people sitting on the grass, Dalmeny Street Park was also “full” of people, there were people playing basket ball and generally more people out and about everywhere.

I’ve noticed my mood has been more upbeat, with more energy – the weather definitely affects my mood.

Face-Mask Corner

For those of you who did not see yesterdays blog (Day 149) this is a brand new section 🙂

We are all wearing face-masks, with so many different designs, colours, materials, they have become a new fashion icon.  It’s the new conversation point “Oh I really like your face-mask” or “where did you get your face-mask from?” or “your face-mask really suits your character”.  Now we can only see half a person’s face, we are all trying to find face-masks that suit our personality.

Are you particularly proud of your face-mask?  Does one of your friends, family or neighbours have a face-mask you love?  Or have you seen a great face-mask online?

This is the place to share it.

Or perhaps you don’t have any of these, but want to share 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 Caroline, who is Helen’s cousin.  Helen writes:

“My cousin Caroline (who also lives in Edinburgh) works with people who lip read. She said you could share this photo on your blog.”



Wow – that’s awesome!  I love it 🙂

Helen wasn’t sure where Caroline got it from, but did say she thought Caroline had quite a few different masks from different suppliers.


Readers Corner

Just one sharing today from Helen.



Helen messaged me whilst lying in her new hammock listening to Ryan Young, who featured in Music Corner yesterday (Day 149), she said:

“Thanks for the birthday shout-outs!

Both at Chi Gong and in today’s blog [Day 149] (feeling famous 🤩)

I had a lovely day. Apart from a Zoom rendition of Happy Birthday at Chi Gong, the highlight of the day had to be picking sunflowers at a local pick-your-own field, where the proceeds go to the Swedish Brain Research Foundation”.


“The new face mask section is a good idea! I don’t think I’ll be able to contribute much to it because face masks aren’t being used in Sweden.”


“At the moment, I am lying in my new hammock listening to the Ryan Young album you shared. He’s very talented! And this album is just the right vibe for a lazy day like today. I hope you’re having a good day x”


Wow – I am so jealous!  Sounds bliss lying in a hammock, in the sun, listening to awesome tunes 🙂

But I guess it is your Birthday Week 😉




It Made Me Smile

After posting yesterday’s blog (Day 149) Ryan Young, who appeared in ‘Music Corner’ shared a photo of me, him and Brian taken at the drinks reception at Celtic Connections after Ryan had been a Danny Kyle Finalists and was soon to head home to do his homework!

This made me smile!



Please do share any photos, quotes, online images, etc… that you come across, that make you smile (or laugh).


Music Corner

Today I spent more time exploring Spotify.  I was trying to do everything on the website, rather than the App downloaded on my computer OR on my mobile phone.  That was the problem, there is little you can do on the Spotify website.  I finally worked out how to change my Profile Name and Photo, which can only be done on a mobile or tablet.

So today, I have been typing in bands and musician names into Spotify and trying to find something I want to share in here today.  I think I have found the perfect one for my mood.

Here is Graeme E. Pearson, who I have seen live more times than I can remember.  Mainly in Edinburgh, but also across Scotland.  Brian and I used to follow him around Scotland, going to many of his gigs, we wouldn’t tell him we were going, but just pop-up.  We used to find ‘prop’s and ‘fancy dress outfits’ to wear according to the song he was playing.

The two most memorable was when I travelled all the way from Edinburgh to Ullapool to just see him play, Brian was already away on holiday travelling round Scotland.  Graeme said he sold more CDs that night than any other gig.

The other was at the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe, in which there was a sign above the door saying “NO dogs and NO Campbell’s allowed” due to the Glencoe Massacre.  I kept my name quiet throughout the gig until Graeme said over the microphone “We have a Campbell in our midst”….!!

After so many times of seeing Graeme, I now see him as a friend.

Over the last few years Brian and I have gone to see him play him on the official last day of Edinburgh Festivals, after seeing the “Festival Fireworks“.  I guess, we will be breaking that tradition this year 🙁

So this album – ‘Graeme E. Pearson & the Mutineers: Half Alive in Edinburgh’, is an upbeat, funny, live recording of familiar Scottish tunes.  Well worth a listen.



As I come to the end of today’s blog, it is nearing midnight.  I started the blog earlier today, on the hope that I would get to bed earlier – but I have just written more and it is about the same time!  I am now starting the blog after going on the bedtime walk with Honey the Dog.  Due to it getting darker earlier, this means I am starting the blog earlier and earlier!

I love the idea of people’s working habits changing and maybe in the future office spaces will be more local.  It would mean a completely different feel to our local communities.  As the lady I spoke to this morning said, lock-down is providing us an opportunity to change the way we do things.  The way we live is evolving, things that may have happened anyway at some point,is being fast-tracked.  I really like that idea about lock-down and hope it continues.

Daniel’s self-coaching business looks really interesting and another example of how things are evolving.  We need to take this time as an opportunity to make changes in our lives, to improve our lifestyles and the world we live in.  It seems like an exciting time – a once in a lifetime chance that we must grab and go for 🙂

The weather today has been cloudy, but warm, no rain.  As I headed into town, I was wearing trousers, but thought I could have worn by shorts as I was feeling hot.

Thanks for your continual support with this blog.

Enjoy Life!

Jim x