Day 155 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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When I decided last night (Day 154) to go for a run this morning I didn’t look at the weather forecast.  It should have been a wise move, because Storm Francis was arriving in Edinburgh this morning, with torrential rain!

But after feeling so awful yesterday, I needed to go for a run, so Honey and I headed out anyway!  We ran 8km round Arthur’s Seat (clockwise), unsurprisingly it was very quiet!  There were no cyclists and very few people out.  We both got drenched and for me I had a bit of a chill for the rest of the day!


Check out the video:



But, it really helped my energy and my mood has been great all day 🙂

After a hot shower and making my lunch, I headed into town to go to The Melting Pot.  On my way there, I found out that my shoes were leaking, so I arrived with soaking wet feet!  Thankfully, I was travelling with a dry pair of socks in my bag and James found a heater that helped dry off my shoes, wet socks and helped me warm up!

I noticed a new sign on the bus saying to keep windows open to allow air circulation due to Covid-19, it was so wet and cold they were all shut!  I can’t imagine these being kept open during the winter.

It finally stopped raining about 4pm, so my journey home was less wet.

In fact I cycled on Aleena 10448.

On my walk back home, I saw the door open of The Bier Hoose, remember that first appeared in the blog on Day 38,  with the two doors, one in Leith and one in Edinburgh.

Nathan the bar manager seemed to be in a grumpy mood and not up for chatting.  I spotted a strange device by the door – ‘SaniStation’.  When I asked what is was, he said it was an expensive bit of kit, which allows you to sanitise your hands and provide a print-out of who has sanitised or not.  He said very firmly that he was not going to switch it on – I sensed that it was causing him a lot of hassle!

I checked out the website printed on the machine at the bottom, it was a registered website but just a holding page, strange!

When I walked out, I noticed there was a one way system in and out.  You had to enter the pub from Leith and leave from Edinburgh.  That is the opposite to how it was back in the early 1900’s!  Click on the images to see them in full size, with ‘Leith’ and ‘Edinburgh’ above the corresponding doors.

By this evening it was raining again and strong winds!

Yesterday, due to not being in the mood to write the blog.  I forgot to announce that it was my 100th Daily Morning Chi Gong session in lockdown.

I started on Thursday 2nd April (Day 10) and have only taken 3 days off.  Which I took at some point a while ago, as I was needing a holiday – so took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off.

Apart from that I have run Daily Morning Chi Gong every weekday!

I told everyone in advance of the 100th session and Jim came along especially 🙂

Those who attended from the ‘Chi Gong Community’ (Strand, HE, 2020) let me take a photo of them, it was staged as I couldn’t press the screen-copy button whilst running the session:


Although, Helen’s background looks virtual – I can vouch that it is real 😉


Face-Mask Corner

Today we have James from The Melting Pot.

You may recognise the style from mine on Day 153.  This is because these are complementary face-masks that The Melting Pot are given out.

They were donated to The Melting Pot by Eco Art, which is an environmental conservation organisation in Edinburgh.

Thanks James!  I love the multi-coloured options 🙂


Readers Corner

Nothing in here today 🙁


It Made Me Smile

Today a postcard arrived for me of Brittany, from my friend Helo!  It was a nice surprise and made me smile 🙂



Music Corner

Very excited to be sharing my FIRST Spotify playlist!!

After all the palava waiting for a tape converter to arrive on Saturday (Day 152) I ordered it again and it arrived today 🙂

Amazon says the refund on the two items from Saturday will take up to 10 days!

Here is the tape converter:


Very easy to use.  It has a place for batteries, but can also charge via USB.  The software you record it on is Audacity, which I already have on my computer and know how to use.  I only needed to record about 10 seconds of each track and then Shazam it to get the title and artist.

As I did this I thought about the length of time it would take to make a compilation tape.  Either having two tape recorders to do tape to tape recording, I think I remember you could do this with a wire between the two or maybe just recorded the sound from one playing?  Alternatively recording from vinyl records, I think tapes were just coming in when this was made back in 1988, so probably just vinyl records.

You would then have to hand write all the tracks onto the tape sleeve!  If you used a pen there was a risk that you would smudge the writing!  A pencil was easier, but would fade.  But of course if you made a mistake you could rub out the writing, although would end up rubbing away lots of the other writing!  What a nightmare we all went through.

I made and was given lots of compilation tapes, so looking forward to making more Spotify playlists.  I have a box of about 50 tapes!  Then I have my record collection too:)

I remember going round to my friends house and he had a CD Player.  I had never seen one and was so impressed how you could jump from one track to another instantly!  I was so used to having to press the Fast Forward or Rewind button.  The more modern tape recorders had the button that played the other side, without having to turn the tape over!

Wow – those were the days!  I couldn’t even have dreamt of how we listen to music now!!


When I was growing up I only listened to classical music and the radio.  I hated when anyone asked me what music I was into, because I didn’t really have an answer, no one listened to classical music!

One day at school, my friend Paul Crome asked me what music I was into, I replied “nothing really”.  So he said he would make me a compilation tape of some of the music he was into.  You may remember Paul Crome from Day 150,  he was the guy I beat running 1600m at school.  After that we became friends 🙂

He called the compilation tape Beyond Mel.  I never really wondered why it was called that.  But years later, maybe about 10 years ago, I met up with him and told him the story about the tape.  He looked embarrassed saying he called it that as he was trying to get over the girlfriend he had just broken up with, she was called Mel.  Makes sense now!

Here is the tape:

It’s hard to see what it says on it – the writing is in pencil!  I think it says:

“Hi Jim.  This is hot ? ? fab tracks from a few of my albums.  Hope you like it”.

It has a lot of Prince on it.  So after listening to it multiple times, I bought lots of Prince albums!  Then when people asked what music I was into I could say ‘Prince’.

So here we have Beyond Mel.  With the description “Compilation Tape made for me in 1988.  Side A (first half) mainly Prince, Side B (second half) mixture of Simply Red, Marvin Gaye and some more Prince”.


Sadly one tune on the tape doesn’t seem to be on Spotify 🙁

So I’ve included on YouTube below the playlist.






And a couple of photos of Honey and me that I took this morning and sent to my friend Ivan.


As I come to the end of today’s blog I am still feeling cold from my feet getting wet so many times!  I saw online that storm naming gets reset back to ‘A’ in September, so ‘Storm Francis’ is the last of the naming storm season.  Well unless we have another storm before Wednesday!  That means in the last 12 months we’ve had 6 storms, that doesn’t sound right?!  I hope one day there will be a ‘Storm Jim’ 😉 !

Today would have been a good day to spend the day “Staying at Home”!  Despite being outside a lot, my energy has been great, although I am tired now!  My face-covering kept me warm today, although also got wet 🙂

I was thinking how it’s going to be in the winter, with all these restrictions and more cold and wet weather?  It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Today the weather has been very wet.  It rained heavily all day until about 4pm, but then started again a few hours later.  It’s been quite windy too, especially tonight.  This evening on our bedtime walk, it was virtually dark by 8.30pm – I am sure that was due to the dark clouds too.

I hope you have survived Storm Francis.

Good Night!

Jim x