Day 18 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today it has been a hazy humid day.  It feels like the sun has been trying to shine through the clouds all day, but not quite made it.

The start of my day was quite lazy, but tonight has been super busy.  Two virtual pubs, a magic show, Bedtime Chi Gong and now writing this blog.  It’s nearly midnight!

This afternoon, we went for a run up the Crags on Arthur’s Seat.  Another part of Arthur’s Seat which is very steep, very quickly!


It was just what I needed.  Haven’t been for a run for a few days.  But the steep part at the start, following by a long downhill.  Then some more going up and finally coming back down was lovely.  I felt really grounded on the earth (wearing my VivoBarefoot running shoes) and helped clear my mind and think about lots about what has been going round and round in my head for the last few days about change.

Following on from Matt’s comment that I shared in yesterday’s blog, I went out with the focus to notice what had not changed.  Finding myself noticing lots of trees and birds flying.  The main photo of this blog is an area which I call (for Honey) ‘Squirrel Park’.  I have heard other dog walkers call it ‘Squirrel World’.  At times there are over 10 squirrels there.  You can see Honey trying to spot any movement and squirrels.  She will stand there, stationary for up to 10 minutes, waiting.

During my run, I had lots of amazing inspiration about change, but now, so late and I’m tired, it is all a bit hazy.

I am aware that I have a thirst for newness in life, which is why I guess, I have enjoyed lockdown so much.  I reflect on what I quoted about Richard Rohr yesterday – “The ego is comfortable with what it is used to” and he offers an “invitation to move outside of what with…the unfamiliar”.  But, even if we live everyday differently, it eventually becomes what we are familiar with, living everyday different.  If that makes sense?

Even if we live everyday, with lots of newness.  Eventually, our ego clings to that – the comfortableness of daily newness?  I then thought about the NHS Staff working in Coronavirus wards.  We often see them talking about how it is “a living hell”.  I guess, what they are experiencing is different everyday and certainly different to what they are used to (outwith Cornoavirus).  But, even if their daily 12 hour shift, is not the same.  Going into the same hospital is the same.  Travelling to work everyday is the same.  So there is always part of our life with is not new.

I then thought back to the frog story that I shared a while back.  The frog who lived in the well.  All he knew was the well.  And the frog from the ocean.  But even if the frog in the well, felt comfortable in his well and that was all that he knew.  Eventually, the frog that lived at the ocean, would also be comfortable with that and associate life by the ocean.

I am not quite sure where I am going with all this, it’s still not clear for me.

Today, I watched the Disney film ‘Lady and the Tramp’.  The 2019 version, which has real animals and people, rather than the cartoon.  I was watching it as my 7 day free trial finishes on Saturday.  When ever I watch a film, there is always one bit that sticks with me, that I go away and think about – a life philosophy, to learn from.

So the part that struck me was near the end of the film.  The dog Lady, was saying that she wanted to stay with her family, because this is where she belonged.  The dog Tramp, was saying that he loved Freedom.  This made me wonder, if Belonging and Freedom could exist together?

So maybe the key in all what I have said is learning to live in what is familiar (having a feeling of ‘belonging’) and learning to feel ‘freedom’ within that?

In another way of saying it, based on what I said before, if life always has a familiarity, I wonder if one can learn to live life in the sameness, but also with newness, within it?

That’s as far as I got within all that.

Any thoughts would be greatly received!

I will need to try and find some of my books that addresses some of this.

The other thing that came to me, whilst I was running, following that same theme.  Was when I lived in Edinburgh (the first time).  I had an itch to leave, I didn’t really know why, but I followed that feeling and moved away for a number of years.  Over time, I managed to verbalise what is was, what the itch was…”There must be more to life that this?”.  The daily grind.  The rate race.  Working everyday until you retire.  Is that it, is that what life is all about?

I posed this question to many people over a few years, getting various answers – but all saying YES – there is so much more to life than just this.  Going on holiday, trips away, going to the pub, cinema, theatre, festivals, etc…But I eventually, realised that in fact the answer was NO.  This is it.  This is life.  BUT, it is learning to notice the moments.  Living within the daily routines and habits – BUT learning to live free of all that, but being in the moment.

I wonder, if that can be achieved by noticing the freedom of birds flying?  Noticing wildlife just being?  Noticing Honey the Dog completely in the moment waiting and watching for a movement, a squirrel.

The Zoom magic show I did today was for a group of people who I call my “first ever fans”.  I met them many years ago, doing close-up magic at The Pleasance Courtyard, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  They were architect students back then and have seen me many times since.

It’s always lovely to see them all.  So was delighted when I got a message at the beginning of the week asking if I would come and do a Zoom Magic Show.  The first one I’ve done.  And the first bit of magic I’ve done in 5 weeks!

I set up my Green Screen and found a good background.

The finale included my Britain’s Got Talent 2020 act with Honey the Dog, called ‘The AMAZING Honey and Jim‘.  We didn’t get through to the filmed rounds with BGT, but have performed the act at a ‘paid’ gig twice.

I set up Honey with my iPad – so she connected to the Zoom Magic Show with her own camera / Zoom account.  This mean’t it could be down at her level.

We haven’t practised in a while, so a bit rusty – but they said that was the best part of the show.  A cute dog always steals the show 🙂

Check out all the pictures below.










And so I head off to bed, I’m looking forward to my lie in – as long as Honey doesn’t wake me!

Good Night

Jim x