Day 198 – Reflections on Lockdown

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At lunchtime I went into town to go to The Melting Pot.  I got the bus, although not the direct one, so ended up on the Royal Mile.  As I walked down Cockburn Street (pronounced “Co-Burn”), I noticed just how many cafes have seating outside!  It was quite a cold day, but still quite a few people sitting outside.  Well, I checked the temperature and it was forecast to be 9 degrees centigrade, but there was the familiar Edinburgh cold breeze that made it feel colder.

I reflected on how things have changed from lockdown.  Pre-Covid you would not see people sitting outside on a day like this, temperature wise.  In fact, you wouldn’t have so many cafes with seats outside!  The world has changed so much since lockdown!  People are preferring to sit outside, as its more Covid Safe.

Plus everywhere you look there are social distance signs, Covid Safety stickers everywhere!  If you had somehow had missed 2020, you would very quickly learn all about Covid Safety from the signs everywhere!

I also noticed, just how many shops, pubs, cafes, etc…have an entrance and an exit, creating a one-way system.  In fact, if you go to a pub you are told this when you first arrive.  Any premises that had two doors in, now has an entrance and exit!

The other thing that has changed since lockdown are the signs saying “We are Open“.  Thinking back to pre-Covid you would know if something was open because it would look open, now there are clear signs welcoming people in and declaring they are open!

How the world has changed!

As mentioned yesterday (Day 197), today Nicola Sturgeon made her announcement of new restrictions in Scotland.  This morning I searched the internet to find out what time this was going to be “approximately 14:50″, so at 2.30pm, I started to find where to watch her announcement. Usually I find her on Twitter, but it was directing me to ‘Parliament TV’, however there was massive lag on it and the sound not matching the movement of their mouths being out of sync, which annoyed me.  Surprisingly, I found the BBC was broadcasting it, so I watched on iPlayer.

Here it is on the Scottish Government website ––WmV9t4JHwsIJ5551zW3oCK9k715tj13oVUfA-i7X0BrFojqJM

Here is my understanding of the new restrictions:

  • Starts 6pm on Friday 9th October (incidentally that’s Day 200 of lockdown!), well for licensed premises, then the rest at 00:01 on Saturday 10th October.
  • It will end on Friday 25th October (although this is not stated on the Scottish Government link).


It seems that the main focus is to cut down the amount of people drinking alcohol indoors.


The restrictions get a bit confusing as the ‘Central Belt‘ restrictions are different to the rest of Scotland.  However, it seems that there are some rules that are relevant across with the whole of Scotland, so I will start with this:



  • Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes can sell takeaways – food and alcohol (if licensed).
    (there are no time restrictions stated on when this has to end, so I guess 10pm?).
  • Hotels / Accommodation can serve evening meals to residents, but not alcohol.
    (although no mention if they can buy alcohol in the beer garden/outdoors of the hotel? – see later points about this)
  • Cafe’s (without license to sell alcohol) can open from 6am to 6pm.
  • Rule of Six will continue with two households
  • Life Events – Weddings & Funerals can continue (if already booked) and sell alcohol, following the current meeting rules for these events.
  • Continue not being able to visit each other in our households.
  • All shops and supermarkets are asked to return to two metre social distancing and one-way systems.

Scotland Wide (except the Central Belt)

  • Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes (all hospitality) can only open indoors from 6am to 6pm, to sell food, but only non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes (all hospitality) can open outdoors (e.g. beer gardens) until 10pm, to sell food and alcohol (where licensed).
    (although there is no mention if they can sell food and alcohol all day outdoors)

Central Belt (Ayrshire & Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire & Lothian)

(that includes me, as Edinburgh is within Lothian)

  • Pubs, Restaurants and Cafe’s (that are licensed premises) will close.
    (but remember – takeaways are OK)
  • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts – BUT people under 18 years old can use a swimming pool (but not older).
  • No adult can do contact sports or training, except professional sports – both indoor and outdoor.  BUT people under 18 years old can.
  • No outdoor live events.
  • Snooker and pools halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close.
  • Requested to avoid using public transport for non-essential travel.
  • Requested to not travel out with our health board area (e.g. for me Lothian).


For me, I thought it seemed quite clear and wouldn’t affect me that much.  I mainly don’t go to pubs and restaurants and don’t drink alcohol (unless on holiday away from Edinburgh).  The main concern, is how to move between my flat and my boat, as it’s about a 45 minute walk.  With me slowly moving there I was thinking of travelling back and forth on the bus with Honey the Dog.  Could it be classed as essential travel?  I may have to hire a car!

However, Brian messaged me this evening saying if I fully understood all the new lockdown rules as he did not, saying he was looking forward to reading my blog explaining it all!  I hope that is now clearer for you Brian?!  Although, perhaps the practicalities will be harder to implement?

Looking back at the Scotland Wide restrictions (except the Central Belt), it will be interesting to see how people ‘bend’ the rules in relation to being served alcohol outdoors, but not indoors.  I can imagine it becoming like all the smokers, heading outside for a cigarette, then going back inside.  If it is cold or wet, will people, going outside to drink their pint, then go back inside in the warm and dry!!

I then read a Facebook post from Cafe Renroc, which I first mentioned on Day 104.  Renroc is a cafe, but has a license to sell alcohol  The post stated that only 5% of it’s turnover is from alcohol sales. The post suggests that if they removed all alcohol and stopped selling alcohol for the duration of the new restrictions, whether it can be open for the 6am to 6pm timeframe as an non-licensed café?

It makes sense if 95% of sales is non-alcohol related, to just not sell alcohol.  However, the current restrictions guidelines suggest that Renroc would have to shut and only exist as take-away.

It feels that maybe Renroc (and I am sure many other cafes) will fall through a gap!

The Renroc Facebook comment goes on to describe the café as:

a small-hub within the community which provides support, a sense of community and assists many local residents with somewhere to meet friends and family, and the majority of trade remains seated outdoors”.

It then dawned on me, that as we can’t meet each other in each other homes, the only places we will be able to meet is cafes (non-licensed) and parks!  If it is raining, then just cafes.


I am sure there will be a barrage of confusion over the next few days and clarity in days to come.  It does remind me at the start of lockdown that it took a while to understand and learn all the rules.  Although, I took the default of “if in doubt, stay at home”, which is pretty clear and easy to understand.

The other thing that struck me, was that Nicola said she has £40m to help businesses affected by these new restrictions, which doesn’t seem enough.  I wonder if some pubs and restaurants will not recover from this?

It seems that England is also having a rise in Covid cases, so I would not be surprised if England doesn’t follow with tighter restrictions soon as well.

Your thoughts on all this would be useful.  If I have got the new rules wrong, please let me know!

Face-Mask Corner

Today, we have me outside Mo Beans Coffee Shop.

I bought this face-mask at Pound Stretcher a few days ago, when I found I hadn’t come out with my face-mask and wanted to go into a shop.  So I managed to get into Pound Stretcher without a mask and then bought it and put it on in the shop!

I now have this mask in my jacket pocket all the time as a spare in case I forget my mask again, like this morning 🙂

It’s not very comfortable, an odd shape and nearly covers me eyes, but it is a great backup 🙂


Readers Corner

Just one sharing today, from my epic blog on Day 195, announcing that I had bought a boat, which has had 75 Facebook likes and 23 comments!



Helen posted a Facebook comment on Day 195 blog.  It was on Helen’s Facebook page that I saw the advert of the boat, she also has a boat in the same wee boat community.  Helen said:

“Welcome to boat life 😀“.


Thanks Helen, Cannae Wait 🙂



It Made Me Smile

This made me smile 🙂


Music Corner

I know I shared this on Day 195 in Music Corner, but I have been listening to it all week and loving it!!  So in case you didn’t listen to it, it’s hear again 🙂

Its full of popular well known songs – what a fantastic playlist !!


Friday Night Bingo – PART ONE

“After many many weeks of the Big Fat Isolation Quiz, Tom Brace Magic has come up with a new way to entertain us all on a Friday night (7pm on Facebook Live) – Friday Night Bingo. Round One – with numbers. Round Two – with music. Here are all the tunes he played :)”.



As I come to the end of this blog, I’m not feeling tired like I usually am when I write this part of the blog 🙂

The early night last night, paid off!  Today’s blog has taken a while to write, so it is just passed midnight, not so early to bed tonight.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time looking at different news website to get my head around what the new Scottish restrictions are.  With Scottish weather being so varied across different parts, I wonder whether pub and restaurant owners will be watching the weather forecast to see if they can open to sell alcohol outdoors?

The whole take-away element seems pretty confusing.  It will almost certainly lead to many people standing on the street drinking, remember on Day 75, I wrote about this?  A few days after that blog, I heard someone complaining of noise and anti-social behaviour of people standing outside pubs / on the street in residential areas drinking take-away beer.

However, from Nicola’s point of view, she must be trying really hard to maintain a balance on keeping businesses going, but reducing Covid numbers, so I do empathise with her too.

What is certain, is that tomorrow, it will all be the talk on the street, so I will have lots more to write about it.  So tune in over the next few days and see how it all pans out.

Today the weather has been drying, warm (ish) for October, but a cold Edinburgh wind.  I didn’t take Honey for her bedtime walk until it was dark, hence why the photo in this section didn’t come out so well.

Stay Safe!

Jim x