Day 208 – Reflections on Lockdown

posted in: Stories | 0

I am sure you are all waiting to hear how the first night on the boat went?

I woke up at some point in the middle of night feeling really cold, reminding me like it is when camping.  But I had anticipated this may happen, so I had set up the electric oil heater, just needing to switch it on at the wall, which I did and it warmed the boat up.  I can’t say I had the best sleep, as I was sharing a single bed with Honey the Dog, who got up a few times in the night.  I had some very unusual vivid dreams too!

I didn’t have the warmest duvet with me, as I had just taken a smaller one in my rucksack.  So when I move on I can get my thicker one, my throw and maybe blanket and of course a hot water bottle 🙂

I got woken up about 8am by the light, realising that I need to get new curtains which fit the whole window! As soon as I woke up, Honey was up and wanting to go out, I didn’t go back to sleep.

But I survived the first night 🙂

I took Honey for a walk in a wee park that Helen (my friend and neighbour) had told me about towards Lothian Road.  Honey has stayed on Helen’s boat a number of times over the last year or so.

On the way back from the park, I stumbled across a plaque on the ground about the Union Canal 🙂

The plaque stated that it illustrated the length of the canal before it got reduced in size.

I then had my first shower at the Facilities Block and it was great – hotter and more powerful that the one in my flat, so this makes me very happy 🙂

Also met my final neighbour, Tim.  Honey seemed pleased to see him, as she has met him (and all my neighbours) when she’s stayed with Helen.

I then went to the boat café for a coffee and found some pictures about how the Union Canal was in the 1800’s.


Although I don’t think the canal has changed, just the surrounding area.

Also some information about the Millennium Link, learning that the flight of lochs that used to link the Union Canal to the Forth and Clyde Canal, were destroyed in the 1930’s.  Only being relinked by the Falkirk Wheel in 2002, which is the ‘Millennium Link‘, one of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken by British Waterways.



At 11am Phyllis from The Edinburgh Reporter, came for a visit.  Remember, she did a podcast about me on Day 28?  She has asked me to write tips on how to maintain our wellbeing whilst living in lockdown and the pandemic.  She came for a visit to say hello and take some photos of me.

So Phyllis was my first visitor to the my boat, giving me a lovely card and boat warming present 🙂


This afternoon, Danny was my second visitor!

This boat life is making me very popular and I haven’t even moved in !!!


Then I headed home and continued sorting through all my magic and playing cards.

Readers Corner

Just one comment today from Brian.  Although a regular in Readers Corner in the early days, this is Brian’s first appearance in Readers Corner since Day 141  !!!



Brian messaged me in the middle of the night after reading yesterday’s blog (Day 207) saying:

“Hello There!!

There’s only one thing to do when I’m lying awake and can’t sleep: read the blog!

The one constant of lockdown.

Fascinating to hear about Boat Life, which I think is going to take the blog into a new dimension.

Your description of the feeling of being on the water reminded my of my experiences staying on a yacht in Orkney many years ago when I was up for the folk festival. I hadn’t planned to go sailing when I was there but was talked into it at the last minute. It was a great experience but the thing I really remember was banging my head all the time! How is your headroom? The bizarre thing is that when I went back to work in Edinburgh and sat at my desk I felt as if I was still on the boat!!”


Brian later messaged me to say that reading my blog had worked, he’d had the most amazing sleep!

I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or not 😉

It’s a familiar experience feeling the swaying once you are back on dry land, I am feeling it now!

Thanks for the message.  There’s been suggestion already from the members of the  ‘Blog Community’ (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) that when I finish this lockdown blog, I should continue it with a Boat Blog!!



Music Corner

I am currently listening to an early album of Belle & Sebastian.

I am sure I remember reading that two key members of Belle & Sebastian first met whilst busking outside the subway on Byres Road in Glasgow.  However, I can’t find that written online now.

Anyone heard that story too or can throw more light on what I remember?


If You’re Feeling Sinister


As I come to the end of the blog, I am so so tired!  So much newness, coupled with not such a good sleep and lots of visitors!

There is so much new information to take in at the moment, I am finding it totally exhausting!

When I got back into my flat, I was hit by hottest from the storage heater, realising that I am already adjusting to living in a colder environment on the boat.

Has been lovely to have visitors to my boat and a walk up the canal with Danny.  Also I have loved exploring the new area, I feel like a tourist reading all the plaques and history about the surrounding area 😉

I’ll be heading back again sometime in the next week for my next sleepover and a thicker duvet!

Today the weather has been cold, but dry.  Cloudy all day.  There was a little bit of rain when Phyllis arrived at 11am.

I’m going to sleep well tonight !!!

Hope you’ve had a Super Saturday.

Jim x