Day 212 – Reflections on Lockdown

posted in: Stories | 0

Despite not getting to bed until super late last night, I fell asleep straight away and slept through the night.  In fact, I slept through all my alarms and clock radios, switching them off without waking up.  Luckily my faithful friend, Honey the Dog, woke me up at 8.40am squeaking!  I’ve told her enough times that if I am not awake once the last radio alarm is switched off, its her job to wake me up!!

It didn’t give me much time to get up, have a shower, get breakfast for both of us, switch the computer and log into Zoom, but I made it at 9am.  Just in time, as folk started arriving for my daily morning QiGong Session!

On our morning walk, it was really warm and the sun was shining, it felt more like Spring than Autumn!  The sunshine and warmth brought a spring in my step 🙂

Despite, planning on going to The Melting Pot today, I didn’t make it out of flat.

By 4.30pm, I was tired, my energy was sluggish and my head was hurting due to so many thoughts going round my head about my boat and the flat.  But then I remembered the piece I wrote yesterday for The Edinburgh Reporter about ‘Living Well in a Pandemic’.  One of my points was Exercise, writing:

“Exercise – gives us energy and lifts our mood.
I have found exercise grounds me, moves me out of my head and the constant thoughts”.


With this in mind, I realised I had to go out for a run, I couldn’t write about how exercise helps me and then not actually do it.  So I put on my running clothes and went out.

By now it was 5.15pm and Easter Road was super busy with pedestrians, I guess heading home after work?  Not so easy running against the pedestrian traffic, trying to remain some social distance and have Honey the Dog with me.  As I ran, I realised that for her, it is probably a lot harder as she is so low down.  She is leading the way, pulling on the lead and I am following.

She may see one person and move to the right of them, but then is confronted immediately with another person or maybe two people and has to decide which way to go, and so on.  I have to try and work out which way she is going to go (left or right) of the person (or in-between them if a group), so we don’t end up going the wrong way and then wrapping the lead round the person!  All in a split second decision, as we are running too!  Plus making sure Honey doesn’t just decide to head off the pavement and into the road.  We are pretty good at it, but not always!

It was only once today, that she went one way round a woman and I went the other!

Through practice, I have learnt, that the quickest way to rectify the situation is to drop her lead and then grab it the other side of the person, much to the horror of them.  The face on the woman was startled, as in the spit second she was about to be lassoed and wrapped with the lead.  I obviously didn’t see what the woman’s face was afterwards, as we had gone!

When we arrived at Holyrood Park, despite still warm, it was definitely Autumn, leaves everywhere!

Can you spot Honey in her camouflage in the blog’s cover photo?

I was tempted to run round the back of Arthur’s Seat, but the light was starting to dim and I haven’t been running for 8 days, so decided not to push it.

As we ran across the grass, there was one group of socially distanced folk sitting down (two groups of two).  I guess, the warmer weather had brought them out!  Honey went over to see them, but didn’t stay long, so I guess they didn’t have any food 😉

The sun was just starting to set, so I tried to get some photos, but they didn’t come out so well.



Despite doing a shorter 5.5km run, I incorporated some hills into it and ran fast all the way up them.  I definitely needed a run and get all the tension out of my body.


As we ran back across Holyrood Park, there were a group of folk standing socially distanced from each other.

When I am running, these days, I find myself counting the amount of people in groups, to see if they are following the ‘Rule of Six’.  This group was 8 people all socially distanced from each other.

It made me think how does the ‘Rule of Six’ work in a practical sense?

In Scotland our ‘Rule of Six’ is that up to six people can meet outside, but they can only be from two households.  That is yourself / your household and then one other household.

But what if, you go out following this rule, but meet another group of people, following ‘The Rule of Six’ and you start talking to each other?  Now you have four households together.  Is that OK?  How does it work practically?  Would you say “Sorry we can’t speak with you as we have to follow The Rule of Six” ???

The group today potentially looked like having this problem, although I also noticed a lady walking towards them, making their group up to nine!

I think the ‘Rule of Six’ works in theory, but how does it work practically?  Maybe Nicola will mention this tomorrow,. after she has read my blog!.



Readers Corner

Today we have two comments from Brian and Hannah 🙂



Brian sent me a message on Facebook Messenger today about saying:

“Hello there! A wee recommendation for you and your blog readers. I saw the magician and illusionist a few years ago during the Fringe at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society on Queen Street and was completely blown away. The guy he is working with on this is a brilliant theatre-maker who is also really interested in magic. I think it will be right up your street!”.

Thanks Brian, I will check it out!

I see it is part of The Traverse Theatre’s new online venue 🙂




Hannah sent me a message on WhatsApp today about yesterday’s blog (Day 211) saying:

“Hey Jim!  Enjoyed your latest blog…I liked the reflections about big life changes – I’ve been thinking about that too lately!”.

That’s great that you enjoy the blog!  It seems that the ones that I rush to finish and put little thought into are liked the most 😉


Music Corner

Today we have something on Spotify, but not music, it’s a Podcast!



After sending a comment for Readers Corner, Brian sent me another message saying:

….”and even more magic for you!

I think you may be interested to listen to the first instalment of a new series of an Edinburgh history podcast – episode one is inspired by a very famous tragedy involving a world famous magician! I wonder if the blog readers will be familiar with the demise of The Great Lafayette at what is now the Festival Theatre? PS: At least one of the voices on it will be very familiar to you!”.


Ha!  Thanks for that Brian, I will definitely listen to that and see if I recognise any of the voices.  The story of The Great Lafeyette is well-known in magician circles, I think I remember there is a twist to the story of his death?

Just looked him up on Wikipedia –

Interesting to read that his grave is at Piershill Cemetry,in  Edinburgh, which I believe is owned by the same company that manages Eastern Cemetery, which is next to my flat!!




As I come to the end of today’s blog, I was hoping to be going to bed earlier.  It is always the same, I start my blog early, get a bit distracted and then end of writing more than I usually do.  It is about the same time as yesterday!

This evening I packed up a lot of my kitchen stuff, leaving myself with just a few things to cook and eat in the next week.  I am hiring a car tomorrow afternoon, for a trip to Ikea to buy a drop-leaf desk that you attach to the wall (for my boat) and then to move a lot of my stuff from my flat to the boat.  I will be sleeping at my flat tomorrow night, but planning on another sleepover on the boat on Friday.

Today’s blog seems to have a magic theme, thanks for that Brian 🙂

The weather has been dry, warm and quite a bit of sunshine.  This evening, on our run, it was a little colder and more of an autumn feel in the air.  It’s dark just after 6pm!  Honey and I had our bedtime walk round the cemetery straight after the run.

Hope you are having a good week.

Thanks for reading.

Jim xx