Day 213 – Reflections on Lockdown

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When I opened my boat up this evening and went aboard, I felt like home!  Such a nicer feeling than it was last week….

This afternoon, I hired a car and headed over to Ikea to buy a drop-leaf desk/table which you can attach to the wall, which I am going to put up on my boat.

When I usually go to Ikea, I go in the Exit and have a look at the ‘Bargain Corner’, which is situated at the end of Ikea next to the check-outs.  Often what I am buying is in the ‘Bargain Corner’ and if not, I then walk round the wrong way, to get to the item I want to buy.

However, today you had to go in the main entrance!


This was very confusing, as I didn’t know where to go.  So I asked a staff member and she told me to go up the stairs.

At the top of the stairs I was delighted to see a man cleaning all the banisters, etc…following Covid Safety guidelines.

Then an area to wipe down your trolley / basket.


It wasn’t long before I realised I was going round the whole first section with all the displays, etc…and not the Market Place, which is where you actually buy the items.  I asked another staff member and she told me I had to walk all the way round!

There were lots of signs showing where to walk and lots of slow people walking in groups, which were impossible to dodge without asking them to move.

I finally came to the end of that section, to find I was at the stairs where I had started and had to go back down them to enter the Market Place.  I could have walked round the top of the first floor and bypassed the whole display section.

Then into the Market Place, with soo many people, trying to weave round them or up the isles to get ahead of them.  I finally got to the very end where the shelves are for the big items, which is right next to the ‘Bargain Corner’.  It took me 35 minutes to get to this part, which reminded me why I usually go in the Exit!!!

The checkout system was a total one way system and all Covid Safe, with lots of queues!


There were a lot of families in the shop and lots of children, suddenly realising it must be half-term!

I managed to dodge a lot of queuing as I went for self scanning.  That also had Social Distancing in place, with two of the self scanners closed.


And finally trying to find where to go to get out.  Another one-way system!


Finally buying my one item, took me 55 minutes!!

But I must admit, it did feel very Covid Safe, with many staff directing the way and the one-way systems.  Plus most people were standing on their designated Yellow Social Distancing circles whilst queuing.

Then homeward and I continued packing up the car for my evening move.  I always love hiring a car, as it is so much easier and quicker to get around.

I had planned to leave Honey the Dog at home for the move, but then I decided she would enjoy coming along.

So I piled up the car leaving a little bit of space for her in the back seat and we headed off to the boat.

Whenever Honey is in the boot, I call out to her once in a while, getting her to sit up, so I can check that she is OK.  I can see her in the mirror.  But on the way to the boat she wasn’t sitting up.  I concluded that perhaps the boot door was sloping too much and she couldn’t sit up easily.  Plus, she was surrounded by boxes, so maybe she had decided to just stay in her space.

When we arrived at the boat, Fiona, my neighbour came out to help me move everything to my boat.  It made realise how great it is to have friendly helpful neighbours.  Only once in 12 years in my flat, has my neighbour come out to help me carry a load of boxes up the stairs.  I guess, if folk are in their flats, they don’t know you are needing help.  I must admit, I can’t recall helping any of my neighbours either or offering to help.  I guess that is flat living.

Fiona and I then chatted for a while and she gave me lots of tips on how to lay out all my stuff, so the weight is equally balanced on the boat and other tips on boat living.  She said when she first bought her boat 15 years ago, it was just a shell.  The guy who had built it, had moved away after building the shell.  It took her years to slowly save up money to do work on the inside.

I then unpacked a lot of my stuff, so I could take the boxes back home, which will come in use when I pack up the rest of my stuff.

Then headed back to the car.

Honey went in the back and I got in the front.  I called her name, but she didn’t sit up and look up.

I then went back and opened the boot, to find the parcel shelf was attached to the lid of the door and Honey had been squashed down by it.

Check out the photos below.  The first one she is still sitting scrunched up.  The second is when I removed the parcel shelf.


Poor Honey!


Is it a Café or Is it a Restaurant?

This morning I saw a news headline in The Herald.



The article describes how the council tried to shut down a Glasgow Deli, as they deemed it a restaurant.  But the owner went to court and won and so can remain open.  The article goes onto say the case could “open the floodgates” for other hospitality businesses trying to do the same.


On the way home from my trip to Ikea, I stopped off at a couple of Fast Food Restaurants to see if they were open to sit in, they weren’t, just doing take away and drive-thru, which is allowed for a restaurant.  I didn’t go right up to the window to take a photo, but I did stop to do some research 🙂


Ikea’s restaurant was also shut.


It seems that restaurants are now following the Central Belt restrictions.

Face-Mask Corner

Today we have Rich from Soul Food, a community meal on Easter Road that I go to most Thursdays and now Friday’s near where my boat is.  The last three weeks at the Thursday one, Honey has been getting a treat – a bone or biscuits or some dog food or all three!!

Soul Foods now operate at four different places across Edinburgh, Tuesday to Friday.  So if you want a Covid Safe Community Meal, check out the website.

Rich said his face-mask was given to Soul Foods.

Thanks Rich!  He said he was smiling under the face-mask, which you can kind of see from his eyes 🙂

Readers Corner



Helen sent my a message about all the Covid Safety signs in Sweden!  She said:

“Hi Jim, I enjoy seeing your photos of all the Corona-related signs on your blog. I had a hospital appointment today and thought you might like to see some of the Swedish covid signs ….”

“Information outside the hospital basically saying don’t come in if you’re sneezing, coughing or have a fever. You can only have one person with you to help you with your hospital appointment. And patients in the hospital are not allowed any visitors.”.


“Another couple of signs outside the hospital. The one on the right is another reminder that you should not go into the hospital if you’re sick! The one on the left says there’s a separate entrance for anyone coming to get tested for Covid-19.”.


“A socially distanced bus stop. Or is it just Swedes being Swedes?”.


“Sweden has been 99% cash-free since I moved here. Paying for parking with sms has an added covid-safety advantage.”.


“Information outside the pharmacy. As well as the usual wash your hands, cough/sneeze into the crease of your elbow, avoid touching your face and keep socially distant, there’s also information about picking up prescriptions for people who have to stay at home.”.



“Face masks are not mandatory in Sweden, but some people do wear them. Just like every other country there are some people who aren’t quite able to reach the bin.”.


“Hand sanitiser at the wash hand basin”.


“Hand sanitiser in the treatment room too”.


“Information about the restaurant. Lunches are sold in pre-packaged takeaway boxes instead of the usual self-serve buffet. You are allowed to eat your lunch in the restaurant.”.


“Social distancing reminders on the floor”.


“And at the ticket machine at reception (no hand sanitiser there or on entering the hospital though)”.


Wow!!  Thank you Helen for all your sharing and photos!!  It’s great to see how another country is being Covid Safe!  Despite us hearing in the UK that Sweden is doing things differently and having great results with Covid cases, it seems that they still have the same Covid Safety signs everywhere 🙂


If anyone else wants to share Covid Signs that they see, please do send over to me!



As I come to the end of this blog, it is quite late (heading towards 1am) and I am exhausted!  This moving takes a lot out of you!!

I am getting a growing excitement of living on a boat, especially as it is feeling more like my home.  Honey seemed a bit confused this evening, I think she thought we were sleeping on the boat tonight.  But we are returning tomorrow evening for our second sleep-over and I can sort out all my stuff.

I bought a digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm this week, which gives you a reading of the Carbon Monoxide, so looking forward to trying that out.  Plus my new MiFi and seeing how fast my Boat Wifi will be 🙂

Today the weather continues to be really warm.  This time last week, I had my storage heater on in my flat, now I’ve had to switch it off as its too hot!  It was dry all morning and afternoon, but then started raining about 5pm only stopping about 9pm.

As I drove through the city to get to the boat, the streets were noticeably quiet both people and cars.  I guess, with all pubs, cafes and restaurants closed, plus we can’t visit people in their homes, there’s not much to do in the evening except “Stay at Home”.

The leaves are starting to get darker and look more dead like.

Hope you’ve had a good day!

Good Night!

Jim x