Day 23 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Have you even driven on a road up in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (or maybe in rural areas in other parts of the UK!)??  When the roads are really narrow and only room for one car, there are passing places dotted every few miles, so if you come across another car, one of the drivers has to go into a passing place.

If you are lucky to be close to one you just nip in, flash your lights and the car drives on by.  A wee wave with the hand and you (well I) feel a bit of a connection with the other driver…In the Western Isles, the wave has turned into the lifting of a finger (with hand still on the steering wheel), which you do to every driver you pass….sorry I digress…!

But, if there isn’t a passing place for either driver, there has to be a decision made, without communication, for one of the drivers to reverse, back up the road, often quite a way to the last passing place you saw!

I have found this is similar whilst out on Arthur’s Seat on a small track, to ensure Social Distancing.  I have to remember, where there is a place to stand and go back to, to let the other person/people pass, to ensure we maintain the 2 metres distance!

This also happens walking along the street – but it is a lot easier, just to go into the road – knowing with 95% certainty that no cars will be about to run you over!

The decision making is a lot harder, when you are running.  Like I was today.  I found myself, returning to a passing place on a path on Arthur’s Seat (big drop on one side and bushes/trees on the other) whilst we were out for our daily run.  Except, every time I started running again, someone else appeared…and we would have to return back.  That happened FOUR times in one place!  See picture above of Honey waiting.

It was hot today (well 14 degrees).  Poor Honey she was panting the whole way (she still has her winter coat!).  Most the water hollows on Arthur’s Seat have dried up…she ran all the way down the hill to the river to get a drink.

When we got home she was exhausted!

At one point, up near the top of the Crags she started rolling on the ground.  Not rolling, like she usually does, to get a scent of dead animal or fox poo (why do dogs do that – it ends up resulting in her having to have a shower and shampoo when we get home!) – but just rolling.  I wonder whether she was rolling to cool down?  Not much on this, when doing an internet search.  Anyone know?

Here’s a video of her rolling (didn’t get the video going until she had nearly finished and she wouldn’t do it again on command for the video)!


YouTube Tom must have been outside too – as he didn’t put a comment on the YouTube video 😉


It’s absolutely amazing how the sunshine affects our mood.  I have had so much energy today!  Took so many photos.  After yesterdays no energy day.  I’ve been super busy.  I came up with a new way to get more things done in my day.

I had mentioned in yesterdays blog about trying to do more different things rather than to binge on one.  Today, I realised the key, for me, is to keep moving.  I’ve been thinking for a few days now (did I write about it a while ago?) that when we are not in lock-down, we / I get motivation and energy because we are doing different things.  We get up and get ready for work and may have a bit of energy to do a few things round the home before going out.  We go for a walk at lunchtime.  We come home and do some other things.  We may get ready to go out in the evening.  This keeps our energy flowing.  But in lock-down we don’t have this option.

In a blog a while back, I quoted Ya’Acov’s Glasgow workshop in Five Rhythms Dancing and how he said to keep moving and the energy will keep coming back.  So with this in mind, as soon as my mind wandered, I would move onto doing something else.  If the computer was whirling or switching itself on, I would go and put my clothes in the washing machine.  Then back to the computer.  Then if I found I was getting distracted I would, get up, and put the washed-up dishes away, etc…

It kept my energy going all day.  I got up at 7.30am this morning and have not had the need for a nap in the afternoon (as I usually do).  AND it feels like I got lots of things done.  I watched a bit of TV on my iPad whilst eating my dinner.  Bought a load of food.  Cooked a load of food.  I’ve done so much today – and I feel so much better for it.

A couple of days ago I got invited to turn my blog into audio, and have it played on an online radio station for people with dementia, called Deepness Dementia Radio.  It’s quite a new radio station set up and run by my friend Ron, who I used to work for.

Three years ago he got diagnosed as having memory problems, which has gone onto being given a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia.  He has embraced the new stage in his life and done so much in three years.  He has written a book called ‘Dementing Disgracefully‘, written a play called ‘Caught in this Moment of Time‘, which was premiered last year and had funding for a tour around Scotland and to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2020 (sadly this has now all been cancelled).  He is writing a guide on how to use Alexa (Artificial Intelligence) for people with Dementia to maintain their independence called ‘Alexa and Me‘ and is currently developing an online college for people with dementia coping with living in this lock-down.

Anyway, I am now in the process of recording me reading each of the blogs out-loud.  These will be played a few a day on the radio station, before catching up with the current day.  I am only on Day Five on reading them!  But love to re-read them all fully.  I will send a link to you once they start being broadcast, so you can listen in, if you want to.

Do you notice that since this lock-down and weeks before, whenever you have a cough or feel a bit hot, you think “Oh No, I’ve got the virus”?.  Any slight ailment and I go into a state of panic.  A few days ago I was in Lidl, first thing in the morning (that’s the only way, I’ve found you can get in without a 45 minute queue!), I wasn’t long out of bed.  And I coughed.  I suddenly became alerted to the fact, that it was a dry cough.  I shrugged it off.  Then I coughed again.  NOW I was worried.  As I was at the check-out, I started to feel my body was a bit clammy!  That was it – I had Covid-19.  As soon as I got home I took my temperature.  It was fine.  I took it another three times that morning, it was fine.

Who knows, what it was.  But I thought I would share this with you.  As I am sure many of you are experiencing the same extra sensitivity to your health?!

Another thing I was thinking about today was how, outwith lock-down, we have things to look forward to in life and in our daily week.  Whether it is an upcoming birthday gathering, going out on Friday night, planning a holiday, meeting up with friends, the cinema, theatre, Edinburgh Fringe, whatever!  It gives us something to look forward to in the future.  For me, if my week is not going to well, I can focus on this and have something to look forward to, in the future.

But now in life, we can’t plan anything – we don’t know when all this going to finish.  We meet virtually, but still on our own!  I guess, it keeps us so much more in the moment of the day.  As there isn’t any planning for the future.  For me, when I get up, I look forward to my daily exercise and being outside.  It’s so weird, that this has changed.

It’s that ’empty space’ again.  That I have mentioned over and over.  We can’t fill it with something or someone.  So we have to stay in the moment.  Stay with the day.  It is the only way we can cope.  But maybe that is why some days can be soo hard?!

In the morning, I look forward to getting outside for my daily exercise.  A run or a long walk.  I wonder, whether that is why I was so angry yesterday evening, because I didn’t do a long run or walk?

The final thing I want to share with you tonight, is a text I had from my friend Kate (she’s said it is ok to share with you).  She has started to read my blog more regularly and is “loving” it.  She says “It’s so helpful to read because we’re all going through these same ups and downs and your exploration of the experience is so honest“.

It’s so lovely to read those words, as I really don’t know how many people are reading it and enjoying it.  Although, I do know quite a few of you are becoming daily readers of it – which is reassuring.  I am so glad that I can do “my bit” whilst in lock-down.

She said in the early days, [like so many of us], she found lock-down really hard, but she has found the only way to cope with everything is to remain in the moment.  To breathe.  To go within.  She says “it’s soooo good to remember there’s a place of peace and light right there inside us ready to be accessed wherever and whenever we need to escape our tortured minds.  It’s amazing and so powerful yet utterly simple.  We just need to breathe“.

That’s it!!  The way we are naturally learning to cope, is to be more in the moment!!

If you are interested in exploring how to use the breathe to come into the moment, I can highly recommend my Daily Morning and Bedtime Chi Gong!  Perhaps, Kate will be joining it soon 😉

So as I come to the end of today’s blog.  A little later than I hoped (it’s 11.50pm right now).  It feels, that today has been an energised day!  I was going to say…”today it feels like things are changing and things are getting better”…but hey – I know too well.  That today, I may have loads of energy and motivation to do lots of things.  But tomorrow it may be the complete opposite!!

I am learning that there are so many ups and downs with this journey, I don’t want to place anymore judgement on it.  Just like the old man in the village in the story that I told many blogs ago…don’t place judgement on things being good or bad, just state the facts!

Thanks for reading.

Stay Safe.

Lots of Love

Jim xx