Day 234 – Reflections on Lockdown

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Last night, on our final bedtime walk, Honey fell into the canal!  I think she was a bit shocked by it, but she is fine.

I was shutting the gate, with my back to her and she was trying to eat something stuck in the fence, then I heard splash, I turned round and she had gone right under the water.  It’s quite a big drop to the water, so I guess her force pushed her under.  She then started swimming and started heading down a gap between the pontoon and towpath shore.  She had her lead on, so I grabbed that and stopped her going any further, otherwise she would have headed under a covered part.  I had thoughts of having to get into the canal, but I grabbed her front legs and she jumped out.

She then did a lot of shaking.  I dried her when we got back to the boat and due to it being hot in the boat, she dried off quickly.

She is now a lot more wary about the canal edge, she is a pretty sensitive dog, so I think actually it was good for her to fall in, she will be more careful in the future – I hope.  In fact, this morning on our walk, I took her off the lead for a while and she kept well away from the canal.  I don’t generally take her off the lead due to fear that she will go swimming.  She loves the water!

After our bedtime walk last night, I finally got fed up with all the boxes stacked up along one wall of my boat.  So I rearranged some of the things in the boxes under my bed, to get more in them.  Then I stacked everything else in the toilet cubicle!  I’ve not used the cassette toilet yet.  Its a temporary fix, but the boat feels a lot more spacious 🙂

I plan to sort through everything at the weekend, lift the bed up to store more stuff underneath it and use the rest of the spaces on the boat.

The Ikea chair that I bought yesterday for my desk (Day 233) which is too high, is right at the back.  I will take it back to Ikea next week.

However, after buying the chair, I realised it was very similar to a couple of chairs I had seen in a charity shop a couple of days ago on Leith Walk.  I had inquired about them when seeing the chairs and whether they folded up.  They looked like they did, but the two shop assistants couldn’t work out how to fold them up.  The Ikea chair I bought yesterday was the same, having to ask an Ikea Staff Member how to fold it down – you have to lift the seat up, which is locked shut.

So this morning I headed back to the charity shop and the chairs were still there.  I measured the height and the seat was 14cm lower, so I bought both of them at £5 each!  One for me, one for my friend Danny.  One is now in my flat to give to Danny, the other is now on my boat and its perfect 🙂

A great bargain, as it was £29 new in Ikea 🙂

After buying the chairs, I headed to my flat and did some work.  This included taking part in a 90 minute Focus Group run by The Melting Pot, about the future of the office.  It was great to think about the impact of the pandemic and how working from home or in an office can affect our motivation, work structure and mental health.

They are undertaking a few different projects about the future of the office, that may interest you.  This includes an online survey, focus groups and a Zoom Event with keynotes speakers next Wednesday, 18th November.

Although the research seems directed primarily at people living in Scotland, I anyone can take part.  The event is for anyone.  Check out details below –


Future of the Office Survey

The way we work has changed forever. We are making it our mission to ensure that, in the long term, this is a positive thing. This survey will help us understand the needs of thousands of people across Scotland. Tell us what you want from the workspace of the future. This research will determine how better workspace infrastructure could increase well-being, productivity, collaboration and innovation. Take 5 – 10 mins to complete the survey:

Are we out of the office for good? 18th November: 6 – 7.30pm

The Melting Pot and partners are hosting a digital event exploring the Future of the Office. COVID-19 led to the world moving to flexible and remote working overnight. What does this mean for the Future of the Office as we restart and rebuild? How does the office contribute to productivity, innovation and collaboration? Join us as we explore this and more alongside our inspiring keynote speakers. Register now:

Future of Workspace Focus Groups: Throughout November 
We want to understand what people need from their workspace in this new era. We’re hosting a series of energising, 90 minutes focus groups. A facilitated process designed to translate insight into action that will help Scotland recover from this crisis. Help us find a representative cross section of Scotland’s workforce by –


Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Fi has suggested I compared Italy today and tomorrow (Day 235) New Zealand (See Readers Corner).

So today we are looking at Italy.




ALWAYS (in the whole of Italy) – face-masks must be worn everywhere – indoors and outdoors, except in private homes.


Italy has a three-tier framework.  Colour coded into zones – Red, Orange and Yellow..


Red Zone – Highest Level of Infection

  • All bars and restaurants – closed.  Except takeaways and home deliveries until 10pm.
  • Most shops – closed (including hairdressers & beauticians)
  • Factories and essential services – open (including pharmacy and supermarkets).
  • No travel from one region to another.
  • All sports competitions stopped.

Currently 5 regions – Calabria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.


Orange Zone

  • Restaurants and bars – closed.  Takeaways until 10pm.
  • Hairdressers and beauty salons – open.

Currently 7 regions – Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Apulia, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria.


Yellow Zone

  • No restrictions – beyond the national restrictions.

Currently 10 regions – Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio,  Marche, Molise, the Autonomous Province of Trento, Sardinia, Veneto.


In addition to the colour coded zones, there are nationwide restrictions in place too.  This all came into place on 6th November, until 3rd December.

  • Museums (which were allowed to remain open) – closed
  • Curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 – during these times people can only leave their home for medical reasons or emergency.
  • Gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas – closed
  • Shopping Centres closed at weekends, public holidays and pre-holidays – except for pharmacy, food shops, tobacconists and newsagents.
  • Restaurants and bars – close at 18:00.  Take-away allowed until 10pm.
  • No gatherings at weddings, baptisms and funerals.
  • Strongly advised not to leave immediate area except for work, study or health reasons.
  • Schools – remain open.  But older students have switched to remote learning.
  • Public transport limited to 50% capacity – down from 80%.



Readers Corner

Today there are two posts in Readers Corner.


Fi posted a Facebook comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 233), saying:

“How about Italy and New Zealand next for Covid-19 restrictions? Quite the comparison!”.

Good idea, thanks Fi!




Graham posted a Facebook comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 233), saying:

“Noticed from your pictures of the canal that there is quite a lot of growth in it. Do you know of any intention from Scottish Canals to try and remove before it overwhelms ?”.

Well spotted Graham!  I’ve heard from my boat neighbours that Scottish Canals are going to cut the weeds.  I guess, the canal is hardly being used at the moment by boats and during the first lockdown, were not allowed to use the canal to move.


Music Corner

Helen sent something in for Music Corner today.

Helen is singing in it!


Thanks Helen!  I will check it out once I am using Broadband WiFi, rather than my limited Boat Data.


As I come to the end of this blog, Honey is fast asleep next to me on the sofa.  Her ordeal in the canal last night hasn’t seemed to phase her.

She has been getting used to lots of bus travel in the last 10 days.  She’s so easy going and getting great on the bus.  Today, I was sitting upstairs, with my new chair, rucksack and her, suddenly noticing the bus was being diverted down the Western Approach Road, which is the wrong direction.  I pushed the bell, grabbed my rucksack, then the chair and Honey and tried to rush down the stairs to get off the bus.  I dropped the lead by accident, but she waited at the bottom of the stairs for me!  There’s so much newness for her and change at the moment, but she seems to be adapting easily.

Today, more fuel for my wood burner arrived.  Two weeks ago, I just got one bag of logs, 2 bags of coal and one bag of kindling.  This order, was 4 bags of logs, another bag of coal and another bag of kindling!

But this evening it has been really warm outside.  Fiona, my neighbour, came out of her boat to let me know just to light a small fire, not a massive one.  It was really useful to know as I was wondering whether to light a fire at all.  But I have indeed had a smaller fire, the temperature at a mere 24 degrees on the boat.  It’s a lot harder to know if the fire is still going if the fire is so small – less heat come off and less of a glow.  But I think I am getting to know Disco’s wood burner 🙂

Today the weather has been super warm, for this time of year.  It was nearly clear skies this morning and sunshine, so I did morning QiGong outside, although it was quite windy.  But Edinburgh is always windy.  It’s been a great day and tonight I didn’t even need a coat on for our walk.

Stay Safe!

Jim & Honey xx