Day 254 – Reflections on Lockdown

posted in: Stories | 0

My theme of today’s blog is the feeling that something is missing!  That is how I have been feeling over the last 24 hours or so….

Christmas is missing in Edinburgh, Christmas is missing in my usual work and I was missing my phone for 24 hours!


I’ll start with my phone!

I can’t believe how reliant I am on my smart phone – it broke yesterday afternoon, it wouldn’t charge, which caused me so much stress.  The time it takes to check things on a computer, is so much slower than on a phone.  I spent so long trying to remember passwords for certain things or even websites, with my phone I open the App and either punch in my phone password or use my thumb!

So this morning, I was dreading having to send my phone away to be fixed and not having it for 2 weeks or so, that’s what I had to do last time (which was about 5 years ago).  I had worked out that I could use my spare Sim Card that I use for my Mobile WiFi on the boat, so I just needed to find someone with a spare phone I could borrow.  Honey and I headed across The Meadows, to Graeme at Edinburgh Computer Repairs, Honey always enjoys going there as Brian gives her biscuits.

Graeme tried a few things, without success, so told me to go to Euronics, about 10 minute walk away.  Graeme, had said, and I agreed, it is the best shop for getting phones and tablets fixed!  The guy knew exactly the problem and told me it would be fixed in about 30 minutes.  He also said if he couldn’t fix it there would be no charge on the work he did.

So we wondered around for a while, looking for a dog friendly café, eventually finding one and sat outside for about 45 minutes.

As I sat there, I missed not having my phone, nothing to look at (emails, news, Facebook, etc…).  Thinking back to life before smartphones and how I would always have a book with me to read, in such situations!

I dropped by at Graeme’s again to give him an update.  Gandolf was there, so I hung out there for about 20 minutes.  Brian, got super excited to show me a trick he had taught Honey – to blink on command!  I am not sure if she was doing it on command or just blinking, but it kept him happy!!!

Then back to the phone shop and my phone was fixed, although he said it would take 30 minutes to start working once on charge – the guy (Peter) explaining that the work had a 3 month warranty, so any similar problems they would fix free of charge.  It was the charging socket that was the problem, due to it’s age.  He also cleaned it all as well.

Having my phone fixed for £30 in less than an hour, made my day!

I missed not having my phone today, to take photos for the blog.  I realised, that if I see anything interesting, I take a photo.  I also just take photos to document what I am doing, seeing, etc…for the blog!  I seeing something, reaching for my phone and then remembering it was not working!

I also think I may use my phone less and start carrying a book with me again 🙂


Christmas is Missing in Edinburgh

When I was on the bus yesterday morning, I realised that Edinburgh was missing its Christmas energy.  By now, there would be lights everywhere, a big Christmas tree, the German Christmas Market, a big wheel, ice-rink, a fair – and the place would be brimming with people, with excitement, joy and happiness – there is nothing!

The streets of Edinburgh are just like any other time of the year, like it has been for most of this year!

When we were in the Royal Mile waiting for the bus, I started looking at the shops.  Although my phone was fixed (by then) it had no charge, so I used my tablet to take some photos.

This kilt shop, said it’s only ‘Opening Times’ was on Saturday’s.  But going on all the post on the floor (many of them seemed to be from the bank!) it clearly hasn’t been opened for a while.

Next to it, another kilt shop, also closed, a sign in the window saying it has had to shut.  Plus a ‘Re-Opening Offer’, but clearly this has now past.

The café next to these two shops were also closed.

In fact, when I looked around, most shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs were closed on the Royal Mile.  Some were already empty with signs for rent outside.

As we headed down the Royal Mile on the bus, about 80% of all business were closed.

Again, usually the Royal Mile would be full of Christmas Shoppers.

So sad to see this 🙁


Christmas is Missing in my usual work

December is usually my busiest time of the year for my close-up magic work.  Last December, I performed at 23 Christmas parties and Birthday parties, often doing up to 3 in one night.

I would often hire a car and drive to remote spots across Scotland and even just to Glasgow, listening to Magic FM, with their non-stop Christmas tunes being played.  Then at the Christmas parties have Christmas music being played in the background or a disco with Christmas tunes.  Forever reminding me that it’s Christmas!!

This year, I have no Christmas work and no constant reminder.

I am missing that Christmas Energy 🙁

Readers Corner

Two posts today.



Gez just made it into today’s blog, after leaving a comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 253) saying:

“Hi Jim
I’ve a theory about your strange events yesterday with your phone was a massive full moon on Monday 30 November and I think its affected you more because you’re on the water!

Don’t panic, and hopefully with your actions things will get sorted out bit by bit!”.

Thanks Gez.  Yes I saw the super large full moon!  You are right – the moon always affects us a lot more than we give credit to it!



Ian posted a comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 253) saying:

“Love the look of Hannah’s Christmas song list especially as it does not contain Wham so no Whamageddon for me 👍🏼“.

Great!  I’ve listened to about half of it and it is awesome 🙂

Christmas Music Corner

I haven’t forgotten Ian’s Beach Boys Christmas Album, which I said yesterday (Day 253) would appear here today.

But I wanted to share this album that I am listening to right now, as I write this, to help me relax.

For many years as a child, I sang in choirs, both at my village church and school choir.  In fact, I was Head Chorister at the village church choir for many years.  So I do associate Christmas with Christmas Carols.

In my school choir, we once sang carols at Blenheim Palace.  Then more recently, I sang in the Pilrig Church Choir and about 20 years ago was part of the Edinburgh University Music Medics Choir, although never a medic or at Edinburgh University!

It was one Christmas when I was running round Princes Street, trying to do my Christmas shopping, when I saw a choir singing carols opposite the Balmoral Hotel, remembering my many years of carol singing over the years, I stopped to listen and enjoy.  It was snowing too, was very beautiful and magical.  As I listened, I thought about how much I missed singing in a choir.

When they stopped to take a break, I asked them what choir they were and could anyone join.  They said they were the Edinburgh University Music Medics Choir and somehow (maybe my charm and good looks!) they said I could join!!  I was training to be a mental health nurse at the time at Edinburgh Napier University, so they liked the medical link!

I was part of that choir for nearly 3 years and even become ‘Social Convenor’.

This particular album, sang by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, is of particular interest as my Dad went to Kings College, Cambridge University – so any thing sang by this choir, makes me think of him and feel a little closer to him.

So here we have Christmas Carols by King’s College Choir



As I come to the end of the blog, I am feeling so much more relaxed than I did this time yesterday.  It made me realise, that I am struggling more with life than I thought.  I am coping with all that is going on, as long as I am in control and things are going to plan.  The phone breaking sent me into a stressful / finding it hard to cope place in myself.  So happy that my phone is now fixed !

Honey and I were out and about for 6 hours today, getting my phone fixed.  Honey is now exhausted, fast asleep, next to me on the sofa, she is usually badgering me to go to bed by now.

I am definitely missing the Christmas vibe and energy at the moment 🙁

I guess, with Christmas being very different this year means I/we will enjoy it even more next year, assuming that the vaccine has been rolled out to all of us by then and things will be back to ‘normal’.

For most of today, the weather has been quite pleasant, although still quite cold.  This evening it was raining, Honey and I got wet!  I think it has stopped now, although not sure, as I think I can still hear it on the roof.  I noticed that it is forecast to snow in the next few days!!

Hope you’ve had a great day and the full-moon hasn’t been causing too much disruption in your life 😉

Lots of love

Jim & Honey the Dog xxx