Day 271 – Reflections on Lockdown

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Today I returned to the canal and Discovery and felt like I was coming home!!  It is so nice to be relaxing on the sofa writing this blog – no more heartache with the wood burner, just glad to be back.

Before all that, I went to John Lewis to ask questions about an oven I had chosen, I then bought it this afternoon.  I have been saving up John Lewis vouchers for over a year and it turned out I had £305 of vouchers, so I only had to pay a very little 🙂

Once back on Discovery, I just lay on the bed and read a book!!

Then Honey and I went for a walk along the canal.  Quite a few walkers and some canal activity.

We passed a boat trip – the first I have ever seen on the canal since I moved here.  You can only have one household of up to 6 people and any number of children under 12 years old from the same household.  For 1 hour (£100), 2 hours (£200) or 3 hours (£300) –

We then past the boat later on our walk back.


We also past a small rowing boat, with 3 people in it – 2 rowers, one passenger.  On the way back from our walk there were 4 people in the boat!  They were singing Christmas songs and seem to be having lots of fun.  I guess they were all from the same household or support bubble, as they weren’t socially distancing!


Whilst Honey was having a swim in the canal, she saw a bird and swam after it, jumping onto the bank of the other side of the canal.  She then chased the bird along the bank, before it flew away.  So she jumped back in the canal and came back!  The sun was just going down and it was clear that there were many scents around, as she was on lots of scent.  After that, she went on the lead!


Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Wow – What a Day!  I have already received messages from a few people saying they are looking forward to this section and me presenting everything that has happened today.

At 4pm, Boris Johnson provided a News Briefing, followed by Nicola Sturgeon at 5.30pm.  This all comes from a ‘new highly contagious strain of the virus’.  This new virus spreads a lot more quickly, although they both said there is no evidence that the new strain has any different symptoms, is no more deadly or will resist the vaccine that is being rolled out.

I will start in time order.



This is taken from new items and Government website –


The planned relaxation of restrictions over Christmas has been reduced and for one third of the population completely now entering Tier 4.

England is introducing a new tier, Tier 4.  Tier 4 is similar to the full-lockdown England has recently come out of.  See Day 270 for the current tiers (before today).  I will cover the full Tier 4 another day.

      • Tier 4 – From 00:00 on Sunday (Day 272) the south-east will go into Tier 4.  This includes London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire.


      • Tier 4 Christmas – In Tier 4 no one can mix indoors with anyone who is not in their household or support bubbles. The ‘Christmas Bubbles’ cannot be formed.


      • Tier 4 Travel – No travel allowed to other Tiers to see family and friends.


      • Rest of England Christmas – The Christmas Bubble (see Day 246), which allowed 3 households to fix for 5 days (23rd to 27th December) has been reduced to just Christmas Day.  People are being asked to stay local.  They cannot travel to Tier 4.


      • Staying overnight on Christmas Day – No staying overnight, unless absolutely necessary/essential.


      • Christmas Day Pub – You cannot go the pub with your Christmas Bubble.


      • Children coming home for Christmas – A few points here:
            • Under 18 years old with parents who live separately, can form two Christmas Bubbles.
            • University students who travel home will be counted as part of their family household straight away.
            • BUT if families have three or more grown up children not at university, they cannot form a Christmas Bubble with their parents.




Here are the full guidance in Scotland –

Nicola said “to keep people safe” restrictions are to be tightened:

      • The ‘Christmas Bubble’ (see Day 249 on Scottish Christmas Bubble) will be limited to just Christmas Day and not the 5 day planned window (23rd to 27th December).


      • Household limits still apply to the Christmas Bubble – a maximum of 8 people from 3 households.  The advice is to minimise the numbers.  Best way to celebrate the festive period is at home in your own household and meet others outdoors.


      • Travel – It is illegal to travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK (apart from specific exceptions) over the festive period.  This is both out of Scotland and people travelling into Scotland.  In her announcement Nicola said that this would be enforced by the police.


      • Christmas Day Travel – It is legal to travel within Scotland on Christmas Day.


      • Scotland Lockdown – From Boxing Day (26th December) Scotland will go into Level 4 restrictions (full lockdown) – see Day 259 for an overview on what that means.  Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles and other island communities will go into Level 3


      • Travel from 00:01 on Boxing Day – No travel across local authority boundaries, because Level 3 and Level 4 restrictions there are not travel restrictions between these levels (See Day 259).


      • Schools – For the majority of pupils holidays have been extended until 11 January, with learning online starting from 11 January until at least 18 January.


I think Nicola said the Level 4 / Level 3 lockdown will be for 3 weeks, but will be reviewed after 2 weeks.



Wales had planned a full national lockdown from 28th December.  However, this has been brought forward until Sunday 20th December (Day 272).


Meeting up of two household is now only allowed on Christmas Day.

Wales lockdown:

  • Stay at Home
  • Christmas festivities cancelled except on Christmas Day
  • Non-essential retail – closed
  • Close contact services – closed
  • Gyms and Leisure Centres – closed
  • Hospitality – closed
  • Single person household allowed to join one other household


Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland will go into a 6 week lockdown from 26th December.


BUT – there has been no change to the Christmas Bubble rules.  So these will continue from 23rd to 27th December.

Although, people are encouraged to think seriously about their plans for Christmas and to now consider only coming together on Christmas Day only.

Face Mask Corner (Christmas)

Now on fourth day of Christmas themed face-masks, today we have 3D Christmas Children’s face-masks, for children aged 4 years and upwards!

This is not just a face-mask, this is a whole Christmas Kids Pack!!

  • 5 daily washable face-masks
  • Attached 3D decorations of Christmas characters
  • Face-mask book
  • Santa Gift Bag

It’s a whole ‘toy’ in itself !!  Look how happy the boy looks in the photo 😉

Oops just looked at the price and see it is in dollars, so maybe not available in the UK.  Price is $24.99 from School Mask Pack.




Readers Corner

One comment today.



Anna sent me another painting that she did with The Paint Republic, the last one she sent me was posted here on Day 246.  Paint Republic gives you paint along sessions for all ages and abilities.  She writes:

“A card for a friends birthday, another The Paint Republic one”.

You can find out more about the Paint Republic from here –

Thanks Anna!


Christmas Music Corner

After Helen’s sharing for Christmas Music Corner yesterday (Day 270) it reminded me how much I enjoy John Rutter’s music.  So I have looked up his Christmas albums and found this.

John Rutter Christmas Music – The Complete Collection

The Description:

“In one playlist, all of John Rutter’s Christmas compositions and arrangements recorded by Collegium Records”.



As I come to the end of this blog, I am feeling loss and angry.  Loss that my Christmas is no longer going to go ahead with my mum in the New Forest and anger that its so short notice.  It was only a couple of days ago that Boris was promising that he was not going to change the Christmas Bubble rules.

In fact, a few days ago he ridiculed opposition parties who suggested tighter restrictions could be considered over Christmas, as outrageous to considering to Cancel Christmas.  I know that Nicola has been keen to reduce the Christmas Bubble rules for sometime.

I know my mum is also disappointed and upset with the short notice changes.

I seem to have had a lot of loss in the last month.  I get a glimmer of hope, then it gets taken away.  About a month ago, I got a glimmer of hope that I could get the government backed Bounce Back Loan to help me through the next few months, but the bank declined my application for a Business Account (which I needed for the loan) without any explanation, saying their decision was final and I couldn’t reapply.  A few days ago, Universal Credit said I am no longer eligible to any Universal Credit and now my Christmas plans have been changed quite dramatically without much notice.  It feels, for me, that despite all the lip service, the government is not very supportive.

Since Boris’s announcement a few hours ago, there has been a barrage of news articles criticising him.  I could rant here about all that, which I already have a bit, but more from my own reaction.  But as I am trying to keep this blog non-political as much as possible, I will post the links below and you can read them if you are interested.

Interestingly in one online survey – 27% of people said they would ignore the new rules as they have now made plans, booked travel, bought food, presents and alcohol and with only 4 days notice they are still going to go ahead with their plans.

Other suggestions have been that the government didn’t announce the tighter restrictions until now to help bounce back the economy with people spending money on presents, travel, food, etc…


So a momentous blog, what will tomorrow bring!  I must admit, I really enjoyed all this research on the lockdown restrictions, although it does take some time.

Thanks for reading.

Jim xx