Day 275 – Reflections on Lockdown

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Today I’ve been busy, rushing around trying to get things sorted before lockdown on Boxing Day!  Usually, this time of the year, I (and everyone else) is rushing around trying to do everything for Christmas, knowing the shops will shut for a few days over Christmas.  But now, in Scotland (mainland) shops will be closed for an unknown length of time.  This year, for me, the focus is more about getting everything sorted before lockdown on Boxing Day!

But, before all that, I slept in 🙂

It was the first time in nearly 2 weeks, that I didn’t put my alarms on and just woke up naturally.  Was great, finally getting up about 10.30am, having a shower and leisurely breakfast.

Then I headed across The Meadows (blog cover photo) to take a battery charger to Graeme that I had borrowed.  Honey loves going in there as she gets biscuits from Brian who also works there!

Then back at the boat, I had some lunch and headed to The Shrub, usually about a 10 minute walk, but I had 94 books and 2 DVDs.  I have had them on the boat for a while, trying to get round to take them over bit at a time.  But they are closed tomorrow and I am sure are a ‘non-essential’ shop.  The walk took, 40 minutes – with my large rucksack full and another bag of books.  I had to keep stopping to take a break, the weight on my back was hard enough as it was, let alone the extra bag of books!

The Shrub is a Coop – a kind of Swap Shop, you get credits for what you drop off to spend in the shop for new things.

On the way back, I spotted a shop that had closed:

Then back at the boat, I collected Honey and we jumped in the car to go to Argos at Fort Kinnaird, to get a new light for my living room in the flat.  I had bought it earlier online and wanted to collect, again before lockdown.

I was expecting Argos to be super busy, with lots of queues, but in fact the system they had created meant I was only in the store for about 5 minutes.  They were limiting the number of people going in, but no queue – then straight to counter, collected and left.

Then back to the flat, to put the light up and start on putting some mirror tiles up in the bathroom.  Sadly, Argos were out of stock of lightbulbs, so will have to see if I can get some tomorrow.


When I got back to the boat at the end of the day, I found the first Christmas Card sent (in the post) to me at the boat 🙂

It was not the most accurate address, but it had arrived 😉


Lockdown Restrictions Corner

A few more updates from what I have covered over the last few days in the blog:




  • More people go into Tier 4 in England – From Boxing Day 6 million people in England will go into Tier 4 lockdown (see Day 272 on what that means).

These are:

        • Sussex
        • Oxfordshire
        • Suffolk
        • Norfolk
        • Cambridgeshire
        • Hampshire (except the New Forest)
        • Essex (parts not already in Tier 4)
        • Surry (parts not already in Tier 4)

That brings the number up to 24 million people being in Tier 4 from Boxing Day (43% of England’s population).


  • Moving up to Tier 2 and Tier 3 – a number of areas in England will move up Tiers on Boxing Day.

Tier 3:

        • Bristol
        • Gloucestershire
        • Somerset (including North Somerset)
        • Swindon
        • Isle of Wight
        • New Forest
        • Northamptonshire
        • Cheshire
        • Warrington

That will bring 24.8 million people in England to Tier 3.


Tier 2:

        • Cornwall
        • Herefordshire



The Scottish Government has changed the rules on what ‘essential retail’ means.

Nicola Sturgeon said “we intend to define essential retail more narrowly that we have done recently”.

Homeware stores and garden centres will be closed as they are ‘non essential’.  With the exception of ‘click and collect’.

This includes:

  • IKEA
  • Dobbies

I couldn’t find any other listed companies.


English / French Border

  • France opened the border to people who a negative Covid test.
  • Lorry drivers are being given 45 minute Covid Test – Soldiers have joined NHS Test and Trace staff in Kent to carry out the rapid tests
  • Those who test positive are being taken to a hotel to quarantine.
  • Earlier today there were clashes with lorry drivers and the police after they had been waiting for 3 nights with little food – tired, frustrated and desperate to get home for Christmas.  Many are not stopping in France, driving through it, so don’t understand why the border is closed if they are not stopping in France.
  • Those tested negative are starting to board ferries.
  • Over 3800 lorries are now parked in Kent.
  • Manston Airport – which is being used as a lorry-holding facility is now full.
  • 12 food trucks at Manston, 200 toilets and toilets stationed every 1 km along the M20.
  • It will take a few days to clear the back log.

Christmas Face-Mask Corner

Today we have Cute Rudolph Reindeer Cloth Mask from Zazzle at only £12.95 per face-mask.


Readers Corner

A flurry of new comments in Readers Corner 🙂



Anna sent me a message this morning in relation to yesterday’s blog (Day 274), saying:

“The ASDA handle on the trolley is interesting. A picture of what looks like a covid virus and it says ‘New Antimicrobial Trolleys’, so covering all microbes but then it says ‘… limit the spread of harmful bacteria’ which is great but Covid-19 is a virus, so the new handles don’t help prevent the spread of covid just bacteria. Also I was interested in the plural of trolleys. Collins dictionary has it as trolleys, Cambridge has it as trollies.”.

Good point, Anna!

I’ve looked up on ASDA website and found the following:

“Applying a protective coating to all basket and trolley handles, creating an antimicrobial surface that limits the spread of bacteria and viruses. The same coating technology (Biomaster X shield) is already used to limit the spread of bacteria and viruses in the NHS Nightingale Excel hospital.”.

I wonder how true that is?  You would think that if it is to fight Covid, they would refer to virus and not just bacteria?!  It seems like bad marketting!



Jill posted a comment on Day 273 blog, saying:


“Hi Jim, I came about your blog ages ago when I googled to see what was happening to the Indian on Easter rd (now Walrus) you appeared in the results. Since then I read your blog daily. I have enjoyed reading it, I live on Easter road, I do think it’s great to see business here doing well. Sometimes it’s pretty busy though. Thanks for the read, sorry you can’t see your mum. But Wishing you and honey a Merry Christmas!”.


Thanks so much for your comment Jill!  It’s lovely to find people who are reading my blog, who are not friends of mine.

I found out about that issue with The Walrus link myself a few months ago.

I get a monthly email from Google Business, giving me an update on how many people visited my website, via their search engine.  One month, I noticed that the most popular search term that people used to find my website was using the search words ‘The Walrus Easter Road’!!  I then tried it myself and found my blog (Day 139) is the 4th from the top of the search (and still is).  In this blog (Day 139) , I mentioned ‘The Walrus’, and I guess I have better SEO’s than The Walrus!

So glad, that you have become a regular daily reader of the blog 🙂



Jim posted a comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 274) saying:

“Very interesting Jim, keep safe and have a merry Christmas.”.

Thanks Jim!

Yesterday’s blog was super short, I was super tired and didn’t have much energy – that is often the case, the shorter ones with less thought are more liked.  Glad you enjoyed it.  Thanks also for the Christmas wishes 🙂




It Made Me Smile

This made me smile and laugh 🙂



Christmas Music Corner

Found this for today’s Christmas Music Corner, a Covid related Christmas medley put together in May 2020, whilst everyone was still in full lockdown!

So today we have If Christmas Songs Were About Quarantine



As I come to the end of the blog, its nearly midnight, but I am feeling OK.  The boat was 5 degrees when I got back, but it wasn’t long until it was back up to its usual evening temperature of high twenties.  I think I have sussed a way to keep it burning, I start by putting a layer of coal in the wood burner, followed by paper, fire lighters, kindling and logs.  When all that burns away, the coal keeps in going – and it seems to get the temperature up quickly.

The next few days the temperature is set to drop to minus, which will be the first time on the boat, so will be interesting to see how that goes.

I was wondering about the Scottish Government’s new announcement that ‘Hardware’ shops will not be classed as an ‘essential shop.  The hardware shop on Easter Road (A&A Traders) is also a post officer, which I guess will need to remain open.  Will they, let people in, but not serve people who wants to buy anything from their shop which is not postal related?  I can’t remember if it was open in the first lockdown?!

This evening, Honey made herself a little nest on the bed (see photo).  Kicking up the covers and pushing off the cushions, she seems cosy now.  I’ve added another duvet (which I brought over from the flat) at the bottom of the bed, for her to lie on, thinking it would give her some more warmth.  If I wake up in the night, I fold it over her.  It certainly keeps my feet warm too!  I now have 3 duvets and 2 blankets !!

Tomorrow, I have another load of jobs to do, so will be looking forward to a rest on Christmas Day!

Today it has been cold, no rain, just cold most of the day.  Maximum temperature today was 5 degrees, it’s dropping to 1 degree through the night.

Hope you are surviving all the lockdowns or upcoming lockdowns.

Jim xx