Day 29 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Last night I didn’t get to sleep until 02.30am!  I had a nap yesterday afternoon and thus I was wide awake at 01.00am, as I finished the blog!

The knock-on effect, was that I slept through my three alarms and woke up to my clock radio at 08.25am listening to Chris Evans (on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show) singing:

The Eighth of May…The Eighth of May…” to the tune of The Ace of Spades by Motörhead!!

The 8th May being the next time lock-down is to be reviewed in the UK and maybe lifted.

That didn’t give me much time to get up, walk Honey the Dog, give her breakfast, switch on my computer, connect my headphones, grind my coffee, make coffee and be online for Chi Gong at 08.45am (this is when I say I will be in the Zoom room).  In fact I didn’t get there until just before 09.00am!  This resulted in me being all over the place with Chi Gong – forgetting what I was doing and where I was at!  Although, folk seemed okay with it.  I think it was the most shambolic Chi Gong since I started the sessions in lock-down

Today, I have struggled through the day, super tired and little energy – determined to stay awake all day!  Which I managed to do.

I also started writing this blog this morning, so I could get it finished early and be asleep by midnight!  That is not going to happen, as I finish it off tonight – I hope to be in bed by midnight!

Do you ever find that you can’t remember if you have washed your hands or not when you come back to your home?

This seems to be a common occurrence for me.  It is part of my daily routine, maybe washing my hands up to 10 times a day.  But I still find myself worrying if I have washed them.  It’s mainly when I am lying in bed, have just rubbed my eyes and then think “did I wash my hands, after Honey the Dog’s bedtime walk?  Yes, you definitely did Jim.  Are you sure?“.  Then with the uncertainty I get up and wash them again!

Before lockdown started when we were being encouraged to wash our hands in news broadcasts, I was washing my hands with Lidl handwash.  But was finding my hands were getting drier and drier.  Not good when doing magic gigs, when my hands need to be moist.  In fact, some fingers were so dry, they started bleeding.  Luckily, my mum bought me some Neal’s Yard handwash for my Birthday!  It’s been perfect.  Super oily and my hands are so moist.  I have just bought another bottle!

Often when I perform magic, I quickly lick my fingers to grip the cards.  But as the risk of Covid-19 was growing and I was still doing magic gigs, I found myself trying to perform without licking my fingers.  With that and dry hands I was dropping cards all the time!

I also found that people would be offended if I did not shake their hands.  It was as if I was saying “I don’t want to shake your hands because you may have the virus”.  Some people were offended by this.  So I adopted the line, that I was performing round different groups of people at different gigs and maybe I had the virus.  Which worked a lot better.

One gig, I arrived to find that the three soap dispensers in the gents toilet had completely run out of hand soap!  So I resorted to carrying a small bottle of hand soap with me.  Plus, with a small bottle of alcohol gel and a small bottle of hand cream, my top pocket was full!!

Since then, I have learnt very quickly to not touch my face at all – which in the early days, when we were out and about (before lock-down) was always a struggle.  I also hardly ever carry alcohol gel around with me these days.  Does anyone else?

I have adopted the behaviour of not to touch surfaces.  For example walking up and down the steps in my flat stairwell, I never touch the handrail!  And as we no longer use buses, etc…there is not an issue there.

It seems that my blog is starting to act as an advertisement for people.  My friend Brian, said he went into the vegan shop Easter Greens on Sunday to buy focaccia, inspired by my blog.  Following Saturday’s blog and Majk Stokes Album launch, Helen has now starting to listen to his music and is a big fan!

How has my blog influenced your life?


I wanted to give a Shout Out for my magician friend Tom Brace.  You will have seen me mention him in my blog on Friday, for his weekly ‘The Big Fat Isolation Quiz’ which I can highly recommend, every Friday for 1 hour at 7pm on Facebook Live –

But he also does a weekly lunchtime show on Facebook Live for children – every Wednesday at 12pm, midday.  It’s a mixture of comment shout-outs, songs, films, magic and general entertainment.  It’s just 30 minutes long.  I’ve watched a few bits of it this morning and looks super fun.  So check it out and why not tune in with your children tomorrow – The Play People Facebook Page –


Readers Corner

Wow – I have had a rush of comments, messages and communications on Facebook to include in today’s blog.  Thanks so much for them all.  Keep them coming in.  It can be a lonely time writing this, not knowing if many people are reading it.



First up, we have a good friend of mine, Brian who is a journalist that lives in Edinburgh.  He is on annual leave for 2 weeks so has more time on his hands.  He sent me nearly 500 words by 7am this morning!  He says he wakes up early, then goes back to sleep in ‘holiday mode’.  This is what Brian said:

I am enjoying The Blog more and more every day – I like to hear what you have been up to and the updates you get from other people in your life.  It’s also made me reflect that I’ve not been in touch with too many people since the start of lockdown as I’ve kept on working almost every day – I reflect every day how fortunate I am to be in that situation – and have been as busy as ever, despite having no events to go to!  In the next two weeks I have no excuse for not contacting people I have either lost touch with or don’t speak to very often. 

The Blog is now very much part of my lockdown routine. Some days, I spend more time reading it than watching the news! The pictures of Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat and Honey the Dog are a daily reminder of why we are all lucky to live in a place like Edinburgh, where we are so close to the countryside and can look over the whole city”.

Wow, that last bit about Arthur’s Seat has made me a little tearful.  He is right!  In 2019, I would often deprive Honey the Dog a daily walk on Arthur’s Seat.  I got lazy walking there.  It was a chore to take her for a long walk.  Now I feel so lucky to have Arthur’s Seat less than a mile from my flat.  In fact it is now the highlight of my day!  The best time of the year walking there is in the winter, early in the morning.  Standing half way up, looking over the city, still in the semi-dark – watching the city “wake up”.

Brian continues:

We have been reflecting on the positives and negatives of life in lockdown and are starting to think that there just as many positives!  We are definitely eating much healthier food, life has definitely slowed down, there is a LOT less running about in our lives, we are out walking and getting exercise almost every day without fail, we are definitely in more regular contact with relatives, we are spending less money, the streets are dominated with people walking, running and cycling instead of traffic, we are talking to neighbours we have never spoken to before, we are supporting our local corner shops, I have started reading books again, and we have probably seen more of Edinburgh in the last few weeks on foot than we ever have! 

The Blog has definitely helped me to think more positive thoughts – if I think about newspapers too much it gives me sleepless nights!  I wonder if it has helped you to be more positive in your daily thoughts and musings.  I have noticed you seem more upbeat than you were a couple of weeks ago.  We are also adjusting our lives to – the classic lockdown cliche – “the new normal”!  Zoom meetings, walking into the road to avoid someone, standing outside a corner shop until it is empty, avoiding buses and trains, constantly watching your hands, and having an empty diary are all perfectly normal things all of a sudden!”.

This evening, Brian shared photos he took today on his daily exercise starting in Leith, in the order that he took them on his lock-down adventure.  These are in a Photo Gallery.

To see the full photo, tap/click on the photo and it will enlarge to full size.  Then to close the photo, tap the little ‘X’ in the top right corner above the photo.  Or you can use the arrows (left and right of the photo) to move to the next one.

Thanks Brian, for sharing all your photos from your daily exercise today and your experiences of living in lock-down.

If, like Brian, you would like to share your photos from your daily lock-down exercise (or travel to work), please do get in touch.  I’d love to include them in my blog.  The only requisite is that they are taken on the day that they are included in the blog.  I like to ensure all photos in my blog are taken on the day of the blog.



Next up we have Mimi, who I know from Mo Beans Coffee Shop.  I first met Mimi at Mo Beans Pug Fancy Dress Parties, that used to be a regular event every 6 months or so.  With up to 20 dogs (mainly pugs) in the shop, if you went, you would have to be a dog lover!  The parties included a special treat – homemade dog biscuits.  I used to tell Honey the Dog, that if anyone asked “she was a rare breed of Pug – A Great African Long Nose Pug” – but more recently she would go along as Nuno’s (the party host) plus one!

Mimi now works at Mo Beans on a Saturday.  She posted a comment on yesterday’s blog:

Hey Jim! Mimi here, good to see you’re doing well. I’m still in Edinburgh and living on my own, it gets a bit lonely, sometimes even anxious but it’s not too bad. I can’t wait to go back to work at Mo’s! On the note of shopping, I got an app called Check-in and what it does it you log the shop you went to at what time and how stocked they were. I guess it’s gathering info so people can determine when to go so I don’t see any harm in it. Hope you’re staying safe and tell Honey I miss her!“.

Mimi also sent me a photo this evening that she took today of the meadows in Edinburgh.  She says “looks like spring!” – lovely to see another part of Edinburgh!

Thanks Mimi, it’s great to hear from you.  I’ll check out the App.  Honey the Dog sends you a Big Lick 😉



Next we have Robin, who has regularly featured in my blog over the weeks.  He posted a comment on Facebook from yesterdays blog:

“Thanks, Jim, gorse does look yellow! I’m back to work today, that’s a change in my routine and I’m excited, even though we all have to stay 2m from each other…”

This evening he gave an update on how he coped with being back at work, 2 metres apart from everyone, he said:

Really lovely to be back at work for the first time in a month albeit exceptionally quiet; the sunny commute by bike up the River North Esk; smiles 2m apart; seeing and hearing the people we support; baking bread again…Ahhh, routine and order.  Back next three days too.”

Thanks for that Robin x



Matt has been reading my blog everyday from the start.  He also posted a comment on my Facebook page:

“Hold on! Jim Campbell and Jim the Magician are the same person?!!! Now you tell us! I have to drive into a deserted Birmingham city centre on the back of this. Presumably I can take it that the Tescos is going to exists?!”

Good to hear how things are going in Birmingham!



I also heard from Helen from Sweden, who has featured in earlier blogs.  She said:

“Just finished my 2nd coffee of the day.  Made me think of this tune that recently found it’s way onto my playlist.  You’ve created a new Majk fan :)”

She was making reference to Majk Stokes comedy singing songwriter, who appeared in yesterday (Day 28) and Saturday’s (Day 26) blogs


Ray and Anne

Finally all the way from New York, we have Ray Wrublewski, who I know from Hebcelt Festival which I have been going to for over 20 years and have been performing there as the resident magician for 7 years!  Ray and Anne went to Hebcelt for their honeymoon and have been going ever since.  They are probably the most famous Hebcelt revellers!

“We’re doing as well as could be expected, Jim. Not bad at all, really, considering the hotbed that New York is these days. Ever since the lockdown, Anne and I have observed the rules, with everything we need fairly close at hand. We’re sad about Hebcelt, though. We were really looking forward to it. But we’ve put our tickets on hold with the office for next year. Hope springs eternal! Stay well and healthy, my friend!”

I contacted Ray to see if I could include his comment in today’s blog and he continued saying:

Absolutely, Jim! I might add that we’ve been keeping our spirits up by watching the streaming concerts being put up by our friends in Scotland.  It’s been great to see Norrie Maciver, Gary Innes with Robert Robertson, Duncan Chilsholm and so many other friends right here in our living room.  Siobhan Miller has also been in steady rotation to keep our heart and soul together.  Looking forward to better, healthier times and to sitting down, for pints at McNeil’s and the festival tent.  From the Bronx, Salinte!

So good to hear how things are going in New York.

As I come to the end of today’s blog, I feel we have a treasure trove of stories from so many readers, hearing everyone’s stories of living on lock-down and their adventures of today.  I feel touched that this blog is allowing us all to connect with each other.

Quoting Brian’s words, for me, writing this daily blog has become “the new normal”.

One final thing I would like to share, which I mentioned yesterday – is a YouTube video of Honey the Dog getting a shower this evening.  No one has ever seen this before, so feel honoured 😉


Looking forward to hearing from more of you in the coming days.

Stay Safe

Lots of love

Jim & Honey xxx