Day 295 – Reflections on Lockdown

posted in: Stories | 1

This morning, I woke up to a super warm boat – 22 degrees, I think I have sussed the wood burner.  When I was getting dressed, I had no idea what the temperature would be outside, as it was so warm inside, I was very surprised to find it really cold outside and a lot of the canal frozen again!

But with that comes clear blue skies, which were beautiful 🙂

Today I have spend the day on Discovery and round about the area I live in, which has been great!  It’s been lovely to have a break from heading to Leith and settling more into this new areas.

This afternoon, I phoned up to order some more wood and coal, to hear that they don’t have any coal in stock.  Although, the lady said it wasn’t that they didn’t have any coal, instead they didn’t have the ‘man power’ for the coal.  Not sure what she meant by that, I didn’t ask, I will have to ask one of my neighbours to explain!  She took payment for the coal, saying she would get it delivered when she can – maybe 1 or 2 weeks time.  So now, with only half a bag of coal left I am being really careful how much I use.  I can get some from the garage up the road, but at £10 for 10Kg, instead of £10 for 25Kg (from the coal man), it’s going to be a couple of weeks of reducing my coal usage!

Now that I have sussed the wood burner, I have had it going all day at a really low setting, so it continues to burn at a low temperature all day, between 20 – 25 degrees!  Thank goodness I have finally worked it out!  No more massive fluctuations in temperature from 5 degrees to 40 degrees in less than two hours!

As Honey and I headed on our morning walk, I noticed that all the rubbish thrown on the canal over the last couple of weeks to see if the ice would break, has gone (see Day 293 for photo), reflecting that it has now sunk to the bottom of the canal – 3 traffic cones, a chair and a metal table frame!  It looked all nice and cleaned up 🙂

However, I did notice some alcohol bottles smashed on the newly frozen canal, which I guess was done at some point through the night.  One bottle, looked like a wine bottle with the neck missing – with a very sharp edge to it!  I’ve heard in the summer, when it is very hot, people go swimming in the canal, even jump off the top of boats into the water.  I can imagine there will be a trip to A&E if someone landed on that wine bottle in the summer – ouch! 😉


The canal was half frozen, not quite reaching Discovery – apparently, the canal always freezes first at Leamington Bridge and then moves upwards.

Then for the rest of the day, I did some paid work, before heading out with Honey for a walk to see Graeme at Edinburgh Computer Repairs.  This month I have been having trouble with the Mobile WiFI Data.  My utility provider had promised that I could get unlimited data from 2nd January, so on 1st January, I was a bit over zealous with using my mobile WiFi data, watching something live on BBC iPlayer.  However, on 2nd January, they explained that due to some sort of settings on my account I can’t get unlimited data until 1st February!

So now, my data is rapidly disappearing – with only 13GB left until the end of January, I am not going to survive.  My utility provider gave me £20 refund as I complained, so I decided to buy a GiffGaff SIM card – 80GB of data for £20 for a month.  No contract, just top-up whenever you want, kind of ‘Pay as you Go’.  The SIM arrived on Saturday, but I haven’t been able to get it to work.  Yesterday, Graeme had a look at it and said the issue was with the SIM, so GiffGaff is sending out a new SIM card, but Graeme had a spare one, so I went to pick that up.  As yet, it has not kicked in, they say it takes up to 24 hours, fingers crossed it sorts itself out quickly, as I watch my current data diminishing.

I think that it is probably the hardest thing I have found (so far) living on a boat – worrying about my data usage and not having unlimited broadband data!

We took a slightly different walk this afternoon, across the Bruntsfield Links, this was so I could drop by at the garage to see how much they sell their coal for.  Was lovely walking across Bruntsfield Links, which is said to be one of the earliest known places where golf was played in Scotland.

However, according to this Covid sign, golf is currently not allowed!

As I wrote on Day 291, this is close to where I first lived in Edinburgh, so I did a bit more reminiscing.

Great to see the whole of Arthur’s Seat in the distance!




Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Tomorrow, I have heard Nicola Sturgeon is going to review the currently lockdown restrictions, with talk that she is going to tighten them some more, but what is she going to do?  Here is some speculation and comparing to the restrictions in March/April 2020.



  • March/April 2020 – stay close to home, only go out once a day, alone or with someone from your household.
  • 2021 – unlimited time outside, 2/2 rule – 2 people from 2 different households (you and one other person).
  • What do I think – could this change? – The 2/2 rule is certainly not being followed, so I think this could be changed.



  • March/April 2020 – schools and nurseries closed.  Children of essential workers and vulnerable children provided childcare by staff in ‘childcare hubs’.
  • 2021 – Schools closed.  Children of essential workers and vulnerable children taught in schools (rather than just childcare).  But more children in schools, compared to March/April 2020 as more parents going to work so in need to childcare.
  • What do I think – could this change? – If more things close, there will be less parents working and so less need for childcare and so less children in school – would that work?



  • March/April 2020 – Stay at Home except for essential shopping for food or medicine or daily exercise or care for the vulnerable.
  • 2021 – It is a legal requirement to not leave home for anything other than essential purposes.  Yet, many people seem to be out and about, queuing for shops, cafes, etc…It is illegal to travel.
  • What do I think – could this change? – If more shops, cafes, etc…close there will be less reason for people to be out and about, except for exercise.



  • March/April 2020 – Non-essential shops shut.  Cafes, bars, restaurants and cinemas shut.
  • 2021 – All pubs, restaurants and cafes must be closed, but they can do takeaways.
  • What do I think – could this change? – There’s been discussion in the air that ‘Click & Collect’ may stop.  I certainly think too many shops are open, which are deemed ‘essential’, this needs to be narrower.

I heard today, that a café on Leith Walk was open on Sunday with people sitting in.  This is totally against the current lockdown – but I guess, people want to survive and make a living?



  • March/April 2020 – Only businesses that are essential in tackling Covid or the promoting of wellbeing in society could remain open.  Construction was shut unless essential, the same for trades people.
  • 2021 – Outdoor workplaces, construction, manufacturing and film/tv production are all open.
  • What do I think – could this change? – I like the idea that ‘essential’ shops that remain open are those tackling Covid or promoting the wellbeing of society (although that could be a grey area).

As I come to the end of today’s blog, I am feeling tired.  I think all the work that I have done on the flat, is catching up on me, I haven’t had a day off in ages!  I hope this weekend, I can relax a bit more.  I am also quite anxious about moving onto the next stage of the flat and getting someone to move into it, haven’t had to think about it, until now.

I am also not enjoying having to watch my data usage so much at the moment, with my data dwindling.  Hopefully the new SIM card will kick in tomorrow.

It’s been great to reminisce a bit of my life some 25 years or so ago, really loving living in the area I now do, feels like I have come home 🙂

Today it has been cold again, but clear skies all day, no rain just super cold.  More snow is forecast tomorrow, so will see if that comes along.

Hope you’ve had a Terrific Tuesday!

Stay Safe 🙂

Jim x

  1. Ian Buchan

    Julia Bradbury on One Show was saying she noticed a lot of people were just mooching about the streets rather than obviously out for exercise or essential shopping. Not everyone is in the same boat (excuse the pun) and able to cope with the restrictions for various reasons. The old phrase about a small sacrifice for the greater good isn’t as easy for some as people may think. It must be very hard.

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