Day 299 – Reflections on Lockdown

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Today I have ‘Stayed at Home’ for nearly the whole day!  I had a mammoth sleep last night, going to bed at 9.30pm – I was asleep by 10pm and woke up at 9am!

Then headed out for a morning walk with Honey.  Since then I have stayed within the two gates on our towpath, either on Discovery or going to the toilet.

My neighbour, Helen, took Honey for a walk up Blackford Hill, which was great to have a wee break from Honey!

So I spent most the day, doing some paid work.

What’s been great today, is to have three things connected to my MiFi box and not worry about whether I have enough data 🙂  – I’ve realised just how stressful it has been always watching my data usage and making sure I don’t watch any videos.  I even watched a 1 hour episode on Netflix (without downloading it first) !!  What a joy to have so much data.

I have also had my fire going all day, which has also been great, not worrying about running out of wood or coal.  This if the bow of Discovery –

Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Today, the Scottish Government brought in ‘The Six New Lockdown Rules’.

You will remember, that throughout lockdown, I’ve noted that Nicola and sometimes Boris have made changes on significant days within lockdown (for example Day 100, exactly 6 months since it started, etc…).  Today is Day 299, but as you may remember on Day 100, the media would say today is Day 300, because they count the 3.5 hours (8.30pm to midnight on March 23rd 2020 – after Boris‘s announcement) as Day 1.  I have written this blog, from the first FULL day of lockdown.

I am guessing Nicola has got caught in this media error too, so today (for her) is Day 300 – another significant day!

I have tried to find ‘The Six New Lockdown Rules’ listed in full on the Scottish Government website without success, so I have turned to the BBC News website.

As from midnight today (i.e. the start of today) within Scotland the following has changed:


1. Click and Collect – Click and Collect is now limited to shops selling essential items and a few others.  Those shops that can do Click and Collect must not allow customers in the shop and must provide staggered appointments to avoid any potential queues.  Shops that can continue to provide Click and Collect are:

      • Cloths
      • Footwear
      • Baby equipment
      • Homeware
      • Books
      • Electrical goods
      • Key cutting
      • Shoe repairs
      • Garden Centres
      • Plant nurseries


2. Takeaway Services – Customers are no longer allowed to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffee.  Businesses will have to operate from a serving hatch or doorway.

The aim is to reduce the risk of customers coming into contact indoors with each other, or with staff.


3. Alcohol Consumption – It is against the law in Level 4 (all of mainland Scotland and some islands) to drink alcohol outdoors in public

This means buying takeaway pints and drinking on the street will not be allowed.

This is to underline the message that people should only be leaving home for essential purposes.


4. Working from Home – There is now a stronger obligation / statutory guidance on employers to allow and support their staff to work from home whenever possible.

The law already states that people should only be leaving home to go to work if they cannot work from home.  This is a legal obligation to the individual.


5. Home Maintenance – This is being strengthened by changing guidelines to law.

That is – in Level 4, work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household.


6. Stay at Home Message – There has been a change in an amendment intended to close a loophole rather than change the law.  It will also bring the ‘Stay at Home’ wording inline with the rest of the UK.

The law did say – “people can only leave home for essential purposes“.

The amendment is – “you must not leave or remain outside the home, unless it is for an essential purpose”.



You will remember on Day 287, I included the list of what ‘essential purposes’ allowed you to leave home, these were updated 3 days ago (Day 296), as listed below:

  • Work
  • Seeking employment
  • Volunteering
  • Education
  • Essential Shopping (including for a vulnerable person)
  • Obtain or deposit money
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Essential services – food banks, alcohol or drug support services
  • Access public services that can’t access from home – services for victims of crime, social care services, accessing day care services, services provided by DWP, asylum and immigration services / interviews, waste or recycling services
  • Provide care to vulnerable person
  • Provide or receive emergency assistance
  • Participate or facilitate shared parenting
  • Visit person in an extended household
  • To meet legal obligations – bail conditions, participate in legal proceedings, court mandate, register a birth/death
  • Attending court
  • Essential animal welfare
  • Local outdoor recreation – 2/2 rule and within 5 mile boundary of your local authority area
  • Attend a wedding or civil partnership
  • Attend a funeral – including scattering ashes
  • Donate blood
  • Activities related to moving home – including viewing property, activities in connection with essential maintenance, purchase, sale, letting – BUT should not be used as a holiday to your second home.  You should not stay longer than the length of time required to undertake necessary work.
  • Escape injury / risk of harm
  • Visit a person receiving treatment in hospital, staying in a hospice, care home or accompanying a person to a medical appointment.
  • To register to vote in Scottish elections
  • Visit some in prison
  • Collecting a newly purchased vehicle
  • Delivering or collecting a vehicle for repair, service or MOT.


Readers Corner

A bit of a catch-up on Readers Corner, as I haven’t had the energy to switch on the computer to write the blog.



Fi left a Facebook comment on Day 296 blog, in relation to my question asking what was the duck I had spotted outside my kitchen window, she said:

“I think your duck might be a merganser, but it’s hard to make out…🦆“.

Thanks Fi – I’m impressed as it wasn’t a good photo!



Helen left a blog comment on Day 297, saying:

“You’ve done an amazing job in your flat Jim! I hope all your hard work pays off and it can be a steady source of income for you in the years to come, and a good investment for the future.

And I hope Honey recovers from eating half a tray of tablet!! She’s in great shape, so I hope all those extra calories don’t go straight to her waist & bum like it would on me 😉

At first, I was a bit confused that there were 3 swans, but then I saw that one of them had some grey feathers so it must be a very large cygnet. I googled it and apparently, the cygnet leaves its parents (voluntarily or otherwise) the Spring after it hatched,their%20partners%20in%20the%20flock.

Have a great Friday & weekend!”.

Thanks Helen!  Honey seems fine after all her tablet – just drank a lot of water!  Back in the summer when I visited my friend Helen (and now neighbour) the swans had a few cygnets, so I am guessing one of them decided to ‘Stay at Home’ 🙂



Ian left a blog comment on Day 295, saying:

“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.”.

Thanks for that Ian – I agree, although things looked quieter yesterday.



John also left a Facebook comment on Day 296, in relation to my question asking what was the duck I had spotted outside my kitchen window, he said:

“It’s a Merganser”.

Well that’s it then, definitely a Marganser 🙂



Theo left a Facebook comment on yesterday’s blog (Day 298) saying:

“What a beautiful flat. Can I rent it?😉“.

Thanks Theo – it is the best I’ve ever seen it 🙂


As I come to the end of today’s blog, I realise how much more relaxed I am feeling.  Not only all the work I have been doing in the flat for many weeks, the travelling back and forth is exhausting, with an accumulative effect.  Just being in one place all day has been great!  Has also been lovely not having to take Honey for a long walk or work out my day to ensure she gets some kind of walk or stimulation.

Looking over ‘The Six New Lockdown Rules’ it seems that main focus is to cut down on crowds of people and queues.  It reminds me of FACTS – ‘Avoid Crowded Places’ is the ‘A’.  I haven’t been anywhere near shops or the streets to see if things seems quieter – the canal was just as busy for a Saturday, but it is a great place for a relaxing walk.

Today, I don’t think it has rained, it continues to be a little warmer compared to a week ago, the canal is just about all defrosted, a little bit of thin ice left in parts.

Hope you’ve had a Super Saturday!

Jim x

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