After sleeping in yesterday nearly missing Chi Gong, I got my 4th Alarm Clock out. This Alarm Clock is used as a back-up and only used for special occasions, like if I am catching an early morning train and worried I will miss the other alarms. It is one of the old fashion ones with the two big bells and the striker that goes between them very fast. It is battery powered, but I take the battery out when I am not using it, to ensure the battery is at a good level, when I come to use it.
However, when I came to set the time and check it was working, it wouldn’t ring. So I had to turn to Plan B – Honey the Dog.
Honey the Dog actually woke me at her early lock-down time of 7am! Of course, if she can’t see the time on my clock-radio, how does she know what the time it is! So I was up at 7.30am, walked her, we both had breakfast and then I spent 45 minutes cleaning my flat before Chi Gong!
I am determined, to try and keep this going this week. So decided to write this blog, throughout the day, rather than leaving it until the end of the night, in the hope that I will be in bed by midnight! Alas, I won’t be in bed until 12.30am today 🙁
This morning, in our early morning walk around the graveyard, there was something different. There was no silence.
There was a constant distant rumbling in the distance. As I became more aware, I realised it was the noise of lorries driving along Easter Road and a digger (or something similar) at a distance warehouse, there was the Beep-Beep-Beep noise of a lorry reversing.
A disappointment arose within me – this is what was so special about lock-down. And although, we are still in lock-down – businesses are opening up again and people are returning to work. I couldn’t hear the birds singing 🙁
Despite always forgetting the Clap for NHS on a Thursday. I did remember and took part in the one minute silence to remember the Key Workers who have died from coronavirus. I was listening to BBC Radio 2 before the silence and they played a touching tune Dances with Wolves – The John Dunbar Theme. Which you can listen to on YouTube here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHvKviaeulg
By midday, I felt I had achieved so much. Where as yesterday at midday I was having my breakfast! I had caught up on my accounts, informed Universal Credit of my self employed earnings for this month, caught up on emails and continued combining all my blog audibles into 7 blog tracks! It felt so good to have achieved so much before even lunchtime! I was also feeling really motivated.
I therefore, decided to take a well earned break and took Honey the Dog for a short walk to Kate’s Park.
Whilst on the walk, I decided it was time to do some other things I have been meaning to do since lock-down. The first, was to get the tyres on my bike pumped up.
About 3 months ago, my friend Kenny (who has appeared in the blogs) helped me put some new thinner tyres on my bike. It’s a mountain bike, so cycling round the streets with thick mountain bike tyres is so tiring. By the time lock-down arrived, I went to use my bike to find that the tyres were a bit flat. I found my pump, to realise, that the pump did not fit the new tyres. So I haven’t used my bike since.
But today, I venutred to Leith Cycle Co – I was planning on buying another pump, but there was a queue outside! So I used the pump they have outside the shop to pump my tyres up. This is provided for any cyclists passing by.
I then realised, that I was in a completely new area. In fact, I had crossed the Leith Boundary and was actually in Leith. My flat is just up from the Leith boundary and so is not actually in Leith. This was the first time I had officially been in Leith since lock-down! I stood in the middle of Leith Walk to capture the moment with a photo!
My second job, was to head to Real Foods in Broughton Street, to buy some essential food that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.
On the way back, at the top of Broughton Street, I bumped into James who works at The Melting Pot – well actually it is now The Virtual Pot, since lock-down. He was on his way to the ACTUAL Melting Pot (the physical space) to check on mail. James, said he had read yesterdays blog and said it was really good!
Whilst we chatted we both commented on how much traffic there was out and about.
We did a ‘Social Distance Selfie’! Maybe James will write for Readers Corner, sometime soon?!
As I headed back to Leith Walk, I noticed how many shops, which have been closed since lock-down are now opening. Even Starbucks had its lights on!
Then I went to Sainsburys, the Butchers and back home for some lunch!
I did some more work on converting my blog for the Radio Station.
Then headed out with Honey the Dog for a walk on Arthur’s Seat. All my cycling activity, I wasn’t in the mood for a long walk – but Honey was not going to let me get away with a more relaxing afternoon!
As I headed up Easter Road, there was so much traffic and people out and about. The silence and stillness was no more.
But when I got to Arthur’s Seat there was silence and I found myself appreciating it so much more. Standing and enjoying the stillness and silence.
It made me wonder, when we start coming out of lock-down, will the moments of silence and stillness and quiet catch our attention even more?
I realised that probably one of the main things I don’t like about the city is the constant noise. Since lock-down and no noise, the silence has been so wonderful. But that is starting to disappear – which makes me so frustrated with city living!
On Arthur’s Seat we saw someone else I know, David and his dog Bruce. David was with a friend too. So another photo with them for the blog. I know David from Joseph Pearces Jogging Club, which I used to go to. Plus, numerous times seeing him on Arthur’s Seat over the last few years walking his dog.
Back home, I continued recording my blog and caught up with all the recordings and uploaded them to the radio station. So now I am up to date, with all blogs up to yesterdays. I think, the first 7 blogs will go out on Thursday, will keep you updated on that.
This morning, Helen commented at the bottom of yesterday’s blog with the following:
Those comparison photos were really interesting. If am Edinburgh street looked like that normally, then I’d guess it had been blocked off for some sort of big Hollywood film production, and I’d be hoping to get a glimpse of Ewan McGregor! That one wee solitary cloud sums up social distancing perfectly.
As regular readers know, Matt lives in Birmingham.
Matt gave a Facebook Comment on Day 33 blog, which I forgot to include on Day 34, so here it is below:
“After years of mainly walking in fantastic places outside Birmingham (Malverns, Peak district, Shropshire, Cotswolds), we’re discovering some fantastic walks beginning in Birmingham, many of them based around the canals – out along the Stratford Canal yesterday and discovered a drawbridge requiring a key to get boats across a road at the edge of the city”.
I messaged Matt today, apologising for not including his comment in the blog and he replied:
“That’s ok – an update – enjoyed that canal walk so much on the Saturday that we did another section, from the drawbridge, further into the sticks, on the Sunday! When lockdown lifted, we’ll do eventually get to Stratford!”
As I come to the end of today’s blog, I have had such a productive day and feel so good about it. I don’t think I have had any more sleep than my usual 6 hours (or less) a night. But due to getting out of bed earlier and doing loads before Morning Chi Gong, I felt so much more on top of my day. I will have to remind Honey that her new role is to wake me up at 7am!!
I find I have had so much more energy today. I think getting things done in lock-down is really important. As James said when we were talking, the key to lock-down is to find things to do. For all those on Furlough Leave, although you are getting paid for not working, that unless you have things to do, your energy and motivation can get so sluggish.
I’ve found that over the last two days. Focusing on turning my blog audible for the radio station has given me a project to focus on.
I think cycling was also great – a bit of exercise. But also getting out to a different area of Edinburgh. I remember, I found that, the day I ran to Portobello. Living in lock-down in the same area or even just your home, can really affect your mood.
So if any of you are feeling sluggish and with no energy or motivation, I would encourage for you to explore a different area, somewhere you haven’t been since lock-down. Plus find a project to focus on. Something to get out of bed for. Certainly for me, it has given me a whole new lease of life.
Thanks for reading.
Lots of Love