Day 361 – Reflections on Lockdown

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Today it has been sunny, but less warm, with more cloud around, is that the end of our summer or just the start of it?

I met a friend this morning and went for a walk, without Honey the Dog.

Then I did some paid work.

Then this afternoon went for a walk with Honey through The Meadows to Graeme’s to pick up some parcels I had got delivered there.

Before all that, the post arrived, three Birthday Cards!

One from Anna who painted my card, the first card she did which was NOT The Paint Republic, although she said she could not have painted it without all her paintings with The Paint Republic.



I absolutely love it and a great capture of Discovery 🙂


I also received a parcel in the post, which was a “grow your own” Bonsai Tree and a card, which confused me as it was addressed to ‘Dannika’.  From Mara, Pippin (and Aunt Fiona).  Mara and Pippin are Fi’s dogs!

It turned out that Fi had sent it to me, via a website, the previous card she sent using the same website was to her niece Dannika and she hadn’t changed it.

The final card was from my mum 🙂



As I walked through The Meadows, Honey met some Real Estate MSc students who I chatted to for a while.  This was the first time they had met In Real Life (IRL) with all other ‘meetings’ online.

It made me realise that all these students gathering in The Meadows over the last few days, must be great for them as they are meeting IRL probably for the first time!  So although even through there are a lot of them, they are simply taking advantage of being able to meet up for the first time!

This evening, I hosted and was ‘tech’ for Majk Stokes Red Nose Day gig on Zoom.  This I think is the third one I’ve done for Majk!  In the 1 hour gig, Majk raised a staggering £835 from 46 donations, with only 49 people at it (at the most) that’s good going – his target was £500.

Another beautiful sunset this evening.

Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Paris is set to go into a month-long tighter lockdown restrictions from midnight tonight as fears of a third wave grows in France and across parts of Europe.

21 million people will go into another ‘lighter’ lockdown.

  • Non-essential business will close.
  • Schools will remain open.
  • Hairdressers will remain open.
  • People can exercise outdoors within 6 miles (10km) of their home.
  • Travel to other areas of France only allowed for valid reasons.
  • Those in affected areas will have to fill out a form to explain why they have left their home.


As well as Paris, other regions in France will go into tighter lockdown restrictions –

  • Nothern Hauts-de-France
  • Seine-Maritime
  • Eure areas
  • Alpes-Martimes on the French Riviera

Things We No Longer Use / Do

A few more suggestions have come in for this, but before I write about today’s suggestion, here is where we’ve got to – Kilts (Day 300), Irons (Day 301), Suit and Tie (Day 302), Passports (Day 303), Massive Travel Delays (Day 304), Clothes (Day 305) High Heels (Day 311), Taxis (Day 312), A Random Snog in a Nightclub (Day 313), Karaoke Clubs (Day 314), Cash (Day 315), Handshake (Day 316), Head Lice (nit comb and medicated shampoo) (Day 317), Pinworm Infections (Day 318), Offering to take someone’s photo (Day 319), Overnight Suitcase (Day 342), Perfume (Day 343), Shaving Products, for men (Day 344), Birthday Candles (Day 347), nipping into a shop without queuing (Day 349), rucksacks (Day 357) and Pre-Treatment Washing Products (Day 359).

Anna sent me the following message:

“On woman’s hour on radio 4 today, 17 March, there was an item about people not using handbags in lockdown. They said initially when people went out they tried to take as little as possible and there has been a decrease in sales especially in high end handbags. They also saw how in the war the design of handbags changed to accommodate the requirement for carrying a gas mask around so they thought that there would always be a need as they adapt according to the times. I thought of the blog as I listened.”.

So today I am looking at Handbags.

Later Anna followed up her message with:

“The thing talking about handbags was really a plug for this exhibition.” 

Here is the link to the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour,

The feature is at 27 minutes on the counter.  Anna says:

“At 27 minutes in they talk about the handbag and pandemic. The article starts with them saying they almost became obsolete”.

I’ve just had a listen to it, it says globally sales of luxury handbags has dropped by 19%, in the UK even more severe.  With many people not leaving home no one has needed a handbag.  Is the handbag dead or perhaps they are going to evolve?

People are using pockets more than handbags, but are handbags more of a fashion accessory?  As we are not going out anymore, we can’t “show off” our handbag, but perhaps when we start going out again, handbags will reappear?

During World War II, people had to carry gas masks at all times, so people would carry their gas masks in cardboard boxes, but as time progressed, beautiful handbags were developed with a bottom to it, to put in your gas mask.  It is an example that we and our accessories adapt over time.

With the pandemic, we need sanitisers, face-masks, etc…and hardly need any money, so will handbags evolve to provide sections for these and less for money?

The other suggestion is that handbags will evolve in more colourful colours to illustrate hope of the future.

They suggest that with more people cycling to work, bags are going to evolve to being more practical and functional for laptops, etc…


What do you think?  Did you use a handbag pre-pandemic and now left it in the back of the wardrobe?  Will you return to carrying your handbag post-pandemic? Drop me a comment and let me know!


It Made Me Smile

The Marsh Family is back!  This time with a long 18 minute video of all the ‘Out-Takes’.  Their songs look so slick, but now you can see how many takes they did for each song!  This made me smile 🙂




As I come to the end of this blog, I am feeling super tired and drained.  Later nights, the end of the week and the Zoom gig this evening has left me feeling tired.  Today the blog feels like a chore and I am wondering whether in fact dropping it to a few times a week after the year, maybe easier?!

The attitude in the UK as parts of Europe tighten lockdown restrictions seems to be that as we have a good vaccine rollout everything will be fine and we won’t be affected and will avoid a third wave and tightening of restrictions once again.  It reminds me of a year ago, as we watched Europe going into the first lockdown in a way many of us saw us as being invincible, we would not be affected.

I remember talking to friends at the end of February, saying that it look very worrying for my magic work and people would say I was worrying too much, it wouldn’t affect us.  I wonder if in fact we are in the same mentality?  Will a third wave reach the UK and restrictions will be tightened once again or easing will cease?  Only time will tell!

Hope you’ve had a fantastic week and got to enjoy some of the sunshine.

Jim x


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