Day 374 – Reflections on Lockdown

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It’s been a day of activity and being out and about.  Although some lockdown restrictions in Scotland are not easing until tomorrow (Day 375) when our “Stay at Home” restriction changes to “Stay Local” (See Day 372 in ‘Lockdown Restriction Corner’ for more details) it’s felt more like it has already happened!

My friend Henry sent me some beer in the post for Birthday, but as I only have a letterbox on a gate, Parcelforce were unable to deliver.  So today, taking my large rucksack, I cycled to the depot to pickup.  The depot was very close to the canal, so I planned my route and cycled 5 miles along the canal.  It was great to go further than I have ever been (since I moved onto Discovery) along the canal.

This is Wester Hailes

As I cycled I spent my time, observing the narrowness of the canal at certain parts imagining me coming along here with Discovery – Bridge No. 7 just beyond this photo is soo narrow, I can’t imagine any wide boat getting through!

Whilst waiting for my parcel at the depot, I took some photos of Covid signs 😉

Then I was faced with a challenge – the box was too big for my rucksack!

So I took off my jumper and put it at the bottom of the rucksack and put all the bottles on top.

Not only was there lots bottles of Orkney Scapa Special from Swannay Brewery, there was also a pint glass!  So I took my other jumper off and wrapped the glass in the jumper.  I concluded that if I was cold I could cycle faster!

But then I decided that perhaps the 11 bottles of beer all in together, may break.  So I took all the bottles out the rucksack, ripped the box up and layered them through the rucksack – some cardboard, 3 bottles, some more cardboard, 3 bottles, etc…

I then spotted a guy at the door, he was wanting to come in – due to Covid, only 1 person at a time is allowed in the room.  When I had arrived, there was no queue – when I left there was quite a queue – oops!

The cycle home was a lot slower with the heavy rucksack!

But I made it back, just in time for my washing to finish in the washing machine and ready to be transferred across into the tumble drier…just when I was doing this Michael my distant boat neighbour arrived to use the washing machine 🙂

And I now the proud owner of 11 bottles of tasty beer and a pint glass 🙂 🙂


I then settled into an afternoon of work, finishing just in time to jump on the bus to meet Hannah.

This morning it was cloudy and dull, but now there was a glorious blue sky and sunshine!


And so onwards and upwards, as we had our weekly climb up Arthur’s Seat !

When we reached the top, we did our traditional selfie for the blog for the blog cover photo.  This time, with a sea view – although the sun was directly in our eyes, it was virtually impossible to see what the photo was looking like, let alone if Honey was looking at the camera!  Although the blog cover photo does not have the sea in the background, I think it is the best photo!  What do you think?

As we explored areas we hadn’t been to before, Honey found a stick that she started chewing on.  She would chew it for a while and then carry it with her, despite being a retriever, she’s never carried a stick in her life!!

When I pointed this out to Hannah, she exclaimed “she looks like a dog who has never carried a stick before”.  She would carry it holding one end in her mouth – we concluded that perhaps all dogs did this at first, until they got a sharp jab from it in their mouth hitting the ground!

I showed her the “correct” way to carry a stick, not literally !!

But soon she lost interest and dropped the stick and carried on our walk without it!  She tried being a retriever and gave up!

Then we went on a more risky adventure exploring some more areas 🙂

Before retuning back to Holyrood Park and along to Easter Road, for the now traditional Fish Supper.


There was a 10 minute wait for the bus, so I decided to walk with Honey round Montgomery Street Park and enjoy the sunshine.

Not long into the park, I spotted Austen and his friends (Will, Alice, Caitlin, Dave and Jay) having a beer.

The last time I saw them was on Day 111, which was a day of synchronicity!  Remember the photo I took of them for the blog, when I bumped into them and joined them for a Bar-BQ?  It was my final day of the ’25 Day Push-Up Challenge’ and being Day 111 – they all held one finger up – see photo below.


As you will read in today’s ‘Readers Corner’, it was another synchronistic meeting as Austen messaged me today saying “hope to see you soon”.

After about 30 minutes of chatting and catching up, the bus was due in 10 minutes, so we went and waited at the bus stop, it was after 8pm and Honey was now getting hungry for her dinner.

Back at the canal, we passed a man scattering salt on the canal side, not a good sign for temperatures on Discovery, especially as I am nearly out of wood and coal and it’s Easter Weekend!


But all my worries vanished when I saw a magnificent sunset and stillness – realising that I am so lucky to be living on the canal 🙂





On This Day In History

A year ago today was Day 9


Here’s some extracts from that blog from Day 9

“I received [a message[ this morning, from my friend Helen who is in Sweden.  I haven’t been in contact with her for many years, but she has become a regular reader of my Daily Blog.

She was responding in relation to yesterday’s blog, which she says is the “best yet”.  She suggested that the feeling I had yesterday of something missing, was perhaps an empty feeling.  An empty space that has always been there.  The hustle and bustle of being part of society has obscured the empty space.

Her words, touched something within me.  It made complete sense.  This lock-down is helping me quieten down, become still in myself, without filling it with anything else and connect with the empty space within.  Even though it is really uncomfortable.

Helen has been on full-time sick leave since December 2018.  Sweden does not have lock-down like we do in the UK.  But because of her health, she is very restricted on what she can do “going out for a walk or popping to the shops” isn’t possible most days.  Just like what we are experiencing in lock-down.

She has had to be with the empty space, unable to fill it with something else.  She has realised that the empty space has always been there.  It’s supposed to be there.  We need it to be there.  For her, the empty space is “scary at first”, with an urge to fill it with something or someone.  But that eventually passes”.


This is what I wrote in my diary on Day 9

      • Everyday is the same – I’m enjoying the adventure of lockdown.
      • I’ll be sad when this ends – but things are going to change.
      • Bed at 00:29


Covid News Headlines on Day 9

      • USA deaths are going to soar.
      • Universal Credit – over 1m have applied.
      • All Edinburgh Festivals cancelled for August 2020.
      • Banks deny businesses who apply for government loans and grants.


TOTAL Covid Cases and Deaths on Day 9











TOTAL Covid Cases

(increase since Day 8)


2,353 (360)

934,464 (77,764)

29,474 (4,224)

110,574 (4,782)

104,118 (8,195)

214,482 (27,161)

TOTAL Covid Deaths

(increase since Day 8)


76 (16)

47,175 (5,083)

2,362 (578)

13,155 (727)

9,387 (923)

5,093 (1243)


Readers Corner

Two sharing’s today.



Anna sent me another painting she’s done with The Paint Republic which she discovered during lockdown began, she said:

“Another card painted from The Paint Republic. I get so much pleasure from my £5 a month membership”.


Awesome!  What bird is that?



Austen send me an email today saying:

“I just had a read with my morning coffee after I’d been for a swim in the sea at Porty beach. That’s been my new routine to help me get through lockdown.. although it’s not so much a daily routine, it’s more of a thing that nags at me if I don’t do it a few times a week. It is funny that you noticed you were feeling the lack of routine this time last year too.. I like your On This Day In History section. It’s like reflections on reflections on lockdown – it’s got a very meta vibe! :)”.

We then chatted a little on WhatsApp and he said:

“I wasn’t sure how to feel about the recap on cases and deaths – morbid or interesting – I decided it’s definitely both but interesting wins.

Hope to see you soon Jim!”

Thanks Austen!

To the blog community (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) you will have read that I certainly did see Austen very soon – this evening!  The last time I saw him was on Day 111NOW do you Believe? *its not a cult


As I come to the end of this blog, it’s a lot later than I had hoped, it’s nearly 1am, but I’ve really enjoyed sharing my epic day with you all – It was nearly as busy as a day pre-lockdown 🙂

What a fantastic day it has been – some work, sunshine, walking, cycling and a synchronistic meeting, all with awesome people!  Can’t ask for a better day with lockdown restrictions in place and limitations on what we can do.  It’s going to be weird when we are allowed back in each other’s homes and go to the pub – will people still sit in the park for a beer or return to the old ways of flat and pub gatherings?  I do hope that we all continue meeting outside, it makes the whole community thrive!

Today the weather started off cloudy, but turned to a glorious afternoon/evening.  Temperatures have dropped a little and looks to drop even further in the coming days.  The forecast is -4 centigrade on early Monday morning – more frozen canals and the shuddering sounds down the canal as people try to smash the ice!

Hope you’ve also had a fantastic day 🙂

Stay Safe

Jim xx


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