Day 46 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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This morning I woke up to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, he was talking about a new item in the charity silent auction – the coat worn by Richard E. Grant in the iconic film Withnail and I, which he bought off Richard E. Grant and is signed.

When I looked this evening, the latest bid in the auction for this coat was £26,025!

I have stayed up to the end of the auction to see the final total raised for the NHS – £603,083.

As I am sure you will know, today is Bank Holiday Friday!  The May Day Bank Holiday, which should have been on Monday (Day 42) was moved to coincide with Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) which marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.  Today is the first day of a long weekend featuring numerous commemorative events across the country.

However, with the current lock-down there are none of the street parties, parades or concerts that had been planned.  But today, at least, there has been lots going on.  How have you been to anything to mark your Bank Holiday Friday?

I am kind of glad that the bank holiday has been moved, because on Monday (Day 42) I was assuming it was a bank holiday – and thought that life seemed like any other day in lock-down.  But today, with all the commemorative events it feels like a bank holiday.

Since lock-down started Friday at 7pm is the highlight of my week, whether it is a bank holiday or not!

Because at 7pm on Friday it is Tom Brace’s ‘The Big Fat Isolation Quiz‘ – all you need is a pen and some paper and tune in every Friday at 7pm, for this Facebook Live event.

Tom is a good friend and a great magician.  But he is also a very talented Quiz Master.  I am already fearing my great depression when lock-down is over and the quiz comes to an end.

It must be really hard doing this, talking to a camera with no interaction – except the comments.  Despite this, it is highly entertaining – so do tune in next week.  With the infamous music round, themed question rounds and other rounds – which vary each week, it’s always great fun.

Not forgetting the most popular Catchphrase round (now in it’s 2nd week), with his flatmates also joining in to get a glimpse of fame!  Although, it is clear that his flatmates Jonny and Matthew’s talents are better working behind the scenes than on the big screen 😉

For the last week or so, the highlight of my day, is walking round the graveyard with Honey the Dog at about 9pm.  I think I have mentioned this before – over the last week, the air has been so still and present.  Despite the rumble of traffic in the background, it is so peaceful and still.  Often with a great sunset.  I always try to capture it with photos, but it never does it justice.

My energy was not so good today – a series of late nights writing this blog.  On average I have been going to bed / sleep sometime between 2am to 3am.  Then having to get up at 7.30am to 8am for morning Chi Gong session – this is having a knock-on effect on my energy and motivation to do anything!

I seem to go through cycles of this – some weeks I am more disciplined, other weeks I am not.  Certainly earlier in lock-down it was more common of weeks like this.  It is definitely getting less..

I need to get a better routine next week, writing my blog earlier in the day and finishing it before Bedtime Chi Gong at 9.45pm.

It reminds me in the early days of lock-down when I had no routine and was staying up late and had no energy to function the next day.

I didn’t go for a long walk/run today with Honey the Dog, instead we went to Kate’s Park.  Kate was outside in the sun – so we had a socially distanced chat with her.  It was good to catch-up in person.

Easter Road seemed exceptionally busy with people and cars.  I know I have been saying this for the last few days.  But today it seemed there were too many people out on the streets to ensure social distancing.  I think they need to address this issue, as it’s only going to get worse.

After visiting Kate’s Park, we used a short-cut to head onto Montgomery Street Park.  To save walking right round the block, I’ve worked out that I can lift Honey up onto a reasonably high wall.  Get her to stay and then stand on a railing and climb over the wall.  Then lift Honey back of the wall – or she jumps.

Montgomery Street Park was exceptionally busy – with people sunbathing, social distance parties, games and folk sitting on the benches chatting.

With the announcement on Sunday by Boris Johnson about how the UK government proposes to start relaxing some of the lock-down rules, it feels like people have already shifted in their thinking that lock-down is over.  To be fair, the sun was shining and it was a bank holiday!  Of course, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland will continue on lock-down.  It will be interesting to see how that pans out next week – with potentially different messages from Westminster and Holyrood governments.

We stopped off at Mo Beans Coffee Shop.  Honey saw her friend Nuno (main photo of this blog) and I got a homemade Pizza – same topping as last time – ham, artichokes and olives.

This afternoon I watched an interesting Facebook Live discussion about Universal Basic Income hosted by the Scottish Green Party.  Although there was a lot of comments and discussions on how it would work, how much people would get paid, etc…what struck me is it is moving away from focusing on economies towards focusing on happiness.

It reminded me of the book The Spirit Level, which I read when it first came out years ago.  Near the beginning of the book, it explains that developing countries find that more wealth leads to better quality of life and happiness.  However, for quite a few years, affluent countries like the UK, have reached a plateau.  So the more wealth the UK has, does not lead to an increase in happiness and quality of life.  But governments still focus on this model of thinking.

So we need to shift our thinking away from economy.

For me, Universal Basic Income is shifting our thinking away the constructs that we need money and a healthy economy to be happy, to a place where equality, meaning and connection will bring us happiness and quality of life.

Tomorrow is Saturday – my Day of Rest 🙂

On Sunday I will be running my Movement Meditation Group, Four Directions – 12.30pm to 1.30pm.  If you are interested in coming along, please do get in touch and I can give more details.  This will be on Zoom.  There is no charge or donation for this – it’s free to come along!

Readers Corner



Hunter is a friend I know from the Edinburgh Magic Circle.  For the last few years he has spent 5 months during the winter months in Burma and the Far East.  He returned to Edinburgh just before lock-down started.

Hunter put at the bottom of yesterdays blog, he wrote:

“Hi Jim, I agree with your comments about there being more cars driving faster on the roads now.  In addition there seems to be a decrease in awareness by pedestrians and joggers.

I had to take my car out briefly the other day and whilst driving at the usual sedate 20 miles an hour a jogger wearing headphones ran straight out into the road in front of me.  Fortunately I managed to do an emergency brake and sounded the horn where upon he looked at me as if I didn’t exist. I also saw two joggers running up the centre of the road.

Most days I use my bicycle and have the same problem with pedestrians not paying attention.

Much as I love the quiet and sometimes empty roads, I feel that re-education in road safety could be required when things get back to normal!”  


Thanks for your thoughts on that Hunter.  It seems that we all need to learn to respect each other – whether a car driver, cyclists or pedestrian.  In relation to social distancing, Edinburgh is piloting shutting down some roads to cars, to ensure people can fully socially distance.  Will be interesting to see how that works out, if it gets rolled out across the whole city.



Robin just got into Readers Corner, sharing a video with me that he made at work just after 11pm.  A few weeks ago Robin shared a video he made at work teaching us how to make bread.

Today’s work video is called ‘Red Coos of Mayfield’:


Thanks for sharing Robin.  I always love to see the videos you make at work.  Looking forward to the next one 🙂

My energy and motivation to write this blog today has not been so good.  In fact I am totally exhausted today!

As Kate said today, it is like writing an assignment everyday, for the last 46 days!  Would be interested to see what the average word length is of the blogs and the total words written – it can’t be far from 100,000 words!!

Some blogs seem to be more inspiring than others – but I guess that is what life is like – some days are really good and some are more humdrum.

Please, do keep sharing, commenting and liking the blogs.  Knowing that people are reading them and enjoying them gives me inspiration to keep going.

Stay Safe.

Jim xxx