Day 72 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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It’s over 10 weeks now since lock-down started in the UK.  This week, I have been pointing this out to a few folk and they have been commenting on whether it feels like 10 weeks.  The general response has been – Yes and No.  So much has happened in those 10 weeks, but it also seems to be quite fast as well.

I kind of feel the same.  Although, it does feel like a LONG two and a half months.

It was my Birthday just before we went into lock-down and that seems ages ago.  Over the last few years, it has felt that the year has been flying by – it certainly seems a long year so far and we are only at the start of June!

Whenever I go away on holiday, I come back maybe after a couple of weeks or even just a long weekend and it feels so much longer – compared to thinking about a couple of weeks at work!

Many years ago I came to the conclusion, that we measure time, by new things in our lives. Plus, markers that we can think back to.  So for example, I can think about how long it seems since my Birthday in March.

When we go on holiday, it’s all new – the whole adventure of it all.  Everything is new – the environment, the place, the day, activities, everything!  So it seems really long.

Compare that to two weeks living at home and going to work – it’s just the same, day in, day out – we can virtually do it with our eyes shut – it’s so familiar.  So it can go really quickly.

I remember at the start of lock-down, a few days seemed to be like a couple of weeks – because it was all new.  We/I were struggling so much with the newness of it all – not going outside, understanding the new rules/guidelines, adjusting to a whole new virtual world, to name a few things!

Where as now, we are quite familiar with lock-down, so time seems to be going faster.  I must admit, a week goes a lot faster now than at the start of lock-down.  In fact, I think my week now, goes about the same speed as outwith lock-down.  Which is because I am familiar with the routine – nothing is new!

When I studied my undergraduate degree (Psychology) at University of Dundee, the year was split into 3 terms – each term was 10 weeks long.  Over the last few days I have been trying to think about whether these 10 weeks of lock-down seems like the same length of a 10 week term at University.

My answer is, I think a 10 week term at University seemed a lot longer, than 10 weeks in lock-down.  But, back then, I had just left home and so everything was so new – just living was new!!

This has led me onto think more about being a student and lock-down.

What I became aware after leaving University is that when you are a student, you have so much in common with every other student.  Everyone has exams at the same time.  Everyone starts and ends the term at the same time.  We all have Freshers Week at the same time.  We all experience the same ups and downs at University, often at the same time.

Then for everyone doing the same course – we are all doing an assignment at the same time, going to lectures at the same time (up to 200/300 students).

What I was aware when I left University was that this is not how it is like in the “real world”.  Your lucky if you find one or two of you colleagues who you have a lot in common!  The world is so much more diverse – its hard to find folk you really connect with and have so much in common!

I often tell students who are in the final year at University, to really appreciate this.

But, in lock-down – we have all been experiencing this together.  We have all been struggling – with the ups and downs.  We’ve all been trying to get our heads around the rules/regulations.  We have all be adjusting to the virtual world, at the same time!

Ten Weeks of pretty much the same things – we’ve got so much in common.  Just like being a student.

I was talking to a friend, who is a regular reader of my blog, who said she has had similar thoughts / emotions at similar times to me during lock-down.  I wonder, if that is the same for others?

Is this because we are more connected together being in lock-down – even though we are not physically connected?

But, now that lock-down is being eased, at different rates in different parts of the UK (and the world).  That mutuality.  That commonality is disappearing.  Are we losing that deeper lock-down connection?  It feels like that to me.

It makes me a sad – as we “return” to the disconnected world that we live in.



Today it was been pretty cloudy and dull.  It was too cold for shorts and t-shirt.  In fact, when I first went out with just two layers on (t-shirt and hooded-top) I was feeling a bit chilly.  So I then put on a thin jumper too.

I woke up at 7.30am (pretty much my body clock), but didn’t have to get up 8.30am, so dozed in bed.

Chris Evans, on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show was interviewing a British Formula 1 driver (didn’t catch his name as I was still waking up!).  I discovered that all the Formula 1 cancelled Grand Prix races are still going ahead, by virtually in driving simulators.  I just did a search for Formula 1 and sure enough its true!  The driver being interviewed, said the hardest thing using a Driving Simulator is not crashing, saying he quite often crashes three times on just one lap!  Where else in the real world, once you crash its over!

It wasn’t until 10.30am that I realised that I hadn’t taken Honey the Dog out for her morning walk!  Thank goodness she was following me around, otherwise she wouldn’t have gone out until the afternoon.

I wasn’t in the mood for a run today – but we went for a walk on Arthur’s Seat.  However, as I set off, I got the urge to run – so we ran the first mile there!

The pond that Honey swims in, has nearly disappeared.  She didn’t even go in it!  I tried to get a photo with her next to it as a scale.

The place was pretty empty, compared to Sunday, when I was last there!  Three small groups sitting down on the grass, one having a picnic.  No one sitting all over the area of Arthur’s Seat.

The rest was dog walkers and the odd lone walker.  In fact, one guy, as he past me, commented saying he didn’t have a dog – I wonder whether he didn’t feel he fitted in 😉

It felt like I had “my park back”.

It made me think about the various news items over the weekend of beauty spots being over-run by visitors / “tourists”.  One that I read in Scotland, was Luss in Loch Lomond.  The residents had to hide in their houses, scared to come out.

John in Portobello on Saturday was talking about something similar.  Hundreds of people taking over the beach and promenade leaving all their rubbish scattered all over the beach, the bins over flowing and empty beer bottles on the ground all round the bin.

This is kind of how I felt when walking through Holyrood Park over the last few days and Arthur’s Seat over the last couple of weeks.

But now, it was “back to normal” – but I did feel a bit lonely!

 



Readers Corner

 

Pat

Pat added a Facebook comment to yesterdays blog, in relation to the Birthday present I created for Hannah.  Pat said:

 

“I Am Laughing At The Idea Of You Skulking About Early In The Morning As Your Behaviour Must Have Looked So Suspect But Well Done In Succeeding In Your Quest….Stay Safe and Stay Well….And Out Of Jail…😉😉😂😂😂”

 

Thanks for that Pat.  Yes, it must have seemed really weird to folk who were up early, watching me in the street.  Who knows if anyone was watching me from their flat windows!  I am sure it became apparent quite quickly what I was doing!



This afternoon, I contacted Sam Lupton, to say that I was looking forward to hearing his show tonight on Off The Chart Radio. He replied asking what I thought would be a good vibe for the show.  I said “summer” as the last few days has felt like summer and now it seems like it has ended.

He then asked me to send three of my favourite songs / pieces of music.  I wasn’t sure if he meant in relation to summer or not.

I thought a little and replied in relation to summer with:

My fourth choice was In the Summertime, by Mungo Jerry.

 

I then tuned in to listen at 8pm, as I wrote this blog.  Just after 9pm, he gave a tribute to me – Jim the Magician, and my three songs!  Bit like a ‘Listeners Corner’ 😉

I then thought I would send him some quick emails about what these songs reminded me of, which he also read out at the end of each song 🙂

 

Video Killed the Radio Star

This is the first song I remember ever hearing (in my life) – hearing it on the radio.  I also associate it with my Dad who died 15 years ago.  So a very special song to me 🙂

 

Walking on Sunshine

I associate when I was a student.  Dancing to it in the summer months in the Friday night Student Association Club, called BIG.  Feeling excited about being alive, being at university and life!

 

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

I associate I Wanna Dance with Somebody in relation to a girl I was trying to find the courage to ask out, when I was 15 years old.  This was in the charts at the time.  She said NO!

 

Wow! made me feel famous!  And some more content for this blog 😉



So as I come to the end of today’s blog, I reflect on what I have written.  It feels like I now have a regular routine in my life in lock-down, which is making me feel more settled.  BUT it means that the days and week speeds by, super fast!

I hope that we can still find new ways to connect, like we have in lock-down – once it is all over.  I personally, have got used to connecting to people through Zoom / virtually / online – I never felt I could before lock-down.

I was recording more of my blog today for the online radio station, Deepness Dementia Radio, I was doing Days 42, 43 and 44.  Back then, I was saying how it felt like lock-down was starting to ease and I didn’t want it to change.

Now 30 days on, we are still pretty much in the same place.  Lock-down is starting to ease and I still don’t want it to change.  I am happy with my new way of life.  But alas, it will change – something I am trying to avoid!

Sam Lupton’s show tonight was by far the best, so many different tunes – not just because I had my only little ‘Listeners Corner’ 😉

It’s a bit later finishing this tonight, so I better go.

Stay Safe

Jim xx