Today I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to socially distance in Edinburgh. There are too many people who do not care about social distancing – whether it is 2 metres or even 1 metre. I have tried to socially distance, being respectful of my fellow pedestrians, but sadly there are just too many people, who seem not bothered about social distancing nor bothered about being aware that others may want to social distance.
Even if I maintain a social distance, others get too close to me.
Today, I have experienced this whilst waiting for the green pedestrian light to cross the road. In Lidl and even just walking up the street.
Where possible, I weave along a road, crossing the road or go into the road and back onto the pavement to avoid others. Not so much with the fear of catching the virus, but more because we have been continuously encouraged by governments to socially distance! Who knows, I may have it and could give it to others!
But it seems pointless when others, just walk up behind me, virtually touching me – that I have no control over.
Today, Honey and I were walking up Easter Road, whilst many protesters were walking down Easter Road returning from the Black Lives Matter protest on Holyrood Park. It reminded me of when the football has just finished at Hibs football ground and there are hundreds of football fans all walking in one direction, without much consideration for anyone else!
None of the protests even seemed remotely interested in socially distancing themselves from their fellow protesters, lets alone me, who was simply taking Honey for a walk! Luckily there was less traffic about, so we resorted to walking up the middle of the road!
Am I am being too obsessed with trying to maintain a social distance (whether 1 metre or 2 meters) – especially from the many people I don’t know.
Perhaps I need to accept that I cannot socially distance in a city, like Edinburgh?
Today, Honey and I went to a BarBQ – our first invite to anything since lock-down started. We originally planned for it to be on Friday night, but as the forecast was not good, we decided today, as there seemed to be rain forecast for yesterday. However, it turned out that yesterday was the nicer afternoon – BUT it didn’t rain today, although at times a bit chilly!
I woke up early – 9am! Spending most of the day tidying more of my flat and cleaning – feels good to have a more tidy and clean flat.
All day I felt an anxiety about our upcoming trip across town. Around lunchtime, my anxiety was increasing and I tried to work out what it was all about.
Firstly, I was anxious about going on the bus. The first time, since lock-down started. I haven’t used the bus for nearly 3 months – or any public transport. My anxiety was around, wearing a face covering, touching surfaces on the bus and maintaining a social distance.
In March, one of the last times I got the bus, I sat behind a gentleman who was sweating loads and was coughing – I thought back then, whether he had Covid-19 – but the bus was too busy to find somewhere else to sit, so I just risked it! So this was also on my mind.
To try and ease my anxiety, I decided to look at the bus times, to plan when we needed to get the bus. I had forgotten how to look up bus times – it had been so long!
Something I used to do so often, now I had forgotten the website. But it soon came back to me and I worked out we needed to leave the flat about 4pm.
Then I decided to try out my face covering. Not long into lock-down, Lisa had recommended the Virustatic Shield, which I bought, but had not opened. Rather than a mask, it is more of a buff – which has been made with 10 years of research – with virus protective covering. I read all the instructions on how to use this and tried it on.
Honey the Dog was less keen to wear a mask – so we gave up on that one 😉
With all that planned, I was still feeling anxious. I worked out that it wasn’t so much about the bus or the face mask – but more that I was leaving my ‘bubble’.
I have spent 3 months living, within a 1.5 mile radius of my home. Apart from heading to Portobello, twice – which is about 2 miles away. The rest of my time I have been in a small geographic bubble.
But I was now, about to come out of my bubble. And that is what I was feeling uneasy about. Maybe less than an anxiety, but more of an uncomfortable feeling within.
Although, partly due to travelling to a new part of the city, as I moved away from my safe cocoon where I live.
But also, a slow move of coming out of lock-down.
Lock-down has been a kind of bubble or cocoon that I have been in. I was stepping out of that.
So armed, with the gloves, alcohol gel, face-covering, hand-soap and a few other bits and bobs, we headed along to the bus stop about 4pm.
When we got on the bus, there were quite a few people downstairs, so we headed upstairs to find just one man – so we sat half way down the bus and enjoyed the journey there. Lots of people in the streets of city centre, carrying Black Lives Matter banners/signs, etc…
The Bar-BQ was great.
Helen lives on a canal boat on the Union Canal, right in the city centre. The Union Canal is a Contour Canal, which means it was built following the contour line of the land, which saved lots of engineering costs, like having to create tunnels through higher ground, building embankments on lower ground or constructing canal locks to change the level of the canal.
Because of this, these canals are characterised by their meandering course, have aqueducts to cross river valleys and have no locks. Later canals became more straighter and direct.
Her Bar-BQ was next to her canal on a picnic bench. I always feel a bit strange, when I visit Helen. Being kind of “in the country” on a canal, but in the middle of a city, with offices and tall buildings near by!
It was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon / evening.
Before heading back on the bus to go home.
Just a couple of posts for Readers Corner.
Honey the Dog
My friends Helen and Hannah, both have the login details for Honey’s Instagram – https://instagram.com/honeythedog_lab
They seem to be the main people who post for her. So I include these here!
Today Honey posted:
Thanks for that Honey!
Susi posted on a commented on yesterday’s blog, saying:
“Hey Jim the Magician!
I can imagine the whole bus trip will feel odd, I’m interested to know!
I was trying to explain to Marco that he could see a friend because the rules had changed. He is only 4 and the first question he asked was, ‘can we touch people now?’ It makes me feel sad that this will be part of his childhood memories! I hope he can touch people again soon.
A friend of mine has moved near to you, I must try introduce you remotely some how.
Enjoy your bbq!
Thanks for this Susi – I can imagine it must be hard for someone so young to understand. I am sure he will be able to touch his friends soon.
It Made Me Smile
Following on from yesterdays Street Art, I saw some Canal Art today!
After the Street Art I did for Hannah’s 30th Birthday present on Tuesday morning, I find all street art makes me smile 🙂
I also saw this sign on a side of a building, near to Helen’s boat. This also made me smile.
It was on the side of a business building for dental implants, called New Life Teeth. I am unsure, if the sign corresponds to the business / an advert for them or just a chance that the two are next to each other?!
As I come to the end of today’s blog, it’s been a day of feeling uneasy within myself. I am still feeling that, as if I am on edge.
I think, it is due to the transition of moving out of my lock-down bubble / cocoon – which I have built up around me and allowed me to feel safe and settled within myself. My trip across town, has broken that – both in the sense of the physical geographical travelling – but also starting the process of coming out of / easing lock-down.
It’s going to be an interesting time, to see if this happens for me again.
I am ultimately, have become comfortable in this “new life” of living in my flat and the surrounding nearby community. I am really enjoying connecting to it all.
But today, I broke out of that. I think, that is why I am feeling so uneasy at the moment in myself.
Has anyone else experienced this?
On a positive, note – all the nervous energy that I have experienced today, meant I got up early and spent most the day tidying/cleaning my flat!
The other thing that I am completely away of right now, is the sheer exhaustion I am feeling – from our adventure and probably all the emotional processing, etc…
It was absolutely lovely to spend time with Helen and Julie – just a surprise that it has taken so much out of me and the process of it being more challenging than I had expected.
Hope you have all had a fantastic weekend!
Jim & Honey xxx