Day 78 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today, the highlight of my day was meeting up with my friend Kenny.  He lives in Glasgow, but had to come through to Edinburgh to sort some things out.  It was a lovely surprise to get a message from him around lunchtime to say he was going to be in Edinburgh for a few hours and did I want to meet up with him.

We met up at 4pm.  He bought a home-made take-away pizza from Mo Beans Coffee Shop and we headed along to Kate’s Park, so he could sit on a bench to eat it.

We then headed along to Arthur’s Seat to the ‘Swan Lake’ and Kenny fed the swans, whilst Honey and I went for a small walk.  I don’t let her anywhere near the lake, as she tries to catch the ducks and on occasion the swans – which is not such a good idea!

Was great to see Kenny and catch-up, in the real world, rather than through WhatsApp!

That’s two meetings of people in the real world, in two days!

Since lock-down, the usual way to meet people is virtually.  The less familiar way is in “the real world”.  Before lock-down, for me, it was the other way round.  In fact, I never really felt I connected very well virtually, but now it feels like “the normal way”.

I remember, before we went into lock-down, seeing on the news in china, a class of people being taught karate through Zoom, or similar platform.  All the little screens for the teacher to see.  Thinking it was a strange way to interact and have a class.  It seemed futuristic!

People from all over a geographical area, linking in with a teacher to learn.  But then, they could go straight to another class, in a different geographical location, without even having to move from their their house or even the room!  Saving so much travel time!

We must save much time in lock-down, by not travelling!

It was a strange concept back then.  Just 10 weeks ago or so.  Whereas now it is the “normal” way to have a meeting, go to a class or simply meet up with people.

It was when I was driving down to the south of England in the middle of March to see my family for my Birthday, that I was listening to the radio and how the vulnerable were having to go into shielding.  Knowing my magic work would have to take a pause.  Totally petrified on how I would cope with no income from my magic.

That’s when I came up with the idea of running Chi Gong Sessions.  From watching the karate lesson on the news and using my training back in 2000 / 2001.

I think about this often, when doing Chi Gong every morning.  Sometimes, up to 12 little screens of people or more, mainly in the UK, but one person in Sweden, another in Belgium – all come along for 25 minutes of Chi Gong each morning.

It seems so “normal” now, but just 10 weeks ago seemed so strange!

Here’s the photos with the swans.  Click on any photo to see it in full-size.

A few days ago, I got a phone call from EE, saying that I needed to update my contract with them.  Trying to sell me a new package.  However, I stopped using them a couple of years ago.  Do you ever get those calls, they are really annoying?!

I don’t know if you ever dread having to contact the customer service of any of your utility bill suppliers, like electricity/gas, mobile phone, landline, internet, etc…?  I certainly did for many years.  Being on hold for a long time and then often being pushed from department to department.  Often having language and accent barriers.  And finally giving up, without my question being answered or issue addressed.  Vowing that I would swap to another provider, but not really knowing who would be better.  So just staying with them, hoping they would improve.

I write, this in the past, because I have now found the perfect utility bills customer service.  At the end of each call, I like to tell the person I have spoken to how helpful they have been, thanking them and telling them to keep up the good work!  They will help resolve the problem, however, long it takes!  Even if it is learning how to use your mobile phone.

This is not just for one utility bill, but for all of them!

The company I use is Utility Warehouse.  They have numerous awards not only for Best UK Customer Service, but also for Best Value for Money, Best for Money Saving Tips and Gadgets, Best Electricity Provider Clarity of Bills, Best Gas and Electricity Provider Value for Money!

I swapped all my utility bills, nearly 2 years ago and honestly don’t think I will ever change provider again.

You can choose whether to just use them for electricity/gas or mobile phone or landline or internet or some or all of them.  If you choose all of them, you get free energy saving light bulbs for the whole of your house for life!  They just send you another one when it runs out!

Plus, they have a Cash Back Card to make savings, different types of insurance and lots of other things.

But probably, most importantly they are cheaper than having your bills with different companies and they will swap you to a cheaper contracts to save you money.  Never trying to sell you anything.  And with the added bonus that everything is in one easy to follow bill!

Utility Warehouse is ultimately like a discount club, the providers are probably what you usually use, it’s just through Utility Warehouse.  I know some friends who have not had so much success with them, but I personally, think they are the best!

Now you may ask, “Why are you writing all this Jim, like it is an advert?”.

Well apart from generally sharing my experiences, which I am sure many you could relate to, especially with poor customer service.

My friend, Chris is now focusing his work with Utility Warehouse to help people sign up.  Outwith lock-down he is a Scottish Tour Guide, but obviously this can’t happen, so he has turned his work to Utility Warehouse.

So if you are interested in finding out more, check out the website –

Chris, will be able to link up with you virtually and explain a lot more.  Plus if you want to sign up, he’ll go through the whole application process with you.  He’s not like a sales person, pushing you to take it, if you just want to inquire.

I took over 6 months, exploring with him all the different options, before I took it up, which he was fine about.

You can contact Chris Chirnside via text or mobile – 07538 026815

Or message / text me and I can give you more information.

Readers Corner

Just one post for Readers Corner today.  From Fi who lives in the Isle of Canna.


Earlier in lock-down, I bought a home-made Pizza from Mo Beans Coffee shop (£6 for 14 inch).  Fi said she loved home-made pizza, so I popped the final piece of my pizza in a card and sent it to her in the post!  By the time it arrived, it was solid (I hadn’t wrapped it in anything, just in a card, in an envelope), so she fed it to the hens!  But it was too hard for them, so the crows ate it!

The next time I was having a home-made Pizza from Mo Beans Coffee Shop, Fi said it again, adding she didn’t have all the ingredients to make a pizza!  Living on the Isle of Canna, she has to order from the Co-Op in Mallaig (mainland).  The ferry only comes twice a week, weather permitting!

So on a mission to get her home-made pizza, I researched ingredients and bought them all.  The hardest thing to find was flour and yeast!  I finally found some flour, but Edinburgh had no yeast!

Luckily, I found some recipes to make pizza dough using with baking powder – I had some in my flat.  I sent her ALL the ingredients (except toppings) in the post in a parcel – including two types of cheese, tomato sauce, tomato puree, flour and basil!

The post office recommended using Parcel Force, 48 hour service.  But, alas, it took 12 days to arrive!  A few days before it arrived, Fi made home-made Pizza, obviously getting all the ingredients she needed.

All my ingredients arrived OK, except the basil had died.  The Olive Oil had leaked a little in the container!

Today, Fi made a pizza with the ingredients I sent, saying:

“Pizza 1 of Jim’s pizza ingredients made!”

Check out the photo!

Coincidentally enough, I had a few pieces of homemade pizza from Mo Beans Coffee Shop, which Kenny had bought!  I haven’t bought a pizza from them for about a month!


It Made Me Smile

How are people finding this new section?  I am struggling to find things to include in this section everyday.  I thought it was a good idea a few days ago, but maybe not?  Let me know if you want me to include it?

Ultimately, I have found that I get loads of annoying pop-ups on my laptop feed.  Some of them are interesting and make me smile.  So instead of switching them off, decided to create this section.

Today’s ‘It Made Me Smile’ is this article about how a New South Wales Wildlife Park has welcomed it’s first baby koala since the bushfires, signifying a new generation.  They have been on the edge of extinction since the fires.

This made me smile.

So as I come to the end of today’s blog, it feels like I haven’t written much inspiring!  Less reflections recently.

Again, I woke up very suddenly, just before 8.30am, so didn’t get to remember what Chris Evans was talking about on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show.  Like most Tuesday’s I have lots of energy and got lots done.  But, it is only 11.30pm, so hopefully will be in bed at a reasonable time.

My energy / mood score is another 6 today.

The weather, has been cloudy, with some spots of rain and quite cold.  Although, I have heard that a mini heatwave is on its way 🙂

Stay Safe.

Jim xx