Day 80 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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I sit here at 9.20pm trying to think of something to write which is inspirational…nothing is coming.  I sometimes, plan a ‘theme’ for a blog a few days in advance, which usually comes from a conversation or a thought I have had.  Then mull it over for a few days, trying to get clear in my head what I want to share.

Another bit of inspiration comes from the few minutes I hear from The Chris Evans Breakfast Show in the morning before I get up.  A few times, I have gone back and listened to those 10 minutes again on catch-up to get clearer what he was talking about.

Today, I don’t remember what he was talking about.  The only thing I remember was another joke from a boy who phoned in.  Chris Evans announced it as “Joke 80, for Day 80”.  Which shows I was right yesterday, he did make the mistake of thinking yesterday was Day 78 🙂

Still, third paragraph in and no inspirational to share!

Well, saying that – maybe there one thing I could talk about…

Have you noticed, since lock-down there is a barrage of those “I nominate [NAME] to do…” on Facebook?  It seems more and more coming in.  There used to be the occasional one before lock-down.  I’ve just looked it up online and it is officially called ‘I Nominate Challenge’.  The one that comes to mind was The Ice Bucket Challenge.  Where you had to pour a bucket of ice water all over you.

It seems to have grown massively with the rise of Instagram.

For those of you who are not familiar of this (obviously you don’t use social media!).  There are various versions of it – you have to post a photo everyday or do a certain challenge and post a video or do something!  It’s often connected to raising awareness of something.  And also sometimes raising money for something.  You then have to do it AND nominate a certain amount of other people to do it.  And so it continues.

I guess it is the online version of a chain letter.  Do you remember them?  I’ve just looked them online – and they seem to now be attached to hoaxes or SCAM type things.  I remember vaguely as a child, getting a letter, which you had to then photocopy (? was that right ?) and then send that photocopy with a wee note to another few people.  And then it continued.  Or did you have to write the letter out?  I can’t quite remember?

Maybe I got that wrong – can anyone remember?

I got something like that about 8 years as a friendship cake.  Herman the Friendship Cake.  You would get a bit of Herman the Sourdough Cake – because ‘he’ was made from yeast and bacteria – you could grow him again and then make the cake and pass your bit of him onto five friends.  Most my friends at the time had young families – all refusing to take on the Friendship Cake Challenge – as they were sick of having so much Herman Cake in their lives 🙂

Since lock-down, the first I remember was to run 5km.  It was designed by a woman in Edinburgh.  In fact, finding a news item for it now – it was run, cycle or walk 5km and donate £5 to support NHS workers.  Then nominate 5 other people.  The news article posted in the middle of April had raised £2,000,000 !!  You can read about it here –

Most of these are to raise awareness of something – mental Health, suicide, NHS, etc… or some money too.

Some that come to mind is favourite music albums, last photos on your phone, photos when you were younger, photos of mother’s that make them happy, photos specifically for men (related to men’s suicide rates), to name a few.

The two that I have seen in the last two days are:

  • 25 Push-Up Challenge for 25 days to help raise awareness of mental health issues.
    Do 25 push-up’s for 25 days.  Video it each day and nominate someone else to do it.
  • 10 Day Equestrian Family Challenge
    This is one of those “don’t ask” ones – “I ‘must” post without a single explanation”.


My mum has started the 10 Day Equestrian Family Challenge.  For the last two days, I’ve been helping her over the phone on how to copy and paste the text and add her photo.  I rang her a couple of days ago and she had been rummaging round cupboards, digging out old photos of her riding horses.  So she could then take a photo of it on her iPad and then post.

I was thinking yesterday – that it is a great way for her and others who are not so social media/computer confident to learn things you can do.  Ultimately, all these things we learn is by repetition!  Although, she also writes notes once I have helped her to do it, so she can remember for the next day!

Fi is doing that 25 Push-Up Challenge.  So is getting used to posting a daily video of her doing this!


I must admit, neither Honey the Dog or I have ever been nominated.  Well, I did get nominated to post a photo of myself to raise awareness for suicide in men.  I guess, people don’t think I am the kind of person who will do it 🙁

I secretly always wished to get nominated for the The Ice Bucket Challenge.

I fear that my above comment will lead to a barrage of challenges 😉 – thankfully The Ice Bucket Challenge is over!


Despite only going to bed at 1am last night.  I slept straight through until 8am – dozing until I got up at 8.30am – feeling refreshed and rested!

After Chi Gong I did my usual bits and pieces of work.  I had a meeting at 4.30pm, so I decided to go for a run earlier today.  I didn’t have lunch, which I think, usually is my main mistake!  So I wasn’t feeling full-up and wanting to rest.  Honey and I went for a 6km run.  The weather felt as if it was getting warmer.

Her pond, has virtually disappeared 🙁

I got home just before 4pm – to read the meeting had been postponed. Either until tomorrow morning or this evening.  I chose this evening.

I got into the Pyjamas and relaxed for a while.  I remember that in early days of lock-down, I would be in my Pyjamas really early in the afternoon, quite often.  So it was nice to embrace a bit of the early days of lock-down!  This would never happen outwith lock-down, because you are probably going out later or someone may just pop round!  It just didn’t even enter my mind back then.

I then spent the next hour or so relaxing on the sofa.  The run was perfect to allow me to do this – because I was tired – so wanted to relax and take a break and rest.  Then having some lunch/dinner and doing some work.

Before having my meeting at 8.30pm this evening.

Honey was completely confused with what was going on.  I am always amazed by how she seems to “know” what the time is, coming through to get me to go out, give her dinner, go to bed, etc…I concluded she must have an internal body clock inside her – knowing what time it is.

But today she was all over the place.  So I concluded that she follows a routine and “knows” approximately how long until we do the next thing.

Of course – today we were home after our daily walk/run at 4pm, rather than 6pm.  So she was wanting her dinner at 4pm.  Then started pestering me for her bedtime walk about 8.30pm!



Readers Corner

There were lots of responses to yesterday’s blog and the use of language around “Take Care” and also “Stay Safe” AND then one I forgot to mention yesterday “Stay Alert”.  I had a few conversations about this on the phone and a text too.  None of which I have included in Readers Corner today.

But we have three people in Readers Corner today.



When I was doing the final read through of my blog at some point after midnight last night, I realised that Anna had said “And in the photo with me in it, potatoes as well!”.  But I didn’t have a photo from with her in it.  Obviously, like most people she was asleep, by the time I realised, so have included it below.  So today, she has included the photo.

She commented with:

“Broccoli and Spinach with potatoes at the far end”


As promised in yesterday’s Readers Corner, she also sent a photo of flowers.  Writing:

“Our flowers with a tomato grow bag!”

She continued with:

“Not sure how many you want! Roses and foxglove”

Oh Wow – I learnt something new!  These are foxgloves.  They are everywhere at the moment of Arthur’s Seat!  My knowledge on flowers / plants is very limited 😉

Anna’s final photo, that she took today, saying:

“And a donkey foal we saw on our walk”.

Awww – that’s really cute!

Thanks for all those photos Anna.  I hope to one day have a garden myself, so I can grow my own vegetables, etc…



Matt put a comment on Facebook from yesterdays blog, saying:

“Thanks, Jim! Yes interesting on “take care” – I have had times when I have reacted quite sensitively internally to it – particularly if I felt a bit vulnerable or getting over a difficult time. I started using it back at people almost “well you should take care too!” – I’ll start giving your variations a go!”

Thanks for your thoughts, Matt.  My “Enjoy Life”, never really caught on.  I remember past girlfriends adopting it, but it felt more to keep my more maverick nature happy, rather than fully embracing it or understanding why 😉

I then messaged Matt to ask if I could include his comment on Readers Corner.  He replied:

“Hi Jim! Yes of course! It’s an interesting example of a phrase which is usually regarded as a bit of In “phatic communion”, communication which serves as a social function such as small talk and social pleasantries that do not seek or offer any information of value. Example: greetings such as “hello” and “how are you” are phatic expressions.”

Ha!  Well put Matt.  Although I wonder how original that was 😉

I wasn’t sure what Matt meant by “phatic communion” so I looked it up online.  To find his words exact from the first article that came up!  I wonder whether he wrote the web page or copied it or was it coincidental 😉

You can read more here – CLICK HERE

Matt continued:

“But like you I pick up on the “take care” and so on and am quite sensitive to the variations”

He continued:

“Just been for the Thursday swim this time near Stratford-upon Avon, chilly windy evening but when it likes that it sees to give me a really good psychological reset!”

I then sent him the following – “Do you know how I am going to respond 😂“.  Knowing that he knew I was going to ask if I could include all that in Readers Corner.

Matt replied:

Hah you are a newshound, Jim! 🙃


Thanks for all your thoughts Matt around that.  Only kidding about your originality or not 😉



Susi also commented on yesterday’s blog, very succinctly!  Saying:

“Lovely blog entry 🙂”




It Made Me Smile

Forever on the search for something to include in this section.  I spotted a couple things that made me smile – in fact made me laugh.  Shared on Facebook by different people!  So today, this section, includes people’s name too 🙂


Penny via Phil

My mum, Penny, shared this funny photo on Facebook.  Which she had shared from another Facebook post, from a mutual friend, who lives in Germany (great car as her Facebook profile photo!).  The original post was described as:

“German discipline”.

I tried to copy the link, with little success.

So simply here is the photo:



Animals are adopting social distancing 😉 – Welcome Phil to appearing in my blog!



All my family, including Duncan, my brother-in-law are currently doing the ‘I nominate challenge’.  This is ‘The 10 Day Equestrian Family Challenge’ – with zero explanation!


That’s him as a child on a horse – not looking happy at all!  I am guessing it was fancy dress, rather than his normal attire 😉


As I come to the end of today’s blog, I am feeling in a bit of a cheeky mood!

Tonight when we went for our bedtime walk, a little later than usual, 9.50pm, there was a lovely sunset.  The grass looked a lot greener than normal.  I wonder, why that was, as I had walked the same route only 24 hours earlier.  I think it was because there was more light in the sky, it was warmer and I was feeling more chilled (relaxed)?  And still in my Pyjamas 😉

I stood for quite a while waiting for Aileen to look up and wave.  I could see her face in the window (second floor) but she was not looking out the window!  So I cheated and sent her a quick message “wave 🙂 “.  She waved, but it felt like less of connection as it was not coincidental.  Maybe she didn’t want to wave?! 😉 Anyway, I will be sticking with the coincidental connection in the future.

I am feeling so much more calmer, relaxed and content this evening.  The score (that I forgot to do yesterday) would be an 8 or maybe even a 9!  I think yesterday, my energy was more flatter.  Probably a 4 or 5.  Maybe why I forgot to score?!

I think the run early afternoon was great for me.  Being forced to take things more easily afterwards.  I definitely need to keep this going more.  Rather than waiting until 4pm or 5pm.

I have noticed, over the last few weeks.  That there is a lot less traffic and people around in the morning.  At 10am, when you would expect it to be busy.  Even at 8.30am when there would be rush-hour.  It is so much quieter.  It is the same in the evening, from about 7pm onwards.

I guess, as many people are on furlough leave, shielding, working from home or still in “lay-back lockdown” they are not getting up until later.

Plus, as no pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, etc…open at the moment.  In fact no evening entertainment.  Everyone just returns to their home and chills out there.

I love how it is quieter at these times of the day.

On a final note, before I finish and head to bed.

As I think about Matt again in Readers Corner, the following quote came to me, which my colleague, Chris Stevenson, had written on a big white board in our office when I worked as a Research Fellow at Teesside University.  I have a photo of it framed on my wall in my flat.


Originality is nothing more than judicious plagiarism” (Voltaire).


I had added a quote on the white board, below that one, which I love:


New Ideas Take Time to Digest “The Telephone is a wonderful thing everyone should have one” (Postmaster General, 1902).


With that I bid you Good Night!

Take Care 😉

Jim xxx