Day 86 – Reflections on Lock-Down

posted in: Stories | 1

I’ve been struggling with the sameness of life in the last few days!  There seems to be no variation to anything, everyday is the same.  It feels like my life is on a forever treadmill, not actually going anywhere!

I remember writing about it on Day 25 of my blog, I was asking my friend Danny what he was doing for the weekend and he replied that everyday seems the same.  Back then it was a novelty, but now over 11 weeks into lock-down, I feel like I am not going anywhere in life, not achieving anything.

I guess, part of the feeling is because, I am living a regular work routine.  Which I have not done for over 13 years.  I roll out of bed at 8.30am.  Go to “work” (into the next room) for Chi Gong at 8.45am.  That finishes about 10am.  Take Honey for a walk.  Do some work until about 2pm/3pm/4pm/5pm.  Go for a walk/run.  Spend a bit of time relaxing on the sofa.  Then start this blog.  Take Honey for her Bedtime Walk.  Have Bedtime Chi Gong.  Finish my blog and go to bed.  Then start all over again the next day.

Although, I love the routine and rhythm that it brings.  There is no variation to that.  It feels kind of like that I am getting bored of the same.  But on the other hand I am loving, living a different way of life.  A way of life which most people live, who are not self-employed.

I guess, that’s why we all fill our days with meeting friends, going to the pub, going to gigs, the cinema, holidays, etc…so within the “daily grind” we have something to look forward to.  Something to break up the monotonous feeling of the daily routine?

It reminds me of the ’empty space’ that Helen first mentioned back in Day 9, back then she said:

“…the feeling I had yesterday of something missing, was perhaps an empty feeling.  An empty space that has always been there.  The hustle and bustle of being part of society has obscured the empty space”.

She later went on to say:

“She has had to be with the empty space, unable to fill it with something else.  She has realised that the empty space has always been there.  It’s supposed to be there.  We need it to be there.  For her, the empty space is “scary at first”, with an urge to fill it with something or someone.  But that eventually passes.”.

Maybe that is what I am experiencing?  I guess, now that I have a daily routine, which is the same everyday.  Perhaps, I can use the opportunity to go deeper within myself and touch on something further into my subconscious?

I will have a think about that more.

I certainly feel that I am squeezing a lot into my day, and I don’t really have much space for myself.

Which is totally different to the last few years, working as a magician, which some months I may only have 2-3 gigs a month!  Living in a constant state of anxiety on whether I am going to get enough gigs to get survive financially for that month.  I honestly, have not been able to plan more than 1 or 2 months in advance.  For 3 years as I haven’t had enough work!

I bumped into a friend this afternoon in Arthur’s Seat who has recently become a mother.  When I asked her how she was adjusting to “motherhood” / “parenthood”, she replied everyday is the same!  I asked if that was because of lock-down, but she said no.  It would have been the same in or out of lock-down.

Perhaps what I am experiencing is what we all experience in life, whether in lock-down or not?  It’s just something I have forgotten about?!

Poetry Corner

After yesterday’s inspiration of Fi’s Video Corner, I thought I would try a new section, Poetry Corner.  Maybe after the inspiration of Matt’s poem on Bredon Hills which I discussed yesterday and he shared on Day 55 I thought I would invite any of you who wants to share a poem to do so and we can put it here.  Whether it is a poem you have personally written or one that has touched you.

Let’s see if this grows into a regular section?

When I was training to be a mental health nurse, back in 1999 to 2002, I suddenly got poetry inspiration.  Writing lots of poems.  When my nurse training finished, the inspiration disappeared and I haven’t written a poem since!  I often found if I was in a lecture/tutorial, that was boring and I was struggling to stay awake, I wrote a poem about what was being discussed to stop me falling asleep!

So to start of ‘Poetry Corner’ I will share one of these.

This poem was written during a 3 hour tutorial about changeovers.  Changeovers is the time when one shift ends and the next begins and the nurses, handover what has been happening to the next team of nurses.

During the tutorial the lecturer was going round the class and asking each person, what changeovers meant to them.  The response was written on the board.  The board was becoming fuller and fuller.  Instead of writing it all down, I decided to write a poem, from the information on the board.

The next day, my friend Jess, got me to read the poem out in class.  The lecturer was very impressed with it and this led me to have the confidence to write many more poems.  I wrote this poem in March 1999.



Changeovers, handover, reports WHAT ever,
Tape recorders, phones, spoken, HOW ever,
Morning, lunchtime, nighttime, WHEN ever.
Staff area, officer, on ward, WHERE ever.

One person, two, the whole team, WHOM ever,
Socialising, team building, care continuity, WHY ever,
Coffee, cigarette, none, WITH ever,
Learning, teaching, care planning, MORE ever.

The list can go on and on FOR ever.

Surgical, children, mental wards, WHAT ever,
Name, rank, diagnosis, HOW ever,
Ten minutes, thirty, fifty, WHEN ever
Long term, short term, elderly, WHERE ever,
Sister, staff nurse, auxiliary, WHOM ever,
Communication, information, stop embarrassing, WHY ever,
Bedside, clients, assuming, WITH ever

We can go on and on and on FOR EVER.

Last night, I got 7 hours sleep, which has been so much better for my mood, energy and motivation.

After Chi Gong, Honey and I went to Dalmeny Street Park for our morning walk.  It was actually really busy, with probably 10-15 people and all their dogs.  I stood about and chatted for a while.  I don’t usually chat to many people there.  But it was warm and…well I don’t know, I just decided to enjoy the moment and connection.

I guess, I haven’t really had a face-to-face conversation with anyone (in the real world) for 10 days!

The guy, Gordon, was telling me about ‘Humans of Edinburgh‘, a Facebook page to capture the lives and moments of people living in Edinburgh.

I then headed back home and did some work.

Then went out for a lovely 6km run round Arthur’s Seat.  It was really hot – humid!

Was nice being round people and seeing them enjoying the sun.  One woman had a sun lounger with her and was relaxing on that.  Others were sitting with laptaps, obviously doing work.

Then home and dinner, before starting this blog.

Readers Corner

Just one sharing today, from my friend Ivan who lives in Berlin.



Ivan put a comment on Facebook about yesterday’s blog, saying:

“Yes Jim. Get back in a good sleep cycle..then the benefits accrue. Chat soon pal!”


I messaged him to ask if I could put his comment into Readers Corner and after saying yes, he replied saying:

“Read your blog.

Another good one!

I like the fact you talk honestly and openly about your own sense of being during these unusual times.  Then the other contributions…like a wee magazine!”.


Thanks for your encouragement to get a good sleep cycle.  I need to get my blog finished and posted BEFORE Bedtime Chi Gong everyday.  I will try!

Glad you are enjoying the blog.  I guess it is kind of turning into a type of magazine!


It Made Me Smile

This section seems to have died.  I don’t have anything to include and no more sharing from others.

So I will end this section.  Worth a try.  Now we have TWO new sections to replace it Fi Video Corner and Poetry Corner.

If you share anything that made you smile, I will include it in Readers Corner.

As I come to the end of today’s blog, it is only 9.45pm!!  I should have this blog finished within 2 hours of starting it 🙂

I am definitely getting faster in writing it – used to always take at least 3 hours!

I don’t often know what I am going to write, until I start thinking about my day, how I have been feeling and start writing.

Whilst writing this blog, I’ve been listening to Eddie Reader, The Songs of Robert Burns (Deluxe Edition) on Deepness Dementia Radio.  I can’t say I have been a massive fan of Eddie Reader, she’s played a few times at Heb Celt Festival.  But this music is lovely.  With the help of Fi, I was able to identify which album the music came from and now just bought it!

It’s been a warm day, well actually hot! 🙂

It started misty and cloudy, like the last few days.  But quite warm outside.  Then the clouds cleared and it turned out into a lovely afternoon and evening.  Not just hot in the sun, but humid.  This evening for our bedtime walk just before 10pm, the haar / mist is back and the temperature has dropped down to how it was yesterday 🙂

I kind of feel like I am less struggling with the ‘sameness’ of life now.  Writing this blog seems to help so much!  Like a free 1 hour of therapy every night 😉

I definitely think the lack of having conversations with people (in the real world) is hard.  It brings a connection beyond the world of a flat-screen (computer, phone, tablet).  It’s going to be weird when I eventually face-to-face conversations become the norm again!

Hope you have had some sunshine where you are.

Thanks for your continuous reading of my blog, knowing at least a few of you are reading and enjoying it, makes me keep going!

Enjoy Life

Jim xxx



  1. Graham morgan

    Lovely to read. Really liked the poem. It is boiling over here on the west coast. I could quite like being cool and still in a haar just now.