Day 89 – Reflections on Lock-Down

posted in: Stories | 1

Today, is the 20th June 2020, the longest day of the year.  What a glorious day it has been in Edinburgh. The sun shining and really warm!

Today was our Celtic Energy Festival, which was on Zoom.  This was an all day event, with a group of friends, who I originally called “The Celtic Gang” and more recently have become known as “The Celtic Energy Gang”.

We are all friends, who love Celtic music, love Scotland and meet at different gigs and festivals throughout the year.  The two main ones are Heb Celt Fest in July and Celtic Connections in January.  Some of these friends I have known for 20 years, others over 10 years, some just a few years or even just a year.  All of different ages from early twenties right through to forties/fifties.  Scattered across Scotland and a few in Yorkshire.  But I feel so much love for all of them, it’s hard to explain.

In July for Heb Celt it is like a reunion and we all have so much fun together.  But before we arrive at Heb Celt, many of us go on a holiday round the Western Isles of Scotland.

We’ve had so many adventures together, have so many stories to share of previous years and have so much fun.  I can honestly say I laugh more with them than with anyone else.  I can be completely myself with them all.  I like to believe that is the case with all of them.

Each year, we meet more people travelling round the Western Isles or at Heb Celt and some join “The Celtic Energy Gang”.

But as Heb Celt is cancelled this year, we decided to have a Zoom Event instead.  Just for those who can make it along from “The Celtic Energy Gang” over the many years we have been friends.

We decided to have a raffle and raise money for the Gatliff Trust, which is a small charity that runs three independent hotels in the Outer Hebrides.  Two of which are Blackhouses, with a big communal room for cooking, sitting, eating, chatting and connecting.  Obviously the hostels are shut at the moment.  Check out the photos of Berneray Hostel with it’s new thatch, just finished before lock-down.


We had our first planning meeting for this event a week ago!    We’ve all worked really hard, putting together videos, songs, sing-a-longs, interviews, a raffle, story sharing, surprises and so much more!

We split the event into two halves.  The afternoon and then an After Party in the evening.  In fact, as I write this at 1.30am there is still an After After Party going on with a few remaining.

So although I sat at my computer from 11am this morning, until after 6pm, for the first half.  Then 8pm until after midnight for the second half. And now from midnight to probably about 3am.  In the most glorious sunny day in Edinburgh, I have loved every bit of it.

In fact, when we came to the end, sometime after 11pm, I felt so much sadness to be saying goodbye to all these lovely people who are so dear to me.  Everyone felt the same, we were all stalling to leave.

I can honestly say that this has been the best day of lock-down for me.  The best day by far!

I became so aware today, how special all these friends are to me!

AND how I felt such a connection with them all today, through Zoom, a virtual world!


Last night, I was still working on everything for today’s event.  I didn’t switch my light off until 3am to go to sleep.  With my alarm set for 10am I was looking forward to 7 hours sleep.  But alas my body clock kicked in and I woke up at 8am.  But lay in bed until 10am anyway.

After a quick walk with Honey the Dog, I was on my computer, sorting out a thank you video from the Gatliff Trust, putting together a quiz with my friend Brian (we had a telephone meeting at midday) and writing an introduction for the event.

From the last fundraiser I co-ran with Robin as part of the Ceilidh Collective, I learnt to set a deadline, which was 2pm (even though the Virtual Doors didn’t open until 2.45pm).  I started the Zoom Meeting at 2pm, inviting anyone to drop in if they wanted to try out Screen Sharing Videos, etc…which a couple of people did.

Having that 2pm deadline worked really well.  So by the time everyone started arriving, I was calm and ready.

My main role, by far was putting the raffle together.  Getting prizes and selling tickets.  This one using actual raffle tickets.  People sent me the money, said if they wanted Green or Blue raffle tickets, then I took a photo of the strips of tickets for them to see.  Then wrote their name on the back of each of the other ones to go in the draw.  That took A LOT of time – but really good fun.

We had some AMAZING prizes, all donated by people who came along.  Plus some of the prizes donated for the raffle, used as Quiz prizes!

I was thinking, we would probably raise about £100.  But we actually raised £250!

In the wee break, from 6.15pm to 8pm – when everyone was getting their dinner.  I went for a FAST 5km run.  Was so good to be outside.  I am starting to get fitter!

As I ran up a small road, I smelt a strong smell Lavender.  I didn’t know where it was coming from.  Until I noticed a kind of pop-up flower shop in the end of a wee alleyway.  I stopped and took a photo and spoke with the lady running it.  It’s called – Flowers by Minty .  It’s amazing how she had created an outside shop, not attached to a physical building.

Being such lovely warm weather, there were lots of people out on Holyrood Park with BarBQs, Picnics, etc…

Now that we are in Phase 2, in Scotland, of lock-down easing, 3 different households can meet, up to 8 people.  This was very much more apparent.  Everyone was in groups of 8-10 people.  Rather, than usually 3-4 people.

They all seemed to be having their own mini-parties.  It was lovely to see, you could feel the energy of all the fun times they were having.

I then bumped into a friend, David with his dog Bruce and had a quick catch-up, before carrying on the run.

When I got home, I nipped to the shops to get some drink for tonight.  Then did my washing, had a shower, put on a shirt and was ready to begin Part 2 of the event at 7.45pm.  I ordered a Burito on Just Eats, which arrived in less that 10 minutes!

I took a quick break, at 10pm to take Honey for a walk in the graveyard.  There was a lovely sunset.  It gave me a little bit of space to think about the day and I realised just how special the day had been.

When I was leaving, two guys who had also been walking round the graveyard starting talking to me.

Matthew has recently moved to the same street as me.  He is an artist and gardener.  He has a studio at Whitespace Gallery in Edinburgh.  His friend, Leigh is a drummer in an upcoming band Raiments.  The internet describes the band as “Edinburgh/ Berlin-based avant garde”.

It has been such a lovely day!  A perfect Summer Solstice 🙂


Poetry Corner



Helen sent me a message this afternoon, saying:

“Does song lyrics count as poetry?”

I haven’t set any rules, so why now?!


“It Don’t Matter” (feat. JoJo)

It don’t matter what your papa gon’ say
It don’t matter ’bout the games you play
It don’t matter what the preacher gon’ pray
‘Cause when you wake up in the morning, gonna throw it all away.

It don’t matter if you’re here to stay
What the people think about you never gonna stay the same
Well, maybe you’re gonna run away
When you wake up in the morning, gonna throw it all away.

And it feels like, in the morning, gonna feel like
See everybody clap your hands if it feels like.

It don’t matter if you gone astray
‘Cause tomorrow will come it’s gonna be okay
Never even matter if you sleep all day
‘Cause when you wake up in the evening, gonna throw it all away.

Feels like, does anybody here know what I’m talking about, say
Oh, feel like, everybody clap your hands if you feel like
It feels like, in the morning, gonna feel like

It don’t matter what they say, I will be there
Let those voices fade away, I will be there
It don’t matter what they say, I will be there
Let those voices fade away, I will be there


Readers Corner

Nothing to share in here today.  But so many different areas now for the Blog Community (Brayshaw, MJ, 2020) to share – that’s fine.



It Made Me Smile


After the sharing of the song, Helen messaged me about it saying:

“He talks about the song in this interview:”



She continued, with:

“He says,

‘It’s about letting things go. I think we live in a world, I know we live in a world, where it’s easy and addictive to hold onto things and think that they last forever, like the internet. And sometimes a lot of the pain in your life can come from holding onto things, but actually nothing lasts forever. Sometimes it good to go whoosh and let something go. And it’s ok. Don’t worry! Its all gonna be alright.’

And that made me smile.”


Helen added in her message, that we have talked a little about “letting go”.  Which has been in the blog and talking on Zoom.

Thanks for all your sharing Helen.  It’s a bit late for me to watch the video, but I will do, soon.


Twenty-Five Day Push-Up Challenge

Here is my video for today!


There were a couple of comments too:



“Looking the business today in that t shirt! Loving the encouragement from Honey, Did she cool you down the same way?”



“Fab Jim x”



As I come to the end of today’s blog, it is now past 2.30am!  Despite that it has been such a special day for me.  Has been so lovely to connect with friends which I don’t see often, but love all so dearly.

There was such a lovely sunset tonight.

When I walked round the graveyard for Honey’s bedtime walk.  It made me realise, that just those 5-10 minutes, gives me time to enjoy nature, the silence and reflect on how my day has been.  I didn’t really realise this, until day.  That it is really important for me.

Despite, knowing how fond I am of everyone in “The Celtic Energy Gang”, there was something different about today.  I think it was because we pulled everything together in just a week.  Spending hours of our time, to show the rest of us.

It was as if we were making each other presents.  But unlike when we go to a festival (in the real world) and so are on “holiday”.  This week we were juggling doing all this around are regular lives of work, etc…that made it more special.

I guess, with these friends I am able to “let go” and be myself.  I haven’t watched Helen’s video that she shared or really thought about what she wrote, but I wonder if it touches on that.  I find, that I don’t often completely “let go” in life and feel safe to do so.  I think that is why I am so fond of these friends.  I can let go, be myself and know I will be accepted for being me.

Anyway, I feel like I am now saying the same thing.  I am aware I have not had much sleep in the last 24 hours.  So I will end this now and start heading towards bed.

Thanks for Reading.

Lots of Love

Jim xxx


  1. Helen

    So lovely to hear about your day and the friendships you share with a very special group of people! I think this is my “it made me smile” moment for today. Your energy bubbles out of the page! I hope you were able to get some sleep.

    Thanks for including Jacob Collier’s song. It’s not always the “easiest” music to listen to, but I must have been in the right mood for it yesterday, because I listened to the first two Djesse albums right through. The 3rd one is due to be released this summer.

    I interpreted it as material stuff that we cling onto, but you’ve given me a new perspective to think about when you talked about letting go of the facade and just being ourselves.