Day 94 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today has been a day of work hard and play hard, which has felt good!

Last night, I was in bed just after midnight and had 7 hours sleep,  I felt so much better for having the extra sleep.  This morning we had the lowest number people at Morning Chi Gong ever, just 4 (including me).  But I guess it has been a super hot day, so perhaps everyone else had plans in the sunshine, or maybe now lock-down is slowly coming to an end, folk are finding new things to start their day?

After my decision yesterday that it was time to come out of solitude and meet up with other people, I have tried that again today, it’s worked really well.  My energy and mood has been much more upbeat and good.

I worked really hard through the day and then went out for a walk about 4.45pm.  It was another glorious hot day and I was tempted to stop work early to go and enjoy the sunshine.  In hindsight, it felt good to stick to going out later, as I felt good I had done a good chunk of work and could forget about it all this evening.

Holyrood Park was busier that yesterday with groups of people gathering, picnicking, sunbathing, etc…Honey suddenly dashed right across the park and when I caught up with her she was eating some ham from someone’s picnic!  She must have smelt it a good 200 metres away!

Seeing everyone in the park, made me think about holidays and how we all seem to enjoying where we live more because we can’t go on holiday – well especially abroad.

This time of year, usually, everyone is jetting off on their summer holidays or at least planning and looking forward to it.  Whereas this year (well at the moment) there are no plans for that.  We can’t look forward to “our summer holidays abroad in the sunshine”, so it feels like in fact, everyone is enjoying “holidaying” where they live!

This is very apparent with this news headline about thousands flocking to the beach in the south of England, which was on the BBC news – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53176013

It feels that everyone is appreciating where they live more, because we are not travelling somewhere else, which is “better” than where we live, if that makes sense?  We are not looking forward to leaving where we live to go and enjoy our holiday somewhere else.  This is what Chris Evans was talking about on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Day 85.  There’s a shift in what is important to us.

A really noticeable thing in Edinburgh for this time of year is there are no tourists.  Over the last month or so, I have been walking on Arthur’s Seat past some people and thought “you are tourists”, but then realising, they can’t be, because no one can travel here – we have no tourists.

Edinburgh is usually packed with tourists by this time of the year, hundreds looking at their phones or maps, trying to work out which way to walk to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat!  It’s kind of a note of the time of year, when you start to see tourists appearing and everyone (“the locals”) starts commenting on there being more tourists compared to last year.

There’s also usually a constant flow of people walking up Easter Road with little suitcases dragging behind them, as they go to their AirBnB or are heading back home after their visit to Edinburgh.  There’s nothing of this either!

Summer is going to be different for many of us.

You can click on any of the photos above to see them in full size.



After working hard today, Honey the Dog and I headed out for a walk.  I was thinking maybe an hour or so walking, but then Danny (who appeared in Readers Corner yesterday for the first time), sent me a text to see if I wanted to meet up.  He had read my blog yesterday, inviting if friends want to meet.

So Honey and I walked up the Crags and then arranged to meet Danny, so walked for another 30 minutes to meet him and have a sit in the shade and had a swim.  We then walked for another 45 minutes, before another sit in the shade and then home.

When I got home, Honey and I had been out for 3 hours!

It was super hot!



Poetry Corner

Today we have another poem by myself, which I wrote whilst training to be a mental health nurse.  This was written based on a module called ‘TIFFS. – another acronym!  The module looked at human development and the psychological and sociological impact of the family.

There was no direct context to nursing, which I really enjoyed.

I was revising for the exam for the module – which I got the highest mark in the year – 89% – when I decided to write a poem about it all.  I was revising the different stages of life.

I realised that life is ever changing, whether we like it or not!  Back then, I was scared of change, but I think now I am more excepting of it and embrace it more fully.

This poem addresses this point.

 

Ever Changing

Our early months of life are often obscure,
Growing and developing in a physical way.
There’s questions on whether we can think at all,
And then it all changes and we are born.

Our first years of life include extensive learning,
Growing and developing from a cute baby state.
There’s questions on which developmental theory is right,
And then it all changes and we enter our teens.

Our next period of life we enter adolescence,
Growing and developing and wanting to ‘Grow Up’.
There’s questions from our parents on “What’s going on?”,
And then it all changes and we turn 18.

Our next years of life we start to feel ‘Grown Up’,
Growing and developing as we search for ‘Love’.
There’s questions from ourselves on “is life always great?”,
And then it all changes and we enter our 20’s.

Our next time of life is termed the ‘Young Adult’,
Growing and developing our values and beliefs.
There’s questions on what is life all about,
And then it all changes and we turn 30.

The next period of life can have many key stages,
Growing and developing more socially and psychologically.
There’s question of love, relationships and careers,
And then it all changes into ‘Middle Years’.

Out next stretch of life is from 40-60,
Growing and developing in the ‘prime’ of our life.
There’s questions of physical and emotional dilemmas,
And then it all changes as we turn 65.

There next years of life we’re the ‘Older Adult’,
Growing and developing into a respectable state.
There’s questions on whether old age can be a challenge,
And then it all changes as we reflect on life>

The last few years, as we live this long life,
Our preparations start for the biggest change to date.
We question on whether there’s life after death,
And then it all changes……………………………..



Readers Corner

Today there is just one post from Kate (aka Kate’s Park).

 

Kate

After reading yesterday’s blog, Kate text me saying:

“Wow ! Day 93.  Thanks Jim x

That’s a great read Jim.  I love the Tom Foolery poem (let’s help invent a new way of being) and Fi’s contribution of Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ is one of my favourites so always nice to revisit”.

 

Thanks Kate.  Glad you are enjoyed the blog and also enjoying the poems!

 

It Made Me Smile

When Honey and I were leaving Holyrood Park at the end of our walk, all the groups sitting in the sun, were moving further and further down the park, to remain the sun.  See photo below (click on it to see it full size), this made me smile!

This also made me smile.  After over an hour of walking in the sun, early evening, Honey was super hot!  So decided to head to her favourite lake to let her have a swim.  But knowing this is the lake that she will swim up and down for ages AND there are swans in it.  I decided to keep her on the lead and go in with her!  Was good to cool down.  It made me smile to be paddling with her.

I didn’t anticipate the swan would fly over and try to attack both of us.  But after remember this is the lake with the signet’s in that Hannah, Honey and I saw on Day 88.  This swan was going in for the attack at me and Honey – it worked – we got out pretty quick!

But I don’t think there was a need for so much aggression from the swan 😉

 

 



Twenty-Five Day Push-Up Challenge

Another super hot day for Day 8 of the challenge.  I’m getting better and better.  Plus a wee show of Edinburgh, from where I was at.

 



As I come to the end of the blog, I am super tired.  As I write this I am finding it hard to stay awake!  All the hard work today, then a super long walk and the hot weather has left me exhausted!

The weather has been sooo hot today, really humid.  When we were quite high up towards Arthur’s Seat it was quite windy, but such a warm/hot wind, it was really unusual.  This morning, it was slightly cooler, but still warm – the sun shone most of the day!  Even when I was bidding goodbye to Danny near 8pm it was still really really hot.

This evening on her bedtime walk, the heat had dropped a little, but still comfortable in t-shirt and shorts.  It’s going to be a hot night tonight for sleeping, thank goodness I have a fan by my bed!

It feels like I am shifting into a new stage of lock-down.  I am no longer wanting it to not end, wishing for it to continue.  There’s a shift in me away from the “Stay at Home” message and not seeing anyone.  I guess, change affects us differently, just like in the poem I shared in Poetry Corner today.

I am enjoying my new lifestyle that I have formed in lock-down, but it feels that the longing for solitude is reducing and now I am wanting to see more friends again, but with a balance.  I always like to take things gradual, just like Margaret Harkness river analogy talks about, which I shared in Day 30.  knowing that things will change and try to stay with where I am at, rather than forcing it to change.  So I get a sense that I will gradually move into this new phase of my lock-down life.

I am still enjoying living in a bubble of Leith and Arthur’s Seat, so that hasn’t changed yet.  But there is definitely a gradual shift happening within me from being in total lock-down.  I am sure that will continue to change over time.

What I am loving is writing this blog and capturing all my ups and downs.  I am sure it will be a great book when I put it together!

Stay Safe

Jim xxx

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