Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 69 – Blue Sky

Today is Pentecost – fifty days after Easter in the Christian Calendar. Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church is again offering online worship and you can find it here.

The ongoing blue sky situation in Edinburgh is unusual. Normally we disappear under a haar after a couple of days, but not so at present. It’s lovely and warm and relaxing to be able to wander about in summery clothing and keep the doors and windows open. Sadly, like the camel above, we’re really still in lockdown as the virus has not gone away but receded. We need to exercise a measure of restraint in our return to what we were used to.

With that in mind the family had an afternoon tea by Zoom yesterday. Some new haircuts were admired: some garden planting, too. Our takeaway box from Mimi’s, Leith, was full of delicious bakery. We both went out yesterday but no rendezvous although I met some neighbours on my walk. People do seem to be taking it slowly.

I won at scrabble, managed to place around a dozen bits of the jigsaw (it’s hard) and have finished Arabella.

What speed are you at?



Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 62 – Yet Again

Wonder who’s won the Order of the Turkey this week?

For a more uplifting start to your week, avoid the media frenzy and join the parishioners of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church online.  Here

It is a struggle to keep on keeping on and it is a bigger struggle when there seems to be one law for the powerful (political or wealth) and a different one for the rest of us. One of my mother’s favourite sayings was ‘Two wrongs don’t make a Right.’ Sometimes it’s really, really hard to remember that, but we do have to.

Lovely chats with family members. Good walk around the area in the early evening. Hood up as rain was blowing in the wind. Finished Friday’s Child. Curious book and not one of my favourites, but Ferdy Fakenham lives in the memory. Excellent progress with the WIP. Hope it reads back as well as I remember. Poor score in the Guardian Quiz…

Into Week 10 we go. What are you most looking forward to on the other side?


Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 55 – Start The Week

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church Sunday Online worship

Yesterday, the cake tins were empty, so I set about making my late Mum-in-Law’s favourite chocolate cake. She used to post them to her children and my husband remembers friends helpfully coming to tell him he was in receipt of a parcel that looked as if it might be a chocolate cake. I can understand the anxiety of his friends not to miss out.

Again experiencing the localised shortage of Bran Flakes and may have to venture to a BIG supermarket. Our trawl through the accumulated slides has now reached 1985. Will we continue after lockdown is lifted? We’ve been to Iran and Umbria, southern England and France in the last few days. Always with sorties to the Western Isles and innumerable Scottish mountains (DH and his pals, not me).

Ambitions for the coming week? I’d really, really like to write something publishable.

Had conversations with a botanical friend and also with crime novelist Olga Wojtas. Olga’s quirky crime fiction is worth your attention.

Try Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace.


Lockdown diary – 2020 – 48 – Another Day gone by

After the Night Before

A lively Skype call with some of the younger members of the family yesterday afternoon cheered this household up no end. Mutual interest in trains – wooden, plastic, clockwork – can still be a connection even when the ‘track’ is less than a foot long.

Enjoyed someone’s phone photo, on social media yesterday, of the fox going down the steps into Waverley Station. Deer have been sighted in the local cricket ground. The Skype call featured both a giraffe and a hippo…

Hats off to the unsung domestic heroes looking after the young, the very old, the very ill, the vulnerable and the confused. Thinking of you all.

Jigsaw looking good. A Civil Contract absorbing, entertaining, exasperating in equal measures. Joined the DH to watch Scotland’s rugby victory over the French in a past season.

Today being Sunday, Mayfied Salisbury Parish Church has posted its online worship. Here

Two major issues are highlighted in the intimations following the service. Firstly, this is Christian Aid Week. A week when many from the church community would have been working very hard to raise funds for the worldwide organisation. Many in Edinburgh would have been working at or buying from the Book Sale in St Andrew’s and St George’s.

Book Sale books

Christian Aid are seeking our donations online, here

Secondly, the intimations feature a wishlist for the homeless folk being put up in The Old Waverley Hotel. It’s from the Bethany Care Shelter. You can read about this initiative and find a donate button here


Lockdown Diary 2020 – 41 – Harking Back

Spitfire by Bernie Condon at FreeDigitalPhots.net

With all this freed up time at our disposal, the temptation to look back through photographs, journals, music and film/tv collections is being indulged. Also, the anniversary of Peace in Europe, VE Day, is being celebrated and marked.

I watched a marvellous compilation of amateur film shot, some in very rare colour, in 1945. Some of it was shot by an amateur photographer from Musselburgh and some by another from the Dumbarton area. People in London watched the planes overhead believing prisoners of war were being repatrioted in them. One film maker had been at a dockside to capture the big ships coming in and the men being reunited, some after years of incarceration, with their families. I don’t think I’ve ever watched anything more moving.

On a cheerier note, for the Scots, I joined the DH to watch the highlights from that Welsh defeat by the Scots at Cardiff Arms Park. It’s a legend in this rugby-mad family as it was the first afternoon following the arrival of our baby that I went into town. I came back to find the infant on Daddy’s knee, roused from sleep, to watch the closing moments.

Great family distanced visit yesterday, too. I handed over the bags of flour. Made the sultana loaf. Went to bed early.

Online service from Mayfield Salisbury Parish church, with children’s address, is here


Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 34 – Holidays

A year ago I was on holiday on The Silk Roads where this picture was taken. Earlier this week, a friend asked where she could read anything I’d written about that trip. I haven’t written anything much. There is a great deal of erudite, academic writing about the silk roads and I have no expertise to add to that. However, I did enjoy exposure to the different cultures of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Holidays may come again. This being Sunday and for some a Holy Day, here’s the link to this Sunday’s worship from Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church. It can be accessed here.

In a little feedback, a friend has told me how friends of hers appreciated discovering about Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s virtual tours.

Reading Hadley Freeman’s article in yesterday’s Guardian Weekend, was a comfort. It is, she asserts, okay, in fact good, to chat about and do things not prompted or influenced by the virus. It won’t make it go away, but it will let your human nature peep through.

Okay. We got more than 2 in the quiz. I finished the bog on the 2nd jigsaw. DH watered the garden. (In April? Ed) Great gossip with elderly neighbour (see Hadley above). Excellent progress with Book Group book and chat from one of the family’s households. Watched the christening scene from the Mariinsky’s Sleeping Beauty, free for a limited time on U-tube.

Daughters of the Lake by fellow Capital Writer, Jane Riddell, is Free to download till

April 29th Get your copy here

Three’s A Crowd, Kate Blackadder’s first anthology of previously published magazine stories is also free to download from today for five days. get your copy here


Lockdown – 2020 – 19 – Bursting Bubbles

On the Boil

In fact, the bubble isn’t bursting, but there is a sense of things coming to a boil.

I enjoyed a short chat with one of our medical neighbours yesterday as she sat outside with one of her children. Before long, I found myself saying, “Of course I’m living in a bubble’. It’s an apology of sorts for the fact she, with children, is going into the front line and I am staying at home writing a blog about staying at home.

Doing what appears to be nothing is frustrating. Even when one understands why it’s being asked, it’s frustrating. However, deep breaths, we must carry on staying at home and thereby contribute to the best end result the country can achieve.

A Quality Product

Great call with some of the family yesterday. DH won at bridge, including a small slam achieved by his partner. Wrote!

Took note of things to tell you about:

On Facebook, pointed out by Kate Blackadder, What’s Onstage are streaming the live UK premiere of the musical Pride and Prejudice. Find that here 

Music by Paul Gordon

The Royal Scottish Academy, RSA, is having a virtual annual exhibition. That’s here

News of that came from a friend in France!

Capital Writer Jennifer, writing as Jo Allen, had a cover reveal for her third title from Aria books, Death on Coffin Lane. Pre-order here

This book is the third outing for Jo’s DCI Jude Satterthwaite.

There was a short and uplifting service from Mayfield Salisbury yesterday to mark Good Friday. Find that here

Short sermon by Revd Helen Alexander. Readings by Walter Thomson.

Stay Home


Lockdown – 2020 – 6 – Teacakes etc

China plate Teacake design

I should have mentioned yesterday that Tunnock’s have suspended production of their teacakes meantime. This wasn’t in order to let me get to the shops first as I didn’t shop at all yesterday. Selfless or what?

Walked for just over an hour yesterday and met only two neighbours while out. Brief chat with next door on return and smiled to one of the children.

Spoke on the phone to a rel who lives alone. Husband spoke to London friend, ditto.

Hail in the late afternoon. Slept badly.

Good progress on WIP, at last.

If you would like, Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church have posted up a virtual morning service including music, children’s address and sermon, on their website.

Boiler self regulated, PC hasn’t so it’s still showing yesterday’s time and not BST.