Scottish Government travel advice pandemic slogans on the A1
We are now several months into ‘lockdown easing’*. However, new restrictions are beginning to come into force and who knows what things will be like in another few months. It seems an appropriate time to write what I think will be – though these are uncertain times - my last Lockdown Blog.
Empty supermarket shelves before lockdown
Lockdown happened suddenly but even before March 23rd people had started to behave differently and ‘social distancing’ was already a new phrase. Panic buying in the weeks leading up to lockdown led to empty supermarket shelves.
Unusual empty streets in Edinburgh: The Royal Mile on March 23rd 2020
The only event in the 2020 Science Festival: an outdoor photography exhibition on Portobello promenade;
The festival staff practise social distancing
Whenever I went out on essential journeys or local walks, I took my camera with me to photograph changes to the environment. Shopfronts with closed notices; barriers at beach carparks; empty streets and train station carparks; closed playgrounds; mothballed Fred Olsen cruise ships in the Firth of Forth; seafront benches moved to discourage people from sitting in them; painted stones with messages of hope; police beach patrols; socially distanced queues at the supermarket or a bank. And lots and lots of Covid-related signs, rainbows in windows as well as pavement and cycle lane widening measures. All these became the ‘new normal’.
Socially distanced queues at the bank and supermarket
Empty streets in Haddington, normally a bustling market town
East Lothian's popular beach carparks closed to encourage people to stay at home
A chemist remains open with a warning notice but a bakery is closed
Lothian buses mothballed; out-of-service Fred Olsen cruise ships anchored in the Firth of Forth
An empty station carpark at Longniddry; benches moved from North Berwick harbour to discourage people sitting
Scottish Seabird Centre closed; Coronavirus countryside rules
A playground out-of-bounds for children; Glen Golf Club in North Berwick closed
Nobody around to enjoy North Berwick-in-Bloom's flowers; Aberlady nature reserve Covid-19 measures
Due to my husband undergoing medical treatment, we had frequent hospital appointments in Edinburgh during lockdown. So, I made the most of the time I had to wait (I was not allowed to accompany him) by taking Covid-19 photos around the hospital.
Coronavirus warning notice and testing centre at the Western General Hospital
New cycle lane created on route to the hospital
My route to the nearest town takes me over the A1 and it was fascinating to see how the Scottish Government’s travel advice pandemic slogans changed over the months. From ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ to “Stay Safe, Protect Others, Save Lives’ to ‘Plan Ahead, Stay Safe, Save Lives’ and finally ‘Local Travel Restrictions, Stay Safe’ as areas in the North of England went back into lockdown.
Rainbows, rainbows, rainbows
Aberlady Church with a Covid-19 funeral notice; hand painted stones with messages of hope and thanks line Port Seton promenade
As businesses and organisations began to open up again, it provided opportunities to document how new measures were put in place as well as the opening days at various sites.
Police patrols in North Berwick
Covid testing station in Cockenzie
I have photographed the re-opening of a bowling club, a golf course, historic castles, coastal walking routes, local shops and takeaways as well as the first pubs to open, a walled garden, a sports centre and a Farmer’s market. A neighbour’s children started their first day of High School and they were kind to let me take photos of them setting off for school. As people started to go out more and the new rules about wearing face masks came into force, there were new perspectives of people going about their everyday activities.
Takeaways reopen with Covid-safe measures: Alandas ice cream and Drift cafe in North Berwick
Haddington begins to open up again
North Berwick opens up: The popular Lobster Shack with a social distancing queuing system & increasing pedestrian space in the narrow High Street
Kilspindie Golf Course reopens: club captain, Dr Mitchell and Do Not Sit Here benches
Greenkeeper prepares for reopening of Haddington Bowling Club; mother and daughter meet for the first time since lockdown
Greggs and The Cheese Lady - the smallest shop in Haddington - reopen
The 'new normal' in Princes Street, Edinburgh
One way systems in place at Gullane beach and Yellowcraigs
I was pleased to witness kite surfers returning to the Firth of Forth for the first time on a beautiful but very windy sunny day, as well as the first outing of both East Lothian Yacht Club’s sailing dinghies and North Berwick coastal rowing club’s Covid-safe St Ayle’s skiff.
Kite surfers return to the Firth of Forth
First outings for East Lothian Yacht Club and North Berwick Coastal Rowing Club
Amisfield Walled garden reopens a few days a week with a booking system in place
The first day back at school; also the first day of High School for twins Louisa & Imogen
First day for visitors to Historic Scotland's castles: Tantallon Castle & Dirleton Castle.
Andrew Spratt aka Man at Arms welcomes the first visitors
Fringe by the Sea in photographs only this year; The Morrison family enjoy the first day at the Museum of Flight after lockdown
The first Farmer's Market in Haddington after lockdown
A protest about theatres remaining closed at the Lyceum in Edinburgh; James demonstrates 2m rule on first day pubs are open in Leith
It felt like I had taken more photos than I normally would; however my computer tells me that I have taken approximately 3,300 fewer. Covering events and Edinburgh festivals and travel around the world in normal times clearly makes a big difference to these statistics.
Enjoy Leisure staff clean between pool sessions on first day of North Berwick sports centre reopening;
that's known as a 'fogger' or 'mister' apparently
*There are many new phrases that govern our lives now that didn’t exist before the pandemic eg lockdown and lockdown easing, Covid-safe, social distancing, the Rule of Six.