One of the most delightful things I’ve discovered about being retired is there’s no need to plan your days. It’s not like when you are working full time and free time is precious and not to be wasted, now I can please myself what I do, where a go and when I go. Retirement is very much to be recommended. On most days, I do not make firm plans and have gently fallen into the routine of getting up, having breakfast and waiting until coffee and Kit-Kat time at 9.00 am, only then do I finally decide my activities for the day.
Today, with most of my local Bonnyrigg zones thoughtfully cleared for me by Féarglas in readiness for an attempt at the Darkest Ninja medal – taking 30 zones between the hours of 2.00 am and 3.00 am – I decided a zone bagging kick-scoot around Eskbank and Dalkeith was in order. To date I’ve been usually taking the Ogre on these excursions but have been using the Swifty Air kick scooter these past few days and find it much more enjoyable than cycling. My upper body is feeling much more toned than before and I quite like that feeling. So, will be trying to keep that going.
The weather was cooler today than the previous past few days so leggings and a light top were required initially, or at least until I got warmed up, and kick scooting means that does not take long at all. Zone Hardengreen was first on the list and it was very odd to be passing zones with the GPS switched off – I needed these for the Darkest Ninja medal. Then a few of the other Eskbank zones including WitchTakeoff, WishartPlace, EskPath and WhichKing. It doesn’t take long to realise the differences between cycle turfing and turfing with a kick scooter.
Using the bicycle seems more frantic than the gentler pace of the kick scooter. With the latter you seem to automatically get into an easy rhythm, five to ten kicks then switch legs, coasting when you can. With the kick scooter you take a different line than the bicycle and that usually means the pavement. Not always smoother mind you, the road can often be a better option than some of the pavements I’ve encountered. But roads mean traffic, and I prefer to avoid being in traffic when kick scooting.
Dalkeith was very busy, both with road traffic and pedestrians and it was easier, safer and wiser to walk the scooter rather than scoot. Pedestrians are very unpredictable, you never know who is going to emerge from a hidden alleyway, when one will suddenly stop and change direction or just walk blindly into your path, usually when on the mobile phone. I often think walking while on the mobile phone should be an offence, £100 fine and all that. The Woodburn area was next, all very uneventful until I reached Dalkeith High School. Poor timing had me kick scooting during lunch-time and there were plenty of the usual idiot school children about.
One encounter had me smiling. One brainless individual in a gang of young lads started shouting about how he was going to steal my scooter from me – I won’t go into detail on his choice of words but suffice to say most of them were profanities. Of course, I ignored them. However, as I was turfing I had to stop to take a zone and I heard behind me words something like, “Bloody hell he’s stopped”. As I was going to return the way I came, I turned the scooter about. ” F***, he’s turned round”. And when I started scooting in their direction, the expression on the face of the idiot who was swearing at me earlier was priceless. He was just about to run away when I changed direction and left them to it.
My return was through the grounds of Newbattle Abbey, grabbing a few more zones on the way including the newly repositioned zone BattleForest, now closer to the footpath and easier to get a GPS fix. I only logged this as an issue the other day, so many thanks to the Turf crew for their quick response. Added another 25 zones back to the total, so a couple of hours well spent and good exercise to boot.
There was one final, rather annoying event of the day. While I was taking zone BattleForest, my poor Swifty Air ran over, it having been buried under a pile of leaves by some well-meaning dog owner with their brain switched off, and I kid you not, a totally enormous dog turd that would not look out of place at the rear end of a Tyrannosaurus rex. What initially drew it to my attention was the front wheel getting clogged with leaves and twigs, then the smell hit home. It was truly awful.
In fact, it was one of those smells that have a personality, a life of its own, that can continue to exist long after the original source has rotted away. The dog that left this little gift must have been feeding on Tyrannosaurus rex poo for it to smell so bad. I removed the worst of the offending foreign brown stuff with a stick, then continued on my way. Back home, it was out with the power-washer and a quick blast sent the remaining Tyrannosaurus rex poo to oblivion. So very annoying. Owners, clean up after your dinosaur/dog*, please.
*delete as appropriate!
Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.