Turf Blog 27-04-24

Turf Zone – MonktonEscape

What a turf-week this has been, namely down to the 2024 Week of Turf Madness, where Scotland was turf-challenged by Skåne and Västra Götland. The challenge runs for seven days from 21st to 28th April and follows the usual format for such events, i.e. points awarded in three categories of turf points, zone takes, round uniques. I actually started blogging about this daily but soon run out of things to say, found it becoming very repetitive and I was struggling to add anything else of value. However, by Day 6 Scotland had an unassailable lead which gave us the challenge with two days spare. The pressure was off, at least for the Scottish team.

I felt rather sad that it ended this way, something of an anti-climax, though top marks to all Scotland team members for their sterling efforts, early mornings and late nights turfing. Would have been interesting to see it go down to the wire with all the teams battling it out at the final hour, last few minutes, the final seconds ticking away. Hope the Skåne and Västra Götland teams don’t feel too aggrieved with our win that they don’t challenge us again. Early on there was a few grumpy comments about the delayed start, which turned out to have been 11:23 am rather than the stated 11.00 am, so some people lost a few takes, points, etc., but ho-hum, these things happen and we are all in the same boat, so to speak.

Turf Zone – Gilberstoun

Had a slight mishap on Day 2 crossing the road after taking zone Brixwold in Bonnyrigg. Yes, fell off my bike and landed on my arse. I was more surprised than hurt and investigations revealed a typical schoolboy error, namely taking a tight corner too quickly while the left-hand pedal was down. The result, I clipped a concrete kerb and Miss Gravity did her stuff. But fair not, I was able to continue with only minor damage by way of a skinned knee. Thankfully, the bike was unharmed. Sigh of relief. Bikes are expensive to repair and skinned knees repair themselves in time and cost nothing other than a Minions sticking plaster.

Day 4 saw some interesting wildlife in the Mayfield area of Dalkeith, a giant mutant rat crossing the road in front of me in broad daylight, dragging a dead cat behind it. I swear the thing was bigger than a Jack Russell terrier! Also spotted a bird approaching fast at low level, a sparrowhawk. It whizzed past me about a meter away, skimmed across a wall and vanished into some garden. This was at zone Between7And8 in Newtongrange. It didn’t even seem to flap it’s wings just glide silently along. Amazing.

A trip to the Mayfield area of Dalkeith for some Round uniques also gave me something else, other than tired legs from all that hill climbing on the single speed and avoiding giant rats, and that was another turfer unique name to add to the collection. The turfer was MTBNoob, and as you might surmise from the name, a new turfer to the area. In fact, this turfer has only taken one zone, EastOfEast, and taken it twice. Seems strange that this turfer has not taken any other zones in the area. But each to their own. In any case, this brings my TvT or Turfer Verses Turfer total to 301.

Turf Zone – Fisherrow

Now, coming up soon is something I’m very interesting in, a Turf Event Planning Workshop, run by the world famous turfer and organiser extraordinaire, Walter. Takes place on the 7th May, between 1900 hours and 2000 hours, at Walters hoose* in Edinburgh and you can also dial in online. Quite like the idea of running my own turf event locally in Bonnyrigg and have a few ideas on that matter. One thought is to include a treasure hunt at the same time and/or a quiz relating to the zone names. Not sure if these are permitted but will find out in due course. Also have a few ideas about interesting zone names and want to explore alternatives to the normal scatter of zones, perhaps clusters of zones connected with corridors of zones, something different from the norm.

Bonnyrigg is not well endowed with social spaces for the usual social gathering afterwards and personally I find these after event socials very difficult, hence why I don’t go to them. However, depending on numbers, might just have folk back to the comfort of the Planet Gary hoose afterwards, though it’s only a wee hoose and som may have to stand (or sit on the floor), for tea, coffee, cake and even Kit-Kats, as well as the usual blether. Just thoughts at the moment and nothing planned yet.

*Scots word for house, as seen in The Broons and Oor Wullie.

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