Skåne Kalendar 2022

Turf zone – ChesterGarden

You might think that one turf advent calendar is enough but no, there’s another one starting today, the 1st December. Turf Skåne have also produced one and have kindly opened it to all turfers who wish to take part. The format is much the same as the Örebro Kalender Turf 2022, each daily assignment is posted online, though this time in the Swedish language with the required translation adding to the fun. Instructions, etc., are listed on their web site.

Saturday 24th December – Final Day

Task: Give away assists to three different Turfare. That is, you take take(s) and three different turf players get assists with you. Merry Christmas is hereby wished by Turf Skåne!

Friday 23rd December – Day 23

Task: take a zone where you see a lit Christmas tree.

Thursday 22nd December – Day 22

Task: take a zone less than 50m from the sea or lake.

At first, I thought this is a tricky one, thinking my nearest option was Penicuik for a pond/lake or the sea at Musselburgh. Then I started thinking we do not have many lakes here in Scotland, we have lochs, and the nearest lake I can think of is Pressmennan Lake in East Lothian (actually an artificial reservoir) then there’s Lake of Monteith near Stirling. A search online also revealed a few others dotted about on various country estates. However, my darling sweet wife Cathryn/ChoccyMuffin reminded me of the two SUDS (Sustainable Drainage System) ponds at Hopefield, here in Bonnyrigg, and both within 50m of a zone. Yet this raised the question what is the difference between a lake/loch and a pond? Seems it’s all to do with depths and surface area but who cares, I took the zones by both the SUDS ponds for good measure, GroovyFarm and AuldChester. The latter actually encompasses part of the pond and the other is 43.95m from the pond. Yes, I measured. Cannot help it. I used to be a Quantity Surveyor. Task completed.

Wednesday 21st December – Day 21

Task: shortest day of the year. Take 5 zones in less than 20 minutes.

Done. Out on the Surly Ogre after the builders had left. Great to be able to cycle without having the worry about ice and hitting the deck.

Tuesday 20th December – Day 20

Task: take 3 revisits.

Oh good, an easy one, take three revisits. Just what I needed today as most of today has been challenging to say the least. As you may know I’m insulating the ceiling in the basement of my mother’s house down in Selkirk. You would think that fitting sheets of 100 mm thick rigid insulation boards between basement floor joists would be a simple task. You would be wrong! It is a nightmare. First you have to deal with the resident basement entities. The ghoul is no trouble as she’s shy and keeps out of sight. The bogeyman who lives behind the door is easy to manage. You just throw a blanket over his head and his belief in his own existence is impaired and he disappears, at least for a while. Cruel, I know.

That done, you can start cutting the sheets of insulation. Why, oh why, is it seemingly impossible to cut the board square. I can cut in a more or less straight line but cutting square in beyond me. I don’t understand, the saw is straight, my arm moves straight back and forewords yet still it’s not square. I guess that’s why joiners use saw benches. Then there’s the floor joists and not one of them isn’t twisted or off square. In addition, not one pair of joists were parallel. Then there’s cutting and fitting around all the plumbing pipes, the heating pipes, the extract ducts and the electricity cables.

By late afternoon, I’m a tad weary and start seeing things. I see rat scurrying by wearing a tiny rucksack. Another stopped a waved at me. I must have imagined the other rat pushing a tiny hand cart full of possessions. I certainly hope I’m just seeing things. Mind you, my dad did mention the house was built on the site of an ancient Bronze Age stone circle and the magical potential was still quite high, even after all these years. Probably explains the old women mum saw at the end of her bed one night. And might also lend some credibility to my sisters claim that the mess in her bedroom was caused by a poltergeist. I’m not convinced though, I know my sisters far too well. Anyway, just wanted to share that, as there’s not much I can say about completing three revisits. Decided to do three revisits. Completed three revisits. The end.

Monday 19th December – Day 19

Task: save the princess, visit a zone with the Castle attribute.

Oh an easy one, I thought. Just find a zone with a castle attribute. Should be easy enough here in Bonnie Scotland, more castles here than you can count. I think Mel Gibson, sorry, William Wallace, probably invented them. I know, I’ll jump on the No 31 bus and do Edinburgh Castle, job done. But guess what? The most famous castle in the entire Multiverse, well, other than Castle Grayscull in Masters of the Universe and of course, Winterfell, Harrenhal and The Red Keep in Game of Thrones, isn’t actually a castle at all, it’s a world heritage site. Well, slap me with a cold kipper, that was a surprise.

So, where next. There’s Stirling Castle but that’s too far to walk in a day and parking’s an absolute pain. Then there’s Craigmillar Castle, closer to home but it’s in, er, Craigmillar. There are a few other possibilities but to be honest I’m struggling with the current heatwave. It’s 13 degrees above today. Totally scorchio! It was 7 degrees below the other day. It’s just too much. I’m off back to bed. Someone else can save the princess. By the way, what princess would that be? If it was Kate, Princess of Wales, I might be tempted. But not the other one, what’s her name, Duchess-(but wants-to-be-a princess)-of-Sussex. Back soon.

Sunday 18th December – Day 18

Task: football often ends 0-0, 1-0 or 0-1. Take two different zones that look like two zeros or a zero and a one.

Saturday 17th December – Day 17

Task: take a zone where you see a library.

A non-turfing day today, unfortunately, mostly spent down in Selkirk doing some DIY for my mother. Main task was insulating the kitchen floor/basement ceiling with solid insulation. Of course, this required relocating all the lighting fittings, power points and all associated cabling. Which in turn disturbs 150-years of accumulated dust, soot and other suspicious materials. Then there’s all the resident mice, rats, goblins, ghouls, bogeymen and giant red-backed spiders that live in the dark, spooky and haunted basement, all of whom are rather annoyed at being evicted. And add to that, hand-sawing polystyrene insulation leaves me looking like Frosty the Snowman, covered head-to-foot in white polystyrene beads and dust. It even manages to get through three layers of clothing! And finally, all that sawing, drilling, measuring, marking, man-handling, drilling, screwing, hammering and not forgetting actually thinking it all out, leaves me totally knackered. However, turfing tomorrow, with luck!

Friday 16th December – Day 16

Task: take a zone near a grocery store.

Again, completed this task at the same time as tackling the Örebro Kalender.

Thursday 15th December – Day 15

Task: take a zone near a mailbox or post office.

Again, completed this task at the same time as tackling the Örebro Kalender. This time zone Brixwold. There’s a mail box 80 meters away, just out of sight. And I saw a postie delivering across the road.

Wednesday 14th December – Day 14

Task: visit a zone with the Railway Station attribute.

Completed this task at the same time as tackling the Örebro Kalender.

Tuesday 13th December – Day 13

Take a zone with the Holy attribute between the hours of 05:00 and 06:00 in the morning.

Well, not even seeing this until after the required time slot means this one will be for another day. Soon, if I can remember, and, rouse myself from a warm snug bed and brave the freezing temperatures outside.

Monday 12th December – Day 12

Task: take 6 zones must have a common theme in the zone name.

Well, it took bit of work and a few dead ends but I finally managed to find six zones with names on a common theme. However, I’m not going to tell you what the theme is, you will have to watch Turf Video 12-12-22 to find out. Zones are PeacocksBeard, KirkCockpen, LadyMarion, RobinAndTuck, PisaForest and AuldCoal. Back again soon.

Sunday 11th December – Day 11

Task: take a zone at a height with a view.

I had both my Covid-19 vaccine booster and my annual flu vaccine jabs yesterday and I feel totally crap as crap can be today, so no turfing for this poor old soul. I can feel all those nasty vaccine nanobots coursing through my body, all doing their best to give me a thumping headache, aching muscles and hot and cold flushes, all at the same time. In fact, I think the Covid-19 vaccine nanobots and the flu vaccine nanobots are actually fighting each other. I wonder who is winning?

It’s really a bummer being unwell when you are retired. Back in the day, I used to love sending a message to say I won’t be into work today. (Actually, they wanted a phone call but bugger that!) Now, as I’m retired, I’ll need to text message myself to say I will not be retired tomorrow and will have to stay in bed all day. Back again soon.

Saturday 10th December – Day 10

Task: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Take a zone with the Monument attribute and four different zones whose last letter in the zone name forms the word BOOM.

Aye, one that I’ll likely have to miss today, unless I go car-turfing, mostly due to the lack of local zones ending with either the letter O or the letter B. Here in Midlothian, we are okay for M’s and have two O’s, HolyMungo and ShielBurnTwo but no letter B’s. Next door in East Lothian, things are not much better. Again, plenty of M’s and a couple of O’s, LadyLoretto and SubWreckTwo, but still no B’s.

Turfers in Edinburgh, of course, the jammy dodgers that they are, have the advantage with 14 zones ending with the letter O, 8 zones ending with the letter M and no less than 5 ending with the letter B. But you have to find them yourself. Okay, all right then, here they are:

BackToBalerno, Balerno, BurdieNamNam, BurntHam, Cammo, CheeryO, CurrieHoo, EnterRatho, GoSeeBalerno, HiHoHiHoHiHo, JCMB, LadderOfJacob, MeadowBroom, MeadowStadium, MiddleOfTheEB, NextBalerno, PatiesBroom, PlaySam, RaceATram, RavelstonBlob, ShinyBathroom, SocietyBingo, StensCrib, SwedishPotato, TheZoo, VisitCammo and WhereIGo.

Friday 9th December – Day 9

Task: take zones that together contain the letters R, S, T, U, V, X, Y, Z.

Did my usual planning this morning and drew up the most suitable list of zone names and while most were found locally to home, two would require travel further afield, namely VickysGardens in Newtongrange and ZoneMayBurn in Loanhead. Okay, not that far away but freezing condition means I’m not happy cycling in icy surfaces, even with the fat bike. Off-road fine, on-road, that’s no-no. So, I’ll be giving this one a miss today.

Note added 10-12-22.
Thanks to turfer Wintergreen who kindly pointed out my error, it would appear that I did complete the above task. Having not read the question correctly, missing the point that the zones only need to contain the letters, whereas I thought they should begin with them. I actually completed this task while doing the Örebro assignment. I must read the question correctly in future..

Thursday 8th December – Day 8

Task: take a zone with one of the words north, south, east or west in the zone name (any language).

This entry includes both the Örebro and Skåne Calendar tasks.

Both the Skåne and the Örebro advent calendars are fairly easy today, even the harder option from Örebro. But to start off, I decided on Skåne first, selecting a nearby zone with the word south in the zone name, zone SouthEskAside, located by the River South Esk near Dalhousie Castle. Actually, I was very tempted to go for all four cardinal points, a zone with the word north can be found in Newbattle woods and both east and west can be seen in Mayfield, in the same zone name no less, WestIsEast. However, that’s would mean having to go to Mayfield, and the zone is right up there near the top of the hill.

Really wanted a more relaxed session today, so zone SouthEskAside was ideal. Watched a male Goosander hunting for fish in the river. They usually fly away as soon as a human appears but this one hung around seemingly unconcerned. Might be one from Musselburgh. They are all more chilled out with humans, being used to seeing them all the time.

Now for the Örebro event task, take 3 “Calendar turf minute” zones, for example 07:59.25, 11:59.55, 22:59.33.

On the way to zone SouthEskAside, I noticed it was five minutes to 11.00. am, and I was not all that far from zone DeanWoodTurn. Could I make it in time to complete a Calendar turf minute? Not walking, that’s was for sure. Running, perhaps? So, ran I did, not so easy wearing walking boots and carrying a rucksack. I was close but not close enough. Entered the zone at precisely 11.00 am, just out of time. Oh, well, plenty of time left for more tries elsewhere later.

“sometime later that afternoon”

So here I am, loitering suspiciously near zone Pittendreich while I wait for the exact moment to step into the invisible red box. Dog walkers and other passers-by looking at me wondering what I’m up to. Thankfully, I can pretend I’m on the phone. But eventually it’s 14:58 and I can take the zone.

Then same again later on after dinner. This time zone WayOfBaird and I’m much more exposed here as I again let the minutes and seconds shave time from my existence until 15:59 when I can take the zone. As usual I’ve arrived far too early with too much time to spare. I say hello to a woman passing. She ignores me and speeds up her pace. If I’m here much longer someone will call the authorities.

Yet later again, this time zone Brixwold, down by the Pittendreich Burn. It’s much colder now, the last of the snow that didn’t melt is now crispy frozen, crunching under foot as I walk to and fro, passing the time until zero minute. And yes, far too early again. After what seems an eternity it’s 18:59 and seconds later, the zone is mine. Mission accomplished for another day.

Wednesday 7th December – Day 7

Task: take zones that together contain the letters I J K L M N O P.

Another day stuck at home while the plasterer skim coats the internal walls in the new porch. I’d hoped he would not take all day and I could get out on the bike turfing but it was 4.30 pm before he left, so another turfing day lost. Thankfully I’m not going for anything requiring lots of points. But, after dinner, it was time to go. The weather forecast was for sub-zero temperatures so I wanted to get cracking before the ice and frost started to take hold on the paths and cycleways.

I’ve been in the habit of tackling both the Örebro and Skåne Calendar tasks at the same time and I’ve been finding it difficult to write two separate blogs, so from now on I’m combining the two into a single blog entry and will post the same page on both calendar pages.

My challenges for this evening are:

  • Skåne: take zones that together contain the letters I J K L M N O P.
  • Örebro: take 8 zones where the zone name consists of eight letters.

I started again using to list all the zones locally and extracted the most suitable zones. Next, I took a screen shot and marked each zone in blue, copied the image to the mobile phone and would use that as my route guide. The zones for the Skåne task were easy enough and I just managed enough local zones with eight letters for the Örebro task.

With the weather forecast so cold, I made sure I would be warm and toasty this time. Last time I didn’t have enough layers on and was chilled at times, particularly on the long downhill runs when you are not pedalling enough to stay warm. So, this time it was t-technical shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, fleece jersey and cycling jacket. On the legs, two pairs of cycling leggings. I find if you keep the core body warm the extremities such as hands and feet also stay warmer, well, at least a little bit longer.

My plan worked out just fine and it was only in the low-lying areas that I encountered frozen ground, for example, down in Ironmills Park for zone WeirHere, and along the River South Esk at Newbattle. At times the path was dry and the tyres almost silent. At other times, alternating between splashy and sploshy where wet, and crispy and crunchy where frozen. Just needed that little bit more care to avoid mishap.

Actually, I did have one moment. Not due to ice but bad planning. On my makeshift zone map I’ve tagged the wrong zone and had to backtrack to take the correct zone. The zone was Langside at the top side of Dalkeith and, of course, where did I notice this? At the bottom side of Dalkeith and had to cycle all the way back uphill. Bugger!

By 8.30 pm, I was back home, both missions accomplished. And most of me still warm and toast other than my toes which were fair nipping a bit. Not sure what to do about that? Back tomorrow when we have snow forecast!

Tuesday 6th December – Day 6

Task: take 5 zones where the first letter of the zone names forms the word SUOMI.

Suomi, the name for Finland in the Finnish language, and also the name for the language spoken in Finland. It could also be a machine gun, a community in Minnesota, a weather satellite and even, a Mars-crossing asteroid called 1656 Suomi. However, today it’s the task for Tuesday 6th December and one that’s more challenging that it might first appear.

The problem I have, at least here in Midlothian, Scotland, is that it includes two of the least used letters found in zone names, letters U and I, and as such, zones beginning with those letters are generally rare. I started by using to list all the zones in Midlothian, extracted all the nearest zones beginning with S, U, O, M or I, and then chose the most suitable zones.

Locally in Midlothian, for the letter I there’s only one zone, IKnowBroom, though easy enough to reach in Bonnyrigg. For the letter O, I have a choice of two. The first is Oldbattle, a zone in Kick Bank Wood, Newbattle, and one I took yesterday evening so will have to wait until this evening for a revisit. The other is OldDalkeith, at Sheriffhall, out by the A720 City of Edinburgh Bypass, and not the most pleasant of locations to reach but the one I’ve selected to take. For the others, there were many options but a cluster of three, MillHolm, SouthEskAside and UpperDalPath, dotted around Dalhousie Castle seemed a sensible choice and a good excuse to take the Surly Pugsley fat bike for an outing. Nice one!

So, in the morning, out on the Pugsley the fat bike around Dalhousie. Most probably not the best idea this weather. Paths are muddy with leaves, sticky mud sticks to tyres, leaves stick to sticky mud, wheels stop turning. Then there’s the zones along the field margins. Fields have been ploughed and very, very, very, very muddy, that clay-rich claggy stuff you get. Had to dunk Pugsley in river to get him running properly. Oh, what fun! Suffice to say turfing on a bicycle at the moment around Dalhousie is not for the faint hearted. However, Zones SouthEskAside, UpperDalPath and MillHolm in the bag. Then, out again lunch on the Surly Ogre and picked off the other two OldDalkeith and IKnowBroom. Job done.

Monday 5th December – Day 5

Task: take zones that together contain the letters A B C D E F G H.

Completed this task at the same time as tackling the Örebro Kalender. In fact, the first eight zones I took included all the required letters – A7View, Hardengreen,
WitchTakeoff, WishartPlace, EskPath, WhichKing, HolyDalkeith and HolyBuccleuch.

Sunday 4th December – Day 4

Task: take 3 neutral zones.

See Örebro Kalender it’s exactly the same as the assignment in the Skåne Kalendar,

Saturday 3rd December – Day 3

Task: take 3 zones with different attributes.

Managed to complete this task as the same time as the assignment for the Örebro Kalender Turf 2022. Zone Eskbank has the station attribute, zone RomanBrig has the bridge attribute and zone RennieHollies has the monument attribute. Task completed.

Friday 2nd December – Day 2

Task: take 3 zones that do NOT have the word ZONE in the name.

Not a lot to say on this one. Took a few zones and three didn’t have zone in the name so task completed. Oh, and I also wanted to test my latest purchase, a Hope District+ Rear Light for the Surly Ogre. More on that soon.

Thursday 1st December – Day 1

Task: take 7 different zones that each contain the letters J U L M U S T in the zone names.

The scene, a small shop in a quiet seedy little backstreet of Edinburgh.

  • Shop keeper: Good morning, sir, how may I help you?
  • Customer: Got an J’s?
  • Shop keeper: Sorry sir, we don’t have any jays but we do have J-cloths and Jeyes fluid. You could try the zoo for jays.
  • Customer: Letter J’s
  • Shopkeeper: Sorry we’re out of J’s. Try JamesTheLean in Dalkeith.
  • Customer: You got any U’s?
  • Shop keeper: HolyBuccleuch, you having a laugh, mate? If you want ewe’s you’ll need to try the farm shop down the road.
  • Customer: How about L’s?
  • Shop keeper: What Elle McPherson? Elle Goulding? Elle Fanning? Wish I had, mate. Wish I had.
  • Customer: No, letter L’s. Like after K’s.
  • Shop keeper: Don’t be smart, mate. I went to the CollegeZone. I know my alphabet.
  • Customer: Aye. M’s?
  • Shop keeper: Letter M’s? M&Ms?
  • Customer: Aye.
  • Shop keeper: Which will it be?
  • Customer: Both. I’m hungry. Going down the MinersZone tonight.
  • Shop keeper: I don’t believe this. Anything else?
  • Customer: More U’s. A different one this time.
  • Shop keeper: Bloody Nora! Try my other shop in LauderRoad. Next?
  • Customer: S’s
  • Shop keeper: Essays! What subject? We’ve got The Naked Turfer by Planet Gary, Extreme Endurance Turfing by Fearglas, Turfing and Birding by Hodge, It’s Your Fault by HappyHibby and Bicycle Repairman Goes Turfing by MuttsCycles.
  • Customer: No, S’s. Just the one.
  • Shop keeper: We’re out. Try Eskbank Station. Anything else?
  • Customer: Aye. T’s
  • Shop keeper: What, golf tees, t-shirts, high teas, afternoon teas, G&T’s?
  • Customer: Aye, T’s as in strawberries.
  • Shop keeper: That’s it. Enough. Have a Strawberry.
  • Customer: You want an M&M?

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