Over the past few weeks my zone count has been holding steady around the 200 mark, even creeping above 250 at times. And this always leads me to thinking about that elusive and challenging Greed-350 medal. But the main issue I see with this type of medal is not actually finding the time, and putting in the effort, to take the zones, it’s keeping hold of them long enough. Many of you will know what I mean. You reach a point when that next Greed medal is within reach and then some pesky turfer comes along and takes 50 or more of your hard-won zones. Been there, experienced that, and I must admin I’ve inadvertently done that myself to others. Sorry, Hodge, and anyone else I don’t know about.
However, at 6.30 pm this evening my zone count was sitting at 246, just 104 zones short of that Greed-350. And this was during TURF 2022 which makes it all the more surprising. Normally I’d expect turfers to be out and about. I would bet they were all watching Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC. This was really too good an opportunity to miss. It’s not often I find myself in such a good position and it would be a shame to let it pass. And tomorrow at 11.00 am the Round resets back to zero and all would be lost. I had to give it a try. Might never get another chance. And I surmised that the late evening and into the night would be the best time for minimal competition from other turfers.
So, what was the plan? As I already held most of the local zones, all bar a few dotted here and there and not worth the effort, I needed to head further afield. First I would head for Roslin and take all the zones there. Next along the cycle path and across into Roslyn for the same. Then, along the cycle path to Loanhead and all the zones there. After that, back to the cycle path and head for Shawfair. However, after passing under the A720 Edinburgh city bypass, I already held most of the zones between there and Musselburgh. This left a choice, head into Edinburgh, which is nearest, or zip on down into Musselburgh, a straight easy ride. There was more than enough zones in Musselburgh and Wallyford for my needs. I also wanted to leave some zones as spares, just in case another turfer starts taking some of my zones and I need more locally to reach my goal.
At this point I would be around the 300 zone level and only require another 50. I could also head straight home and start early tomorrow morning. However, the thought of having put in all this effort only to awake next day to see my count down by 50 zones would be horrendous. I really had to keep on going, no matter what the cost in time or energy would be. In the end I opted for continuing straight to Musselburgh rather than Edinburgh, mainly because I knew the zones in Musselburgh quite well. The Edinburgh zones I’d only done once, with only a few twice, and the area would be more difficult and take more time.
I must say it’s really pleasing to see your count increasing, slowly but surely working its way towards that magical 350. Oh, I must point out the weather before we go any further. The forecast was for less than 5% rain, which seemed ideal. However, that does not mean it won’t rain and my golly it did rain, absolutely chucking it done as I turfed through Roslin. Luckily, I had my waterproofs but decided to seek shelter in the stone porch at Whitehill House. Must have waited about 20 minutes before the wind-driven horizontal rain stopped and I could continue. No point getting soaked, even with waterproofs. As I sat on the cold steps of the porch, I was imagining what the scene might have been on yea olde days, coach-drawn horses pulling up, servants tending to the posh folk and you certainly would not have been able to come here turfing, the gamekeepers would see to that.
At zone RoslinCopse, which I always read as RoslinCorpse, for some unknown reason, I had to restrain myself from having another go at the Eager Ferret. I was very, very tempted, having watched kjtindall doing a 6:00 earlier on. No chance of anywhere near that time though, he had the Region Lord crown (gives 45 second time bonus) at the time. Tonight was a night for endurance and steady pace rather than flat out pedals to the tarmac turfing.
Down in Musselburgh, I worked my way from west to east, heading towards Wallyford. By the time I’d reached Wallyford railway station I only need 5 zones to finish. And with plenty to choose from in Musselburgh, I finally completed the Greed-350 at zone LadyLoretto at Our Lady of Loretto and St Michael Catholic Church. The time was around 11.30 pm. Thank goodness for that. You cannot beat that feeling when you see the Greed-350 award popping up on the screen. Fair makes your day, or rather in this instance, the middle of the night.
And I am so very glad that there isn’t a Greed-400 medal. But having said that I would have had the energy and the time, but my aching back was screaming at me, enough was enough. One highlight of the evening was a fox in Musselburgh, in the archway at zone WyndyGap, just off Musselburgh High Street. It only moved when I almost brushed its tail, which is actually called a brush, with Ogre’s front wheel. Totally chilled it was, that fox. One final word of thanks to any turfers who noticed my efforts and refrained from taking any zones from me while I was out this evening.
Now, what medal next is the question? Well, the usual takes continue, but with over 4000 required for the Take-20000, that will be some time. Same with the Uniques, over 800 required for the 2500 Unique. However, I still have two medals on the to-do list, the El Staminatore, which requires taking 200 zones within a 24-hour period, and the Diversiest, taking 1000 round unique zones during the same round. I think the El Staminatore will be next. More on that at the time. And there’s still the Eager Ferret to have another crack at. Current time (without benefit of Region Lord crown) is 7:56. Aiming for 6:45. Perhaps Mission Impossible?
And finally, TURF 2022. Yes, that’s it done for another year and we did very well, finishing in 4th place. We were 2nd on average points, 7th on average zones taken, 4th on average round unique taken and there were 11 teams in the competition. So well done all who took part. Until next time. And next up, with luck, Turf Kalender 2022. Back soon.
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