Turf Blog 05-04-21

The first thing I do in the morning is load the Turf App on the mobile phone and see what losses I’ve experienced overnight. This past month I’ve had to mentally prepare myself beforehand, less the shock of seeing 0+ and 0z be too much for me. Imagine my delight this cold and sunny Monday morning to see that all the zones I’d taken yesterday evening were all still mine. Good job I was sitting down or would have spilled my tea or dropped my peanut butter toast and it would no doubt have landed sticky side down on the carpet! No turfers had been out zone hunting locally overnight and I still had the 47 zones from yesterday.

And furthermore, Fairy has been at work followed the end of the last round and many of the local zone points have changed, fewer overall points but higher points per hour. I noticed this last evening while taking zones in Bonnyrigg, Eskbank and Dalkeith, the pph total was soon into double figures and overnight gave me a 2000 points boost to my round total. It’s still strange, but kind of nice, not to see others turfers taking my local zones. Don’t think it will last long mind you.

Decided to leave turfing during the day yesterday and spent the time with Cathryn, my darling wife. We walked around the grounds of Dalhousie Castle, and the fields to the west, found a sheltered spot out of the cold wind and settled down for a picnic lunch. We did take one zone, at Eskbank railway station, for my Trainer medal tally but that was the only intentional take. We did take another three without trying – must have been walking slow enough to take the zones in the passing.

It was only after dinner that I ventured out on the Surly Ogre for some zone hunting, starting on my local patch Bonnyrigg, making sure I got the zones with 50 bonus points, even some of the more out-of-the-way zones, such as EskWeir, down in Ironmills Park, Dalkieth. I’ll need to suggest a few more down here to entice turfers into the area. A few additions would also help enhance the zone corridor towards Edinburgh. It just feels wrong to have areas on the map without zones for the taking. I’ve left a few for a lunch-time foray today. I only get 45 minutes for lunch, so need a few easy zones close at hand.

Around 8:30 pm saw me on the other side of Dalkieth, eyeing the temptation of the zones in the Woodburn area, and also to the north east in the new housing estates. However, it was starting to rain, some light showers, some heavy showers. Turfers will know that quandary you face. How long should you wait before stopping to don waterproofs or how wet will I allow myself to get before making a decision? Often by the time you have your waterproofs on, the rain stops, the sun comes out to play again and you’re cooking hot in no time.

I was at Edinburgh Campus, taking CollegeZone, when a heavy shower hit me, the strong wind driving the rain horizontally. Luckily, there’s a nice sheltered spot at the entrance doors where you can change. Just note there’s CCTV cameras if you are perhaps changing from longs to shorts, or whatever. And of course, just as I emerged from the shelter of the building, the rain stopped. Ho-hum, onwards anyway. It did rain again on the way home, so not a wasted effort. Was nice to be a bit warmer as well.

Shelter is a topic I want to mention, it’s something I always keep my eye open for while out turfing. It’s can be very useful to know where the nearest shelter can be found, no matter where you are at the time. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been caught out in bad weather, hail showers from thunderstorms are the ideal example, and needed to find shelter fast. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, just mentally note any suitable sheltered spots as you ride, underpasses, alleyways, bridges, house porches and the like. Useful for future reference and can also be used for shade in really hot summer weather, should we actually get any. You can do the same for places to spend-a-penny and for lunch stops.

During my evening turfing session, I was always expecting another turfer to suddenly appear on the app but no-one appeared and I had the place to myself all evening. It was very relaxing and peaceful, even the local dog walkers were few and far between. Most enjoyable. Nice to see all the messages of congratulations, thanks and praise popping up on the WhatsApp groups. I do hope we keep this going as a means of communication with each other, perhaps renaming the Turf- Scotland V Skåne group to Turf Scotland or something along those lines? Bye for now.

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