Turf Blog 07-03-21

Having had my eye on the Ghost Minute medal since I first heard about it, just before bed last night I decided to make a determined effort to add it to the medal collection. The first problem was getting up out of bed just before midnight – you need to take this medal during the very first minute after midnight – and it must take place in a designated holy zone, hence the name. Normally, I’m able to set my internal body clock to wake me reasonably near the desired time, however, previous opportunities had me waking just a tad later than I would have liked, with too little time for the task in hand.

So, yesterday evening I told myself to wake between 11:45 pm and 11:30 pm, giving me a minimum of 30 minutes to get dressed, grab the bike from the shed and make my way up to the nearest holy zone, Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church, otherwise known as KirkCockpen, on the outskirts of Bonnyrigg. My wake up call was on time and I seemed to burst from sleep to wakefulness at exactly 11:20 pm, plenty of time for the night’s medal mission.

Getting dressed with plenty of warm clothing – it was chilly outside and the church is sited on an exposed location where I’d be hanging about for a while – only took a few minutes, then out to the shed to grab Ogre for the short cycle ride. However, with time to spare, I instead grabbed the Swifty Air kick scooter for a change, locked up and scooted through the estate to KickCockpen. The time was now 11:45 pm. Plenty of time.

11:46 pm – scooted about for something to do and also to keep warm.
11:50 pm – something falls from the tree making me jump. Source unknown.
11:54 pm – move closer to zone but dare not enter. Waiting. Waiting.
11:55 pm – screen on phone locks. Panic! Unlock it. Panic over.
11:57 pm – police car rushed past on blues and twos. Does not stop. Phew!
11:59 pm – start staring intently at phone screen. Eyes water in the wind.
00:00 am – rush forwards and into the zone. Countdown starts. Much relief.
oo:01 am – mission accomplished, Ghost Minute gained. Joyous cheering!

The next 10 minutes or so were spent trying to take a few photographs for the blog. I’m not a fan of flash photography but needs must, then an easy scoot back home and into bed. Better get some beauty sleep for the start of round #129 and the Scotland – Skåne Turf Challenge.

“Fast forward to sometime later.”

With the current round finishing at 11:00 am this morning, new round #129 about to start and the likely frantic madness that is the Scotland – Skåne Turf Challenge also kicking off, this is as good a time as any for a quick review of the last round.

Points for the round were better than last time, up to 192,700 from 122,800, bringing my overall score up to around 359,800 with my rank now sitting at Rank 31 – Novice Zoner. Placing in the round, for Scotland only, is 22nd out of 798 players, so an improvement on last rounds 69th place, and pretty good if I do say so myself. For interest, in the UK, I’m 42 out of 960, and 175 out of 8008 in the World.

The medal collection is also looking good:

  • 250 Unique – grabbing at least 250 different zones.
  • Orderly III – a bridge zone, holy zone and monument zone in 20 minutes.
  • Eager Beaver – taking at least 10 zones within 20 minutes.
  • Take-1000 –performing 1000 takeovers in total.
  • Diverse –taking 250 round unique zones during the same round.
  • Crowdy-1 –assisting with a zone takeover.
  • Assist-5 –assisted another turfer five times with a zone takeover.
  • Greed-150 –controlling at least 150 zones at the same time.
  • Revisitor –revisiting at least fifty zones within 5 days.
  • Ghost Minute – taking a holy zone between 00:00 and 00:01.

Which still leaves a few interesting medal challenges for the next round, although it will be interesting to see how the Scotland – Skåne Turf Challenge changes the way of things. Medals on the to-do list are Darkest Ninja (30 zones between 2.00 and 3.00 am), Eager Weasel (10 zones in 15 minutes) and Eager Ferret (10 zones in 10 minutes). All progress, or lack there off, will be reported here. No doubt there will be a few other medals as well.

Although I’ve signed up for the above team challenge, I’m still of two minds about it. To be honest, it’s not the type of thing I’m comfortable with, never been much of a competitive team player, much more of a loner and doing my own thing. However, I’m going to give it my best shot and see what happens. I do hope that team members, and the organisers, don’t take it all too seriously. The key point here, first and foremost, and also noted more than once in the challenge blurb, is to have fun. We are not running for selection into the Special Air Service, we are not all Olympic athletes and we are not fighting alien invaders for our very existence. Fun, fun, fun, please.

Everyone on the team has lives to live beyond Turf, may also need to earn an honest living – not everyone is on furlough with the time to Turf – there are cats to feed, dogs to walk and all the other tasks we face each and every day. I do hope we all respect each other’s abilities and availability to go turfing. I’ve seen it happen before where some team members are, let’s say just bit too enthusiastic, and try to force their own commitment levels onto others. It often spoils things and the fun part vanishes, members get pissed off and we end up where someone doesn’t appear to be doing enough and bad vibes creep in. Please, please, please, remember, it all about enjoying the event and having fun!

Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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