I want to start this blog by sharing something with you. No, not the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, as we all know 42 is the answer to that. Nor the secret to immortality, or how to make perfect raspberry and honey scones, or what I really get up to when I’m out turfing alone at night, at least not today anyway, though another day, perhaps. No, want I want to share with you, as a most welcome and valued visitor to Planet Gary, is how difficult it can be to write a blog about turfing.
When you really break turfing down to its elemental particles, so to speak, all you are doing is taking zones. You travel from zone to zone, pause for a wee while, move to the next one, then repeat as many times as you feel like. After that you go home. For example, based on my turfing run this morning.
“I went turfing today in Gorebridge and took some zones. Then I went to Newtongrange, and took some more zones. After that I went home and had lunch.”
Kind of boring, yes? How about we expand a little.
“I went turfing in Gorebridge this morning and took the following zones, BlowLoun, LochArniston, ArnistonPark, Hunterfield, BurnedZone, Carlowrie, BarelyKnow, LadyBraesX, Stobhill, GoreCircle, Bonnybank, LouisBraille, TheBank, GoreBridgeSt, LadyEmily, ScoutsHonour, GorebridgeFun, GoreField and BridgeWatcher. Then I went to Newtongrange and took more zones including, WayOfAndrew, MineMuseum, WhatPark, Colliery, RectangularSq, Between7And8, AroundEighth, Suttieslea, LadyMansfield, BryansStop, WelfarePark, MinerMemorial, NewtonsBridge, VickysGarden, Newtongrange, WhyMurderDean, Squirrelly, MatthewJenks, Cockpen and Butlerfield. Then I went home and had smoked salmon and caviar sandwiches for lunch.”
A bit more informative but still kind of boring. But I hope you can see what I mean. You can add something by explaining a little about the zones themselves. Perhaps commenting about the broken glass littering the street, or perhaps you had issues with the poor GPS signal, or were attacked by the Hound of the Baskervilles, even if it was really an elderly micro-pooch called Wuffles. These little comments are what go towards making a blog about turfing interesting. Well, at least to my mind.
When writing a blog about turfing it’s really mostly about the journey, and the time and place, the geology and the history, and my perceptions and view of the world about me, rather than taking the zones themselves, though that does often come into the story. When I’m out turfing I’m constantly thinking about the blog I want to write when back at base camp, looking for the little tit-bits of information that fill out the rather mundane activity of cycling, walking or kick scooting, from one zone to another zone, pausing for 21.8 seconds at each (or whatever), and repeating again and again. Now on with the blog itself.
You will already have an idea of my turfing this morning from the above, and guess what? Nothing very much to write home about. I’m still working towards the Diversier medal, and added another 39 round unique zones, bring me up to 142 from just over 100 yesterdays. The weather was nice, dry and mild, though windy on the high ground above Gorebridge. Also did some exploring around Gorebridge this morning, checking out a few footpaths I’d not been along. This is all towards a future Turf Tour Gorebridge page. I’m reserving these write-ups for the cold dark winter nights when turfing isn’t so easy.
For example, across the road from zone GorebridgeFun, there’s a signposted right of way called The Nancy Teuch, that leads down to the sports field for zone GoreField and a few other zones nearby. The path name, apparently comes from the story of an old woman called Nancy who used to go down the path and scrape for coal on the spoil heaps around the colliery (teuch is a Scots word for searching for coal). The un-named path became The Nancy Teuch.
Zone ScoutsHonour at the football pitch was a tricky one this morning, as the gate was padlocked. However, if you tuck your GPS into the corner of the green corrugated fence, you might just get enough signal to take the zone. Lady Luck was with me this morning and I was able to take the zone but on other occasions, have had to leave without the zone. I deliberately left the zones down in Gore Glen and Prestonholm for another visit, probably a night-time excursion on the Swifty kick scooter, or with the Surly Krampug. Also left zone ArnistonBing alone, as I’m avoiding zones that involve any portage of the bicycle that will aggravate my back, at least for the time being.
Newtongrange was largely uneventful, though I did notice a couple of turfers appearing briefly on the Turf app, ELOG and greasedweasel, though both seemed to vanish as I cycled around Newtongrange. Perhaps they don’t want meet me for fear of being mentioned on the blog. I thought I’d mention them anyway.
The first turf blog I penned was way back on the 21st December 2020, and there’s been over 110 turf blogs since them. And to be honest, I’m finding it increasing challenging to come up with something different, or interesting, or that readers actually want to read, each time I create a blank page on the WordPress platform. This is also the reason why you don’t see a blog page posted online every day, even if I have been out turfing that day. Yes, I’ve no doubt I’ll always find something to write about, even if it is somewhat nonsensical, or more akin to a fairy story than a news article.
So, I’m going to ask for your feedback. Please take the time to bang a few words down on the site contact form and let me know what you find interesting, or not, if that be the case. Perhaps there’s something you would like to see added or even excluded. Everything is welcome.
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