Turf Blog 07-10-23

Turf Zone – BikeSloowly

Let me set the scene this fine morning. It’s been pissing down raining heavily since 6.00 pm yesterday, that ≥95% chance of precipitation on the Met Office weather forecast, proving completely accurate, and when I say raining it’s not just cats and dogs, it’s packs of dogs and clutters* of cats. Puddles are everywhere, worms are having swimming lessons along the footpaths, woodpigeon are bathing in the middle of the street and my feet are totally soaking wet, despite so-called waterproof footwear. It’s now 11.00 am, it’s still chucking it down and forecast to do so for the remainder of the day. What joy!

But all is not lost. I’ve donned my wet-weather gear and been out to tackle the morning chores. A Scotsman for ChoccyMuffin, even though she already has one (me!) but tends to forget the fact, a visit to my local drug dealer for some drugs and some life-saving essential turfing-fuel from Tesco, namely chocolate. Of course, taking a few zones along the way, mostly from ChoccyMuffin, some from RossEwan. Only 18 zones taken but another 3000 points added to the total. I’m now sitting at 93,000, a mere 7000 points away from the Roundpointer-100k medal.

I’ve been on foot today, perambulating, as I think you get less wet turf-walking than turf-cycling in the rain. Though I may be wrong. Waterproofs are hanging to drying the Porsche (that’s what we call the porch because it was so bloody expensive to build), sodden socks have been wrung out in the bath after I’d rescued the trapped spider and I’m now supping a nice refreshing cup of tea along with some Digestive biscuits, my second favourite biscuit after Kit-Kats.

I find it so annoying when footwear described as waterproof is anything but waterproof. I bought a pair of Karrimor Hot Rock walking shoes last year. In the listed features they state, weatherproof with Weathertite Extreme technology. Bollocks! They are about as waterproof as a wet sponge. I suppose the fact that they were reduced from £79.00 to £32.00 might have suggested a hint at their quality. We live and learn.

So, turfing in the rain. What about a few hints and tips? Well, first tip is to get a decent set of waterproofs and with our mild, muggy and perfect for midges, Scottish climate, breathable waterproofs are a must. I would argue that Gore-Tex is still the best, expensive, but still the best. Gore-Tex is the only known fabric that Scottish midges and horse flies cannot bite through. And the other item of kit I would strongly recommend is a decent umbrella. Even in the heaviest of downpours, keeping your head, face and mobile phone dry, makes all the difference. Having said that, however, turfing in the Highlands and Islands, where the rain traditionally comes in horizontally, is another matter entirely.

I love combining turfing and people watching and often while taking a zone, scan around to see what can be seen. Today, with the heavy rain, one most noticeable aspect of human stupidity is the lack of correct clothing for the conditions. At zone LadyMarion, there’s a teenage lad walking a dog, he is wearing a Iron Maiden t-shirt and baggy shorts that reach past his knees. So are they long shorts or just very short longs? He is totally soaked. The dog, on the other hand, is wearing a waterproof coat. This makes me think what I must have been like as a teenager?

At zone WayOfBaird, I witness a sorry spectacle. Young woman is stomping along the path, yes actually stomping, face scowling, arms folded about her. Here attire suggests she’s been to a wedding, hen party or the like recently and is making her way home. Her hair is plastered across her face, her makeup is now makedown. By that I mean running down her face. Her dress, well, you get the idea. She did not respond to my greeting of lovely morning! Naughty me.

Okay, fast forward to after dinner time. ChoccyMuffin asks if I’ll be watching Strictly with her. Sorry dear, I’ll must head out turfing. Yes, in the rain again. Got to get more points for that medal and increase my League position. Perhaps next week? Yes, still raining but it’s that classic Scotch Mist now, you know the stuff that finds its way into every gap in your waterproofs. Actually, I would classify it as Scotch Mist Plus. A little bit heavier than pure Scotch Mist.

Managed to persuade the Surly Ogre to leave the warm dry shed with the promise of a new chainring next week. Not too bad cycling in the rain but my biggest issue, being a spectacle wearer, is my specs getting wet. A cap helps but not perfect. So, took back all the zones ChoccyMuffin stole earlier and I’m now sitting at 98,700 with a +249 PPH. Won’t be long now before that Roundpointer-100k pops in to the Turf app. Then the hard work will begin as the Roundpointer-250k is next in the series.

Now, to finish, I must share something that occured at a recent wedding I was forced to attend. Actually, it wasn’t too bad. I’d taken my “big” camera, so occupied myself taking loads of revealing photographs of the drunks and disorderly and also trying my best to annoy the hired professional photographer and videographer. Both kept giving me dirty looks all evening. Anyway, my niece Chloe was tasked with asking each guest to record a few words to her mobile phone. My little piece brought the house down. Here’s the transcript, if I recall correctly.

“Hi, my name is Gary. I’m here against my will. Could someone please call the authorities to arrange a SWAT team for my rescue. However, I did make an effort and blow-jobbed my hair!”

I must say it went down amazing well. I have never seen someone fall of their chair with laugher. Naughty me again. Back soon.

*Yes, that is what a group of cats is called. Also, a clowder. One cat is just a cat, two cats is a pair and three or more cats is a clutter or clowder.

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