Tonight, I set my sights on making a start towards two of my unofficial turf medals, the Ghost Hunter, completing a Ghost Minute at 5 different holy zones, together with the Grail Knight, taking 5 different zones with the Holy Zone attribute. It seemed a good idea to complete the two at the same time. Actually, this was not my first attempt. On not a few previous evenings I did just that but failed to wake with enough time for the challenge, even once waking after midnight which was a total loss.
However, this fine evening, well actually, not so fine, as it was raining, I set my internal bio-chronometer for 11.30 pm, giving me plenty of time to get up, get dressed, grab the kick scooter and scoot my way up to Cockpen & Carrington Parish Church, home of holy zone KirkCockpen, the first on my list and the closest to home. I actually did my ghost minute medal here back in March 2021, more on that in Turf Blog 07-03-21, but it seems the way of things that previous takes should not count towards new medals when created, so I’m starting from a blank slate, as it were. And back in December 2021, my wife Cathryn also completed her Ghost Minute at KirkCockpen.
“It being New Year’s Eve, and with my partner having joined the ranks of turfers as PlanetCathryn*, I thought something special was in order. What turfing activity could be do at the turn of the year? Of course, there could only be the one, the Ghost Minute. At 11.30 pm we walked up to Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church, a.k.a. zone KirkCockpen, a holy zone. With time to spare we poured a cup of tea, scoffed some chocolate and waited anxiously for the time. Then, with much excitement, at 12.00 pm precisely, Cathryn dashed into the zone. A few seconds later zone was taken. Then that interminable wait that seems forever, then much relief as the Ghost Minute pops up on the phone. Happy New Year!”
My luck was in this time and I managed to wake myself at 11.35 pm, giving me more than enough time for my challenge. It was still wet outside but the rain had stopped and the forecast suggested it might stay that way. There was also a full moon tonight, always something worth getting out of bed for when turfing. Usually, I would grab the Swifty Air kick scooter but with wet ground and no mudguards I wanted to stay dry, so this time the Swifty Zero got an airing. This one has mudguards.
Zone KirkCockpen is only a few minutes away from the house and I arrived on location with 10 minutes to spare. Of course, one needs to be very mindful not to take the zone before 12.00 pm and no later than 12.01 pm, so I switched off the GPS just in case. I also wanted to shelter in the lee of the main door to the church as it was quite windy, still mild for the time of year but not that warm that I wouldn’t chill standing exposed in the open. The main door is within the zone area.
Waiting the 10 minutes in the warm embrace of the doorway was very relaxing, not that I needed much relaxing, I was still clinging to the restages of sleep. As I waited, all was very peaceful, other than the cars passing by at a rate of knots on the B704, none of them obeying the speed limit, I might add. The wind would gust at times rustling the dry leaves on the beech trees, having me wonder if it had, in fact, started raining. Thankfully it stayed dry.
Soon the minutes passed and zero minute approached. At 11.59 pm I started getting ready, stepping out onto the gravel and exiting the zone. Once clear of the zone, I switched the GPS on and let it settle. And before long 12.00 pm appeared on the mobile phone clock. I stepped into the zone. Taking zone, said the nice lady who lives inside the phone. I watch the bars climb up the column. Soon, zone taken. I half-hoped the ghost minute medal popup would reappear like it did back in March 2021, but that was really just wishful thinking. It was not to be and actually never really had any likelihood of doing so.
However, with one zone taken for the Ghost Hunter 5 and one for the Grail Knight 5, I had at least made a start. Yes, not quite the excitement of the first time but still an enjoyable session. Now, into the next one and that might just be the following evening, if I can get myself out of bed. Back soon.
*PlanetCathryn is now ChoccyMuffin.
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