Turf Blog 09-02-23

Turf Zone – LeithWalk

Somewhere, out there, quite probably right at the edge of the Multiverse, there exists a small planet called Turf World. Things are different there. Everything there is absolutely perfect. For example, on Turf World the weather is organised properly. Head winds do not exist (they were banned by the Turf Lords), it never rains when you don’t want it to rain and it’s never too hot, or too cold, and is always just right. On Turf World the GPS never fails, jumps about due to tall buildings or pigeons passing overhead. Mobile phone batteries last for millennia. The sun always shines on Turf World, the locals always smile and exchange pleasantries and dogs are genetically engineered not to crap on the footpaths.

On Turf World, there are splendid rolling hills but not that you’d notice while turfing. On Turf World hills are there because people complained it was too flat and boring, so they terraformed some. Then the residents of Turf World complained it was too hilly. There’s no pleasing some people. However, they got round this by adding a feature to the Turf App that varies the gravity so that it wasn’t too hard to pedal up those hills while turfing. On Turf World the streets are perfectly paved in clean, smooth, pristine tarmac and potholes, broken manholes and street furniture is banned. Turf World was built by turfers for turfers.

Turf World sounds like the perfect location to go turfing, unfortunately, the staff at Bonnyrigg hyper-shutter space port were on strike because Kit-Kats had been withdrawn from the staff canteen and the fruit scones were off. So, I ended up turfing in Edinburgh instead. It’s okay as cities go but it’s most definitely not Turf World.

Yes, Edinburgh, once known as Auld Reekie, named after the soot blacked buildings, industry polluted air and other general assorted nastiness, like tram lines, shopping for clothes, finding a parking space and so on and so forth. So, I’m in Edinburgh today. My steed for the morning my faithful Swifty Air kick scooter. My starting location is Leith Links and my plan is hunting uniques in the Leith Links, Restalrig and Lochend areas with a few dotted around the periphery.

Weather was cold, around 5 degrees C., and a strong wind meant a windchill factor approaching the brass monkey level. However, I had a plan today. As you may be aware, kick scooting is hard work and you soon overheat. So, rather than my usual winter jacket I opted to try out two thinner Pertex layers, one my Buffalo Windshirt (not made from real buffalo, by the way), the other by Montane. Not something I’d tried before. And what a different two layers of Pertex makes to keeping that brass monkey wind out. Of course, I was soon too warm and removed a layer. The jacket taking up minimal space in the scooter pannier.

I enjoy kick scooting Edinburgh rather than cycling. Kick scooting means I can use the pavements. Not sure it’s 100% allowed but certainly isn’t prohibited like riding a bicycle and I’ve been checked out by the police as I kick scooted along the pavement a few times without comment. Feels so much better, and safer, not being on the busy roads and streets. Hard work. mind you, kick scooting, not as easy as cycling when you have gears (and/or electric motors) for the hills, but a good workout for both legs and upper body. Strangely, no matter how much I recommend kick scooting for turfing, few seem that interested. Wonder why that is? Other than MuttsCycles, of course.

I find it quite interesting hunting uniques in new locations. Always seems to be a mix of delight at searching for new zones I’ve never taken and sheer frustration at usually taking the long way round, or missing that handy shortcut hidden behind an Asda delivery van. One highlight of the session was kick-scooting down Leith Walk along the twisty cycle way. Jolly good fun. Also, spotting that wee shortcut from Seafield Street up to zone Seafield above Seafield Cemetery. My final zone of the session. Usually, I take loads of photographs of the zones but today just the one to use as the blog header image. Guess I didn’t find any of the zones interesting enough. Plenty of birds on Lochend pond, and quite amazed to see the tufted duck coming in so close.

By lunchtime, my legs were complaining and enough for the day, but I had 40 zones in the bag, only a handful not uniques, so well pleased with my efforts. Only 13 Km kick scooted so not that far really. Most of the zones taken from turfer ><)))*> with few from gaelgirl, and that brings my unique count to 1664, still some ways to go towards that 2500 Unique medal but getting there, slowly. Only another 836 to go. Later that evening, I checked the Turf app and noticed that turfer ><)))*> was out taking back the zones. Aye, you don’t hold zones for long in Edinburgh. Back soon.

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