Turf Blog 09-12-23

Turf Zone – Medway

Turf Scotland Advent Calendar 2023 and Task No. 9 – Roman Turf. Quite straight forward this one but some planning required. Basically, you need to takes zones and collect points where the letters in the zone names have the same value as Roman numerals, i.e. I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000. The Easy Option requires 10000 points and the Challenging Option 20000 points. May seem a lot but when M= 1000 perhaps not.

So, the planning. Started off by using the map tool at Urbangeeks to select all my local zones in Bonnyrigg, Eskbank and Dalkeith. This was then saved into a .txt file and imported into MS Excel. I then started listing all the Roman numeral values beside the zones names. Then, after a tedious 10 minutes, decided that the lower value zone names are probably not a very efficient use of time so deleted everything and started again, this time only plotting down values for all the zone names with M = 1000 in them. This gave me 12000 points, using 12 zones, which would be fine for the 10000 Easy Option.

However, I wanted to do the Challenging Option so then added all the D = 500 zone names and this took me up to a nice 23500, well past the required 20000. I then deleted some of the 500 value zone names, the ones mostly located on the periphery of my local patch. No point wasting time for a single isolated zone. Next task was to tidy up the table, deleting anything not required and finally, re-arranging the 26 zones into an efficient take order. Now I had to wait as many of the listed zones were still blocked from me taking them yesterday’s. One other final job and that was to email a list of the zone names to my phone. Better not to trust memory alone to remember them in the field.

And while I’m waiting, the above challenge originally had an additional parameter, and that was to take “exactly” either the 10000 or 20000 amount of points. However, I decided to keep that for another day. I’m also thinking up ideas for next year’s advent, and one option I’m considering is to include taking a zone-selfie-photo with companion in each task. And by companion I don’t mean another turfer, I mean someone like Shaun the Sheep, Bitzer, Wallace and Gromit, The Gruffalo or Paddington bear, whatever you choose. Just a thought. And also, an idea that might lend itself to a monthly Planet Gary turf photography challenge.

9:45 am and I’m taking my first of 26 zones, Pittendreich, worth 500 points though actually more but I’m ignoring the smaller denominations. Had I stated “exactly” 20000 points, more accurate planning would have been required. My so-called “efficient” turfing route wasn’t all that efficient with a couple of zones out of place. But by 11:15 am I was taking my final zone, WayOfBaird, again for 500 points. Job done. And I managed to miss the forecast rain. Until next time.

Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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