Turf Blog 13-03-21

The plan this morning was to take zones in the eastern areas of Midlothian, heading into Newtongrange and the so-called untamed bad lands of the estates of Mayfield and Easthouses, and if I manage, by the will of the Almighty, to survive the friendly natives, pot-holed roads and roaming packs of wild mutant ninja guinea pigs, I’ll drop down into the safety of Dalkeith and clean up a few zones on the way back to Bonnyrigg. So, without further ado, let’s go turfing.

First a few easy local zones, starting with Pittendriech and Brixwold, both close to the house, then up the hill to holy zone KirkCockpen, next along the B6482, first taking Dalhousie, pausing to look at the birds of prey, then onwards for ancient BlowLoun. I then headed into the Cockpen area, climbing a grassy mound to take Butlerfield, which had me wondering why this area didn’t have housing built on it. A quick look online revealed the area was once a railway marshalling yard. Perhaps the ground is contaminated and unsuitable for housing.

Turf zone – Dalhousie

Next zone on the list was Cockpen, followed by MatthewJenks, with Squirrelly falling next without any issue. Last visit, I just couldn’t get the take to complete, it was only when I reached zone Cockpen, that the take finally completed. No such problems today. I then crossed Murderdean Road with being murdered and picked off VickysGardens, situated along a short stretch of footpath to no-where. If I recall correctly, this path did cross the railway line prior to it being reinstated. NewtonsBridge was next to fall. There is actually another footbridge further to the south, one that has cycle ramps and would have been a better location for this zone. At NewtonsBridge you have to carry the bike across.

The next two zones, WhyMurderDean and Newtongrange, are only 60 m apart which seems odd but does means they are easy takes. Next on the list is MineMuseum, up at the National Mining Museum. For those who don’t know the area, there’s a switch-back path direct from the station up to the museum. Just head through the metal gate at the south end of the parking area.

Turf zone – MineMuseum

An unpleasant cycle along the busy A7 was required for WayOfAndrew, then an equally unpleasant cycle back along the busy A7 for the WhatPark and Colliery zones. This last one, Colliery, can be awkward to reach and to find. You either have to climb the steps at the western end, near the museum, or find the entrance to the path from the other end. The street you are looking for is Colliery View, just follow to the end. The path was once used as a tramway for moving coal and mine waste. I now picked off a bunch of Newtongrange zones including RectangularSq, Between7And8, MinerMemorial, WelfarePark, BryansStop, LadyMansfield, AroundEighth, and Suttieslea.

With all the zones in Newtongrange taken, the next area on the list was Mayfield and Easthouses. With a good collection of zones scattered across the estate including Woodyladiho, SkywalkersWay, SqueezedIn, SouthOfEast, Blackcot, BevanZone, WestIsEast, TheHumbleZone, EastOfEast, OakCres, Crawlbucket, GroovyScott, MayfieldPlaza, TheLawSchool, OldSchoolZone, BelowB6482, NewbattleHigh, BowlingField and finally Easthouses. Seven of the zones were still hanging onto neutral status, so good to pick up a few extra bonus points for the team. I wonder why other turfers hadn’t taken them sooner? Perhaps it was the threat of those wild mutant ninja guinea pigs.

Turf zone – WayOfAndrew

From zone Easthouses, I wanted to do some exploring, searching for an off-road route leading to zone Kippielaw, avoiding the main road. It didn’t take long to find one but it was very muddy indeed and probably not worth the bother. Zone Kippielaw was next, with Lauder falling soon after. Next I bagged a good few zones in Dalkeith and Eskbank, around 17 in total, before heading for home. In all I’d taken about 65 zones, so a good mornings work and with the added bonus of seeing my rank increase to Rank 32 – Experienced Zoner. My round total is now sitting at 51,200, with my overall total around 411,200, not far from a personal milestone of 500,000 points. Might just be able to make that during this round.

Felt very relaxed this morning for some reason. Perhaps I’m getting fitter with all the cycling I’m doing – I’ve lost about 4 lbs weight in the past couple of months – and didn’t seem to notice how hilly Mayfield actually is. It was certainly more of a slog on my previous visit. Turfing is such a pleasant way to spend the day, scooting around the streets from zone to zone on your trusy steed. Until next time.

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