Turf Blog 16-08-22

I’ve been on the lookout for something to use instead of my usual rucksack when out turfing locally, or in locations where I want to travel lightweight, for example, during nocturnal turfing walks or when walking out to take the zones in Aberlady Bay in East Lothian. I wanted something lightweight, easy to carry, compact and above all easy to access either mobile phone or camera. And it was my darling wife Cathryn, aka turfer name ChoccyMuffin, who found the perfect solution, the Willesden Sustainable Scooter Bag from Roka of London.

It measures 34cm x 19cm x 7cm, giving a capacity of around 4 litres, has one main inside compartment, two small interior compartments, one of them zipped, and two external zipped compartments. It’s made from rPET recycled material, or in tech-speak, recycled polyethylene terephthalate, which is supposed to be more sustainable and make us all feel good about helping the save the planet. It’s a crossbody sling bag and can be carried either across the back or slung across the chest. What I like about it is that it can easily and quickly be swung around for access to camera or mobile phone. The strap is cotton webbing which feels nice and soft. I opted for the red one, or cranberry, to be more accurate.  The online blurb also states all their products are animal-friendly and vegan. Whatever that means!

Anyway, I’ve used it a couple of times, the latest during an outing in the wee small hours last night. With the weather mostly rain, rain and more rain, and more rain today, I noticed a small potentially rain-free window after midnight, so set my internal chronometer for 1.00 pm – might as well take zones for the next day’s Five-A-Day – and managed to rouse myself at 1.15 am, which is good going for a biological alarm clock.

Looking out the window, it had stopped raining, so I grabbed the Willesden Scooter Bag and ventured forth to get some zones. In my new scooter bag, I carried a compact umbrella and a lightweight waterproof top, the Alpkit Gravitas jacket, which packs up really small. The mobile phone slotted into the outer pocket and a small torch was stashed inside. Keys went into a zipped pocket for security. Yet there was still room for more, even enough for shorts and t-shirt, ideal for my next trip to Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve. Might just be able to squeeze in a small water bottle as well.

The streets were deserted, even quieter than usual. I think the damp air seemed to muffle any sounds, even the usual background rumble of traffic was muted. The only sound was my footsteps on the wet tarmac pavements. Not a lot of wildlife about either, no rabbits, no foxes, no badgers and no bats, most of which I would usually come across on my night-time turfing trips. Didn’t see a single cat out hunting either, or another human being for that matter. My route took me across Bonnyrigg, taking a total of seven zones, my daily five plus a few extra. I’d get out on the bike later that day and bring my total up to 40, many of them still neutrals with an extra 50 points, hanging on in there around Dalkeith.

At Broomieknowe golf course, plenty of tawny owls were calling but they would go quiet when I tried to approach them. Wondering where to go next, possibly across to the Melville area, the rain started again, light at first, then quickly turning heavier. So, it was out with the umbrella, something I don’t use very often but perhaps should. I decided to head for home, and back to bed, my Daily-Five target already in the bag. So, another successful test of the Willesden Sustainable Scooter Bag and while I wasn’t sure at first, I’m now more than pleased. The only fault, all be it a minor one, is that the zip pulls rattle when you walk which can be rather annoying. Bye for now.

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