Turf Blog 20-03-24

Turf Zone – AuldChester

Something that has been in short supply these past few days is enthusiasm for turfing, that along with some annoying back ache, has me struggling to find any desire for turfing, and blogging as well. Interestingly, I finds myself again at the tail end of my medication cycle, an injection I get every 12-weeks to add some magic elixir/Nano-med-bots to my aging body. I’ve noticed a definite corelation between back ache and enthusiasm for actually getting out there are doing energetic stuff like turfing at this time. Body must be running low on the magic elixir or the Nano-med-bots are out playing their equivalent of turf.

However, and probably thankfully, my poor butt will be introduced to a large-bore needle (the magic elixir is very thick) tomorrow and normal service will be resumed. Not sure how big the needle actually is as I’ve always avoided looking too closely but it sometimes feels like a torture instrument from Game of Thrones, or something James Herriot used in All Creature Great and Small. On cattle! Ouch!

But all that aside I have managed some turfing. Picked off a couple of unique zones across in Penicuik with another grabbed at Straiton Retail Park in Loanhead, opposite the McDonalds and aptly named PassTheBucket. As for the other two, SeeYouJimmy and PiecesOfEight, it was only when Mike, aka turfer Hodge, mentioned them in a message to me, that I realised I’d cycled all this way to take them and had not even bothered to look at what they were actually called. Guess you just get into automatic turfing mode and bash on regardless. Not good.

Yesterday did a short turf stroll around the Hopefield area of Bonnyrigg, following a loop to take in all the SuDS ponds. SuDS stands for Sustainable Drainage Systems, basically small ponds that collect and filter surface rainwater before discharging into the water course. Turfer Hodge had mentioned sighting of some birds called water rails, a species I’d not seen before, so thought a wander with the binoculars might be worthwhile, though it was the wrong time of day and early mornings and evenings would have been better.

Didn’t see any water rail but did notice an increasing population of footballs at the pond beside zone AuldChester and good to see the chiffchaffs have returned and are happily calling from the bushes. Now is actually a good time to see singing birds, before the leaves sprout and provide cover. Amazing that these little birds have flown all the way from Africa to breed here in Bonnyrigg, Scotland. The call of a chiffchaff is ‘chiffchaff chiffchaff chiffchaff chiff ‘. Easy to remember that one.

Found a mobile phone on the road today, one of the latest models, an iPhone 15, if my identification of the wreckage is correct. It had been run over by traffic and was about the thickness of a credit card. Some poor soul will be rather unhappy. Then I started looking at how many people were actually using their phones while walking and it was about 65%, most of them children or teenagers.

When I think back how hard it was growing up when I was a lad and you compare that to these days, I’m glad I’m not a teenager. All that additional stress from how many likes you have, or don’t have, on Instagram, or views on YouTube, and friends on Facebook, and whatever else, doesn’t bare thinking about. And imagine if you only had an elderly Samsung when all your “friends” had the latest iPhones. Oh my God! Glad I don’t have to face all that nonsense.

Now, I’m afraid I broke one of the self-imposed rules I was following this Round, not to use any form of motorised transport to go turfing. Yes, got the No 31 bus out to the Corstorphine area of Edinburgh, to hunt down a few turfer unique zones. Was going to take back the Bonnyrigg zones I lost last night to MuttsCycles but he’s just completed the Greed-300 medal and only requires another 50 or so for the Greed-350. I can always take them another day.

Edinburgh Gateway station gave me my first turfer unique of the session, zone GatewayZone held by turfer RabdeBruce. Next, walking back towards the city centre gave me one held by MrBelpit, at zone GroovyGyle. After that, a long walk all the way up a rather steep hill – glad I wasn’t on the kick scooter! – and up a dirt track heading up Corstorphine Hill for zone TheHillPath, taken from turfer CollieB. Next, back down the hill and as luck would have it the No 31 bus came along just as I was approaching the bus stop, so hopped on that, alighting at Shandwick Place.

I had two further turfer uniques in mind, zone SoderbergZone, at the site of the old Royal Infirmary hospital, held by turfer catsfather and zone McEwanHall in the hands of turfer teep. However, first priority was food and somewhere to shelter from the rain while I scoffed a sandwich. First place I found was the closed doorway to St. John’s Scottish Episcopal Church at the west end of Princess Street. I was most surprised to be greeted by turfer JammyDognut who had spotted me sitting there and I didn’t have my turf app on. Grabbed the two zones without issue once fully stocked with fuel.

So, a good day out turfer hunting, adding another five to the tally and bringing my total to 281, at least I think that’s the total as the TvT page on Warded has changed and is not so readable. Aiming for 300, so a few more still to track down. Back soon.

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