There is a country, a fairly small one at that. In this country, they invented a delicacy called haggis. Some say haggis run wild and free in the wooded glens and on the snow-covered mountain tops of the Highlands. Same say the haggis is made from the heart, liver, and lungs of the sheep along with other ingredients such as onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, added to take away the taste, or add some taste, whatever you prefer. I don’t like haggis. I don’t eat haggis. I did once and was as sick as a dog.
In this very same country there’s a city, a thriving city of ancient heritage, geological splendour and shops where you can enter and even get out again without purchasing anything. If you go turfing on a Swifty Zero kick scooter in this city, which is called Edinburgh by-the-way, you will encounter many dozens of the inhabitants, even hundreds of them, of all ages, creeds and kinds. Yet, only a small fraction of them will return your friendly greetings of good morning, stop for a chat or even look in your general direction unless they are over 100 meters away from you. I find this rather sad.
Now, in this very same country there’s a shire called Midlothian. In that very same shire, there’s a small village called Newtongrange. If you go turfing there you will also encounter dozens of people and only a small fraction of them will NOT reply to your cheery greeting, stop for a chat and pass the time of day and enquire to your health and general wellbeing. There is even a small bicycle repair establishment, a dark and forbidding, yet mysterious and magical place where bicycles enter in ill health and emerge fully in fine fettle and daring you to ride them. You can even get a cup of tea in that small bicycle repair establishment. You don’t get that in Edinburgh.
There isn’t a huge number of zones in Newtongrange, about as many as you can count using both fingers and toes. None are very remarkable in any way. They are simply zones, there for the taking, there for the loosing and there for the taking back. Mind you, one zone can often be fickle in the taking, being located in Murder Dean, perhaps caused by the ghosts and spectres of those murdered there in days gone by. At zone AroundEighth, you might find a dog called Bad Dog in trouble for losing his ball. At zone RectangularSq, there is a fair to evens chance you will stand on a doggy-doo if not careful. At zone Colliery, there about a 95% chance that you will get away with spending a penny without being disturbed. At zone MineMuseum, the cobbles never seem to get any smoother. And at zone Newtongrange you can take two zones in less than 60 seconds.
Of the other zones, only little can be said. At zone Butlerfield, I made a mistake and tried to ride the hairy short cut to the B704, a narrow, evil and twisty path through the trees. My error was that the path was wet and slippery with mud and my trusty Ogre, while shod with suitably gnarly treads, the rider was not suitably experienced in such technical endeavours. However, after one close brown trouser moment, two failed attempts to avoid wrapping knuckles on passing alder trees and a sigh of relief, this turfer made it safely to the bottom. Probably best taking the long way round.
And where next for turfing? Well, my local patch of Bonnyrigg was invaded yesterday by a fierce tribe of turfers from the west, the Hodginites. And not a single zone was left untaken by their all-seeing mobile phones. A scene of complete and utter devastation greeted my eyes this morning upon viewing the turf app on my own mobile phone. Mind you, it would be more accurate to state that a single invader called Hodge hardly constitutes an invasion. Only kidding, Mike. You are welcome any day. Bye for now.
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