Turf Blog 26-09-23

Turf Zone – GraffitiZone

Do you sometimes find yourself getting annoyed by something. Something like turfers from foreign lands* coming to your local turf patch and stealing all your zones. Or turfers who take a zone when you are only 10 m away from them. Then there’s the turfers who never, ever, put the lid back properly on the fruit juice, the milk or anything that has “shake before use”, or say they don’t want a scone in the cafe but eat half of yours? You know what I mean?

But what is really annoying, even super annoying, are zones that misbehave. One such super annoying zone is HolyBuccleuch in Dalkeith. Sometimes it will allow you to take the zones from the pavement outside the church grounds. And sometimes it will allow you to take the zone from the flower beds along High School Close. It will allow you to do this for a number of takes, then it will stop, forcing you to go into the church grounds to take the zones.

Another super annoying zone is BurnbraePoint in Bonnyrigg. The zone is located over a circular fenced off garden area. Like zone HolyBuccleuch, it will occasionally allow you to take the zones from any of the four corners, even some of the sides, and again, will allow you to do so for a number of takes. Then it will suddenly stop. You are then required to open the gate and enter the area to take the zone.

Down in Musselburgh we have another example of a super annoying zone, at least until today. This zone spans two bridges, one for pedestrian foot traffic, and another for cyclists. However, the zone here likes to tease you. Sometimes you can take the zone without issue from the Electric Bridge, the one designated for cyclists. However, sometimes is will not and may even force you to hold your mobile phone out over the River Esk to get within the zone. The alternative is to use the pedestrian bridge and you should not be cycling there. But all these issues are no more as I’ve asked for the zone to be moved to better cover both bridges.

My final super annoying zone, at least for today, can be found in Edinburgh and goes by the name of JohnKnoxZone. Located on the High Street, this zone is not only super annoying but may also try to kill you. At first you think you are in the zone; the app even says taking zone. Then your turfman will hop about like crazy. You, of course, follow, chasing your turfman. Each time it will stop and let you think you are taking the zone. Then the zone, which has been biding its time, will put your turfman in the middle of the road, just as the No. 35 bus is arriving. Yes, a very annoying zone.

Now, on to something else entirely. Bicycle helmets. I must admit I’ve never been one for wearing a bicycle helmet and I know my reply, when questions why on earth not, that I’ve been cycling for 55-years and never been in a situation where I needed one, does not go down well. You should always wear a bicycle helmet, period! That’s me told.

So, I did some browsing online, read a few reports from wise authorities and learned a few things. One was that wearing a cycle helmet will indeed help save your head/brain from injury should you fall off and bang your head. However, it will not be much help if you are run over by a 40-ton articulated vehicle, or the like. What I found strange was one report stating that it does not make cycling any safer overall. There appears to be some built in mechanism we have in our brains that makes us take more risks when we think we are safer, i.e when wearing a cycling helmet. And other roads users such as car drivers, seem to take more care when they encounter cyclists not wearing a helmet than when they encounter cyclists wearing a helmet. Strange indeed.

Now, at the age of 61-years, I’m told that my brain cells start to die off and as I have fewer than I had when I was younger, it’s probably a good idea to protect those that remain. So, I decided to buy myself a new cycle helmet. Better to help protect my bonce should I find myself hitting the tarmac. Not that I needed one actually, but I just felt that a nice new helmet would encourage me to wear the damn thing.

So, what did I buy? Well, a POC Omne Air in white with a snazzy fluorescent orange back. It comes with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection) which helps reduce rotational motion to the head that could occur in so-called oblique impacts. I did wonder if MIPS was just another marketing ploy to get you to purchase the latest helmet but it does seem to make a difference. Its lightweight and fit nicely, much better than my other helmet. More soon.


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