Around 4.00 pm yesterday, my efforts of the day were rewarded with the Restless medal – taking at least one zone every hour for 12 hours. At that time, I also had in mind the Insomnia medal – taking at least one zone every hour for 24 hours – but had not yet decided to try for it or leave it for another day. However, if I did leave it for another day I’d be starting from scratch again and would not have the benefit of the 12 hours I’ve just completed and would have to do all 24 hours. It seemed a no-brainer not to keep on going for the entire 24 hours, so I decided to keep on going. Not quite sure what I was letting myself in for.
I kept following the method I’d been using earlier, heading out from the house just before the hour, taking a zone, waiting until after the hour, then taking another zone. It was quite an efficient use of time and energy, essential if I was going to be out for the next 12 hours. After taking zones around 10.00 pm, rather than follow the same method for the rest of the night, I decided to head out for a nocturnal turf run on the Swifty Air kick scooter, something I was thinking of doing anyway. My plan was to spend the time taking zones in Rosewell, Roslin and Loanhead, using the cycle paths between the towns. After that I’d head towards Shawfair and then back home to Bonnyrigg.
The weather was still mild, dry and there was little or no wind. I set out about 11.30 pm wearing shorts and t-shirt but carrying additional clothing with me. I knew from previous experience that the 5-mile downhill run on the cycleway to Shawfair from Roslin was often chilly regardless of the weather. After taking a few zones on the cycleway, I completed my usual loop of Rosewell, adding 14 zones to the count.
A highlight was seeing a badger running along the pavement in Gorton Road, on the way to take zone LouisaGorton. Got a bit of a fright there when I forgot about the dog behind the fence which gave me a bit of a woof. The dog is either a Great Dane or an Irish wolfhound, I’m not sure which, and when it gives you a woof, I really mean it gives you a woof. Just about wakes the dead. It certainly kept me awake, probably the entire population of the village as well.
The Dalkeith to Penicuik cycleway offered up a few zones, then I dropped down through Roslin Gunpowder mill. Approaching zone ThreeHares, I noticed a light approaching from the Roslin end, followed by a stream of expletives about my scooter light blinding them. The light is actually a Knog Blinder Road 400, very aptly named, so their reaction was not overly surprising. Of course, I dipped the light as we passed. It was actually two young women, one rather slim, the other rather portly, walking along hand in hand. Not a sight I expected at 1.00 am at this location. Though probably no more strange them myself on a giant kick scooter, wearing tartan shorts and bare chested (I was sweating buckets), in the middle of the night.
Roslin Glen Country Park offered up a couple of zones, one by the river and the other at Rosslyn Castle, then it was a short climb into Roslin. Again, an easy loop provided another 11 zones then it was back to the cycleway and on towards Loanhead, where another 8 zones were added to the tally, including one unique to me, zone BrrParky. I only realised I’d missed the zone at IKEA later on. The footpaths around the site of the old coal mine are quite magical at night with LED lights marking the way. Almost worth making the trip just to see them alone. Kind of felt you were being led into another realm, the Fairy World and I half expected to return home to find that years had passed.
Scooting back through the deserted town centre I was able to re-join the cycleway and begin the long easy scoot all the way to Shawfair. However, by the time I’d taken SkippingZone, around 3.00 am, I was beginning to feel the effects of my day-long kick-scoot-turfing and my legs were beginning to complain. It was also getting chilly, but adding a couple of top layers and some longs made all the difference. Always wise to plan accordingly, even if you never need extra clothing it’s there if required. At Gilmerton Road, around 3.20 am I was running out of zones to take, as I still held most of those ahead of me. It was time to review the situation.
I was going pretty well so far, and had taken at least one zone each hour since 7.00 am yesterday. Now, at 3.20 am, I only actually needed three more zones to complete the medal, one after 4.00 am, one after 5.00 am and the final one after 6.00 am. A quick scan of the turf app showed there were enough zones I could take in Eskbank and Bonnyrigg for my needs, and I also had plenty of time to get there. Zone Entomophobia was taken on the passing and zone A7View was taken just after 4.00 am, then I headed for home with just two zones needed to complete the set.
It was good to take a decent rest, rustle up some peanut butter toast and a refreshing mug of tea. I was feeling somewhat tired and dared not lie down for fear of falling asleep, so spent an hour or so watching the telly – watched Border Patrol on Pick. Amazing what people will try to smuggle into a country. At 5.30 am I was out on the Surly Ogre taking those last two zones, TongueSpatula just before 6.00 am and the final one, IKnowBroom, a minute or so after. Yesterday, I was exciting to see the medal pop-up appear on the app. This morning however, I was very tired, my Zombie-like brain was half-asleep, my legs were complaining about all the kick scooting they’ve been forced to do and my only reaction was, thank (insert naughty word here) for that. Now I could go home to bed.
So, yet another turf medal added to the collection and that seemingly ever-repeating question of what next comes to mind? Well, the next medal sounds like somewhere in the Spain where they might film a Spaghetti western, or a disco in Benidorm, or the name of a Columbian drug baron. The name is El Staminatore.
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