Ham Common Wood

Not the best of photos today, light was not good 

Busy, busy, busy at the moment, my hours at work are increasing again and we’re making (slow but at least it’s actually) progress on the grand refurbishment, so it’s at times like this I see going for a walk as almost a medicinal requirement. I had planned on going to Richmond Park (again) and did walk that way but Ham Common Wood tempted me instead, with it’s dark, far less explored interior (that and the fact that, as long as I didn’t get lost, I knew it’d be a shorter walk, I’m shattered).

Now I’ve lived in this part of London for years but I’ve only been in Ham Common Wood twice, to be honest the place gives me the creeps  because although I have no qualms going off and exploring as a lone woman, I’m also sensible, as, for example, as remote as Richmond Park can sometimes feel and even though you can often feel perfectly alone there, in reality every man and his dog are out walking in that park, so there’s always someone within shouting distance. You don’t get that feeling in Ham Common Wood, that and it’s densely packed woodland, makes the place a bit creepy. Having said that, the path I initially followed was heavily scared with cycle tracks, dog paw prints and horses hooves, people are around.

But I had my trusty DMs on today, ready to give anyone a good kicking (honestly, a certain past career in my 20s makes me consider such things), so off I went exploring. Now Ham Common Wood is not quite like Richmond Park, in that in Richmond Park there is a myriad of possible paths, whereas Ham Common Wood, at least at the point I entered it, there was one path and that was it, so I followed it, using the opportunity to exercise some brain cells, trying to create a mental map in my mind of the direction I was going in. I walked quite some way before the path branched in two directions. I chose the direction sort of back the way I came, but veering off a bit, I added the new direction to my mental map. I walked and walked a bit more, having to dodge a surprising number of fallen trees (some not quite fallen to the floor, so I had to quickly dodge under them, as they were supported at an angle by trees across the other side of the path), this is obviously not a wood to go to during a gale and then I came back up to a road. Now my mental map reckoned I’d walked a giant U shape and I was now further up the road I had been on just prior to entering the wood, I was quite pleased at this, as I thought Ham Common would just be a few moments walk away and I could pop into the shops there. Nope, I was just a few metres away from the point I’d originally entered the wood at, basically I’d walked a circle instead, don’t trust me with directions people.

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