Paradise found? or lost?

As those of you who follow me on twitter will know, I recently set myself the task of finding a way to a playground I knew should, as the crow flies, be within walking distance of my house, but which I’d never been able to find a route through to. See, between us, and when google maps showed me the playground should be, there was this:

with no clear path through for those of use with buggies…

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found it! It’s great, just some baby swings, some big swings, a couple of slides and some other bits and bobs (including a very cool piston based whistle thing… you’d understand if you saw it!).

Anyway, Moo and I had a great time at the swing park, she got in some good walking practice, still holding my hands, and had great fun on the swings (a word that has been repeated time and time again…). So I figured we should make it a regular event.

So we went again today. At school kicking out time. And there were some kids there – big (16/17ish), medium (12/13ish) and small (7ish), and a couple of babies came and went whilst we were there (Moo really loves those swings!). And everyone got on. Despite having a little niggle about whether there would be any problems with “youths”, I didn’t see any. It was lovely.

And so I decided to see if there was a quicker way home. There are paths through that coppice, and I was fairly sure there was access to it from the road behind us. So I ventured in…. and found this:

It was beautiful. And peaceful. I live in a housing estate of modern, lego-style box houses. It’s near a main road, a motorway and an airport, although it’s near fields, and the motorway gives us a handy escape away from the city. But here was a little glimpse of the country in the middle of suburbia (and explains all the brambles in my garden – the estate was clearly built on land that used to be like this!).

But there was a niggle in the back of my mind. I was a little afraid to be in there on my own, with Moo. It was too quiet. There was no-one else around. I kept trying to put my paranoia to the back of my mind. We should trust people. We should enjoy the solitude.

And then 3 boys in hoodies, with bandanas over their faces, came zooming past me on a motorbike.

Ah, that ideal world I think I live in. I’m afraid I won’t be going through there on my own again.

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15 responses to “Paradise found? or lost?

  1. It looks beautiful! How horrible that you didn’t feel safe there though. I have to admit I’m a bit stupid about stuff like that – wander round places all on my own for hours if given half the chance.

    Glad you found the park though. I don’t know what I’d do without a park within walking distance!

    • I would do, but hubbie is my conscience – he’s less trusting than I am! But I like being a bit more trusting than him. Just hate it when I’m proved wrong. Those kids on the motorbike were just so reckless – who knows what/who they could have come up upon on those narrow paths. And the hoodies (up, obviously, no objection to hooded tops per se) and bandanas covering their faces are just intimidating, no matter how I want to think it’s not.

      The park is great! I have to confess though I used to just drive to another one instead…

  2. Such a shame you don’t feel safe there. It looks gorgeous. I had visions of visits to the park for you and moo followed by picnics. Perhaps with some other mummy mates?

    • oh, the park itself was lovely, and I felt safe enough there. We’ll definitely be going there regularly, if not daily! Just the woods, which looked so beautiful, but which made me uncomfortable.

  3. It looks lovely – I’m sorry you don’t feel safe there

    We have woods around us, fortunately they feel safe to me and I’m running through them (they at least conceal some of the exhaustion from strangers!)

    • I think it’s always going to be the case when you have woods in a city – it’s a natural hide out for those that don’t want to be seen, not just mummy joggers 😉

      I’m sure it is safe. Just not as safe as I’d like to think. Just heard the roar of a motorbike coming from that direction now…

  4. How sad to feel that way. I live on an estate on the edge of the village and there is a duck pond very similar, I will post about it next week

    • I’ll look forward to that – please do come back and post your link if you want 😉

      PS – sorry for the later reply – your comment got put in spam for some reason!

  5. What a shame those idiots have stopped you walking there. x

    • I know. I wish it wasn’t so, but I do think it is the sensible thing to do. Particularly with Moo. Just feel like I just caught a glimpse of a wonderful place, before it was taken away ;-(

  6. It looks beautiful. I’m sorry the world we live in isn’t as safe as it should be. Those lads might be perfectly nice, they are someone’s sons afterall but everything you hear and is reported in the news taints that view. I wish we lived where everyone could be trusted, but not sure that will ever be possible. Great post but sad. xx

    • I know exactly what you mean. I think that too – those boys must be local, and have a mum and dad. But, that said, they were riding a bike illegally across tranquil woodland, with no plates, no helmets, and bandanas covering their faces – probably to keep the dust out because of the lack of helmet, but also probably so they couldn’t be recognised. Surely their parent’s must know what they are doing? I mean, if they let them have a bike, which they didn’t look legal to ride on the road, or if so, only just…

      I often remind my hubbie when he warns me about “youths” hanging around outside our local shops that they are just kids, and we did the same. I have no problem with young people at all!

  7. It looks like such a lovely place and its such a shame that you didn’t feel safe – but I do know how you feel and you’re right to stay away in future x

  8. It’s nice that you do have somewhere quiet to escape to, even if you have to take someone else with you to make it easier for you to enjoy it.

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