Early this morning D asked if I fancied going to Swithland Woods which is at the northern end of the county. We live at the southern end. It entails a drive right across town and near to where I used to live. We hadn't been to the woods since my Dad died; some 15 or more years ago; mainly because we used to visit him every weekend and always stopped off at the woods to give the dog a run.
This is me in the woods in 1986.
So much had changed on the journey there, buildings had vanished; new ones had risen; roads changed; small roads turned into dual carriageways; it was awful - I didn't recognize anything or even know where I was at times.
But eventually 40 minutes later we reached the woods and it was like coming home. As we walked further in I knew where the old trails were, the bridle paths and ridings; remembered that it used to be an old slate quarry and the lake that had formed from the quarry workings (now fenced off with razor wire). It all came back in a flurry of familiar memories that had been hidden in the recesses of my mind for a long time.
It is not known as a bluebell wood but there were plenty about in the open glades where the dappled sun shone through. Seeing the trees again was like greeting old friends who wondered where I had been for so long.
I fell in love with the woods all over again - I'll be back I silently told them as we left. I'll be back - not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon. How could I have forgotten you.