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Take the first left, then the second right

Yesterday I did the Flâneurs June Challenge III.(d) - take the first left, then the second right, then the first left and so on. Photos on Flickr: Flâneurs - III.(d).
(Cross-posted to the Flâneurs Dreamwidth community.)

Left and then I find myself walking down Budd's Alley, a leafy and overgrown path that follows the railway. A woman jogs past and thanks me for waiting, and then a man wearing yellow and carrying shopping bags waits for me to pass him.

I then reach the amusingly named Ducks Walk and turn right, following the river. I pass the plaque for Commander Charles Lightoller, the most senior officer to survive the Titanic, who lived there. "Lux vestra - Let your light shine."

I try taking the first left, but it is private property. There is a confusing sign, that seems to indicate that there may be access to the path, so I try it out. It leads to the river and there are good views of Richmond Bridge. I trample nettles and brambles, aware that I am probably trespassing and turn back. I decide that I will take the next left, as this one probably shouldn't count.

I notice a sign for "ARThouse Open Studios" and realise it is telling me there is one that is open right now, nearby, so I take a quick detour and visit one of the studios. There are paintings, super 8mm films and photos. I pick up a leaflet and realise there are many nearby open studios I should visit.

Outside again, and there is a sudden downpour as I am walking over Richmond Bridge. I take the second right, then the first left, and so on, and pass Bishop Duppa's almhouses. A few more roads and I see a castle! Well, no, actually it's the Old Vicarage School. I also pass a sign saying "Dame Cecilia Johnson, actress, was born here." I wonder if I should watch some of the films she has been in.

I criss-cross a bit, down various roads, and then down Cambourne Path, and I am back by the river. I wonder whether I should take the first left and jump upon a boat, but I cannot be bothered to wait, so continue following the river.

I go underneath Richmond Bridge, walk onwards, and onto Cholmondeley Walk, and realise I walked some of this route for the challenge I did last year. I was not familiar with the area then like I am now though.

I pass the Asgill House Beech, which is one of the great trees of London, and then take the first left, and it takes me over Twickenham Bridge.

A few more rights and lefts, and I am on St Peter's Road and I wonder if the garden behind the barbed wire is the Pleasure Garden, and I check on my phone, and find out that it is. I peer in, wondering if there is a way in, and try a gate, but it is unsurprisingly locked. (The Pleasure Garden is 12 acres of private garden shared between 140 houses).

I go down a path next to a tree stump and am then back by the river. I walk across Richmond Lock bridge and then take a right, and then walk across a little bridge over a river, that leads to the Old Deer Park.

I walk past the In the Night Garden marquee and then cross the road and end up in the car-park, which I cut across. I then find myself on Richmond Green, so I decide to end there, and sit on the "Trotting to see a monkey dance" bench, watching little girls wearing pink tutus run across the Green. I then purchase an ice-cream from the newly opened Gelateria Danieli (a few doors down from the other one). Passionfruit sorbet, mmm.


I have done Alternating Travel (first right, and then first left, and so on) a few times previously, although from different locations, and I found that easier, as often for this, there was no second right. In those situations, I just took the first right.

This challenge would probably be better in an area you didn't know very well. I've often done Alternating Travel when I have moved to a new area and sometimes it has worked well, and sometimes not. I did enjoy this walk, as Richmond is quite nice to wander around anyway, but most of the time I was in an area I was already familiar with.

On my map, I have also marked the route I took after I finished going left and right (after Richmond Green), so that it joins up, even though that bit wasn't part of the challenge. I have found it interesting to look at Kake and Tim's maps, as I had been wondering how it would work in a grid system and I was also sometimes constrained by the river.

First left, second right


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Maybe Celia Johnson, of Brief Encounter fame? That one's well worth watching, as is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

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