One of the things I’ve written about before is how I navigate through, and learn about, a place.  My spatial sense is pretty good, and in general if I know the main things about a place, I can navigate by effectively holding a three-dimensional model of it in my head. When I’m not sure where I am, I can look up, find some significant points, landmarks etc., and orient myself based off that model.  That’s not a perfect description, but it’s how I visualise things in general, so it works for me.

My map of London is generally pretty good – it’s ridiculously rare that I get lost at all there, even in the more outlying areas. Indeed, I think the last time I got seriously mislaid was when I was relying on shit satnav to get me across south London (which turns out to be May 2009) and even then, once I’d given up on the satnav, I navigated and found my way to where I needed to be pretty damn quickly. (And far faster than if I’d stayed reliant on shit-nav)

The other side of that is that sometimes I miss out on connections, or need to wander around to find those new connections that allow that map to improve.

Tuesday’s London trip was a perfect example of that. To get to CMH, I went to St James’ Park tube station (which I used to use daily while working with one of the agencies in London) but going to the other exit from the one I used when I was there last. I knew where I was going, but I hadn’t connected the two areas in my head – and it turned out that they were both ridiculously close, only I’d never realised. (It also turns out that CMH is also dead opposite the QE2 conference centre, where I attended one of the @Media conferences)

It also turns out that we walked back into Central London via St James’s Park, and went on a different route to the one I knew, so we also went through Horse Guard’s Parade, and past Downing Street without me knowing. Typical.

Anyway, as well as having a fantastic evening, it all meant I also got to add new bits to my map. Never a bad thing.

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