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Thursday, August 25, 2005

In the tunnel

In the tunnel
Originally uploaded by moseleyblogger.

I spotted this while passing along a tunnel between two houses - one of those shared access to the rear gardens type tunnel. I looks like a bunch of youngsters got together on 1 September 1960 and wrote their names and birthdays as high up the wall as they could reach. The same practice was repeated at other times, perhaps as early as 1930, although that could be a birthdate. Altogether, along both sides of the tunnel, there may be twenty names, some written in pencil, some scratched with nails, and more recently written in chalk.

I imagine the kids hanging out in the tunnel, fooling around, talking, getting a thick pencil, writing their names in turn, and successive gatherings by others for the purpose of writing names and birthdays.

Existentially, this is a nice variation on the theme of being chained in the depths of a cave, and trying to learn about the world beyond via shadows cast from the entrance. Kids in Plato's cave will be writing their names and telling stories about themselves.