Setting myself the task of writing a blog post every day for a month – which I committed myself to over the weekend, so let’s see how it goes – is a bit foolish when you don’t actually have more than a few days’ worth of material to consider.
This is me, essentially, hitting the wall. The trick, of course, is to find a hole in the wall and keep writing.
However, in that phrase is a memory otherwise lost to time: “a Hole in the Wall.”
Until age 11 I went to a primary school which is currently 162 years old, and still open. We celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1984. Unusually for schools in the borough, there was no grass at the school. The entire grounds were tarmacked, which made falling over during football very painful.
At one corner of the main playground was an area that had once had a gate. This was now a gap, with a long, red brick wall as a boundary between the main and secondary (small kids and big kids, officially) playground. Whenever the wall or gate had been removed I don’t know, but I do know that the wall was left open-sided, which meant that the cavity inside could be accessed.
Now, I’ve just checked Google Maps and unsurprisingly that wall is no longer there. Some building work changed the shape of the school a few years back, and happily it has a new surface (not grass), all things that never happened between 1980 and 87 (I remember the day the boiler broke and everyone got sent home with fondness).
The wall’s cavity made it a treasure trove of litter and toys. Whoever got the chance the knock the wall down would have found ancient sweet wrappers, Dinky cars, marbles, and other small toys, hidden from their owners or accidentally lost. We would look into the hole, try and reach in with our annually growing arms, and find ourselves either unable to reach, or unable to squeeze a hand through the bricks and mortar as we got older.
I like to think that I found a black spaceship toy from some TV show or other in the wall (I have no idea where it really came from) and I’m certain there was a small Thunderbird 2 cargo pod in there as well.
That’s the Hole in the Wall?!
So, The Wall. That’s what it is to me, a crumbling structure full of lost toys that was eventually knocked down. I imagine the contents were shovelled up and disposed of as hardcore in the end, perhaps propping up a bridge somewhere, or as the foundations of a new housing estate.
I could, of course, have written about Pink Floyd’s once magnus opus, but I find the endless whingeing of Roger Waters (not to mention his politics) somewhat tedious these days. It might be accessible, but Floyd’s The Wall is really just for angry teenagers, not grown ups.
Alternatively, I could have talked about this:
Apparently every episode of Hole in the Wall is available on YouTube. That should keep you busy. There’s a whole host of overseas versions to enjoy, too…