Marking time in October 2020
I took a photo of some arrows and crosses marked with tape on a footpath outside a local cafe—a snapshot of the choreography of social distancing in these COVID-19 times. In the future, perhaps, a photo of these marks will be a curiosity, a puzzle.
Seeing these marks on the ground reminded me of something from my childhood. In mid-1957, as an eight-year-old, I transferred to Kenmore State School. It was a one-teacher school then, where all the pupils, about 40 of us ranging from Grade One to Grade Six, sat in the same room at six-seater desks. Each morning we assembled in rows outside the classroom, in the same arrangement as our desks inside. A grid of wooden pegs driven into the ground, and barely protruding above the grass, marked exactly where each of us was to stand.
As we stood to attention on our marks, the teacher made announcements and exhortations from the verandah. Then, row by row, we marched up the stairs, across the verandah, and into our places in the classroom to the strains of the Colonel Bogey March played on a gramophone.