Saturday, November 26, 2005

I've got the world at my feet

I can hear you thinking.. here comes another sock post. But no, this post reveals one of my deep dark secrets. I have a weird fascination for manhole covers. Look down, everyone! Look at the world at your feet! Once you start, you realise how much variety there is, how much beauty. I started in Montreal, suddenly struck by the French words on the covers. I'd lurch into the middle of the road, camera pointed towards my feet, snapping happily. This was my first.

I soon discovered I was not alone. There are websites devoted to them. The wonderful site includes a huge range of manholes. A colleague sent me a wonderful site from Japan , not to be missed. The same colleague sent me this little gem, from Virginia, USA.
Look closely - made in India!

Some are so delightful in their simplicity. I can't resist including this one of a tree in Erskineville, the next suburb.

Worrk took me to Wellington, NZ, last week. It was a symposium on digital repositories run by the National Library of NZ. A free morning allowed a walk around Wellington, including one of my very favourite things to do - a ride up the cable car, with a walk down to the city through the wonderful botanic gardens and an historic cemetery. Naturally, my eyes are alert for manhole covers, and I was not disappointed. Several lovely examples have been added to my collection, and here they are:

Aren't they lovely? So next time you are walking around, look down and see for yourself these windows to the nether world. And remember, if you come to my house, you are likely to be treated to a slide show featuring manhole covers of the world. You have been warned.

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