During our often daunting restoration and renovation projects, I keep harbouring a private fantasy of discovering some sort of heirloom, or artifact from a previous inhabitant in times gone by.
Maybe an old 1950s phone book stuffed behind a wall, a love letter hidden underneath a loose floorboard dating back to 1892, a severed hand, or an embroidered pin-cushion from the depression.
But so far, other than some 70s newspaper shreddings and an old porn cassette, I have found nothing of real interest.
So now, as we are about to start re-gibbing and plastering, I am inspired to leave a small time-capsule hidden within the walls of each room.
Maybe the house will be destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 2027, or burnt down by rebelling tenants during the looming depression.
But maybe it’ll still be standing tall in 76 years time, undergoing major structural refurbishments as the internal vertical bracing finally succumbs to borer. And then my secret will be discovered to the excitement of the builders wearing sleek white one-piece body suits.
So, the question is what to put into a secret time capsule? I imagine in 20, 50 or more years time, the Internet (or whatever succeeds it) will be able to provide detailed records of people living in Auckland in the early 2000s.
Providing newspaper clippings of major events is redundant. Probably what will be more interesting are miscellaneous household items that give an indication of what life was like in this particular Eden Terrace villa near the end of 2008.
For my first time capsule, I so far have:
- The last Central Press Property guide
- Latest Harbour News edition
- Some photos of the house (I was pondering putting these on an old thumb drive, but I suspect paper record is probably better.)
- An empty packet of Macintoshes
- A Foodtown shopping receipt
- A menu from Gina’s
- A clothes peg
- And a brief hand written note about who I am, why we bought this house, the biggest events (in my mind) of 2008, and our main concerns for the immediate and long term future. Plus maybe my predictions for 2108.