Over the last few days, I’ve been planning a time capsule to hide a cavity underneath the floorboards in my house. The idea is to prevent it being discovered for a very long period. If I just leave it where a subsequent owner can crawl to, it will be found again quite swiftly.
I’ve decided to use a locked wooden box for the capsule itself. This will signify to the eventual finders that this wasn’t just some rubbish left behind. That’s turned into a bit of a worry because I explained the items first considered for inclusion, she said it sounded like a lot of rubbish. Then she started laughing. A lot. I’ll put the box where any builder will know there needn’t be a wall and brick it in. This should prevent it being discovered too easily. I’m a bit concerned that one day a bulldozer will demolish the house the wooden box with it, do I’m going to rig up an alarm system to be triggered when the box is moved. It’ll need a power supply capable of lasting for a thousand years. Bit stuck on this point. Any suggestions?
The chosen contents of the box have gone through a radical revision. They’ll still include a discursive letter from me, which I’ll hand write for old time’s sake and publish a copy here. I’ve been talked out of leaving the £1,000 cash I drew out by Craig Alexander. I’m going to buy gold with it and leave that in there. That should hold is value. Definitely I’ll include some photographs, though they won’t be digitised because I want the finder to experience the raw pleasure of handling the discoveries. I can’t decide whether to include photographs of myself and my wife or complete strangers with the claim that they lived here. Already historians complain that there is too much information being archived in our age to sensibly sift. Confusing the picture could be a worthwhile aim. I could go further and include photographs of someone rather famous. For example, I could include a photograph of Mike Weatherley, a neighbouring MP, perhaps with a set of accounts suggesting that he ran the house as a brothel. That might get the future people thinking it had the ring of truth to it because of his (now ended) marriage to a prostitute. I’m not sure.
Rather than include music, which I expect will be preserved anyway, I’m going to include the ambient noises of our City life: the constant roar of traffic, sirens, drunkards shouting inconsequential abuse on West Street late at night, the incoherent mumbling of my local shopkeeper, a pint being poured, the clicking of a computer keyboard. Stuff like that. Keen to get suggestions here.
On the food front, there’ll be some dried chickpeas and various seeds from my garden and photographs of it all growing.
The bicycle saddle and the Olbas Oil stays in. These things are do typically Brighton. They’ll be joined with a few back issues of the local Green Party rag, GreenLeaf. That should further confuse Weatherley’s reputation.
My favourite whisky, Bushmills Ten Year Malt, is bound to withstand the test of time. In it goes.
There have been provocative suggestions too. I’m not keen on including a copy of the Brighton Argus, which I’d like to see closed down. If it were to close before the capsule is sealed away, I might include it. Definitely I don’t want to include images of the royal family, for similar reasons, although I am tempted to buy one of these commemorative mugs. What happened there? Conspiracy or cock-up?
For some reason, I’d like to include tools. I’m keen to include an all-in-one bicycle tool, a couple of screwdrivers and a hand axe, though I’m unsure why. I guess these are all tools I’m very familiar with. Having spent a fair bit of time rewiring my own house and with the confident expectation that in the future electrical power will be delivered wirelessly, a pair of insulation strippers are going in. Actually I’m living in fear of wireless power delivery being announced any time soon.
The best suggestion to date is to make some tiny scratch marks on the inside of the box and leave a little skeleton in too. Fortunately, I recently found a dried mouse carcass so that will do.
Any more ideas?