My blissful ignorance

I’ve been looking to kick the new year off with something a bit different. It’s not that I haven’t been able to find any dead birds down the drain, oh no, there’s not shortage there. Or piles of litter, car-flattened blue-tongue lizards or discarded trollies. But I decided it was time to turn my attention to something that occasionally puzzles me or catches my attention. It’s those metal tags on telegraph poles.


Perhaps it’s my background in the world of sparks and wires but these things always catch my eye. I particularly like the ones on old, splintered poles, as though put there by early settlers. A kind of Hamilton North version of the Dig Tree.


What are they saying? At their simplest I suppose that they’re identifying a particular pole in a particular location, useful for directing workers to faults in the line or when replacing the poles.


Then there’s another layer of information. Maybe JU2 means “fed from Junction Box 2”. But what is the difference between HP and HR? Or just plain old H?


I could probably Google this and find out but there are some things in life that I’m quite happy not to know, and this is one of them. There’s something that’s almost omnipresent and leaden about the vast knowledge bank that is the Internet and it’s click-of-a-button offer to provide the answer to everything you’ve ever thought of ever. And so, on this subject at least, I shall remain deliberately and obstinately ignorant.

In the mean time I’ll give you a trolley. I know you’ll hate me if I don’t.


7 Responses to My blissful ignorance

  1. Ruth Cotton says:

    Well resisted, Mark. Can’t wait for what might be next?

    • Mark MacLean says:

      I don’t do resolutions, Ruth, but this year I’m going to find out less. If I have to Google it, do I really need to know it?!

  2. Mick says:

    When and where was that last photo taken? I’m scouring the creek where I think it is, but no trolley or, more importantly, bike parts are to be seen. I play bike polo and need a constant supply of wheels. Don’t tease me with old treasure photos.

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Oops. It was just before Christmas. I think the whole lot got scooped up by council. I PROMISE I will gather all wheels of all sizes and roundnesses to support your future polo career. Pukka!

  3. Matthew Squair says:

    There’s a whole arcana of power poles, if you look closely you’ll see dates and tags that relate to when the pole was last inspected for termites, as well as test bores. The old poles are also pressure soaked in creosote, which smells like hell if you throw it into the fire (as I learned as a kid).

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Lord of the Power Poles, Prophet of the Creosoted Arcana, Defender of the Termite-tagged Archive: I bow before you!

      I was GOING to say that it was more satisfying learning this from a real human being, but as one avatar to another I’m not entirely sure that’s true!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: