This is a stone on the platform edge at my station, Hawthorn. Carved into the stone is a number, 3.40.37. I had no idea what it meant, but after tweeting a picture was advised by several wonderful people that it was actually (and retrospectively, rather obviously) an imperial distance measurement, e.g. 3 miles, 40 chains, 37 links. There was some discussion about exactly what point it measured from, but somewhere in proximity to or perhaps within Flinders Street Station.
Far more interesting though, selfishly to me, was the fact that I only just saw and noticed this the day I took that photo last week.
I would describe myself as a fairly observant person. I've stood in the exact spot where I saw it from hundreds of times, and never seen it before.
Who carved it? What day did it happen? Why is it even there... obviously it's purpose has long since passed, but why did someone need to know that distance?
But more curiously to me... how many people have even seen that number and wondered what it was? That number was there long before I existed (well, I'm guessing that, but I'm pretty sure I'm probably right) and will quite likely be there long after I'm gone.
And along with these musings, a far bigger question surfaces. If I only just noticed it now, after twelve years of using Hawthorn station, what other things should I be noticing that I am not? What is going on right under our noses that we aren't even seeing?
Questions to ponder.