This Is Where We Would Have Done It

“Next to my primary and junior schools, in the small town where I grew up (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) was a large recreation park. During term time we played there at lunchtimes; in the summer holidays, we spent whole afternoons playing football. At one corner of the rec was something we called the Hump: a hump of complicated dirt with trees growing on it — all that was left, presumably, of the land that had been cleared and flattened to form the rec; either that or — unlikely given the size of the trees — a place where some of the detritus from this process had been heaped up. The Hump was the focal point of all games except football and cricket. It was the first place in my personal landscape that had special significance. It was the place we made for during all sorts of games: the fortress to be stormed, the beachhead to be established (all games, back then, were war games). It was more than what it was, more than what it was called. If we had decided to take peyote or set fire to one of our schoolmates, this is where we would have done it.”
Geoff Dyer, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (2016)

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