Went for a walk at our local nature reserve near where I work in my dinner hour to mark this very special day of numbers
This Friday, at the 11th second and the 11th minute after the 11th hour, the date and time will form a 12-digit palindrome. It will be 11:11:11 on 11/11/11. We have had, since 2000, 10 such sextuplet moments, from one minute past one on 1 January, 2001, to 10:10:10, on 10 October last year. This Friday's alignment, however, is the only one to consist entirely of a single digit, and – assuming we don't suddenly switch to a calendar with 22 months – will be the only moment of its kind for 100 years. For the cynics it's an inevitable and unremarkable coincidence, if not a wilfully manufactured oddity. After all, the date written in full is actually 11/11/2011. Which is considerably less striking. For the superstitious though, it's a moment to be cherished; Indian newspapers have reported a sharp spike in wedding bookings for the day, and film-maker Darren Lynn Bousman has used the date as inspiration for 11/11/11, a horror story about a monster that enters our world at 11:11, through the 11th gate of Heaven. Making a feature film or a life-long commitment to another human being could be called an over-reaction to a long line of ones. Still, we needn't be horseshoe-clutching fortune hunters to at least acknowledge the moment. It shouldn't be hard to keep track of either – 11:11:11 falls just moments after the two minutes' silence remembering the armistice. This year, why not add another 11 seconds of silent contemplation, not, this time, for the war dead, but for this charmingly meaningless quirk of the Gregorian calendar? After all, the odds are that we won't live to see its like again.