Things that make you feel old
Spent today at the Buckinghamshire Railway Museum with my friend Esther and two of her children Benjy and Zara. Aren’t they lovely?
Zara has a habit of sticking her tongue out if she knows you’re taking a picture of her. Probably a form of protest which I ought to respect, but I just got around it by taking the picture before she had a chance to stick her tongue out.
We spent 4 hours wandering around, looking at steam locomotives and riding on little trains – after which fairly unstrenuous activity I ended up with a migraine. And they weren’t even *badly behaved* children! No shouting, no screaming, no fighting, just lively sweet kids.
So, apart from ending the day having to lie down in a cool, darkened room, things that have made me feel old today:
1) Trying to explain to Benjy what a ‘typewriter’ is when we saw one in a mocked-up War Office railway carriage.
“Well… it’s like a computer, in a way. Do you see the keyboard there?”
“Yes! So where’s the screen?”
“Um well it’s not quite like that. See those strips of metal? They had little bits of metal on the ends of them which had letters carved into them…”
“Well, when you pressed the key here, the metal would move and – “
Benjy, rapidly losing interest: “And then where’s the button to press to make it print?”
2) Realising that the very signage board Esther and I used to use to see when our trains were coming from Wembley Park when we got the tube into school is now so obsolete it is *in a museum*. This is it open, so the writing is mirrored:
I didn’t even want to ask them if they had any of those cardboard ‘return’ tube tickets I remember from my first year of school. Do you remember them? You had to tear them in half, and the top half was for the outward journey and the bottom half for the return journey? No? Ah, see, I feel old.