Want to feel old? Try this.


Get your hands on one of these little babies. They are harder to find than you’d think:


Next, find a group of kids with ages ranging from 6-10. Show them the film canister and ask them what they think it is. They will look at you blankly.

Then, launch yourself on an explanation about the time before we had phones that could take photos. Explain what a camera is. How film works. About collecting all your rolls of film and taking them to the local pharmacy to send them away. Then how two weeks later, you’d get your photos.

You will feel old.

The other adults with you will giggle awkwardly as they sprout new grey hairs, and you might find yourself drifting into a memory of the various pictures that you have been in and taken over the years. The three month wait after your year ten formal, because there’s no point in getting one roll of film developed at a time. The disappointment of paying for a roll of film to be developed and then realising you had your lens cap on and just paid for 24 perfectly black rectangles on high gloss paper.

At 37 I’m realising that I am in a different generation. I was talking to a friend recently and realised that in our rants and cranky disgust we were actually referring to the next generation. Young people isn’t us anymore. I’m one of these people who you see memes about – people who really do think that ten years ago was the 90s, and that music today is legitimately bad (which it is).

I was at Cubs when I was showing them film canisters, and the reason I was showing them was because we were about to fill them with a mixture of bicarb and vinegar so that they’d shoot off into the air with a big loud pop. I’m pretty sure that the resulting pop is what the kids took home, and not some strange story about how their leader used to put plastic strips into little containers and send them away to get paper rectangles back.

But it’s all about perspective, in the end.

Which neatly brings me to this. Edenland shared this a few days ago, and amongst the giggles about rammed asses, the truth of the statement rose up and slapped me.


There’s this thing that happens in life. You meet people. Some you like. Some you don’t like. Some, you know for a long time. I have a few long timers in my world, and people who I hope will end up to be long timers. But others are only around for a short time. A week. A month. A day even. Someone you nod to on the bus or road rage at when they cut you off. But whatever you do with them, you’re in their life. Part of walking them home. Part of their experience of the world. It’s made me thankful… and more aware not to be an arsehole.

Do you have any film canisters? Dare you to try to explain what they are to a kid. Who are you walking home? Are you improving the journey?


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