Past, present and future – don’t forget to fill in the nationwide snapshot, the Census form

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SOME days I look in the mirror and think “Yes, you don’t look that old really”.

This is despite heavy bags under my eyes due to very little sleep (that’s the life of a parent!). And despite wrinkles which seem to have appeared from nowhere.

But then I am brought back down to Earth with a bang as my eldest daughter reminds me on a daily basis just how old I am (which is true, in comparison to her).

Usually this consists of asking her dinosaur parents questions about what we had “in our day”.

The other day she was horrified when we said computers had barely been invented when we were at school. And that those computers had to have a whole room to house them, they were so big.

To a child born into a time when computers can be the size of your palm, this does not make sense.

“So you mean you didn’t blog when you were at school?” she asked incredulously. “What did you do instead?”

I told her “No I didn’t blog and I still don’t, yet strangely I do seem to manage to still survive…”

This then prompted “So did you have TVs in your day?”

“Yes,” I told her, “They had actually invented television, and radio too, believe it or not, even before mummy and daddy were born. And funnily enough we had running water and electricity too.”

But when we tell her that CDs and videos were the new technology of our day she just looks at us blankly.

This is a child who knows only downloading from the internet. Even DVDs are old hat to her, never mind vinyl records.

The other half and I certainly need to catch up. However, having spoken to the eldest’s class teacher we are clearly not alone.

Now this helpful soul has set up a special evening class for parents to learn how to blog which I have very happily signed us both up to.

But maybe our ‘old’ age will soon be useful as the eldest is about to embark on her first real taste of history lessons this next term.

Already her class has visited Sheffield’s Heritage Museum and seen how things like mangles worked. Now they are set to travel back in time with a Victorian-themed day at a local farm.

And all this comes just as the country is about to take part in this decade’s Census, which we all have to sit down and do at some point this Sunday.

This will be the first time any of our children will appear on a Census.

This has already sparked curiosity in the eldest as she realises she will go down in history forever.

She was amazed to think that children in a hundred years could look back and see what she was doing and what life was like in the 21st century.

Sheffield people are being urged to complete and return their forms as soon as possible after Sunday. This year there is the added option of completing it online at

Support is available on Sheffield City Council’s website – – or by calling the helpline number on 0300 0201 101.