Photographic camera clubs have never really enjoyed a particular good reputation for being filled with young and vibrant people. But maybe that was then. Perhaps in this digital age, with more young people taking more pictures than ever before, it might be different. So more in hope than expectation, I went along to a local club one evening to find out. It turned out to be a weird time-warp experience...
Although there were actually two or three in their mid twenties and one or two in the mid-thirties, the majority attending the faded and dilapidated community building inside which the club held their meetings, made even me feel young. On the one hand that's good, on the other... Nevertheless they were warm and welcoming and I settled down to watch the guest speaker give his presentation.
Time warp time. I really, really, never expected to have to suffer the experience of watching an interminable slide show of holiday snaps ever again. Within seeing the first four of what would be nearly two hundred slides, I was desperate and looking to escape. But the doors were locked and guarded and it simply would be just too rude to walk out. So being English and not French, I just sat there, bum clenched and teeth gritted, as the presenter droned and stumbled his way through an astonishingly dour selection of fifteen-year-old slides from his holiday to Africa in the last century.
Slide after slide sprang onto the screen via an ancient slide projector as my spirit sank further and deeper, each faded slide showing not an inkling of photographic panache. Relentlessly the presenter mumbled and droned on, pointing out this or that bored looking animal with his trembling red laser-pointer. A member nearby promptly fell asleep, his gentle snoring punctuating the monotonous commentary. I don't think the poor presenter could hear him, but the sound cheered me up no end and rather than continue to be irritated, I began to smile. This actually was fun! I started to appreciate and enjoy what was a bizarre experience completely out of time. I even stayed after half time, enjoying a free cup of tea and a biscuit, and waited for the next instalment. I noticed nobody left. Had I come to a secret masochist meeting?
Can next weeks meeting beat this? I can't wait to find out!