Of course, one of the first rules of photojournalism is always having a camera to hand. I did have an excuse on Sunday as I was trying to do my first 10 mile bike ride for many weeks and was flying along the cycle path. I had my cycling camel bak rucksack with a three litre reservoir of water and drinking tube. Inside were a spare inner tube, pump, tyre levers, multi-tool and a few other things. What I didn't have was a camera and, yes, you have guessed it a great photo opportunity arose. Some distance ahead, I saw a mother and daughter with two dogs on leashes. They were misbehaving - the dogs, not the mother and daughter! As I got closer, I realised they were walking two billie goats. No camera, no shot and I was so disappointed. I am sure it would have used by a magazine. Next time, I will have my camera with me.
This episode reminds me of my worst journalistic experience some thirty years ago. I was in a phone box on the harbourside at Brixham in Devon. I was reading my story over to the copy taker at the local paper. When I finished, I turned round and stepped outside. The place was crowded. Someone said to me, "Did you get the photo?" "What of?", I asked. Evidently, an armed stowaway had been disarmed on a tanker moored in Torbay. He had been brought ashore by Pilot Boat surrounded by armed policemen - right next to the phone box. Now, that was a picture that would have sold . . . The moral of the story was: "If you are phoning in copy from a phone box, look over your shoulder occasionally. Oh, and the important story I was phoning over? It was a report on a jumble sale that had raised almost £3. Groan!