Now, in events like this, press photographers are there to do one thing, capture the moment. But since most of the press photographers I know are personal friends, I find it difficult to praise them in an open way. They tend towards the slightly overweight, bearded, heavy drinking type whose idea of a joke is some unrepeatable scatalogical insult that couldn't even be aired on a anonymous blog, never mind in front of the family. Unfair, I know. But stuff 'em.
Their job is to get the picture. That's all. Turn up, click. Job done. Pub.
In our local high street, we stood in the sunshine for an hour awaiting the arrival of The Torch. The pavements were crowded, our neighbours were there, the police were out in force, there were men selling flags, it was all jolly good fun. When the procession arrived - floats, buses, bikes, coppers - the crowd had surged forward into the road so I lost my position at the edge of the kerb. Small children had pushed their way in, little bas....
........but at the precise moment the torch ran past I snapped on my mobile phone.
Unfortunately, as you can see, my neighbour raised his mobile phone at exactly that moment and there, hidden from view, is the Olympic Torch. Ha Ha. very funny.
It's the kind of snap that would get a snapper fired.
Never mind. Yesterday I'm in a Soho pub minding my own business, chatting as you do, when someone says that The Torch is about to be run past and sure enough I can hear the Caravan of Commercialism hooting and tooting its way up Shaftesbury Avenue.I go outside and take a snap as the torch bearer passes by. Can you see it?
Possibly not. There is a zoom mechanism on my phone camera but it's clearly not in use here. Ooops.
So this morning The Torch is coming down the river and we're on a friend's boat, with champagne and everything, right on the water. The Torch, in the form of a bloody great flaming cauldron, is being carried by the royal barge, The Gloriana, and there's a big flotilla of little row boats accompanying it.
Look, here it comes now, that's it in the distance. Behind the big boat in front.
The Gloriana majestically glides towards us, being slowly rowed, and languidly passes by. I am stood on the foredeck of our boat. It's so close we can talk to the rowers. It is the perfect photo opportunity.
I lift my phone camera and press the button. I had been nervously toying with it for some minutes before. And........
....it doesn't work. I press the button again. Still doesn't work. I press and press and press and the seconds are ticking away. Not only that but so's The Bloody Torch, on board The Bloody Boat which has gracefully floated onwards and is now disappearing down river, just as, ahem, The Bloody Camera works.
That's it, just disappearing from sight. You can't actually see the flame, but, er....
....well, I did manage to get this one....
Press Photographers - pah!