IRUSHED back to the news room, breathless and full of excitement. I had a remarkable story about an Exeter couple's garden – and a photograph to capture every blooming detail.
I connected my new Echo-provided, whizz-bang, state-of-the-art, camera-phone with knobs on, to the computer and loaded up the picture – which revealed southern France when seen from 50 miles up.
This could not be right. I have never been 50 miles up, let alone above Marseilles and the like.
Naturally, my first reaction was that GCHQ had somehow hacked into my computer for the CIA, MI6, CSI, MCC, RAC, or some other set of sinister initials – which just shows how paranoid I am.
I then suspected colleagues on the Western Morning News had hijacked my exclusive garden picture for their own use and replaced it with an aerial map of France hoping that being an old geezer, I might not notice.
More fool them.
I decided to call for a second opinion – my wife, who is very good at crosswords and Sudoku and likes murder/mystery programmes.
She looked at the picture and immediately asked: "Why have you taken a picture of your knees?
I looked again – and, when it was observed with what she said in mind, I could see she was right.
What I had taken to be the blue Mediterranean was a view of the ground two feet beneath my protruding knees.
And so another picture bit the dust, landing alongside the interesting pair of shapely legs I snatched at Exwick, the phenomenally beautiful Persian cat hidden behind my thumb and the joyous birthday party that was going on above the table legs I managed to capture.
In truth, I am, no longer the go-to-guy the editor turns to when he wants to bag that exclusive front page image.
I am, I think, a more literary type of chap, a man of lettuce and the pithy phase, rather than a mere snapper of pictures.
It all began when I was quite young and was alarmed to see my old Dad leaping under his raincoat every so often as he struggled to change films in the family camera. It was the only time I ever heard him swear.
Funnily enough I actually studied photography for a short while _ it was my sister's idea at a time when photographers were as famous as the Beatles.
I was equipped with a huge camera that had to sit on an even bigger, wooden tripod. I stood in Ealing Broadway with a black sheet over me and the camera and tried to look inconspicuous as I took "real life" photographs
Back in the dark room – more like pitch-black room – I had to mess around with various and disgusting chemicals to bring forth an image which invariably showed the back of some unsuspecting person's head.
I gave up after three months – much to the delight of all concerned – and became a trainee journalist firmly believing that a word, any word, was worth a 1,000 pictures of your own thumb.
But times change and now I go everywhere with a notebook, pencil – and camera.
I now live in permanent dread of coming across a plane of the Queen's Flight crash landed in a field near me and Her Gracious Majesty scrambling, happily unhurt but rather bedraggled, from the wreckage, Corgi in arms and crown at an odd angle.
And I get a picture of her feet.