You may have noticed from my social media posts lately that I've went a bit "paracord mad". I've used it to make a few bits and pieces as attachments for my camera: a zipper pull for my camera bag, a strap to attach the camera to my bag or belt and reinforced the Op/Tech wrist strap on my SLR.
I'm even wondering if I can use it in any way to make attaching and detaching my lens caps from my lenses any easier. I know, it doesn't look professional and you look like a geek and an amateur and all the photography forums slate you for it. Well, yes, I am a geek, actually.
Given the choice of not looking like a geek and knowing my camera gear is physically attached to me I'll take the latter every time.
It may seem like overkill, but I do have a very good reason for being so cautious.
On an ill-fated trip to London in November 2013 Mam and I went to the top of Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath in London to take some photographs of the view. It was only about 4.30pm but at that time it was just coming in dark.
Mam went to sit on a bench while I busied myself with my tripod and taking the shots.
At 5pm I went over to where she was sitting to get my camera gear and tripod back in my bag. I was almost sorted when I went to put my lens cap back on the lens, it had been sitting in my coat pocket.
Clumsy little me dropped said cap. It landed on the edge of a puddle right in front of the bench.
I bent down to pick it up...and my left kneecap dislocated.
It has happened on a handful of occasions before and it just went back in on its own...apart from that time in sixth form when I knocked it out on a table leg and they had to call the paramedics to come and give me morphine and pop it back in...
This time, it was dark, I was cold and fed up, after the horrendous week we had endured up until then (missing Andy Murray's book signing by 20 books, losing my Oyster card holder with my Oyster card, driving licence and bank cards in it in the middle of Richmond Park during a torrential rainstorm - I got it back on our last day) I'd had enough.
I shoved my knee back in and sat down on the bench as Mam picked up the lens cap.
Then I blacked out.
As Mam leaned forward to pick up the cap I slumped to my left where she had been sitting and landed on the bench behind her.
I was only out for a few seconds, but I felt like I had been in a deep sleep for ages. I heard Mam shouting for me and thought "I'd better wake up and see what she wants."
When I saw the slats of the bench and the grass in front of my eyes I had no idea where I was for a moment, then I remembered.
Funnily enough, to me, that blackout did me good. When I sat down I had been thinking how badly I wanted to get away from there. Short of teleportation that did the trick, if only for seconds.
Mam had been shouting for help and a nurse came over. She asked if I needed food or sugar, in my addled way I told her it was my kneecap and I had blacked out but didn't need any food. She didn't seem to think I needed any urgent medical attention.
We then had to begin the long trek to find transport back to our Travelodge all the way out at Woolwich. It must have been a mile back through the park and down the street to the main road and the Overground station.
Even in my stunned state I was able to see that we could get the Overground and DLR back to Woolwich via Stratford, it would be better than going on the Underground.
As the train trundled along and we sat in contemplative silence, I suddenly started to giggle.
"It could have been worse!" I said to my bemused mother. "I could have fell forward and landed in the puddle!"