… and apparently losing my marbles. In fact, its probably about time I retired to some nice little cottage on the coast and spent my time sitting in a rocking chair knitting socks or something.
Here’s the sad tale of my evident decline into total senility…
Shortly after getting into this photography lark a mate of mine (the same mate that was responsible for me getting into it in the first place, damn his hide) recommended a particular bit of kit to me.
The “Lenspen” to be precise. A nifty little gadget shaped somewhat like one of those chunky felt tip pens. With a slidey-out brush at one end for flicking dust and other loose crap (fag ash springs to mind for some unaccountable reason) off the surface of lenses, and a little circular pad-type thingy at the other for the more stubborn smears. When not in use this pad thingy is covered by a cap on the inside of which resides a bit of sponge… that can be periodically moistened with a drop or two of lens cleaning solution I do believe.
Its a simple bit of kit, made of plastic. When I first bought one from my local Jessops it cost about seven quid… not really cheap, but not particularly exorbitant either.
And its proved to be almost indispensible. One of those sort of things that are so useful, and used so frequently, that one almost becomes unaware of using it. Until its not there of course!
And it had just about got to that stage (where it becomes indispensible) when I lost it!
I remember the occasion well. Way back in July it was. I’d gone on a little jaunt, to a stretch of Bedford’s river that I don’t normally visit, for one of my photo sessions.
Sat on the grass bank I decided to switch lenses for some long shots (which is why I remember the occasion so well, for changing lenses is something I try to avoid as much as possible) and, in a habit then well-established, reached for the Lenspen to clean the newly attached lens.
All well and good, and proceed with session.
Get back home, process the pics, and think no more about it.
Until I get ready for my next journey out. When (another habit I’ve developed) check all kit’s present and correct. Yep. It’s all there, all ready to go… apart from the Lenspen. Of which there’s no sign. So I try to recollect the last time I used it. Which of course was the session just related, remembered so vividly.
Dammit! I must have left it laying on the river bank, or perhaps it had fallen out onto the bank when I’d been packing the bag again.
Oh well. Just have to buy another one. Which in due course I did. And not a little miffed to discover the price had risen to nearly nine quid. “Hell, that’s a bit of a jump!” thinks I.
Anyway, brand new Lenspen so I’m back in fully operational mode again (surprising how lost I felt without it despite having all the normal lens cleaning stuff plus one of those little puffy brush things).
Another photo session a coupla months later (beginning of October to be precise), this one in the vicinity of Bedford town, to try out the newly-acquired Sigma lens.
Session completed, repair to my favourite haunt (The Bear pub) for some lunchtime refreshment.
Can’t be in The Bear of course without taking a few pics, so out comes the camera, off with the lens cap, out comes the Lenspen… or rather, not!
Its gone. Missing. Vanished. Bugger. Lost!
And I remembered when I’d last used it. Not 45 minutes previously. During the just-ended photo session in fact.
I also recollected that at the end of that session and before setting foot for The Bear I’d stopped to put my jacket in the rucksack, on account of getting a bit warm. And that I’d had a struggle getting it in.
So, I muse, after using it I must have put the Lenspen in a pocket of the jacket rather than returning it to its proper home in the camera bag (as I normally do) and, during the struggle to stuff the jacket into the rucksack it must have fallen out of the pocket.
Doubting myself somewhat, and disbelieving my bad luck, I thoroughly search all my pockets (including the jacket) and the camera bag. Yep. Lenspen gone.
But doubting also my ability to conduct any sort of proper search under such trying circumstances I get my mate at the pub to search my pockets and camera bag.
Yep. Lenspen definitely gone.
Oh damn and blast it. A quick toddle along to Jessops then for yet another Lenspen and another parting with a tenner (well, ok, a bit under).
Home that evening and transferring all my kit from the camera bag I’d used that day to another one, what do I discover in a twice-searched pocket of the bag? The “lost” Lenspen!
Ho hum. Well, at least now I’ve got a spare I s’pose.
Meanwhile, mate from the Bear, having been persuaded by me of the usefulness of Lenspens, and in anticipation of the arrival of his new camera, sets about searching on the Web for such a gadget in the hope of finding one cheaper than Jessops flog ’em. And he does! A pair in fact. And cheaper than the price of one at Jessops.
Quick conference with me to find out if I’d like to go halves with him on the cost and have one of the pens as a spare. Of course I would! After all, a spare lenspen’s got to be useful in case I should lose the two I’ve now got (with me, anything’s possible).
More time passes.
Sat at the desk and need to plug in a bit of computer kit. Rummage around under the desk for the extension power block which, over time, has managed to get itself kicked under there, and what’s this I find nestling alongside it? A felt tip pen? No. Bringing it out into the cold light of day it reveals itself to be… a Lenspen! And, by a simple process of elimination, not just any Lenspen but the very first one I’d lost on the river bank. Couldn’t be any of the others cos they’re all present and accounted for.
Well, clearly I hadn’t actually lost it on the river bank; clearly, cos its here, in my grubby little paw.
So it must have quietly fallen out of my bag when I’d got back home and was checking my kit, and equally as quietly rolled under the desk.
Either that or my desk and its immediate surroundings are the equivalent of “the Luggage” in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I say that cos I’m reminded uncomfortably of the episode with the batteries.
So I’m now, and quite inadvertently, the proud possessor of not one, not two, not even three, but four lenspens! Almost enough to keep one permanently in every camera bag I’ve got!