I decided to challenge myself by taking a photography course. The only cameras I have ever used happily are compact digital ones, but I felt it was time to get more control over my images and to see if I could learn to use a DLSR. So I've had four days of using a borrowed camera permanently on manual, and my head has been filled with ISOs, apertures, f numbers, shutter speeds, depth of field. Now, of course, I have to master the art of putting all these variables together quickly in order to make the right decisions to get the results I want.
It's not easy, and I have enormous respect for photographers who get it absolutely right, especially those who aren't working in the studio or on carefully organised shoots, but reacting to and capturing everyday life. We went to Soho, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and the British Museum to practice. All are filled with photographic opportunities - and pitfalls.
I deleted masses and masses of images, but this time I had a much better idea of why they hadn't worked. It has been a chastening experience, but a good one.
I now know that it's not a matter of keeping calm and carrying on, it's a matter of keeping calm and thinking about the triangle of exposure.