Back in 2014 I had to drive to Bath early one summer's morning to drop off a box of mounted prints, my application for a RPS visual arts associateship. Photography is many things: a medium, a family of technologies, an art form, a document, allegory, a discourse and more. On that basis I'd opted for this qualification as it helped me sharpen up the basic elements of my practice such as camera handling, how to build up a small body of work and how write a statement. The validation of the award is nice, too.

The run up to, and day of, my assessment in Bath was, however, enough to test the most stoic and unsuperstitious of people:

1.  The 13th print in my hang mysteriously creases two nights before the day. Fortunately Spectrum can print a replacement overnight. World class customer service. Thank you, Hazel.

2.  Shortly after leaving home at 5 a.m. I become blocked and stranded on the level crossing at Portslade by a white van driver while the alarm is sounding and a train is approaching

3.  Later, while driving through roadworks near Salisbury, a truck jumps a red light and heads straight at me in the single-lane.

4. Minutes later I collide with a kill a wounded bird of prey; I cannot avoid it  because of oncoming traffic. 

5. In the outskirts of Bath I become stuck in a traffic jam, behind a 13 bus.

6. My work is assessed late in the day, after another application so impressive that one of the judges jokingly commented he would "fight anyone who disagreed".

And breeeeath.