In My Opinion: Craig Bradshaw: From virtual reality to stark reality

IN an age when I’m still amazed that everything is a click away and am bamboozled by the irony that I can send my travel itinerary to my car from my computer, even though I can’t find the keys to drive it, I guess it marks me out as something of a dinosaur in modern media terms.

Luckily, I have an app on my iPhone that connects to the chip in my keyring which leads me directly to the attached keys, once… I’ve found the iPhone.

To do that I use my iPad, which has a helpful ‘find my iPhone’ app, connected to the essential ‘find my iPad’ app which is found on my Mac.

If all else fails, I ask my wife.

And all of this from the comfort of my sofa – and herein lies the message.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been feeling unwell, generally sluggish and increasingly forgetful.

The pressure of keeping up to speed as the world of work accelerates from one day to another?




Well, more than two years of online research later, in-between work, more work and, yes, even more work, I finally plucked up the courage to go and actually see my GP.

I drove the half-mile there, having found my keys down the back of the sofa, on which I’d been sitting for the previous four hours.

Conveniently, the ‘sat nav’ in the car helped me to find the surgery, although programming the postcode into it probably took longer than if I’d actually walked there.

Before you could say, ‘online shopping experience’, I was in hospital being drained of blood and tested in every imaginable way possible.

Now, my research indicated that I had Dengue Fever, complicated with a clatter of lesser, but well-documented illnesses. But real world tests revealed I had liver failure, caused by a lifestyle of excess and indolence.

I’m now on what I call the ‘Egypt’ plan – a totally new regime to overthrow old habits and routines and usher in a new military-style diet and exercise programme, with a shelf life of approximately 40 years.

It’s that, or I’ll be dead in about 18 months – so nothing like a bit of stark reality to sober a man up.

And something tells me I am not the only person working in the media who doesn’t spend almost their whole working day sitting down.

So, it’s back to old-fashioned and sensible practices, such as getting up once in a while and walking, to meet colleagues face-to-face instead of Skyping them. Intriguingly, I’ve learned that the guy in the office two down from me is called Charles and not **3.

Making time to eat lunch, going out and getting some fresh air and drinking lots and lots of water all help and I’ve learned that I have three children.

All of this leads me to the point.

In the modern, virtual world we all now inhabit, it’s far too easy to lose sight of the world in which we actually live.

And that, dear colleagues, is the stark reality of it…

Craig Bradshaw is communications officer at South Ayrshire Council.