Negotiating the modern world

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A column by Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum

Why is it so hard to negotiate the modern world?

That is the question asked by Dame Helen Mirren in the Radio Times. It is encouraging to know that beauty, fame and fortune do not insulate you from the insanities of everyday life.

An infuriating attempt to find out the time of an audiology appointment at a national chain of chemist shops would provide material for a comedy show, as long as you were not the people concerned.

A friend had arranged this appointment, but on the morning concerned had left behind her diary. Knowing the patient’s name, date of birth, address and audiologist’s name were not enough – post code was the key.  Her home post code did not work, the current one and a friend’s were rejected but inspiration struck and the previous hospital proved acceptable.

Without best friend Google and someone to search for information, the day would have been ruined by the interpretation of data protection laws. The anomaly which made this ludicrous was that they were quite willing to cancel the appointment on the say so of the person they did not trust with the time.

Have you had the frustration of doing a large supermarket shop early enough to beat the crowd, only to find you can’t add beer, even if it is labelled zero per cent alcohol? I fantasised about a situation where all the alcohol free wine, lager and even gin was made available, tempted people to sample, find jolly good and demand that the varied brands be available in pubs and eating places, instead of the ubiquitous coke.

Alas, the alcohol trace in some of  these products mean that all fall foul of government policy. An excellent intention and the law of unintended consequences.

To contact Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum, email the forum chairperson Barabel McKay at