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COULD you survive without your phone ?

A question asked to me by my recently phoneless Mum, during the car journey back from Basingstoke shopping centre to Salisbury on Wednesday afternoon.

I responded immediately, “Well yeah of course”, as I was in mid-response to a WhatsApp message.

But then, once I pressed ‘send’ on that text message, I actually had a second take, and changed my answer to, “actually, no, I’d be pretty screwed, my education, contacts, everything is on this”.

I use TimeTree for my calendar, it’s a calendar app that you can share with people, and use colours ! My March page is like a rainbow with the amount of events,meetings, other things my brain can’t store, but it’s all colour coordinated, well to a point.

Cricket is coded in green, for grass. Weekend work is in yellow, Mettricks Cafe (the cafe I work at) is branded yellow, rent is in black, self explanatory, and then any other business is in turquoise because it’s my favourite colour.

Back to the answer. Sadly, I wouldn’t survive without my phone, mainly because life is now shaped around them. But , in terms of actually ‘surviving’, oh absolutely! I would love to go away for a few weeks with no phone, surrounded by nature, and I might even pick up a book again.

So, how come my Mum has no phone ? Strap yourself in for a real life, comedy-esque sketch.

We returned to the car after a successful shopping trip. I placed my new,navy suit – that we purchased ahead of the SJA Sports Journalism Awards that I’ll be attending this Monday in London – in the car, we belted up, and headed out of the car park.

The sun was shining through the windscreen, we hopped across the roundabouts towards the motorway and as we merged onto the M3 I shouted “floor it!” – my Mum has a red, Audi S3, for those non-car people, it’s a pocket-rocket hatchback that goes very quick when the accelerator is pressed.

She did. No faster than 77mph, of course. But then, “Iphone disconnected” popped up on the dashboard and the same notification appeared on Mum’s Apple Watch simultaneously.

After a frantic search through the deep depths of my Mum’s handbag, no phone was discovered. We pulled over at the next safest spot, a lay by five miles down the road, searched the car, no phone.

I opened up ‘Find My Iphone’ to see my Mum’s device still ‘active’… but stationary, five miles behind us on the side of the motorway.

We exited and then rejoined the motorway back towards Basingstoke. It wasn’t quite Dukes and Hazards or Fast & Furious style, but mentally it was enthralling.

We re-joined the same slip road but this time pulled over on the hard shoulder, put the hazard lights on and got out the car for a cautious discovery.

Well, I think the picture explains it all…

Will’s Mum looking at her once useable Iphone 13.

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, yes she left her phone on the roof of her car and drove off, yes it stayed on for ten minutes going around roundabouts, and yes it fell off when I said “boot it”. Was it funny? Yes, well to me at least. Could I survive without my phone? No.

My phone was in use a lot on Monday afternoon as I and our group, FWC squared – Freddie, Will, Chloe and Chloe – filmed a video package on the Solent Men’s Football Third Team.

I was getting all sorts of angles and content, as the brilliant cameraman I am, so much so, that the little black pellets of the astroturf managed to get inside the pouch of my hoodie.

This package came together in our ‘Tuesday Newsday’, where I was producer, video editor and presenter for the day. Have a look for yourself.. Oh just a side note; Solent ended up losing 3-1, maybe we are a bad luck charm.

Solent Men’s Football Third Team Video Package.

I am a perfectionist. But unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties when our final live bulletin was aired. It was out of our control. It was frustrating as worked hard all day and nailed our previous bulletins to perfection. But we accepted that not everything can be perfect and we are at University to learn.

I have some big news by the way. You might remember in my last blog that I mentioned I might be going to The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, America? Well, I am! As a journalist!

Long story short, it all started with “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” sort of situation to my lecturer, who has been attending the tournament for years previous but sadly won’t be able to go this year due to a cancer treatment. Fast forward two weeks later, and I’m booking my flights to Atlanta, rental car for Augusta and pinching myself in disbelief.

It was a very contrasting moment when I received the confirmation email. I was watching the film ‘Interstellar’ – one of my favourite films – and during the sad scene when Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) watched back the years of video messages he missed whilst being away in space, my phone vibrated “b-ding” and appeared a Gmail notification from The Masters.

I paused the movie with half a tear welled up in my eye socket – from the film – opened up my phone and without time to think about the potential outcome, I read the top line.

“William, you have been approved for a 2024 credential.”

I was very still in my reaction. Purely out of shock, and the fact I was so engrossed in the film seconds before. I took a screenshot of the email and sent it in my family group chat. I grinned, took a big exhalation and pressed resume on the film.

Minutes later, I was rudely interrupted by my biggest fan, my sister. She facetimed me from 11,000 miles away, in Wanaka, New Zealand, to congratulate me. We chatted, it was sweet. I ended the call and pressed resume once more on the film.

It wasn’t until the end of the two hour and 49 minute movie that it really sunk in. I surprisingly slept well that night.

A piece I wrote about the Championship Dinner in preparation for The Masters https://solentsportsnews.com/jon-rahm-swaps-green-jacket-for-chef-apron-as-he-announces-his-spanish-themed-championship-dinner/

Earlier that day, another one of my lecturers, Graham Hiley performed a guest talk in front of us sports journalism students. Graham is not flash, nor extravagant or extroverted, but he is truly the most intellectual journalist I know with a fantastic sense of humour and has an immense storage of unearthed stories that I could listen to for hours on end. The ‘cool grandad’ type, who can really sell a story to pricked ears.

He showed us one of his first print newspapers that he featured in, crazy to think that the newspaper is almost double my age!

Southern Evening Sports Echo Newspaper from 1983.

The hour talk had to come to a swift end as another class were due in the lecture theatre at that time. But we carried on the Q&A conversation outside the room from which I sat across Graham, I asked three questions to which he replied with at least five stories for each.

Once he finally ended his stories, I said to him, “You need to write an autobiography in your semi-retirement”.

Not because I think that Graham should hang up his teaching boots – he did find that funny – but far from it. He has this ridiculous pile of stories kept in this vault of which we call a brain and it would be such a shame if they never get turned into ink onto paper for people to read.

To round off the week I returned home on Sunday evening to relax, book Masters logistics, have dinner and a beer. But in typical fashion that didn’t really happen.

I had a teams meeting to attend that I forgot about the second I got home, I then made the roast dinner for my family, looked at flights but didn’t progress as I left my passport at my uni house in Southampton.

I did have a beer though. It was called ‘Proper Job’. To that, I raised my glass and cheersed myself after another busy week.

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About Will Hewlett

If I am not playing sports, then I am watching it. If I am not watching it,then I will be dreaming it. If I am dreaming of it then I might as well be writing about it !

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