Seven years ago my Sat-Nav brought me to my new home in Spain door-to-door without a hitch. Since them it has continued to prove it usefulness as I drive many miles to places before unseen to deliver documents and number plates to my widely dispersed customers. It can take me home from wherever I may be lost

OK there are times when it has asked me to turn into a no entry, taken me down tracks that made a mess of the paintwork and once asked me to drive through a reservoir that wasn’t there before. It still shows long gone railway tracks that Senor Beeching removed long ago. It is invaluable as an aid, but is not to be totally trusted

This kind of technology, like mobile phones, was never even conceived of when I and many of you were much younger. I used to spend many hours poring over road atlases and street maps in order to find my way around and am that rare male that doesn’t mind asking for directions, but this has all been replaced and made driving less stressful. Based upon military technology, it plots our place on the earth and can  detect our speed by the signals being transponded between the Sat-Nav device and satellites patrolling well above our heads

If we had suggested when we were younger that we could be guided easily to our destination at the same time as having a chat on a phone (hands free of course!) at the same time, we would have been thought to be lunatics- so what next? Some new cars can park themselves, a great help to the spatially challenged; technology exists that allows cars to be driven with no input from the driver as the car is guided by sensors in the road and maybe this will become commonplace for our great grandkids

Like many of you, I enjoy driving, often with the widows down and sun roof open tooling along the great road network here in Spain, but a little help never hurts

In my younger days I sailed the seven seas as a member of Her Majesty’s Navy where a different set of rules of the road applied. Sextants were still in use by the navigators and a good chronometer was vital to gauge longitude, but assistance came along with the Decca navigation system which triangulated the ship’s position. I keep my links with the Navy via membership of the Royal Naval Association head office branch and am indebted to them for publishing in their magazine the following poem for which I sadly cannot take the credit-Enjoy!

I have a little Sat-Nav It sits there in my car
A Sat-Nav is a driver’s friend It tells you where you are
I have a little Sat-Nav I’ve had it most my life
It’s better than the normal ones
My Sat-Nav is my wife

It gives me full instructions Especially how to drive
“It’s 30 miles per hour” it says “You’re doing 45”

It tells me when to stop and start And when to use the brake   
And tells me that it’s never ever Safe to overtake
It tells me when a light is red And when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively Just when to intervene

It lists the vehicles just in front And all those to the rear
And taking this into account It specifies my gear
I’m sure no other driver Has so helpful a device
For when we lock the car It still gives its advice

It fills me up with counselling
Each journey’s pretty fraught
So why don’t I exchange it
And get a quieter sort

Ah well you see, it cleans the house
Makes sure I’m properly fed,
It washes all my shirts and things
And-keeps me warm in bed

Despite all these advantages
And my tendency to scoff
I do wish that once in a while
I could turn the dammed thing off