Over the years I’ve fostered a reputation as a bit of a technophobe. I was the last person I knew (apart from my wife) who refused to have a mobile phone until a few years ago.

I saw little reason to need to be contactable by all and sundry at their own whim, and if I am honest, revelled in the fact that I wasn’t.

It did lead me to suffer a few wasted journeys when I’d ‘arranged’ to meet someone who didn’t turn up… because to them such an arrangement, perhaps made a week previously, was no longer a commitment.

If they decided to phone three minutes before an appointment to say they couldn’t make it, to them they hadn’t let anyone down at all. They’d had a change of plan, they’d tried to let me know in ‘advance’ …and the fact that I didn’t have a phone for them to get hold of me was my fault, rather than standing me up was theirs.

But that seemed a small price to pay, and eventually I decided that if they cared so little about the inconvenience they caused me, I didn’t want to meet them anymore anyway.

For a work related reason I eventually ended up having to eschew my principles and procuring a mobile… but even now it’s only on when I want it to be.

And I have a similar attitude to another modern blight on society.

That of the Sat Nav… or Ask Nav as I call it.

That’s because it seems OK at getting drivers between two post codes, but invariably when they get to within a few hundred yards of their destination, they wind down a window and ask a passer-by ‘Do you know where Smith and Sons Limited are?’

‘No, I didn’t think to note the address before I set off.’

They sit in their dry car as some automated voice says ‘Turn around at the earliest opportunity’… while a pedestrian stands outside in the rain deciding whether to send them in the direction of Edinburgh, or point out the building labelled ‘Smiths’ that the driver would see if he just took his eyes off the little screen in front of him.

All commonsense seems to leave some drivers once they have punched in a few characters, just as it seems it did with the lorry driver this week who became the latest to hit the Wootton Bassett road railway bridge.

‘The Sat Nav confused me’ he is reported to have said, as he perused the wreckage on the road. Not his fault at all then, for not spotting the bridge. Or the turning he should have taken to avoid it.

Here in Sticksville we only really have two roads. On runs east to west through the centre of town while the other runs north.

There are plenty of other side streets for people to live in, which is just as well as the population is supposed to have increased by around a 70% since I came to live here almost a quarter of a century ago.

Nowhere near as ‘sticky’ as it was in 1990 then, but generally speaking it’s the sort of town that you can easily find your way around… especially if you have such an old fashioned thing as a map.

And if you plan your journey by use of a map, you are forced to study the little details that Sat Nav doesn’t do for you.

That road the Sat Nav was going to take you down looks a lot narrower than you thought… oh, and goes through a ford… and it’s been raining non-stop in Somerset for three days. And hadn’t you heard a story about Muchelney on the local news recently?

Not only that, if you do take a wrong turning and end up where you don’t want to be, a map will allow you to actually work out where you are! A radical concept requiring some free thought, which may seem foreign to some people.

So, for someone who has spent all his career in the electronics industry, being such an apparent Luddite seems a contradiction.

But I’d rather nurture the skills that served generations of people before, and retain the self respect of using some commonsense.