LAST year, when driving to my sister’s in London, I got lost.

I stopped to ask directions. The pedestrian said: “I know where that is but some roads are one-way and I can’t explain how to get there - I always use my satnav.”

Driving using satnav takes all the effort and fun out of finding your destination. It eliminates the need for map reading and searching for landmarks. It means you need not stop to ask people the way, and you don’t discover places that you wouldn’t know anything about had you not taken a wrong turn…

Abandoning maps also means you don’t argue - we all know that Men Don’t Listen and Men Don’t Read Maps (ignore the book, that’s the correct version) - as your decisions are made for you.

Using a satnav makes for a boring, uneventful journey, spent listening to a robot.

I’m not surprised by the revelation that using the popular devices can damage your memory.

Scientists are concerned our over-reliance on gadgets could lead to dementia as they leave driver’s brains unstimulated for long periods of time.

Parts of brain crucial for memory are stimulated by navigating roads and road signs, says research by University College London, but they go unused when drivers blindly follow instructions from a satnav.

Using a map, or an A to Z, can be challenging. As a disorganised journalist, I remember many frantic journeys wrestling with a map along the way.

My colleagues and I still refer to the area between Great Horton Road, Little Horton Lane and the A6177 as the Bradford Triangle, because we always got lost in there, despite the A to Z.

When I was a student in London, I would never leave the house without my A to Z. I still use my battered old book on visits to the capital. I remember many occasions when my friends and I would read it under street lights while trying to find a party. The worst times were when the road was sited on the crease in the page. Then we had to ask directions.

We came across some great pubs while going round in circles.

Three years ago, when my daughter moved to London I bought her an A to Z. I don’t think she has ever used it, preferring an app on her phone.

At least London’s famous black cab drivers still do The Knowledge, the famous test that ensures they know their way around. A satnav can’t navigate around a traffic jam.

It is disturbing how reliant people are on gadgets such as satnavs. A survey by the vehicle hire firm Europcar found that a third of UK motorists are completely lost on the road without in-car technology.

I am never going to stop using maps. Maps date back to ancient times and have served us well for thousands of years. Their friendly symbols reveal churches - with towers and spires - pubs, viewpoints, post offices, car parks and may other features that we may wish to seek out.

Map reading isn’t easy. Reading a map requires what psychologists call ‘spatial abilities’ - skills we use to manipulate 3D shapes and geometric information in our heads. There are many different types of spatial abilities, each relating to different tasks. To read a map successfully, you need more than one.

Using satnav puts these abilities to bed. You just sit back and obey the instructions. There are, however, occasions when satnavs are not infallible.

The first time I went on a satnav-led journey it sent me and my colleague up a dry river bed in the high Pennines. How his car survived that journey I will never know.

*When I was young I was a regular nightclubber.

I’d leave the house at around 10pm, returning in the early hours.

I can’t remember the last time I did this - I was probably about 24.

The idea of going at the age of 58 is abhorrent.

Yet a new movement of Brits - dubbed the ‘EverGroovers’ - are clubbing no matter how old they get. Around 2.6 million aged over 45 go clubbing at least once a week

Rather them than me. For a start, what would I wear? I don’t think my cardigans and woolly tights are nightclub-appropriate, I haven’t got any make-up, and then there the music. Unless it’s a golden oldies playlist, I wouldn’t have a clue what they were blasting out.

In fact, I’d be surprised if the bouncers would even let me in. 

*Following a planning wrangle, a man has been given permission to build a greenhouse after telling planners he talks to his plants instead of his wife.

The man, from Jersey, said he desperately missed the conversations since moving from a house with a large greenhouse.

It would the same were we to move to a house without a shed. My husband spends hours in his. I once heard him talking and assumed he was with the cat, but no, he was alone with his tools, lovingly oiling them with WD40. He probably gets less backchat from his spades and trowels.