This will costa packet

AS I picked the letter up off the mat, the postmark caught my eye. Who, I wondered, could be writing to me from Malaga?The answer, apparently, was a doctor, from an attorneys at law in Madrid.

AS I picked the letter up off the mat, the postmark caught my eye. Who, I wondered, could be writing to me from Malaga?

The answer, apparently, was a doctor, from an attorneys at law in Madrid. It seems they are holding Spanish lottery winnings for me amounting to getting on for a million euros. Whoopee.

Except that I don't waste cash in our own lottery, let alone the Spanish one. And all the stuff about an unnamed investment company “betting on my name” is pretty obvious fooey.

What's more, although my name and address were perfectly correct on the envelope, the letter itself began “Dear Sir/Madam”. And by a curious coincidence (perhaps) my brother received an identical letter the same day.

It was fairly easy to confirm my suspicion that there is no law firm under the name I was given in Madrid and that the address on the letterhead doesn't exist.

So I won't be ringing the doctor on the number given. And if you receive any similar letter, I'd recommend it go straight in the recycling bin.

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If this transparent attempted fraud had arrived as an unsolicited email it would have been deleted unread along with all the daily offers of cheap drugs and body-part enlargements.

I only mention it because someone must think it a worthwhile investment to print their spam on good-quality paper, print real-world addresses on real envelopes and post them with a 58-cent stamp on each one.

They must think there are an awful lot of suckers out there. Or they have a plan to make thousands from anyone foolish enough to phone that number.

THAT Brian Eno's an interesting bloke. Woodbridge-born, Ipswich-educated (St Joe's), he's probably still best known for his time with Roxy Music.

He was actually only in the group from 1971 to 1973, featuring on two albums. At the time he referred to himself as the “non-musician” in the band, which may have been ironic at the time and certainly is now.

Unless you're a fan of ambient music, you probably can't call to mind any of his many compositions. But there's one you're certainly familiar with. It's his briefest work - and almost certainly the most frequently heard tune in the world today.

In 1994 he was given a commission. As he describes it, he was asked to write “a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional, this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said 'and it must be three and a quarter seconds long'.”

Which is how Eno came to write the Microsoft Sound, that little six-note ditty you hear whenever you turn your PC on or off.

He's also worked on albums by a bewildering array of artists from Genesis to U2, Depeche Mode to Paul Simon, the jazz legend Miles Davis to classical composer John Cage. His own major compositions include one called Evening Star.

So, as I say, interesting bloke. If you want to talk, or make, serious music, he's your man.

But an adviser on “youth issues”?

The very fact that the new leader of the Lib Dems, the 40-year-old Nick Clegg, has picked Eno to keep him in touch with young people shows how badly he needs the advice.

Brian will be eligible for his bus pass next May.

AS political scandals go, the mislaying of a hard drive full of learner drivers' names and addresses is small beer.

It's no threat to anyone, because there's nothing there worth stealing - no information that isn't readily available anyway.

The true scandal is not the loss of the info, but the reason the disk was in Iowa in the first place.

The data it contained was of British interest only, essentially a private matter between British citizens and their government.

It was only in the US because of a piece of back-door privatisation. So now we know that our road-taxes are being spent in the dullest part of the world's richest nation.

That jobs are being exported west while civil servants here are being laid off.

If the idea was to increase efficiency - well, that doesn't look very clever now, does it?

If the decision was an economic one, why America? If the DVLA had decided to get its admin done in Delhi or Dhaka, I could have understood it better.

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