Sometimes, even by my own standards, I feel I am getting a little paranoid. That’s not to say that I go chasing after all and every conspiracy theory because I don’t. But, perhaps more than some people, I get this uneasy feeling that all is not quite as it should be. That perhaps we should be paying a little more attention to the small things in life.

To give you an example. Back some years ago in the 1990’s, I was – so I thought – just an ordinary housewife and mother. I had had some work published many years before, I occasionally wrote letters to the local paper, and on one memorable occasion informed them that a certain MP’s name was actually an encryption for ‘Anal Chimp Mule’. (They didn’t publish it – no surprises there.)

However, I was becoming increasingly uneasy and it was hard to put my finger on it. The only thing I could think of was that we didn’t have a television and hence, no TV licence. This lead to a long running correspondence with the licensing people (exasperated, I often replied in verse) and sometimes a TV detector van would park outside the house all day long.

But there were other things too. Post was arriving late or not at all. And when it did arrive it often appeared to have been opened and resealed. There were occasional clicks on my telephone line. Occasional odd sounds and voices too. People I phoned occasionally remarked on GPO workmen outside their homes, messing about with the telephone lines. It was random. But it was worrying.

When we eventually moved house, we paid to have our mail redirected. Most of it was only delayed by a day or so, but some took about a week and had clearly been opened, even though I knew our old home was still empty (it was being renovated.)

Eventually I decided to send a letter to myself at my old address. I typed a load of gibberish on a slip of paper, folded it, and put it in an envelope. Then I waited to see how long it took.

Twelve weeks.

I wonder what their code-breakers thought it said?