ZELLA COMPTON: Too many cheery reminders of just how special I am ...

I wish they'd employ Cambridge Analytica and discover the feeling's not mutual

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 9:00 pm
Reaching boiling point!

There’s change afoot with mailing lists. It’s all to do with data protection and I am glad that all the companies I’ve subscribed to over the years are asking me if I still want to receive communications.

Its been a big ‘yes’ for a lot of them. I like hearing from theatres about the shows they are staging. I like hearing from learning institutes about courses I could attend. I like knowing what activities are happening locally, and further afield.

But funnily enough, the mailing lists I’m on which I don’t like aren’t asking me whether I want to continue to hear from them. They are assuming that I want their spam filling-up my junk box.

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My email’s on many of these, I’m convinced, by dint of accepting electronic receipts rather than paper ones.

‘I won’t be emailed loads of marketing bumf, will I?’, I always ask and I’m always assured that ‘no, that won’t happen’. But it does, from big high street chains. They’re always popping into my inbox with cheery reminders of how special I am to them. I wish they’d employ Cambridge Analytica and discover the feeling’s not mutual, or actually take note when I repeatedly tick ‘unsubscribe’.

The other people who’re ignoring data protection are people like Beanland Ford. This person wrote to me and let me know that an unknown to me but mega-rich relative had passed away, without leaving a will, and I might be entitled to a pay-out.

Normally I’d delete such nonsense with a ‘too good to be true’ fatalistic attitude and move on to the next missive about Russian beauties waiting to meet me, but how could I resist finding out more details of my supposed relative’s demise at the hands of an ‘author incident’?

I clarified this with Beanland, only to discover it was a typo, and the perhaps-relative had in fact succumbed to an auto-incident. Not as exciting, and who wants to deal with a lawyer who mixes-up those?

On the weekend I received a named and addressed letter from a local candidate asking me which way intended to vote in the upcoming elections. From a political party I never gave my address to, never asked for any correspondence from, and will never vote for.

To me that’s worse, that my name and home address, have been sought, received, and used without my permission to enter the real world, rather than the electronic one.


Oh my, I cried with laughter at last Sunday’s Big Painting Challenge on television.

Not due to any of the jokes but, I have to be honest, because the contestants were tackling portraits.

I often – well, less often than I did – pick-up paint brushes and try to pull-out a masterpiece or two.

To see others struggle in the same way, and handle it with such good grace and aplomb and big hearts, had me in absolute stitches.

I have no idea what the rest of the series has been like, but I am definitely tuning in again next week to see what happens when they go outdoors to paint water.

Big-hearted genius from the BBC, which more than makes up for the loss of baking.


My husband and I celebrated 22 years of marriage last week which the internet tells me is a copper anniversary.

Who made these up?

It amazes me every year when I scan what we’ve got to, that someone should spend time doing this.

I imagine it happened over several glasses of liquor, mixed with a fat joint.

I suspect things were written on a scrap of paper, with much jollity (paper! Who on earth would celebrate paper!) and pulled out of a hat before being proclaimed as the utter and absolute truth.

Wood and salt were also great years, and I can’t wait until 90 – that’s an engraved stone apparently.

As most people don’t get married until they are in their 20s, at least, it’s not hard to guess what that’s about.