Jon Mercer, who has run a small (400sq ft) convenience store in Blackburn for the past six years with his wife Vanessa, writes that he has both enjoyed and been educated by this column over the years. "We both knew eventually that 'the time' would come for us," he writes. "What time you might ask? Sell up, give up, get a lottery terminal, change our energy supplier, find the PO's millions missing from the Horizon system?

"No, none of these." In the end it was a familiar foe. "We received our invitation to confirm our entry in the esteemed European City Guide! After ripping open the envelope we stuffed the pre-paid return envelope and hurriedly sent it off."

With a signed agreement? "Oh no, not that. That went unsigned in the recycling."

The Mercers stuffed the envelope with all the other junk mail that they had received that day. Concludes Jon: "So if anyone in Valencia is looking for three curries for a tenner (collection only); some fried chicken; to lose those extra Christmas inches; or to consolidate all their little loans into one huge loan, it might be their lucky day.

"On the other hand they might just wonder why has someone sent me this waste of paper? Well, join the club ECG, that's exactly what we thought."

I have only one word to add. Priceless.