I think I've been missing a trick.
Life is full of opportunities that pass us by, because we were busy, or we didn't have babysitting, or we quite frankly couldn't be arsed and sitting on the sofa watching series three of Luther on DVD seemed much more appealing, at that particular moment in time.
I've been trying to take advantage of more of these opportunities, recently. I've been to various writing events, including a book-signing by Margaret Atwood, organised by Topping & Company, who I can only assume have some major dirt on every well-known novelist in the western world, given who they manage to entice to come and talk; a masterclass with Helen Dunmore; some Bristol Literary Festival workshops, and a few other things.
But I've just realised that there are a whole host of opportunities winging their way to my computer, or through my letterbox, on a daily basis, without me having to lift a finger.
I recently inspected the contents of my spam folder, and I was astonished at some of the things I've been missing out on. So I decided to stop hitting delete and, instead, take a little time to ponder over some of these opportunities.
So my first opportunity this week arrived courtesy of Mr Robert S Mueller X. I'm not sure whether that's like Malcolm X, or whether he just puts a nice little kiss at the end of his email address, just to make us all feel loved. Now I feel that I've been a little mean to all the kindly-sounding emailers who've been offering me vast sums of money over the last few years. Instead of giving their claims the consideration that one really should give to someone who is offering you $9,000,000,000 in cash, I've thought ill of them, and spurned their advances.
I feel particularly bad about Mrs Mary Parker A Widow In Christ, who called me her Dearly Beloved and wanted to give me lots of her late husband's money. She got quite cross with me after I'd ignored her a couple of times, and chided me gently about my lack of manners and failure to send her $1500.
So, it was with Mrs Mary Parker A Widow In Christ in mind that I opened Mr Robert S Mueller X's email. Well, he's clearly put an awful lot of time and thought into ensuring my well-being. He is most concerned about the fact that I am apparently "transacting with some imposters and fraudsters."
Fortunately, Mr Robert S Mueller X is not one of these unsavoury sorts. Nor is his counterpart, Mr Kim Williams, ATM Card Center Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who has a surprisingly un-bank-like yahoo email address.
Mr Robert S Mueller X has a whole list of people with whom he thinks I should not be transacting. One of them is called Ben, and works for FedEx. Another has the rather unlikely name of "Boden". Now I'm pretty sure I haven't transacted with Boden recently. Although they do keep putting their catalogue through the door, so it might all be part of some major conspiracy.
Anyway, clearly Mr Robert S Mueller X and Mr Kim Williams are extremely concerned about my transacting activity and would like me "to stop communication with any one not referred to you by us."
Now that does seem a bit drastic, but then again they are offering me $9,500,000, which I will be able to withdraw from the cashpoint at a rate of $15,000 a day. And all they want is a measly $550 which, by a massive coincidence, is the exact amount being offered to me by Nextdaypaydayadvance.com.
The only problem is that I'm not sure what I would do with the money, given that I received a most alarming communication from my bank recently. They wrote to me, at my home address in Somerset, to advise me that it was with great regret that they must inform me that my local branch was closing down.
I was mildly perturbed about this, but not overly distraught.
And then I read the next line, in which they were pleased to advise me that my nearest branch was now in Oxford city centre.
This was a little more alarming, since that would suggest that every branch in Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, a fair chunk of Oxfordshire and possibly parts of Dorset and south Wales, has inexplicably closed down, or possibly dematerialised. Which is going to make it a right bugger to pay cheques in.
So I thought I might offer to open a new branch. With my nine million dollars from Mr Robert S Mueller X.
Particularly if I add it to the $8,500,000 currently on offer from Mrs Lisa Adams, the UN Payment Director, and her colleague, James Anton, Diplomatic Agent.
Who also has a yahoo email address.
It seems to be the in-thing in international banking and diplomacy circles.
And I was delighted to hear from my old friend, Mrs Mary Parker, who was clearly anxious to make sure I wasn't short of funds, since she has "the sum of 7.5 Million Pounds to use the fund for God's work."
But things like this should obviously be approached with caution. It's a good job I have people looking out for me. People like Lloyds TSB, Natwest and HSBC, all of whom would like me to enter my details so that they can check I'm not being "frauded."
Which is extra nice of them, given that I don't even bank with them. That's non-customer service for you.
And then there are all those people who want to help me spend my money.
Team Casino would like me to Live It Up at the Ruby Palace. While someone called Welcome would like to offer me Perfect Internet Prices for Rolexes and jewllery.
I can probably afford a Rolex. And some jewllery. Because Mr Wems is Waiting for My Response in order to Discuss this Issues with me.
Actually, I'm just assuming Mr Wems' issues relate to money. He could just be really cross about something I've done.
Maybe my rude rejection of the kind approaches of Mrs Mary Parker A Widow In Christ.
Perhaps I better use my shopping voucher to buy the jewellery. Because it is apparently NO JOKE. I am a possible winner. Possibly. They are VERY HAPPY for ME.
I'm feeling pretty happy too. When I collect my $18,000,000 and my £7,500,000, I'll be able to buy myself some nice jewellery to wear while browsing a list of Hot Singles (Free! to Look!) who will obviously all want to come and help me spend it.
Or possibly lug it all the way to Oxford, in $15,000 cash bundles, to deposit it at the last remaining bank west of London.
All these lovely people who just want me to be happy, rich and not transacting with imposters.
It gives you such a fuzzy, warm feeling inside.