When I arrived in Seattle a couple of days ago, and turned on my phone, it beeped as a text message came in. “Have you had an accident recently? Call or text us for no-win, no-fee..” etc. I smiled a wry smile about life in America.

But my distress in having such rubbish sent straight to my pocket was nothing compared to my realisation that this had come from a UK number and had followed me around the world…

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