By group editor Nicola Priest I SOMETIMES wonder why I have a telephone at home – the only two people who call me on it are my dad and my mum-in-law – other than that it’s nearly all cold callers.

Virtually everyone else, family members and friends call me on my mobile, text or email me.

But my dad, now in his 80s, says he’ll be the last man on earth to have a mobile phone and my mum-in-law, who does own one, uses it for emergencies only.

I did once try to teach her to text but she’s never quite got the hang of it.

So the chances are when the phone rings it’s an irritating cold caller.

Double glazing, solar panels, new kitchens, bathrooms, conservatories, loft insulation, life insurance, holidays and those pesky market research surveys.

One of the latest and most tiresome calls are the recorded messages – does anyone actually listen to any of these?

Give these sales people even two minutes of your time and you never get rid of them.

“Don’t worry I’m not selling anything... we’re in your area ... you qualify for a free ... you’re such a good customer ... the Government is giving you ...”

I don’t care I don’t want any of it. I live by the rule that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

These unwelcome calls are always made at the most inconvenient of times.

It’s Friday night, you’ve had a long week and you’ve just sat down to have your tea, or you’re arm deep in bubbles washing up and have to take off your rubber gloves to get the phone, or Hayley’s just about to take her last breath on Corrie or Wayne Rooney’s just about to score for Man U (I don’t mind missing that but my husband doesn’t like his football to be interrupted by anyone).

And you can’t just leave it.

You have to answer that phone. In the back of your mind you think it might be a family emergency, someone needing yous, so you are automatically programmed to pick it up.

I’ve tried being polite, saying no thank you and putting the receiver down.

But that doesn’t get rid of them. I don’t like being rude to people although I’m comfortable with being blunt.

But what makes my blood boil more than anything is when they ask you questions like: “Do you have a mortgage?”

As if I’m going to tell a total stranger all my financial arrangements.

If asked that question I tell them it’s none of their business.

So we have a new sport in our house, to try to come up with the most original or even downright stupid ways to outwit them.

We pretend to be different people, the Priests have moved house or I’m the babysitter, the housekeeper, the dog walker and even my husband’s sister (he doesn’t have one).

My husband has even more quirky ideas ... he’s been known to say: ‘You realise you have rung a police station’ and ‘This is an old people’s home I'll go and get a carer’. The usual reply to these is ‘Oh sorry I will amend our records’.

You must try it, it’s an enjoyable way of getting your own back.