Okay, I’m not always impressed by technology but travelling between Hamburg and Essen, I was. I am one of the IPhoneless breed who still uses a mobile to telephone instead of tweeting, twittering and vodpodding, and normally has to sit at a desk in front of an overly large screen with a proper keyboard to go into the Internet. I was pleasantly surpised to be able to update my Blog on the train, with a simple WLAN connection. So I continued my current story, and then went on to read about gender tests on that poor South African woman Caster Semenya, as if they didn’t know beforehand…

Lots of points on this one – like, why act as if they didn’t they know before? Why wait until she wins? Is it only a problem if she wins, not if she loses? But there’s a more general point about the notion of an essential woman (or essential man) which is creeping into the discussion, and is supposed to be proved by a battery of gender experts – as if they really knew the answer to a question which has never been, can never be, adequately answered, as if they really knew what they were talking about. What’s more interesting, though, is that the whole discussion really calls into question the idea of an essential definition of a man or a woman – if there was one, they wouldn’t have so much difficulty applying it! I’m just impressed that anyone, man or woman, can run more than a hundred metres without having a coffee break in between.


Ha – the tax consultant who was going to tell us all about tax in Germany, and believe you me, there’s a lot of it here, has gone missing. Probably waylaid by a passing taxpayer. But it gives me a chance to fill you in on my new idea – combat the demography shift with smoking and extreme sports.
I mean, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. First they tell us to get fit, eat properly, live safely, stop smoking, and now they’re wondering why we’re all living longer – a no brainer, if you ask me.
The easy way out? Make it compulsory for the over forties to start smoking, and take up at least two extreme sports. I would suggest free climbing and high diving. Five years later – problem solved.
Oops, the tax man has turned up – got to run…