I get many offers among my emails.

There are the usual six or seven a day from someone in Burkina Faso wanting to share $10 million with me, banking scams and fake security alerts and one from a persistent lady in Russia called Maria who wants to be my friend.

“Please open my picture. More can be sent.”

As it happens, I already have a Maria (from Italy) and I never open anything on an email from anyone I don’t know, let alone a hussy from Russia, because it’s likely to contain a phishing device that will take over my computer, steal my identity and steal from my bank account.

Besides, my Italian Maria wouldn’t like it.

But back to those emails. I have been offered a Renoir at 25% off, masonry paint, three nights in Iceland for £185 and discounted camping gear.

Oh, yes, and one claimed Ryanair had made flying simple. As if. But what really made me smile was an offer for self-defence classes.



I checked out a self-defence site and found I could gain an insight into the psychology of interpersonal conflict and violence and learn practical, streetwise self-defence skills that can be used under pressure.

Like, run!

I could discover the legal context of self-defence. Which is always wise to know.

Apparently, hitting a bloke over the head with a cricket bat might be questionable if your action is motivated solely by the fact that he’s wearing a hoodie.

The last time I was in a fight I was 21 and discovered a very good self-defence tactic. I bled a lot.

This scared my opponent so much that he ran away before I could hit him back.

My fighting days, I hope, are over and I don’t think my body is up to the rigours of karate, jujutsu or taekwondo.

But it did make me wonder about how others see me.

Somewhere on the internet, there is presumably an online profile of me that is used by companies who are looking for people likely to respond to the goods and services they offer.

And self-defence classes are the last thing that would appeal to me.

Unless my Maria finds out about the Russian Maria and suspects the worst.

Where do I sign on for kung fu?