Sunday, 18 April 2010

Week 29

This week, a warning: cyber criminals are everywhere. Give them a chance, and they’ll gain access to your computer and invade your privacy. I found out the hard way when, this week, it happened to me.
            When you think of a cyber criminal you probably imagine a lone male, a geek turned to the dark side, surrounded by screens in a darkened room. You never suspect the enemy could be nearby, perhaps even in your own home.
           The warning signs were there all along. Every now and then, my ‘recent items’ would contain files I couldn’t remember opening. I’d leave my computer unattended for a while, and return to find subtle changes – things arranged differently, windows open or closed. In real life, I can sometimes leave a few clothes lying around, but in the digital realm I keep everything carefully arranged, and I can tell when someone’s been rooting around in there.
              Then, this week, the miscreant was unmasked. Returning from a trip to the bakery, I saw Christina exiting the spare room where I work. Her normal confident stride was replaced by the sort of guilty scuffle that a naughty spaniel adopts when it has been interrupted helping itself to some unattended leftovers. Glancing through the door, I noticed that my screen was on, indicating that it had been used within the last two minutes, and that my webmail was open.
“I haven’t been reading your email,” blurted Christina, “I haven’t, and anyway, if I had, then that’s completely normal and everyone does it. But I wasn’t.”

Clearly, any attempt at interrogation would have been pointless – I was dealing with a master criminal.

“I haven’t done it before,” she protested. “You’re not going to tell anyone, are you? Please don’t tell anyone! You can’t prove anything!”
“No,” I sighed, “I can’t prove a thing. Your secret’s safe with me.”

Castellers – builders of human towers known as castells – on the Portal de l'Angel this morning
Celebrity spot of the week: Dev from Coronation Street on the Barcelona Metro! Don't worry, you haven't accidentally stumbled across Heat magazine; this is, indeed, Will y Christina Barcelona.

For those of you wondering who on earth I'm talking about, Dev is a character in a popular British TV programme who runs a corner shop and who looks like he's deposited an entire tub of hair gel onto his head.

Yet for some reason, I find him strangely attractive. In fact, Dev is just one in a long line of unlikely celebrity crushes I've had over the years. There's been David Brent, the excruciating, tie-fiddling boss in The Office, and smug football pundit Alan Handsome. I mean, Hansen.

One celebrity it is perfectly acceptable to fancy is Dominic West from The Wire, a show which Will and I have become unhealthily addicted to. While Will appreciates The Wire for the script-writing, the drama and the other brilliant characters, I'm in it for lusting after Jimmy McNulty, West's flawed but loveable cop.

At first, I didn't have a bloody clue what was going on. This wasn't helped by the fact that I'd fall asleep as soon as the opening credits had ended. I have mentioned before how I'm not really suited to late nights and TV has a soporific effect on me, anyway. We'd usually start watching an episode at midnight, so it was game over for me after the first 10 minutes. It also takes a while to get to grips with the dialogue but once you understand what a 're-up stash'* and a 'shit bird'** are, you're fine.

We have finished watching the first two seasons and this weekend my sister, Catherine, was supposed to be visiting and bringing us season three. However, that's been scuppered by the volcanic ash fiasco. Never mind the British couples who stare forlornly from the pages of the Daily Mail because they were supposed to be tying the knot in Barbados, I want my Dominic West fix!

* According to the Urban Dictionary, this is when drug dealers are running low and they replenish their supply.
** An annoying person.   

The people on the castell get smaller and lighter as they go up, with the very top person (known as the 'exaneta') being small child – in this case a girl of about five or six years old. The castell is a success when the exaneta holds up a hand with the fingers spread, and returns safely to the ground

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