Archive for January, 2006

More news…

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

… about the boat. One of our local police – the captain who once detained me when I was in a hurry for a ferry – caught me in Nikos’ last night. A meeting has been arranged in Corfu between me, the Greek police and some Albanian officials, with a view, apparently, to my identifying my boat, and possibly the pirates who stole it.

The date is Saturday 1st April – just over 2 months from now. You can’t say these guys let the grass grow under their feet. I am assured that this is desperately quick by the standards of Albanio-Greek relations, and that the Albanians must be in a hurry for my co-operation. Suits me, if it gets the boat back.

Suldrun…

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

… hereinafter referred to as Sophia, because that’s her name, has taken until today to tell me about her blog – an account of her highly coloured rags-to-riches-to-rags career over the last twelve months. It is cunningly entitled “Totally Ruined”, originally intended to refer to archaeology, but partially true of her life.

Read and enjoy, folks; apparently all the principals in her story have already done so.

An interesting concept, this – the Carfilhiot, Totally Ruined, and Fauxhunter blogs all entwined together.

Another raft…

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

… of stuff from Alfredo about his captured Dork site. I can view it via vnc now, but I confess to a superstitious dread of being found out prying – a dread no doubt fostered by my experiences at the Bank Which Shall Not Be Named, who successfully branded me as a hacker while I was actually doing them a good turn!

Alfredo has got the goods…

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

… on one of the computers that’s been accessing Ginger’s photos on my site and he’s found a couple more photos with codes on them. I don’t know whether to be pleased or embarrassed that he’s taken over the target PC completely – he calls it Dork because of how easy it was to get into. In addition, he has pinched most of the contents of its filestore and he’s using MY website as a sort of depot for it!

The PC seems to be in America, and a shared one. The users, he says, are mostly looking at arabic websites – he’s sent me the list of visited links off the IE history. There’s something unaccountably invasive about following someone’s internet accesses around, but I quite enjoyed it. The arabic ones tend to be a bit militant in character, but it’s clear at least one user favours cheeky pictures which I can’t show you here because, as a responsible blogger, there’d have to be more pixellation than picture!

No more news on the boat.

Very interesting…

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

… news. We all – Alexis, Sophia and I, went to the police station today. It appears that what passes for the Albanian coastguard has impounded a boat that has Alexis’s boatyard plate on it, and which seems to be my boat! They would like Alexis or me to come to Albania and identify it.

I asked whether I’d be likely to get it back. Shrugs all round. According to Alexis, Greeks and Albanians don’t really get on. Albanian criminals have been preying on tourists, particularly in Corfu, and the Albanian authorities haven’t been too interested in sorting it out. Conversely, there is a tendency for the Albanians to be blamed for everything that happens on that side of Greece.

Alexis is very excited about it, but he clearly doesn’t fancy going to Albania, even with me. I suppose, as it’s my boat, I’d better go. Communication lines are very extended. Our police will speak to Athens who speak to some Albanian authority who speak to the people who have got the boat. These arrangements may take some time.

Doesn’t time fly…

Monday, January 16th, 2006

… when you’re enjoying yourself.

This last week has sort of gone zzzziiipp…

But this evening I was brought up short with a very interesting piece of news. Alexis appeared in Nikos’ in a state of high excitement. Apparently, the police have contacted him about my boat that was hi-jacked last July. I got that tickle of apprehension that has been missing from my life these last few weeks. What am I worried about?

Sophia wanted to know all about it, and I realised that I’ve been suppressing the alarming memory of that experience of piracy, and had never told her. I related what I can remember, most of which is here, of course.

Idyllic time…

Monday, January 9th, 2006

… has been had by all. Lovely lemon chicken from Nikos’ last night, a Metaxa or two. Wobble home on trusty bike. As full an English breakfast as it is possible to have around here. I think I’m in heaven.

Also an email from Alfredo, saying he got home OK. He was positively gushing with enthusiasm.

Just back…

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

… from taking Alfredo to the airport. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed his enthusiasm and company.

We’ve decided to leave Ginger’s image in place while we find out what it’s all about. There’s a good chance, if Alfredo keeps his eye on it, that we may spot when a new image is put up on the site, and where it comes from.

Sophia is still here. I haven’t really been addressing the Sophia subject in this column. Suffice to say that we both appear to be enjoying each other’s company. Now that Alfredo is gone, we both have that “Alone at Last” look in our eye.

Supper at Nikos’ beckons.

I managed to prise…

Friday, January 6th, 2006

… Alfredo loose from the computer this morning, and we all went swimming in my private bay. I had to ferry Sophia and Alfredo separately, as there is only one pillion seat on the bike. It was rather cold on the journey, because it was early, but it only made the sea feel more like a warm bath than ever. I swear it was the first time either of them had swum outdoors!

We were exhausted when we returned, but while Sophia and I prepared something to eat, Alfredo described what he has found out about Ginger’s jpg file. He has made no progress with the coded message. This is no surprise, as it is too short a sample, and its content so unknown to us that it is unlikely we could have broken all but the simplest of ciphers. The Arabic is commonplace, and appears everywhere these days. “Allah Akhbar” – God is Great.

However, there have been a remarkably large number of hits on the picture considering that it isn’t really part of my web site, just an isolated file. We’re not talking thousands here, but, according to Alfredo, the accessing IP addresses all seem to be public access points, principally in the USA, Holland and England. “Curiouser and curiouser”, as Alice would have said.

Why should Ginger dump one of his pictures on my web site, having refused ever to give me one for display here, and not tell me about it? How do so many people know it’s there, and why do they access it?

On top of this, Alfredo tells me that some of the accesses to the file occurred before the date of the file. What this means, of course, is that there was another version of the same file there before the current one.

Despatches…

Thursday, January 5th, 2006
From: (Lionel)
To: (Carfilhiot)
Subject: Happen Ewe Ear

Felicitous Greetings from The Haunt of
the Polar Bear. I am deeply gratified by 
the tidings in your recent e-mail. Free at 
last! I should say "we" as (Desmëi) 
is also delighted that her encouragement 
prompted your surrender to Justice. I have 
seen fit to forbear from disabusing her of 
this fond illusion. Domestic bliss is difficult 
enough to achieve without poking it with 
a stick (optional: 'orse's 'ead 'andle).

Am eagerly anticipating the warmth of 
a brief sojourn in the Dark Continent in 
connection with the African University 
project, one of the infrequent and 
miniscule benefits of becoming the 
Dean of Wog Watching (oops... I mean, 
of course, Social Anthropology) on this 
vexatious undertaking, in which the 
Napoleonic War is daily re-enacted in 
disputes between Francophone and 
English-speaking elements of this 
underfunded community of well-meaning 
academics. Regrettably, I find myself to 
be the go-between - a believable Brit 
with a French name, fluent in both lingos.

Should I find myself able to parachute 
into (Greece) en route, I shall foist 
myself upon your hospitality for a day 
or twain.

Your Inebriated Childhood Pal,
Lionel

From: (Carfilhiot)
To: (Lionel)
Subject: Foist Fest

I'm impressed. 
Enjoy your quest. 
Be my guest.
All the Best,
That Zestful Pest,

Carfilhiot