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Saturday Night Surveillance

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Date: Saturday 25-Nov-2017. Time: 20:00 hrs. Locus: South Shore, Blackpool, England...
Surveillance in under way. I have successfully located tonight's target - the one calling himself the Saturday Blogger - and am locked on to his IP address. I am observing him via the screen camera and microphone on his laptop. He is completely unaware of this.
Look at him sitting at his desk in the glow of an anglepoise lamp, black Moroccan notebook open at a page headed Stephanie Re-maps The Stars, glass of red wine to hand, concise Oxford Dictionary there if needed. He looks to be a bit of an aging hipster (late 50s?) with his silver beard and denim shirt, though he's also sporting a tangerine scarf that appears to read 'Oyston Out'. Is it cold in his conservatory? Between sips of wine, he is typing away, making a start on his weekly blog. In the background I can hear music playing, which Spotify identifies as the Small Faces (whoever they are - sounds quite good, actually).
Isn't this a ridiculous way for him to be spending a Saturday night! He should be out drinking with his buddies or dining with a lady friend or taking in a movie, not sitting home alone, without even a cat for company, bashing out liberal opinions and dubious poetry for a (frankly) uncaring world.
Let's see what else I can find out by interrogating his computer files, while the fool ponders and poeticises.
Damn - he automatically deletes his browsing history and cookies; double-damn - he's password-protected his correspondence folders; triple-damn - he's encrypted all his passwords. That's not very open and transparent of him, not very liberal - and now what's he doing? Rolling something between his finger and thumb. Looks like blu-tack to me.
Oh, it's gone dark. I've lost visual contact. It's also gone quiet. The sneaky bastard's only plugged up the camera and microphone - that old FBI trick. Now he's posting a big hand on the screen....

Saturday Night Surveillance

Keep Out!

...maybe he wasn't so unaware after all!
I hope you enjoyed that little surveillance skit. The part about me plugging up the screen cam and microphone is true, by the way. I also encrypt as much as I can and make a point of re-booting my router every couple of days - that way it gets a different IP address assigned dynamically at frequent intervals. The only downside is I have to keep confirming my identity to e.g. Facebook and Google to verify that my device really has changed IP address and I've not been hacked! A small inconvenience, I feel, to minimise the risk of invasions of privacy.
As for today's 'dubious poetry', it was prompted by my thinking about star-gazing - surveillance of the heavens being one of man's oldest pastimes.
We still refer to the constellations by the names given to them by the ancient Sumerians and Greeks (the majority documented by Ptolemy), who fitted their configurations to well-known deities or animals e.g. Andromeda, Aries - the ram, Cancer - the crab, Cygnus - the swan, Gemini - the twins, Orion, Scorpio, Ursa Major - the great bear, Virgo et cetera; but just supposing the heavens were to be re-interpreted by a twentieth-century Fox. It's a true tale. Cue...
Stephanie Re-maps The Stars
She was a sky-whisperer, my first love,
a soft-voiced murmurer to heaven above
in the dark hours, bidding the stars
to shine just for us
and every summer night
naming a few constellations anew
for our innocent delight...
Bright Sirius,
no longer part of the Greater Dog,
became a blinking button on the Radiogram.
I can still see it outlined in my mind.
And Rigel, to Orion's consternation,
was recast as the eye of Arachne,
that weaving spider of ancient lore.
What had formerly been the Ram
she reconfigured as the Watering-can
and as I lay beside that extraordinary girl
other formations were re-mapped in turn
as the Scissors, the Car, the Hat, the Guitar;
there was even the Tractor as I recall.
She was the daughter of the village char
and for one so young, her knowledge
was astronomical.
Stephanie Fox held me in thrall for a week.
I hope that somewhere she's sky-whispering still.
I'd like to think she went far.
Thanks for reading. May your stars shine bright, S ;-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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