The men in the street were erecting a metal cage. Perhaps it was an official feeding station for feral cats for my neighbours?
Perhaps it was to punish people caught feeding monkeys?
I walked out of the block with Little Rat. The pavement was blocked with wheelie bins and the large cardboard boxes that the cigarette shops dump in our street when they have sold far above the legal limit to naughty smugglers.
I asked how I was supposed to get past. One of them pointed to the road and said they would only be five minutes. Roughseas did not want to walk in the road thank you very much so I suggested they move the offending cartons. One of them sighed and told his colleague to move them. I thanked them very much and we continued on our imperious way.
On our return after more than five minutes, they were still hard at work. Well, one of them was hard at work and three of them were standing around as is the usual practice here.
Light dawned. ‘Oh, it’s for the monkeys,’ I said. ‘Everything is done for a reason,’ said one of them. Not a cage for the monkeys, but to prevent them raiding the bins.
One of the neighbours seemed to think it was for stag nights. Should I wake up one morning to find a naked man imprisoned in there I will do my best to take a photo for you all.
I felt sorry for a) the bin men as it makes their job harder and longer and b) for the man who cleans the bins and outside our block every Saturday as it makes his job harder and longer too.
It turns out my feral cat-feeding neighbour had rung up and complained because he couldn’t take his aging disabled wife out when the monkeys were there. Being a true Gibraltarian, although she likes to claim her British ancestry, she’s frightened of them. I have never seen a monkey go for an old fat disabled woman. They are more interested in plastic bags full of food, rubbish bins, and my dogs. This is invariably dealt with by saying ‘hello nice monkey, please go away,’ and ‘NO’ in an assertive tone to both dogs and monkeys. I am in charge of this pack and that includes monkeys. If there is any doubt, they then get an Arthur Scargill style finger pointed at them, and ‘FUERA!’. (Go away).
The iPhone saga
So there will be no more pictures of monkeys taken out of my bedroom window, or of excited spectators watching the performance. I had some good ones to share with the world, but they were lost on my iPhone, Hal 5.
Hal 5 was refusing to charge, so I reluctantly took him and his lead into the Apple shop. I had an annoying conversation with a so-called technician in which he rudely told me if I wanted a modern iPhone I should be prepared to upgrade my computer so iTunes would recognise it. So I spend £500 plus quid on a ‘phone and then have to upgrade my software or buy another computer? I don’t think so, but he was lucky. I figured he was so thick a lecture on wasteful consumerism would have been met with a robotic stare.
As Hal’s charging lead (lightning to USB cable in techie Apple speak) was working for his ‘phone and a different lead wasn’t working to mine, my unfriendly robot diagnosed the culprit as a malfunctioning docking station.
‘You can take it to La Cañada if you want.’ La Cañada is a large shopping centre in Marbella which I have never visited and had no intention of visiting with my iPhone. Why would I drive 80 odd kms, or get the bus from La Linea and then another bus or a tedious walk, when I bought the ‘phone from the Apple shop five minutes walk down the town?
I said I didn’t want. Robot looked disappointed. Two weeks later I got a ‘phone call, luckily not from surly robot, but a pleasant real life person. I needed to disable find my ‘phone. It needed to go to La Cañada (ha!!) to the other Apple shop as the Gib staff aren’t authorised to open them. ‘They’ll probably swap it for a new one,’ he added. They didn’t, he rang the next day, it was ready for collection. The superstars at La Cañada had obviously fixed it immediately.
When I got it back all my photos had gone and it was on factory settings so I needed to spend ages faffing around with it. Then when I took some photos Hal the laptop wouldn’t recognise Hal 5 on iPhoto. Great. I have a mobile ‘phone with a decent camera and I can’t load it directly to the computer. So now I have to email my photos to myself. I went out and bought some new batteries and a new charger for the Canon digicamera.
Yesterday I connected the two Hals to charge Hal 5. The iPhoto suddenly decided it did know Hal 5 after all.
Today it didn’t. Back to sending myself emails of photos. And back to the Apple shop tomorrow.
Meanwhile the Vamps in the flat above us are in fine fettle this weekend. On Friday the Chief Vamp started throwing the coffins around and screaming at the top of her husky cigarette infected voice. ‘Te odio,’ she yelled time and time again. (I hate you). More coffins thrown around and huge torrents of tears that I thought might leak through into our flat.
Last night however was party night. Apparently they went in and out of the block half a dozen times after midnight, none of which I heard but Partner did.
‘They’ve got to be on coke,’ he surmised. ‘They go out but come back home to snort a line so they don’t get caught doing it.’
What a mundane explanation. They are clearly vampires as I have always maintained. They go out, find some unsuspecting prey, and either eat it in the street or bring it home under the pretext of a party. They were still at it when I took Little Rat out at 6.30 this morning, but they must have fallen into their coffins around 8am. The neighbour next door to them told us today that he didn’t sleep last night.
It’s not just werewolves who get excited at full moon. Vamps do too. Full moon today, Sunday 16 March.
Here, for no particular reason is a pic of last night’s tea. Cauliflower not cheese. Recipe here. Served with organic jacket potatoes, sadly not mine as they were ganneted immediately I’d picked them from the finca. I like the crispy skins so will only bake jacket pots when I can use organic ones.
Seeing red – follow-up
And for those of you who didn’t wade through the comments, WordPress disabled my stolen photo on Mr Caswell’s site, leaving him with a large empty box containing a tiny question mark in the centre. He then took down the empty box stating that the photo had been copyrighted. Um, yes. See that © ?
For some reason, after stealing my photo, he decided to follow my blog. I mention this merely to point out that I was aware of it, and it didn’t alter what I wrote.
Phil wrote an interesting comment about how someone let him know that his photos were for sale on someone else’s site. Whether you are a professional photographer or not, for someone to take your work and then try to make money out of it is despicable and deplorable behaviour.
Interestingly, when I wrote on the WP support forum, one of the commenters said perhaps people didn’t understand about copyright. That may be the case. If you don’t understand why copyright is important I wrote about it here. With the internet and the rise of self-publishing, the issue of copyright is ever more important when people are trying to make money out of their writing and/or their photography.
Copyrighting your work and photos won’t stop determined thieves, but you are at least asserting your right to your intellectual property/material and have a good case should your work appear elsewhere. If that does happen, you need to take out a notice under the Millennium Digital Copyright Act (MDCA) – raincoaster (who posts regularly on the support forum, I’ll try and add the link later) has some great information about it. If it’s a WordPress blog, as it was in my case, you click to the left of the main header bar and hit report content and follow the easy peasy steps.
To those of you who don’t care two hoots about copyright – I wish you did.