arras, Artem, Denmark, eBlaster, Hamlet, intelligent parenting, Laertes, Machiavelli, Montalbano, Ola calendar, Ophelia, paranoia, Pasha, Polonius, Rainbow portrait, Reynaldo, Rosencrantz and Guilderstein, spyware, surveillance
Carrie was eager to spill the beans, and I don’t mean the caffeine
variety, though we were in our favourite haunt, post-Hallowe’en.
Tiger-Lily told me that Juniper’s mother has been spying on her daughter
via eBlaster, she whispered, looking over her shoulder. Juniper discovered
that her mother was monitoring her every keystroke and was downloading
Maybe that’s why her daughter can be so aggressive, I replied. No one
takes kindly to having their privacy invaded. I mean, take Hamlet..
Hamlet? Carrie looked confused.
Yes, he put on an antic disposition to cover up his anxiety at living in a
I’d hardly call the Boothroyd-Smythe’s residence a temple to
No, I continued, but you take my point about Hamlet being annoyed when
people started influencing his girlfriend and manipulating his best mates?
Well, it’s years since I read the play, stated Carrie. But, apparently Gisela,
Juniper’s mum contacted a company called SpectreSoft and ordered a
product, which she then had installed on Juniper’s computer.
Well, they used to say that people who eavesdropped never heard
anything good about themselves, I remarked.
The thing was that Juniper had only been Googling stuff for her
coursework and was using Twitter to gossip about a Housemistress called
Miss Fotheringay, who is apparently seeing an older man, to the delectation
of all the girls in her year, Carrie expatiated.
So, it has all been relatively innocent trivia? But did Juniper find out that her
mother was turning into Elizabeth 1, all ears and eyes, like in that Rainbow
She was furious and ran away to her father’s house. He supported her
human right to privacy and all sorts of nonsense was raised re/ access.
Sounds over-inflated, I opined. It’s half term. I wonder if things will cool
down and she’ll return before school starts?
Well, her trust has been shattered and she says she would prefer to board.
If the school allows it. Her brother didn’t seem too upset. He just threw out
all her yarn and needles and took over her room, as it has much more space,
Isn’t John- that’s his name, isn’t it?- worried that his mum may spy
No. He says he could disable anything that she tried to attach to his
equipment. But he considers her cool for trying.
An obnoxious little Polonius-in-the-making! Someone will spear him
through the arras one day! I ventured.
If Juniper’s put into Miss Fotheringay’s house, then she can spy on her
teacher’s comings and goings for the rest of the girls, Carrie predicted.
St Vitus’ is probably as rotten a state as Denmark! Girls can be so
It’s all about trust and, sadly, human relations were ever thus! I
pronounced. Even Rosencrantz and Guilderstein were traitors and
Ophelia was relaying information about her lover to her father.
Reynaldo was keeping a check on Laertes. Everyone’s paranoid!
Carrie bit into a piece of shortbread. I wonder if anyone is spying on
me? I shred all my receipts, but what if Gyles is intercepting my accounts
and he discovers how much I am spending in Costamuchamoulah each
month? What if he sees how many times I have clicked on ‘Artem’, or
Or ‘Montalbano’? I teased. Just be upfront. That’s the secret. Don’t
hide behind an arras.
What’s an arras? She looked puzzled.
According to the guys, it’s the curvy bit of her anatomy that Ola wiggles
on ‘Strictly’, I informed her.
I shouldn’t worry about Gyles uncovering your secret passions. All the guys
will be too busy clicking on Ola’s Calendar, by all accounts, so it’s touche and
you can bet that male viewings won’t come in single spies, but in battalions.
I think your tiny peccadilloes are relatively innocuous and will be below the radar.
If you’re worried, though, I’d just buy Gyles Ola’s calendar for Christmas. That’ll
keep him off your tail!