Day 17 – How much longer?

9 Mar

I walk into Andre’s cell, drawn in by the offer of coffee and quite simply, my brain didn’t react sufficiently fast enough to create a diversionary activity. He hope’s to leave on thursday, if he secure’s bail and take’s the time to discuss faith to me.

“Brilliant” My heart sinks, as I glance at the clock. An hour till lunch and my random thought generator has buckled under the pressure. I contemplate and subsequently accept the following hour as being written off to the annuls of preaching. It’s sweltering hot once more, and I need to focus on maintaining my senses; just as a ‘Guardsmen’ on a summer parade, keeps himself upright. I soldier on as the minutes conspire to freeze, I am probed, interrogated and marketed to spiritually.

Sweat beads drip down my forehead, I spy my watch:

15 minutes till lunch

I get boxed in, Tony’s back and I’ve got more chance of going out the window now than past them two in such confined spaces. Tired from my morning gym session, it’s that bit more difficult. You’ve all had those moments at work, you’re shattered and you can’t help but keep nodding off while some monotone being, poorly delivers a subject devoid of excitement. Army powerpoints do that for me. Always done in an afternoon, after  a hard day training or back off a morning exercise.

Like a prison sentence, this one-way conversation can’t go on for ever, the sound of:

“LUNCH” being yelled out signalled the first plausible reason to escape. I wasn’t to be looking a gift horse in the mouth.


Day 17


I sneak off with the Gym induction party for a second day running to work away a few hours of boredom. I’m taken though my paces by the Demon D-Man and his mate from the yard, Julio. The rest of the gym, bimble around ambivalently, while I desperately try to catch my breathe. Say what you will about ‘criminals’, but a man who is selfless enough to hand over half of his post workout snacks after spending his time helping you workout, shows all of the qualities I would suspect you’d want from a good citizen.

In my absence, I’ve been put forward to work on the ‘Hot Plate’. It means I will have access to as much food as I need and the opportunity to build up a nice cache of snackables. It will also make me a more useful member of the wing and builds my fears of it being something that could keep me at Wandsworth longer than I need. The reason behind this move is apparently we have to be cleared to take the bin bags out to the bins. This walk takes us nowhere nearer escape and is about as an enjoyable experience as putting bins out, ever is. I have no idea why I’m not cleared, if they aren’t sure if I should be here, I’ll happily pop off home. They can drop me a line when they’re ready, I’ll see if I can accommodate the work. Without being cleared we will get shifted off the wing and back into 23 hour bang up. Rather than try to keep those that show a willingness to work, we get punished for a system lacking in proactive and intelligent operators. Instead the prison will be short of orderly staff and rely on some new folk that have come through the front gate. Oblivious to the flawed logic in this: these people will of course be even further from ‘Clearance’ than us. Instead of just fast-tracking the clearance of two inmates. That’s too logical, I suppose.

An emergency on another wing, sees all the screws run to support a violent confrontation; meanwhile I contemplate the prospect of moving off the wing, or changing jobs. An hour later and I learn my fate is wrapped in the important role of ‘Bread Giver Outer’. This means that as inmates collect their food, I am tasked with doing the obvious:

“White or Brown” I ask

Unfathomable grunt

Followed by


“I beg your pardon?” I ask, “Do you want white or brown?”


I give him white bread,

“No, I want brown”

Of course. 🙂

The role has the side perk of being in control of “Almost” margarine, salt and pepper. Arguments are likely to ensue, not ideal when you want to keep out of trouble.

I’m still the cleaner too:

one salary.

£4.95 a week. Hardly cushy now, is it?

I don’t need to give the screws a chance to shift me off the wing, I get on and do as I’m told but I’m desperately worried that this job could keep me in this pit.

I needn’t have worried, not seeing the wood for the trees: my role as chief bread operator is hardly an irreplaceable one. I shan’t think that interfering with my paperwork is warranted by the special attributes I offer Wandsworth here.

Bread will continue to be supplied, Bread doesn’t need me.



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