Thoughts of my old cellmate

26 Mar

I’m now a little more focused after the upheaval of being turfed out of Wandsworth and I think back to George. When I left he was facing a spell on basic conditions and maybe the block. I’ve not heard anything else since, I take out a little french dictionary I carry with me inside and take down a 6 digit alphanumeric onto my writing pad. The number is Daz’s, I immediately pen him a letter and update him on my circumstances it’s the only way I’ll get to the bottom of what has happened to George.

The dictionary I use to store any personal information I want to keep discreet. Maybe I’m stereotyping but I doubt it’s the first place anyone looks to sift through your personal files.


I meet up with two lads who I travelled down from London with to grab dinner. We rock up early and get in line to collect our dinner. The queue snakes around the dining hall and is hundreds strong. Early or not, you still wait. It seems the screws won’t let you eat until it’s bang on 5pm. That or they don’t get paid from before, you’d get the impression they hate their jobs. At least I didn’t choose to be here! (They get that a lot from us 🙂 )

I’m keeping an eye out for a lad I know from Southend. I’m not sure if he’s still here but he’s the best bud of a best bud and was always decent enough to me. He picked up a 5 in September 09, firearms and drugs. Knowing him as I do, I can understand the impression that gives off to a unknowing member of the public – it sounds sh*t, but his personality is anything but. If I touch base with him I feel closer to home than I can inside without visits from my loved ones. I’ve spent many a year chatting to our mutual pal G about him, funny that I might get to share conversation on both sides of the fence.

There are a lot of faces to sort through and reminding myself in prison, I don’t want to be seen to be staring too much. Face after face I check off, I figure that maybe he eats a little later. I concentrate on the queue in front of me, have a look round to see where we cans eat ourselves and ponder what I’ll have on my plate…… and then I see him, unmistakable, his mega smile smashing through the kitchen hall doors. Fresh from the gym it seems, in trackies and a protein flask, I yell out for him and catch his attention; it’s the best little buzz I’ve had since I spoke to my missus.

Getting back to dinner, I’ve got Turkey stew, it’s cold, there’s no turkey and a hatful of potatoes. I’ve heard Ford is bad for food, I’m hoping the fact I haven’t been able to select from the weekly meal card is the root of this. We get rice pudding though and I’ve got tins of tuna in the cell. I’ll make a tuna toastie if I’m peckish.

Each week, as in most prisons, inmates are handed a meal card with a list of 4 choices for lunch and dinner covering the next 7 days. The form finds its way under the cell door, to be completed and stuck in a wooden box in the kitchen to ensure our dietary choices. I look forward to satisfaction in the autonomy of such affairs. I’ve already heard many who can’t read simply return it blank and make do with the default selections; generally Halal.

Later in the day before evening roll call, I bash out 5 laps of the site. I’m pleased for this little expression of freedom, plus it will keep the weight at bay while I suffer a poor diet of starch rich foods. I often use jogging as meditative time and I look back over my experience at Wandsworth. It’s sad to some, but I actually found I enjoyed it to a certain extent. For the most part, I enjoyed knowing that I can hack whatever it is Southwark Crown Court and those who use it, throw at me.

The FSA haven’t broken my spirit nor those who joined their merry bandwagon.

More pressing matters concern me, a visit to the medical centre advises me; I’ve put on half a stone.



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