Day 30

5 Apr

Up early, it’s just standard for me now – so I can grab some breakfast before day two of my woodwork course begins. The billet has 8 rooms in, a shower and a kitchen. The kitchen, for safety reasons has no cooking equipment beyond a hot water urn and a:

“Cookworks Signature 4 Slice Toaster’

(I didn’t write that down, just staring at it every day for the last year has meant I’ve remembered it!)

It is effectively, a toast room.

There isn’t much we come across that would require cooking facilities, however a well placed foil pie tin on the top of a hot toaster makes for a half decent hotplate. Alternatively, toaster bags filled with an assortment of contents act as makeshift cookers.


Back in the woodwork shed and not a lot happens this morning bar smashing my thumb with a hammer. A practical health and safety demo.

I catch up with a pal from home, here in Ford. T, I badger him to join me for yoga that evening – yes there is a yoga class here. It is also kit change day so I remind myself to exchange my tracksuit and t-shirts.

In the mail room today, I’ve a letter and an email. I stuff the correspondence in my pocket and crack on over to pick up my lunch time baguette: Cheese Melt again. A foot long partially stale baguette, with melted grated cheese, is nice the first couple of times; very soon it becomes a greasy nightmare, it smells like bad health.

As a nice surprise, I find out that today is canteen order collection day. I get the chance to enjoy a coffee, albeit Maxwell House’s watered down version. Caffeine is still caffeine though. My attempt to trade a tobacco pouch has finally come to something; I’ve found a lad on my course who will take it off my hands for some milk and a box of green tea. I get through both of these items at a rate of knots.

The evening’s dinner is a jerk chicken dish with a sauce so spicy it leaves me sat in a public space with a severe case of ‘Meat Sweats’.

Yoga was my intention of taking an evening off exercise. I get distracted and don’t make the class, I opt for power walking instead, until I am grabbed by two lads from the carpentry course to join their jog and wind up with another evening working up a sweat. It hindsight I’m pleased for it – I get the chance to better know these guys and broaden my Ford circle.

Back in H Billet, as it’s known, I do some writing and get to know the block cleaner, Sean. In on a drugs charge he’s from my neck of the woods and with his single cell well kitted out with seating, it makes for a nice communal space in a billet that otherwise lacks any. We chat about different nicks; where he’s been and where I’d like to go. My heart is still set on Hollesey Bay, but I’ve a couple of bits and bobs to square away first here now.

Back in the real world, the media is ranting about ‘News International’ and corruption with the police. I wonder if I’ll get to cross paths with anymore high-profile figures during my stay inside. I’m such a hobnobber, right old name-dropper me!

Day over


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