Day 33/34

9 Apr

A new lad has joined us on the carpentry course. Tim, he’s come in from Highdown, a young lad, all the signs of the usual tearaway simply needing some structure and boundaries in his life. Nice kid, a bit needy.

I spend some time putting together my study folder and am buoyed by the news that come August the prison will have the follow on course for that which I’m currently on.

I’ll know my wood by the time I get out of prison.

Funny, that’s what my mates said would be the case before I got sent down.

Day 34 and it’s the end of my first ‘working’ week at Ford. Friday is a half day here, I don’t know if it’s because of some special event or it’s just the norm. There is always another item you’re yet to learn in prison. I’m hoping however, that it is the norm; I can get used to half day Fridays. It’s a sunny day so some sun worshipping can be accommodated this afternoon before I hit the gym at 6. Sounds like I’m in Spain, but I’m not.

I’m in prison and tonight I go to bed in my single cell bed, in a share celled with an intolerable man with a weak grasp of hygiene habits. My family aren’t here and my girlfriend is thousands of miles away.

You make the best of a bad situation if you’ve got the right marbles to do so; but prison’s still prison and the weather is good in Hell too.

The week’s meal card is on my bed waiting to be filled in when I arrive back to my cell. It’s a fun little diversion to occupy me for ten minutes, I’ll hand it back in before I can use the reverse side for doodling.


A padded letter stamped from India, screams ‘A message from my baby’. I’m excited to take it in my hands from the screw in the mail room. I’d never expected to receive letters from my girl directly. I have got used to the proxy means of her sister, that we currently use.

I squeeze the letter, like a child at Christmas tests his presents for signs of a clue.

Inside is a hand written letter complete with doodles – it’s beautiful, they’re beautiful, she’s beautiful. I save it, there’s no way I will read it all now, it would be such a waste to spoil it in a dinner queue; besides ‘R’ doesn’t write in small measures. The letter even smells like her. It’s been 7 weeks since I said goodbye to her now, the scent of this woman, to me is the smell of forever happiness.

Before I left, she had put together a scrapbook of our time, it’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me and here stashed inside this envelope is a photocopied version of every page. I wonder where I’ll pin new pictures and her doodles, I’m desperately shy of available surface space around my bed now.

In contrast to these moments of fleeting happy thoughts, I put a complaint in about the delay in passing me back my radio (This is an ongoing issue in prison clearly) and fetch my Cajun Tuna Baguette from the lunch hall. It sounds better than it tastes.

As the afternoon roll check is done, we are passed our canteen sheets and I sit down to figure out how I can spend my £34.75 allowance.




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