Day 41

19 Apr

The billet bell vibrates at 8am, hungry and still weak, I pull myself out of bed to eat the weekend cooked breakfast. I do this before I attempt to join the gym queue.

The conversation amongst fellow gym goers today concerns the events in Oslo, so far resulting in 70+ deaths, at the hands of a suspected far-right extremist. Not one of the tabloid alleged thugs that joins me in the queue, lauds such an event. Quite the opposite, the loss of life is lamented, just as it is in offices and pubs, living rooms and sidewalks, the world over.

I don’t possess the strength to lift weights or even fight my way to a free weights bench. Unlike last weekend where I had plotted up for an hour to get first option on the big iron plates, I opt for the more sedate option of reading my new book “Shantaram” on the cycling machine.

“Shantaram” or ‘Man of peace’ in a Hindi Dialect, was a recommendation from a buddy to my girlfriend to read while she works in Mumbai. The story, one of an escaped heroin addled armed robber, who finds himself mixed up in the Bombay Mafia and living under a false identity, is panning out as one of the finest books I’ve ever read. It arrived from Amazon this week, courtesy of ‘R’ who felt she should share the love. Besides, the book has 700 pages and will keep me occupied for a while.

As I write this, I understand that Johnny Depp will be featuring in the movie of this book later this year. Read the book, then watch the film. Don’t let 700 pages put you off, this is 700 very readable pages.

I manage to get through two chapters this morning, while burning some Prison Chub off. There is more literary skill in just one chapter of Gregory David Robert’s book, than I have experienced in a quarter of a lifetime. Although aiming for age 120yrs is a little optimistic, even 1/3 of 90 would be pushing it!

My afternoon involves me heading to the canteen and then immediately after; binning my lunchtime baguette. I don’t think my stomach is quite ready for a Chicken Balti sandwich….. and I was right.

An afternoon nap cures many ills, the quiz over at the Chapel I hope is the straightener to my present blurry mind state. We score poorly but place well, I am unsure whether this is a reflection of the playing field, or the integrity of the markers. Either way I walk away two oranges and a twix bar richer.

Prizes in prison hark back to the days of the Beano – when Dennis the Menace or the Bash Street Kids, celebrate a ‘score’ with a slap up meal. Winning a twix in prison, IS a big deal; crazy yeah?

After an hour and a half of civility, Alex (Team member) fetches me his copy of Open University courses from his single cell over by the kitchens, before I run back to my billet for the British title fight between Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora. Being a kitchen worker at Ford entitles you to a single cell. It’s a decent perk and is a reason for many to work in that department, that and the ability to liberate extra food from the canteen to pig on, or sell. Back to the topic of Open University, if I can garner the funding, I may use this time for some formalised study.

In other news; Amy Winehouse has been found dead. What a waste of opportunity.




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