Repetition, Repetition…

8 May

The morning of my 59th day is the same as the previous 4 or 5 weeks. There’s a lot of same same going on here. It’s one of the hardest things to swallow but I’m unsure if it’s a punishment for everyone.

I’ve got an active mind, thoughts race at a million miles an hour, such that it’s often been a challenge to just focus on one thing at a time. I’ve always had a lot of interests, so not being able to pursue these is hard for me.

I start a ‘Writing for Publication’ course this week and my first class involves analysing the day’s papers. These are now safely ensconced in our cell, in large part due to the extensive Beach Volleyball coverage within them. The day’s task was to write an imaginary follow up current affairs article based on one of a number of events in the news. With the recent riots forming much of the column inches, a discussion on the matter isn’t far from the lips of prisoners either. The class spends a great deal of it’s time debating a range of medium brow matters and the time flies by.

This has been a good afternoon in or out, I love a proper natter.

…………………………

I try to call my lady R, I struggle to get through and dial like a man possessed until I do. NEEDY! 🙂

She sounds dead down and unwell, I worry. I hate being so far from her, I want to hug her and know whats going on in her life.

She hasn’t stopped writing to me – nor I stopped writing to her.

………………………..

The news is rife with tales of the goings on during the ‘England Riots’, as they’ve been dubbed. You might be surprised to know that about 90% of the inmates here would like the opportunity to crack the heads together of those who terrorise their neighbours. There is a moral code amongst prisoners too. In some cases it’s stronger than those on the outside. A funny thing to talk about, me being a prisoner an all.

………………………..

I have two phone pins in prison, a foreign one and a domestic one. My foreign pin has been topped up twice, leaving my domestic pin short of funds. I have enough on it to call home and ensure a visit is booked with my one of my pals for the weekend. I head over to B Wing office to see that my foreign account is sorted and am met with the usual helpful response:

“Put an App in”

………………………..

WANNO

A Prison Inspectorate report has been published today on the standards of HMP Wandsworth.

“Demeaning and Unsafe”

……………………….

Day 60

A day away from the 2 month mark, it seems a long time ago that I counted the days down of my first week in prison. Those days I spent with Ian, the disorientation of new surroundings, the 23 hour bang-up and worst of all: ‘The Unknown’.

I run 8km with Spence and Barry and receive a notice informing me the results of my Risk Assessment.

I have been cleared as safe to use SPL’s where necessary but cannot have day or home leaves until I am at month 6. This latter bit of information is standard for all low risk inmates. They must first serve a quarter of the TOTAL sentence before they are eligible to pop out of the jail on a leisure trip etc. An SPL is a ‘special purpose license’, approved by a Governor to allow temporary release for a few hours or a full day.

Generally they are used by those needing to pop to a hospital, funeral etc. I’ve heard stories though that some try to fake injuries so they can get out for the day. Knee injuries are apparently the favourite here, as Ford doesn’t have any onsite scanning equipment to check the validity behind alleged damage. The Dr refers you to a specialist and it’s up to the prisoner to keep the pretence up. Once out for the day, book a hotel room for the missus and Robert’s your father’s brother.

…………………….

Dinner is substandard, it’s just carbs and served up in a wholly unsanitary environment. I make myself a tuna sandwich back in my cell instead.

The quality of food here is a major bone of contention, a new  multi million pound expenditure kitchen is being built but it won’t have much impact on food selection, nor serving facilities. The queues and cold food are here to stay. The food is to be stuffed into a heated trolley and wheeled a 100 yards over to the current cramped dining hall. That clean environment which serves as an association room, darts hall etc. New cooking and serving procedures at a prison that has been told it’s living conditions are illegal, really is way down the list of priorities.

If there is a simple way to do things and a complicated/expensive way in prison; the latter wins every time.

 

 

 

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