18th August

14 May

National Duvet Day – well it isn’t, it should be NAtional Prisoners do Nice Things Day. Armed with the signed General Application form I make for the property reception at 6.30 pm. Inmates at Ford have between 6.30 and 7pm on a weekday to collect inbound property. Not a lot of time in a prison of 500 + fellas and with a regularly changing population.

The same guard as before greets me – my bedding Nemesis. He tries to reject my approach to withdraw my duvet, informing me again of the unreported ruling. Water off a duck’s back here.

I’m steadfast Eddie.

I slide forward the paperwork. My finger heads toward the date on the application and then to the signatory: The SO.

“The SO didn’t feel fit to highlight this new ruling, can you show me your paperwork that over-rules this?”

He relents. The man I refer to in impression than by name. He looks as if someone has fixed a clamp to his forehead and chin and then been stretched. All the while deprived of sunlight, as his brain is removed from the rear of his cranium. A skinny zombie is  a kind comparison.

YES – I think, I wait with my breath held as he unfurls the quilt with the fire codes there for all to see. I can feel them uniting with me. A collection of codes screaming:


….and then, a smirk becomes a half smile across his face; as he looks at the label on the possession I prize so dearly.

He slides my application toward him, studies it closely and looks again to the label on the duvet.

The application is pushed toward me as he smiles and says:

“The numbers don’t match”


As I wander away from the reception, tail firmly entrenched between my legs; Andy an education orderly calls my name. He ushers me over, tells me to grab a bag and come across to his cell. I do as he says and then bimble over to his block.

He greets me with a spare duvet.

“It may need a wash Fam” He says.

“You want anything for it?” I ask.

“Don’t be tripping, workmates innit” I get back.

Loosely translated, I have a free duvet.

Andy – you legend.

I clumsily slip back to the billets with my illicit bedding and get to making up my sleeping arrangements with a buzz of excitement. Spurs are on the tv tonight, just beforehand I pick up the bluebox and call Mum. It’s turned out nice again eh?



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