Tag Archives: stock scam

Cage Fighter Caged in a different life could be in London 2012 Rowing Team

31 May

I stay up late the previous night watching Scorcese’s Departed. Quality movie, but it leaves me sleepy the following morning. I go to bed pretty early these days, its the best way to get the day done. In the gym the next morning is a Cage Fighter and convicted drug trafficked Ken. A mammoth of  a fella and despite his warrior like appearance is very down to earth, respectful and approachable too. A former professional fighter, we strike up conversation over last night’s boxing. He hasn’t been here long and as I sit down to knock out a sedate 10km on the rowing machine, he plonks himself down next to me and obliterates the prison 1 minute distance test. I can only compare his output as an angry speedboat disrupting a leisurely Sunday afternoon’s canal barging. He takes a look at the other times on the different time trial leaderboards and comments casually:

“I’ll get a little fitter and I’ll see if I can beat those.”

Time proved his statement. He ends up holding the 2000m record. Watching the split times he produces in his rowing, they are phenomenal. The man is built for power and perhaps if life had thrown him a different hand, or had he been brought up in a more Tory environment, he could have been competing at an elite level with an oar in his hand.

Instead his life is shaded by organised crime and being paid to punch and kick.

Tall, broad and thickset, it’s funny how many would-be gold medal winners pass life by, completely ignorant to the sporting prowess they possess. I say ignorant, perhaps ‘unknowing’ is a more accurate description. Ignorant would be unfair. Ken, as a I shall call him should be sat in a boat on the Thames come July 2012. He will watch from Prison instead – sliding doors.

George has acquired some washing lines and erected a spider web around our ceiling. It is now our primary means of laundry. I admire his handiwork and listen to my Spurs beat Liverpool. Clarence, spends the day with his earplugs in, so he can enjoy Match of the Day in blissful ignorance. I know the score, I know he owes me biscuits, I see him before the highlights show and hold a straight face. Bless him, he is still confident of winning.

…………………………..

Day 99 arrives and is notable for the fact that it is day 99. More books arrive from R, I’ve got enough now, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through all I have even with more time whacked onto my sentence.

Day 100 arrives and I feast on a little banquet of treats I purchased knowing this moment was coming. Diet Coke, wine gums, dates and OLIVES. The latter item, I had repeatedly flirted with buying but was put off as it seems a little OTT, ostentatious. But readers, NOW is definitely the time for Olives. As prison milestones go, 100 days is pretty big for me. In two weeks, I am at my halfway point and two after that I can apply for my first home leave.

I settle down for the evening, armed to the teeth with artificial sweeteners.

…………………………..

My 94 year old nan visits me today, the screws even hold doors open for her. That is the first time I’ve seen civility from them here. They may not show a lot of courtesy here, but they did today when it mattered. That ticked the box for me. Touched.

With my Nan came my parents, always a pleasure and these days I feel infinitely closer to them than I have ever been. I am the first to admit that this bad hand I’ve been dealt with is a blessing in disguise.

A new fella in the billet Ben strikes up a conversation. Just arrived here from a closed nick in Kent, he is on a 7 stretch. First impressions are that he has OCD but a good humour too. His cellmate is old enough to be his Dad, they make for an odd couple but it’s nice to get chatting to some new faces.

An ex screw is protesting out the front of the prison today over unfair dismissal or some nonsense due to a stress related injury. The gates are locked up and the local media are alerted. Inmates watch on vaguely interested but with a distinct lack of sympathy.

The World’s Stock Markets are again facing certain doom, I however am tackling a tougher issue. How to eat a bowl of custard with only a fork. I’ve forgotten my spoon for dinner and can’t remove the warm custard from the canteen. A few years ago, the wider financial market news would have etched a pain look upon my face as I would stare at the data screens and eek out an opportunity in a turbulent day of trading. How my life has changed immeasurably, how such stresses have ebbed and how much more content I’ve become.

Two mammoth swans arrive here at Ford, the seagulls seem a bit put out. Prisoners come out in droves to feed them. Lot of nature lovers here.

 

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Prison’s Mr Fix It

25 May

I learn about the trading systems in prison today. My gym buddy is also Ford’s product hub. The ‘Go to Guy’ as it were. It’s interesting to see how it works, I’m more absorbed by prisoners such as this who have no concern if they get shipped out to a Bang-Up. They have sources in those too and many of the ‘smarter’ ones have contingencies already prepared. My pal is one such individual.

The prison estimates it mates millions of poppies each year for the ‘British Legion’; I didn’t believe it until today. I’m amazed by some people’s ability to switch off and perform mind numbingly repetitive tasks. It’s been a contentious issue for George and I, so after a satirical discourse I decide to venture over and put the matter to rest. We ask what the average man’s output is and multiply it by the number of inmates working in this department. We put a final figure at 2.25 million each year.

Spence was released this morning, I have a new cellmate and it’s not for the first time I share a small space with George.

…………………………….

I have my first issue with my partner since we have been separated. I miss her desperately and I know she feels the same. I get a letter that is down in the dumps, unsure of what she shall do on her return to the UK, I panic as I sense the first crack in what I know to be something strong. An email comes with it too, but I can’t bare to read it. I should have done, I pen her a one sided letter, make a decision not to call her and tell her that perhaps she shouldn’t contact me again. I don’t want a Dear John letter and I don’t want to face heartbreak.

This is how it’s left. I’m gutted.

For a few days matters remain the same and then I read the emails. I should have read the emails before I’d written to her. I call her immediately, everything’s rosy again. This is prison for you; communication being what it is here: hard, maintaining any semblance of rationality in what are otherwise minor relationship matters can be very taxing. I hear one prisoner yell down the phone at his wife each day; others whine to their parents, more still plead with ex girlfriends – flying off the handle is as everyday as having breakfast.

A bi-polar day splits into it’s brighter alter ego: Talksport’s Chris Davies visits the prison writing class and partakes in story telling as well as lighthearted encouragement. Cake and coffee on hand, this is a fine way to spend an afternoon in prison. I win a book, ex Spurs’ man and onetime racehorse owner, Alan Brazil has signed it.

Ironically it was the flogging of shares in Alan Brazil Leisure by Will’s and Co Stockbrokers, that heralded the beginnings of my career in Penny Share Broking and my route to destruction that sees me here. The company itself was a spectacular fail of an investment but yielded great sales commission to the brokers that pushed it onto largely mis-sold private investors. The brokers, Wills and Co, formerly of Bristol and Horsham, later of London; headed by Peter Shakeshaft and Robert Holgate was a hive of iniquity, debauchery and deceit.

From investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, adultery, embezzlement, punch-ups, drugs in the toilets to being forced to stand until we had sold some high commission stock that would later collapse.

Shakeshaft himself an ex Police Cadet, though you’d never know if he didn’t discuss it so frequently; would go on to make a killing on establishing and promoting a stock called Silicon Valley PLC.

Remember the tech boom in the late 90s?

You’ve heard of Silicon Valley right? (The broker’s asked their investing clients)

Well this company is called Silicon Valley….. (Frantic Buying Ensues)

The shares rose and rose as investors piled in to get involved in the hype, even those not pitched to by Wills and Co were buying shares. Internet searches on Silicon Valley would yield this company immediately. The stock made people like Peter Shakeshaft fortunes, millions even.

The business started in a bedroom and never really got far beyond that level. Shares being promoted for a £1 say, would be made available to the brokers for much less. It’s legitimate deception and goes on today still.

Back to the ‘Valley’ and allegedly Shakshaft has a boat by now named after this stock…Silicon Valley

Then…

The bubble bursts.

People got out as fast as they got in. Silicon Valley PLC was not Silicon Valley. Foolish was he that followed the herd. Those left holding the baby ended with nothing but losses.

And here’s me, sat on a balmy afternoon in prison; holding in my hand a book whose signatory shares a local and possibly much more besides with the men who set me on this merry path.

I, who was sold a lie and sold stories of corporate opportunity.

Many men tell the same tale with nothing but false dawns and twisted morality on a CV that lacks the substance their dreams aspired to. Now, I am moving on and they scrabble for income in a world selling the next pile of steaming crap; land, wine and carbon credits.

Cash Poor, they’re asset poor and they too are heading toward the same type of retirement as those men they bankrupt now. Irony

 

That cosy feeling of being inside in the rain

23 May

You know that cosy feeling you get when you’re inside a tinny roofed structure and you can hear the sound of the rain beating an orchestra of drums? In a car, on the bus, the train or in fact anywhere warmer and drier than the surrounding environment. I get that here as I lay in my bunk and see the rain hammer it outside. The gutters overflowing with the workmanship of the unskilled labour that mend them and thin echoing hallways that amplify the noise of the world at work. The night’s have begun to draw in now as the weather turns and the Summer draws to a close.

With all of the footflow of idle shufflers occupying their time with as little output as possible, I wonder what life is like here as the weather turns and inmates are resigned to being forced back into their cells. The winter imprisons many more people than just prisoners. I think of my own Nan, imprisoned by age, bad weather and immobility, spare a thought for your own family, my life choices put me in here but for every person in prison there are millions of people caged on the outside too.

Each day at around 10am, I do the education department’s mail run. It requires me to run across the public right of way and head over to the other side of the prison estate to drop off and pick up correspondence. As I left the residential side I stop and talk to Tom an inmate I’ve known for a while. He is off on his home leave today and is looking forward to 5 days away from Ford and away from prison regime, as I go through the gate, I spy his designated driver – it’s one of my best mates. It’s heartbreaking to not be allowed to stop and talk to him without suspicion. I don’t know what the rules are re: ‘fraternising’ with outsiders, I’ve never been told; but for fear of incurring the wrath of Screws I keep my distance and look on like a bad friend. Not being eligible for leave for another 3 months, it does strike me with a pang of jealousy seeing the queue of jolly day-trippers dressed up ready for departure by the gate; I deal with it knowing my time will come round and others will feel the same toward me.

I put in a complaint today to the IMB – the independant monitoring board over the shining of torches in the faces of sleeping inmates at night time. We are woken at 1 and 5am, by noisy night-time screws doing the inappropriately named ‘Silent Roll Check’. They generally shine the torches in our face to make sure we are in the rooms, then maintain torchlight on us until we move or as is often the case, wake up and swear at them. I sense this is more game than intelligent planned routine procedure.

Spence packs his stuff up and I give him a hand, I’ve had the A-OK for George to move in and I rifle through Spence’s leftovers to see what I can salvage. I gain a book of stamps and a load of envelopes for my efforts.

This morning he sorted out the drama with the rival traveller factions and put to rest a gripe with a gent in here on a 12 stretch for a kneecapping. I think that’s a wise thing to do 🙂

 

The Economist

21 May

I sit on the bike in the gym burning off some chub and talk to a chap called Paul. The gent in his mid 40s shared the same billet as I when I was living in my mini Hell with Delroy.

The man is an economist on the outside and in recent years has worked as a management consultant. He offers this information after spying the book ‘Freakonomics’ I had been reading recently. Take him out of this environment and Paul is every bit the image of a positive Black male role model. Educated, well spoken, considerate, shame about his criminal record check results 🙂

Paul has a lovely dry sense of humour and we spend a while discussing the ‘Broken Window Theory’. This theory dictates that if you clamp down on small minor anti-social behavioural issues and fix visual disturbances (Broken windows, graffiti etc) immediately, it affirms a sense of civic prestige and pride. People become more conscious of mis-treating their community when the small things aren’t left unchecked.

The easiest way to explain this is through the analogy of a ‘fly-tipping’ site. Where someone dumps a load of refuse in a site that was previously clear, a future rubbish disposer is more likely to add to this untidy mess than create their own new dumping site. This is part mob mentality and part distorted rationale. The belief that the latter tipper is less at fault as the site had already been distressed by an earlier dumper.

More simplistically, if kids smash a window in one property and it goes unrepaired, pretty soon next door will suffer a similar fate. Damage left unchecked sees a steady decline in community values.

We apply the ‘Broken Window Theory’ to prison and the idea of reform and rehabilitation, it is an interesting way to kill 50 minutes. Every day I share a conversation with someone that surprises me in the standard of intellect and thought provocation.

I hit the library in the afternoon and am amused to see in the reference section is Criminal No. 1 Charles Bronson’s A-Z of British Prisons. It’s nice to see what forms the backbone of general interest this side of the fence. Having been to nearly every prison in the UK system since his 2 year sentence in the 1970s became a life sentence over the last few decades; Mr Bronson gives his insight onto life in the 100+ barbed wire friendly institutions that dot the landscape.

I spend a bit of time reading the ‘Inside Times’ too. The prison newspaper for prisoners, is ordered to be made available in every prison library; this allegedly didn’t stop our Governor Sharon Williams here trying to put a stop to it. I ask George why he felt she did this. He responded in his usual dry manner:

“Why did Hitler rip up the history books in schools?”

………………………………..

Drama clouds the quiz night this evening.

Our team now called:

“Going for Gold with Henry Kelly” places dead last.

Having a team member who keeps a score tally as the results come back made this news that much more shocking. The indignity! 🙂

Later on we hear a marking error deprived us of 15 points and 2nd place. We get an apology from the quiz master and his sidekick, we are assured we will be given a public apology before next weeks quiz. As the quizmaster leaves my cell, I ask him:

“Is George furious?”

He smiles, nods and tells me our prize will be sorted out in the week. I settle down to X Factor waiting for the big man to drop by, pleased with this re-affirmation of our team’s prowess.

Our rivals, the irritatingly named ‘First Place’ have now been pushed into 3rd place. You know your life is absent real adventure when you have a quiz team rival.

I watch Ricky Gervais’ movie ‘Ghost Town’ and not for the first time. Watching it on my 14inch tv in the cell, is in fact the largest screen I have ever seen it on. The last time was high above the States in a 747. Spence points out its possibly the most comfortable I’ve been watching it then too. Funny that: sprawled out in the nick watching a film I saw before on a jet above New York to do some business and this is my preferred way to view it. At least I get to stretch my legs out.

The Next Day….

Spence days away from leaving is thrown square into a dispute between two rival groups of Travellers. He can’t wait to get out of here now, at the very least it will spoil a prison darts tournament and out regular source of confectionery with his throwing skills, at the worst it will lead to claret being spilled, early release halted and prisoners being shipped out. He’s asked to take sides, something he doesn’t want to do. The matter resolves itself months later when one side is sent back to closed conditions after being caught blind drunk. The other’s resume their roles in the Prison’s Violence Reduction Team!!

 

Bank Holiday Monday

20 May

If I could write anything of interest to describe the day’s events, it would be a grand use of artistic license. I don’t feel like lying, so I shall keep it short. Bank Holiday Monday has been very forgettable.

A feast is laid on for the Muslim inmates to celebrate Eid, the end of Ramadan. The actual figure of inmates here is now 60 who are classified as Muslim. The final toll of observers could be counted on one hand. The prison has spent 4 times the daily budget on these inmates, meaning the food fund for non Muslims is significantly lower. The quality of food has suffered therefore. A number of non Muslim inmates tried to attend the feast of Eid and were turned away. This isn’t equality, this is outright racial discrimination. In order to promote and foster greater spirit and community between racial and ethnic groups, all religious festivals should be inclusive, not simply the one-sided events at Christmas.

This sadly is never the work of the ethnic group themselves, but an ignorant jobsworth public ‘servant’ who is part of a failed system of integration. I am yet to meet an ethnic minority who espouses the opinions that lead to Town Halls banning Union Flags flying from buildings or discomfort over the term Easter or Christmas.

The divisive and dangerous ignorance is evidenced by the fact so few know Jesus is a significant Prophet in Islam.

The £2 per head spending on food each day to the general population is more like £1 per day at the moment. One inmate who works in the kitchens tells me frankly:

“For every tray of chicken served up, another is slipped out the back and sold for Burn”.

Tonight I am served a pitiful attempt at Turkey Stew. There is no meat in my stew and nothing solid at all. I push the food back and eat creamed rice for dinner. I get some bemused looks from the servery staff:

“Yes, I am going to have creamed rice for dinner”

While the prison is failing in the food aspect of operations, the laundry is now closed for the next two weeks. In  prison two weeks is an altogether different measurement period. With the inclement weather it is going to be very difficult for a billet of 20 men to be able to wash their underwear etc.

With no onsite launderette, prisoners here have offered to buy machines for our own use. This multi-million pound operation runs so inefficiently it can’t even take charity from prisoners. This is something you don’t read in the press. Convicts buying the prison equipment… what a farce.

2nd September

100 Days until my first visit home.

Today has been a lush day and I am sure for many in the UK it represents the last vestige of what can only loosely be termed British Summer Time.

Spence has had his release date confirmed for Wednesday and I’ll be sad to bid him farewell. He has kept me company these last few weeks and I hope he can crack on with the rest of his life without returning here again. I feel that pang of envy, that jealousy you feel as those around you leave before you do. It’s awful and you feel nothing short of shallow for feeling it.

Dodgy Art Tutor and a Lingering Gaze

18 May

Finding myself uncomfortable around the art tutor. She holds her gaze longer than necessary. I’d shown an interest in joining her course though it will be 6 or 7 weeks away. She has begun asking my on a daily basis if I can come onto her course yet.

I think she said course.

Today’s written task in my creative writing class involves having to write a short story aimed at a children’s audience. I don’t have the foggiest how to go about this. Give me some low brow topical debate anytime.

I always say prison is different for different people. I’ve become close to a former National Champion of a combat sport here at Ford. He is currently ranked in the top ten of professionals in his weight class in the UK, yet his early days in prison were darkened by sadness and tears. Not a career criminal and another first timer in on a fairly short sentence, prison took him away from his kids, his wife and his happy little life. He won’t be back, maybe prison only works for white-collar offenders 🙂

Or the fear of it. By now, the tears have gone, he just counts down his visits until he can go home. He’s not long left.

Celeb Big Brother is about to begin today and our next door neighbour hands us his tabloid when he’s done reading it. Barnstormer of a night.

A new day

Duvet War over. They say history is written by the victors. So when you’re ready… I shall begin.

I have two duvets on my bed. Tidy!

Spurs are on the box tonight and the Ford prison doctor approves me an SPL – to visit the hospital on my Todd in Chichester to see a melanoma specialist. I thought of a reason to get a visit to a specialist that wouldn’t be catered for on site. Having some errant moles looked at seems like the perfect ruse.

It’s Bank Holiday weekend coming up and the radio stations are covering the Summer festivals. It kills me to hear the line-ups and know of the fun I’m missing. I think about all of those inmates who scarper up to London on their day releases and whether The Notting Hill Carnival will see a surge in absconding. Another 12 slipped out this week gone. 25 in a fortnight! Seriously, that’s a lot of prisoners doing runners.

On the tv tonight, two lads who’ve just left our nick to move up north are featured on an ITV Fraud Documentary detailing Boiler Rooms and how they were snared. It turns out, that one of the two turned informant and grassed on his buddy. I can only imagine how that has gone down up there. To be a fly on the wall when the show aired in their cells. I doubt they will be buddies for much longer.

Later on we receive a letter from the one who buttoned his mouth; apparently his old cohort was getting a rough time. Even in an open prison, it’s got to be a scary place being known as a Grass. No-one likes a grass, all that looking over your shoulder, always waiting for that moment of comeuppance; and when you relax, know that someone you wronged is planning away for that moment some time in the distant future to serve revenge cold. Never forgotten and never forgiven. Being a grass is a dangerous occupation.

R sends me a handwritten note from India. It smells of her perfume. The scent of her seductively escapes the envelope’s surrounds. Inside a little Indian bracelet called a ‘Raki’ awaits to be popped onto my arm. As custom dictates, it should be put on by your love. That’s not possible right now, so I’ll wear it until I see her again. I’ll get her to bung another knot in it when she rocks up at Casa Dave.

 

Booked it, Packed it – Escaped

15 May

Quality weather and I spend the day doing little but nattering. An induction orderly has escaped and as I write this he is homeward bound on a plane to South Africa. RP as he is known (He isn’t but knowing he will have to spend a good many years looking over his shoulder, I shan’t make it anymore difficult for him) is 16 months into a 4 year sentence for handling stolen goods. He has a little more than 6 months until he can leave and he has gone on his heels. That said, escaping isn’t difficult, not from an open prison. Given the time left of his sentence, once he is back in Africa, extradition is hardly likely and if he is happy to never return to the UK then I guess it was only ever a matter waiting to happen.

As he took the new batch of inmates around on a tour of the prison, Spence chats to him in the Travis Perkins workshop. He is lingering back from his crowd of newbies and is looking noticeably ‘Beefy’. RP, is a big geezer generally, years of steroid abuse has helped him get that way; but on a warm morning it looks strange to a few eagle-eyed acquaintances why he has donned some extra layers.

On arrival new inmates undergo the induction I have spoken of. Part of this is a guided tour around the jail, the tour ends here today as RP informs them to head back across to their billets and ‘Chill out’ until after lunch now. The big South African makes some small talk and then slips out the back door and behind an industrial unit. He rips off his outer layers, the prison greens and stands there with a few last-minute salutations in his personal clothing before walking over the perimeter and into a nearby industrial estate.

Over in the estate, a non-descript car pulls to a halt and our boy jumps in. The door slams shut and the tyres screech. On his way to the airport to grab one of the handful of direct flights to Jo-Burg. With no roll call for a few hours, he shall be on board a jet by the time his disappearance comes to light. The absence of any ears to the ground, mean half the prisoners learn of his escape HOURS before the screws do. Being such a trusted inmate and one who greets newbies, it’s a bit of an embarrassment to them. We get locked down after lunch, I look up at the deep blue sky and wonder if I will see his carriage high above us, rocking by.

On a Friday afternoon I can sit in the education office at a desk without any interruptions; it’s a great time for me to catch up on writing. It’s so quiet around, I like the little haven of solitude. The gym is closed today – understaffed, a problem that will rear it’s ugly head all weekend. I shall spend my days jogging and skipping instead; they wonder why so many inmates do a runner. (The technical term is absconding) Give them an open door, no prospects of rehabilitative training and then make them bored – it doesn’t take a genius to tell you what will happen with society’s proven poor decision makers.

In the evening we knock up a game of ‘Hold ‘Em’ Poker, using jam, sugar and butter (effect) sachets as chips. I win, sadly the prize fund is 3 bars of EuroShopper 50p Chocolate bars. Still, it killed an evening and bonded a bunch of bored blokes.

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:

“GIVE ME TO MASEY”

….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?

 

Menu Choices at Ford Prison

13 May

Given the range of dietary requirements in UK Prisons, the kitchens need to offer a range of eating options.

The food options are ordered with a symbol system, where an icon (Image) is attributed to differing foodstuffs. Eg: Smiley face for healthy eating or a flower – it looks like a Pansy, for you guessed it: Vegetarian options.

I’ve noticed that a good deal of meals here are labelled healthy, this includes:

– Sausage and Pickle  white bread baguette

– A Veggie Pasty

– Samosa’s

– Kievs

– Cheese Pasties

On other weeks, I have seen entire sheets denoted healthy including mayonnaise laden sandwiches. In terms of healthy eating, I can’t see greasy samosas, Kievs dripping in cheese and breadcrumbs or a foot of stale white bread coated in pickle and a fatty cut of meat; as fitting that criteria. People come out of prison having put weight on in some cases and this is used as evidence by the misinformed as a sign of too good a diet. I assure you, putting fat into your arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease is not indicative of good eating habits or good content. It’s the very opposite.

As mentioned, I have included a copy of  a meal-card.

Hump Day

12 May

It’s mid week, it’s hump day. The week is halfway done and my duties today involve handing out 20 or so movement slips (Not bowel function related) to those required in the education department. The rest of the morning is spent observing Ricky (Ex-Gangmember now education assistant) in his daily tasks. This ultimately means shadowing the habits of a human sloth. Perhaps a slow-worm would be a more accurate description.

I’m advised again to try to grab a sneaky SPL while I’m waiting until I am officially allowed day leaves. My acting isn’t up to much and I don’t fancy fretting over a nicking. I can wait.

I have a visit today from my Aunt, Uncle and cousin. I welcome the chance for intellectual debate and I know my Uncle is keen on the rumblings from the Eurozone. I get the impression he enjoys finding out about life this side of the parapet and he has a number of questions it seems are pre-prepared. I hear later that my Aunt would have enjoyed to get a word in too. Bless them all for making the long trip to see me. I hope I can return the gesture sometime in the not too distant future.

Unlike my last visit, I manage to avoid being strip searched afterwards. There are few more effective ways to kill your mood after a lovely visit, than stripping down to your birthday suit and doing an unflattering pirouette.

I get my gym kit ready for my Wednesday session and notice a Gym Screw who gives us extended sessions is on duty. George and I use this time to row and chat about home.

DUVET NEWS: The property office have slipped into my trap. They reply to my App with an answer that makes no mention of a block on inbound bedding. Checkmate. If there had been a new ruling blocking bedding being sent in, this would have been a very reasonable opportunity to note it. It just reinforces my suspicion that the level of understanding on prison rules amongst staff is so patchy, indifferent and inconsistent – what is said wrong is likely right and what is said right is possibly not. Either way, I’m getting me a duvet 🙂

In other news, the Ford Prisoner Cricket Team loses to an external team of solicitors in a narrow run match. To an outside observer, it must look almost civilised here!

I pick up a spare menu card earlier in the day and send it home. I’ll publish it shortly. What would you eat on it?