08 Jul Day 8
Wednesday 8th July 2015
Happy Anniversary! Today is my first week inside this concrete cage. Although everything is mint green with the rare sighting of beige, things are beginning to look up. Nicola, who works for a re-housing charity in the prison called Catch 22, came by and decided that she wants me. Yes of course it’s not the way you’re thinking but my buddy Stuart has been released. He is free from this cage and although I am as green with jealousy as the walls I stare at, I can’t be too mad because he has sorted me out with useful contacts to help me progress.
Nicola said she wasn’t going to give me the job right away as Stuart was concerned that I would be used for smuggling haha. I told her with my deepest voice and my arms in a strong boxing position that I would be firm to anyone trying to make me smuggle. In hindsight I don’t think I convinced her… or myself. Sigh, I really should have worked out before coming here. Prison really isn’t as violent and rough as you’d expect. If you just say no then people wouldn’t bother you twice. As conversation progressed it became evident they were really short on staff and needed someone ASAP. I told her I would apply today if she supported my application.
So once I pass security (I have no reason not to) I will have Stuart’s job. I will be checking people in and assuring that they settle in, moving freely about the wings and having my door open from 8am to 8pm. The thought makes me feel so free and although I still won’t be at the maximum amount of freedom, I know that by getting this job I will be working towards getting the best privileges possible. Not bad for a week’s work. It usually takes months to get this job!
I hope I don’t get moved away from Steven. He’s just asked me to write a letter to his previous mates at Hull Prison. We had a good laugh starting it with ‘my dearest Fred’ (wrong name given) and ending it with ‘Kindest Regards’ – it was all too formal but will make someone smile at least haha. It amazes me thinking of the statistics in prison. 30% of current prisoners cannot write and the ones that do write will spell phonetically. I felt honoured to be able to help Steven after all he has done to help me throughout this experience so far.
Steven was head cleaner in his last prison so I need to ensure he gets his old cleaning job back so that we can keep sharing a cell. Being a cleaner also means that you benefit from ‘open door’ and mobility rights. Only time will tell but with the connections I’m making, hopefully I can pay back all the hospitality he has given me.
I want to occupy my mind and learn whilst I am here. The best way to do that would be for me to do something that I have always wanted to but couldn’t find the time to do it- play the keyboard. Unfortunately, a keyboard is not on the approved items list but a guitar is. So, I am going to have to put forward an argument. I’m going to ask Emily to gather some research specifically about how learning piano reduces and prevents crime and re-offending. I will use the research as a part of a well-constructed letter to the governor in my attempt to convince her to allow one in my cell. My argument will be that not only is a piano the ‘Latin’ or the cornerstone of learning music as a whole, it is a non-offensive item which can be suppressed by headphones, ensuring I don’t wind up any of the other prisoners (unlike an acoustic guitar). I will start sending the letters once I am up to enhanced status. Once I have a job I believe I will have my two wing staff and one employer all lined up for my character references. I refuse to mess about. I will make these 9 and half months positive and I will make them fly.
I’m really stuck! On a Wednesday we are supposed to have two associations as ‘Standard’ level prisoners but due to the staff (or lack of) we are in here for the night now. It’s disappointing because I can’t call my family now.
I can’t believe I fell asleep at 7 or 8 last night. A good 12-hour kip helped kill off half a day from my sentence.
I am excited about my business growing in success and generating income whilst in here. Particularly since the cost of living for me is now so low. Maybe I can start taking a salary and have a little nest egg waiting for me upon release. The problem is, I only have nine and half months to make it happen.
Also, I lost my bloody phone pin. Well, threw it out by accident, so now I have to wait four more days to get it back – more applications it appears!
I’ve been religiously reading ‘The Day of the Triffids’ and perhaps neglecting the Bible. Oh, the irony. I am determined to finish the ‘Book of John’.
Mark, the pastor, gave me the book, ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace?’ by Philip Yancey. We’re going to read it together. However, it’s painfully boring. Perhaps, I haven’t given it a chance yet? We will see, I will give it a try.