Hello friend,

Day 46…

I got a new flask after about 10 days. They did try to give me a second-hand flask on a couple of occasions. Eugh! No thanks – who knows what it’s been used for (see 3 blogs after 2020-04). This one actually works! The first one in 8 years.

Due to the excess of junk food and too much coffee (I think), I’ve been feeling pretty grotty over the past week or so – tiredness, palpitations, etc. I’ve bought in a lot healthy food from the canteen with the intention of semi-cutting my reliance on the servery. I’ve done this before when I was at HMP Frankland – I was so much healthier back then. I started yesterday and almost immediately felt the difference. There’s also a psychological benefit of seeing something colourful and healthy staring back at you, saying: “I’m healthy and good for you – eat me!”
Mmm, that just sounded weird!

I made myself some weetabix the other day. Well, not ‘made’… you know what I mean. A touch of milk, a sprinkle of sugar… yuk! Straight back out of my mouth. I’d used salt! What a dummy! The worst part was that it took a minute for me to realise why it tasted so horrible. I was sniffing the milk… that was okay… thinking… thinking… puzzled… oh, yeh – salt!

We’re getting’activity packs’ shoved under our door from Education. It’s reams of paper. I’m trying to reduce the paper in my cell! They’re making a lot of assumptions about all prisoners being unable to constructively fill their time. It’s a bit insulting.

Speaking of assumptions and insults. One of the managers called me “lazy” the other day. Why? Because I said “no” to morning exercise on the yard – we get asked the day before. I didn’t bother to put him right. Why should I? His opinion of my work ethic is of little importance. It was a passive – aggressive comment wrapped up as a joke, but designed to belittle and embarass – a power trip and plain rude. I said he was making assumptions. He said “liked” assumptions and that he always got it right. Mmm, a bit arrogant, wouldn’t you say? Plus, this was one of the managers who made the erroneous assumption that I was faking my fatigue and other symptoms last year. I put it down to over-compensating to impress younger staff. Unfortunately, they may go away and think his behaviour is acceptable.

They ran a picture quiz for £5 in phone cedit. I thought I had it in the bag – 32 questions – 32 correct answers. It was one of those like ‘Catchphrase’ but naming countries. Kampuchia was an interesting picture – yes, I know, it was an old quiz. The one I got wrong was a picture of some cups and saucers and a teapot. I thought ‘high-tea’ – Haiti – clever,eh? Too clever. It was so much simpler… China!

Be happy, be safe and be kind.
Graham Coutts, 8th May 2020

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