Hello friend,

Day 140… uh? day 140? That’s 20 weeks! wow!

I couldn’t pass the 20 week mark without an update. Despite a couple of cases on another wing, restrictions have been eased further. We’re now getting 1 hour a day out of our cells. Some guys are back to work but not us in the library – that’s going to take a few more weeks; although, there are now a selection of books and DVDs now available on the wing. There’s now an outdoor gym session daily but no indoor sessions. Visits start today (I think) and a new system starts on 1st September – Purple Visits. Those with a tablet or smart phone can download an app and have a 30 minute face to face ‘videolink’ visit. Anyone interested.

Despite all of this, I’ve allowed the small frustrations to get under my skin: the orders (see last 3 blogs); the time it takes to obtain legal info (5 weeks for the Data Protection Act 2018); applications going missing or not being replied to within 7 days (3 – 4 weks in some cases); letters not being delivered due to offices not being manned (no-one there to sign for letter); a missed phone call; and, some pretty horrible daily pain. Yes, I’ve been more than a little fed up this week.

My one bit of unadulterated joy each week is ‘The Voice: Kids.’ I watch virtually every performance through the mist of a year’s tears condensed into 90 minutes; and, Paloma Faith… what a great choice for the show – isn’t she the nicest (and funniest) popstar on the planet?

Next week will be better!

Be happy, be safe and be kind.
Graham Coutts, 10th August 2020

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