Sunday, November 07, 2010


Today is October the 31st - All Hallows, or Halloween. This is when prowling gangs of little kids wander about knocking on people's doors and making veiled threats -"Trick or treat, Mister!"

I'm surprised that a few of the more childish characters around this place don't do it - they are immature enough. Still, there is plenty of time, who knows? Mind, hairy-arsed thugs wouldn't be satisfied with a few sweets - "Treat - or we'll kick yer nuts up around yer Adam's apple," would be more like it.

I'm being unfair. This is probably one of the calmest periods in the history of the prison service - there is very little violence so forget I made that puerile crack.

Where was I? Oh yes, October the 31st. Now, anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with me and my use of the English language will probably be aware of the fact that over the years I have read a couple of books (written a couple too, but they don't count). From all of the stuff I've read, all allegedly true too, my mind is filled with facts and figures, none of which is readily available - they are all buried in the subconscious or wherever it is in the brain we store this stuff. To recall this information entails, normally (for me anyway), a certain amount of thought.

However, this does not apply to October the 31st because, for some reason, a couple of facts from history jumped into my mind this morning as I sat with my first cuppa, scratching myself.

On today's date in 1971 the IRA blew up a bomb in the restaurant at the top of the Post Office Tower in London, causing a lot of damage and loss of life.

The second thing that came to mind was that on this date in the year of grace 1517 Martin Luther published the document which effectively began the Restoration Period. I don't remember anything else about it, such as the title (and it will have a title), and I'm too lazy to actually get the book down and look it up, but there we have it - 1517. Remember it for future reference. You never know, one day you might be on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and that might be the big question ,

Were there ever two such diverse facts? Why do I remember them? Well, the IRA one is simple -
I have, over the years of my incarceration, met some of those responsible and I've heard it discussed in cells where copious amounts of home-brewed hooch were being industriously quaffed.

Why I remember the Martin Luther thing is a mystery, though. It's not as though I ever met the fellow, although there are people who think I'm old enough to have done so.

Anyway, that's October the 31st - All Hallows.

It may be remembered that last week they failed to deliver my Saturday Telegraph newspaper and it left me disgruntled. I made enquiries of course, forceful ones, and was assured that it had been a mere oversight by the newsagent and my order would be extended for a week until 13th November. Yesterday (yes, you've guessed it) - no paper again. Now I am waiting to see if my Mail on Sunday arrives.

Finally, Boudica and her pigeons. She's got a favourite and his/her/its name is Scruffy. (Apparently it's not the most attractive bird in the firmament.) Scruffy lives on Boudica's window sill. It bangs on the window and rushes inside at every opportunity.

Well, Scruffy now has a friend and, though nervous just at the minute, will soon learn from Boudica that there's nothing to be scared of. I've got to say this about Boudica, she has a great big heart on her. She is kind and signs up to all manner of causes. She "feels" for the less fortunate.

Me, I'm too busy feeling for my bloody newspapers!

The Voice In The Wilderness

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