Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Beside the seaside

Well, let me begin by wishing all and sundry a very happy and successful New Year. This is when we all start on the nation's favourite sport - breaking New Year resolutions that we never had any intention of keeping in the first place.

By the way, I'm in North Sea Camp now - an open prison on the edge of The Wash and near Boston in Lincolnshire. I don't think it's very far to Skegness - that Mecca of donkey rides, candy floss and "fun". Not that I expect to see any of them - not for a while anyway. I can't even see the sea here because there is a dyke in the way. There's nothing else between me and Holland apart from a large ploughed field and the dyke - and that's only there to prevent the sea from flooding the place.

I was brought here on Thursday 29th December, the day after my birthday - my first day of official retirement. They came for me in my little cell in Long Lartin, took me down to reception and searched every nook and cranny of my person - including my ex-interesting bits. Not a millimetre was missed. I pointed out that I was now to be considered a Cat D prisoner, the lowest security level!

"We've got to do our jobs," said one with clearly about as much imagination as a caravan site. "We have to look for illicit items."

I just let them get on with it - how do you talk sense to someone who not only isn't listening but who wouldn't be able to understand what is being said anyway?

That wasn't the end of it. They double handcuffed me and then put me in a high risk security van with little individual cells inside - a sweatbox.

I said, "You do know that I'm a Cat D, don't you?"

The response - "We do what we are told."

I decided to save my breath.

So, off we went, me rattling about in a tin box and wondering if I really was going to open prison - or was I on my way clandestinely to a less welcoming destination?

We drove to Leicester police station! However, nobody wanted to charge me or question me. They just transferred me from one sweatbox to another in a little security compound, and off we set again.

So - all the way across the country, chained up like a dog, until we arrived at North Sea Camp, where all fetters were finally removed and, in the blink of an eye, I was able to wander about to my heart's content. No walls, no fences, no restrictions - nothing at all.

Nothing has happened between then and now, it being the holiday season, and nothing will happen until Tuesday January 3rd.

The next few weeks should be interesting to say the least. I might even get my sense of humour back - we will see.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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