Saturday, September 01, 2012

Spitting feathers

They were all in this morning.

I crawled out of my pit at about twenty minutes past six - or, as  my pal calls it, "Daft o'clock" - and, after the usual rituals, I  was on my meandering way down to the old stable block which is where my pigeon loft is. Not that it is a pigeon loft any more - it  is now the "North Sea Camp Rescue Centre", although so far all I've got in there is a motley gang of young abandoned pigeons which I am rearing to maturity. Once they reach that happy state - a state, incidentally, that I hope to reach myself one day - they can go their own way in the world. However, seeing as the loft is the only home they have ever known, they will stay there, going out for a fly-­about each day and spending the rest of their time sitting somewhere comfy - like on my chair.

Take The Head and Houdini, for instance. They are just about grown now and are outside flying around most of the time, but, as far as they are concerned, they live there and I can sod off - they ain't going no place.

So, they were all in this morning when I went down there, and that includes a couple of others who use the place as a sort of pit­-stop - but I don't mind that.

They all run around the floor in a gang - it's only a matter of time until they all decide to be hoodies. When THAT happens, the rest of the birds around the place better start watching their manners.

Oh yes, and on Thursday I had to go and see someone at the Offender Management Unit - or, as the acronymous crowd like to refer to it, the OMU.

Off I went at the appointed time and the interviewer got me seated and asked, "What's going on with you then?"

Me: "Nothing."

Her: "We haven't seen much of you lately."

Me: "Well, you know me - I don't harrass people."

Her: "I know."

I asked her if, as has been suggested by John H, I can go over to his place for a few days to allow us to discuss my writing, him being my editor.

"No," was the reply. "You must take your home leaves to the address to which you will finally be released."

"Every time I come up with an address," said I, "you veto it."

"Well," said she, "we've had word from [The Wallace] that she has organised a home leave for you at the hostel, middle of next month. Will you go?"

"Of course I will," said I. "But why not have a couple of days at the Junkies' Paradise Hotel and then a couple of days somewhere with decent people?"

Anyone would think that I had made an inappropriate and extremely rude suggestion. Clearly there is absolutely no intention of ever allowing anyone to get a decent start out in the real world - they want us to go and live in a world of junkies, low-lifes, chancers and free tickets back to jail. The thing that puzzles me is that the jail is full of people with no family or friends and no sort of support mechanism waiting for them - I've got all that. They NEED the hostel, the resettlement place - I don't. They can't get a place - I'm being forced to take one up.

If anyone can give me a logical explanation, I would appreciate it - I'm utterly perplexed by the distorted thinking involved. Perhaps I should ask if I can move into the pigeon loft with all of the other homeless characters who live down there - I'll even try to grow feathers if that makes them feel any better. I don't hold out much hope of the feathers, to be fair - I can't grow hair, never mind feathers. The only feathers I get are those I am spitting as I try to get them to see sense.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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