Sunday, November 11, 2012
Start The Week
It’s an unusual feeling to start a week knowing that I had a job to go to. Obviously I worked for most of my time in prison, but there are vast differences! This was a “proper” job, with someone willing to pay me real money for my efforts.
It was logistically complicated. In my prior existence getting to work was a matter of stumbling a few hundred metres whilst persuading screws to unlock some gates. Getting from base to the Howard League in deepest Islington was a matter of more substantive planning and expense.
Probation have agreed that I can spend two nights in London staying with friends; commuting each day would be impossible on any level. Even so, it means carrying a bag of kit across the country twice a week and I so wish I didn’t have to!
For my first week I arrived in London on Tuesday evening. Early evening. And promptly got lost in the nightmare that is Waterloo station. I’m more of a Paddington man. I finally arrived in wet and windy Brockley after 10 pm and surprised my host by revealing to him that he does actually have WiFi! This gave me a good rest to start my first day as “consultant policy advisor” at the Howard League, Wednesday morning sharp.
The trip from my London base into work was short and largely sweet – except getting used to crowded trains. And I mean crowded to the extent I had to get off in order to be able to reach my mobile. Rarely have I been in such intimate contact with so many strangers. There were moments when the contact was close that I thought I’d have to declare new relationships to my Probation Officer!
At the door to the office I paused, coffee in hand, to gasp one last fag before hitting the buzzer. I was now officially “a worker”.