Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Yard

Our exercise yard carries echoes of Colditz castle. A square tarmac wasteland, surrounded on all sides by three wings and the Admin block. In a sop to the Inspectorate of Prisons, four concrete plant-holders have been shifted from behind the fence that prevents a mass storming of Admin and now provides the sole greenery to caress our gaze.

Unsurprisingly, the yard is not a great draw for the masses. For a space enclosed on all sides, it takes the winds with glee and in the sun, it bakes. As it contains only four benches - seating for 12 thin people - then as a place to rest in the open air it lacks any great facility.

Despite this, and contrary to my long-standing contentious relationship with the open air, I have recently taken to re-acquainting my skin with the sun. This has had mixed results. I have found myself speaking with people who I otherwise wouldn't have met, but at some small cost to my dignity - while my arms and face are now approaching the Mediterranean hue, a kind soul has felt the need to point out that my legs have the pallor of Gollum. Cheers, mate.

1 comment:

  1. I spent ten years in your situation, Ben. After my release I loved the sun and the outdoors, but I found I was getting a high number of spots. Prison loses you a lot of natural protection from UV, so before you make the same mistake you should ask for some sunblock.