Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa's Visit

Some Christmases ago we were out in the exercise yard, a fenced compound that abutted the perimeter wall.  Two hundred bored, cold men huddled in groups or trudging around anti-clockwise.

Then Santa appeared. An ex-prisoner, jailed for refusing to pay his poll tax and released months earlier, appeared at the top of the perimeter wall dressed in a Santa costume, and began to throw bags of chocolates and tobacco into the yard.

As we outnumbered the screws by 20 to 1, no effort was made to remove these goodies from us. They settled for frisking us as we left the yard to check we were free of weapons, leaving us to keep our pockets stuffed with treats.

A merry Christmas was had by all.

Yo ho ho!


  1. Merry Christmas Ben. Keep your spirits up and best wishes for 2010.

    Babs G

  2. I hope you get another visit from Santa this year. I'll think about you and wish you a nice dinner with well cooked veg! (Nothing worse that a mushy sprout. Ewww).

  3. Merry Xmas, Ben! Great blog.

    That was good what the guards did. In America, they would have called the goon squad in and stripped everyone out.

    Shaun Attwood

  4. Trust me to notice!
    In the Himalayas, a Sherpa will only pass a cairn of climbers stones, to the Left. Your heart is on your Left. Prayer wheels, are spun to the Left. Ancient Egyptians, only ever depicted the Human form, when standing, or walking, with the Left foot forward!

    So, why do those Screws, make you go around the wrong way, 'anti-clockwise', when you are trudging around your exercise yard. So they don't let you go to the left, when in the slammer! When on release, do they tell you the correct way from their front gate? 'You bet your fur' they don't! They don't know that info themselves. They would not know, what to do with that info anyway!

  5. I hope this Christmas is particularly special. With a loved-one in prison, this Christmas is going to be very strange for us. It's good to read that people can do random things to keep people's spirits up at a time like this.