Monday, May 7, 2012


This period of transition from prison to the community would invariably lead to my accumulating more "stuff". When shifting into new roles and responsibilities, moving further geographically, then new Stuff is needed. Quite what I have found that I need is a slight surprise.
Shoes. Prison is the bastion of trainers, which is fine, but for work and less casual purposes then a half decent pair of shoes is a must. Quite when prisons ceased issuing shoes is a moment in history which passed me by but the stores are empty. Life was simpler when I flatly refused to adopt any other position than bare feet.
Jacket. Prisoners live the fortunate existence of Indoor Man. The weather could become a torrid nightmare and it effects us not a jot - we don't need to go out in it. Or rather, that is the case in Closed prisons but not so true in Open ones. So I have acquired a very nice jacket - French Connection -which is both padded and waterproof, of which I am inordinately proud. But as the weather improves, such lavish tailoring is not only unnecessary but inappropriate. A lighter jacket is called for. My sartorial model, I realise, is Jeremy Clarkson.
Netbook. The process of writing is a complicated one, at least half psychological as anything else. If one's writing environment is wrong, words remain a nascent wish deep in the brain, never to be unleashed upon the screen or paper. At home I have yet to discover this method and place of ease where I can write because of the competing demands of being out of the way but not quite isolated; a place where I can smoke furiously, dropping ash onto the keyboard; not too far from hot water for coffee or the loo; and with a chair that doesn't provoke my overworked lower back. The solution - under the pergola or in the garden shed - is not ideal, but a basic level netbook seems to permit the freedom to wander the house, garden and nearby coffee shops until I know I have found The Spot where words flow.
Electronic Cigarettes. A wonder of the modern age, the pinnacle of addiction - a fake fag that delivers a happy hit of nicotine without leading to my being chased with air freshener and disapproving glares from the Editor. Coupled with the netbook, electronic cigarettes are surely a solution to most of life's problems.
Is his all "more stuff"? Or is it a reflection of the necessities of the transition from a prison existence to a community one? And will I junk most of what I have accumulated during my prison existence, or will that find a place - utilitarian or psychological - at home? And just when do I take my Jug home...?


  1. You always need to take as much stuff as you've room for. When travelling with a backpack, I need exactly a backpack-full. When travelling with two 4x4s, I need exactly two 4x4s full. That said, shoes, jacket and a netbook (plus addiction of choice!) seem like a good starting point.

  2. I think this is a symptom of the fact you expect your life to be settled. From what you've said, in Prison they move you a lot. Which means life has to be packable.Now you expect to be settled, you are not looking to be able to pack everything, so you are able to own more things.

    *shrug* this is just my gut feeling from the fact that I know I am consciously not buying things as I have to move all my stuff 500 miles by train in two months time.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.