Red Refugee Etheridge
As the flight draws to an end the thought of being back in the U.K. is becoming more appealing with the continuing cry’s of the little’ns on the flights. My heart goes out to the parents of those young ones who have cried the entire journey and with very little rest-bite have been able to keep a relatively sane head, it’s a shame the same could not be said for the cabin crew, who have successfully been able to ensure every stereotype of poorly managed crew have been achieved.
“Don’t touch me” as a passage tried to get to the loo
“You’ve already had 1 drink” a request of a mum asking for another water
“Its too busy now” on asking if we could use the toilet!
Yes, you had to ask to use the toilet.
We could only assume this treatment is all part of an elaborate plan to condition us ready for the prison experiance we have all paid for, I expect the crew have been tasked to start the process of breaking us down. Well, it’s working.
As we ready to land in Blighty we are tired, hungry and irritable.
Well on landing and going trough lines and lines of people crammed on top of each other Pete and I have eventually been separated!
Petes gone to HMP Kings Cross where as I am staying local at HMP Sofitel, Heathrow.
So bearing in mind both Pete and I have had both vaccines, 2 lateral flow tests, a negative PCR test in the past 48hrs and have worn a mask throughout our journey, we arrive at Heathrow and the very first, the very first person we meet is maskless, bloody typical.
Well done Heathrow, we’re proud to be back!
As I’m sat on the transfer bus I can count at least 9 noses….. 9 bloody great noses sticking out from masked faces. Do people not know we breath through noses? Get them covered you stupid, stupid people.
As we drop folk off at their specific prisons we get a glimpse of things to come, The Atrium looked good from the outside then exercising in the yard, a yard or about 60m by 30m were inmates lunging, striding, jumping, leaping just to get there daily exercise in. It was like a scene from Shawshank Redemption without the heat….. I’m planning which gang to join to maximise my chances of either escape or survival. I’m researching gang culture and prison slang as I sharpen my shank, made from my toothbrush. Who’s the daddy!!!!!
I arrive at my stop in the drizzling rain. Which sums up the mood of all of today’s intake.
The yard looks bigger and less manned……hmmmmm this could be a weak point.
I’ve already developed a limp and feel my trousers slipping down below my waist belt. I’m constructing a story to fit in with my chosen gang, but my travelling shirt and floppy hat are giving me away somewhat!
After more administration I was taken to reception, which was just like a normal check in but with a cheerful note of warning, “ try to read your quarantine manual as soon as possible” for which is a relatively large booklet of do’s and don’ts whilst staying in quarantine.
You are escorted to your room by security and handed your key card.
The room, at any other time is really quite nice,, big bed, desk, tv, mood lighting and a spacious shower and separate bath which is a nice relaxing space, if on the other hand you have to spend 24/7 in here for 11 days it’s really, really small.
You have a few plates, cutlery and a mini fridge. Yea towel and washing up liquid and are reminded again that the rooms are not cleaned during your stay so you should keep on top of the cleaning yourself.
On arrival I immediately ordered a pizza as I hadn’t rated since the day before and although it took time, when it arrived at reception it was bought up to my room by security, which I see as there main role, just delivering food and care packages to the inmates.
I have 2 security outside of my room who just sit on their phones. When I open my door to check out escape routes they instantly put phones down and stand up….. I smile and withdraw in.
My evening meal is delivered with a knock on the door and a brown paper bag left with my chickenless, Red Thai CHICKEN curry……this does not bode well for the menu!
I opt for an early night as it’s been a long, long couple of days.
I hope tomorrow I get “yard time” and a chance to exercise. In the mean time I take my first bath in 2 months and sip an English cup of tea.