21 Jan 08

My First Month Home

It took a month for my unemployment benefit to arrive. I receive £59.15 a week. The first cheque was calculated from my arrival in England, so I received £245.05. Immediately, I spent some of it on Bic pens and pads of paper.

I’ve been writing for about six hours a day. I’ve almost finished editing the blog. I am about to reread everything I wrote about my life, and then I intend to write a detailed account of what happened in America.

On the weekends I’ve been going out with Hammy, mostly to the Ring O’ Bells. The Ring O’ Bells has two sides: there’s a respectable side, and what the locals call “the cage.” In the cage men jump on the pool table while pool games are being played. The bar is often shaken causing the lights to go out. And bar staff brave enough to venture into the cage to collect glasses are often grabbed.
“You haven’t seen the cage at it’s finest yet,” Hammy said. “You get pissheads completely off their heads taking their clothes off standing at the bar naked ordering drinks.”
In two-weeks’ time Hammy intends taking me out to Liverpool. He said, "The pubs there are crawling with fit birds we can chat up.”

My cousin, Iain, took me to Cronton to play pool. The game in the Black Horse was going well until the small bar filled with so many old men there was no room for us to take a shot. I knew we were in trouble when Iain crouched down to take a shot and his chin ended up resting on the beer belly of a particularly large old man. Every few minutes another old man squeezed into the bar, and bought a pint of beer. We were gradually pushed out of the bar, so we returned to our hometown and played pool in the Griffin.

Some nights I relax and watch movies with my parents. In order to detach me from the computer they keep suggesting we watch movies with literary themes. So far we’ve watched The Hours, The Trial, Women in Love, and Capote. They also continue to spoil me with home-cooked meals. Everything from Indian curries to Sunday roast. All vegetarian of course. I converted to vegetarianism after receiving the mystery-meat slop known as red death at the jail, but now I’m free I have no desire to eat meat.

I’ve done a few more interviews with the media, and I’m scheduled to be on talk radio in America this Saturday. The programme is for one hour and the public can call in and ask questions. Also, I was contacted by a man who books people to speak in public.

I’ve written to most of my prisoner friends, and I’ll post the latest on them when I receive their responses.

I’d like to thank Barry for the hats, gloves, scarf, and thermal socks. They’re keeping me warm – especially the Russian hat.

My MySpace page has been updated with an anti-Arpaio slant. And you can now hear one of my BBC radio interviews playing there.


Up for reelection this year is Sheriff Joe Arpaio whose policies are costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County a fortune. According to Wilkipedia, over $50 million in lawsuits have been filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. $2 million were recently awarded to the family of Brian Crenshaw, a shoplifter who was beaten to death by the guards at Tent City - they broke his neck and perforated his intestine. Arpaio is losing support, and pushing his office's finances nearer to a crisis. Let's do what we can to get rid of him this year.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Now that your out you need to update your pictures of yourself. The ones you have up now aren't very flattering.

I've been reading your blog for years. I very well could of been in your place having been part of the same things around the same time but in San Francisco. Lots of close calls, lots of fun, it was crazy.

Keep writing.

Steve in Nagoya, Japan

Lisa B. said...

Do you know the name of the talk radio show in America? I'd like to figure out if I'll be able to listen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I really enjoy hearing about what you are up to these days. I have a pal who is right in the middle of serving 6 years, and I often think about how he will adjust once he's back amongst his friends.
As for you, sounds to me like you are doing well. Just make sure you keep your pants on in "the cage". I know how Guinness can be! Ha!

Calulu said...

Hey Shaun! Long time reader here! I just wanted to say thanks for speaking out about Sheriff Joe, he really needs to go as soon as possible.

So have you given any consideration to what you might want to do for a living now that you're free?

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you are adjusting to life on the outside. have there been any pitfalls or have you argued with your parents yet?> good luck with it all you deserve a break.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I'm trying to move my writing projects forward.

Jonesy said...

Woo hoo! Great pic, hun!
Good to to see you looking in the pink!
Rach xx

John said...

I'm excited to see that you've still got the fire to document your world. Your strength of writing was never "being in jail"; it was that you had a personal, dry and clever eye for capturing your environment. I'm just as curious to see what the UK is about as I was to read about lockdown. Keep your nose clean and holler when you find yourself stateside.

Anonymous said...

good to know that you're adjusting to life on the outside. I've lived off benefits and it's not easy, your choices are restricted. but you'll soon make it good again and the next time you'll value it more.
keep writing & good luck with book

Anonymous said...

What can I do to make sure that joe is not re elected? I dont live in AZ How can I do my part?

Anonymous said...

Holding those responsible for events like the one of the beaten shoplifter has to include the actual beaters even if they were just following orders. Those officers are no better than someone who commits a violent act in a group against someone and kills them.

As for people who want to get rid of particular people who are voted into office, you can campaign against them in small or large efforts after learning all you can about the particular politician you are against. Of course your vote would be valuable in that effort but ultimately it will be more successful if more people are involved even if you do not live in the voting area.