In Training for Solitary Confinement

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by John Connor |

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I’ve just been sentenced to at least 18 months in solitary without time off even for good behavior! Pretty harsh. Luckily, I’m match fit.

I’ve already previously done nearly a year trapped in my bedroom with only a commode and basin for most of the day. That was tough. Now, with the entire downstairs to live in, and with my powered wheelchair, it’s been a bit of a breeze. Not that I get breezes with the wonders of double-glazing.

Weather reports are now redundant. Not going to get wet am I? Handily live on a hill, so I won’t get flooded for at least a couple of centuries. Who’s the fool now, Mr. McCartney? Only the heat of the summer will be a problem. And these days, that can be really severe.

Like any other prisoner, I’m forced to work despite my disability. My wife’s eyes emanated a “Now I’ve got you” gleam that irradiated my body.

There was no freedom through paid work, as it had disappeared — except for this column! Hey, at least I get one day off.


All those little jobs left for the future were no longer abstract.

This was the perfect time for a man doing time.

No escape.

My fireplace had become a dumping ground.

All fired up to reveal the fireplace! (Photo by John Connor)

But that’s just the start of the pain — there’s still an office worth of stuff, along with what was left when, overnight, I left our bedroom and was forced to remain downstairs. The stairs were now beyond me.

The gear to sort is obviously finite, but there’s an awful lot of it. There’s not enough to last 18 months, but plenty to stop me from writing a novel. Which is one positive!

At this moment, there must be an awful lot of prose being written with a captive audience desperate for it.

The trouble comes when this all ends and there’ll be a creative glut of manuscripts. The last thing any of us will want to do is to be quiet and read.

Still, there will now be a large repository of backup toilet paper!


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