Time, it flies past sometimes

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again…

My where did the time go? its been over a month since I posted.  Yes had lots on, but time is what we make of it.  Never enough time or always enough time, this is the question !

TIme, who invented it, its such an imposition, like an invisible whip that keeps beating us hard !

Here are a few quotes on time…………………..

Time and tide wait for no Man

The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it.

Tough times never last, but tough people do

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that

Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

Dream State

yesterday I bought myself an amazing hand made book all about the night life of trees.  Each page hand screen printed with the most exquisitely detailed drawings in blue, white, turqoise, green all on black paper.

today in my doodlings my unconcious mind was trying to connect with those trees I am sure, all about the seeds we plant, how they incubate in the darkness and one can see in sketch that they are taking shape, little buds still slumbering in their dream state.  Dreaming of who they are to become.

Think I would love to make a beautiful book like the one I bought, not sure how to go about it.  Guess will have to learn some book making skills !

So Angry, can the angels hear?

Yesterday the anger was brewing, I am moving offices next week, so much is getting stirred up, remember back in 1995 when I moved in to my new offices, although full of excitement it was a sad time for many, many reasons.  This all came back up and by the time the evening had set in, had a bath and ready to watch film and relax the anger  and feelings of vengefulness just overflowed. I lost my sense of being able to discriminate between what the anger was basically about and what was everyday niggles, everything seemed to need some kind of vengeful action, the adrenaline was flowing and i was ready for action.

This morning I awoke after restless night and tried to just write the angry feeling out if me, then I drew from my heart, something about angels hearing?  , did it help , yes ! and then went out and treated myself to a new mediation cushion !


That creative flow is flowing !!
I have been sketching in my little book, a lttle black book which I like the texture of the pages, but the colour of the pages I dislike intensely, there a buttery yellow and they just dont appeal to me at all.  Yesterday I doodled away and today came to an end…….  Its a kind of incubation process…………  the seeds are sown, you can see the bean like pods swelling on the vines, above each is a kind of canopy that imparts the life fore, the breath of life into each one……..

A pencil sketch

Crystal Ball – a glimpse into my world

All back on track now, so much going on of late, so many distractions and also a lot of time to think.  Travels to Chartres Cathedral and Brittany, Torn ligament in knee, laptop died.  So drugged up with pain meds one weekend it just drifted by in a sleep haze.  This weekend much better, loads of rest which my knee needs and a dash of creative inspiration, time to write ( writing a fairy story), time to read “The mysteries and Chartres”, time to just be and time to be a little creative.

Have been very  Inspired by my son’s creations , he is soon exhibiting in a London art fair and have been watching his pieces coming together, very inspiring, so much so it spurred me to interpret something my way.

Here is the result, a glimpse into my world……..  I get lost in there sometimes, so much goes on inside, like a magical mystery tour.  Sometimes I wonder when people peer in if they see clearly, does my glass bubble, my  crystal ball  that I call home need polishing and cleaning m0re regularly so people can gain a better understanding of who I am ?…….  then I stop thinking, this is the best time of all, because nothing exists really, only that which my thoughts conjure up.  I know my thought process depends on which lenses I wear in my metaphorical glasses, sometimes they are clear and bright and everything is, sunny, hopeful, joyous and full of wonder, sometimes the old lenses in the back of the box gets inserted and the view is not so good and thoughts  can plummet, its then that I remember they are only an old viewpoint and I can take them out and be left with no thoughts, just taking every moment as it comes and watch life unfold, watch as it ebbs and flows and have this inner knowingness that everything in life is just as it should be, even when, as my inner world shows there are serpents and ravens, flowers and rabbits, butterflies and tortoises………………

Click on the image for a larger view

Cell work – literally

Came across these beauties some while back, this week looking for some peices that were interesting and had integrity and opted for some in a project I am carrying out at work.

I am sure you will agree the ethos behind this creative work sets the humble cushions to  a more elevated position.


The benefits of Fine Cell Work

Here is a list of the risk factors associated with offending which are diminished by Fine Cell Work

•    Addiction – the work provides a calming alternate focus
•    Mental health – FCW has a therapeutic effect which reduces incidences of breakdown and self-harm
•    Family relationships – many inmates send the money earned to families and their success with FCW provides a positive subject for visits
•    Social exclusion – FCW’s system reintegrates inmates into structures of work and community
•    Homelessness – prisoners are able to save for rent payments on release
•    Key skills – Fine Cell Work requires basic numeracy and literacy skills and can motivate inmates to do further education in prison

Here is a list of further benefits contributed by Fine Cell Work

•    Self-confidence
•    Anger management
•    Personal and social skills
•    Prisoner to prisoner mentoring and volunteering
•    Transferable skills such as :
•    Self awareness
•    Awareness of others
•    Self discipline
•    Planning
•    Working to deadlines
•    Self motivation




I served 7 years, just under.  I was doing Fine Cell Work for 6 ½ years. I wanted something to do. I was bored sitting in my cell…when you got nothing it’s hard. And you just sit there thinking about outside, children, wife and what you’re missing.

I thought people would laugh and then I thought, well you get paid for it and it helps with keeping in contact with the children. Saved a few pennies and was able to talk to the children. I could always send the children some money for Christmases and birthdays. You got a choice, you either sit there do 3 or 4 hours and earn a couple of quid at the end of the month, or sit there for 3 or 4 hours and earn nothing.

The main thing in prison is to keep in contact with your family. It’s the most important thing… But you can’t afford to do it. You could write a letter but some people can’t write. And the sewing’s so easy to do, and that’s the best bit, because a lot of people in prison are illiterate. They can’t read and write and they can’t count. But you teach them to count to ten and they can do the sewing.

That’s all I did…I sewed and sewed…cos you get upset and there’s not a lot you can do. You can’t show any weakness inside. So it just gets more and more built up and then you get angry. So with the sewing it just made me stop and think about how things could have been different…and what I could have done myself to be different. I calmed down and started thinking I could have done this when I was outside, going down the pub and things like that, I could have spent time with the family. Just silly little things come to mind, into your head whilst you’re sewing. And it surprises you.

It helped me change the way I was…cos I use to be quite an angry fella when I went inside, I was quite moody and aggressive and people pointed out I was defensive. I never knew I was but when I was sewing I use to go back over my life and thought…perhaps I am. It gave me the space I needed. And that’s why people started to trust me more. When you’re in your cell with another person it gets a bit claustrophobic. So you’re always on edge. I used the sewing to get into my own world.

And where before if I’d be angry with someone I’d let you know, by that time I could, well, walk away and then go back and apologise if I was a bit rude to somebody. And it just went from there. Little steps. But you get there in the end.

I did loads of courses…all the courses they offered me. When I went to prison I had no qualifications. I just left school when I was 14 and started work so never actually got qualifications. I did all the courses they offered, all the key skills. It got to the point where the prison service offered me to go onto Maths OU (Open University) and said they’d pay.

Fine Cell Work made me think about the simple stuff I use to do when I drink and why I use to drink. See I had a lot of affairs before I went to prison and then I’d drink to deal with the affairs and forget them. My ex-wife and I were together 12 years but never really had a conversation. We’d be embarrassed to say certain things. I was 21 when had first kid.  I use to work 7 days a week. I had quite a big drink problem.

After about 2 years in prison I realised that my life was leading me to prison. But before you could have asked me and I’ve have been like, no, I’m in control of it… It all started when my wife had post-natal depression and to get my own back I’d go down the pub… And when I went to prison she had to go onto income support and what she had to spend on herself a week she had to live on her and 3 children and pay all the bills.

Talking to the children

I talk the children quite a lot. My youngest son nearly got into a fight the other day. I tried to explain to him the consequences. When I came out the kids thought it was big and clever that I’d been in prison. My son’s friends go in for a couple of months here couple of months there and they think it’s all clever and it’s not. They don’t really do prison, they just do 2 months. They just go there and see their friends. I tried to explain to them it’s not as nice as people make out. When they was living in London they was quite angry and aggressive. But now they’re up with me they’ve calmed down.

They see the big difference in me. They still remember how I used to be. And they used to think it was big and clever I could look after myself. But now I explain to them that it’s just stupid. Takes a bigger person to walk away.

And I start explaining to them about all the silly things I use to do when I was sewing, they laugh at sewing. But you can work through. All through one word, sorry. The only way I got to that was through sewing. That’s why I changed my life. Hope that’s making sense.

Because I had things to do, I was not in prison in my head. And it all came from the sewing really. You can easily become part of the prison system. But through the sewing I could afford to have a half hour on the phone every evening and that gets me out that mindset I’m in prison. And then when that doors shut I’m not on my own because I’m thinking about the children. But if you’ve got nothing then you’re just sitting there, eating and sleeping, and you become institutionalised for the rest of your life. That’s why you have to go into a hostel, to see how you’d cope. But luckily when I got out, I was in the hostel for a couple of months and got myself a job, car.

Teaching and being taught

Ann and Marjorie (his teachers) were like my mum. Ann use to send us postcards when she went on holiday. And with Marjorie, she use to beat me up (laughs). I’d walk in and if I hadn’t done enough work she’d give me a slap. But I use to take the mick. It wasn’t like prisoner and staff, it was just two friends. I made sure that they were safe, and Marjorie if she felt that she was unsafe with someone she’d say is he alright? And I didn’t mind that.

Some times with the officers there’s just an instant dislike. But some of them used to come in and they liked the work and they’d come talk to you about it and say oh I’m doing this at home, I’m stuck with this could you help? Especially with the quilting, because they think oh I’ll go home and do that, that’s a good idea. It don’t take a lot of your time to show people what to do, after you’ve been doing it for such a long time.

A lot of people think it’s quite amusing though, my mums friends, and they say you must be able to sew anything. My mum does a patchwork class. They want me to go in show them how to make quilts. They say it looks really hard but I say it’s not hard it’s quite easy…

King of the castle

I took this image some weeks ago of a friend of mine, he is on this thing about wabbits, even started a facebook group about them………..    I look a this now and that saying KING OF THE CASTLE springs to mind.  Someone who has reached the pinnacl, above everyone, the boss, the leader………    Well I am a boss, I have been driven to succeed, it can be lonely up there and not sure if being the “king” of the castle was all that it was cracked up to be.    Guess I thought to achieve financial success was going to be answer to my own feelings of insecurity, that if I had lots of money behind me I would safe.     I can tell you now, feeling secure does not come by having tons of money in the bank,   money can give you more freedom of choice but it cant fill that “black hole” that for some of us has been there since childhood.   Abundance is a frame of mind, its about feeling there is alway enough, always enough to meet ones needs.  With these thoughts life just flows, wherever one finds themselves, at the bottom of the hill or the top, its just as it should be.

Entwined, enmeshed, tied up in knots

Not sure where these feeling come from today, but wherever they came from they spurred me to translate them into creating these works.  Maybe its my head, all the ideas, could be lots of mixed emotions all vying for attention.  That feeling of spaghetti, everything enmeshed together, cant untangle into tangible threads……………  Good job I had them I think because I like the results, what do you think?