Inside Stories, Episode 14 [HMP Rye Hill, March 2020]
“Life is so hard for me, / This ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
Life won’t be easy, And I know that! / My past is over, Wish I could go back.”
“I think I can safely say that if Harmony on the Hill were under Roman occupation we would not be gathered together to sing each Tuesday morning, let alone perform at events or have anyone write this blog piece!”
“Christmas is ahead & the end of the year just beyond & we, the choir are singing “When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin’ along” for our seasonal performance – plus a few other songs too. I remember my mother singing this when I was quite small & full of wonder & she was merry & bright & beautiful. She was prone to breaking out into song & teaching me the words sometimes.”
“Any awkwardness didn’t last long, as ‘Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow’ by Fleetwood Mac and today, us, went off like a rocket and we finished with a mighty “Don’t Stop!” reminiscent of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Wow!”
“In the exercise yard I am one of the very few, maybe even the only one, who looks upwards. I look at the sky. It is the closest to freedom I can attain. I once loved walking in the countryside, on the downs, by the coast, over fields and meadows; in Rye Hill I don’t have that luxury but I have the sky, which I appreciated always and do so even more now.”
“Four house martins greeted each other as they swooped in shallow circles around and above where I stood in the exercise yard. It seemed this was their first encounter since arriving back from Africa, where they had spent the winter. I in turn greeted them having watched them arrive last year – just after I myself had first come to Rye Hill.”
“It is theirs and it matters. It is a piece of life inside that they want to be successful. Their faces are alive as they imagine ways in which it might flourish. Just as much as the singing that follows, these few minutes are an indication of the way Beating Time works through these men, fuelling them with confidence and a sense of purpose”
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