I'm a free man after spending 12 days pleasuring Her Majesty. - many thanks to all those who sent paper, stamps, letters and money – very much appreciated.
Because of the prison bureaucracy I was not able to use any of the money, which I badly needed to contact people outside (including this list). I'll put your donations in the Forvik fund and they can be used later.
It was not as intimidating as I expected – I anticipated communal showers and 'don't pick up the soap'. Apart from my cell-mate, I was not threatened by anyone and the prison staff ranged from indifferent to positively helpful. I have to admit to winding up the man on reception when I arrived, telling him I was not the man on the warrant. It soon became evident that he had an anger management problem and sent me back to the van to go back to the police station because he didn't know who I was (I was carrying no identification and had not identified myself to the Police or the Court as anything other than 'Stuart of the family Hill'. When he realised the the police station was in Shetland, not Aberdeen, he came out to the van and tried again. 'What is your date of birth?' The smart thing to have done would have been to give my official birthday, but I replied 'Allegedly, 19 January 1943'. 'What do you mean, allegedly?' 'Well, I was a bit young at the time and don't actually remember'. For my address, I should have given my Forvik address, but instead gave a slightly different version of the one on the sheet. This was all deemed sufficient to accept me, albeit with the promise that my stay would not be made easy.
I got moved into my own cell after the man I was with started pacing up and down and getting abusive. Someone with a slightly posh English accent is probably not the best person to be with in a Scottish jail. Once I got my own cell there were no problems – I enjoy my own company and had plenty of time to write and reflect. I had a double bunk, toilet, desk, chair, kettle, TV and washbasin – the only drawback was that 13 of the 35 panes in the window were missing and stuffed with a mixture of polythene bags and bedding. Fortunately the weather was not coming from that direction, otherwise the cell would have been pretty wet. I managed to fix up the windows with polythene sheet stuck up with sticky labels off the milk cartons and cut with a blade extracted from to razors supplied.
I had been on a much reduced diet since 6 June, investigating the possibility of accessing energy direct from the environment, so decided to use the controlled conditions while I was in custody, announcing I was on hunger strike. No food during the whole 12 days, no water for the first 3 days, then just a cupful morning and evening. I was ready for a Mars Ice-cream when I got out! However, I was weighed most days and they were perplexed that I was the same weight going in as going out, so something was working.
Now, having had some time to reflect, it's time to get some things going. More details in the next newsletter.
Let your friends know - forward this on!