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The view from A Wing – Missal the First

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Letters to an NT friend on the outside from a lifer on the rarely secure A Wing of Life. Sometimes satirical, sometime internal musings of an older autie, looking through the prism of lived experience. It isn’t intended as any negative criticism, comment or opinion of any particular person or organisation. Just wry humour. Except A$. They’re fair game.

It does however pay humble homage to the late, great Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale. Thank you for the laughter and the wisdom.

This occasional series is written for entertainment and should NOT be seen as any kind of guiding philosophy, ideology or personal or political comment. Unless you’ve got Jelly Babies. So long as you’re sharing, you can believe what you like…

Missal the First

June (I think) 2020

Hello Freddie

How you doing fella? Sorry about no letter for a while, but the usual restrictions on A Wing got even more fun during the lock-down you lot had to get your eyes tested, or whatever. Nasty, this covid.

Didn’t notice much difference first 2 weeks or so (you know me, don’t get out much), but it was bloody difficult to get bog roll. Some of the trustees lucky enough to work in the kitchen were moaning that they had to make even more chips as some git had swiped all the pasta. Doc says they won’t need the bog roll if they stuff all that pasta. Nasty…

Doc Magister (still can’t work out if that’s his name, his attitude or he’s a secret Whoverian) said we’d all be OK, cos we were all to keep in and those in the Infirmary were an ‘isolated system’. First thought was ‘No shit Sherlock, finally noticed!’. Then I got he meant cooped up 24/7 (cos we might or might not be vulnerable) and the doors to the Infirmary staying shut. People going in, but no one out, except managers, staff, cleaners, Doc, health visitors, the bloke who cuts the lawn, the kitchen staff, agency workers and NHS and council officials making sure no one is breaking the isolated system and that bloke from the funeral home. Doc says they’ve been perfectly safe and isolated. He’s in charge of these things, so back to one hour a day round the yard for exercise. I miss the gym.

Your lad Ricky is fine. He says he’s got a discord server (sounds like the bar staff at a dodgy nightclub) and you still need to download the app. The Wi-Fi in here’s been a bit shitty unreliable since everyone and his cat went Zoom! Reminds me, Fat Larry says Hi. He would Fb you, but he’s banned. He thought 5G had something to do with all this, so he set fire to his partner’s brand-new mobile in the computer room.

Like I said, Ricky’s OK. All that ‘I’ve been practicing this for all my life’ when it started, but he seems to be moodier now like the rest of us, but making the best of it. He’s learning Russian. Some 12 yr old on this WoT thingy, Mocba3ear1941, keeps writing Cyrillic in the chat and Ricky thinks he’s taking the piss. Honestly, I think that we’re all feeling it. Especially those of us on the single landing. Didn’t realise how much I relied on some people until they were out of reach. Still, should be used to it, you’d think, seeing as quite a few people put themselves out of my reach after I got sentenced.  

Since they closed the infirmary, we’ve all had an app to ‘see’ the Doc. Not that the booking staff are too helpful at the best of times, but now seems just all attitude like ‘you’re wasting my time’ coming back at you. Brrrr! I love person centered care. Self centered’s more like it for the Last 10 weeks.

Let me know if you get this, Ricky has set me up a what’s App group with you, me, Jason and Michael. He says you can use that in your sleep.

Stay Safe mate


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