Forgotten Laughter

Text by Pascal

To all at LSW,


I was arrested in England and had the feeling of arriving in a nightmare.  I could hardly speak English, my girlfriend and I broke up, never have I felt such a loneliness.  I was sentenced in Canterbury to 7½  years.   I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself so I took it as a challenge and wanted to study English.  I arrived here in Lowdham Grange and now I have several certificates.  NVQ Catering (Level 1), Computer: CLAIT, IBT 2 and IBT 3, Higher Intermediate ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages), English Language (Level 1) and Introduction Course British Sign Language.  


In January all my work was done so I needed a new challenge.  I joined the GCSE literature class and we started a book from Shakespeare (Macbeth).  The first time I opened the book I thought I was reading Chinese.  I didn’t have a clue what it was about.  After a few weeks listening to the tape and seeing the play on video I enjoyed it and understood it better.  


But on Tuesday, the day you visited, I forgot I was in prison.


Bruce, Barry, Justin, Robyn, Steph, Philippa are just a few of the names I can remember.  I know Robyn’s mother comes, just like me, from Belgium.  But what I remember most is that you were the most friendly people I have met in the prison system.


I forgot how it was to have a good time, laughing and having fun.  At the end of the session I felt really confident.  I have a friend in Belgium who acts (amateur) and when I get out I will go and visit him and tell him I want to act.  After all, I will need a new hobby and it’s gonna be better than smuggling drugs.  


A few days ago I wrote this poem (it’s on the back).  I should be back in Belgium next month (repatriation) and finish my sentence there.  When I’m released I’ll write to you again to let you know how I’m doing.  


So, I’m gonna close my letter.  Sorry if I wrote any mistakes and good luck in other prisons with the project.  


Take care.

London Shakespeare Workout LSW Prison Project