He lifts his head slowly off the table; one eye fixed on me.

“It’s a bit wing wang this morning Chris.”

This was not the Monday morning motivational atmosphere I had planned to create. The start of the week can often have something of the ‘wing wang’ about it…

Storm clouds and yellow umbrella by bench

“F@#k off Chris, I never took the last jaffa cake”. We’d made it to morning tea break, just! But simmering discontent had erupted around the biscuit tin.

And I knew I was going to make things worse. I confronted a latecomer with questions about what drugs (his eyes suggested) he had used over the weekend.

“I never used nuffing, f@#k off Chris”…. and he was gone, storming off, shouting and a-swearing.

I vaguely wondered if today I had simply forgotten to bring in my bag containing useful people skills.

What is it about Monday? I guess most people can relate to their own Monday blues.

But weekends in Prison? Locked down, stuff in your head, stuff going on and stuff kicking off, not easy for anyone to deal with. Perhaps a planned visit from family has been postponed. Maybe just the smell, the noise, the food has dragged you down.

Or a lost weekend in Torbay? Drugs of your choice, taking you away, away from your sh#t life and the sh#t memories that haunt you.

Over time good, honest and trusting individual relationships are built at LandWorks. And slowly we get snippets of someone’s life story, unexpected moments of candour, some detailing childhood horror you can’t imagine.

“They get in the front of my mind Chris and I’m locked in my cell and I can’t hold it together.”

Possibly I am too close to these stories…possibly! But understanding an individual’s history can start to untangle the complex web that surrounds their poor decision-making.

I went to find Mr ‘Storming Off’ in his usual hiding place, first left after the polytunnel (yes, we’ve done this before).

He tells me all, followed by a complex handshake and we get back to work.

By 4 o’clock, it’s not so bad, some lovely person dropped in a cake, the sun’s out and I am thinking perhaps I did bring my bag in after all.

Parting shout from ‘Mr Wing Wang’…“Better days ahead!”

Oh good!