Letter #1 from UPIII



Received 13th of June 2018

JVA Köln, Monday, 28th May 2018

Hello friends (and post control person!),

in this letter/envelope you will find 8xA6 drawings and 1xA5 drawing.

Post control person (I hope you’re well!) I would very much appreciate if the drawings mentioned and this letter all arrive to my friends. If you like my drawings I have more than enough time (and would be happy to!) draw you something, if you let me know. If you don’t agree with my drawings please send them all back, my friends here love my little sketches and notes.

This is the first envelope of seven I am sending. You will find a similar note in all of them, so you can let me know which ones (if any) are being held. I know what is in all of them. Let’s see if you get all of them.

I will be sending them all tomorrow, Tuesday 29th. Some of your letters have taken over four weeks to reach me. How long did this take to get to you?

Now, those notes aside, how are you all? I have been given seventeen letters so far, six on one day last week. Whoever sent glitter, a guard was not very happy with you. I covered my cell in what was left but it seems not everything could be touched with it, any chance you have some more?

As this is my first ever letter (yes, really), I have no idea how stamps work (also, some you sent were unusable, hmm) so I hope you get this. If not, expect the whole front to be stamps. How many do you think it would take to post me?

I’ve had an exhausting few days so I’ve been delayed in posting these. I talk about it in some drawings in another envelope, number three I think, the orange one.

For anyone who has triggers please ask someone to check some of the drawings. I kept thinking to redraw or cover the negative stuff but I don’t want to censor how I feel. You also have a right to know what I’m going through.

In terms of how I am, today has been okay. Neutral. Questionable vegetable soup for lunch, I ate bread instead. I’m always sick after eating soup.

Two books I requested, Harry Potter number four and five, arrived early afternoon. There’s a drawing about Mrs. Weasley and stamps, very relatable.

I finished my Müsli, a gift from a sympathetic friend trying to vary my prison meals (white rice, potatoes, bread, soup and not a lot else).

I gave my shopping order in yesterday (thank you so much for the money!!). So I’m looking forward to Wednesday morning.

It feels like groundhog day here, each day roughly the same. I can’t believe it’s been over two months.

I’d send you a gift from prison, but its so gross and sterile so its not really worth it, I’d hate “prison sadness” to be infectuous. I think that’s spelt wrong. Anyway.

Feel free to share whatever I send, I’m sure many people have read it before it reaches you so why not keep showing it around?

Stay safe, stay strong, stay brave. Every day that passes is a day closer to me going free. So, I’ll see some of you at court and the rest back among the trees.

Best wishes, I love you all, sending hugs and rage. I miss you, but not long now.

Keep you heads up friends, this UP is fighting for you, with you. Soon!!

Fairy Lights and Flowers. Drawing. 14/5/18

Note 23/5/18:

Hey there friends!

In case you’re having a not so good day, this is for you. I really like drawing “positivity shit” as I recall someone calling it. My friends here like it too.

Stay strong, I miss and I love all of you.

Best wishes and energy, hopefully I can come home soon.

Positivity Shit. Drawing. 14/5/18

Note 23/5/18:

To whoever needs it, here’s some more positivity.

Before I go to bed here I like to think “each day that passes is a day closer to freedom.” I find it hard to be sad about being stuck here when my chances of being free soon increases every day.

How many more days I wonder, until I no longer say “soon” but “today”?

Hugs and courage.

Recieve. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

I don’t remember when I drew this, it must be well over a month now judging by the smudges and prison grossness.

I’ve been meaning to send so many things but I kept putting it off thinking I’d be free by now. Oh well.

Better late than never though hey? I hope you get all my little notes, and I hope you smile because of them. I think about all of you every day and I miss you and your energy, passion, love, all of it.

Thank you so much for the support, it means a lot to me.

Stay brave.

Toilet Trouble. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

This morning my toilet overflowed (I think? I’m not actually sure but there was water everywhere). The guards (thank goodness) organized for someone to come and fix it. Yet, by the time they arrives it had magically fixed itself.

I’m starting to think this a prison thing, that things are suddenly fixed by the time help arrives. I’m always sick on Friday, runny nose, fever, sore back among other things and can’t see a doctor until Monday I’m back to health and bouncing around. Strange.

I was so worried I broke the toilet this morning, I’m accidentally breaking a lot of things in the last week. My glasses, a bowl and plate, my last hair tie (now I hold my hair up with pencils!) and I’m sure a few more things I’ve forgotten.

Not my spirit tough, that is stronger than ever. Maybe my pants will break next, I’ve put on a lot of weight!

I can’t wait to be able to walk everywhere again. Soon!

The Desk. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

This is where I spend most of my day, where I draw, read and write. I like to rearrange it every few days and wipe the desk (it gets super dusty for some reason) to get rid of prison grossness. I’ve now received seventeen letters (yay!!), six of which I was given yesterday.

I’m starting to run out of place to put them all so I can just reach out and read them!

I have some slingshot newspapers too (thank you!!) but I’ve leant to a friend for today because it isn’t easy to find any English books or anything here and she, like me, only speaks English.

I’m also slowly running out of toilet paper because I’ve been sick and blowing my nose constantly. Not good when I only get two rolls a week!!

I’ve also broken my glasses (oops) so they are being held together by sticky tape. I wish my prescription wasn’t strange, I’ll probably need another pair soon. I wonder what its like to be able to see without glasses? For me it feels like suddenly experiencing HD vision when I put them on, otherwise I just see blurred colours.

For now I think I will read the letters again, because I love every single one a whole lot.

Carrot on the Window Sill. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

For a few weeks (not long after I got here actually) I have had a little plant growing in an old plastic jam pot full of toilet paper (I’m not allowed dirt inside apparently). I am going to give that little plant, who is doing very well in the the toilet paper to my surprise and because its clear I watch the roots snake around the sides, to a friend who likes plants too.

So, a few days ago when I received a rare carrot during lunch, I decided to keep the top and put them in a lid of water. They seem happy, in two days they have sprouted new leaves and the old ones are a few centimeters taller.

Both plants I think are enjoying the warm weather, though it is a little chilly today. I did also try and grow tomato seeds, which went well until it was cold for a few days.

I’ll try again though when I get another tomato, I really like watching them grow, its super uplifting.

I really miss gardening!
Lunch. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

I’m sure some of you reading this wonder what I eat here (and sometimes I wonder too, is that a vegetable? Bean, carrot, potato maybe? Why is the gravy more solid than jelly?).

I mostly ear bread, brown or with, though in the last week there has been another bread, fermented I Think, that isn’t too bad. It’s bread for breakfast, except on Wednesdays when I might get Müsli or cornflakes.

For lunch I either get potatoes or rice with a range of non vegan sides, usually with dairy and as I’m allergic this isn’t an option to eat (not that I would anyway, I’m not a calf).

Some days, like today, I am lucky and may get some fruit or vegetable (thoughh maybe once or twice a week).

If I’ve ordered shopping I might have chocolate. That’s pretty much it really, bread, potatoes, white rice, chocolate, maybe a fruit or vegetable.

On Mondays and Saturdays we get soup, but I tend to avoid it and eat bread instead (available at breakfast and lunch).

No wonder I’m putting on weight, I can’t wait to eat fruit again!!

Street. Drawing. 5/18

Note 23/5/18:

I don’t have much to say about this one, but my drawing is slowly getting better which I’m really happy about (I always wanted to be an artist when I was “grown up” but a lot of circumstances meant I was unable to, cheers capitalism).

The beds here aren’t great so my back and shoulders are often sore making it difficult to hold a pen or pencil. This means I can’t draw everyday which is greatly upsetting but maybe the breaks are good so I have more ideas of what to draw.

Lately I’ve been trying to teach myself to draw eyes and faces because I struggle to draw both sides the same.

I’m sending this street though because it is so colorful and energetic and I hope that it will give you strength.

Conversation through the Bars. Drawing. 24/5/18


Note 24/5/18:

Today, during Freistunde (“free hour”) outside, I spoke to a friend through their window as they didn’t want to come out and be around everyone outside (fair enough).

They tell me they are struggling. We talk about psychologists, other mental health workers. They’ve been doing hard drugs and now are clean because of prison, they have to deal with their issues. They refuse to accept they are in prison.

They tell me there is only a small chance they will survive here without me. They cry, tell me when I go it will be goodbye, I will never see them again. They want me to tell their friends they love them, that they are sorry.

I don’t know what to say, how to help, can I tell anyone about this? I did, and I feel like I betrayed them. This is the worst I’ve felt so far. I’m not sure what to do, they are upset with me, I feel lost. I wonder, did I do the right thing? I’m not sure.