Tom says: “you don’t really appreciate things until you haven’t got them…”

“It’s quite a weird feeling coming out and just literally being out here. It was quite nice to be able to just… I didn’t find it daunting coming out. It was a little bit exciting at first, if you know what I mean, to be able to come out here… I feel like I get on with Chris quite well. He’s real sound. It was quite nice. The conversations I could have with Chris were conversations I haven’t had in a while, just talking about family and stuff, just general things. A lot of people that I’ve met haven’t … other than ringing my brother, your general day-to-day conversations I’d normally have, things that interest me…

It was not easy, definitely not. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be like it was. I don’t know how to describe it. I didn’t really know what to expect. You obviously watch ‘Porridge’ and that and you think … it’s nowhere near it. People were robbing people for stuff. It’s such little things, but in there, it’s worth a lot to them. A lot of people just have nothing…

As it’s gone on, the little baby steps have got a little bit better all the time… getting my job on the induction wing, going on, little progression, but the trouble with little progression is like you get little bits of hope that you’re going to get something and then you get setbacks, and you don’t get exactly what you thought you were going to get. You get something different before you get what you thought you were going to get. It’s like one step forward, two steps back, pretty much. When you do get your steps forwards, there’s never any … one person will tell you one thing and another person will tell you something else. That is quite frustrating, but now I’ve got to the point where I can come to LandWorks Monday to Friday, it brings in another … all the time, you’ve got a different routine. Your routine is always set and keeps changing, changing, but here, your routine is coming out here, but once you’re out here, it’s not a routine any more, you’re always doing different stuff. In there, if you’re doing a job in there, your routine is doing what you’re normally doing…

I’m really looking forward to trying to get back to what I call my life. That is getting closer, but it seems to be dragging a bit now. LandWorks has been amazing. Even though I liked my carpentry job where I was getting out and about and doing things, this is like another level. Everyone that’s here is looking at the same thing, if you know what I mean. It’s definitely made a huge difference. Before, with mum and dad, just having a simple conversation and they say what they’re doing during the day at work, they can say “what have you been up to?” and it’s always something different. Just having little conversations like that … when I’m able to say what I’ve been doing and then I say I’m alright, it seems to be completely … it’s quite a big thing for me to be able to reassure them in one sense. It’s nice for them to obviously know that I’m able to do stuff because I like to be busy.

It’s been brilliant to be able to do a dry-stone wall. Even though it was hard work, it’s definitely brilliant to be able to do it. I’ve done blocks and different things, but I’d never done it. To be given the opportunity to do it, that’s quite nice. Just being able to do the cooking. I’ve just been able to do normal things that I like doing, if you know what I mean. Putting a new gate in. To some people, I imagine, I sound like a right lunatic saying I enjoy doing things like that, but I seem to be able to relax better when I’m doing stuff than I am when I’m not doing stuff.. Having people like Graham and Martin here, and Robyn, people that are so easy to get on with … even if you’re having a bad day, the environment here is always at a good level…

Throughout all of it, even being in prison and LandWorks, it’s showing that just working all the time and trying to get where you want to be, isn’t always everything. Even though I did appreciate my family and friends before, having time for yourself is also important. We have breaks here at LandWorks and everyone gets together, and everyone eats together, whereas before, you don’t really appreciate things until you haven’t got them…

I know a bit more about myself. Before, I used to try and be quite easy-going and deal with most things. I think I’ve found that I’m quite resilient and that you can’t always worry about stuff… One thing I have realised is I always thought … obviously I’ve got family and I’ve got a lot of friends and one thing I didn’t realise is how many friends I did have… When you’re in a situation like this, you don’t realise how many of them are actual friends. I’ve realised there’s more there than I thought. Even though I’ve never been in a situation like this, but it’s been extremely nice to realise how many people are actually there, if you know what I mean. It’s something that you never thought you’d need to find out, but when push comes to shove, I found out it was actually quite a big thing. Some people say they’re your friends, when it really counts, are they? I don’t know how to say it. There’s some of them that I didn’t think would actually give a f@!*#, if you know what I mean, but then there’s some people that surprised me, they’ve actually come to see me, or they’ve spoken to mum and asked how I was getting on. It was quite nice, how many people actually … yeah, which surprised me a bit, if you know what I mean. It’s something I never thought I’d test out, if you know what I mean, which in a general sense you wouldn’t.”

One thought on “Tom says: “you don’t really appreciate things until you haven’t got them…”

  1. You have summed up the ethos of Landworks beautifully Tom – time to reflect quietly to yourself, but also time to join with others in a more ‘normal’ work / social situation. Your ‘doing stuff’ dry stone wall and gate hanging is an amazing example of skill and hard work. You have made your own positive mark on Landworks in the legacy of your efforts right there! 🙂


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