The least stressful place is…


I’ve never been given a prison sentence – I confess I was fined for speeding – and going from a world of colour to a grey environment must obviously be a soul-destroying and bleak transition.

A prison officer once told me that some inmates often lock themselves in their cells when they’ve finished whatever work they’re supposed to do and had enough of their recreation period so they can get away from it all.

I don’t want to make light of unlawful imprisonments, fifteen to a squalid cell, beatings, killings, or other such breaches of the Geneva Convention. But my bijou residence has grey walls and was described by someone as a prison cell.

Yet it’s also the least stressful place in town. The other is a supermarket café where I go to read – as long as I get there early enough to claim my table. Even then, some people are prone to talking louder than necessary.

The streets are unbearable with all sorts of…well all sorts, and I often find myself crossing the road to avoid them. I like to think of the small park as my home if only people didn’t trespass.

Memories of my time in a McDonalds cafe are fading – which is just as well as I don’t want to go back to that city again – but I haven’t really found a suitable replacement.

I have unexpectedly found help in the form of Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve only read two of his books (Corduroy Mansions) and parts of those I found a bit silly but they did ease my stress levels.

I took another of his books out of the library yesterday and began it this morning in the supermarket café – before hurrying back to my bijou residence.

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About S.A. Aslam

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