Dreams can be strange and unsettling. When I speak of dreams I’m not referring to a lifelong dream to be a famous pop-star, I’m talking about those stories your mind tells you when you are in a light sleep just before you wake up.

First some admissions. I’m not a believer that dreams are portents of things to come. I think they could possibly be a sleeping attempt by your brain to interpret something going on in your life at that particular point – some stress or anxiety or worry. Of course this could all be nonsense, and in light of the supposed fact that we only use 10% of our brain capacity, dreams could be the silent 90% hacking up some mental phlegm to confuse the active 10%.

By and large however I’d categorise dream therapy or dream analysis in the same bucket as homeopathy or astrology or crystal therapy – pleasant placebos that can give some mental relief to someone in need of some answers. But I also belief that unscrupulous quacks can exploit people at their most vulnerable – for example those who claim to be able to speak to the dead deserve contempt, for their financial scamming of grieving people.

In other words – if it gives some comfort or answers then great – but believe it at your own risk and keep a healthy dose of cynicism on standby.

Another confession here – I also find listening to people describing their dreams unspeakably boring. If ever someone says to me ‘I had the strangest dream last night’, I find myself thinking ‘Oh here we go ….’ and struggle to stifle a yawn or to say ‘Get on with it.’  Perhaps that is horrible of me – but that’s how I roll.

Anyway with all of the above stated, I had a bizarre dream last night.

I was in my mother’s kitchen. She was over by the window waiting for the kettle to boil to make a cup of tea (the tea could symbolise something – or could simply denote my love for tea.)

There was a noise at the back door. She said ‘Oh that’s your father arrived home.’

Now my father died thirteen and a half years ago. But dreams are dreams – no logic, rhyme or reason.

And he entered the kitchen. He appeared to have aged. We used to be the same height, but that thirteen years had increased his height. And he’d gained weight. And carried a walking stick.

He looked at me and said ‘Give me a hug.’

That’s when I knew it was a dream – despite the increase in height and weight and age, this last part was the most unbelievable.

The next sentence is one that we were told repeatedly at school, was an eternally unacceptable way of ending a story as it signified a complete lack of imagination and an unacceptable laziness.

I woke up – it was all a dream.

I was a little shaken, and stirred. Then I remembered another piece of folklore that I have also previously disbelieved – to never eat cheese before bedtime – it induces nightmares.

I thought back to that sizeable block of Mitchellstown cheddar I had scoffed just before sleep.

I won’t be repeating that tonight.



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