Jo's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘dreams

The fugitive octopus, suicidal goldfish and other living manifestations of my dream world

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When I lived in Poland, the strangest thing happened.

I dreamt one night that I was on a tram in central Warsaw. Three teenagers got on, one boy and two girls. The boy was brandishing a baseball bat and came towards me, wielding the bat menacingly in my face, whilst the girls stood behind him laughing.

The next day, in my waking world, I was on a tram in central Warsaw when three teenagers got on, one boy and two girls, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the three teenagers in my dream. They didn’t have a baseball bat with them but they did spot an AIDS ribbon on my coat and spent the rest of the journey staring, whispering and giggling at my expense.

It wasn’t the only time an AIDS ribbon met with an odd response like that in Poland. It also isn’t the only time that something in my dreams has manifested itself into something in my subsequent reality.

Thankfully however, I haven’t yet, in my waking world, had to protect myself from a nuclear bomb by climbing into a hostess trolley, nor hide an octopus from a gang of kidnappers in a drum filled with red water. Nor have I climbed up Mount Ararat to find goldfish throwing themselves out of fish tanks onto the path in front of me.

I’ve also been quite relieved to realise that, in my waking world, I didn’t serve customers in the petrol station naked, nor walk down the corridor at work naked, nor indeed, sit through a meeting with senior college staff naked.

However. The strangest thing happened to me last week. Whilst at a conference in Southampton, having just had a bath in my hotel room, getting ready to go down to the conference dinner, I was drying my hair and didn’t yet have any clothes on, when the hotel room door opened and another guest was standing in the entrance.

For a moment, I was utterly confused and bewildered. Where the hell am I? One minute I’m quietly drying my hair, the next I just stepped inside my own vulnerability nightmare!

Then panic and horror. I can’t quite recall how I reacted but given that it was a moment of high stress and anxiety there are two possible alternatives. My voice may have risen to a high-pitched and abnormally posh squeak, I may have been extremely polite and apologetic for my presence in his hotel room and for not wearing clothes OR I may have sworn loudly and profusely and tried to ram his wheely suitcase down his throat.

I can’t recall. It might have been somewhere between the two. Swearing politely and squeakly whilst running over his toes with his wheely suitcase as I rammed the door shut.

Anyway, it turns out that a screw up by the hotel over rooms and keys meant that another delegate was given the same room as me. I had to endure a night and a day and the presentation of a conference paper knowing someone in the vicinity was a living, breathing manifestation of one of my worst recurring nightmares.

And I’m hoping that’s the one and only time in my life I experience that as a reality.

Brrr… shudder… Give me a fugitive octopus or suicidal goldfish over that anytime!


Written by Spiller

July 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Turnstiles, Wartime and Wotsits

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I love my dreams and I have a lot of them. Recently, however, I’ve been waking in the night thinking “What a great dream, I’ll definitely not forget that one!” only to find that, come the morning, every last thread of it has disappeared from my mind. Ransacking my brain for even the smallest hook by which I could draw it back into my consciousness is completely unsuccessful. The dream has well and truly vanished.

So the other night, when I awoke, I managed to scrawl in my diary, in the pitch black, the words “Turnstiles, wartime and wotsits” and, by some miracle, it was still semi-legible in the morning. So here it is…

We were milling about on a quayside in WWI army uniforms, complete with pith helmets and Sam Brown belts, saying farewell to friends and loved ones, waiting to go through some turnstiles. On the other side of the turnstiles were ships which we were about to embark on in order to sail away to war.

However, to get through these turnstiles, we had to swipe a Wotsit crisp over a infrared light. And only certain shaped Wotsits would gain you entry. Too curly, no good. Too straight, no good. They had to have a perfect Wotsit shaped curve to activate the turnstiles.

I love dreams for their disregard for the conventions of storytelling and their celebration of the surreal.

I think I’ve been reading too much about WWI recently but honestly, I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a Wotsit – could have been circa 1986!

Written by Spiller

March 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Posted in General, Photography

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Miniature monkeys and cartoon clouds

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I had a dream the other night that I spotted what I thought at first was a bed bug on the duvet (why I had bed bugs on my mind we won’t go into). But it was travelling at such speed across the duvet, I realised it couldn’t be a bed bug and must be a tiny money spider instead.

When I looked more closely at it though, I realised it was a tiny monkey, the same size as a money spider, galloping (do monkeys gallop?) across the bed. However, there was something odd about its feet. It looked like it had little puffs of white cotton wool attached to each of them.

When I looked even more closely though, I realised that tiny little puffs of cartoon smoke or clouds were appearing each time one of its feet touched the duvet.

I like this picture I took in Malawi of a monkey and her baby a lot. She was sneaking down a hotel corridor trying to make her way to the breakfast buffet without being spotted by the staff. I liked her cool stare, getting the measure of me before deciding that she could probably still make a run for the cereal and fresh fruit despite my proximity. She didn’t make it. Not this time anyway. No doubt she’d come back and try again. It was a daily battle of wills between man and monkey up on the Zomba plateau.






Written by Spiller

October 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm


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This week I have been mainly dreaming about wasps! I’m not sure why. I did get stung by one in France this summer, that flew into the car and got trapped in my armpit. So now I have developed a slight phobia to them, can feel my anxiety levels rising when any happen to be close by.

And then this week (actually in one night), I had two separate dreams about being tormented by the evil things. In one dream, a single wasp was continually buzzing aggressively very close to my face and would not leave me alone no matter what I did. In the second, I had a cluster of them attached to my big toe that I could not get to go away. In the end I managed to flick them into some sand and then tried to bury them as quickly as possible.

It was quite a stressful.

I also had a dream about machine-gunning a car full of people, although in all honesty, I don’t think I was actually holding the gun. That’s what watching Team America: World Police does to you.  I’m very suggestible like that!

And I can’t get the Kim Jung Il puppet singing ‘I’m so ronery’ out of my head – makes me larf every time!

Written by Spiller

August 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

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Shutters, Dreams and Public Indecency

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I had a very wierd dream last night. I dreamed that I came across a white wall (not unlike the one in this picture) with two sets of shutters (also not unlike the one in this picture) in the middle of a field. But a wall that had no building behind it, It didn’t go anywhere, it was like one side of a house but with no house. On opening the shutters, I could see through the window to a beautiful Chateau with spiralled turrets, high on a hill with trees cascading down towards a wood.

I thought it would make a nice picture so went back to the car to get my camera. When I returned the shutters had disappeared completely and all that was in front of me was a plain white wall. I was confused but as I drew my fingers along the wall I eventually managed to locate the undetectable shutters. On opening them however, the scene I’d previously seen was no longer visible, I could only see overgrown hedgerows in the foreground and little beyond this. When I stood on tiptoes, however, and looked through the camera lens I could see a wall with really amazing graffiti on it but set in a very neglected looking urban environment. No Chateau, no turrets, no woods.

As I tried to figure out what was going on, I heard some noise to my left. I turned to see a long line of people dressed in sky blue robes and with their heads bound completely, except for their eyes, with white bandages, coming down the hill like well dressed patients in an asylum.

Anyone care to take a stab at analysing that one?

On another note, I also managed to accidentally expose myself to some Jehovah’s Witnesses this morning. The price you pay for living opposite the Kingdom Hall. And for absentmindedly getting dressed just as they are all spilling out of Sunday service. The godlessness of it all!



Written by Spiller

August 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Photography

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