I was having one of my extremely vivid dreams. In my dream, I was organising a birthday party for My Boy. I had explained that he could invite five friends from school (the number determined by ability to accommodate all
the party-goers and the Birthday Boy comfortably around the dining room table.) He could choose from either party food or fish and chips - I was pretty sure he would opt for party food as My Foursome were always very traditional in their food choices. They
once went to a birthday party hosted by my uncle for his elder son and returned full of disappointment. “It was a full roast dinner!” one daughter complained, while her sister chimed in indignantly: “No sausage rolls and no crisps!”
After his guests had eaten their fill, I suggested they could either watch football on TV or choose a video from our somewhat limited selection. I would have suggested party
games but based on the previous year’s party, I decided against. Discretion, they say, is the better part of valour.
At this point in my dream I woke
up and remembered that My Boy was 48 years old this year…
It is strange how often my dreams take me back into the past. I often dream, for example, about
my parents when they were alive. You might think these would be sad dreams but I always wake up happy after watching them going about their daily life as in years gone by. Sometimes it’s footage from one of the old cine films which comes to life in my
slumbering head. Last Christmas granddaughter Katie and her fella had our old VHS tapes transferred onto CD so that we could watch them again. She had never seen her great grandparents in real life and she told me that watching them paddling in the sea, buying
ice creams, or walking along a prom (prom, prom) brought tears to her eyes. It was the very best of Christmas presents.
It was my dear Dad who had invested
in the 8mm cine camera, back in the 1960s, determined to capture the antics of his grandchildren on film. At the time, I was excited to think how amazing it would be to look back and see my Foursome growing up; today, strangely (or, maybe, not), the most special
moments, captured forever on film, are those with my parents in starring roles.
Nowadays, of course, it sometimes seems as if every minute of our lives
- especially the most embarrassing - are captured on camera. No waiting for a reel of film to be developed and waiting for the photographs to be posted back a week or more later. No crushing disappointment when the photograph of one’s loved ones, framed
against a truly spectacular sunset, turns out to be a blurry image of shadowy figures merged into an orange haze. Ah, yes, it has happened to me so many, many times.
Dreams are another thing altogether and I always dream in full technicolour. Last night’s dream about My Boy’s birthday party, was set in our old home in the village of Staplehurst - the brown and orange wallpaper, with the sort-of matching
curtains bringing back the Spirit of the Seventies. It really was like walking back into my former life, as if I’d never been away. It was quite difficult to tear myself away when I was jolted back into the present.
I often experience recurring dreams where I visit the same place or places - not all of which I recall ever visiting in real life though I do wonder if I did, once upon an unremembered time. I wander
around a hospital, for example, and occasionally find myself in a graveyard, though it’s not a sad place. Most of the time, I am searching for something though I never know what I’m looking forward and I never find it before I wake up. Dreams can
be so, well, tantalising. Have you noticed, too, that once you have woken up, even if you turn over and manage to get back to sleep, you will never find yourself back where you left off.
In my favourite recurring dream, I go up through an attic and onto the roof of a house and sit under a starry, starry sky, looking down on the streets below.
This is probably the least likely of my dreams, given my fear of heights. Once, after our first granddaughter was born, I took her up onto the roof with me. Her parents would have had a fit had they known.
When I told Mr B, he was most put out, because (he said) I had never, ever taken him up onto the roof….