Thursday, December 04, 2008

Creepy Adventures in Rural Fife

Visiting my friends P and A; they're staying in London. I fret a great deal about missing my train back north, but catch it (just) at what looks like King's Cross. Somehow, I manage to leave the train via the long-defunct station at the village of Kingskettle, Fife. My mother is waiting there, but I feel the need to have a look around another Virgin Pendolino waiting at the rural station. Before I know it, the doors have closed and I risk being carried miles from where I need to be. Luckily, I discover that the first stop is not far, and I find myself disembarking without maps or information somewhere in a signless part of the Howe of Fife (I get the impression it's in the vicinity of a Falkland or Freuchie - all anonymous large farms, hedgerows and old estates.)

Having no idea which way to head, I choose a direction at random. I've realised that I could call my mother, who would surely drive over and pick me up, but this'd be pointless without any location to give her. It's beginning to get dark. Soon I come across a shabby-looking gatehouse cottage at the beginning of a wooded avenue, and walk up the drive to find a substantial country house. Its two tall-windowed floors look empty. Cautiously entering the dusty hallway through the open main door, I find a middle-aged woman asleep on the floor. She awakens and seems apologetic to have been found in this situation, but makes no particular move to stand up or provide any helpful information. She explains that she can't help me, and I imagine that she looks to the ceiling.

There is a steadily increasing sound from the floor upstairs. As it grows louder, I can make out various elements to the racket: a rhythmic tramping sound which makes the floorboards creak, the jingling of horse tackle, a quicker footstep that runs up and down the line of what I cannot avoid imagining as a column of marching men...

I leave the house and find my way back through the dusk to the main road. Somewhere on the fringes of the farm or estate land which I am leaving, I can make out a large animal lumbering around the rough grassland. It seems to be a polar bear, grubby and stained with mud. It begins to attempt to mate with a nearby cow, then, seeing me, bounds over and rears up at me. I am already trying to get my mobile phone ready to take a picture (thinking that photographic evidence of the unbelievable scene would be important), but I'm not sure if I get a shot of it, and it loses interest, thankfully.

Almost completely dark now, and I finally find myself on the outskirts of a village I know (passing a little war memorial on the way in), and call to arrange to be picked up.

Almost completely forgotten from this sequence: The centre for parachuting/the tea shop/my son T sleeping under the camp bed

I have a lot of family connections in this area of the world, but haven't really been there for a long time. I also have a lot of dreams about trying not to miss trains, or getting on the wrong ones - it must represent something to me.

Monday, December 01, 2008

In Falkirk

the shops were all closed. That's all I remember.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Horrible Bill Oddie

Spending some time exploring somewhere that looks a bit like Madrid. Whilst visiting some sort of cathedral I find Bill Oddie capering around (doing a little jig) in front of a set of incongruously modern lift doors. When the doors open, the lift's passengers are suprised and alarmed by the sudden appearance of the dancing, bearded television personality.

"Why did they get such a fright, then?", Oddie asks me, perplexed. "Isn't it obvious?" I reply. "When the doors open, the last thing they expect to see is Bill Oddie, dancing around."

Later I am very angry with Bill when I discover he has put some sort of costume on Nancy, one of our rabbits. She's zipped up in the thing, which covers her completely, like a bag, and she is in obvious distress until I release her.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Small Biscuit Currency

Am in the shop of a petrol station, trying to buy a copy of 'Private Eye'. I notice, however, that the magazine has become slightly more glossy and colourful and has been rebranded as 'Have I Got News for You', to tie in with the TV show.

Another recent change which I'd forgotten about was the replacement of one pence pieces by small rectangular biscuits, similar to the ones that are presented with coffee. The ones I have in my pocket are the wrong type - for some reason I need a few 1p's to make up the total.

Friday, April 25, 2008

le Mesurier Murder

Shortly before going off to look at some kind of ancient shrine or cairn (hidden in an incongruous urban setting between tower blocks) I brutally torture and kill John le Mesurier and his wife in their home. The sadism and viciousness of the act, which involves boiling water and the contents of their own cutlery drawer, doesn't appal me until afterwards.

'That's it', I think to myself later, 'There's no going back - I bear the Mark of Cain'.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Coliseum Shopping Centre

Having a had an unusually unrewarding meeting with two of my theatrical clients, I. and A., I find myself and these individuals being given a lift back (from the meeting's mystery location) to Glasgow by my mother and her sister. Shortage of space means that myself and A. (not a big guy, unlike I.) have to cram into the boot of the car. Somewhere - think it's called 'Irvine' or 'Saltcoats' but it feels a lot more like Paisley - A. has to get out for an unspecified reason. After waiting for some time, I decide to see where he's gone. It'd not long before I get bored looking and phone the car's occupants to explain that I'll make my own way back. I've just remembered a place I haven't visited for decades, and I want to see if it's changed much.

I feel something approaching ecstasy as I realise that it's still there, having been architecturally updated in a half-hearted way over the years, but essentially unchanged; faded and slightly altered but mainly recognisable: the Coliseum Shopping Centre. Drawn back by my increasingly heartfelt nostalgia for excitingly-designed spaces of my childhood, I am delighted to recognise key elements of the complex - the ribbed black rubber flooring, the steel lifts, designed community areas such as seating and a small dancefloor with PA system - mostly fenced off through underuse or poor maintenance... of course, the concrete.

The Centre is still fairly busy - pensioners sit in a café area; the tables are obviously modern replacements but the very seventies ceramic light-hangings above them are part of the original plan... neddy-looking youths jostle each other on stylish cement-and-iron ramps and stairwells, now chipped and dripping loose mosaic.

A fantastically enjoyable dream. Very easy to see this emerging from my sense of loss at the current obliteration of the megaproject architectural visions that brightened my childhood geography, and my frustration at the Pavlovian 'brutalist = bad' convention that has dominated Scottish planning and popular feeling for the last twenty years or so. Also easy to indentify some of the specific memory-sources for this dream, namely: the Anderston Centre (Glasgow), the original Habitat and Heron House(Bothwell Street, Glasgow), the original Piazza Centre (Paisley), possibly the Magnum Centre in Irvine (which would account for the appearance of the placename)... and the rubber flooring definitely comes from Greenock Public Library. All places of almost science-fictional excitement for me as a boy, and almost all eradicated or altered beyond recognition. There seems to be an actual Coliseum Shopping Centre in Manchester somewhere. It was definitely spelt this way in this dream (possibly influenced by the 'Coliseum' carved sign on what is now the Carling Academy Glasgow, and clearly visible from trains leaving Central Station.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Idi Amin

Was existing in a situation somewhere between 'Celebrity Big Brother' and a trip away with friends. Six or eight of us were living in comfortable but sterile accomodation somewhere on the crest of a hill. The only individuals I can recall were myself, my friends GT and NP, one celebrity: a tall, skinny black American television journalist, and Idi Amin.

The journalist was a friendly enough fellow, but annoyed me slightly by constantly reading from a spiral-bound pad in which he had been making notes concerning the character and likely prospects of each person in the house. Idi Amin, however, was (as you would expect) an intolerant and irrational brute. He were all terrified of him, knowing we wouldn't hesitate to use his massive fists in the face of some totally unexpected and unpredictable provocation.

At one point I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. I crept carefully in the dark, full of fear in case I should disturb Amin and risk his volcanic rage.

We were all aware that he was about to face some sort of international trial for his crimes, and later on we all found ourselves observing his attempt to escape. At the foot of the hill we could see Amin's huge figure rolling on the ground as agents dressed in safari jackets and pale shorts (a bit like South African police) set big Alsatian dogs on him, the dogs gripping and tearing at his arms and face.

An unusually clear case of subconcious influencing by two current media events: the annual Celebrity Big Brother show, and the recent release of the film 'The Last King of Scotland'. - possibly also a trip to Barcelona last year when I shared a dormitory with folks including these two of my friends.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Lost in London

Almost penniless and no idea where I am in London, but taking various tube trains to attempt to get back to somewhere familiar. At some stage I am hanging around a busy station when I am taken for an employee by a Transport for London worker, who hands me a plastic tube with attached funnel. This is for distributing tea to the the rest of the staff; he also gives me a demijohn full of milky-looking tea.

At this point, I am distracted by a large flat-bed wagon passing the platform. Sitting on it are a variety of railway workers, some lounging, some sitting on crates and reading newspapers. Helpfully, the battered and well-used wagon has the words 'trainless drivers' painted on its side.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Nothing more than a vague memory, and one phrase transcribed upon awakening (TUA).

My wife J and I somehow seemed to have become involved in child trafficking. 'Barbatross' was the name of a criminal mastermind. The phrase, uttered by myself: "We'll get 400 notes for each of the little beggars - but for a grand we could go to Barbatross.'

Interestingly, if you google 'barbatross' you'll find a few race horses and at least one property company of that name.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fraudulent Cardinal

I was attending a fairly large service in a cathedral, and realised I was quite high-up amongst the clergy present, though not delivering the service itself.

I seemed to be wearing a cardinal's robes, and was being pushed around respectfully in a weelchair... I felt like a terrible fraud, being neither a cardinal nor unable to walk. I rose from the wheelchair occasionaly to make my way on foot, out of embarrassment more than anything else, but this merely appeared to attract further quiet respect from those around me.

The congregation were not seated in one assembly, facing towards the chancel, but rather in a cross shape facing a central altar.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wasp Disposal

My wife J and I are out on a street round the corner from our home disposing of wasps. I'm about to nip back to get an aerosol for destroying wasps' nests from where I keep it in a shed in our garden, when I realise the problem is bigger than that. This isn't, as I can see, a nest - this is a wasp heap.

As we ponder the situation, a silver Mercedes comes screeching round the corner, and pulls up suddenly. It's a man I know in the City Council, and he's brought the council leader with him. This is a young guy (I think he was Indian), full of enthusiasm for wasp killing, energetic and keen to solve our problem. He begins pulling huge translucent plastic barrels from the boot of the car - they're full of a toxic-looking brown liquid, and he hurls them up in the air... they bounce violently when they hit the ground, spilling their contents in an uncontrolled manner.

I recall feeling pleased that the problem was being dealt with so vigorously, this relief turning to disappointment when it appeared that the solution was not being provided in what would seem to be an effective manner. I'm sure that this aspect of the dream was in some way influenced by a recent experience with plumbing contractors.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Terrorist Accusation and Wounding

Was living near the top of an enormous, silver block of flats - not shabby, but not particularly special, either. There were a hundred stories in the building, so the lift displayed percentages as you travelled in it.

I met a middle-aged Muslim lady, who insisted, grimly, on telling me that an Asian guy of my acquaintance was actually a terrorist plotting a terrible crime. I shouted at her and covered my ears, knowing that as soon as I knew even unsubstantiated accusations about any individual I would be breaking the law by not informing the authorities. To no avail... she succeeded in communicating her concerns and I knew I was already irretrievably embroiled in the matter.

This involvement seemed to have borne fruit before too long, since I soon found myself with various injuries. I kept smearing blood on door handles and cash machines as I went about my daily business - increasingly concerned that I should find medical attention, but finding this very difficult. Particularly disturbing was a length of thin metal rod protruding from a bloody wound on my left arm, which caused great pain when I caught it on things.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Langham Code

I was reading an article in the 'Guardian' concerning the sad case of the comedy actor Chris Langham, who is facing charges of indecent assault. I got the impression that the writer of the piece knew more than he felt secure about putting into print, and this suspicion was confirmed by a note at the foot of the article explaining: 'If you wish to know more about a possible motive, fold along the dotted lines'. It was only when thus prompted that I noticed some faint dotted lines running horizontally through the typesetting. Naturally, I folded the paper as suggested to find that certain lines of type joined crudely up to form the phrase 'self-financed film project'.

I marvelled at this new journalistic technique, which presumably avoided legal difficulties, as well as explaining the appearance of certain apparently awkward or inappropriate words in the prose.

I did actually glance at an article in the Guardian on this topic while eating a sandwich in my car yesterday; it was days old and I had already read it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Rake

I became aware of a secret government conspiracy known as 'The Rake'. I was shown, as part of a trail of evidence, a poor colour-photocopy of a complex hotel invoice. It incorporated scribbles and marginalia, many quite chatty, but all full of impenetrable terms and code-words. Some mentioned parties and the word 'charlie'... I was slightly shocked - but these young, high-flying secret agents probably felt they needed to let off steam whilst deep in their covert assignments.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Y's After the Event

A campaign has been launched, based on supposed evidence that if men wear more brightly coloured underpants, it will help prevent accidents.

At one point I find myself somewhere somewhere Newcastle. I am looking out over a low-lying and marshy river estuary; I can see several large, rusting mechanical pylons. I realise that they are remnants of the ones which feature in the brutal denoument of 'Get Carter'.

An elderly Geordie local explains to me that his father used to tell him that the pylons were once painted a vivid red, and that this ensured there were less of a danger to shipping and air traffic.

Later, I discover that the bright-coloured-underpants campaign appears to have been largely created by Marks and Spencer - their stores are full of promotional graphics urging customers to follow this offical advice (like eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables per day), and I surmise that the whole campaign is nothing more than a cynical plot to sell more men's garments.

Thinking about it now, the pylon-vista was very reminiscent of Kincardine Bridge (on the River Forth).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Breakfast with Hunter

I visit the home of Hunter S Thompson (the outlaw journalist), about whom I have been obsessing a good deal recently. He is still alive, naturally. Rather than his famous Owl Farm compound, I find he is living in an architecturally unique structure in a desert. It's a very organic-looking building, mainly composed of curved sheets of yellow sandstone with stout, dull steel pillars. It has hot tubs and bedrooms and enclosed areas hung with white sheets, all overlain slightly with wind-blown dust.

The great man seems tolerant of my company, although not overjoyed. I leave him fiddling around with some handguns and climb stairs to a high, amoebic tower (with flagpole) to survey the arid wastes around. It's very hot; I am wearing my old, distressed black jesus sandals. Later, in what seems like the dining area of the house, I reflect that I never checked if a flag was flying - and if one was, would it carry his famous double-thumbed Gonzo fist emblem?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ominous Bee

All I remember is the point at which matters became really desperate... we were all exhausted, some injured, when the soldier said: "I hear the sound of that bee. Please God don't let it turn into the sound of a swarm"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Political Adventures in Glasgow

Some sort of anti-war protest is scheduled to happen. It's marching from somewhere North-East of Glasgow city centre towards Glasgow Green. Interested in taking part in a non-committal sort of way, I begin to make my way up through increasingly fragmented and run-down cityscape. It becomes less pleasant as the incidence of broken glass increases - I am barefoot.

Eventually I bump into my mother; she is on her way up to the march. I change my mind when she explains that it seems to be entirely a vehicle for George Galloway, and I worry that she is being recruited into something that looks like having a Galloway ego-trip as its main purpose. Eventually (now travelling by bike, having had one helpfully rolled out to me by an unseen assistant) I encounter the procession - it's much smaller than I'd expected, a straggling band with Galloway at its head.

I am invited to a formal lunch, and decide this would be a better option. It seems to be hosted by Strathclyde University (most of this dream takes place in the rough geographical area occupied by their campus in real life), and to demonstrate some scientific point the food has all been dyed - one colour per plate. The dishes (new potatoes, and some tuna steak or white fish) at my end of the table are blue - further down the table, green, red and yellow. Sitting beside me is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and I humorously remark to my fellow VIP guest that sitting him at the blue food is something of a political faux-pas on the part of the hosts.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Time Cam

I'm with my cousins K and D - we're in someone's house (I think it might belong to me) and mucking about with a small video camera which I have borrowed. Scanning around the room throught the viewfinder (which only shows a greyscale image, as some cameras do) I notice that people's faces look somehow different. Most objects around the room look the same, though some a little 'fresher' tha they do when I take the camera from my eye. Most strikingly, my mother's cat (who is roaming around the room) appears smaller, shorter-haired and more athletic.

I discuss this with K, who is working in a little plot outside the tenement he lives in (it looks a bit like somewhere in Hyndland, Glasgow). He is brandishing a small gardening fork, and explains to me how he has deduced that the camera shows the past! He reckons, from the cat's appearance, that it shows objects and people to be about ten years before the present. At this point his sister F comes along, and we explain this remarkable news to her. She is very excited and jokes about how 'any woman would be glad of a camera like that'. I feel the need to clarify that - without some clever arrnagement of mirrors and lenses - it would be impossible for her to actually see herself through the viewfinder.

Later, I am walking along a street in Glasgow when a man's dog begins to harass me. I am immediately both angry and frightened, especially so since the dog's owner seems to be encouraging the beast's behaviour. "Look: fuck off with your dog" I cry. The man merely speaks to his dog: "That's it, boy - he's on my patch". "This is a public place!" I respond, "it's not 'your patch'".

The greyscale viewfinder detail certainly derives from experience of a digital film camera I was using a while ago. I've always been wary of dogs I don't know, and some of their owners, but doubt I would be quite so forthcoming so quickly in this situation...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dreadful Nuclear Travelogue

A hazily-remembered but terrible and depressing dream... starting in a pseudo-Glasgow - the country was on the brink of nuclear conflict. Urban scenarios in Victorian official buildings; eventually I became aware that an atmosphere of resigned, grotesque, crazy fatalism had taken over, reminiscent of the film 'Downfall'.

Next, my wife J and I were abandoning the city at my insistence and heading (sometimes by car, sometimes by foot) towards Loch Lomond. Although there were no scenes of mass exodus - we seemed to be the only people heading for the countryside - we travelled through an increasingly lawless and chaotic Scotland. By the time we reached a pseudo-Helensburgh, the townspeople were flooding out of the town buildings with the news that missiles had been launched and were on their way.

Looking down the River Clyde towards Glasgow (things seeming to have become geographically reversed) I could see, against a clear afternoon sky, the missile glimmering... red metallic paint. And then, a mushroom cloud, smaller and more fiery than I expected. I watched it for a while, a column of flames shooting upwards from a small area of ground before realising that our journey should continue as soon as possible.

Therafter, an increasingly despairing trek further into the wilderness; a feeling of being aware that I was deliberately shutting off concerns about food and shelter, and our future in general.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Costume weekend

A really enjoyable dream. We go off to a weekend party somewhat resembling one of those murder-mystery things - however, though this one features structured events nothing seems to really reach a conclusion. The theme is sort-of-eighteenth century, so everyone is wearing frock-coats, wigs and huge taffetta dresses.

I'm having a great time - all the participants do very well speaking in the appropriate language of the era. I particularly enjoy using the word 'sir' at the end of each sentence when speaking to a male partygoer. At one point I thought of going to our room to fetch my camera and take a snap of proceedings - it occurred to me that the apperance of this 21st century gadget would spoil the fun a bit, so changed my mind.

One of the rooms within the substantial period villa housing the event contains a model of the villa and its surrounding buildings. They appear to be set in estate parkland and each can be lifted up to reveal a tiny, scale interior showing the events taking place so that one might get a good overview of how the 'plot' of the weekend will develop. I quite fancied going to look at a stable block nearby, but discovered on leaving the french windows at the back of the house that I was had in fact been in my mother's house and was now standing in her back garden on a frosty morning. I could hear voices speaking in the correct manner from the next street along and realised that the organisers had in fact spread the various buildings around these suburban streets.

I walked back inside and poured myself a drink from a decanter, wondering how the locals reacted to these playacting people in fancy dress making their way between the buildings.

I had arrived at the party in a sky-blue Morris Minor which I owned. Looking at it later, I noticed I'd parked it inside on the parquet flooring, and it had been altered into a 'stretch' version by chopping in half and using enormous girders to join the two halfs.

Driving cars indoors and the attendant difficulties is becoming a recurrent theme here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Particle Accelerator

(transcribed from notes made immediately upon awakening)

Fire reported in Clyde Tunnel... Performance artists... slam door on AH, try to fake photographs.

Filming, waiting for P with fancy sports car. At particle accelerator, drum-like, concrete, exhibition corridors, terrorist risk (London flattened, W. Europe uninhabited), pointed up by hoax ???/bomb incident a couple of years ago. Car park outside. Motorhead week on TV, avant-garde documentaries, watching in hotel (?) bar with relatives and filming colleagues. Christmas guests elsewhere in hotel, well-off family deposits large and robust animatronic Rudolph, it responds to actions...

Early morning on way to filming location. Ice T and Chuck D have become involved and to my irritation want to re-direct it as a hip-hop promo...

...Consider tying H to a school chair for vocal run-through. P doesn't appear on time, then leaves early.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Big Brother

Along with my wife, J, I was a contestant on 'Big Brother'. The series had only just started, so there were a huge number of participants in a large complex of trendy buildings and gardens. I was only just getting to know some of them. I didn't see much of J., strangely enough, but was very excited that the viewers would see what I was doing, albeit in a heavily-edited form.

I got a laugh out of almost everybody I met by going from room to room shouting 'Bored, bored, bored, bored!' in a pastiche of Adrian Edmonson as Vyvian from 'The Young Ones'. I was sure this would make it into the broadcast programme and that I would become hugely popular as a result.

Unusually for 'Big Brother', we were allowed out for the occasional morning or afternoon, so J. and I decided to meet her father and drive him somewhere. I had spent some of the cash which seemed to have accompanied my new-found celebrity on an extremely old (1910s-30s) and small car. It had been reasonably well restored. However, we became lost and my attempts to find a shortcut through a Victorian sandstone building in pleasant suburban gardens failed when we kept encountering stairs. I found I could stick my foot out and lift the vehicle down sets of two or three steps, but longer flights meant we had to give up and find another way round.

Cast off!

Was leaving a Glasgow dock to sail down the Clyde as the captain of a fairly large vessel (it could have been a car ferry or the like). Very excited about this, and pretty confident, even though I hadn't done anything like it before. I gave orders to cast off at bow and stern - I could hear my crew complying, and the ship began to drift out into the river. I realised with slight concern that I hadn't first ordered the engines to be started (surely I was doing this in the wrong order) and did so. To be quite frank, I was only fleetingly bothered by this, and primarily because I didn't want people viewing from the quay to see I didn't know what I was up to. Once we were under way (at 'half forward' I think), I began to concentrate on the river ahead, knowing that I would have to anticipate any change of course long before we reached the point at which it was required.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bush Visit

Was back at school, or at least in school. Looked like a standard West-of-Scotland secondary school, though not the one which, in reality, I attended.

An exciting day; George W Bush was visiting the school. In person, he appeared slightly broader and shorter than I would have imagined, and was being ushered around by school and security officals.

I engaged him in an ideological debate, which he appeared to be attempting to withdraw from, but still participated in. My argument was pretty strange, and seemed to be based on a hypothetical transaction between a Jewish Berlin shopkeeper who had been publicly accused of short-changing his customer, sometime in the 30s. Public outcry had been whipped up from this incident, which eventually became the seed from which the justification of the Final Solution outrages of WWII had grown.

George Bush retreated from the discussion, and whatever metaphorical point I was trying to make. I was aware of many around me (children and adults) who seemed to be enthusiastic about my attempts to harangue the super-power leader.

Wartime escape

An alarming dream of paranoia and pursuit. A bit of an epic, but I can only really recall fragmentary images of a trek across Scotland avoiding established roads and settlements to evade detection. At one point, I was compelled to use a ferry terminal to make good my route, and was extremely concerned that I might be spotted, or my name used. Like much of the dream, this location seemed to be set in the 1940s or 50s, judging from the interiors as well as the appearance of passers-by and officials.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Success for an Old Mate

Met up with B., an old chum from my days at Cardonald College, Glasgow. He is now running a business printing mouse mats and shirts (formal shirts, not t-shirts). His company is called 'MatPrint'


A classic flying dream, and very enjoyable. I found myself at a club operating out of a warehouse, overlooking fields but at the edge of a range of steep hills and moorland. At a later point of the dream I drove to a point on the coast beyond these hills.

One of the facilities offered at the club was the use of radio-controlled model helicopters. Once the control of these had been mastered, it was possible to loop a strap of webbing (similar to that used in seat-belts) over the helicopter, and to sit in the sling formed, whilst holding the radio controls. I can clearly remember the thrill of feeling my feet leaving the ground for the first time as I learnt how to balance my weight with the small lifting power of which the helicopter was capable.

Once I had become confident with this, I tried to see how I felt about rising to increasing heights, and found a comfortable maximum. Then I was off... I left the surroundings of the warehouse/hangar and sailed away to attempt to fly right over the range of hills. Clumpy heather and moss lay below, and I felt sure that I could fall from a reasonable height without injury if anything went wrong. Unfortunately, power lines were strung across the crest of the hill, and I was wary of making contact with or becoming tangled up in them, so I diverted my route back down and round the hill, allowing myself to rise once to a tremendous height and enjoying the view, before returning to a safer level.

I landed, with every intention of getting airborne again as soon as possible - I wanted to enjoy as much of this experience as I could. I discussed the equipment briefly with one of the more experienced members; he explained that more powerful twin-rotor (Chinook-like) helicopters were available, and could manage the weight of a man in a wheelchair.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Villain of the Piece

This dream had a baddie, a la Batman and Robin. He wore large, circular glasses and a black-and-white hooped top, and his name was: 'Meridian', symbolised by his outfit.

My first thought on waking up was "why didn't the stripes on Meridian's jersey run from top to bottom, like the meridians of the globe?"... my second thought was "no, they wouldn't actually be circles, then".

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Strange Transport

Racing around a lot in this one. Two scenarios survive: Driving around (with a passenger, my friend G. I think) , I find myself suddenly turning into the main entrance of Frasers department store, off Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Panicked to find myself negotiating the gaps between perfume counters, I am relieved to find that the ways is clear through a side entrance onto Argyle Street. Phew! I thought I was sure to get into a lot of trouble. Later, I am riding an extremely small yet very tall bicycle (about the size of a child's bike, but saddle and handlebars are about twenty feet from the ground). This is difficult, especially because I am trying to ride without using my hands; I am eating a bowl of cereal or fruit. I am moving rapidly through the streets of what looks like some continental city. I am increasingly worried as I veer between double-decker buses, I am sitting so high up that I can see their roofs. Eventually I discard my spoon, and then the bowl, since I know it will be impossible to continue without doing so.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Horse Death

In an attic room, illuminated by large Velux window, in the roof of a tall building (four storeys or so). A serious fight is taking place, although I'm not sure what my involvement is in it. One of the opponents (or the main opponent) is mounted on a horse, and the beast stamps and bangs around the enclosed space, wild eyed and unnerved by its confinement. Suddenly the horse and rider are smashed through the window by some action of the conflict, and I am at the window just in time to see the horse scrabbling and terrified as it slides down the roof, its legs - useless in these conditions - thrashing around, dislodging some slates, then it drops out of site beyond the roof's edge. I realise that I can't bear to investigate its broken body at ground level.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Coat meeting

Am wearing my grey felt coat, and notice a man wearing what seems to be an identical coat. He is slightly smaller than me, with very short dark hair, and a goatee. "Excuse me, but where did you get that coat?" he asks. "Marks and Spencer", I reply, not letting on that I have noticed he is sporting the same garment. "Are you ___ ____?" he continues, using my real name, and I confirm that yes, indeed I am. He introduces himself - he's a good friend of my brother-in-law, and the son of one of my wife's clients.

This person does actually exist, though I've never met them. I'll now have to find out if they really match this description.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

By the Sea

Swimming off some rocks... rather slippy with lots of moss, big waves and rather scary, but managed to launch myself into the water a few times... it's quite cold.

...wandering around a large building with long, glazed wings - something like a primary school. Each wing has two storeys, but I don't really get the chance to explore upstairs...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Now in Multimedia Format

Inspired by the wonderful work of Jesse Reklaw, K. (frequent star of these narratives) has been in touch with his own rather beautiful visualisation of 'Bob Harding and Pirate Ship' (see below for the original). I think he got my hairline about right, too. Respect is most certainly due, and with a bit of luck the recent dream famine will be coming to an end soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Plat, and Fuel Crisis

Am driving (on the stretch of the M8 between Bishopton and Paisley, I think) when - suddenly - petrol becomes unavailable and all vehicles immediately switch to electrical power. Also as part of this transformation, cars (including my own) become smaller and closer to the ground, as well as running on tram/rail lines which are set into the motorway. It's delightful how everyone scoots around Scalectrix-like in silence...

Later, I see the new edition of a glossy news magazine. The leading article is about a woman named 'Plat' who is making the headlines.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hamilton Suite

Some sort of gathering of musical people in the Hamilton Suite, Greenock. A lot of my company are preparing for a gig at the Dearkin (Dworkin? Deacon?) Festival which is being held in London. A poster for this event shows the venue, which is architecturaly spectacular, looking something like the Lloyds Bank building on its side - the interior is open, so it forms a sort of huge illuminated tunnel - or so it seems from the stylised monochrome treatment on the poster.

At one point I am standing at a urinal, but choose to urinate into a handy polythene bag instead. My friends and I all put on our white trousers before going home.

The Hamilton Suite was sited opposite the Tesco Supermarket on Rue End Street, Greenock and closed sometime in the 1980s

Monday, November 21, 2005

Concrete rendezvous

Meeting in a concrete bunker - St Peter's, Cardross-alike again. I notice a portion of the roof has given way since my last visit there, and discuss with my company the increasingly deteriorated state of this historic building. Rain outside and pools of water on the floor...

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Was joining my old band for a jam/rehearsal. As often used to be the case, I felt slightly frustrated at difficulties in getting any coherent songs together; the whole thing didn't really work out. Was using my old black Yamaha drum machine.

Later, in an alternative vesrion of Greenock (my home town): with a bunch of people including my cousin K. we end up in an upper storey flat. He has a firework (it seems to be some sort of firework occasion) - just one, a Roman Candle, and lights it. To my mild distress he leaves it, unattended and sparking, resting on a window sill and pointing out of the open window. However, I later find that it has exhausted itself, and the sparks have crystallised somehow. They protrude in a spray from the charred cardboard tube, looking slightly like the fibre-optic lamps popular in the eighties, and flake and crumble upon touching in a similar way to a Chinese 'magic forest' or 'crystal garden'. Later, we go to see a recent innovation: a church which has been converted into an extremely steep indoor ski-slope. Two trough-like runs have been created, each begins at the level of the balcony, and ends up at the front row of pews, leaving the aisle clear for entrance and exit.

We spend some time wandering around this pseudo-Greenock, I am suprised to see bits (especially a small circus of tenement buildings around a private garden) which I don't recognise.

I am later taken to meet a moustachioed bloke who (at first) irritates me with his seemingly contrived eccentricity. He runs a graphic design business (there are colour swatches lying around the floor of his otherwise smarty house), and I rapidly assess that he fancies himself as something of a Vivian Stanshall. We end up discussing Stanshall, and I discover that he claims to have met Stanshall on at least one occasion). I also get the impression that this man shares with Stanshall a tendency to alcoholism. He shows me his piano - I am about to tinker with the keys, when he simultaneously shuts the lid on my hands and begins to play himself, somehow. However, I accompany him on another piano positioned at right angles to this one. My piano is older and a lot of the keys are badly out of tune, which annoys me, but we manage to enjoy a relatively harmonious session of twelve-bar blues. At one point when the music hits difficulties I am delighted to make my wife (J) laugh with the phrase "aaargh, everything's gone pell-mell!"

Later, I'm in a pseudo-Glasgow, trying to get home by bus. As always, I am interested to see parts of the city I don't normally visit, and this route takes a long diversion north towards the Campsie Hills, passing by a housing estate which I recognise as being marked on an Ordnance Survey map I have at home as a 'Disused Showground'.

K seems to be making regular appearances in my dreams lately - I wonder why, since I don't see him that often, and he doesn't occupy especially more time in my thoughts that some other members of my family who never feature (sorry K., don't take it personally!)

I saw my old band last week, which may have triggered their appearance. I never actually used the black Yamaha drum machine with the band. My friend F. told me a while back that his occasional client, Andy Arnold of the Arches Theatre in Glasgow had worked on Vivian Stanshall's 'Stinkfoot' in Bristol, which impressed me at the time and might have prompted the anecdote of the self-styled eccentric. I was in Greenock yesterday (and writing about this rare visit last night) , and that would seem to have prompted its appearance in this dream. The 'Disused Showground' reminds me a bit of Scotstoun in the real Glasgow, which is a functioning showground and calls itself such.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Adventure Holiday

I must have been back at school - two things point to this: the fact that I was on some kind of organised trip to a highland location with a largish amount of people of my own (younger than actuality) age, and the apperance of an old school aquaintance, K. B., who seemed much more friendly than I tend to remember him. The 'outdoor centre' was reached by bus round a long but narrow fjord surrounded by hilly, but not mountainous moorland - resembling the southern part of the Isle of Lewis, by Harris.

The 'centre' itself was fresh and rugged architecture, lots of pine facing and drystone walling. One feature - chairs known as 'lock chairs', in which either side and arm was fashioned as a huge padlock.

I'm struck by how this dream features this same style of building again - what does this mean about me and wood-stone-seventies outdoor structures? I would not read any simplistic meaning into the padlock 'symbol', I'm certain it's not a symbol of anything, more likely a random linguistic or shape-based thing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Showbiz Party

All over the place with this one, and it was very enjoyable. A big party (or TV recording, or stage show or something), the company not only included my brother B. and friends A. and T., but also Bob Mortimer, Matt Lucas and Mark Lemarr. Even though I didn't know these showbiz types we all got on very well together and the quips were flowing thick and fast. A sort of holiday environment followed with lots of walking (a building with the general layout of St Peter's Seminary, Cardross featured), then a very jolly trip to the vet's with T's labrador, Cabot. The whole gang of us went along and sat at a long, plain table with the vet, a no-nonsense but cheerful lady. I was surprised and embarrassed when Lemarr began to roll a joint, but he exchanged jokes about this with her.

Can't explain this at all ('Shooting Stars' hasn't been on the telly for ages), but once again this seems to be an expression of what must be a deep subconscious desire to take a holiday.