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Dream girl

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I wandered through the streets of a Kensington that never was. Narrow alleys flooded with daylight where darkness should have been, lined with with red brick shops selling their wares - intricate, fragile curios, brightly painted wooden toys and... photographs, walls and walls lined with ancient prints of people and landscapes and friends and family, all in shades of grey and sepia. And in one of those twisting cobbled streets I happened upon a girl or a woman. She was small and lithe and agile, and her eyes were as bright as her smile. She asked for my help. I don't remember with what, but it turned out to be nothing more than a ruse. She ensnared me in a golden ribbon and danced away with my wallet. I disentangled myself and started in pursuit. There was no malice in her actions, only mischief and I felt no anger towards her. She knew I was following behind, she expected it of me and led me on a merry chase. Through crowds she darted and weaved, and in and out of doorways she flitted, always trying to keep a step ahead of me, glancing backwards with a twinkle in her eye to see where I was. I caught up with her - she didn't expected that, but she wasn't upset. It was all a big game and she was delighted to find someone to play with. And I felt the same way.

We walked on together, looking at the shops and she stopped before the photographs, looking sad as she reached up to touch one. I don't know why. We stopped for tea and sat outside in small square overgrown with foliage, like an age old churchyard, where we ate platefuls of scones covered with strawberry jam and clotted cream. We chatted amiably about things I won't reveal before running off through the streets of Kensington again, spreading mischief before us. I think she saw herself in me and I in her.

And then I woke and it was a painful sort of waking. I've never befriended anyone in a dream before. I wish she were real.

Non sequitur

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A few months ago I went with some friends on a walking tour around a part of London known as Little Venice. It was good to see a part of London that I hadn't visited before, especially since the city seems to be in danger of becoming a little too familiar with me. Or vice versa. Little Venice itself, isn't quite the vision of Italy that it's name might suggest, but it as very pleasant place none the less, and surprisingly tranquil for central London too (I have a special fondness for quiet places in the city, since there seem to be so few of them). The tour itself was rather entertaining, and was led by a completely barmy old gent who had a penchant for bursting into song when the fancy took him. Much merriment was had by all. The tour ended in a small church whose name escapes me now (actually, it probably escaped me even then - I've never really given much attention to church names).

The reason this is on my mind is that the church, or at least a reasonable facsimile of it turned up in a dream I had last night. I know, it's another blog posting about a dream - the bit about the tour above was only there to lull you in a false sense of security. Now, are you lulling comfortably?

Last night's dream was slightly unusual in that it had a reasonably strong narrative train. Not so much a beginning, middle and an end as a middle and an end. Don't you just hate it when you walk in on a dream half way through? The dream began with me and several friends in the church I mentioned above, with the notable difference that the church had been relocated to a rocky beach by a high chalky cliff. The sky and the sea were both rather grey, and it wasn't the most inspiring weather in general. Anyway, the small group of us had somehow found our way into the church where the service was in full swing and a considerable congregation where singing.

All was well and good, except that after while we realised that the congregation wasn't singing, they were chanting, and which point it became obvious that were in fact in fact trying to summon and enslave and horrible demonic entity with which they would rule the planet (look, I said my dream had a narrative, I didn't say it a good narrative). I'm not sure where that particular piece of information came from, but it didn't seem like a good time to argue about it.

Cue much fleeing from the maddened crowd out over the beach, and up to the base of the cliffs, over which a large demonic creature was now towering. During my dream I would probably have described the thing as Lovecraftian monstrosity, although with the benefit of waking hindsight I would have to admit that it was probably closer to, well, a lobster. An enormous, fiery, demon lobster from the darkest recesses of hell, but a lobster never the less. Fortunately the chanting hadn't finished and so although the lobster had been summoned, it wasn't yet under their control. So I politely explained to the thing what was going on, and it took umbrage at the fact that anyone dare try to enslave it and went off and tore down the church and all was well again. Well, except for the fact that the lobster thing was now free to roam the planet, but the dream pretty much ended there so I didn't get a chance to find out what it's plans were. To be fair to it, when we did speak it seemed fairly reasonable as far as demonic entities go.

And the moral of this story? I'd hazard it's that reading an article such as this last thing at night before going to bed was probably not the best idea I've ever had.

Actually I should point out that the article (which came courtesy of Vinay has very little to do with my dream but instead tells an incredibly moving story about the tales and myths that have evolved amongst children in appallingly cruel circumstances in Florida. Much of the lore the kids repeat has become surprisingly sophisticated as it tries to make sense of senselessness which surrounds them. The story is fascinating and touching and not a little frightening.

Read it, please.

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