Monday, 15 December 2014

The Curious Double Life of an Avid Dreamer

"Where... Where did you get this, Ma'am?" 

I'm lying flat on the grass propped up on my elbows beside the car I've just been ejected from. The Police officer stood on the opposite side of the car gestures toward the smooth black pebble the size of my fist, sat on the back seat. 

Before I can answer, she frantically grabs her radio calling for backup. 

"Oh god, oh god, oh god...." She murmurs.

I scramble to my feet as she leans in and kicks the pebble out of the door nearest me. 

"Go!" She screams as the pebble splits open the moment it touches the grass. 

With a thunderous, bassy cracking sound, a huge dip begins to splinter in the earth around the pebble, as if the sheer weight of it was drawing it towards the earths core. The ground ruptures and shatters around it, and a poisonous vapor begins to omit from the fractured earth, filling the crevasse like a toxic whirlpool.

Panic courses through my veins as huge cracks appear beneath our feet, and we sprint in a vain fight against the ever-sloping terrain. It becomes apparent that we are not going to be able to outrun it. 

"Here!" The officer screams above the harrowing sound of colliding earth, throwing what looks like a grenade at the crackling ground. Instantly a thick metallic pole erupts skyward from the little device. The metal pole is almost mosaic in its design, not far from appearing snakelike, and each little scaled tile begins to protrude from the pole, spiraling upward, providing small hand and foot holds.

She instantly begins to climb and I follow suit, as the world disappears beneath our feet. The footholds can hardly appear fast enough as we frantically attempt to clamber away from the acidic ground beneath us, the pole sinking fast with the rest of the world. 

In a moment of horrifying realisation, I look up to find the very top of the pole just meters above our head, and the ground showing no signs of easing. In a desperate bid to escape, my feet fight the top of the pole, and with almost feline agility I launch myself into the air above. 

There's silence and then a forceful tugging feeling about my shoulders as I audibly yell out in pain. My hands have somehow found a bar and I'm clinging on for dear life. The bar is some kind of construction scaffolding high above the scene of the sinking car and acid whirlpool, but it can not take my weight.

The bar begins to crumble and I leap forward to grab onto a cable, soaring through the air like Spiderman as the scaffolding goes crashing down into the mess.

"Enough!" The police officer shouts, and just before I plunge headlong into the poisonous sinkhole, the ground instantly pops back to normal at her words and I hit down hard with a mighty thud. 

A deep buzzing tone sounds and dozens of men in suits fill the scene, dusting off the car, rearranging the grass. The police officer is talking to a man with lots of paperwork, pointing at the space where the ground had cracked just moments before. I look up and see the scaffolding I had grabbed onto was a lighting rig that I had unintentionally sent crashing down.

But before I can even inquire how we had ended up on a movie set, the morning sun dances across my eyelashes and I am hauled back to the present, blinking in confusion up at the ceiling of my bedroom. 


For as long as I've been able to remember, I have always had seriously intense dreams. 

There are still dreams I can recall from my infancy with pristine clarity, completely bizzare and unfathomably nonsensical visions of equal part hilariousness and awe.

What baffles me about them however, is not always the bizarre situations or even the frequency of how often I dream, but the absolutely astonishing level of detail involved, that I am able to recall. 

I've always been fascinated by what I see and have long since kept dream journals, but the tricky thing is, if you don't write them down the moment you wake up, then they're as good as gone forever. 

When I've had a vivid dream and let it slip into obscurity in the morning, I often find when I'm going about my day that I'll have this almost sixth sense, some stimuli will trigger this little part of me that says 'Ooh wait... my dream was something about this...' as it teeters on the periphery of my memory before it vanishes again. 

I don't know, maybe it's something to do with synaesthesia. 

But recently I decided I was going to make a conscious (or unconscious effort) to write down my dreams the moment I wake up. And boy oh boy did my brain come out with some corkers. 

And you know, the interesting thing is, since I forcefully started recording my dreams, I found them more vivid and elaborate than ever before, and my ability to remember them increasing with each night. 

And even more curious, I'd wake up and instantly write down what I could remember only to look down and realise the sequence of events had come out in reverse chronological order. 

It's almost as if proving to my brain that I wasn't going to take these ridiculous and amazing visions for granted, allowed it to gift me the privilege of ten times more insanity and awesomeness within them.

So here we are, a few snippets of what my brain has conjured in the last week or so.

And if there's one thing I've learnt from this, is that I always want to write down my dreams until the day I die.  

I am in love with some very tall guy called George, a polar bear trainer who works at my old High School. He's kind-hearted and wears blue a lot. 

One day I'm walking through my uni town and notice how much it's changed. Across the road from me there's a woman blasting out Bhangra music from the ruins of a dilapidated petrol station, teaching a group of scruffy looking kids how to dance. I cross the road and head down a little alleyway, walking under some scaffolding.

I pass two burly, balding polish guys and ask them where's the best place to get food around here. They look at one another conspiratorially before recommending the restaurant on the next street.

Suddenly I find myself with a girl whom I've never seen before, but I know is somehow my sister. 

We head to the restaurant to find it's a huge Nazi pizzeria but incredibly grand with marble statues and fountains and a picaresque courtyard. For some reason we decide to head inside. But when we open the door, we find hundreds of dead bodies littering the floor, gunned down as they were eating.

Sat in a throne in the middle of the room is Brittany Murphy, smoking a cigarette with an AK-47 in her other hand. 

Before we can flee she shoots at us, catching both my 'sister' and I in the legs and we fall to the floor in agony. I'm desperately trying to crawl away but she bounds over and shoots the other girl in the head. I manage to bargain for my life by convincing her that when the police arrive we can claim that we were the only two survivors. She pauses for a moment then tells me to call a getaway car. 

I call George and he screeches up seconds later in his blue car and we hastily bundle inside. He's in such a frantic rush that he loses control of the car and crashes into a mountain of peas which rain down on us and bury us in their vegetable depths. 

I suddenly find myself in the back garden of my Father's house in the height of summer. There is a huge crowd watching us with their backs to the house. It turns out we are a family travelling circus about to perform a world record-breaking stunt involving a trampoline. 

Just as I take the leap, to my dismay I notice that the house is completely ablaze, an inferno that no-one had realised because they'd been watching me. Before I could scream out the whole house collapses in a fireball. 

I then find myself in a shopping mall with my sister (in real life) having to tell our Mother that we burnt our Father's house down. A passing James Cordon hears this and feels so bad he gives us tickets to the iTunes festival. 

Suddenly I'm back with 'George' in this new house we've just moved into with Alfie and Zoella, and I go downstairs to make us all mint hot chocolates.

It's daytime and I'm in a theme park and work for a production team working on a new Jennifer Lawrence film. She's really frustrated about the rollercoasters going past and ruining the scene but then she's very sweet to a terrified new intern girl who was messing everything up.

It's suddenly New Years Eve and I'm in an Arabian palace that looks like something out of The Mummy. I'm set to marry this Prince but I straight up just know he's going to sacrifice me at the turning of the year. He is quite young and handsome and surrounded by these guards who are covered in crawling beetles. I'm in this grand Ancient Egyptian Pyramid-style entrance hall but then get told I'm being taken to the 'Ceremonial Chamber'. 

What's weird is that the corridors between these two rooms look like a modern school or hospital, whereas the two other rooms looked like something from an epic biblical movie. I remember passing a health and safety poster about the proper handling of beetles on the guards and it really made me laugh. 

I'm then on a plane back to England after actually getting married and not sacrificed, laughing with this girl because we'd only been gone like 48 hours and so much had happened. 

When I get home to my Mum's house, it's nightime and raining and some salesman knocks on our door. He had come to show us these new electromagnetic orbs that were apparently all the rage in basketball games in America. I ask him if he can strap them to my body to make me fly.

He hands me a metal detector and tells me to go out and play around with it for a bit, see what I can find. I wonder the dark, drizzly streets not finding much, before stumbling across some fragments of this glittering golden metal in a mudbank. I have my head down following this metal detector not really noticing where I'm going before I realised I've walked into someone's garage. There's a bed in there and I realise it's someone's room. 

A young boy wakes up and goes to scream but I manage to soothe him by talking about this video game with a librarian. He goes back to sleep and I can escape but just as I do, his Mother pulls up on the driveway and sees me coming from his room. She looks me dead in the eye and shouts 'YOU!'

I'm running and I know she's chasing me but I manage to duck behind some cars.

It turns out she recognises me and thinks she is my biological mother, and Charles Manson is my Father.  

Suddenly the whole neighbourhood is out to get my real Mother because this woman convinced everyone that my Mother had stolen me, and we're in Best Buy doing some shopping when my mum decides to steal some guacamole. Alarms start blaring as we're running and I'm battling off these store workers, punching them in the face and watching them drop as I try and protect my mum. 

We jump into this car and the salesman is there, and says we're heading to the airport. 

I protest screaming we have to go back for our dog (don't have one in real life), but my Mother says it's too late, the woman has him now.

It's nighttime and I'm in the car with my dad, driving out to this floodlit graveyard in the middle of nowhere to visit my Grandad's grave. We get there, and I actually remember the plot number - DB08. We get there and there's hundreds of people walking around looking at graves and stuff, even my Grandad. Doesn't really cross my mind that they're probably ghosts. But it feels warm and communal and comforting, not scary. 

I head to the grave anyway and find it to be that of 'Thomas Oldham' (no-one of that name is our family) and there's this big stone cookbook as an epitaph. 

I look inside and see it was his cookbook, compiled by his wife, Katie Oldham, who died when she was 81. It chilled me to my core and I'm trying really hard to cry but I just can't. I decide to take the book and only ever eat what he ate from now on. 

We leave the graveyward and driving through the night in somewhere that now looks like Canada. 

We pull over, get out the car and start walking as the sun begins to rise. It's very cold and I say to my Dad that we can pack up and go home once we've reached the crest of this hill. We get to the top and it's the most beautiful, breathtaking scene of mountain ranges and a valley and this quaint little city nestled by a river. 

Samuel L. Jackson, who is apparently the mayor of this city, appears and says 'Bill Ray old dog, didn't think I'd ever see you again.' and invites us down into the city to stay in this luxury hotel. Turns out we are now Hannah Montana and Billy Ray Cyrus. 

Hannah goes and plays an impromptu gig in the city and I morph into their PA/maid. Billy Ray switches on the news and sees there have been riots in the city because everyone hates Hannah Montana so much. We have to leave ASAP and I'm cramming all their clothes into a suitcase while Billy Ray goes and rescues his daughter, and Samuel L Jackson is hanging upside down from the shower rail in the bathroom like a bat talking in a very weird accent like a cross between Norweigan and the West Country. 

Suddenly I find myself just leaving work and my Year 8 best friend is waiting for me outside. We're walking along and I produce a can of whipped cream that I've nicked from work and we take turns squirting it into our mouths. I remember walking under some scaffolding on a narrow pavement. 


So there you have it, a week in the life of my dreams, including the introduction, which was my dream from last night, 15th December. One strange thing I've noticed which actually somewhat unnerved me a little, is that nearly every single on involved scaffolding. What does that even mean?!

Who has recurring dreams about industrial scaffolding, ha. 

Anyway, dream on kids, and maybe I'll make it a monthly feature on here, a roundup of the most bizarre things which some out of my head at nighttime.

And please do let me know of your weirdest and most wonderful dreams in the comments, I genuinely can not get enough.


  1. Your dreams are awesome. I used to keep a dream journal as well but I ended up phasing out of it. I always wonder if they mean anything. I may start recording them as well. I find dreams really fascinating.

    The other night I dreamt that I was hanging out with Zoella on Brighton pier for a party, when somebody started to destroy the old Pier that everyone loved. Zoe started crying so I tried to comfort her, but then I realised I really need the toilet. The only toilet available was on a train-like coach which circulated the town. When I boarded, the toilets were in the plush seats which I hated, but still had to try and go anyway. I ended up having too many layers on so I gave up and tried to leave, but I couldn't make my way back to the party. xx

  2. Loved this post about dreams! I always have extremely vivid dreams and can remember every detail.

    My favourite dream to date featured Taylor Swift performing a synchronised swimming routine after launching herself from a water slide, whilst myself and Ed Sheeran sang a song and then we went to a hotel room for a party and Harry from One direction threw me out.

    You tell yours a lot better though! X

  3. I have intense dreams too. For years, I've been scared to look at or watch things because I feel like they'd come back to haunt me in my dreams. They can be so real at times. I've had dreams were I've been in some kind of plane looking down overhead at the trees and lakes.

    From March to October 2013 I had these insanely wild dreams of my dream self being kidnapped, stabbed, left for dead at different sites. I remember different street and state signs. What the temperature was, and of course about half of all these dreams I'm not in my wheelchair or able to walk, so I'm scooting on the ground with blood seeping through my clothes from wounds, trying to get away and it might nighttime and I'm feeling scared of wolves and snakes. I'm just afraid and it literally scared me for months.

    I have them every once in a while now. Thank god!

  4. I'm fascinated by dreams, I get incredibly intense, recurring ones to, sometimes. One that plagued me for about 4 months over my AS level exams was set in a steampunk/victorian-esque era, with all the trappings, and I was led to a group of rowdy, runaway children by a young girl in a white dress with no face. And by led, I mean that I was chasing, chasing in that way you see in movies or TV shows in the really intense parts, where you don't see much of them, just them turning a corner so you know the way to go. I know she was definitely faceless. Every time I had the dream I'd end up in a different place in this world, somehow related to the few day prior, and the girl would be there to lead me back to the children and nothing much would happen.
    It was weird but it gave me a pretty detailed universe to write in, so I'm not complaining.

    little miss fii | Fii x

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  6. A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
    Oscar Wilde

  7. Truly brilliant as always, Katie. I hope you decide to make this into a regular feature!

    I usually remember my dreams vividly when I first wake up, but they're completely gone within a few minutes. I've often thought I'd like to keep a dream journal, but sadly I am one of those people who is incapable of getting up in the morning with even a mere few seconds to spare to write something down.

    There is one dream, however, that I remember every single detail of to this day. Try as I might, I'm not quite the wordsmith you are but I've recounted this story enough times that I hope you find it interesting!

    I was on a family holiday, in a place called Glebe Field Cottage which I think was somewhere in the Cotswolds. I was nearly 8 years old, and my sister had just turned 4. My parents had, of course, taken the master bedroom and my sister and I were sleeping in twin beds that were, weirdly, on the mezzanine landing.

    I dreamt that we were going on holiday on a cruise ship, which looked very modern on the outside but, once we boarded, was like a grandiose version of a pirate ship inside. The captain was a giant who, while friendly at first, quickly made my family and I - the only passengers - into his servants. On one particular day, the giant captain slavemaster must have been feeling benevolent because he allowed us to have oven chips for dinner rather than the usual gruel. My sister was dipping her chips in ketchup (I should have realised it was a dream at this point, we both hate the stuff!) and, with her clumsy four year old dexterity - or lack thereof - dropped a ketchup covered chip onto the impractical cream coloured shagpile carpet. The giant was furious, and forcibly dragged her out of the room by the scruff of her neck. I followed on tiptoe, until he led her through a door I'd not seen before. Within moments of the door closing, a bone-chilling screech accompanied by several crunching and squelching sounds came from behind it. I stood paralysed in fear, until I heard the doorknob turning and that human instinct for self-preservation uprooted my frozen feet and I dove into the shadows. As soon as the giant was out of sight, I made my way to the enormous door which was as heavy as it was large. After much exertion, I'd managed to get it ajar enough to squeeze my way in and found myself in a cavernous marble bathroom, complete with giant-sized toilet, sink and bathtub.

    I cautiously whispered my sister's name. "Rachel?". Then again, a little louder, "Rachel?!", my trepidation growing the longer she didn't respond. I knew she was in here, I'd seen the giant leave alone. "RACHEL!" No response came, but I became aware of a trickling sound. It was hard to work out where the noise was coming from, as it echoed around the vast room. I guessed that it was coming from the sink, but getting up high enough to see into it would be no mean feat as a small child in a bathroom built for a giant. Eventually, I made it as far as the toilet seat then took a flying Tomb Raider style leap, the very tips of my fingers finding just enough purchase on the edge of the basin to pull myself up.

    I looked down, and there, in the intricately carved marble sink, was my sister, literally twisted into six dismembered pieces. Two tiny legs, two tiny arms, one tiny torso and her beautiful head, her blood dripping in rhythmic drops down the drain.

    Needless to say, I didn't much enjoy the rest of that holiday.

  8. Oh, I forgot to add - on a much lighter note, I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear - my favourite fact about dreams.

    Did you know that our brains are incapable of making up faces? Strangers and people we don't know or recognise in our dreams always have the face of someone we've seen before. It could be someone you passed on a crowded street and just caught in your peripheral vision without it even registering past your subconscious, but you've always seen them before. I think that's absolutely fascinating.

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