Monday 18 November 2013

The stuff dreams are made of

I threatened a while back, on Twitter, to blog about a bizarre dream I had. It was weird enough that I wrote it down in bullet-point form so I wouldn't forget it, but since then I've been a little busy taking photos of Gulls and whatnot. Anyhow, yesterday I had another dream, completely different to the first, and I wrote that down too. I'd be fascinated to know what they can me about my current state of mind. None of the below is made up. None of it is true of course, what I mean by that is that there is no poetic licence, no artistic liberties taken.

The first dream is about Fat Paul Scholes and his calendar. Fat Paul Scholes is not a retired footballer, but actually Mark L, a patch-worker in Aberdeen who is obsessed by Canada Geese and once made me a bacon sarnie whilst not warning me about the naked man in the dunes. That part sadly wasn't a dream, even though it sounds like it might be. And it goes like this.

Mark was in his kitchen or living room filling out his wall calendar for the whole year in one hit. Basically he knew exactly what was on the agenda for the next 365 of his life. Clearly a dream. Anyway, as he was writing what it is was coming up, I could see him writing it on another calendar that was posted to my wall next to my bed. The text literally appeared on my wall, just like that. Magic in other words, some incredible connection. Although they were crystal clear in the dream, the crucial elements of what he was writing on his calendar are now sadly missing. He used a blue pen, but I can't recall what type of calendar it was. It's not important anyway.

I watched the writing appear, not really knowing what was going on. I remember that at one point, in the summer, he wrote the same thing on three consecutive days, but you'd have to ask him what that was. And so I decided to text him to ask why he was doing such and such, and really freaked him out. And then when he wrote the next bit, I texted him again. And again. Until he was a wreck.

And then the Rosefinch hopped onto my hand. Or it might have been a Lesser Antillean Bullfinch. In fact it changed quite a lot because when I stuffed it into the really small wicker cage and took it to the Dentist it was an Australian Magpie. The at-this-stage Rosefinch was poorly and shivering, it had those horrible ticks, and quite a lot of maggots. Somehow I reached outside through the cat-flap (?) and persuaded it to sit on my hand, and it appreciated the warmth and snuggled in. I was mildly appalled by the maggots falling off it, but I realised it needed help, so I shoved into the handy but tiny cage and went off to the vets.

Though the mode of travel is unknown, I arrived instead at the local Dentist Surgery, and there found somebody willing to help the bird, who took it into the operating theatre. Do dentists have operating theatres? I have no idea. I have no idea who was there either, but I don't think it was my dentist. In any event, the bird was cured, and by this time was a small Finch again with immaculate plumage. It flew to the top of a tall white wardrobe in the corner of the room, and in the top of the wardrobe was a hot air vent, like a New York subway, and so its feathers started to all fluff up and it began to sing.

And then I woke up and started my day. So this dream, I assume, came during the early morning when I was kind of awake but not, rather than in the deepest part of the night's sleep. None of this is made up. I need a psychoanalyst. Quickly.

My second dream is actually from this morning. I am in a small village somewhere. I think it is Cornwall, but I cannot be sure. It is at the end of long and really thin peninsula, but that is all I know. Mrs L and I are standing looking into a old but immaculate walled garden, on the side nearest the village. We are birding. Together. This is how I know it is a dream. I hear a lot of birds going a bit mental on the other side, so we walk three sides of the garden until we get to a gate. I can now see the birds. In the corner of the lawn are a number of birds, and one is a Woodchat Shrike. Wow, an amazing find! I climb over the gate, and beckon Mrs L to follow. As I am nearly over, I bash my camera on the gate, and then see a flash of turquoise - a different bird. It walks through a gap in the hedge and disappears onto the road. Oh my God!

At this stage my dreaming self does not know what it is, other than that turquoise birds are nearly always good. Is it a Roller? I climb back over the gate the way I came, and we run up and around onto the road. And lo and behold an Azure-winged Magpie is there. I cannot be sure that this is the same bird I just saw on the lawn, but I don't care. The bird calmly hops up onto a stone wall, and I take its photo. I am lost for words. Mrs L cannot understand what I am talking about. No change there then - reality, dreams, all the same.

Back at the car which is parked next to the small village shop that appears to sell only marbles, the proprietor, an elderly lady, says she can no longer look after our suitcases in the shop and would I please put them in my car. It's not my car though, it's a lot older, and is maroon, but I'm busy leafing through the Collins that would normally be in the door of my real car - all a bit confusing. It's clearly an Azure-winged Magpie, and I assume it is likely massively rare in the UK. As the bird is in the road, I decide to broadcast the news, but first retrieve the suitcases from the increasingly insistent old lady and put them back in the boot, buying a large pale green marble to thank her for her troubles. Mrs L and I agree that our youngest daughter will like this marble.

I decide to type the news out. I don't know if this is on the web or by text, but what happens is that because I am so excited I fluff the predictive text and gobbledegook comes out instead. Talking to a local who appears suddenly out of thin air, I ask where we are. I can't remember this bit, but it might have been Cornwall or perhaps Ireland. There follows something about where to park, but I am already parked there, obviously.

Cut to a whole pile of twitchers turning up on foot, even though I don't know where I am, and therefore none of them could either. I can still see the bird away down the road, so none of them pay me the slightest attention, all going straight past me, Mrs L, and the maroon car with our suitcases in it. Then they all come back having seen it and disappear again. I recognise none of them, though I may have done in the dream. A few stragglers are left, and I show one of them the photo on my camera, and how I, Jonathan Lethbridge, found the bird, and disseminated the news. He nods, and then phones his mate - apparently another rare bird has been found somewhere else and they're all going to see that now. In other words a big 'whatever'. I have no idea, in the dream or reality, if the Magpie is a first for the UK or not, but either way I am staggered by the ambivalence shown. I tell the final guy that there is a Woodchat Shrike in the garden too, but he just walks away, not bothered. I am crushed. The dream ends with a group of people satellite tagging the bird, which now is bright turquoise again and has a beak like a parrot. The satellite tag is on the middle of its back, and is stuck on with black gaffer tape with white edges which means the bird can't fold its wings back in. The bird struts off looking annoyed, and then I woke up.

Any thoughts do let me know. I consumed no alcohol last night whatsoever. Maybe this is the problem.....


  1. I have consulted a hermit, who lives in a shack on the north downs. He commented: "In the first dream, the maggots represent the nasty thoughts that have been in Jono's head over the past few days. In real life he realises that these thoughts are not good, so subconsciously he is shedding them. In the second dream, the lack of interest from the twitchers in Jono's field skills in finding the rare bird shows us that he feels unloved by his fellow ornithologists. I would suggest, based on these dreams, that he gives up birding and takes up a more caring hobby - like collecting beer mats"