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I don't sleep well these days. I'm not complaining; I'm just stating it as a fact.

I took extra pain killers last night. They didn't send me to sleep. They just made my head buzzier.

I lie awake and plot my novel.

The man next door works unsocial hours and has a terrible cough. Huh-hurr, huh-hurr, huh-hurr.

Those people with the yard dogs- how can they stand that incessant racket up close? They must be old and deaf.

The less I sleep the more intensely I dream. Last night Laurence Olivier was directing me in Macbeth. He was explaining his own greatness to me. "Maybe it's not where I come from," he said. "It's from whence I came."
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I had a great dream that was all psychedelic colours and beautiful people and horses made of mist and then I woke up and cooked dinner and we ate it and Joe sat us down and we watched Bad Santa which has to be the best Christmas movie ever and now it's mid-afternoon and Ailz has gone to bed and Joe is watching Shrek and I'm waiting for David Tennant to put in his first appearance as Dr Who.

A very merry Christmas/Yule/Winterval to all our friends!

Dream

Dec. 24th, 2005 10:23 am
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I dreamed I was at home with all three kids and they were the ages they were when I split up with their mother and we were launching a skyrocket. It went whooshing up over the hills and then, instead of bursting, changed direction and came right back down to where we were, landed on the grass and stuck there, fizzing and spluttering. I told the kids to keep away from it, but they ignored me and clustered round it and put it out.

Dream

Aug. 4th, 2005 10:06 am
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I went up into the attic and found an aquarium I'd forgotten all about. It was full of dying fish, their gills and fins clogged up with mould.

And there were dead otters floating on the surface.

O God!

On the Jungian model houses in dreams represent the psyche. If you go down into the basement you're digging into the subconscious. By the same spatial analogy, I guess the attic has to represent the higher reaches of the mind (whatever that means.)

So my higher self if full of this ghastly stuff. I've neglected it and now it's dying.

I think my novels may be indicated. There they are- all four of them- sitting on the hard drive going nowhere. It's been a year and more since I last approached an agent.

I guess I know what I have to do...
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I had a dream the other night where I found myself in a country house with a moat around it. Someone was talking to me. "Do you know what this place is called?" they asked. I knew I knew, but I couldn't quite get hold of it. "The Interpreter's House," I ventured, "something beginning with an 's'".

And then it dawned on me that I'd been coming to the house at intervals for a long, long time, and that this was my real life. The people in the house were teaching me, training me. I felt so happy.

The rest of the dream involved an initiation ceremony. First I had to pretend to cut the throat of a tiger. Then I had to run an obstacle course with my eyes bandaged with red gauze.

I passed all these tests triumphantly.

I woke and there were lights flashing in the bedroom. Only there weren't. I guess it was just something my brain was doing. I was so sure the dream was a break-through that I committed it to memory before I went back to sleep.

But, look at it, there's nothing there.
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We've opened the bedroom window in honour of it being spring- a little prematurely because it was damn cold last night. As a way of compensating I
dreamed I was in Australia and looking up at the Southern Cross. My, but it was spectacular! I've always wanted to see the Southern Cross for real. I wonder if I ever shall.

Talking about dreams I had a distressing one the night before last where I threw a cat across the room and damaged its eye. In the morning I was looking at a set of photos by [livejournal.com profile] morrison_maiden and there was one I particularly liked of her cat sitting on the windowsill, hidden behind a pot-plant, with just one eye visible. I wrote a comment and after I'd placed it, it suddenly dawned on me- "O wow, that dream was an anticipation of this!"

Chez Nous

Feb. 6th, 2005 10:15 am
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I dreamed that I was being treated by a Chinese acupuncturist (on the orders of the Iraqi authorities.) She said I was in excellent health. When
the last needle was withdrawn it was seen to have a thickness of grey wool wound round it.

Yesterday was very tiring. I didn't eat right. Almost no protein. This confirms my faith in the Zone Diet thing that you need to have a good, balanced amount of protein in every meal.

We got cross at one another this morning. I bounced a tupperware container off the work-top and Ailz threw a casserole dish down the corridor. The casserole dish went off like a bomb and scattered shrapnel into both side rooms. I did a preliminary sweep-up, but I reckon we'll be finding the splinters for weeks.
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I've got a birthday coming up. It's not a round figure one, so I'm not making a deal of fuss. Actually, even if it was a round figure one I'd want to keep things low-key. Once you're past 50 the only birthday that's worth jumping up and down about is your 100th.

I used to take my body for granted. Now I'm acutely aware of its frailty.

And its unreality.

So what is it? A column of water stiffened with carbon and calcium and other elements. Or, as Webster put it, "a little crudded milk, fantastical puff-paste."

It ain't me.

(Babe)

It's this thing I'm using while I work my passage through this heavy dimension. It's like a space suit or a diving suit. If I'm lucky it has another 20 or 30 years wear in it.

We'll see. But every birthday brings it closer to systems failure and the awfully big adventure.

Detachment, that's the thing to be working at when you get past 50. I like it here, but I'm hoping they won't have to pry my fingers loose at the end.

I had a flying dream last night. I said, "look, this is how it's done," spread my arms like dicky-bird wings and took off for the ceiling.

Can't do it now, but one day maybe.

Something to look forward to.

Lucid

Dec. 22nd, 2004 09:12 am
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I had a lucid dream last night. They're the ones where you realize you're dreaming and are able to take control of the action. I don't think I've ever had one before.

I dreamed that I woke and it was a bright summer's morning. Only I knew somewhere at the back of my mind that it was really December. Then, as I was off bicycling through the woods, it came to me- hey, I'm dreaming. What fun.

I won't bother you with the details. Dreams are always more fun to have than to hear about. But the two kids with unicorn horns on their foreheads were kinda neat....
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I dreamed that I'd sat an exam and the examiner was giving us our marks. He criticized my hand writing and explained that I was wrong to say "the politicians grew thin through conflict". What I should have said was "they reverted to their Victorian prototypes."

So there!

Exorcism

Oct. 26th, 2004 10:17 am
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I dreamed my space had been invaded by a demon. He was sitting there grinning at me and all the time growing in power. As a last defence I told him he wasn't real- and to my surprise it worked. He immediately went all floppy and see-through and useless.
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LJ is getting into my dreams. Last night I was writing a post that was somehow disturbingly wrong. It kept growing longer and longer but the wrongness wouldn't go away. Then I woke up and the anxiety was such that I got up and took a couple of pain-killers.

I don't get nightmares these days, but I don't seem to have pleasant dreams either. I'm always in some damn awkward situation or other. After I took the pain-killers my dreams became more vivid, but scarcely less scratchy. The one I remember had me arriving for a holiday in a country hotel only to find I was going to have to sleep on the floor in a dormitory with all these noisy, bratty kids....

Dreams

Jun. 2nd, 2004 09:15 am
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I woke up in the middle of the night with a momentous dream still playing in my head. I then thought about it a good deal before finally getting back to sleep. Now I've forgotten it. Rats!

I have occasionally kept dream diaries. My last attempt was about a year ago. I'd been reading a book about lucid dreaming- you know; where you get to realise you're dreaming and can control the action- and I thought this sounds like a heap of fun. Keeping a diary was the first step on the the road to lucidity. But fun is exactly what it was not. Scribbling in pencil in a darkened room the moment you wake up is definitely not fun. So I abandoned the project after a night or two.

I resent spending half my life unconscious. I want to bring something back with me out of the dark. But I don't want it that much. I'm too lazy to put in the work.

My dreams are rarely that interesting anyway. There are certain scenarios I revisit over and over again. Favourite venues are bookshops, toyshops and churches.

* * * * *

Writing is a kind of lucid dreaming. Especially fiction writing. My stories usually start with a single image. I pay attention to it and things start to happen. People appear. They say things. A world takes shape. I'm not one of those people who maps a plot out in detail beforehand. No, I form a vague idea of the terrain I want to cover and then I set out in faith. I like to go through a door and not know what's on the other side.

Menaced

Jun. 1st, 2004 10:12 am
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Sun on the streets in defiance of the forecasters- and the drug dealers were out in the road, sitting on cars and chatting amiably with their associates: young men bonding, being awful, being happy.

And we were inside, behind the net curtains, being entertained by the baby, eating pakoras.

Two mutually exclusive worlds within shooting distance of one another....

I had one of my anxiety dreams last night. I was a vicar again- as I so often am. Usually I've got a service to take and I can't find the place in the book; I stand there at the lectern, turning the page and turning the page; but this time was a little different. I had already announced I was leaving (under a cloud) but the parishioners were preparing for the Summer Fair and I was supposed to be taking an interest. It was awkward because no-one would speak to me. To make things worse I was under assault from vampires. I was trying to keep them at bay by making the sign of the cross- in the air, with my foot in the dust- and it wasn't working very well...
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I dream that I am drawing amazingly witty cartoons for the New York Times. The staff member I speak to is amazed that an Englishman can be so hip.

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