Help me interpret my crazy dream

“The inescapable fact is that the brain is an unnerving place as well as a marvellous one. There seems to be an almost limitless number of curious or bizarre syndromes and conditions. Anton-Babinski syndrome, for instance, is a condition in which people are blind but refuse to believe it. Capgras syndrome is a condition in which sufferers become convinced that those they know well are imposters. Perhaps the most bizarre of all is Cotard delusion, in which the sufferer believes he is dead and cannot be convinced otherwise.”

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

The bodyNo, it’s not an ABBA song and no I’m not Martin Luther King Jr … still … I had a dream. How are you at dream interpretation?

One night in December 2019…

My dream started with me standing at one of 3 turnstiles in a dilapidated building.

People came and went through the turnstiles on either side of me. I watched as a woman walked up to the turnstile on my left, picked up a rock and used it to ‘buzz’ herself through. She replaced it neatly on the opposite side for someone, leaving the building, to use on their way out. Similarly, a man walked up to the turnstile on my right, picked up a slightly different object (a fossil or a large shell?) and did the same.

A few people passed in and out of the turnstiles in this way. So I did the same. Continue reading Help me interpret my crazy dream

On account of COVID-19

There was an old lady“There was an old lady who swallowed a cow;
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat,
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her!
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse;
…She’s dead, of course!”

I Know an Old Lady, definitive version by Rose Bonne 1952 Continue reading On account of COVID-19

Ramblings in Kingston-upon-Hull

“I’m going to buy buns for tea,” said Peter. “I thought you were all so poor,” said the Station Master. “So we are,” said Peter, confidentially, “but we always have three pennyworth of halfpennies for tea whenever Mother sells a story or a poem or anything.”

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Youngest niece
Tenacious

Last weekend we took our first road trip of the year – to visit my family in Kingston-upon-Hull (our 13-year-old-niece informed us that only a ‘southerner’ would call Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull locals call it ‘ull.)

It was wonderful to see our nieces who have all grown up and changed considerably since we saw them last at Christmas. Even the littlest one has progressed from terror to just tenacious. And I’m pleased to report that my little northern family has flourished over the COVID lockdown. For all sorts of reasons it’s been good for them as a family and of course it’s been a long hot summer for the girls, and conducive to good veggie-growing on their allotment.

All these things warm this aunty’s heart. Continue reading Ramblings in Kingston-upon-Hull

Old Blighty

Kings Speech pea soup scene
The Kings Speech London fog scene

“It was a foggy, cloudy morning, and a dun-coloured veil hung over the house-tops, looking like the reflection of the mud-coloured streets beneath. My companion was in the best of spirits, and prattled away about Cremona fiddles, and the difference between a Stradivarius and an Amati. As for myself, I was silent, for the dull weather and the melancholy business upon which we were engaged, depressed my spirits.”

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A couple of weeks ago, we sat on our terrace having a socially-distanced drink with a friend.

“Summer in England sometimes feels a little bit like living inside a Tupperware,” he said. “Days and days of muggy greyness, the air thick and still. Then all of a sudden a bit of sun peaks in, as though someone has briefly opened the Tupperware lid.” Continue reading Old Blighty

A bit of perspective

St Pauls Church Hammersmith

The Dead: A COVID-19 poem by Kathy Steinemann

The Dead can’t rescue the economy,
Can’t save the world from this dichotomy,

Can’t pay taxes or vote in an election,
Because they died from this corona infection;

Can’t sit with family, sip on their tea,
Can’t bounce little ones on their knee,

Can’t help them learn, can’t watch them grow,
Can’t buy them gifts or teach them to throw;

masked in churchThe Dead can’t save you from amoral greed,
Can’t steal your “freedom,” your rights impede;

They can’t educate you, but they can ask,
“Please be kind and wear a [bleeped] mask!”

© Kathy Steinemann

It was dark and warm inside the high ceilinged church. Hubby and I stood together. Up front, on a large screen, a worship band video played with the lyrics displayed on the side. Continue reading A bit of perspective

Looking back, I know that this time too will pass

memorial stones on grave“Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day‘,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t your other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”
“That’s the effect of living backwards,” the Queen said kindly: “it always makes one a little giddy at first –“

Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Have you ever been to a cemetery and found that on top of several headstones is a haphazard pile of small pebbles?

It’s a Jewish custom to place a pebble on a headstone to show respect for the departed. They are called ‘Stones of Remembrance’. What’s the origin of this custom? There are many theories, but this is my personal favourite … Continue reading Looking back, I know that this time too will pass

Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Sense of fun“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A friend of mine officiated a wedding in the United States recently. This is how she described her day:

“Everyone was in great spirits,” she said. “There were about 18-20 of us. But I was the only person wearing a mask and there was no social distancing.”

“It felt like unprotected sex all day long. Aaaahhhh!!!!”

Continue reading Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Summer staycation

Book cover“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

There’s a very bad joke that goes something like this …

“Where are you going for your holiday?”
“I’m going to Romania.” (pronounced remain-ya)
“Wow! That’s exotic.”
“No, I’m going to ‘remain-here’ – get it?”
“Ah … not so exotic.”

[best said in a strong South African accent] Continue reading Summer staycation

Is 2020 trying to tell us something?

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the very rocks and stones will cry out.”

The Bible, Luke 19:37-40

VirusWhat if 2020 is not really the car crash it seems to be?

Just a thought …

Things really stopped and went quiet for a while, didn’t they?

And now the cries are loud and big and scary … and demand to be listened to!

What if 2020 is a cry for help, a call for change?
Continue reading Is 2020 trying to tell us something?

London 1665: an old story, retold in 2020

“Again he shook his head. The world’s gone mad, he thought. The dead walk about and I think nothing of it. The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!”

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

1665

I’ve just finished reading Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841), which, as I mentioned last week, details the 1665 plague of London, culminating with the Great Fire.

Several hundred years later, here I am (you are) in plagued-London (fill in the name of your city here).

Even if you are not a lover of classic novels, you will appreciate this … the parallels are simply uncanny! Continue reading London 1665: an old story, retold in 2020