In need of a redesign since 2011.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Presenting my findings: the dream journal

When I moved house a few months ago, walking out on a flooded basement and an angry landlord, I started keeping a dream journal. I've written and tagged 53 entries now, and while that isn't much, I've learned something interesting: my subconscious is a strange and twisty place. Some things are frankly baffling (why couldn't I remember if that millipede was my sister?), while other themes seem to be marked in flashing neon lights. "PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, IT IS IMPORTANT!"

Some of the recurring themes aren't that surprising, considering. The dreams where I have someone to cuddle up to; the dreams where I explore unfamiliar rooms with secret doors. The ones about packing (moving, unpacking, realising I've left things behind) in particular: they're reflections of my literal circumstances, as I've had to move my belongings into and out of storage on three separate occasions for reasons too tedious to list here. Those I get.

What I didn't expect, however, was the water. Water is everywhere in my dreams; flooding from the taps in a church's bathroom, filling my mouth, crashing in a big tsunami wave over an entire civilisation. I've stood in a rising tide, sailed a ship over a waterfall, and pissed off a river goddess. One in five dreams of mine features water in a big way.

Another one that took me by surprise is that - look, I'll apologise in advance, because it's going to make me sound excessively egotistical, but - I rescue people. I've led my friends down to a bomb shelter during an air raid; I've swatted bats away with a big stick while we fled a haunted house; I've even tried to get plasticine monsters out of a factory without them being seen (or mangled by machinery).

I don't know why this is. I've mentally linked it to my brief stint as a youth leader, but it's fun to think of what it might be preparing me for. Not that dreams foretell the future, I don't believe that; but perhaps by thinking of myself as 'someone who leads others out of danger' I'm making it more likely that I'll have the balls to do it for real if the time ever comes.

There's not many nightmares, as a whole. There's the occasional nightmarish side-quest, though. For example, I did recently took a brief detour from a fairly standard dream about my ex and secret rooms to face down these guys:

So, ya know, THAT was horrendous. Did you know that, if you blink, they can come through sheet glass without breaking it? Well, in my dream, they can.

I don't know what these dreams tell you about me (aside from more than you ever wanted to know), but I'm going to keep writing them down for now. I wonder what else I'll learn.

P.S. One dream I logged goes as follows:

Was in a room with about 5 other people. Dylan Moran was going through some material, and had wandered into really personal stuff. Hard to tell if it was still part of the routine or not; he seemed really sad. "You know I'm starting to realise my dad wasn't a very nice person. You know something's wrong when you have to explain to vampires how awful your dad is."

I've never seen Dylan Moran live, but I want to tell him everything's going to be ok.

P.P.S. Oh, I did see Ross Noble live the other day though! You know how I got turned into a fairy over the summer? (Oh man I just realised I never told you about that. I'll write about it soon.) Well I found these on the way to the gig, and took it as a sign...

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I was not going to celebrate my birthday. I was playing it cool. I always do, at first. It's a lowering of my own expectations, really, because I'm never convinced that anyone else is going to remember.

I promise this post gets less wallowy. Bear with me.

har! har!
Having a birthday in October, for a kid who grew up as bookish and introverted as I did, meant that people at school often hadn't had time to get to know me when my birthday rolled around. September kids probably have it even worse.

In my first year at uni, my first birthday away from home, I quietly mentioned my birthday to the three people I knew by name; and I got a surprised "Ah! Really? Happy birthday! ... So are you doing anything for it?" to which I answered No, no. Not really.

So, nothing happened.

It's my own fault; I'm bad at making things happen. For my 18th birthday, my friends demanded that we go to Pizza Hut at least, because I wasn't planning to do anything at all.

Since coming to Cardiff, though, things have picked up speed. I'm not the wallflower I once was, and I'm lucky enough to have friends who'll grab hold of the most tenuous excuses imaginable for a fancy-dress shindig. I love them, I love them (fancy-dress shindigs AND my friends; but I mostly meant my friends. I would not trade the wonderful, talented, gorgeous people in my life for anything, not even a kawasaki ninja, and LOOK how frakkin' pretty they are:
Are we still parentheses? We are. Sorry).

Yesterday, despite being in work all day, I was remembered by a great many people. As soon as midnight hit, Sean Solle got the first HBD greeting in, and the following 24 hours saw a whole bunch of people on twitter and facebook and even tumblr wishing me a merry one. Some of them barely know me, or were reminded by facebook, but every single one made me smile and feel valued. That kind of positivity really adds up over the course of a day!

And, to top it all, the very kind family I live with (whose generosity I can't begin to deserve) bought me a book on Graffiti - one I don't already own! It looks great, the pictures are grouped by area rather than by artist which is so cool bec- er, anyway - and a birthday cake.

And AND, the people I'm training with at work bought me cards and chocolates because they are insanely lovely. INSANELY. Get this: the lady who trained me for the first two weeks remembered that my short story has been published by the UK Zombie Defence League, looked the UKZDL up, found my blog along the way, discovered that Lindt Lindor are my favourite chocolates, got me some, and made me promise not to share them.


like -

I can't even -

That's lovely on a scale I never expected to encounter in a work environment. Dilbert did not prepare me for this. How are you supposed to respond? Anywhere else I'd have given her the biggest bearhug on record, because seriously, that's above and beyond the contractually-obliged Happy Birthday, but instead I just rambled and thanked for a bit and grinned my way throughout training for the rest of the day.

Also, a girl I met on a bus and befriended the heck out of lent me the first Harry Dresden book, so I've got that going for me too.

Just - keep up the good work, universe. This is all very very adequate.