To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

My Anatolian dreams are frequent and intense, bordering on the nightmarish at times. This was not the case in Blighty. I wonder why? Was it something put in the water or something left out? Or perhaps I used to be too tired to dream, preoccupied with kiss-my-arse bosses and keeping the wolves from the door. My sleep pattern has radically altered since our exodus. Before, I’d be lucky to catch six hours. Nowadays it’s closer to nine, occasionally supplemented by a catnap after playing hide the sausage. The chances are I used to suffer from long-term, low-level sleep deprivation. Now my cycle is longer and shallower, and my dreams are richer and more vivid. This seems to be a common phenomenon. Liam says the same. Most people forget their dreams soon after waking. I wrote mine down as soon as got up this morning. It went like this:

I was introduced to a young Danish1 woman who composed Christmas carols for a living. Lovely, I thought and did my usual exploratory banter to show a bit of interest. I mentioned that Liam had won a Christmas carol competition way back in the eighties and had appeared on local television2. I also mentioned that he’d written various pieces that were sung by well-known choirs in Wales. Our Danish visitor seemed utterly disinterested and completely dismissive. She told me she was a devout Catholic and that we would burn in Hell. I launched into an anti-religious rant telling her that she’d been conned by ancient fairy tales and followed a faith that practiced witchcraft and cannibalism every Sunday (well, how can else could you describe the Catholic rite of transubstantiation – the actual turning of bread and water into the blood and flesh of Christ?).

I woke up with a jolt. Jesus, what does it mean?

1Apart from Cnut, our ex-neighbour I’ve nothing against the Danes and spent a wonderful weekend in fabulous Copenhagen. I also know most Danes are Lutheran.

2Some of you Brits may remember the glory days when ITV was a regional network. Liam appeared on HTV Wales. Liam’s winning entry was called Bethlehem Star and you can listen to the jolly hymn  here. The recording is a bit ropey as it was transferred from an old tape recording.

More on Scandinavians

King Cnut

Burning Bush

Sweet Swedes and  Wretched Russians

15 thoughts on “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

  1. I think it is healthy to dream and I too am dreaming more now. Maybe I was too tired to dream or too stressed to dream when back in Blighty and working for the NHS.


  2. Do you think it’s the heat? I tend to dream a lot when I am a little too warm in bed… The Danish woman sounds horrid. Lucky she just faded away when you woke up. By the way, I don’t know that game “hide the sausage” – how does that go? 🙂 PS My namesake Emma was the wife of King Canute, who tried very unsuccessfully to turn back those waves. So I have a touch of the Danish myself and am partial to a pastry too.


  3. Ditto the dreams in Turkey. The vividness, colors, actions, dialogue,and textures are unbelievable – in fact, I could swear I can even smell in my Turkish dreams. .Perhaps because we sleep more in the Med and sleep patterns towards morning are lighter, we have more REM incidents and are able to recall more dreams than when we’re unconscious in the working world. Whoops I just suggested that I don’t work! Keep up the diary.


  4. I can count on one hand the dreams I can remember. Maybe I should move…or maybe not in light of your slightly bonkas dream. Think I’ll leave my subconscious to sort it all out quietly in the background.


  5. If your sleep has improved since quitting the government day job and hotfooting it across the sea, then I’ll seriously consider walking out of this woeful excuse for a career ASAP. I dream of briefing notes and submissions and ministerial correspondence and steering committees and old ladies with stained teeth and decaying breath. Jesus, I sound like the grey haired stiff in the corner with the shabby brown cardigan on. I’ve got to get out of here….. 😉


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