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Friday, 29 January 2010

The Dysfunctional Synapses of a Writer

I'm just coming to the end of a very busy January - both work-wise and at home. I haven't managed much writing because I've been too tired to get up at 4.00 am most days.

Last weekend was manic. It was all my own fault: I should never have booked to take my grandchildren to see Aladdin on the same weekend I had to work on a Sunday on the Holocaust Memorial Day service put on by the Council. It was all a bit too much for a fifty-something body in a thirty-something mind.

In the early hours of Sunday morning I had a dream and it went like this:

I open my eyes and they fall on my mum's old nursing chair which occupies prime position in my bedroom in the corner of the bay window. She's sitting in the chair with my crazy Jack Russell, Sam, on her lap.

'Sam!' I yell as I jump out of bed, what are you doing here. You are supposed to be dead.'

Sam jumps into my arms, licking me all over my face, squirming and squeaking with excitement. I can feel his stumpy little tail wagging on my forearm.

'My mum stands up. 'That's just typical of you, Anne,' she says. 'I haven't seen you for three years and all you can do is make a fuss of the dog!'

I put my arm around my little, dumpy mum and give her a hug. 'Rob,' I shout. 'Wake up. Sam's come to see us with Mum'

'That's not Rob,' says my mum. 'This is not your house.'

'Yes it is,' I begin to argue, but mum interrupts me shaking her head in frustration.

'It's no good me trying to explain,' she says. 'You never listen to a word I say. You never did.'

I know Mum's not annoyed with me really because she is smiling and biting her lip, trying not to laugh at me struggling to keep hold of the canine contortionist in my arms. I see her eyes glint with tears of happiness and want to tell her how much I've missed her, but don't.

I suddenly get very frightened and sweep back the vertical blinds to look out of the window. There's a grey car slewed across our driveway. Two young women are standing in the road, arguing loudly. The car engine is running, punctuating the usual quietness of our little road with the heavy breathing of a diesel engine. A man jumps out, leaving the door open. He grabs one of the girls and shoves her in the car. Her shoe falls off and he picks it up and throws it at her. There is a second or two of teenage hysteria inside the car, before the man slams it shut and it roars off at great speed into the night.

I wake up. In bed. I turn over and go back to sleep.

On Sunday morning I woke up. I asked Rob if he heard Technoson come in and he said he had. About 2.30 am, apparently. (He also said we had a visitor - Technoson had brought a friend home.)

I told Rob straight away about my dream and he said I'd been eating too much cheese. We had a little conversation about Jack Russells and almost had an argument because I want another 'Sam', but unfortunately Sam had only one master - me - and was possessive to the point of obsession and pleased himself for the vast majority of his long, yappy-happy life.

And that, folks, was that. Until last night when, in one of our rare conversational moments this week, caused entirely by Kettering Borough Council completely devouring every second of my life apart from when I've been in bed, asleep, Rob and I caught up with each other. This is what really happened on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

A new family moved into a house at the end of our road about six months ago. They have a fifteen-year old daughter. Mummy and Daddy decided that their little cherub was old enough to be left while they had a much needed weekend break. At about 2.00 am a worried J, who lives next door and had crept into the back garden in his jim-jams to investigate the wild party that appeared to be going on, decided that there was no other option but to ring his neighbours on their mobile phone. I don't think I need to explain what happened next. Around 60 15/16 year olds were unceremoniously chucked out when a furious G and his wife arrived home, their special weekend (and their newly decorated house) completely ruined.

Apparently, livid parents were all over Barton Seagrave collecting their variously scattered offspring - and yes, according to Technoson there really was a grey car parked across our driveway, and yes, a grumpy father really did chuck his daughter into his car ......

It's actually quite worrying that your brain can get quite so mixed up.

Ooo -errrrr ......

Anyway - I really should get to work. Two more days of craziness and then I can, perhaps, take a day off.


Debs said...

How lovely that you had a dream about your mum, and Sam too. My dog is the same, very yappy, very possessive, and I adore him. Although I think he drives the rest of the family a little nuts sometimes.

Those poor parents coming home to such chaos. Mind you I can't imagine leaving my fifteen-year-old alone for the weekend. I'm sure she'd behave, but I just can't imagine leaving her by herself.x

Mistress of Fantasy said...

Oh that poor house... Not to mention the trouble that girl was in! You're right though, how odd to see the man put his daughter in the car while you were dreaming. I've had similar experiences like that as well. Our minds are definitely still a mystery!

Anonymous said...

"I haven't managed much writing because I've been too tired to get up at 4.00 am most days."

Annie, you are delightfully insane.

HelenMHunt said...

It's amazing the things our imaginations get up to when we're asleep. I have some real humdingers of dreams - and usually with no basis in reality.

Anonymous said...

I have really weird dreams! I do dream of my mum too but they always seem to turn into nightmares. Last one I had was when my mum knocked at the door and she came in and she was young...around 35. No one else could see her apart from Rio and me. Then I went out and came back to find the large picture taken off the wall and an axe in its place!! Or I always seem to dream of water too.

Denise said...

I came back to re-read the comments, only to find I hadn't left one. I'm sure I did! Maybe I dreamt it...

I don't think you're allowed to be functional and a writer. It's in the rules somewhere!

Annieye said...

Debs - It was lovely to dream about Mum and Sam, even though my mum was scolding me (as ususal).

Apparently, G is still clearing up - he's having to have a new carpet in the lounge and redecorate.

Mistress of Fantasy - Hi - thanks for visiting my blog. I really think I must have got up in a semi-asleep state and looked out of the window.

Captain - It takes one to know one! ;-)

Helen - I just love dreaming, but sometimes struggle to remember what my dreams were about.

Mother X - I don't have many nightmares, fortunately, but I often dream of people telling me off for something. O00-er - an axe! How scary.

Denise - I've now accepted that I'm wierd!

Vera said...

So you have to get up early to write as well! Me too. But can't at the moment because weather too cold, and caravan even colder! Not to worry, for me it will get warmer soon and hopefully my writing hours will reappear, and for you...well, I hope your tiredness will ebb away, leaving you with potfulls of writing energy.
As for dreams.... I have film-story type dreams, which are as graphically real as an actual film on the cinema screen would look. Love watching them! Perhaps it is my frustrated creative genius!

Annieye said...

Hi Vera - Creative genius - yep, I think that's definitely the excuse I'll use in future. I love early mornings, especially in the spring. There's something so magical about a brand new day, don't you think?

Lane said...

Annie your poor 4am (4am??!) brain is trying to tell you something - slow down.

On the other hand, there's a story in what you've written here...:-)

Ladyhihi said...

Hi Vera - Creative genius - yep, I think that's definitely the excuse I'll use in future. I love early mornings, especially in the spring. There's something so magical about a brand new day, don't you think?

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