Monday, 21 May 2012

Dream 50

Dream date: 20th May 2012

I was in a small dark kitchen and knew that somehow I owned and managed my own restaurant. I was in Sheringham. I was standing at the sink, looking out into the night through the window in front of me. The scene that I could see was the exterior wall of the kitchen and rear entrance of The Crown pub in Sheringham, as if I the building I was in were situated on Wymondham or Gun Street.

It was dark, being night-time, but the road and the pub were all lit brightly with fairy lights. The adjacent cottages (not depicted in the only photograph of the pub I could find online) were all brightly lit from within and there were people milling around, enjoying themselves, drinking and socialising outside the pub. Suddenly I saw a male dressed in black, wearing a balaclava. He was heading towards the rear entrance door to The Crown. I knew that he was there to burgle the premises and quickly I left my own restaurant (which was obviously closed for the night) and ran across the small expanse of street to The Crown so I could warn the staff that there was a burglar attempting to steal from them. When I got there all I could see where people drinking and having fun. I didn't find a member of staff as I had the sudden realisation that I had been tricked. I knew that my seeing the burglar enter The Crown was a ploy to get me to leave my restaurant so that other members of the same criminal gang could burgle me instead, whilst I was out of the premises. I was panicked and alarmed and ran back over to my business. I had been burgled. I was then in an area of the restaurant which seemed to be the large penultimate stair at the top of the staircase in my former home in Pine Grove, Sheringham (these stairs have been a recurrent theme in recent dreams). In real-life, my friend NH (whose mother still works at The Crown as a cook - and is a friend of my mum who also used to work in the kitchen of the Crown before moving on to the Two Lifeboats Hotel in the early 1990s and subsequently leaving the pub trade to work in a care home for the elderly) and I used to use this stair (which was a foot square in size, approximately) to set up a home for our Barbie dolls. We would sit on the stairs for hours and pretend the penultimate stair was a luxury penthouse apartment for our dolls. In the dream, there was a massive dolls house on this stair - although it was still a 'restaurant, not my home as it appeared to be). It was all very dark and there were no lights on in the building. It seemed that I kept all my accounts books and cash takings in the dolls house at the top of the stairs. Standing there with me was a male - he seemed to be a waiter employed by me and wasn't known to me in real-life. I told him that we had been 'robbed' although legally speaking it was a burglary. He said he had been asleep in the toilets and hadn't been aware. He helped me pull out the items from the doll's house so we could work out what had been stolen. Inside an orange leather-bound book was a ten pound note. I was happy and felt relieved that the thieves hadn't taken all of my money and I still had £10.

I was then outside again and it was daytime. I was looking over the sea wall (at the front of The Crown), at the beach and sea. There were a lot of people at this end of the high street - as would be expected in tourist season. It seemed that many islands had been created in the sea - all built like some fantastical new landscape with golden structures and many decorations and adornment. They were in the middle distance - several metres from the seashore/beach and were easily reachable. Everything was aesthetic and fairytale-like, like a series of magical kingdoms springing up from the water. I could see people on the islands, all happy and joyous to be in such pleasant surroundings. Fountains on the islands were shooting water up into sparkling arcs and there were lush palm trees and tropical flowers. I could even see white horses with golden saddles roaming amidst the people there - everyone seemed to be partying. I asked an elderly couple, standing alongside me at the sea wall (on the promenade) what had happened here. They told me that the local people of Sheringam had decided to create the scenes from 'Kubla Khan' (from the 1816 poem of the same name by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) including the Pleasure Dome as a series of islands. In the poem, 'Kubla Khan' refers to 'Kublai Khan' the Mongol ruler and emperor of China - and his summer palace was actually called 'Xanadu'. Therefore, in the strict sense, I was actually looking at 'Xanadu' as 'Kubla Khan' is a human character within the poem, not the place. However, in the dream, I mixed up the two or perhaps those 'locals' building the network of islands had got it wrong and I just passively accepted the misnomer. I then found myself in 'Kubla Khan' - on the islands. Indeed there was a massive party. However, it appeared the islands were still under construction. Everything was in shades of purple - lilac, violet etc - everything I could see was coloured this way (except the people, horses and golden structures). Even the sea which surrounded us was a light lilac-blue and sparkly like diamonds. Purple fish were leaping in and out of the water around me and there was lots of noise from the other people on the islands. I looked back at the shore and could see the high street as it would appear from this perspective in real-life. I felt a sense of unease, although nobody else on the islands (which had walkways of gold between them) seemed disturbed or unhappy in any way. I felt myself becoming lucid in the dream and realised that if I thought about something and really concentrated on it, I could perhaps force it to happen. I remembered that Coleridge had first written his poem when under the influence of opium and this worried me as for some reason I was convinced that if I kept making this mental association I would be forced to take heroin (strange, but this was how my semi-lucid brain was thinking at this point). I was looking out at the sea. I then (more lucid now) remembered that I have a real-life fear of having a dream where I am surrounded by deep water and anticipate what might be below the depths. Even the idea of statutes being partially submerged (or the thought of the kingdom of 'Atlantis' being beneath the sea) troubles me. I thought to myself that the worst thing to do in a lucid dream would be to think about the thing or event which panics you. I kept looking out to see nevertheless and within a few moments could see a tidal wave or tsunami rolling towards Kubla Khan from the horizon. Although becoming lucid is always my aim, I felt out of control and unable to harness my thoughts in a way which would enable me to enjoy the experience. I felt annoyed that I was ruining my lucid experience as a result of thinking bad thoughts and causing horrible things to happen and wished I could be back in Sheringham town again. I found myself at the end of the high street on the promenade again. I was looking out towards the islands of Kubla Khan and everything was harmonious again. I could see the shades of lilac and gold which characterised the islands and the party/construction was still ongoing. The sun was shining and there was no sign of the tsunami.
The Crown, Sheringham - the rear entrance/exterior of kitchen i.e. view seen in my dream
The end of the high-street in Sheringham (The Crown car park at far end, sea wall to left) where I was standing looking out to sea
Looking towards the end of the high street in Sheringham - sea wall at end
Sheringham sea wall
Sheringham sea
Lilac sea
Above & below are images found using the internet search terms 'Xanadu AND paradise islands' - strangely the bottom image was also found using the same search terms - and depicts the lost city of Atlantis! In my dream there was less grass and open organic landscape - the islands were very small and made predominantly of man-made structures, although there were palm trees and beautiful purple flowers everywhere, as described above - there was just a sense of their being less 'ground' and more sea surrounding me when visiting the Sheringham version of 'Kubla Khan' or Xanadu, as it should be properly named

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