mrry (Happy New Year)
Special Topics Europe by Train 7/Apr/2003

A collection of surreal dreams including trains.

Dreams 23/Sep/2002

I am Reese, the elder brother of Malcolm in the Middle, and Malcolm and I are on a double-date. My date is an enchantingly pretty young lady.

We are sitting on a London-bound Virgin train; I am facing back. The conductress comes along, and I realise that I cannot find my ticket. In my pocket, I can find a bundle of loose change, my Zonecard, and my Young Persons' Railcard with about a hundred tickets inside it. On hearing my plight, she says she'll come back and get it later.

At that, the train slows to a stop, and then starts moving in reverse. Soon, my Zonecard is valid again.

The action, and its four main characters are transposed to a street corner in the West End of Glasgow, somewhere between Sauchiehall and St. Vincent Streets, west of the motorway. For whatever reason, I run away to the northwest.

I come to an oblong square, with tenements on all four sides, and a basketball court in the centre. About fifteen young people are playing basketball, but when I approach, they spread out, like in West Side Story, across the road, to confront me.

I run through a gap in the, and turn south at the south-western corner of the square. I run back to the street on which this escapade began, and rejoin my date. And we lived happily ever after.

Dreams 12/Aug/2002

I am on a westbound train, heading for my work in Dalmuir. I alight at an unfamiliar station, which I take to be the closest to my workplace. I walk along suburban streets, hilly and lined with bungalows, whereupon I meet one of my colleagues. We discuss the days that we will be working this week.

When I arrive at my work, the location is unfamiliar. It seems to be a cross between a traditional hospital, and Netherlee Primary School (my alma mater). I arrive to find that the cardboard-folder-drought-situation has not been rectified over the weekend, and, as such, we are unable to do any work.

We carry boxes along a dark, narrow corridor, that has steps up at either end, meaning that it is sunken. It is redolent of the corridors in Carolside Primary, where the table tennis was played on games nights at the 712 youth club. Once we reach one end of the corridor, we turn around, and carry the boxes back to our work space.

I am shocked and a little angered to discover that we are being temporarily managed by my least favourite teacher from school (Williamwood, that is). He asks for our timesheets, and I cannot find them amongst our folder of paperwork. He mutters something, and then goes away to find some spare sheets. He returns soon after with normal sheets for my colleagues, and a different, crêpe paper sheet for me. This annoys me greatly.

Our working space - normally a bare, uncompleted room, with two tables - is transposed to a desk for four people in the corner of a primary classroom. I am sitting down, to prepare some files, when a former classmate (whom I never particularly liked), tells me that I am in his way. I retort that I cannot get out of his way, but he is determined to sit down right behind me and eat his sub sandwich. I point out that we can both sit down, and he does.

I spot my nefarious new boss through a window behind our desk. He is washing the window. I jeer, "What cost-centre does that fall under?" (a timesheet joke that proves I am even less funny when asleep than when awake). I curse the fact that he is not my real boss, and walk out of the room, and the building.

The hospital (in my dream) sits at the top of a grassy hill, which seems to be a public park. It is a sunny day, and the park is bustling with families, flying kites and the like. I trudge down to the road at the bottom of the hill, and when I get there, I turn back.

I return to the hospital through an entrance very similar to the Primary 1 and 2 entrance of (the old) Netherlee Primary School. I pass through cloakrooms, and into an open area, which is like a hospital reception. At this point, I realise that I have lost my crêpe timesheet. I ask a passing nurse where I could find one, and she is very helpful. Everything is resolved.

Dreams 28/Jul/2002

I disembark a train at Exhibition Centre station, Finnieston. The station is somewhat different from reality, and - perversely - passengers leave the low-level station via a downward staircase. A huge throng of people leave the station, and the stairs are crowded. As I near the bottom, a stranger, immediately behind me, falls, saved only by grabbing my neck clumsily. Customary thanks are exchanged, and I continue on my way.

I turn left out of the station, through an underpass (like at Cathcart, Langside, &c stations) towards the river. On the rough site of the SECC east car park (towards the City Inn and the Finnieston crane), there is a Millennium-esque glass-roofed building, which I enter with a friend, who materialises out of nowhere or maybe the car park.

The interior seems to be a cross between the Millennium Dome, the Eden Project, and the Glasgow Science Centre. My friend and I sit down at a long table, upon which some fossils sit in basins of very clean dirt. Close by, the mysterious faller is polishing an old fossil. My friend goes over to speak to her, and starts chatting her up.

The bizarre centrepiece of the centre is a tropical glasshouse in which there is a huge wooden model of an androgynous person, doing a push up. The left arm is held in by gravity and good grace, so I find that I can dislodge it, rather like the broken hind leg on my miniature wooden rocking horse. I push it back in place before the whole model falls down.

Dreams 19/May/2002

My brother and I are Mossad agents, charged with defending a group of Israelis, in our house. We enter the house, and make our way through to the kitchen. Looking at the back garden, we note that it wouldn't be easy to sneak into the next-door neighbour's house, for it is down one flight of stairs, and up another. We then go round the front, ostensibly to attend a barbecue. However the front gate gets in the way, and I am reducing to kicking it, rather than neatly undoing the latch. This tires me, so my brother bids me a good night, and I go to bed.

I wake up the next morning, and find myself in an orchard [which would be where the car park on Lilybank Gardens in the West End is in real life]. I am being quizzed by two former teachers about the drugs habit of an acquaintance of mine. I know nothing about it, so I leave.

At the bottom of the hill, there is a dark, dank train station (like Crosshill) in a cutting. I walk down to it, and, hear the station announcer repeat in a monotone, "Glasgow Central, Cathcart, Neilston". A midget in a gorilla suit runs out on to the track just as a train passes, and the people on the train look worried. The monotone continues.

Dreams 23/Mar/2002

I am strolling down Main Street, Uddingston, when I come to the train station. Completely inadvertantly, I board a train, and find myself zooming away from Uddingston, which was where I was going in the first place. Eventually, the train comes to a station and I jump off.

I jump off, however, into a living room where a family reunion is going on. Almost my entire extended family is sitting side-by-side on a long settee. I find this odd, and resign myself to my fate.

Dreams 10/Mar/2002

Europe By Train, etc.:

I am in a train station, which I take to be Argyle Street or Partick, but which bears more of a physical resemblance to the shed that is Earl's Court station in London. The odd thing about this station, which I view from a raised walkway, is the wide platforms. So wide, indeed, that each incorporates a viewing gallery for several hundred people, who watch flashy new trains shoot improbably past.

I get on a train, and am disgorged on a dark, houseless Merrylee Road. I try to walk towards where I suppose home will be, but I can hardly move my legs, and I am reduced to crawling by my arms.

Dreams 11/Nov/2001

Europe By Train, part immemorial: I am, for some reason, at a training session for the University basketball team. The coach is a boorish man, who makes distasteful jokes at weaker people's expense. He hands out a sheet of paper, with various tactics on them, and asks us to spot the illegalities in each of them. I sign a register, which asks questions, such as, "What T-shirt are you wearing?" I answer, "Nike Soccer," my ironic holiday buy.

The coach pulls rank and throws somebody out of their seat.

Later on, we all leave. I head to the train station, which, inexplicably, is in Williamwood (not Williamwood station, but on the hill overlooking the school, and at the end of an imaginary valley). It's packed, since the school has just come out. I stand at the far end of the platform, but the wait is far too long. Before I leave, I go to retrieve my jacket, which I have left on a seat, on which somebody is now sitting.

I leave the station, and notice that the platform is right on a bus route. I hop on a bus and arrive home soon afterwards.

When I arrive home it is dark, and night. I am in the living room, with my mum and an elderly neighbour. Our neighbour's son is upstairs in the spare bedroom, because he is psychotic.

Outside, I see somebody run towards our front door, carrying a baby. She lets herself in with a key (to my bemusement), and runs upstairs. She re-emerges, sans baby, soon afterwards, explaining that she needed to change it.

Which is all very well, but I hear screams upstairs. I rush up to find that the psychotic son has kidnapped the baby (played by an Action Man doll), and is trying to strangle it. I manage to wrestle the baby free, whereupon it transmogrifies into a CD. Then, I try to incapacitate the man, by knocking seven bells out of him. As I try to escape with the baby (CD), he grabs hold of my legs, and I struggle towards the door.

Dreams 14/Oct/2001

It is the morning, and totally dark. I set out at about half past seven for the train station. I catch a train to Queen's Park (which appears to be more like Langside station), and I am forced to leave the train, because I see a conductor and I have no ticket.

I get off the train, and sit on the platform, where I meet an old friend. We talk awhile.

I look up at the sky, which is amazingly starry and animated. There are thousands more stars than usual, and each one is twinkling. Day breaks, I look at my watch and I realise that almost one hour has passed. I have to be back at my house by half past eight, in order to leave for University.

A massive Hindu god comes onto the platform. He has three pairs of arms, and three pairs of legs. All of which he crosses for dramatic effect.

I look out across the surrounding area, and for some reason, the whole of Scotland and Western Europe can be seen. The central belt of Scotland is a narrow isthmus, and I can see beyond Edinburgh and the much-more-narrow-than-usual North Sea to the mouth of the Seine in France. My handy road atlas confirms this.

The station is becoming crowded, because a class outing from the Gouranga Academy has joined me on the platform. They begin to shout ultra-right-wing slogans, so I decide to leave.

I leave the station, and the shouting rises to fever pitch. All of a sudden, they start to sing Rule Brittania. The singing is accompanied by the sound of cannon going off.

The fascists explode in time with the song, and there are fireworks everywhere, and also flying elephants.

I am out in my front garden, and I notice a short, propellor-driven aeroplane flying overhead. It seems to be flying low, and I can read the writing on the side of it.

It continues to descend, and crashes into the hedgerow of the house opposite mine, landing nose down, but intact.

I rush inside to dial 999, and the operator takes surprisingly long to answer. I tell her what has happened, then go across the road to rubber-neck.

The only people on board appear to have been four babies, or possibly even life-like dolls, which are scooped out of the crash site, and taken away by a neighbour.

Later, I am in a supermarket, and I espy a former teacher whom I did not like. He blanks me, whilst talking to my mum.

Dreams 7/Jun/2001

I am riding a train late at night, and alight at a semi-rural, semi-urban stop, in order to transfer to another line. The lines run perpendicular to each other, so from the platform on which I alight, I need only walk to my right and down some stairs, to the other part of the station. Unfortunately, a train has just left the station, and it will be quite a wait for the next one. I sit down on a handily-placed bench. All of a sudden, the platform lights go out. I hear the sound of a train passing through the station at speed.

Here's a long one:

I, with my family, which appears to be much bigger than it is, am going out to dinner at a fictional Netherlee restaurant (on Clarkston Road, beyond the school, but there are no houses there). We are presented with a choice of two, either a dilapidated-looking pub, or a dilapidated-looking Italian restaurant. We choose the Italian restaurant, reassured by the name L'Ariosto (the name of an Italian restaurant in town, on West Nile Street, I think) that hangs above the door.

Sadly, the restaurant is under new management, and is actually the Sea Shanty Inn. It is as tawdry as it sounds, with naval accoutrements adorning the walls, creating the obvious blue-white-and-rope-coloured décor. The shape of the place is odd. We walk in through a hall, then turn right into a short corridor. The dining room is to the right of the corridor. I notice that there is also a gaudily-coloured cable-car outside, which serves the same purpose as the corridor. And our legs.

We sit down in the middle of the room. I take a green, leather armchair. There is one other family in the room, and all seems pleasant. The waiter has a banjo, but it entertains more than it irritates. The waiter shows me the banjo, and allows me to inspect it.

The harmony is broken when a coarse family of Mancunians comes in. There appear to be about twenty of them, and they make an unholy racket. The sweet sounds of the banjo are replaced by the elderly paterfamilias, who starts to play a mouth organ. I offer the banjo back to waiter, in case he should want to hit anybody with it.

The action transposes to a beach terrace, and I am sitting on its edge. All of a sudden, one of the dysfunctional family's children is jumping up and down on the sand before. Said sand is flying everywhere. This is the final straw, and, much out of character, I launch into a tirade against these annoying, impolite, uncivil people.

Later on, our three families are still together, this time on a railway platform, having a sing-song (inexplicably). En masse, we go on to the train, and prepare ourselves for a journey. It is not long, however, before the annoying son (who must be around my age), begins playing with a squeaking toy. He points it at each person on the train and, in turn, squeezes it. This might not seem annoying, but he does it continuously, until I implore him to stop. He does, fortunately.

One dream hereafter:

I am with some of my friends, walking home at night (it's dark) from somewhere or other. We are walking along the side of a lake. At one stage, there are a series of canals, which look only a few feet wide.

I ask one of my friends, "How often do you think of jumping over them?"

He then does. However, later on, as we continued, we find an adventure playground. One of the attractions is a wobbly bridge across a part of the lake. The self-same friend walks across the bridge, and falls into the lake. I apologise, believing that it is my fault.

We continue along the lakeside path and get to a gatehouse. In order to get through it, we must climb over the gates and under the roof of the building. We manage through, but it is a tight squeeze.

Looking ahead, I see a man-hole cover exploding with ferocity. For some reason, I know that a small van, filled with compressed-gas cylinders, is driving in front of us. I yell to my friends to get back, we do, and there is an almighty explosion, as the van passes over another exploding man-hole cover.

We run like mad things to a large car park, which is already filling with ambulances and fire engines. Despite surviving the explosion unscathed, we risk being run over by the emergency services that are trying to help us. I take a seat, to read a magazine. The thought enters my head that, since the drains were exploding, the road could have collapsed and we might all have been killed. Fortunately not, though.

As I sit with my magazine, a friend of the family comes to me with a gift. In a turn of pathos, the gift is the same magazine that I am reading. I feel awkward, and try to hide it.

Dreams 10/Feb/2001

I am in some sort of South Wales-based resort-hotel. I wander about, and then receive a text message on my phone. It is from someone who asks the names of the finalists in the World Darts Championship. I am at a loss to answer, so I walk up to the man at reception, in order to ask him. He doesn't know the names either, but he refers me to one of his colleagues. I suddenly realise that this colleague is a darts player, whom I defeated in a match the previous evening. He is none too happy, but he grudgingly gives me the names. I walk around, and note the presence of an Internet café. I then step on a train in the lobby, which proceeds to southwest England, via the Severn Tunnel. As we approach the tunnel, the train does as 360 degree downward spiral, and enters a subterranean yard, with track laying and lifting equiment in sidings. I wonder if the train will enter the tunnel using a lift, but instead it enters an extremely narrow, circular hole that looks like a flume. Once inside, the train dodges lazy workers who are slacking on their job of constructing the tunnel.

Dreams 28/Jan/2001

It is the Olympic Games, and have just rowed to victory, to win a gold medal in the Olympic Stadium. I am presented with several medals, so I distribute them liberally amongst friends and family. I leave the stadium and appear to be in deepest Newlands. I meet a Russian weightlifter friend, and we go for a run. It soon becomes apparent that we are running along the marathon circuit, which winds through the residential streets of the south-side. Eventually, we reach an open, grassy square, where a large family is having a picnic. They immediately recognise the weightlifter, but do not know who I am. I go over to introduce myself, and first encounter their dog. In an uncharacteristic move of animal-friendliness, I pat the dog on the head. It lunges toward me, but, instead of savagely attacking me, the white-haired canine allows me to lead it in a waltz.

I am on holiday on the Greek island of Cephallonia. [The setting of Captain Corelli's Mandolin - worth a read.] On one morning, I decide to take the coastal train along to the nearby city. On embarking the train, I take off my sandals, and leave them at the door. I sit barefoot for some time, watching the coastal scenery of cliffs and arches zoom past. Eventually, the train plunges into a tunnel, and the view is gone. We are nearing the town, and I think about putting my sandals back on, worrying that I will not have time to affix the velcro straps before the train leaves again. I alight in an underground station, and see a barrage of ticket machines across the exit. I somehow negotiate them, and emerge into the town, which is revealed to be a large city with many tall buildings. I walk toward a secluded, western corner of the city, where four such skyscrapers stand at each corner of a block. I hurtle toward a gap in one of the buildings, apparently now in some sort of light plane. Dammed by the buildings is an urban lake, and my plane plunges into it. My last glimpse is of derelict, modern buildings.

Dreams 11/Jun/2000

Europe by train, part four. I am, this time, in Williamwood station, only this version is a huge, wide terminus, with trains that go all over the country. Some friends and I elect to catch a train to Glasgow Airport. The train is quite strange, however, for it resembles a large skip, and has a small branch of Costa Coffee inside it. Everybody sits at high tables, sipping lemonade, as the train winds its way through caves and mountains.

I am in Charles de Gaulle, by a man with a bomb in a suitcase (cf Airport, by Arthur Hailey). He also has a remarkably large gun. I hide behind a fat policeman.






Please enter the number 5806 in the box below:

CommentsTell a friend about this page

Your Name

Your E-Mail

Your friend's E-Mail


< # Scottish Blogs ? >
Technorati Profile
Listed on BlogShares

Subscribe to the mrry RSS feed
Subscribe to this topic's RSS feed
More about RSS.
Trackback URL for this article: